Thursday, July 26, 2007

Ahhhhh, new tools!

The little edge jointer that I have used for almost 20 years is good for pieces of wood that are about 2 inches wide and up to maybe 16 inches long. But I have to make some large panels and this tool did not give me true enough edges on longer pieces of wood.

So I just purchased and setup a new edge jointer. The cutter head/knives are 6 inches wide and the bed is over 40 inches long. That will be good for all the projects I will probably ever make.

I have already run some pieces through it and am gluing them up into panels. The edges are coming together nicely, with just a slight turn of the clamp head.

I need to make 7 panels for the wine cabinet that was started last year. Will have some progress pictures coming soon.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Minor chess board update

Not much to report since I had my son for the weekend and have been reading the new Harry Potter book.

I "ripped" all the alternating color strips, selected the best ones and glued them up into the chess board.

In the picture you can see that some of the cherry has darkened from sitting near sunlight. That is normal and expected. In fact, you can even see circles where the chess men were sitting and the sunlight did not reach. Pretty sure that will sand out.

Anyway, the board is 16 inches on each side. It needs sanding and attaching to something thicker so it remains flat. Also needs a frame, maybe walnut. And I want to build a box, with drawers for the pieces. Lots to do, but this was the tricky part.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Back to the chess board.

I'm ready to work on the chess board again. Refer to this first post:

The last 4 pictures there are "mock ups" and not really glued together. The chess board parts have been sitting around for a LONG time because it has always been difficult for me to accurately glue up thin strips of wood. I finally solved that problem with THIS setup...a makeshift glue up table.

On the bottom is a nice flat work table.

Above that are two plywood platforms that are exactly the same height.

The strips go ACROSS those platforms and extend off the sides, so I can put the clamps on.

On top of that are two pieces of plywood to hold the strips flat.

On top of that is a larger piece of plywood to evenly distribute weight.

On top of that is the this case a benchtop belt and disk sander. Wyle E. Coyote would use an Acme anvil, but I don't have one.

Here's how it works.
1. Set up the flat work table and plywood platforms (see pics 1 and 2).
2. Apply glue to the edges of the strips.
3. Lay them flat and next to each other (see pic 3).
4. Put all the plywood and weight on top (see pics 4, 5, and 6).
5. THEN apply the clamps, watching the edges come together so nicely.
It would be a mistake to reverse steps 4 and 5.

More to come.

My little hunter

For several weeks there has been a little black and white cat that I see in my yard every now and then. I like cats and don't want to scare him away. I'll go near and indicate that I'm friendly. He'll come nearer and have a chat with me, but rarely wants a petting. Then he'll walk away. He wears a flea collar so I'm pretty sure he's not a stray.

So, why does he come and spend time in my yard? I certainly don't feed him or give him water. Today I realized why. My yard is a hunting ground. I looked out the bathroom window this morning and the cat was laying in the natural area where I have noticed several holes in the ground. Also, this year I have seen an increase in chipmunks. This cat must be hunting the chipmunks. Good for him!

The chipmunks aren't really a nuisance and they're really cute. Fast little buggers too. But the holes. I'm concerned that the holes will make easy homes for yellow jackets, who make their colonies in the ground. Hopefully the size of the holes is too big for the yellow jackets liking.

Monday, July 16, 2007

The happy recipients

On Saturday I went to lunch with my two lady friends and they each received their "Pretty tool boxes." They were so excited and pleased. Both were amazed with the detail that went into them and were curious how I got the grain to line up between the tops and bottoms (they thought that I made the tops and bottoms separately, rather than make a box and cut it in half).

Anyway, here is a picture of my two best friends and their gifts.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Finale: Pretty Tools and Boxes

The final post on this project.

The flocking of the box tops went ok. It was my first time applying this stuff, so I tried to be extra careful. You apply the glue with a brush then pump the fibers onto the glue. The directions tell you to apply more than you think you need and only the stuff that hits the glue will stay on. The rest can be recycled for later. The fibers are TINY and light. There is a lot of overspray and they are easily airborne, so there is a LOT of cleanup involved. Not difficult, just not enjoyable. Also, I used a large clean plastic box as a spray booth to help collect the overspray easier. I masked the box edges, applied the flocking, let them sit about 15 hours, and unveiled. Looks pretty good to me.

Now for the bottoms. I had repairs to do and decided on Durham's Water Putty. The first time I think I mixed it a little too soupy and didn't have good adhesion. So I tried again a little thicker and had decent success. After sanding I used a primer paint on the trays so that the flocking glue wouldn't dry too quickly by being absorbed into the wood. That's why they are white.

The trays were glued into the box bottoms and the edges sealed with more Water Putty. Once sanded they were given another coat of primer paint. Then the flocking was applied, same as to the tops, but there were a lot more nooks and crannies to take into account.

Lastly, I matched the bottoms and tops and installed the hinges, clasps, and a small personally customized name plate. I had a trophy/engraving place make them earlier in the year.


One set of floral tools:

Another set of tools:

All 3 stacked showing name plates:

Two boxes are for close friends and the third is for one of my sisters, Dawn, who already has the tools. Her tool box will be mailed. I will try to get a picture of my friends with their gifts. They live here and I hope to get together with them this weekend.

And now it's on to work on another project. This one was a lot of steps over many days. It would be nice to do something that has more immediate satisfaction.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Part 5: Pretty tools and boxes

Getting really close to the end now.

All of the boxes have been cut in half, stained, and finished.

The inner trays have been shaped, cut to size, and sanded. There was still some chipout to repair. To do this I wanted to try the "Durham's Water Putty" as recommended by Uncle Marty. I found that this product was easy to use and it seems to make a good repair. Using a popsicle stick I built up the damaged areas higher than necessary then, after it dried, I ground and sanded it down as needed.
One tray before grinding/sanding:

And after:

When all the chipout is repaired the trays will be glued into the box bottoms. I'll use a silicone based adhesive to allow for seasonal movement of the wood. A small gap around the edge of the tray will be filled with more "Water Putty" so the flocking will be good around the edges.

When that is set I will mask the inner edges of the box bottoms and lids, and apply the glue and flocking. When the flocking is set up I can install the hinges and clasps and call them finished!

Should conclude with the next post.