This past Christmas I made and gave Shaker oval boxes. For 2 dear friends I installed a music box movement. A few of the boxes had minor problems, but I kept those and used them as storage in the shop…one has to store copper tacks and cut up toothpicks in order to make oval boxes. It has been roughly 6-7 months since I completed the boxes.
But I never cleaned out the water tray, nor did I put away any of the supplies. They sat on my workbench in case I needed to make more boxes. That day came Friday. I got an email from one of the friends who received a music box. She would like to BUY a music box just like hers to give to a young lady who is graduating college. Unfortunately, my supply of completed boxes is depleted. I told her it would take about 2 weeks to get a music box made and she said that would be fine. So I suppose she gave a promise to the young lady.
Making one box is not a very efficient use of time, so I decided I would make 6. I cut and milled all the thin strips last night and got them all prepared for their hot water bath. But I now have a problem. The inside of my galvanized steel water tray is rusty and stained (recall…I never cleaned up 6-7 months ago). So now, before I can bend these strips I must refurbish the tray. Over the next 2-3 days I will clean up the rust and paint the tray. It was recommended that I use high temperature spray paint. At Lowe’s I picked up a can of BBQ grill paint. After that I got some distilled water at the grocery store. Minerals in water can cause wood to discolor, so distilled wood is recommended. Since then I thought that maybe water collected from my dehumidifier would be just as good, and free. I have an abundance of it and use it to water my lucky bamboo plant.
I am going to try the dehumidifier water. And after these 6 boxes I will make sure to empty, clean, and dry the tray, then put everything away.
In the shop I recently installed a mobile base under the table saw. That helps very much in moving it, so I can clean underneath and set up another tool in its place. I have a large open end sander that needs floor space too. The problem is that the sander does not have a mobile base. The base has been ordered, but the item is on back order. Last night I “muscled” the sander into place so I could use it with the whole shop dust collector. I love that dust collection because it gets all the fine stuff, BUT what a pain to muscle the tool into place. Can’t wait till the mobile base comes…probably next week.
There are some modifications to make to the dust collection system. First, I would like to have a hose that can reach anywhere in the shop. That will allow me to vacuum up dust and shavings, rather than sweep. Second, I want to run dust ports to the workbench (for using a palm sander or other small tools), the drill press, and the lathe. Currently I have ports going to the table saw, the jointer, and the planer. Ports are selected by opening and shutting appropriate gates. It is a wonderful system and I will take and post pictures when I clean up the shop some more.
This year’s Christmas gifts are underway…I’m roughly 1/4th done. On hold until I can get some more boards out from under the shop, but after that I will blaze through and should have them all done way before it starts to get cold.
That's all for now. Stay tuned for the next installment.