Thursday, June 29, 2017

Shop Trays

   I saw an Instructables post on how to make a folding valet tray from leather and immediately thought about how to change the materials but keep the idea. 

Image result for valet tray
  I liked the folding tray idea for keeping small items from rolling off my desk or bench and generally controlling small parts and tools.  When carving I usually use four or five knives and chisels repeatedly and when painting often have a couple of brushes on the go at once. Gluing small parts is another time that I need to protect my bench top and control the mess. If these things are in a small tray like this they could be kept close at hand.  And if the tray wasn't leather they can be used for paint and glue and all types of mess, then be laid flat and washed out. 

Two Trays, one with two inch sides,
one with one inch sides.
Folded flat for storage

  Making these trays was easy, all it took was a sharp knife,duct tape, a straight edge and a bone folder. ( at an art supply store)

First I cut the coffee bag square, it is more or less 12 inches each side.

I used a coffee bag because they are quite tough and we've got lots of them. Also using a coffee bag to back onto the duct tape means that cost is reduced by one layer of duct tape.

 Next I taped the bag down in the middle, taping it to my cutting mat.  This way the bag doesn't move around while I add the other strips of tape. It is easier to tear the duct tape than to cut it with scissors or a knife. I left extra on the edges and then cut the excess off with a knife and a straight edge at the end.


  A bone folding knife is what I used to put a deep crease along each side. A bone knife is nice since it scores deeply but won't cut into the material, book binders use them all the time. To use the tray it is folded along the crease and held up with paper clips. When not needed the tray folds flat and stores out of the way.

  Since these trays  are quick and easy to make when they get messed up with glue or paint they can easily discarded.

  Making this spoon is partly want drew my attention to the tray.  It was a lovely day yesterday and I took my wood carving out to the back deck. I had a couple of knives and an couple of small gouges and some sand paper.  If I had, had a tray the knives wouldn't have rolled off the table and onto the deck as often. Also it would not have been a juggling act to get the various tools upstairs and out the back door. 

  You don't notice how often you drop things until you develop back trouble and the floor gets to be miles away. Anyway to keep things on the bench is worth the effort.

  I think that most anyone making things could use trays like this.

cheers, ianw

Monday, June 26, 2017

A Sow's Ear?

  The expression making a silk purse from a sow's ear has a hint of irony to it that makes me think it is impossible, not just difficult.  For a family wedding happening at the end of the week I have a silk/sow sort of assignment.
  I am turning, up scaling some pallet boards into a wedding guess signature board. A board where guest will write messages for the bride and groom rather than a guest book. It seems like a good idea, it may get put on a wall some place and be seen, unlike a guest book that is buried in the bottom drawer in the back room and never seen again.

It is going to look something like this.
  Image result for wedding guest board ideas

  Never discount just how much work goes into making tired old wood look nice. 

  I used my King KC-150C jointer to get straight edges for gluing. Then I added faux breadboard ends just to give the planks a little bit of style.  I used my KREG pocket hole jig to attach the edges.  You can see the edges held in place but the KREG Right Angle Clamp.  I did not use a face frame clamp because these pieces are wood aren't the same thickness, the face frame clamp would not have held things in place as well. 

  All that remains is a whole bunch of sanding.  

  On a lighter note. On the weekend I worked to my grand daughters design and made her a turtle.

  She drew the design and I cut out the legs,head and tail on the band saw.  Currently the turtle is downstairs guarding her bed.  I think I will give it a bit more attention before she comes back to paint it, every turtle needs a bit of sanding I believe.


  Just a horse foot note.  We brought home the small horse, but the big on was way cool too. I suppose the large horse is for sale but I didn't ask.

  Lots of sanding to do tomorrow.

cheers, ianw

Image result for dala pig

In case you thought the Swede's are one trick ponies. 
They do pigs too. This pig is about five feet tall. 

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Dala Horses

  Two Dala horses, technically one Dala Horses and one Hamilton Horse. The horse on the right is right off the band saw from the Dala Horse Factory in Sweden. There has been no craving done to it. 

  The horse on the left is my version of the famous horse.  I copied the general shape and cut it out on my band saw then I finished it with my Mora wood carving knife. 

Mora 120
  The standard Dala horse is carved from local spruce, then sanded and painted and sanded and hand painted.  My horse is aromatic cedar with a couple of coats of Clampham's Bee's Wax Polish. I've got a spoon roughed out and ready to carve but the last couple of days have been taken up with catching up with the local stuff.
  Things should return to normal (?) on Monday.
 cheers, ianw

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

The End of Radio Silence

  In the old days of cool movies the leader of the intrepid band of heroes would call for 'radio silence' as the closed in on their target.  My silence's reason  hasn't been as dramatic.  For the first time since I started this blog January 29-2011, 885 blogs ago I took a couple of weeks holiday. For the first time since this all began I didn't look for anything to post while away on holiday.

  Yesterday we got home from three weeks in Sweden visiting our kids and grand kids. If I had been looking for blog things I would have talked about the three wooden spatulas that I whittled from fire wood at the kids cottage. Don't let limited tools keep you from wood workings. I used a fixed blade Mora 511 sheath knife,

carbon steel, delivered razor sharp and currently
on a sales deal of 3 for $15.00 Cdn in Sweden. Yes, I bought a few.

 the small blade on my Swiss Army knife 

Victorinox Spartan PS in black - 1.3603.3P
I have owned and lost more of these knives that I care to remember. But...always replace them.

and a bit of sand paper to make two small spatulas for the little girls play kitchen and a full sized one for their Mommy's kitchen.

  I also wandered through every tool and hardware store I could find. I really liked the Bauhaus in Uppsala, it has a large selection of wood working tools.

  For me the highlight of the trip, after my daughter-in-law defending her Phd thesis and being awarded her degree by the medical faculty at Uppsala University was a trip to Mora Sweden to see the Dala horse factory 
Image result for dala horse
all made and painted by hand in the factory in Musnas, near Mora.

was the stop in Musnas to buy a horse and some knives from a Mora/Frost knife clearance store.

the yellow handles knives were destined for Iceland
fishermen but the deal fell through. I got the knives for 30 SEK ($4.55 Cdn)
each. The blades are stout and very sharp, the handles will be replaced. The red knife is a Mora 511 and the blade a single bevel chisel knife. 

These four kitchen knives cost 50 SEK each, ($7.59 Cdn).
 Also very stout and very sharp, used in Iceland to clean fish.

 Northern Sweden looks like a giant plantation forest and much of their world is wood. Houses have wooden siding instead of vinyl and most of them are painted red or yellow.

Image result for swedish houses 

Image result for swedish houses

  Anyway, we are back home, unpacked and trying to catch up on things.  It is nice to travel, it is great to see the grand kids, but it is nice to come home too.

cheers, ianw