Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Clamps and Glue

 I continue to be amazed at that you can make with glue and clamps.  I am building another side table, again without fasteners and currently have the beginnings of a music stand drying.

  Last evening I glued a small lip onto the ledge. This afternoon I sanded that joint and then I glued the ledge to the back of the music stand.  All that remains is to leave it until it is properly dry and then sand and finish.  Ratcheting or Quick Clamps are perfect for this type of task.  As you can see I have three different clamps in use.  I often pick up a clamp or two at a wood show, somebody always has something on sale.  Don't buy cheap, 'no-name' clamps, they are not worth the money.  The clamp in the middle of the project is 35 years old and works as well as the day it was purchased.  

  The  other thing that is clamped and drying is a prototype acoustic amplifier for my phone. 

  Every time I change technology I need to make a new speaker.  It is worth noting that each device's speakers are placed differently.  I like the compact size and shape of this design but decided to make a rough prototype before using good materials.  Part of what I wanted to see was how small the speaker could be and not fall over.  The tablet stand I made a while ago was not prototyped and is not a stable enough to hold the tablet vertically. I like to believe that I can learn from my mistakes.  

  This speaker stand is stable while improving and increasing the volume of my phone. I will next make a prettier version with nice wood, careful joinery and then finish it  with shellac. If you are thinking of something like this there are many possible designs for phone acoustic speakers  if you can draw your own plans after seeing a photograph.  I begin with an internet photograph and fitted the design  to my phone.   

  I am not a slave to my phone.  In fact it sits on my desk unused for days at a time, that's why I decided to turn it into a radio.


Saturday, September 16, 2017


 We have been having some wonderful weather these last few days  so I have tried to take advantage.  I've been for a couple of long motorcycle rides and other things have taken me out of my shop too. There will be plenty of cold and rainy days in the months to come,  now carpe diem and carpe coffeum,  I recently found a place that sells ginger cookies at a very reasonable price to dunk in my coffee.

  The only project I've finished lately is another spoon.

I think it is a witch's spoon!
 but the wood grain is lovely.

  This spoon was chopped from a piece of firewood.  I think it was black locust  It is hard and stringy. I chopped it into basic shape with my hatchet but used a grinder and a dremel tool to complete the shaping. 

  My Dremel is old school with a cord attached, and I generally use it with a flex-shaft.  A traditional wood worker this sort of thing is competed with knives and scrappers.  I love to carve/whittle, but this wood was so darn tough it was only going to get done with electric help.  

   Carving a wooden spoon is a link to many, many videos about carving wooden spoons.  I don't think there is anything I can add to the vast knowledge out there about spoon carving.  What I can add is that I think every wood worker should have a spoon on the go in their shop. There is almost nothing as relaxing as fussing away on a spoon and ultimately sanding it with ever finer sand paper until it is baby's bottom smooth.  After I wax or oil my spoons they are  remind my just how wonderful wood can feel. 

  It is supposed to be lovely tomorrow.  I won't be in the basement shop tomorrow either. It is good to be the King.