This is the current page, posts from 02/26/21 through today. Older posts -
We finished building the battleships for Lars and Lex, all that remains to do is painting them. They each have 5 ounces of lead imbedded in the keels to keep them from capsizing. The rings in the stern are to attach lines so they can be let down the creek and retrieved.
Closing in on finishing the drop-leaf table we started in August, following plans in a book by TV celebrity woodworker Tommy "Mac" MacDonald. The tapered legs and the wooden hinges for the arms supporting the drop leaves were new details for us, but they didn't really present any difficulties. The top will need a lot of planing to get it level, and then we can attach the top to the frame, break all the edges, sand the surfaces smooth, and put on a few coats of poly.
Building boats for Lars and Lex. They will be four-stackers with gun turrets fore and aft. We will drill holes in the bottom and pot machine nuts in epoxy for ballast. Each boat will get a ring in the stern to attach a line so they can be let down the stream and retrieved.
It was a big day for glue-ups. We started with the top to the drop-leaf table, and ran into a lot of problems getting the edges joined closely enough to make a good glue joint. We finally used epoxy, which is a good gap filler. We mixed some sawdust in to get the color close. Once that was done, we did a couple of cuts on the hinged arms and then glued them to their backers. With the workbench covered in clamp jobs, we went outside and enjoyed what may have been the last warm day of fall, while knocking back a couple of rounds of beer.
Our friend Tom needed handles for his two-man crosscut saw, so we made them. Joe did most of the work, making metal spacers to keep the wood from rubbing on the saw blade, as well as hunting through the scrap pile to find a couple of good pieces of oak. I did the turning, and then we countersunk the screw heads and nuts that secure the handles to the saw. Joe had some time the next day and made a cover for the saw blade.
A couple of small utility projects to make the boat more comfortable and convenient. A toilet paper roll holder and a rack to hold bottles of hand wash and rinse water.
Here are the completed emergency plugs. An article about their use can be found at my sailing site.
Joe got this picture of me lathing a softwood plug for the boat. In an emergency, one can be hammered down into a broken seacock or hose to prevent the boat from flooding. I made four of them to have a couple for my boat and a couple to give away. Strikes me that delivery crew might want to keep one in their seabag. When you step on someone else's boat, you never know how well maintained or equipped it might be.
Lots of wood milled, some joined and ready for assembly. It all started as salvage, broken down furniture, random planks. It got pushed through the table saw, shaved and resawn, then cut to length on the chopsaw. A couple of good projects will come out of this.
Joe bought a book of plans and instructions by TV celebrity woodworker Tommy "Mac" MacDonald and found several projects that looked interesting. We decided to start with a drop-leaf table that features wooden finger-joint hinges. Joe designed and built a jig for making the hinges, and to prove it out we built a sample. We made one wrong cut, but even so it folds easily and looks good. We now have a working model and can build the two hinged arms that hold up the drop leaves with confidence. The legs are tapered and that required another jig. The frame is mortise and tenoned, which is getting to be old hat for us. The whole table will be built out of good solid yellow pine that we bought for some forgotten project a while ago.
When Miller Park Circle was built in 1947, the buildings each had a boiler in the basement that provided hot water and heat. In 2008 we converted to individual heat pumps and electric water heaters. The radiators now had no function, and some owners had theirs removed and the wall space sheet-rocked over. Some built shelves into the vacant wall spaces. Recently I decided to pull the radiator out of the bathroom and replace it with shelves. Joe and I constructed a unit out of cherry that would slide into the vacant wall space. Today I installed it, molding in the narrow gaps along the sides with some cherry-stained pieces from a broken picture frame. I'm quite pleased.
Long ago in the early days of the woodshop, we drove up to Mayodan and bought 100 board feet of cedar from Wall Lumber. The initial use was as the top to the table we built for Marie and Levi when they got their first apartment. Since then we have worked through most of it, and just a few board feet are left. Scraps have been used to make slide-top boxes and other small items. We found just enough cut-offs to make this step-stool, one of many but the only one of cedar.
This mahogany shelf in the starboard locker of my boat is a convenient, safe place to keep suntan lotion and a VHF radio. It also protects the engine control mechanism that extends through the side of the locker.
Three step-stools on the table at once for finishing. That's a lot - but not unprecedented. The one in front is oak, the next is cedar, the one in the back is pine.
The table looks good from every angle. It's a pleasure to have it in the house, until we find a permanent home for it.
Val turned up this attractive upholstered rocking chair. Joe repaired a broken frame, and now it is ready to go back into the parlor of a country Victorian home. Swan arm rockers were popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Here's the cedar cart we made for Dee. No flat surface goes unused, right?
The half-round table looked great in the shop but it looks even better at home, so I have been taking lots of pictures of it.
Writing about finding and purchasing antiques in her book Fake, Fraud or Genuine, Myrna Kaye states that collectors should expect dealers to let them take an item home for a few days before finalizing the sale. That way they can do a thorough inspection to verify authenticity. She points out that "Antiques look far better at home than in the shop, and the dealer knows it". While our table is not an antique, it could pass for one to somebody who has not read Kaye's book.
We completed assembly on the dice tower. It may get a little more filling at the miters, and then a few coats of poly.
The half round table is finished. I took it home to enjoy until we decide what to do with it. We'll either give it to someone or donate it for a charity auction.
These projects have been in "inventory" for a while. Joe plans to take them to the burn survivors' meeting this weekend and give them away. That will give us room to build more, yeah!
We are still building these step-stools. This one, in oak, makes sixteen, though there may have been a couple more that didn't get pictured.
Here we have a partially-constructed dice tower. I didn't know that such a thing existed until I saw a short video on building one at Matt's Basement Workshop. My son-in-law Levi is a gamer and has periodic D&D games at his house, so we decided to build one for him. Joe had the idea of building it partially from polycarbonate. He drew it up and we cut out the wooden parts. While Joe milled the Macrolan ramps and sides, I cut the blind dadoes. We assembled it with E6000 construction glue. Remaining to do: band the top with wood and build a tray for the dice to exit onto.
The instrument panel for the new engine on my boat needs to be protected from salt water spray, so we built this cover at the shop. It will get a couple more coats of Pettit EZPoxy to help protect the locust wood. I'll probably install a magnetic catch to hold the marelon cover closed.
We put a coat of finish on the bench and I took it home. The next day I layered on three coats of spray-on polyurethane. The procedure is to put on a coat, wait a while for it to tack up, then put on another, and repeat until you have as many as you want. As long as it is less than two hours between coats, it is not necessary to sand. If the spray-on poly sits for over two hours, you have to wait three days and sand before the next coat.
Our long-time PATH friend Martha Emrey gave us several long shelving boards and we used a couple of them for this project. They had mahogany finish on them but it planed off easily.
I like this design and can see how it would be useful for many things. A family with school-age kids could keep one near the front door, for shoes and book bags. A little deeper, and without the lip on the front of the top shelf, it could serve as a seating bench. With more separation between the shelves, it could store paint cans, or any kind of canned goods, in the garage or shed. It is a good, easy to build, useful thing, what Chris Schwarz calls "furniture of necessity" - the kind of thing that a competent man would build to make life better for his family.
Payday. The bench got a first coat of polyurethene, the half-round table a second coat, and several smaller projects got finish as well.
Loosely patterned on the water bench in Kettell's Pine Furniture of Early New England, this piece will go next to my trestle table. It will provide a place to store shoes on the lower shelves, computer gear, keys and random small items on top.
Not all shop work is done in the shop, last week we hoisted the marten house back on its pole after repairs were made. Some discussion of strategy came to the use of the largest power tool to date, the 2006 Pontiac mini-van. Mission success. We'll see how long it lasts this time. Welcome Marten family.
Lex riding on the truck we built for Lars in February 2018. We've had to fix broken wheels a couple of times, but at least wooden toys are repairable. I don't think injection molded plastic would hold up to the kind of usage this truck gets, and of course, once it is broken, it goes to the dump. The old steel toys would have held up, but I don't think you can get them any more.
The stenciled mahogany boards are clearly from a shipping crate. We left them unplaned on the back and the underside of the top.
I wouldn't go so far as to call this little half-round table Federal, but it does share some of the characteristics of the popular post-Revolutionary War style. It is built of mahogany and features graceful, straight verticals and light construction. The prototype from Kettell's Pine Furniture of Early New England that this piece is modeled on was, I'm guessing, a provincial work along the lines of the sophisticated furniture being made in the cities, but without the intricate veneer and inlay. It is a far cry from the earlier post-medieval work with its heavy turnings, geometric carving and riven panels, or the William and Mary that followed, and even further removed from the mid-18th century Queen Anne with its cabriole legs and ornate, curving stretchers and capitals. I could see it as a precursor to Shaker style.
The table is almost complete, lacking a few details. The drawborne pins need to be cut off flush, the top needs to be attached, probably with glue blocks, and a few coats of polyurethane appled. Then it will go into inventory. It's a shame to push this nice piece to a dark corner in the basement, but in truth, neither of us knows anybody who needs a half-round mahogany table just now.
I'm almost finished with the table top, this vise is really making this process a lot easier.
Working on a mahogany half-round table modeled on one I saw in Russell Kettell's Pine Furniture of Early New England. Joe kerfed all around the table top and is now planing an indent, which should lighten the appearance of the top considerably.
Working on a mahogany half-round table modeled on one I saw in Russell Kettell's Pine Furniture of Early New England. Joe kerfed all around the table top and is now planing an indent, which should lighten the appearance of the top considerably.-- pmc.
This is the current page, posts from 02/26/21 through today. Older posts -
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