Friday, November 30, 2007

On The Move...

Not much happened the past couple weeks, and I'm moving next weeek, so not much wood stuff happening for a while.

My new place is $400 a month cheaper than I'm paying now. It has a larger (1 1/2 car) garage and a huge backyard. Woot! So it will definitely be worth the trouble.

The photo at right is of a binder cover I made just as a test. It's using Rollabind discs on the edge. If you've never seen that before, I can heartily recommend you check it out. I just got some chrome discs from them too. :)

The wood is Ambrosia Maple. I ripped 1/8" thick pieces off a 4/4 (3/4" surfaced) board. Gentle clamping with Titebond and then I trimmed. I added a 1/4" thick piece of ply on the backside to hold it together, and to provide a sandwich for the blue plastic.

The plan was to make a bunch of different binders for the folks at work that use the Rollabind system, but with the move, I doubt I'll get to it. :(

Another thing I found is isometric paper. Like graph paper but triangles instead of squares. It makes 3d drawings super easy. No pics at the moment, but I will once I'm settled.

In case I don't get to post before Xmas, have a Merry Christmas!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

November "shop" Tour

As I learn more, and become more aware of how I work, my garage/shop has evolved a bit even in just the 2 months since I last took pics. The photo above was taken standing at the garage door looking in. I've numbered the highlights and will list below.

  1. Rockwell Table Saw / Jointer Combo
  2. Benchmount Router Table
  3. Workbench
  4. Under workbench stuff
  5. Chemical and auto parts storage
  6. Rolling scrap box
1. Rockwell Table Saw / Jointer Combo

Earlier articles about this:This set from the 70's includes a 9" Contractor table saw and a 4" jointer running off a single 1hp motor with dual pulleys. There is no model or serial number information on the combo, but the individual tools have the following information:
  • Table Saw:
    Model: 34-607
    Serial: KW5599
  • Jointer:
    Model: 37-290
    Serial: KW6690
I picked them up in exchange for a Harbor Freight wire feed welder and $100 in cash. So, essentially, $200. The table surfaces were badly rusted, but the paint and interiors were awesome. The only rust inside is a little streak that came down from the saw blade opening in the top and what looks like a spill down one side of the stand.

I resurfaced the tops, cleaned and lubed all moving parts, put new belts on, and started using them! The only thing left to do is replace the jointer blades. Or at least resharpen them.

The fence is the original fence that came with the tool. It's a decent fence, much better than the one on the Black & Decker. The miter gauge, however, is nowhere near original. I just bought it last week. It's an Incra v27 that cost me $42.50 at Rockler. It was on sale for $49.99 and I had a 15% off coupon! Probably the best deal in woodworking! It is amazing to use.

2. Benchtop Router Table

Earlier articles about this:
I built this table to house my Harbor Freight Trim Router that goes on sale for $20 or less frequently. It's a great little tool and I wanted to use it in a table too.

The table is built of particleboard, melamine, pine trim, and Rockler T-Track. It hangs from a cleat mounted on the wall, keeping it out of my way when not in use.

3. Workbench

Earlier articles about this:
Probably the most important thing you can build, a workbench is the heart of any shop.

Knowing I needed a workbench, but not knowing what I needed *in* a workbench, I built this very simple table from 2x4's and OSD. I later added some glides for drawers recovered from a trashed waterbed.

Mine is taller than most, allowing comfortable work whether standing or sitting on the stool. I don't do much assembly on the bench, instead using the little table I picked up from Harbor Freight a while back.

Note the filter mounted to a box fan. That makes a huge difference in how much crap I breathe when working on wood, and also helps prevent dust boogers from affecting freshly finished pieces.

In the drawers are sandpaper, small measuring tools, cutting tools, abrasive tools, drilling tools, screwdrivers, etc. Hanging from the wall above are currently table saw blades, coping and hack saw, framing squares, and arbor wrenches. Setting on top of the bench normally are a shop box holding glue, lube, spring clamps, and some small scraps. At the other end are a vise, radio, and power strip. The fan sets there until I go to use it, then it's on the small table or the stool. The other stuff you see are finishes I was using.

4. Under Workbench Area

One of these days I'll put a shelf under the bench. But currently there's a large plastic storage box with auto stuff, my old benchmount table saw, Craftsman/Dremel scroll saw, handheld circular saw, palm sander, oil change bins, scrap metal, and whatever else I toss under there.

5. Shelves

The back of the "shop" has a tall metal shelving unit. I picked that up at a thrift store a couple years ago for $15. All my finishes, paints, chemicals, and small auto supplies are on the shelves. Up on top are large pieces of high density foam for upholstering the seats in the Guacamole Bus and some fabric scraps in trash bags. I also have a few small clamps stuck to the sides.

6. Scrap Storage

This is something I just finished, and think is pretty cool. Using scrap 1x2" rough pine from the same waterbed mentioned above and a sheet of 1/4" ply, I screwed this box together. Underneath are a set of casters from Ikea years ago for another project that never happened.

The little cardboard box next to it holds the pieces that need to be thrown away.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Quilted Maple Candleholder

It's finally complete.

Three candle holder made of quilted maple and mahogony. Approximately 18" long and one inch high.

Cost of materials:
  • $20 24x1/4x5" quilted maple (!!) from Woodcraft
  • $2 Mahogony turning blank
  • $3 Candleholders and candles from Dollar Tree
I took the board and cut it to 18" (2" for each candle plus 2" empty space).

I made a template out of hardboard for the curves in the hourglass sides and ends. After cutting the hourglass shape I realized the quilted maple needed something contrasting to set it off.

I ripped the hourglass in the middle and added a strip of 1/4" mahogony resawn from a 1 1/2" turning blank. The blank wasn't long enough to use a single piece, so I made two pieces that met in the center. I didn't properly join them since the middle candle hole would just cut that piece out anyway.

Clamping was a bit of a challenge since the idiot maker (me) cut the curves before clamping. Using rounded pine pads on my clamps, I gently clamped at the ends where the piece was still parallel.

I didn't use as much pressure as I would have liked, so I let it set for 2 days. I did scrape the glue after 20 minutes so it would be easier to remove.

After it dried I started looking at ideas for legs. Originally I wanted something fancy, a flare coming to a point above the board maybe. But the simplicity of the original design called for simple legs as well.

I used two 1/2" x 1/2" x 1" legs on either end of the piece, just outside of the candle holes.

Looks nice and the design fits the project as a whole. Stability was a question, however, so I did some tests. Because the weight of the dishes and candles are on the centerline with the legs, on a hard level surface it's quite stable. However, on the tablecloth it's anything but.

Since this is an anniversary gift for my wife (Nov 17), I'll wait to see where she wants to put it. If it goes on a shelf or the mantle, I'll leave it as-is. But I have a set of "feet" ready to add for stability if necessary.

My sanding schedule was: Light shaping with 50 grit, followed by 150, 220.

Finish was provided by Zissner's "clear" shellac in a rattle can. Schedule was: 6 coats, sanded with 400 grit, 3 coats, sanded again with 400, 1 coat.

I got a nice smooth glossy finish on the quilted maple that really showed the quilted pattern. I have to say, I'm a huge fan of shellac. I like its repairability, its quick drying time, its durability, and the fact that it's a completely renewable resource. Unlike polys.

Once the shellac has had a chance to completely outgas, I'll apply a coat of Butcher's wax and box it up. I may even make a wood box to put it in.

THAT would be cool!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Candle Holder - Sneak Peak

Just a quick sneak peek at the new candleholder design. This was during the testfit of the glass holders.

Shhhh... Don't show this to my wife! It's for our anniversary!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Why I forsook the router today!

Well, not really. But what I *did* do was throw the @#$#@^ thing across the garage and start cutting the legs for my candle holder on the scroll saw using my template instead of the template bit on the router.

The template is cut from thin hardboard. I glued my drawing to the hardboard then used the scroll saw to cut the template. A quick sanding and it was ready.

Double-sided tape fixed the template onto the wood to cut the pattern for a set of legs for a candle holder. I put the 1/4" trimmer bit with bearing on the router, aligned it so the blade touched the bottom of the pattern, and started cutting.

I "sneaked up" on the cut because there was some meat to cut through. No biggie, do it all the time. Just take the wood off in several passes.

But this time the router grabbed the wood and shattered it!

The only thing I can think of is the bit must be getting dull. I use it a lot. Bleh.

So.... What do I do now? I then looked over at my bench. The little Craftsman 3" scroll saw was still clamped there and waiting to work. Why not?

The pic at the top of this blog shows how effectively the scroll saw cuts through the wood while following the pattern. Nice clean cuts resulted! Granted, it took quite a bit of concentration to guide the piece through the scroll saw, but it was worth it.

(Yes, the cuts aren't as clean as a router cut would be. Duh.)

So I now have yet another use for the $20 scroll saw!