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MT Stringer

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Everything posted by MT Stringer

  1. Happy Thanksgiving (November 23 - 2017)

    UGH! Well, as usual, pacing myself didn't work out like I had planned.
  2. Happy Thanksgiving (November 23 - 2017)

    Happy Thanksgiving, y'all! For the first time in a long time, we are not cooking. It's road tripping for us, although it may be a short road trip. First stop - 20 miles at mom's house. Gotta git me some of that chocolate pie she used to make. Now my sister makes it. Next stop - step daughters house in nearby Clear Lake area Last stop - Step daughters house in nearby Deer Park. Fried turkey on the menu. Dang those things are good. Then back to the house where our kids from Oklahoma will be pulling in late this evening/night. Gotta pace myself today!!! Mike
  3. Margaret's Kitchen Make-Over

    Thank you. I requested a finished picture after the counter top is installed and flooring put down, and paint. She also has ideas for a backsplash and a mural for above the stove, so it may be awhile before it is complete.
  4. Margaret's Kitchen Make-Over

    Finally, Margaret's Kitchen Remodel is complete. Well, it is for me. She has counter tops ordered and a flooring guy stopped by to take measurements and give her an estimate. This project has taken a lot longer to complete than expected. Part of the delay was due to Hurricane Harvey and it's impact on the greater Houston area. Also, my wife (cabinet installer and finishing department) was on a cruise with her cousins and they had an extended cruise from 7 to 13 days because the Port of Houston was closed to traffic, and the roads were impassable due to the flooding. Like some other projects we have done, the list can grow at times, and this was no exception. Instead of demoing the cabinets and patching the drywall, we had to take all of the drywall down, and make repairs to the ceiling. The client agreed to the extra expenses and we got after it. This house was built in 1950's and is in bad need of repair throughout (outside also). This is the home she grew up in and it was built by her dad. Now it is hers and she has set out to update it. The cabinets are constructed from knotty alder with pre-finished birch for the boxes that are visible. The face frames, doors and drawer fronts are stained with General Finishes Colonial Maple with a GF Van Dyke Glaze. A couple of custom items included are the utensil drawer and a custom pull out trash receptacle. And then...when it was time to install the sink cabinet, we discovered a leaking valve. UGH! The plumbing was terrible. I managed to replace both of the valves (hot and cold) but the pipes were in bad shape. She is having a plumber come out this weekend to install some new pipes. The plumber should thank me. I cut a custom opening in the back so it would be easy to get to the piping and valves. I found an aerosol can and used it to make a radius at each corner of the opening (see pictures). The end result looks a lot better than just a hack job. Man-o-man, we found some ugly stuff in the walls. When we were demoing the fir down, we found bare wires that were at one time attached to a light over the stove. The wires were cut back and isolated. Now I have them routed into the cabinet over the stove to supply power to the new vent hood. And then, there was the hidden receptacle. Turns out, there was a dish washer in place at one time, but removed. We killed the power to the box, removed it and terminated the wire in a metal junction box (w/cover plate). And... the receptacle for the refrigerator needs to be replaced but we couldn't identify the breaker to kill the power. That one is saved for the electrician to figure out. And then there is the pantry. The original had two plywood doors. However, the ceiling fan was hanging too low and would hit one door so they cut the door and nailed the upper in place. We demoed the doors, and framed the opening for a new pre-hung 36 inch 6 panel door. Note: She has replaced the ceiling fan with a hugger. A couple of notes. I cut the custom utensil drawer on the CNC as well as the pieces for the trash receptacle...and all of the cabinet sides (dadoes and shelf pin holes). Makes it nice to have a helper in the shop...even if I do take a break while the machine is working. ha ha ha. I have uploaded some before and after pictures to an album. Way to many for a single post on this thread. Hope you like them.
  5. Pulling my hair out!!! I cut it twice and it is still wrong. Even after changing the cutting depth to .25 from .3 The first cut is a clear out pass cut with a .25 end mill as it should have... .25 depth. Then I changed the cutter to a 1/8th end mill and ran the file for it. However, it cut the tool path slightly deeper (.3). I can figure out how this happened. The previous project worked just fine for zeroing the z axis with my new tool. Note: VCarvePro preview indicates it will cut smooth. Not so in the picture. Right now, I am at a loss, and shut down until I figure something out. Wasting wood is not what I want to do.
  6. I have a Problem with a project

    Yes sir. Gotta couple more Christmas presents cut out. Onward and upward. My sweetie will paint the surfboard.
  7. I have a Problem with a project

    Everything is back to normal. Using the DIY touch off plate, I am getting consistent bit changes with very little sanding.
  8. Route 66 Sign

    Thinking about carving this sign. So, whatcha think about it? Our kids live just out of Tulsa, so I think this would be perfect for their man cave. Last time we were there, I actually got to drive down part of the route in the Historic section of Tulsa. I have searched Giggle for images and saw a bunch of variations, and read part of the history. Regardless, this is the design I came up with. I am thinking about painting some 1/2 inch mdf first, then doing the carving. Touch up would still be be necessary and some black painting, but hey, it is a Christmas gift. 12x16x1/2 inch mdf. 1/4 inch EM and a 1/8th inch EM and a 60 deg v with flat tip for the engraving.
  9. Route 66 Sign

    Probably. :-)
  10. Route 66 Sign

    Yes sir, I do have a .22 rifle. Got it for Christmas when I was about 14...50 some odd years ago. I did find some vector clip art of bullet holes!
  11. Route 66 Sign

    Good idea. Thanks. I already have the sign cut but I haven't broke it out of the work piece yet. I'll give that bullet hole(s) idea some thought. Since I used the bottom left for x,y zero, I can put it back in the same spot where it was carved. Hmmm, should the hole go through the sign? probably so, huh. Look authentic then. Maybe use a 1/8th end mill to bore the hole...say to the size of a 45 cal. Then use a v groove bit to carve some "damage" around the hole. Disclaimer: I am not very artistic. I am at my mom's house today. So no shop time for me. Design time=yes.
  12. Here is a suggestion... John made this one for me before I got my CNC. Becky loves it!!! She's an ER nurse at Texas Children's Hospital in The Woodlands, Tx.
  13. I hear ya, John. I have been going through some rough times with my mom (88). My brother and sister are spending time with her as much as possible, as I am. Today, my wife went to sit with her. She is not doing well. Seems worse by the week. On another note, my wife and I have decided to cut back on building cabinets. Since she is my helper, she has threatened to quit! We are just not spring chickens any more. Hard decision because there are many people in need of cabinets in the Houston area and surrounding cities and towns. I hate to turn them down, but just gotta do it. Building a complete kitchen in a one car garage full of tools is pains taking to say the least. So I am working on some Christmas gifts for the kids and family members. Mike
  14. Route 66 Sign

    I think so.
  15. Tulsa Woodcraft Store

    We were visiting relatives in October and it was still closed. My daughter goes to appointments in the same area. That block was hit hard. I can see where the guy would open in a different location.
  16. I have a Problem with a project

    OK, color me happy...very happy. I carved a pair of the Texas A&M hot pads from a single board and they turned out well. The board wasn't exactly flat and it showed in a couple of places but some light sanding took care of the small imperfections. Mom is going to be a happy camper. I will let her decide whether she wants it finished with mineral oil or leave it bare wood, or paint it Maroon and White. It may never get used as a hot pad. The chicken cutting board I made for her is hanging on the wall.
  17. I have a Problem with a project

    Thanks for all the suggestions. I think I have figured it out. Yesterday, while cutting yet another test piece, I saw the 1/8th end mill move and start cutting slightly deeper. I quickly shut the machine down and took a closer look. The collet felt sorta loose. Sorry for the non-technical term, but that was my thinking. So, today I replaced the collet with the new one I purchased, and installed a new 1/8th inch upcut spiral end mill. I ran the same file and it cut smoothly with no evidence of difference in the cutting depth between the two router bits. So, 1/4 inch upcut for the clearance tool and then the 1/8th for the finish cut. Very happy tonight. Now maybe I can get back to carving and quit all this fooling around. And, I ordered a couple more collects for my 1617! :-)
  18. I have a Problem with a project

    Thanks but that's not the case. I just designed a new file using the same font (just two letters in a rectangle), and cut it out using the same two bits, and the same puck to zero the z axis. I got the exact same result. The smaller bit cut a little deeper than the clearance tool. I may start drinking a little earlier this evening! :-( NOT! Maybe if I sleep on it, it will solve the problem itself over night! :-(
  19. I have a Problem with a project

    I just finished cutting a different file, but got the very same result. You Vectric guys know that when you set the cutting depth at .25, then the clearance tool (.25 end mill) will cut away the waste. It also calculates the same cutting depth for the finish pass (.125 end mill). Both are spiral up cut bits. I checked with the digital calipers and the difference between the two tool paths is .08 inches. So the 1/8th end mill cut a shallow groove instead of just finishing off the cut smooth at .25 in. I think I will re -do the clearance file and re-cut at .33 in to see if I can save this board (third one for the trash can). This is driving me nuts but I am not giving up. The only thing I can think of is I have been using a basic file that has the outer diameter and inner diameter and basic set up as far as material thickness, and xy zero (bottom left corner). I have the spoil board set up with x and y guides so the material fits those parameters every time, even if I remove it, which I haven't. And the work piece is clamped in place and can't move. Now saying all this, that .08 difference is bugging the krap out of me. It is consistent. I think I need to create a new file and do a quick test to see if it is a corrupt file I have been using or ... Stay tuned. If anyone wants to give it a shot, gimme a shout. These are cut from a 9x9 work piece, 3/4 inch thick. Mike
  20. DIY Touch-off Tool

    It's not very pretty but it works. A few months ago, I bought the touch off tool on Amaxon. Finally, I got the other parts yesterday while me and the missus were ridein' around. From watching a few videos, it appeared all I needed was a resistor, an led and some soldering skills! UGH! I scratched around the shop and found a plastic box with some screws in it. They now have a new home. The puck came with wire and an alligator clip already installed so all I had to do was solder in the led and the resistor. Dang, it worked first try! See that pretty red light shining brightly. Before ruining a board, I will double/triple check the zero on the "z" axis. I measured the puck 9 different ways and seem to get some slightly different results so I will need to check it with a feeler gauge and possibly change the indicated thickness. By entering .758 in the "Z" Axis, it appeared to be at zero when I lowered the bit to the work piece. I will check it to make sure. Now I know this isn't an automatic tool, but it should help me get better results when changing bits during a project. I hope to try it out soon...maybe tomorrow after I check in on my mom.
  21. I have a Problem with a project

    Thanks for the suggestions. I will keep at it. I have a lot of off-cuts so I can do a test or two. Just a couple of thoughts. Lately I have been removing the collet during each bit change, blow out the dust and reinsert with new bit. I try to do the same routine each time. The reason is last week, I destroyed a bit and a collet. I loosen enough the let the bit come out of the collet (at 12000 rpm). I had a spare and ordered a new one. So I am good to go again. So now, I check for dust between every bit change.
  22. I have a Problem with a project

    I went back and ran the clearance file with a deeper cut and it sorta solved the problem. Good enough for my counter, but not for a Christmas present, of which I will need several. I would need to cut at least 6 and maybe a seventh. Our family has four graduates and brother and sister will want one also. I need to do some further research and see what is going on. I have been doing just fine adjusting Z0 with a sheet of paper, so maybe I am not doing the right procedure with my new DIY touch off tool. These turned out OK today, so WTH? Same cutters - EM .25 and EM .125.
  23. Halloween is Just Around The Corner

    Yep, it's that time of year again!
  24. Spent Monday at my mom's. She is not in good health, and she is getting worse. Cancer sucks! It is only a matter of time. Today, my wife and I spent a couple of hours cleaning out the shop (actually a one car garage). I have decided to forego building any more cabinets unless I just have to. So today, we arranged the tools so I could use my joiner and planer and still have access to the router table and CNC machine. It's sorta like a puzzle. All the parts fit, even if you jumble them up. While at it, I purged my wood pile. Lots of scrap stuff, mostly plywood cutoffs of different thicknesses. I still plan to retro fit a vanity in our guest bathroom with a pair of drawers so I kept the Baltic Birch pieces needed to build them, and some 1/4 inch stuff for the bottoms. With cabinet projects out of the way, I can focus on projects for the CNC. I have numerous signs and trivets to carve. I have several already cut. Christmas presents are going to be made out of wood this year! Or families like the Astros, Texans, Aggies and a few other sports teams. My step-daughter volunteers at a wildlife rescue organization near Tulsa called Wild Heart Ranch. I am planning to carve a hot pad (trivet) for her. Eight inches in diameter. I think she will like it.
  25. Steph's Pumpkin

    A close friend of ours that teaches at the local junior high, asked if I could help with a project for the upcoming Halloween carnival. She said they have no budget so she and her husband had bought a sheet of plywood and needed holes cut in it so plastic Solo cups would fit. The timing was tight, but I said I could do it. When I woke up the following morning, the plywood was laying on a work table I had set up in the back yard. Her husband dropped it off on his way to work. The kids had drawn the outline of a big pumpkin on half of the sheet so that is what I had to work with. I have added some pictures of the project, but basically, the work flow went like this. 1) I measured and created a "hole" in some scrap mdf of the size needed for each cup. Then I drew off random circles all over the pumpkin. They were guessing about 20 but I got about 32 (lost count). 2) I created a template in VCarve Pro and cut it out on the CNC. Note that I had more than enough holes. I didn't want to be drilling new holes if I boogered up a couple. That proved to be a moot point. All went well. 3) Using a jig saw, I rough cut all of the holes. 4) Then I attached the template with two screws and flush trimmed the hole with a router and a flush trim bit. The template worked great and I got a perfect fit. Rinse and repeat 30 some-odd times and my part of the job was complete. 5) Using a ROS, I sanded the entire half of the sheet and all four edges to help minimize splinters so the kids wouldn't get stuck. She was tickled beyond belief. And her husband gathered up all the cutouts. He said he didn't get to play outside much as a kid so these would keep him happy for a while! This afternoon, she sent a picture of the finished project. It is ready for the carnival tonight. I am glad I could help. No charge for our friendly service! Ha ha ha, I just realized they painted some of the cutouts to make the sign!

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