Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Ash Rounds-flattened

  Back in March I showed a router jig that enabled me to flatten both sides of one of these rounds and to get the sides very close to parallel. If parallel isn't important I figured out another way to get a smooth finish with a bit less effort.

bark off
 First I put the round on a non-slip mat on my bench top. Then I begin to rough the face down with an electric hand plane that I picked up at a wood show a few years ago. 

  My planner has a very short bed and throws chips everywhere but it was cheap and I don't mind using it brutally. By the time this set of ash rounds is done, I expect the planer to be done too.  Since rounds were cut from the tree trunk with a chain saw and even though my Brother in Law was careful there is still lots of wood to be removed before the slices are even flattish.

The next stage in the process is either a 4 1/2 inch angle grinder  or my belt sander with a very aggressive disk or belt. I have a 40 grit disk and a 60 grit belt. Both of these tools are older and throw a serious amount of dust.  The next time I do the grinding stage on a round will be done outside.
Trition Belt Sander TA1200BS 76mm
King, 4-1/2'' Angle Disc Grinder Kit 8208AG

  After the machines have removed the bulk of the rough stuff I have found that scrapers work better that sand paper to arrive at the final finish. I scrape from the centre outward to get the best results.
Samona, 70380 6 Pc Wood Scraper Set 12750

 Once the face is scraped I apply salad bowl polish and work it in with my polissoir. These rounds are for serving cheese so I wanted a food safe finish.

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  I have about ten more pieces of ash with which to play. It will be sad when the emerald ash borer has killed off all our ash trees.  

bark on

cheers, ianw

Monday, May 30, 2016

Painting is part of woodworking too.

 One reason that wood has fallen from favour with many people is they don't want to maintain their wooden things. Few things are as beautiful as a wooden boat. Tupperware boats don't last all that well, in spite of what they claim.  So maintaining wood is worth the trouble, in my opinion.

  When I was in Stockholm harbour I saw many ocean going wooden boats that were older than I am.(meaning 60+).

 We are always looking for a short cut with wood.  You see people that build wooden fences from pressure treated lumber imagining  that the boards will not need to be painted every year or two. The result is a happy salesmen and nasty looking fence boards.

 About five years ago I made some flower boxes from cedar fence boards for the kids in Toronto and for our back yard. These cedar boxes sit outside all winter, usually filled with soil. This is a maintenance  year and so all the dirt is emptied out and stain/sealer applied.

  You can see the results of today's painting. The cedar planter is as good as new and ready for a few more heavily exposed winters. Scattered around the yard and drying too are some cast metal chairs and table. The cast chairs had pot metal seats and backs but ferrous metal legs. After a couple of years the legs were rusty.

 Today I scraped the rust off with a wire brush in my drill and then painted and stained. Much and all as I love water clean up, for heavily exposed exterior items I prefer old style oil based products. (which are getting more and more difficult to find in Ontario, Canada). I painted the furniture with a round brush I got in Sweden rather than the typical flat brush used commonly in North America.  For the twisted, uneven surface of the cast metal the round brush's shape was perfect.

   I got paint on me, on the ground and on our outdoor potting bench, but happily I got most of the paint on the table and chairs. Tomorrow I will do some touch up of little spots that were missed and the furniture will be good for another few years.

  It appears that summer has well and truly arrived, and I love it.

cheers, ianw

Friday, May 27, 2016

Steam Saw Mill Video

It was hot today and after I finished mowing our lawn I took a break with a cold drink and my tablet. I found and watched this video. Sawmills are cool, steam sawmills are cooler. I am just glad I don't have to stoke that boiler. I am too old and fat for that job.

Have a cool drink and enjoy them making lumber.

cheers, ianw

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Re-claimed Flower Box and a Boot Clip

  I finally got around to making the flower box that was to use the re-claimed wood. In the process of making the box I used a tool that I reach for a couple of times a year. Every time I use my bevel gauge I pause for a minute or two. The bevel gauge in this picture is from my Grandfather's woodwork shop, it came to me from my Father's workshop, there is no doubt that is gauge has been copying angles since before I was born, maybe since before my Father was born. My Grandfather build several wooden boats, all of which are gone, but I know this tool was used in that process. I hope a whole bunch of years from now one of my Grandchildren reach for this tool occasionally and pause too.

  All that day dreaming aside, there is no tool better for copying and transferring angles.

   There above is the box unfinished and below the flower box heavily soaked with old style oil finish. I sanded the box enough to knock off sharp edges and some of the tool marks but mostly left it rustic. I made the wood box to hid the plastic one. At this point I think it is going to be used as a small herb garden, whatever it just looks better than plastic. 

  The other thing I worked on today was a tuning fork, well not actually a tuning fork, it just turned out looking like a large tuning fork. What it is is a boot clip.

  I made a few of these a couple of years ago and...no one showed any interest. Recently my niece asked for two. I like making things that people find useful. The next clip has some carving on it, so it is not finished yet.

  Unrelated to workshop time but very related to summer time. I was out riding my bike the other day in my high-vis shirt and I noticed how many people are on the road or working near traffic in low vis gear. For heaven's sake don't give the driver the chance to say 'honest officer I didn't see him'. 

Tough Duck High Visibility Work Short Sleeve T-Shirt w/ Pocket s392
 Work safe, play safe, live long.

cheers Ian W

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Roll On Summer

check out thetoolstore.ca

  Lets just saw that the last couple of days have been the best days we've seen in 2016 so far. So, yesterday I went for a long motorcycle ride and then a short bicycle ride and then watered plants and so....didn't work in my shop at all.

 Today I went for a slightly longer bicycle ride and spent some time in the yard watering plants too. (it is very, very dry currently).

 I did actually do a little bit of wood working today.  As well as I did some designing and planning. I have a couple of small wood carving projects pending and am trying to work out what best to do.

 The work I did today was with the skid wood that I brought home last week.  Today I did what I always seem to have to do before a project.  I made some narrow boards wider.

 I love the new glues, they make edge gluing boards so easy. Once quality glue sets it is often stronger than the wood it has glued together.

 If you are going to edge glue boards you can never have to many clamps. I have four sets of board sitting in my shop with the glue drying, therefore I needed 12 clamps. I used bar clamps, pipe clamps and Bessey F clamps

 Tomorrow I will take the clamps off and cut the rough skid wood to length and build a flower box with glue and wood pins. Even though the wood is humble and the purpose is humble I can't knock the box together with screws or nails that will bleed rust. Eva's garden is too nice to have rust stained flower boxes.

 Now, be prepared for tomorrow to be another beautiful, sunny, warm day and so there will be a motorcycle ride in the mix some place. It needs to settle in for a few days of rain before I am really going to be lured back into the shop just now. We have waited through a delayed spring for riding weather and now I am not going to let it pass by un-appreciated.

 cheers, ianw 

roll on Summer !

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Skid Wood

  Re-use is better than re-cycle and wood is an amazingly versatile material that lends its self to re-use. I had my brother bring a couple of random skids home from work a while ago and on Friday I began reclaiming the wood.

 Taking a skid apart is not that easy, or at least this skid wasn't. 

skids waiting for my attention
 My best guess is that the skids are spruce or fir. Some of the boards are dense and heavy and others very light and prone to splintering.

  After hacking and slashing, from one skid I got this much wood. 

and ended up with this much useless firewood  for my efforts.

fire wood in a box waiting to go to my friend's fire pit.

 I think that I've ended up with enough wood to make a couple of garden boxes,which is better than nothing. These particular skids held no hidden treasures in their wood.  I will make a couple of boxes that'll  hide away in the garden amongst the roses. Actually the rough and rustic wood will fit into the garden as well or better than carefully sanded lovely wood.

 My suggestion for dealing with skid/pallet/reclaimed wood is to have a serious pry bar and a hand saw that you don't mind treating rough. This wood is so rough that I don't plan to do much sanding and am going to just stain the wood dark or leave it totally raw depending where the boxes go.

 Re-used material has its place, but it is a specific and small place in my workshop.


Thursday, May 19, 2016

Flower Boxes

 Finally nice weather has arrived in our neck of the woods and so we've welcomed the chance to be outside and doing yard work.  I actually mowed the lawn(a task I hate) and trimmed around the gardens. Eva has pruned roses and turned over a couple of gardens preparatory to planting. Best of all some of the plants that have lived inside under grow lights are moving onto the patio.

 Some years ago I made a bunch of flower/window boxes and those boxes are getting pretty heavily weathered by now. Since boxes are easy to make and cheap I didn't empty them and bring them in each year so months of wet and freezing soil has taken a heavy toll on the 1/2 cedar boards.

 It is time to make some new homes for the annual flowers. If you type flower boxes into Google search and then click 'images' there are 100's of photos. Look closely most, 95%+ are wooden boxes. It seems that plastic has yet to over run wood in this area and I couldn't be happier.


     The other thing that gets attention at this time of the year is your deck. Type 'backyard deck' into Google and see what there is to see.  

  If you are planning to work on your deck check out the KREG KJDECKSYS Deck Jig

Kreg, KJDECKSYS Deck Jig Drill Screw System 14419

 Wooden decking with  no fasteners showing. Nice.

Deck Jig Video

  I think it is time to get some cedar, or white oak or teak and build some stuff for the great out doors.

   cheers ianw

Another thing for the great out doors.
I just turned 41,500 KM on my Silverwing.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Back into the Shop

  Getting back into my shop after several days of cold medication and coughing fits feels good but. There are days when my shop drives me crazy because it doesn't automatically put my tools away while I am out of town. So the first thing I needed to do was put away toys and tools so I could get to work.

  I spent a while in the shop today working on a couple of small things. The dino puzzle is for Tova in Sweden. I truly don't know how many dinos I have cut out on my scroll saw. It was one of the first projects that I made when I started back into wood working fourteen years ago.  But these 5 piece puzzles are always popular with 2-3 year olds.

  The other project I am working on is another walking stick. On our last holiday I had a walking stick which really made strolling on cobble stones and up and down stairs much easier. The cane I had in Europe was not a pretty thing.  I decided it was time to make a nice, wooden cane to replace the nasty metal cane with the plastic handle.

  This cane has an elm shaft with an oak handle. I have to go and buy a rubber foot for this cane before I size the end and finish it off.
I am thinking dark stain and clear wax, the grain will shop be not too much.

cheers, ianw

Saturday, May 14, 2016

And We're Back

 The MS My Story was our home for the last week.  Eva, the Swedish Kids and I travelled down the Danube River from Passau to Budapest and back. This was the first holiday I've taken from the blog since I started writing in May 2010.  For all that time I took my computer with me and found something local or loaded videos so that the show could go on.

  This time I took a holiday. We rode our bicycles, ate great food and drank a little bit of beer too. 

MS. My Story docked in Esztergom Hungary 

  The bonus for the trip was spending time with my Grand daughters.

 Both Eva and I returned with chest colds and so it is going to take a day or two before I get back into the full swing of things.  I do not do serious wood working while under the influence of cold medication. 


  This is an example of the fishing boats many of the locals use on the river.  I makes me want to build a wooden boat.

 The trip was good, and seeing the little girls was great, but like Dorothy said, "there is no place like home."

 cheers, ianw