Tuesday, June 28, 2016

In the shop today

  Since everyone knows I do wood work for a hobby they also know that projects progress through my shop in a non-linear fashion.  I have the elm glued for the jewel box but today only touched it to move it out of the way.

  A couple of weeks ago I brought this piece of cherry home from my friend's place. It has been sitting in the garage, in the way since then. Today I got fed up and set to work making it manageable and useful in my shop. This tree trunk is nearly at the limit of what I will lift now days and so I opted to bring the shop to it instead of haul it down to my basement wood shop.

  I brought my saw bench and its helper bench up from the basement and strapped the log down so that I could cut it safely.

  I cut a limb and the big end off of the trunk and was able to carry it down to the workshop with little effort.  I don't have a chain saw, they scare me and I leave that sort of cutting to the folks that are trained for the job. The 'swede saw' (bow saw) did the job just fine.  A hand saw like that is low tech enough that I can get it started every time and not have to worry that it will get away from me and make a big mess.

  Notice that the saw bench 'helper' is in the photo.  Here it is after I remembered that I wanted to paint the legs.  The little bench looks pretty good.  Once the legs dry and I am going to do something (?) interesting and unnecessary to the top, maybe wood burn it or something.

  As I cut up the limb I got the brain wave not to turn all of it on the lathe but to cut 3/8 slices off and make coasters. I soaked the slices heavily with shellac and will come back and sand them smooth.  The shellac raises the grain and seals the wood and that makes sanding end grain/rough lumber quicker and easier. 

  I am working on making some small things for my friends from their tree and all houses need coasters.

cheers, ianw

Monday, June 27, 2016

Why Wood?

  Over the weekend we were at our cottage and spent a bit of time wandering around the nearest towns.  One thing we saw was a young man playing a cigar box banjo  / guitar.  The instrument had a through neck with the cigar box as the body.  We heard the instrument initially playing through a portable amplifier but it sounded cool as a strictly acoustic instrument too. The cedar wood cigar box added style and character. 

  On another day we were walking through Thornbury admiring the town and the river.  By the way the local bakery makes a very good cinnamon roll. As we crossed the bridge we saw several really beautiful  flower boxes on the railings of the bridge.

  The flower boxes were made of 3/8 inch steel bar stock welded together to provide a frame. What really made the boxes visually appealing is the contrast of the flowers with the barn board boxes in the frame. I am sure that the boxes could have been made with sheet metal or the frames filled with plastic boxes, but in neither case would be result have been as pleasing to the eye. 

   I am a big fan of the re-using or up-cycling of wood.  Pallets and barn board have years of rough wear left in them that should not be wasted.

 cheers, ianw