Saturday, March 30, 2013

Live Edge Table Build...

Well I wanted to challenge myself, so I started a live edge table build back before the holidays. After I screwed up the joinery at the top of the first leg I shoved the project back up on the shelf of misfit projects. Until yesterday I figured it would never see the light of day, but I've had a change of heart. Although I won't be able to fix (cosmetically modify maybe) the original screw up I figure there are still lessons to be learned from the project.

Everything I am attempting is really a first attempt and although I have read and watched quite a bit of woodworking related educational materials, the solutions and processes I am using are self destructiv... I mean I am figuring them out on my own. I realize there are better ways to do everything I am trying to do, so I am begging anyone and everyone to comment and share their ideas, suggestions and experience. I have had trouble finding local educational resources and a woodworking community to learn and share ideas with, so the internet is my resource for sharing my passion for the craft. So please feel free to point your fingers and laugh at my project(s), but don't leave me in the dark if you know a better technique, recognize a failure path or simply have a tip to share. I wouldn't mind a couple of atta boys along the way, but honestly they're not necessary for me to enjoy the journey.

Anyway below are a few pictures of the table, including close ups of the screw up. I am in the process of working on the joinery for the other leg and then it will be on to the stretcher. Wish me luck and let me know what you think!!!
Table Top

Live Edge
Going To Drill Out Epoxy As It Dried Yellow (Any Suggestions For Clear Drying Epoxy?)
Solid 8/4 Walnut Leg
Leg Edge Rounding Template (Mark Legs Then Use Planes, Scrapers And Rasps To Shape Edges)
One Leg Partially Shaped (Looong Way To Go. Wishing For A Draw Knife &/Or Spokeshave)
Arc At Base Of Legs (Note Tapering At The Top)
Mortise For Stretcher (Stretcher Will Be Made Of Hard Maple, Maybe Curly)
KABOOM!!! Not Sure What I Did Wrong, But Obviously Something Wasn't Right. I Had Plywood Backing Up The Stock As I Chiseled Through The Waste, So Anyone Got Any Thoughts On This One???
Dovetail Joint For Attaching The Top To The Legs
Marking Out The Dovetail On The Top (Just Started Chiseling Waste To Define Edges, Will Drill Out Bulk Before Final)
First Socket Completed. Disappointed In Sloppy Fit (Where I Had Shelved The Project Back Before The Holidays)
Until my next post:


Saturday, March 23, 2013

Blog Entry - Triple Play...

 This week it is sort of like three posts in one, so I won't waste anymore time on the introduction.

The first thing I'd like to accomplish is providing a final update on my recent box build. It has taken me several days of stop and go woodworking to get to a point where I am calling the project complete. I won't say it was successful, but it is a box and it does have a lid, so it is complete. I finally settled for gluing a walnut lip around the inside of the lid. It is snug enough you can pick the box up off the table by the lid without it falling off, but it is loose enough lightly holding the base and the lid can be removed with minimal effort. Not the exact look I was going for, but functionally acceptable. On the finishing side of the project I also experienced disappointment. After having terrific success finishing the inside of the box with shellac I decided I would use the same for the exterior. I am fairly certain my failure lies in the drying time, or in the case of the exterior lack of drying time between application and sanding. When I did the interior I allowed probably 3 hours or so between coats. On the exterior I only gave it about an hour, if that before I would start to sand. I knew immediately there was a problem as the shellac seemed gummy and actually rolled up in balls as sanded. Not knowing how to address the issue I would continue sanding and apply additional finish. The next coat I would go through the same erroneous process. By the end, there were a few areas where the finish is obviously thinner and ridges can be seen in the finish. In hindsight I should have stopped sanding immediately and given the piece additional drying time. Then once it was completely dried I could have cleaned the areas already affected and moved on. One day I will probably make an effort to sand the entire project down to bare wood again and refinish the outside, but for now... IT IS WHAT IT IS!!!

My second subject involves one of my early sources of renewed inspiration to take up the hobby of woodworking. The Woodsmith Shop and their early internet based videos "Woodworking Online", provided me with both inspiration and the practical information to get me up to speed quickly. Over about a 3 week period I consumed all their online content and quickly turned to the Woodsmith & Shop Notes magazines for additional woodworking wisdom. This past week I had the opportunity to attend a software based training class in Des Moines, IA. The class was completely unrelated to woodworking, but provided me with an opportunity to visit the site of my early inspiration. I went on Tuesday night and again on Thursday to attend one of the seminars they put on regularly. At first I was somewhat disappointed to find out the seminar would not be technique or project based, but rather a glimpse in to the wildly popular public access based "Woodsmith Shop" tv program. Seeing I would most likely never get a second opportunity to attend I decided not to pass up the opportunity. There was an $8.00 entry fee, but I received a $5.00 coupon for any store purchase, so the net cost to attend was $3.00. In the end it was the best $3.00 I could've spent on entertainment. Everyone greeted me with kind words and a welcoming smile. I was already aware that Bryan Nelson, Managing Editor of Woodsmith and Shop Notes magazines was scheduled to be the presenter, but to my surprise both he and Don Peschke, Publisher of the magazines showed up for the presentation. For those of you unaware of the "Woodsmith Shop" tv program, Mr. Peschke is the primary host of the tv show and Mr. Nelson is a regular contributor and co-host on the program. While I didn't get the opportunity to meet them it was easy to see they are both passionate about the craft and seemed very approachable and down to earth. I really enjoyed my time in the store and certainly wished there was one in my neighborhood. I encourage anyone who has the opportunity to visit them. Thanks Woodsmith I truly enjoyed the visit!!!

And for the finale, I thought I would post a brief description of the item I purchased with my $5.00 coupon and $45.00 additional. The Wixey Angle Gauge with Level is one of those items I've thought of purchasing, but kept pushing out. With having to carry my purchase back on the plane the Wixey's small size seemed to fit the bill. I haven't had a real opportunity to use it yet, but it is such a one purpose kind of tool I highly doubt it will disappoint. I did try it on my miter station and was pleased that it appeared the saw is both level and the blade is plumb (or 90°) to the table. I wish I could get crazy excited over this purchase, but it does what it advertises. I am excited to have it in my aersenal and look forward to using it on future projects.

 Until my next post:

Saturday, March 16, 2013

The Box That Almost Never Saw The Dawn...

This is an update to a project I described a couple of posts back. The Dawn of a New Box, briefly discusses my first attempt at inlay or intarsia. I also used splined mitered corners for the first time on the project.

My original design and intent was to create opposing rabbets to form the interface between the lid and the box. After constructing the box and gluing everything up I discovered I had thought how I was going to accomplish the inside rabbet on the lid. For about two days I brewed what I thought I knew. and later realized I didn't know, over and over in my mind. No solutions came to mind. I decided to look for help from the online community on a couple of the forums, but I wasn't getting any responses or at least no response in the immediate manner my impatience typically demands. On a whim, I looked on Google+ to see if I could strike up a one on one discussion with someone and low and behold there was Chris Wong from Flair Woodworks. He was very patient and took quite a bit of time to describe a couple of techniques I could use. One option he gave me was to use my wheel marking gauge to slowly cut my shoulders, while using a sharp chisel to pare to the desired depth for the cheek. The second method would utilize my small Dozuki saw to cut kerfs between the shoulder and cheek lines to speed waste removal and limit tearout at the corners. I had choosen the latter as the method I was going to use. Thanks Chris for pointing me in the right direction.

Before I could begin to work the rabbets I was going to need to cut the lid from the fully assembled cubicle box. I had already determined that I was going to cut 3/8" from above the second spline from the top of the lid. and this should have left me with about 3/8" of material to cut the rabbet. I had intended to cut the top off using my bandsaw, but for some reason I have been getting a lot of oscillation in the blade lately so I opted for the tablesaw. So measure twice check, better make three times and as we all know you can only cut it once. BBbbuzzzzzz, one, two, three and finally four sides cut off in seconds. Awesom... Aweful what have I done, there is only about an 1/8" and its not nearly the clean cut I had imagined. I looked for a second and then quickly realized I had measured the 3/8" from the bottom of the first spline instead of the top of the second. Now there is no way I'll be able to cut the rabbets as I originally planned. I wasn't even sure I would be able to clean the surface on the bottom of the lid and top of the box good enough. What a mess. I decided to let it set a couple of days to avoid immediate use as a heat source.

After a day I proceeded to clean up the surfaces and sanded them flat. At this point the lid and box sit nearly flush with one another. There is only about a 1/16" lip left on the lid so I will be gluing in pieces to serve in place of the rabbet. I will post updated pictures over the weekend as I near completion of this little project/learning experience. Thanks for stopping by.

Until my next post:


Friday, March 8, 2013

Finishing Up The Miter Station

This week I have worked to complete the Miter Station project I introduced last week. While I was unsuccessful at completing the project, I feel I made enough progress to post an update on where it stands.

First I have added onto the the dust collection ducting for the station. I incorporated a 4" "Y", 3" reducer and 2" hose connector to the previously discussed piping. Additionally, in order to remedy the whistling I was getting from the 1 1/2" sump hose I discussed in last week's post I installed a 4' segment of 2" diameter flexible swimming pool filter tubing. While the exterior construction of the hose is very similar to the sump hose the interior is smooth walled and eliminates (Thank Goodness) the whistling I experienced from the sump hose. The only issue I experienced from splitting the air flow between the area below the saw and at the dust port on the saw is balancing the air flow to the two locations. My elegant Hillbilly solution was to insert a baffle or restrictor on the upstream end of the "Y". It took about three attempts to make the correct WAG but I eventually got balanced collection from both collection points. The baffle was initially constructed from scrap luan plywood and the second iteration saw the inclusion of infamous duct tape to further restrict the flow. After I decided there still wasn't enough pick up at the saw's dust port and after realizing the duct tape was probably not going to hold up for an extended period I moved to an aluminum flashing material. As I cut the aluminum I used the luan and duct tape version as a template and only slight extended the edges to further restrict the flow. As you'll notice in the pictures below, I cut a semi-circle in the baffle and installed it with the opening towards the bottom of the pipe. In my mind this seemed to serve two purposes; one was it should reduce dust build up on the upstream side of the baffle and two it places the restriction as close to the intersection in the "Y" as possible. In my minds eye the latter should maximize the function of the baffle in directing flow to the smaller diameter piping. I don't know if either of these concepts are correct, but I know the end results seem to support the effort.

The other items I completed included the installtion of the support table fence and the finishing of both the fence and the support table top. The only thing remaining on the wish list is the inclusion of t-track on the fence to use for clamping and permanently attached sliding stop block. I should complete these items in the next week or two.

As for the area behind the support table fence I am currently planning to incorporate some type of storage unit. I haven't decided between installing open shelving, a more formal cabinet, french cleat system or other tool organization system, however I do know it will not be peg board. I am also scratching my head on how to get bench top dust collection to the workbench area immediately adjacent to the miter station. This bench serves many purposes in my shop at this time, including layout, assembly, sanding and finishing operations. In the long range plans, there will be a more formal workbench for layout and most assembly, a spray area for finishing and this bench will be relegated to mostly sanding operations, thereby making the dust collection extremely important at this bench.

Next post I hope to include some shop layout drawings, including future additions and end game strategy for finishing the setup. While I hope to one day be able to convert the existing independent two car garage into my "FINAL" shop. This basement layout needs to be functional for several years before I will even begin to consider the garage conversion. Anyway that post is for another day.

Hope your enjoying these recent posts and more consistent schedule. Thanks for stopping by.

Until my next post:


Saturday, March 2, 2013

Miter Saw Station

Two weeks and two posts, I am nearly positive the internet is about to crash!

Well I just thought I would post a brief entry describing my recent miter saw station build. I still need to complete top and fence on the right side of the station, but for the most part the project is complete. Sorry to say I didn't take as many photos as I initially intended, but you will see a few below.

While I realize this is really only a "HALF" station; it is what I felt would meet the majority of my shop needs and still conserve valuable space in the shop. In the event I would need to utilize the left side for longer stock support I will either use a roller stand or a mobile stand to serve the purpose.

This project consists of 1/8" luan plywood, 23/32" shop grade plywood, construction grade 2x4 lumber, a small piece of curly maple, 3/8" concrete anchors, 3/8" x 3" lag screws, 3/8" x 2" lag screws, 1 1/2" drywall screws, 3/8" brass cabinet screws, 1 3/4" finish nails, Titebond II wood glue, 4" thin walled PVC pipe and a wonderous product called DUCT tape. My wife swears I couldn't fix anything without duct or electrical tape. Honestly she is probably right, but I still regularly argue the point with her, without success. I completing the right side support wing and fence I will probably use some hard maple for both the support and fence and will likely add in a piece of standard t-track to the fence. I haven;t completely decided how I will configure the t-track, be it on the face or top or both, but the intent is to use them for hold downs and stop blocks.

On the the dust collection front I incorporated the 4" thin walled PVC as ducting. I am currently using the Dust Right Quick Connect System and a 20' flex hose to service my stationary. In order to connect the quick connector to the 4" PVC I cut 2 1/8" x 3" kerfs on opposite sides of the PVC pipe and used duct tape to compress the end of the pipe enough to fit the quick connector. I realize there are reducers available to perform the same function, but this method was cheaper and seems to be working just fine. Eventually I will be hard piping most of the shop, so this is a temporary solution anyway. The PVC then goes into the cabinet to a 90° elbow and through the cavity just below the saw. I sloped the inside of the cavity to direct the saw dust down towards the 4" pipe. While I am sure others have better solutions and more efficient systems this works for me and seems to collect 75-80% of the dust that make it to the area just below the saw. I addition to the collection below the saw; I also epoxied plumbing fitting onto the saw itself in order to better direct the dust from the dust port on the saw and to allow ne to connect a flex hose to go to my shop-vac. The shop vac is also temporary until I can add a Y to the 4" PVC and tie the dust port permanently to the dust collector. My only issue with this setup is the flex hose I purchased (sump pump flex line) whistles terribly when I fire up the shop-vac. I am guessing this is caused by the ridges inside the hose, as I can usually twist and bend it the hose to get the whistling to stop temporarily. I will be looking other hose options in the future, but for now it is what it is. Thank God for hearing protection.

So far I am really pleased with the results of the dust collection and this build in general. Once the support table and fence are completed I am confident this addition to the shop will serve me well. As with other recent posts I will provide an update once the project is 100% complete.

Thanks for taking the time to read this post. As always I am very interested in your comments, suggestions and ridicule, so please let me know your thoughts!!!

Until my next post: