Sunday, December 4, 2011

Packing Up...Moving Back

For those of you that follow this blog, and others who stop by from time to time, I thought I would let folks know that it will be awhile before I post another project. We have sold our home, and shop, in West Tennessee and moving back home to the Greater Cincinnati area after being here for the last 9 years.  I moved here for a work transfer and have been retired now for 18 months. 

The big draw of course is family, 3 children, 4 grand children, brothers, sisters, nieces, and nephews.  We were fortunate in this economy to sell this house so quickly (less than 3 weeks) and the home we are purchasing was under construction and we’ll be moving in Christmas week.

So for now, my “projects” involve packing tape, boxes, and filler paper, but as others have said, it is giving me a chance to clean out and see what exactly I have collected over the past 9 years. 

As mentioned in previous posts, some of the power tools are gone. The workbench as well, that will be the first project in the new shop, the Benchcrafted Shaker style bench so I will post when that project gets underway.

I will be back in the basement again, and have already marked my space.  The type of work I do and the increased use of had tools will allow me to set up a nice area to build the things I enjoy, and the best part is I will be able to teach my grandson’s the joy of working with wood. 

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all!!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Table Saw Finds A New Home

Along with the jointer, the table saw has now found a good home and I have no intentions of replacing it. As I continue to change my work habits, I found I can do everything I need to do with my 14" band saw and my array of hand saws. I have started building another saw bench using this method and I am really enjoying it. Along with the table saw, the buyer also purchased my workbench. It was a fine work bench patterned after the Essential Workbench plans in FWW a few years back. It was big, and very heavy. Since we decided to sell the house here in Tennessee and move back to the Greater Cincinnati area, I saw this as a great opportunity to build the Benchcrafted Shaker Bench and will do so as my first project once we are settled in up north. I have the plans, and the hardware is on order. I intend on keeping my DeWalt 3 head planer for shop use when needed, and some other associated power tools used for home improvements and for the kids to borrow :) Anything else I sell will be some excess hand planes and some wooden planes I don't want, don't use, and don't want to move.           I will post those later.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Goodbye JET Jointer

Last weekend I said goodbye to my JET 6" jointer watching it go down the driveway in the back of it's new owners truck. Though I considered my woodworking habits to be "blended" I found that I still relied on the power tools more than I liked and with the encouragement of others, I have decided to make turn around the corner to going unplugged.

The table saw is next, it is listed for sale, that leaves me with a Dewalt 13" planer, a Delta 14" band saw, a Delta dust collector, Rikon lathe, and a Ryobi drill press. The planer would be next, I think I will keep the band saw, lathe, and the drill press for work outside the shop.  

I have an almost full arsenal of saws, sharp, and ready, a nice selection of hand planes collected over the years, also sharp and ready.

 I will be selling some of the planes that are duplicates.

It was strange watching that jointer leave the shop, I used it off an on probably for the last 8 years or so, but it is being replaced with a very nice 30" wooden jointer plane,  and since I have been doing a lot of the work lately with hand tools, the conversion doesn't seem as scary as I thought. The tables you see in the post below were made using hand cut mortise and tenons, the tops and shelves fiished with hand planes, and the inner drawer supports cut by hand.

So off I go taking one step closer to the quiet, and safer, side of working wood, perhaps making less dust and mess, feeling more connected to the work, and enjoying it a lot more in this phase of the journey.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Finished Tables Delivered

The craft table order is now complete and the tables have been delivered to the clients home to her sewing area. The lower table is 60"x30"x30" with one drawer in the center. The other two are 42"x30"x36" and have two drawers each. 

Three craft tables in sewing room
Since she wanted them painted I used poplar. Tops are glued-up panels. These tables are my design and it is really one of the few times I've built a project of this size without a preprinted plan. A skill builder for sure and I did enjoy doing this project. She really liked the finished product and that makes it all the better.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

You're Getting to be a Habit with Me....

A couple of recent tool purchases have changed the way I do work, and as the song goes, you're getting to be a habit with me. I first received the Evenfall Studios Shooting Board a month or so ago and other than just trying it out, I really didn't have a project that would require it's use. While working on the project you see below, I bought Capt. America, a beautiful 16" tenon saw made  Bad Axe Tool Works at the WIA this year, used it cut tenons of course, but also to x-cut the frame pieces. This is where things changed for me, an epiphany of sorts.

Though I have tried in the past to make my own shooting board, I never could quite get it right, some things are best left to the professionals. I have always made my x-cuts on my table saw thinking the blade was square, it is close, but not close enough. I used my #3 Stanley souped up with a Hock blade, and it squared up the ends of each piece perfectly. Works great, I have also used my low angle block plane on this board.

The project is three tables for a client's sewing room, I have delivered one, working on the second, and one more of these to build. It is now almost second nature to reach for the saw, instead of the table saw, cut the piece, square it up, move on. One step closer to going "cordless". :)

Evenfall Studios Deluxe Shooting Board and the Capt. America
16" Tenon Saw from Bad Axe Tool Works

Bottom frame drawer support 

Sewing table 42x30x36 - One of two

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Adirondack Settee

A client in Cincinnati ordered this settee after considering two separate chairs. Here is a shot of the finished product. I applied French Gray Milk Paint  with the outdoor additive and chose General Finishes Environ 450 outdoor poly finish for added protection in the harsh weather up north. I though I would share some of the step by step construction photos to encourage those to jump in and give this type of outdoor furniture a try. I chose pine for this project verses poplar.

Having built one of these about a year ago, I made patterns for all the curved parts in anticipation of building another. This saves a lot of time when repeating a project just by tracing the pattern to the wood. Adhesive is Titebond III with galvanized bolts, nuts and washers. 

Carrying the pine tree theme from the back slats to the center support section of the table.

Lots of curves in the back braces. The wedges on the ends get trimmed with a handsaw after assembly. 

Back slats attached to check spacing and fit. Second from right needed to be "adjusted" a little. These will be removed to apply the finish. All visible screw holes will be plugged and sanded flat prior to painting.
Back and seat slates pre-drilled and removed for painting. I found that doing it this way saves some time, and a certain amount of frustration, when painting between the slats.
Everything assembled, and ready for paint. The solid front seat rail is made by making a series of angled cuts and finishing with a #4 smoother and a block plane.

This style of furniture never gets old and I keep telling myself I am going to build one for my yard but there just seems to be so many projects and so little time. Thanks for taking a look.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Quilt Display Case

This case was commissioned by a customer who wants to display and protect her keepsake quilts.

The case is 29" wide x 19" deep x 21'H and is constructed of Red Oak and finished with General Finishes Shaker Maple and the New General Finishes Water-based Urethane. If you haven't tried this finish yet I can highly recommend it.
Frame and panel construction (glass on front and both sides, oak ply on the back and bottom). 
The plugs you see on the front are only decorative. 

The beautiful quilts you see in the case for the photos were made by my wife Kathy who is a very accomplished quilter and craftsperson in her own right. 

Monday, April 11, 2011

Chair - Repaired

I was ask to duplicate two table leaves for a client, a former co-worker, and when I went by his house to take a look at the table, I saw one of the chairs from the set in his fire wood pile. He said he had tried to glue it, but it continued to break where the bow goes in the seat. Typical of these types of chairs, most of the critical joints were glued with screws, not through tenons.
Cut off ends of back bow and tapered
Holes in top of bow to hold spindles

I drilled through holes across the top of the bow to accept the ends of the spindles, but also to compensate for the fact that now the bow is shorter and needed to go through the seat.

 Drilled the holes careful to keep the original angle of the back. When almost through, I flipped the bow over and drilled through the top to minimize tear out.
Tapered the spindles to allow the bow to mount properly in the seat. 
Everything glued and assembled. The spindles as well as the bow are wedged to be sure it stays together for quite a long time.


Finished chair with the black touched
up with some General Finishes Black Stain.

The chair is better than new now.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Shaker Step Stool - Unplugged

Starting off the new year with a project I have been wanting to do for awhile now and I finally got around to it. This is my version of the step stool featured in the Jan/Feb 09 issue of FWW. (I believe this was also shown on Rough Cut Woodworking with Tommy Mac). This is a milestone of sorts for me as I built this entire unit with hand tools, the only power involved were the lights in my shop. It is constructed from Cherry and Maple.
The Parts
The parts are cut and ready for assembly. All of the dovetails are hand cut of course, the boards were ripped and cross cut with hand saws, the pieces planed smooth using hand planes. One challenge I had was jointing the edges of the longer pieces and keeping those edges square. Not shown in the photo of the tools I used in the Stanley #6 plane I used for that task. I think I will need to add a #7 or #8 to the tool chest for that task in the future.
The Tools
The tools I used are shown above with the except of the aforementioned #6 and my saw bench. 
The finish is General Finishes Vintage Cherry Dye stain and that tamed the sap wood that was throughout the cherry I had on hand to build this. I added a top coat of General finishes Arm-R-Coat. Overall dimensions are 20"wide, 14" deep, and 20" high. Slightly smaller that that shown in the article.

I really enjoyed building this project. While this isn't the first time I have cut dovetails, this is the first time I started from scratch with hand tools. While I am happy with most of the joinery, I thought back to the saying  "Better is the enemy of good" (If you been to New Hampshire you know where I learned that) and was satisfied that the next time I cut dovetails there will be an improvement. I also was reminded that sharp tools make the task much easier. Am I ready to sell the table saw yet?, no, but I think I am one step closer.