Thursday, October 19, 2017

A Spatula, A Sander and A Fish

  A while ago I collected three pieces of fire wood in the garage planning to make some more spoons.  Today I split the wood into eight pieces, a couple are destined to be big deep spoons and I plan to make a couple of long handed spreaders to reach to the bottom of deep jam jars. The rest of the pieces will get turned into something, sometime.

 You can see I have a spatula roughed out from that batch of fire wood.  Between the push knife and the small hatchet I was able to rough out the general shape quickly. 

  Once I got the shape established I turned to modern noisy tools this time. Hand work is nice, but mine is a hybrid shop.   My 36 inch belt sander really brings things into shape in a hurry.  This sander was very good value for the money, I've run it for hundreds of hours over its life time with me.  Several years ago I had to replace the drive belt but otherwise it has been a solid performer.

  After using the big belt sander with 60 grit paper I moved to my random orbital sanders. Those sanders will generally help in the final shaping of a spoon.  I have four sanders, with different grits mounted.  That way I am not tearing the sanding pads off all the time and the hook and loop system lasts longer.

  The finished spatula, is sanded to 320 grit and finished with hemp oil  .  I do my final sanded by hand using a contour sander or my own devising.

old fashioned black board eraser 

  The firm felt supports the sand paper without there being a hard edge that might scratch the work at the final sanding stages.

  I am also working on a colourful shop projects.

   We are going to see our Grand daughters next week and I am taking the four year old a board game. It is an easy counting game and the 'men' will be small wooden fish.  Games for kids are tricky. If they like the game they want to play it all the time, which drives you crazy.  If they don't like it, they never play it and you feel rejected. 

  cheers, ianw

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Another Storage Solution

Every now and then the chaos overwhelms me. 

  Over the years I have acquired many pairs of suspenders, too many to keep straight on a hanger. My solution was a purpose built hanger.

  I originally  planned to make a horizontal hanger, but decided on a vertical one instead.

  I searched in my workshop junk drawer and found a big hook that I used to hang a bicycle and screwed it into the top of the hanger. Yes, it is over kill but for things like this I use what is at hand.

  The actual wooden part is cut from a 2 x 3. I do like to make these quick easy projects from softwood lumber. It is quick and easy to sand and/or plane things smooth.

  If I were a video maker I could have turned this little exercise into a production with close ups and slow motion. After all to make this simple thing I used a band saw, random orbital sander, many clamps, block plane, square, and drill.

  When I look around our home it is filled with wood stuff.  Where many people go to the local "Dollar" store and buy a plastic something to serve their need I make the something.  I grew up making stuff, and encourage everyone to make "stuff".  This little hanger is a perfect example. 
  A person in a small home, or apartment needs very few tools to actually make basic things. I believe that a cordless drill and decent set of drill bit is a necessity.  An okay drill costs about $125.00, less if you look for a sale, a sander is $50.00, less on sale.  A mid-range  combination square can be had reasonably and you can buy your wood mostly pre-cut at the big box store.  If you look around there are community centres that have public wood shops with big machines and expertise for cheap.

  It seems that we are trying to regain our  economic sovereignty. If you are going to appreciate domestic products we need to make some things for our selves too.

  cheers, ianw