Sunday, March 6, 2016

Back in the Shop, making a mess.

  After a very nice holiday away to the warmth of Madeira and Sao Miguel we returned home late Wednesday. Thursday was spent unpacking and getting re-acquainted with cold and snow. Friday I began to plan my next shop projects and check out videos on the web.

  You see, I have a whole bunch of ash wood rounds. Twice as many as you see in this photo in fact.  I experimented with a variety of ways to smooth and level off the rounds of wood. End grain is always tougher than long grain and ash is especially challenging.  My various sanders and grinders don't make much impression on the wood at all.

 And so I made a version of a router planing jig. The internet is filled with videos of how to make this type of jig.  In making my first version I opted to attach the router to the base and move them together. There are jigs with a long slot in which the router sides. I also choose to use my Porter Cable 690 fixed base router because it has an on/off switch rather than a trigger. ( mine is older without variable speed)

 I will make a slider that is more robust with a better system to attach the router before I undertake the planing of several rounds in the next  session.  My slider will also have handles and I am trying to think of a way to attach a shop vacuum to help control the mess. It is a messy business.

 The final result is flat with parallel faces which still need to be sanded, a bit.  An interesting thing is this tree was attacked by the Emerald Ash Borer  and so has channels eaten in it. To get the face dead flat will require some grain filling and will not totally hide the damage done by the bug.  

 A side note to my day in the shop is that I am  laid up with a sore back again. Being bent over the bench and working is clearly the worst thing for me. Worse in fact than hours in airports and airplanes. Now I know for sure, what am I going to do?

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