Saturday, December 14, 2013

Sofa Tables

I was contacted recently by a friend of my neighbor to build 2 - 55" sofa tables for her home. She had difficulty finding exactly what she wanted at various furniture stores or on-line, or anything not made in China
Finished tables in clients home- 55" x 11" x29"
Her main request was she wanted reclaimed wood. With some help from a couple of contacts, I located some reclaimed quarter sawn white oak from a guy in SE Indiana who tears down barns and not only sells the lumber, but produces some outstanding furniture from it. Most of what he has is 100 to 150 years old from barns and other buildings in the SE Indiana, Northern Kentucky, and the SW Ohio area.
The other requirement was a marble, slate, or limestone top. The tops you see are marble from a vendor in Madison, IN.

A good part of this entire build was making the mortise and tenon joinery. The rails shown above are for the lower shelf, 4 required.

For reference, the legs are 2" square (not shown), and  the shelf slats here are 2 1/8" wide, all I needed to do was to get all of those in the opposite mortise at the same time and clamp it before one end or the other came apart. Took me more than one try, with a few choice words :)

Success! As usual, the second one went together a lot quicker than the first

The finish on the wood is two coats of Tried & True Danish Oil. This really brought out the character of this wood. I really enjoyed working with this reclaimed lumber. Hard to explain but this reclaimed white oak seem to cut a lot easier than the kiln dried material I am used to and the "defects", nail holes, worm tracks, knots etc, made it look all that much better.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Wooden Chest Cooler

My neighbor asked if I could build this cooler for his sister’s birthday present with no instructions as to what he wanted for a design, so I designed as I built.   Some minor surgery on the cooler was required, removal of the handles, hinges mostly, and some slight modifications to the sides to square up the chest. 

  It is rough 1x cedar for the chest, legs, and lid, the cooler is supported with 4 – 2”x4”s spaced evenly across the bottom and attached with pocket hole screws, the legs, large panels as well as the top panel were built with pocket hole joinery. 

The drain is attached with 5/8" clear tubing to the cooler and a pvc fitting to the valve
He picked a 5 day cooler approx 42”x18”x20” and the overall height with legs is 38”. Hope they ice down plenty of cold ones for the party. 

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Cherry and Maple Nightstands Complete

Completed the second of two nightstands for our bedroom. This project has been on the list for longer than I can remember so I am getting closer to finishing the bedroom furniture. The cabinet sides, top, and door frame are solid cherry. The sub top, divider, and bottom panels are Baltic birch edged with 1/4" cherry strips. The hand cut dovetails are still a challenge for me but I am getting better, practice makes perfect I guess.

There are faster ways to cut tenons but for me none more enjoyable than cutting them by hand. These are the rails for the base. Each leg has 2 mortises that I drill on the drill press and chisel to size.

This is the finished base prior to finishing. The corner blocks add strength and also a way to attach the cabinet.

Edge jointing the cherry to glue up panels for the cabinet with a No.6 which for me is a good size plane for this type of work. The Stanley No.386 attachment works great in keeping things square.

Assembled cabinet with the door installed. The hinges make the door adjustment a breeze.

Another view of the finished nightstand. The finish on the cherry is Tried & True oil, 2 coats, and I add a light coat of wax. The base is finished with General Finishes Black. I wanted a nice contrast between the base and the cabinet.

The next project for the bedroom will be a dresser that matches the style and finish of the nightstands. Need to get this done before it warms up and the golf courses open up :)

Monday, November 19, 2012

Bench Build - Complete !!

The Shaker style bench is now complete and ready for use (officially), I was using it prior to the finish coat for some other small projects.

 The finished top dimension is 26" x 83", I left it a little wider than the plan to allow for a couple of round bench holes to accept holdfasts for the Moxon vise. Even at that width, there is still plenty of room all around the bench. I used Tried and True wipe-on oil for all of the unpainted pieces.

Back view showing the back panel routed to give the impression of ship lapped boards. 

 Tail vise view and overhang required for all the hardware under the bench top.

 Front view shows the square dog hole strip that runs the entire length of the bench. I do have a few more bench dogs to build, and the plans are clear on how to do that, even though it is not the most exciting part of the build.

 The deadman and rail 

The parallel guide bar prevents the leg vise chop from racking, simply slide the bar into the hole close to the width of the board you have in the vise.

One thing I can say is this bench is solid, and heavy! I had a chance to edge join a board and I detected absolutely no movement at all, solid as a rock. This bench was a pleasure to build. The quality of the hardware and plans are outstanding. I had some challenges along the way, but what fun would it be if it was easy? I learned a lot along the way and would be glad to share if someone is thinking about building this bench.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Bench Build - Next Steps

The bench build continues to go well, I have finished the parts for the front glide vise and I my goal is to get this installed and adjusted this weekend.

Glide vise parts
The parts above are hard maple, the chop was a challenge. It is 2 5/8" thick at the top and tapers down to 1 9/16". I tried to resaw the glue up on my band saw, but it was a struggle, so I stopped, got out the #40 scrub plane, the #6 jointer, and the #4 smoothing plane and had my workout for the day/week/month.

One thing I learned is that you can tap hard wood to accept machine screws. This may seem elementary to some of you, but I had never thought to do that before, and is suggested in the plans to do so.

bench view with leg attached

I went ahead and painted the unit, oiled the knobs and door stops and the bottom foot of the bench. The plan calls for a 4/4 foot I believe and I felt that would make the bench lower that I like so I used simple 2x4 and with the thickness of the top will put the height where I want it.  I can touch up any dings later. The finish is General Finishes Milk Paint Bayberry Green, hardware supplied in the Bench crafted hardware pack.

Additional bench view
The remainder of the work will be on the top and the tail vise. I have all the maple I need barring any major screw ups, and I had to use hard vs. the preferred soft maple. My wood monger in Indiana did not have a good selection of clear soft maple so rather than wait I switched to the hard maple. 

So far the build is going well, there are some challenges which keeps things interesting, and I am learning some new techniques along the way.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Bench Build...Doors and Drawers....

 After a commission job, and a very nice trip to Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg, I completed the next major step in the bench build, adding the doors and drawers. 

The doors are 1" poplar and are attached with the hinges supplied in the hardware pack from Benchcrafted, the knobs are cherry as is the door latch on the side door. I still need to make two more.

The half blind dovetails on the drawers are hand cut, I used pine for the drawer sides and back, the big reason was I ran out of poplar for the drawers, and I had the pine on hand from a previous job.

Happy with the results of the dovetails, the more I cut the better they look (to me anyway) and this step was one of the more enjoyable parts of this phase of construction.

Next step. Front Leg Vise construction and installation, final fit, and finish, of the drawers and doors, and painting the cabinet in a yet to be determined color of Milk Paint.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Back At It..Bench Build Underway

Finally getting started on the new bench for my shop and am excited with the progress to date. With respect to Monsieur Roubo, Shaker is my style and I am building it using the plans, and hardware, purchased from Benchcrafted. The level of detail in their drawings is outstanding, the hardware package is complete, and the 3D available in a download are a plus.

Shown above is the basic carcass made from some pretty decent birch ply I bought at HD of all places for a reasonable price, was surprised at the quality of the plywood, haven't found a void yet. It is sitting on an old bench that moved with me from TN that was sitting in my garage. I drilled some holes in the top for the holdfasts, and use the Benchcrafted Moxon vise I built to use as an end vise. It is working out great, but can't wait to get the real deal.

Case with face frame and end frame dry fit. Both frames are constructed with 5/4 (net 1") poplar. If you look at Benchcrafted's website, you will see the base of the bench is painted , so poplar is a good choice for the outer frame.

Frames and back attached, all that is needed for the bottom is the "foot" It is a frame made of 1X3 poplar. I may change that thickness once I determine the overall height of the bench.

As of this posting, the door for the end panel is mounted, the doors for the front are made, the drawers are next. 

This will be one solid bench. The advertised finished weight will be around 350 lbs, certainly sturdy enough to handle any hand tool work.

A finished photo can be seen at Benchcrafted website and for those of you attending WIA in the Fall in Covington, KY, Jameel my have his bench there at the show.

More to come as I hit significant milestones during the construction.