Friday, November 27, 2015

Turned Segmented Bowls Part 2

 Today we cut our segmented glue ups on the band saw and attached one to the lathe face plate using a paper glue joint as explained in the video;

paper glue joints 
  Strictly  speaking you don't need a band saw to be a wood turner, we could have knocked the corners off the blanks with a hand saw,

ignore the date stamp on the photo,
 I changed the batteries in my camera and forgot to reset the date.

  We decided to use a paper glue joint because our little bowls are not very deep and screwing the face plate into the bowl would reduce its depth further. 

  Since I only have one face plate I decided to initially turn my bowl between centres. I will mount it on a face plate later and hollow it out,or maybe just drill it out with a huge Forstner bit. My bowl  will hold my caked shaving soap. Once I hollow it out I think I may make a lid for it too.  

 The finish on my bowl is bees wax applied with my home made polissoir.

 As David and I were talking the morning after making some saw dust in the shop it became obvious that a person with and a mini lathe, few chisels and wood can have a pretty good time and make a significant mess.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Segmented Turning Projects

  With Christmas just around the corner the internet is flooded with projects to make in your shop for gifts. Recently Linn at Darbin Orvar produced a video making segmented bowls.

 Recently a Facebook friend shared a video of a segmented bowl being turned on a lathe.

  Yesterday David, a real friend of mine and I were suitably inspired by the internet that we cut up some wood and glued up blanks ourselves.
You can never have to many clamps.

 Since David hasn't used a lathe since middle school shop class, (many years ago for both of us) we decided to make our first bowls rather modest. We glued 16 2 1/2 inch pieces of contrasting wood together and then clamped the living daylights out of the whole thing.

 This type of project doesn't require high skill, or expensive tools weights, strings and rubber bands could replace the clamps. We used a table saw and planner to prepare our wood pieces but that is only because we started with some rough lumber.
  One of the reasons that we decided to try our hand at a shop project is that David and I have known each other for 20+ years and have thought, discussed and solved all of the world's problems, over and over and it has become boring knowing the answers and being ignored. So now we are going to spend our time doing stuff and the world can look after itself.

Another Christmas Gift Idea

M12 Speaker

cheers, ianw

Monday, November 23, 2015

Seven Simple Wooden Ornaments

  It has been a very busy weekend with family here, Grand kids, Great Grandmother and our newest Grand Baby Rowan too. So, I spent a bunch of time eating and being social and thus my back is pretty sore today. A sore back means no time spent bending over my work bench.

 I thought I would share Steve's excellent video today.  All seven ornaments can be made by children if they get a bit of help and certainly the painting can be done by children to involve them in workshop projects.

 An apartment tool box can easily be equipped with a coping saw and a good cheap hand saw. Basic tools can make very satisfying and special projects. 

 Make some Christmas gifts this year, come on, its not that hard.

Cheers, Ianw


Friday, November 20, 2015

Project Painting Pallet - an up cycling idea

7 1/2 by 9 1/2 by 3/4

  Painting small projects and carvings with acrylic or craft paint used to mean puddles and bottles and messes.  I got the brain wave to use some of the millions of creamer containers that are floating around to hold my paint. 

 Nearly every social occasion generates hundred of small plastic containers now days, all destined for recycling, or landfill. I collect the containers and use them for glue, small parts and now paint. I do it because I hate to see millions of tonnes of garbage created needlessly, and because I am thrifty. When the pallet is sitting on the bench the containers are slightly proud of the top but I choose to drill holes so that when I picked up the pallet there was no chance the containers could fall through.

 I could call this 'the 3/4 project' since the scrap of wood is 3/4 ply and the holes were bored with a 3/4 Forstner bit. The corners were knocked off with my belt sander and I did a bit of end sanding with loose paper and shazam, the project was ready for finishing.

 Finally I put two thick coats of shellac on the face of the pallet and have waxed it well so that paint mixed on the pallet will be easier to wash off at the end of the session.

 Now it is time to paint some Christmas ornaments.

cheers, ianw

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Finishing Tip For Small Projects - Carved or Scroll Saw

Snowman in toque, tree ornament.

  This is the first two of my 2015 tree ornaments. I whittled them from bass wood using a limited assortment of very sharp knives. There will be small black bits of wood for eyes and a tiny carrot for a nose to finish off the faces.

  If I get the figures carved properly they don't need to be sanded before painting. I give the projects at least two coats of shellac to seal the wood before painting. When the wood has been sealed it takes fewer coats of paint to get good coverage. As you know, between coats of shellac the wood needs to be sanded, easy on large flat surfaces, a pain on little things like this. 

 My solution when dealing with small carvings or scroll saw pieces is a wire brush instead of fiddly bits of sand paper.

                   Forney, 70506 7-3/4'' Stainless Steel Wire Scratch Brush

 Workshop Pot Brush
  I am careful not to be too aggressive while brushing and I have found it much easier to get into the tiny cracks and textures of small pieces with a brush than with sand paper.

  It is nice when a solution is easy and cheap.

cheers, ianw


Monday, November 16, 2015

A Segmented Scroll Saw Project

Scroll Saw Fish 

  As the gift giving season approaches I am often looking for interesting, and unique smaller projects. Nearly everyone I know has everything they can imagine wanting and no place in which to put their stuff, so gifts needs to be useful, consumable, or small. I like this segmented fish because it is flexible in design and finish while still being a good project for developing technique. 

  When it comes time to spray varnish your fish you might want to try an add on handle to your spray can.

Rust-Oleum Comfort Grip Spray Painting Tool 241526

  I have thought about this project and decided I am going to make a segmented sail boat, along the lines of the Bluenose. Now it is time to design.

cheers, ianw

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Returning to My Roots

Excalibur EX-16 16 inch Scroll Saw with Tilting Head

   When I started  back into wood working one of the first tools I bought was a scroll saw. I worked it until the bearing gave out a couple of years ago, and replace it, but have been using it less and less. I had moved onto larger projects and acted as though I had out grown my scroll saw.

  Well, here I am back where I started.  I am up and around although my activity time is still quite limited. Being bed bound is making me crazy, I lay there thinking of all the projects I want to do and....sometimes the frustration makes getting to sleep almost impossible. 

  One of the advantages with scroll saw projects is they are small and can be done quickly or at least in bite sized pieces.
Today's project was broken into several parts. First I saw an idea I like on the net, then I made my own design.

   I have taken a couple of drawing courses expressly so that I can draw my own designs and patterns. Previously I had to make photocopies and so was limited to what was for sale or otherwise available.

  A day or so after the drawing I glued the pattern to some Baltic birch plywood and cut it out.

 After sitting at the saw long enough to cut out the snail I am now laying in bed with a sore(ish) back typing the blog.

  The pieces need a light sanding and then they get a natural finish. There aren't many pieces but there being no front or back side will make the puzzle more of a challenge then it initially appears.

  It is nice to make something again.

cheers Ianw

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Christmas Time is Coming

 Each year I try to make as many of my Christmas gifts as possible. There a several reasons for this: one reason is to try and give gifts that are one of a kind, our family is blessed with enough prosperity that most any commercial thing that we could want, we can buy. Gone are the days of saving up and waiting to buy a new sweater or electronic gadget, and being in that situation is wonderful, being well supplied and content is a foundation stone of happiness. But it does make gift giving a challenge.

 Another reason I like to make gifts is it gives me permission to buy more expensive materials rather than just make due with ordinary hardware store stuff.  It is nice to buy matching hardware for a project, or even break down and buy solid brass, instead of brass plated hinges and drawer pulls.

  The final reason I like to make gifts is to try and express to the receiver how special they are, home made gifts take time and imagination and planning.

 On that note, Christmas is coming, it is time to begin planning and building your gifts.

For Children: toys and puzzles, treasure chest, toy boxes, puppet theatres, boats that float, planes that fly, bottle rockets, tool boxes, bicycle racks, book cases and book ends, Tree ornaments, just to name a few.

For Wives, serving platters, bowls, wooden spoons, flower pots, coffee trolleys, cutting boards, candle holders, seasonal decorations, coasters, storage boxes, bins, cupboards and hampers.

For Husbands, all of the above + bbq related stuff.

And for Friends of all sorts, same as for your partner but not quite as nice.

  I have made several of these super simple bottle openers. They take no time and almost no material. I've made mine from oak and polished them until they are ultra smooth.

I embedded a magnet so that the bottle
cap doesn't fall to the floor.

  Get into the shop, HO HO HO season is  coming soon.

cheers, ianw

Monday, November 9, 2015

Workshop Storage Solutions.

  Finally getting back into my shop and looking at the mess made me think of organizing and storage.  Jimmy Diresta's rolling tool chest in one solution to where to put tools and gear. 
Rolling Tool Chest

  I don't share space and so didn't need a locking tool cabinet. My cabinet has one side fixed to the wall and the other side on wheels. Moving the rolling section shows this unit is filled with finishing materials. The frame work is two IKEA Sten units ( Sten has been discontinued) with sides and wheels added. When I first looked at this idea it was faster and cheaper to begin with a shelf unit as the frame work. As the Sten was designed to be study with out side and back I was able to use very thin and cheap plywood and still get solid shelving.

The two plastic bag holders are used to hold clean shop rags, not plastic bags.


            The next storage unit I have is one of those tin cupboards usually seen in a garage. If you keep you eyes open this type of unit is regularly put out for garbage pick up or for sale cheap at yard sales.  This unit is not too sturdy so it is filled with bits, pieces and various fasteners. Nothing heavy but stuff I want to keep organized and as dust free as possible.               


 Another storage unit that cost me nothing is this old chest of drawers. It was battered and water damaged when I got hold of it. So I did a bit of repair work on the drawers and now have three good sized places for small pieces, craft item, patterns and templates.

  By now you maybe detecting a theme. This cupboard unit I literally picked up from the side of the road one day last spring. I had to clean it up a little and put a couple of shelves in and screw it to the wall, VoilĂ , a wooden cupboard with doors for next to no dollars.

 My long term goal is to get all my tools and materials behind doors or into tool boxes to make shop clean up easier. With patience I have been able to get quite a bit of storage for very little cost.
 By the end of this week I hope to be active enough to get going on projects for the coming season of gift giving.

cheers, ianw 

Friday, November 6, 2015

Three Work Tables.

  The internet is filled with videos and plans for tables. After all tables and chairs help define us as civilised creatures almost as much as using tools and cooking meat.

 The first table I'm sharing comes from Lynne at Darbin Orvar. She makes a basic but useful and attractive desk/work table from plywood. Lynne has an eye to the look of her projects and gives more than average attention to staining and finishing. 

    The next desk is from our old friend Matthias Wandel, his adjustable desk uses all of the skill, tricks and special machines that I have come to expect when Matthias takes on a serious project.

  The last work table is just cool.

 You just need to check out that desk.  It would be very cool to make one someday.

cheers, ianw

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Two Videos to Check Out.

  I haven't really got fully up to speed, my sore back is still keeping me horizontal mostly. The reduced level of medication has enabled me to make some plans and look ahead to projects in the shop and so I am sharing two videos today of possible future activities.

 The first video is from Steve at Woodworking for Mere Mortals. I am a big fan of Steve and his projects. The corner shelf in this video looks modern and slightly unusual.  I like the idea and feel that it can be made large and painted or perhaps small with fret saw work on the wall sections. There is definitely a small size shelf like this in my future plans.

How to Make a Corner Shelf

  I don't want to sound like a smarty pants but if Steve had a KREG RAC clamp or two his project would have gone along much quicker.
Kreg, KHC-RACF Right Angle Clamp 13822

  I was working for KREG Co. when they introduced the RAC clamp to the market. The first year I had them to sell at woodworking show I could hardly give them away. The following year they sold like hot cakes. Woodworkers are fairly conservative and sometimes slow to embrace new things, in this case new was definitely a good thing.

  My second video is from a new site that I discovered while laying around trying not to lose my mind. Dutchhorse makes simple wood working videos in a basic shop with basic tools. The production values aren't really high but that doesn't matter to me.

  In this video he makes a 'makers mark' I think I would use brass stock rather that a piece of hard steel but I like the idea none the less.
Making a Makers Mark, branding iron.
    I like the idea of identifying my work with a discreet mark, it is something I will look into once I get going full speed in a week or two.

cheers, ianw

Monday, November 2, 2015

Back in Action Again, sort of.

 I haven't posted anything for really a month. Yesterday was the first time that I got off the bed for more than a few minutes. I am just getting back into gear.  The last month has been spent laying about healing, with the help(?) of heavy duty pain killers, and the pills make me slow and stupid. Slow brains should not work with sharp tools or try to publish blogs.

 My pain level is significantly reduced and so my drug intake is down to the point where I am thinking clearly enough to share some information.

chisel tricks 

  So here is video worth checking out. I am hopeful that I will actually being into the shop by the end of the week.

 Hey, never underestimate the value of your health.

cheers, ianw