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  • lew

    Part 5:

    By lew

    Part 5:   As “Norm” used to say- “We’re gaining on it now.”   Time for the first dry fit to make sure all the mortice and tenons fit together.     Had to futz with a few of the tenons but overall everything went together nicely. You can see why I’m limited to the size of my projects. This is the only assembly space available- add clamps around a piece and things really get tight.   There were still a few more things left to do with the apron and shelf supports. I wanted to carry the chamfer detail along the bottom of each piece. Router table took care of that.       The shelves need to be secured to the frame. I decided to use wooden “clips” and a dado in the stretchers           The “clips” are cut from an “L” shaped piece of poplar       I made a long blank for the clips and then just cut off about 1 ½” piece. I drilled an oversized screw hole through the thicker section (oversized to allow for expansion/contraction). The thinner part slips into the dado on the back of the stretchers and screws thread into the underside of the shelf.   The astute observer will notice the mistake in the pictured blank. The wood grain is running parallel to the blank length. The little tabs (fitted into the dados) will snap off as soon as any pressure is applied. Not sure where my mind was when I cut this, anyway, I made new ones with the grain running perpendicular to the blank length (just forgot to take a picture).   The final bit of frame construction was to create a way to mount the butcher block top. The frame (with 2 shelves) will weigh in at close to 100 pounds. If the completed table is moved, lifting it by the top, quite a bit of stress will be applied to the connection between the top and frame. It took me a while to come up with an idea that solved the problem.   I added three cross supports that were dovetailed into the side aprons.             The dovetailed supports were let into the apron using blind dovetail techniques. I used a trim router to hog out the majority of the materials.     Then I chiseled out the remaining material.         The dovetail shape, in addition to glue and screws at each dovetail location, will provide enough support to keep the top from breaking free of the frame.     Finally, l  drilled oversized holes thru the cross supports to receive 1/4" lag bolts to connect the frame to the top.   Now to tear it all apart to work on the shelves!  
    • 0 comments
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  • Joe Candrilli

    Segment Day One

    By Joe Candrilli

    I moved this post here, figured it was more appropriate as a blog vice a random post...   I figured this would be a great place to document my path down segmented turning.  That way we can all look back years later and laugh...   Today I will start with why I am looking at getting into segmented turning in the first place.  Last Christmas I was trying to figure out what to get my dad for a gift.  He is at the stage where there isn't much he needs, and I had already made him a dozen or so pens.  In the end I came up with the idea of a beer koozie.  Strips of wood cut at an angle on each side glued together with one of those thin foam can insulating things spray glued to the inside (example in pic 1).  Surprisingly, it came out well.  My dad received many compliments on it an I had numerous offers for purchase if I made more.    So I did, or at least I tried.  Imagine trying to glue Popsicle sticks together on the long edge to make a cylinder.  Yeah, I am stunned the first one went together at all.  You can see in both pic one and two some of the issues I ran into.  Really what it came down to was the material was too thin to turn, and there was no great way to get it into my lathe to turn it in the first place.  I could make a round bottom, but 12 Popsicle sticks glued together does not actually make a circle but more of a circle-ish dodecahedron.  So a circle bottom would leave many little gaps, or provided zero support when turning if I simply glued it to the bottom.  I failed four times before I realized that this was probably not the best way to go about making a wooden cylinder.   I did not make the jump directly from needing a cylinder to segmented turning.  As with most breakthroughs, I put the idea down for a while and went on to other things.  I follow a ton of wood people on YouTube and one of the videos that went by in my recommended feed was Kyle Toth and watching him turn a massive vase (if you have not seen it I recommend taking a look).  So of course I start going down the YouTube rabbit hole and found one where he made a segmented wine bottle...click...I could do that with my koozie!   So that started my research into segmented turning.  In my earlier post I discussed how most of my searches took me to a place called Seg Easy.  Next post I will discuss what I built, what I learned, and what I would do different with my first few rings.   Please feel free to let me know what else you want to know, any questions you have, or if this simply does not interest you and move on.  
    • 1 comment
    • 612 views
  • Steve Krumanaker

    Pulling the trigger

    By Steve Krumanaker

    Thought hard about this segment and came up with all sorts of reasons and justifications for even wanting a laser engraver. The honest truth is, I've just always liked gadgets. Never mind I intend to use it for embellishing some of my turnings if and when I figure out how to use it. There are some youtube videos with turners using small machines to make “signature disks” they let into the bottoms of their bowls or vessels. The machines cost about $90.00 and do a surprisingly good job. The down side is they will only do an area about 3” square and are limited in height. I thought if I ever got one I would like more capacity and flexibility so I spent a little more and bought a machine that will etch an area about 11”X14” There are several vendors that sell these machines, banggood.com, gearbest.com, aliexpress.com, to name a few. I suspect they are all made in the same factory. At any rate I bought this machine from banggood.com. One thing I will say, if, and when a person may decide to purchase one of these, be patient and watch for price fluctuations. The price will change almost daily and move as much as a hundred dollars one way or the other.  So, what do you get for, in my case, about $200.00? Basically, a box of parts. I have to to admit, the parts were packaged very nicely. Everything was organized and easy to get to. All of the necessary hardware and tool are included in a little plastic compartmentalized plastic case.  One thing to note about these kits, they don't come with printed instructions. I imagine that's to save expense as they are shipped all over the world. There is a video of a machine being assembled on the banggood website and there are "assembly" pictures as well.                 When you get right down to it, there really isn't a lot to one of these machines. The little box at the top right contains the power supply and the laser. Next to it is a pile of plexiglass parts that are machined to hold the motors and for the aluminum extrusions to fasten to. Four corner brackets to assemble the frame, a "gift" pack of small wood test pieces. 5 pieces of aluminum extrusion and the controller board next to that. And, of course, the little box of hardware and tools. The three stepper motors and various cables are not in this picture. That's about it.             So, I watched the video several times and looked at the assembly illustrations. For some reason Banggood.com has made the video and pictures so a person can't save them to a computer. Seems crazy to me, but whatever. My shop is about 90 feet from our house and surprisingly, I can access our home network in the shop, if, and only if, my computer is next to the wall closest to the house. My workbench is near the opposite end of the shop and trust me, it's no small feat to change that. So, I would go to one end of my shop, watch a little of the video and run back to my bench to assemble the part I could remember. Being in my 60's that wasn't a lot. Back and forth and back and forth. The assembly starts with putting together the frame which is aluminum channel fastened together with corner brackets. I did that on my router table surface so everything would be nice and flat. The extrusions that make up the frame are two 1" X 1" and two 1" X 2"  channels. I don't know if they are real 8020 or a knockoff but those aluminum channels have changed how we do so many things.                   The next step is to assemble the motors and bearings to the machined plexiglass components. Fortunately, this is all pretty straightforward stuff as the online "instructions", if they can be called that are not the best. I knew that before hand though so I can't complain. The bearings ride in the groove in the aluminum channel and it's actually quite smooth.                     I should probably note that this is not meant to be a "how-to" as far assembly goes. There are a few third party videos on youtube which are better than a series of pictures showing how it all goes together. Once a person gets into the project a little it all starts to make sense. After the motors and the bearings are attached the gantry supports are put on the channel and the feet are attached. I would guess by this point I'm about two or three hours into it. A good part of that time is watching video to make sure it's put together correctly.               As wood workers, we joke about our toys when we get a new tool for the shop. Most of us know that these "toys" can hurt a person. Something like this may seem a little less risky. The opposite is true. A person doesn't even have to be near one of these to suffer eye damage as just the reflected light from one of them can be harmful. The most important safety rule with one of these is; "Don't look into the laser with your remaining eye." After the feet are attached the laser is installed and the gantry assembly is mounted. After that, the wiring begins and its all plug in connectors so that's not a big deal.                           After several hours of studying video, restudying video, hard work, and paying close attention to detail I'm done except for putting on some wire wraps to tidy everything up. Once I get the software loaded I'll be ready to do some laser engraving...........                                 on the ceiling, doh, mounted the laser upside down. Thankfully it's a simple of flipping the gantry channel over as it will mount either way. Now, on to loading the software and doing some world class etching!    
    • 17 comments
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  • lew

    Part 1- the concept

    By lew

    The Pastor’s Table or I Think My Sister Is Trying To Buy My Way Into Heaven -  (borrowing a title concept from Rocky and Bullwinkle) Part 1: I think my sister believes my past transgression’s slate can be, at least in part, wiped clean by building furniture for the church she attends. The latest installment is a kitchen island/work table for the church’s kitchen. The pastor emailed me a picture of a table he thought would work but wanted something larger and with slightly different construction techniques.   Using Sketchup and the free Sketchup viewer, we worked through the major details of the build and ended up with this concept-   He chose to use poplar for the frame (which would be painted), soft maple for the two shelves (polyed) and hard maple for the top (oil/bee’s wax). The overall dimensions were 72” long x 30” wide x 36” tall. The top was to be made as a butcher block style using edge grain (rather than end grain) and 1.5” thick. He also wanted the top pieces to be random lengths scattered through the field. We originally thought about 1” “wide” field pieces but then went with approximately 1.5” wide pieces. That reduced the overall number of strips across the top. The legs were a full 4” square glue ups. All of the frame joints are mortice and tenons. The only hardware used was to secure the top to the frame (lag bolts/washers) and the shelves to the stretchers (wood screws/washers). As the build progressed, it became obvious this could be another china cupboard fiasco. The final assembly would have to take place outside of the basement shop. So… if you are up to it, follow along…
    • 1 comment
    • 637 views
  • John Morris

    The Big Night

    By John Morris

    The last blog post we left off with the completion of the "appreciation awards" for our veterans who work for our school district. This blog we'll check in and see what took place the night of the Big Night. Our girls and the club members really worked hard to make this a wonderful event for our school district employee veterans. On the invitations the veterans were encouraged to arrive in full dress uniform, and many did! It was a wonderful sight. Below are a couple images of some of the veterans and their dates for the evening. The Sargent at the left is the club advisor for our daughters club. Some of the kids from the club were stationed at the entry to welcome the guests of honor. The building where the event was held was donated by the Golden Era Golf Club locally here where we live, they frequently donate their space to veterans and military events and gatherings. They also donate the space to the high school where our daughters attend and have their club. The annual ROTC ball is held here as well. It's a tastefully decorated building, and it has some wonderful history behind it.     The kids welcome the guests for about a half hour as they trickled in, our daughter and club founder and president is in the background looking on with approval for how the night is unfolding, can you say "PRIDE"!   I walked around and  took some images for the evening, the golf course loaned their kitchen out as well, so the club members were able to prepare the nights meal for our veterans. The gentleman in the center is LT. Albright, he was a mess hall cook in his Army life, and he helps out with the high school club and he is also a teacher at the school, and this night he volunteered to lead the charge in the kitchen. This man smoked pork all day long for this meal in order to serve some awesome pulled pork sandwiches for the guests and many other items on the menu as well.   Below is our younger daughter who is the Patriot Tigers treasurer, I just happened to catch her coming through the door to the kitchen as she was checking on things and making sure all was running well.   Days before this big event, the kids from the club came over to our home and assembled several boards showing what the club as been up too. Most of the images on these boards are of the clubs efforts at the Homes for Our Troops events they attended. Mama and I put a lot of road time in for these kids, we drove them all over the county, and sometimes out of the county to get them to their volunteer destinations. We all had a great time, always.         These kids worked really hard with this club, we could not be more proud of their efforts, and their Patriot spirit they demonstrated by giving back to those who gave much.   The following images are the main dining area before the guests showed up, and you'll see an image of the patio where drinks were served.   Golfing in the background! The drink service area, some of the Patriot Tigers are serving our veterans. The man to the left being served is Colonel Sick, he is an Air Force Colonel and he is also the commandant of our 6th grade sons military school he is attending.   Below are the awards I made for the veterans, they have a wonderful prominent position in this event, I was proud of them as I looked on and took this picture.   My wife below, she stands proudly by the club boards as she and I both remember all the hard work our kids, and the club members put into their Patriot Tigers club.   The opening ceremony is about to begin, and the ROTC is warming up before the event and the presentation of the colors.   The guests are starting to take their seats and the ceremony begins. And dinner is served.   After dinner, the honorees were each presented their plaques. I really like the way the kids did this. Here is what our daughter stated at the microphone before the awards were handed out. "Dear Veterans, please stand when your name is called, please do not approach the podium, you have done enough for us in service of our nation, we will come to you and present you the plaque". I thought this was pure class, when the name was called, the veteran stood in place at their table, then each Patriot Tiger club member took turns walking to the veteran, and presenting them the plaque at their table, and each child shook their hand, and gave them a solemn message of thanks, it was done very nicely. Then after the plaques were handed out, they were all called for a group picture. Our daughter is at the far right in this image, and our younger daughter is the next young lady to her right, and next to the man in the grey shirt.   This was a really fun project for everyone involved. I cannot say enough how impressed we are with the kids involved, and the adults who welcomed the opportunity to come to this event. This was an evening presentation, and our veterans came to this event on their own time. So you could say, these veterans keep on giving, even after service. By coming to this event, they allowed our children to express their thanks, and to be a part of something wonderful. Thank you veterans! Please click on link to view the program below. PROGRAM FOR MILITARY RECOGNITION.docx   And we'd love to thank everyone who helped!   A special note about our supporters of The Patriot Woodworker. I was able to create the awards for our veterans only because our supporters have contributed funding to our organization, and with some of the funds, the material for the awards was purchased, and so where the service medallions that went on the awards. All in all, about 375.00 dollars was used to create these awards, and we could not have done it without the support of our tools and supplies retailers who are year around sponsors of The Patriot Woodworker, thank you sponsors!   Links of interest Patriot Tigers High School Club San Jacinto High School   The Supporters Anadys Trophies and Engravings Laguna Tools Woodcraft Supply Pony Tools Easy Wood Tools Bessey Tools Golden Era Productions Golf Course          
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Its been shown before but still questions

this is not the same box but is the way I start building one.   I have to print out 10 exact patterns. The tenth one is just solid with no holes for drawers.     All the pieces  I cut out for the drawers are later glued together except for the front of the drawer and the back of the drawer. I use dowels to line up everything . If I don't use the dowels when clamping two pieces together it could slip just a hair one way or the other and cause lots of extra sanding or cause for the trash can. Each set of holes has to be in a different place than the next side of the pieces. And you can't drill the next side until  the first side is marked and drilled and glued. Drawers are somewhere around 5 1/2 to 6" deep.   The body being one solidly glued up mass with no cuts joining each drawer keeps it all from warping from season changes..   I use brasing or stainless steel rods for drawer pulls before I start spraying the clear  lacquer so they will stay looking good and not tarnish.    I also put a wider drawer front on to cover up the possible gaps from sanding and creating a back looking mess. And here also the dowels help to line up the drawer fronts.  So far, all the sawing was with the scroll saw so the reason I call my boxes scroll saw jewelry boxes.    Now before I glue the front of the drawer on and the back of the drawer on I first mark where the cavity of the drawer will be and cut that area out with a band saw. Then using the dowel holes I first pt in the pieces I can now glue the on and they will have bee lined up before the cavities of the drawers were sawn in...   Its not a good idea to be drinking beer when all this is taking place for all these holes I drill has to have a stop set on the drill press or else...  There is way more preparation in one of these boxes and a few more weeks involved.. I cut the last 4 boxes I made out outside my motor home while sitting in an rv park in Colo.. I had all the wood glued together for each piece I needed and would only glue on one pattern one at a time as I started to scroll saw each piece out... Gluing a pattern on two or three days before the sawing takes place the pattern will shrink and stretch  and some might ruin to not be usable.  I always took two or three extra patterns and pieces of prepared wood just in case... I have also found two different printers will make different size patterns even though I use the same pattern in two different printers..Not good when I am having to make multiple patterns and needing some more away from the printer I first used.   When cutting out this many of the same thing and needing them as close to each other as I can get them, I find I have to start my scroll saw cutting from the same place and go in the same direction on all the pieces... Going two different directions on two different pieces a person has a tendency to lean or push the wood just enough to make differences and I get get bad line up problems and then add that many more pieces it gets too wild....Yes it ruined my very first wide box because of this...   Using the dowel system where at least 3 dowels and most of the time 4 dowels on each side of all the pieces I can get things more manageable when its time to sand it all smooth on the inside and the outside and all the drawers.. All these have to stay in line as to how they were sawn so lots of marking goes on and off. Don't even know if this is understandable or not??   And I can sure see the difference in my sawing from starting in the morning or just before I quit at night. Those lines can sure get wavy.     Jess

Smallpatch

Smallpatch

If you have a printer

I ran across this picture and thought some who use patterns they buy with money, you just might save a few bucks.  I noticed home printers are getting about the price of a big hamburger so that shouldn't slow too many away from one.. I don't know how much the Rapid Resizer cost to have on your computer but it is sure helpful when needing to enlarge or reduce a picture to be used as a pattern...    This is the pattern that got me to carving wood and the patterns or I should say one pattern I got off the internet so I was not out much money while in the learning to carve..     I noticed it took me a couple of apples to round up these three clocks I printed out from the one picture to give me three different projects. I noticed the one in the middle I used some of my old leather punching tools I picked up over the years at garage sales... Anything to help in changing the appearance of the wood stuff I can buy cheaper than new is what I keep on my wanted list while looking over ones junk.   I also used one pattern on these three items also.. This pattern happens to be out of wife's stained glass pattern book. I don't worry too much anymore if I make a pattern really big and make the lines blurry and hard to follow with the scroll saw for I can hold the scroll saw steady enough to get decent pictures. The only problem with a big pattern like this 8 page pattern of the clock is taping all the pages together staight enough to end up with some that kinda looks professional... but hey the printers adds a small line especially to cut  with a pair of scissors so all you got to do is hold two pages at a time together while you cover the lines with clear scotch tape....They take the hard stuff out of it so even an idiot can proceed with a good pattern to glue on to the wood....   Here is the mighty big problem with a mighty big pattern...Can't remember for sure but I think this pattern was 34 inches tall and my Dewalt 788 from blade to the back of the saw will only handle 20" actually a hair less if one needs to turn the wood around while sawing......I did use a jig saw but those blades will only turn so much without twisting the blade in to...   well I ended up with something that suited me so being bold and dumber I made the next clock even bigger..    Then I had to drill a few holes to install the flowers after it all got shot a few times with clear lacquer  and now the pieces sticks out way out there where a cleaning rag will surly rip them off someday.... Not my problem!!!   I hope I'm never asked to reproduce this same looking finish ever.... If you have ever had to hold a large piece of maple this heavy while trying to saw it to pieces is almost what made me quit doing wood working. That thing weighted almost as much as I do. Once I got some of the length of the big slab cut down so the 788 could saw I then had the saw table to rest that hunk of wood on but by then I had turned blue..     Now the problem begins for I don't know anything about a Blog and this is where I am at... Any questions, I hope I can find this  blog again to help!

Smallpatch

Smallpatch

 

Bed from a (few) boards

Have to start with a glue up . Did not think I could find 6 x 6 dry pine so here we go with 3 pieces of 2 x 6. Tried to get the knots toward the surface outer edges as these would be turned off. Remember you can never have too many clamps                                     After squaring the blanks on table saw we will need a centered hole to assemble the two parts of the post as this lathe is not long enough to turn as one piece.                                 Having that hole creates a stabilization problem for turning which is solved by using a cone center in the tailstock.                                                         The left picture is the fluting jig cutting the upper post . The right picture shows a closer look at the the jig cutting the post.                           These are the finished post parts with fluting done on one. Right picture shows the connection for the parts of the post.   This round turning and finial go on top of the headboard and footboard.   This shows the incomplete mortise and tenon to join the posts to foot and head boards. The raised panels are installed and at this point are prestained.   The complete project. Not exact but a close similarity to a bed we lost when our house was flooded over 30 years ago.

Gerald

Gerald

 

Down Hill From Here!

So with the koozie glued, there really isn't much left but the fun part.  I threw it on the lathe in my new oversized jaws and went to work.  I started slow, about 500 RPM because I didn't know how fast I could go with something this size.  Eventually I bumped it up to 800 and settled at about 1000RPM.  I used my Sorby roughing gouge to get it round (mainly because it is my favorite tool) and finished smooth with the circular carbide tip.  I also slightly rounded over the top lip and flattened the bottom with it as well.  After turning I prefer to 'wet' sand with some stuff I picked up at Woodcraft.  I saw it on YouTube and have used it on my finished wood ever since.  It is the combo of Doctors Woodshop of walnut finishing oil and pens plus.  I use the walnut finishing oil to wet sand at 80, 150, and 220 grit.  It keeps the dust down and makes quick work of sanding.  I finish with the Pens Plus friction polish.  Gives the wood a nice shine and is durable.   I did not do much work on the inside of the cylinder.  Instead I cut the bottom off a neoprene koozie and layered it with 300 level heavy duty spray adhesive.  I gently slid it inside the koozie then inserted a can to hold it in place while the glue dried.   Done.  That is it.  In total it took about 10 hours, but this was just a single koozie.  I am pretty sure I can batch them out with little more time added to production.  The backlog would likely occur when trimming the inside diameter of each ring.  Turning the outside diameter was quick, barely needed to remove more than corners.  Sanding was also quick.  So in all fairness if I could find a better way, or simply ignore the ID it would speed the process up.   Concerns or things I would change:  The neoprene insert was probably not the best idea.  I did it because I was not sure how well plain wood would resist moisture and temp change like this repeatedly.  It also provides insulation and makes up for minor errors within the koozie I have difficulties correcting.  However, with those advantages it is still the biggest detractor.  After multiple inserts and removals of a can the koozie begins to roll, peel and fray.  It generally looks like a hot mess.  I will probably continue to use it until another option presents itself but it is the thing I dislike the most. The sled concept worked amazingly well.  I would never have attempted such a project without it.  Making my first project with such small segments probably wasn’t a great idea but it performed flawlessly.  If I had a complaint it would be in ‘trapping’ segments once they are cut.  The 45 degree wedge worked to keep the segments away most of the time, but there were still many times where I had to stop cutting and figure out where the segment ricocheted off to.  My saw blade probably could be a little sharper, and cutting Oak may also contributed to it.  However one in five segments was launched to various parts of my shop and it became frustrating and time consuming to find them. That is it.  Not sure what I can add or what I missed.  If there are questions, concerns, or recommendations I would love to hear them.  I can go back and try and recreate various points if you feel there was lack of explanation on how I got there, or just to clarify something that didn’t come across well.  I would also appreciate inputs on writing style.  I tend to me a slightly sarcastic person by nature and that tends to get lost sometimes in translation to paper (screen…see, there it goes again…).    Finally, thank you for reading.  The internet is vast and unending and you chose to spend a few minutes here with me on this silly little project.  I appreciate your time.

Joe Candrilli

Joe Candrilli

 

Groundhog Day

This was a stupid idea.   Sorry, that was wrong of me.  What I should have said was...   This was a REALLY stupid idea.   OK, in all seriousness, it is not THAT bad.  It is only about 200 segments the size of my pinky nail that have to be cut, sanded, and glued into 10 rings...per koozie.  I honestly found that I could get into a rhythm.  I would cut  one 1.5x.5x24 strip of oak into 3 strips, then cut those int segments.  Once the segments were cut I divided them into piles for rings.  I sanded down the cut edges of one ring, which was about my breaking point for handling small pieces on sandpaper, then I would glue the 18 segments into a ring...   Side note:  Bad Husband tip #1.  If you want to do a project like this go right now into the kitchen and swip your wife's silicone baking mat.  Seriously.  Promise her you will buy her three more when the Pampered Chef rep comes back (yes three, you will likely want to swipe one of those too!).  I tried gluing these on both brown paper and wax paper and both were an epic, frustrating fail.  Those silicone mats are awesome.  Get one (or two) now.     End Side Note.  Gluing the rings was fairly simple.  The sled makes sure the angles match, I will trim the inside diameter and turn the outside diameter on the lathe.  So my only concern was thickness of the ring itself.  As I get better cutting on the band saw the segments get closer to identical, meaning less sanding.  Once glued I zip tied each ring as the dried.  I hammered the ring flat so I had one side close to even when I sanded.  Once dry I used my Ryobi combination 4X36 sander and sanded each side flat with 80 grit.  My biggest concern was sanding one area of the ring more than another causing the ring to be lopsided.  So I constantly checked ring thickness with my digital caliper.   Side note #2:  It dawned on me many times during this project where the separation between a hobbyist and craftsman lies.  This was one of them.  I really want to do a good job on every project I undertake, but I am also limited on time.  I like finishing projects, and therefore I tend to make some allowances in my work.  Case in point, I made sure each ring thickness was close (within 0.02") but really stopped trying to shoot for perfection.  It may come a time later where it shows I was wrong and needed more attention to detail but at the time I could not justify the extra time at 9pm.    End Side note #2.  The rings each sanded down to something slightly larger than 0.4"  It took about 10 rings, considering I used 2 rings that were smaller than 0.25" as accent rings.  I made the bottom ring with a smaller inside diameter so the can has a lip to rest on.     Now that rings are glued and sanded flat we finally get to turn something!!!  I do not have the experience or tools to smooth the inside of the koozie after the rings are assembled so I chose to trim the inside rings individually.  The issue with this is I have no real control on accuracy here.  Each ID may end up slightly different in the end.  I minimize the risk of this by 1) the original ID is the exact size of the OD of the can before trimming so cleaning up the ID of the ring creates room for the foam koozie insert I plan on using, leading to 2) I am assuming the foam koozie will absorb any differences in ring size between each ID.   I picked up a set of large jaw plates to mount on my Barracuda 2 chuck.  This allows me to hold the outside firm and flush against the face allowing me to trim the ID of the ring.  I tried using a parting tool but it was too haphazard, it kept bouncing all over.  I ended up using the square cutter to trim most of the ID before flipping the ring in the chuck to trim the last bit.  I figured it was a pretty dumb idea to trim to the plate in one go since there was a chance the tool might catch a gap and fling it across the shop.  Yes, this was another 'hobby vs craft' moment but I usually default on the side of safety when I can.  Flipping each ring takes more time, but overall less time than removing my carbide cutter from whatever wall it may get lodged in.   Finally, rings are flat and ID is round.  Time to glue.  I feared this step more than any of the previous steps.  The number of variables here are difficult to manage all at once.  I wanted the gaps to overlap resulting in a layered brick type of pattern.  However, we all know that wet glue tends to slide a bit here and there while wet.  My fear was that I would set up all rings exactly how I wanted them, then try to clamp them down only to see each ring shift slightly resulting in a bad 4th grade art project.  Yet again I find myself in a 'hobby vs craft' moment.  The right answer is to glue each ring separately making sure each one is in exact position before moving on to the next.  Of course that means about 6 days of gluing and drying to finish this.  So anyway, I decided to go for it and assemble all at once (hobbyist!).  What I found out is that my fears were mostly unfounded.  I was able to glue a ring, put it under pressure for about 30 seconds (in this case a 25lb kettlebell) and then I could make slight adjustments without it moving freely.  I could independently glue and press each ring without affecting  any layers below it.  I plan on letting it sit overnight to completely dry, but first glance it looks pretty good.  Tomorrow I will need to figure the best way to mount on the lathe for turning.  Once again, thanks for reading.     

Joe Candrilli

Joe Candrilli

 

The real day two

OK, so on to working the segments.  As I said, my goal is to complete a can koozie using segmented rings.  The best way I found was the 'wedgie sled' concept created by Jerry Bennett.  It is basically a 3 part sled.  I thought I could get away with just the adjustable arms and quickly figured out why the parts are there.  It is really a simple concept.  You adjust the 2 bars on the sled according to how many segments you want per ring.  You can do math (360 degree circle divided by 18 segments per circle = 20 degree angle.  Divide by 2 since each wedge has 2 sides making it a 20 degree total angle or 10 degrees from center on each side) or you can have a predetermined wedge to drop between the two adjustable bars (hence the wedgie sled name).   Each segment has 4 critical dimensions.  We set the side angles in the first step.  In this step we determine the outside diameter of the ring.  The inside diameter was established earlier in prepping the wood.  In this case I purchased 2 strips of dimensioned wood from Woodcraft (1/4" x 3/4" x 16" purpleheart and yellowheart).  So in this case the 3/4" width will make a ring 3/4" wide.  I wanted to set my outer diameter at 3.5".  Now I will be totally honest here, I didn't do this math.  I could have, and I did earlier when I made the original koozie.  But why?  I found an app, put in some numbers and it spit out a length of .619".  You cannot see it in the photos, but there is a way to calibrate the stop, then using digital calipers I can set the exact length of each segment.    The third part of the jig is a simple 45 degree strip with magnets on the bottom to keep the cut of segments from riding the blade and getting flung across the shop.  Didn't think it was necessary until one smacked my safety goggles (safety first kids).    You can see the segments below.  It goes pretty quick.  I made 36 segments in less than 5 minutes.  Basically trim the square edge off the end, then move the wood to the stop and cut.  Switch to the opposite bar, move to the stop, and cut.  The way the sled is designed it eliminates any error in the angles by moving between bars vice trying to make multiple cuts on the same bar where errors are compounded.  Each 16 inch strip of wood made 24 segments which is more than enough for two rings, seen below.   Some of you who are good at math probably see the error already.  "Uh, Joe?  If your outside diameter is 3 1/2", and each segment is 3/4" (x2 is 1 1/2") then that hole in the center is only 2" across.  You making Red Bull Koozies?"...And you would be right.  In my hurry to show off how the sled works I skipped a step.  I should have ripped the 2 strips down to 1/2" wide before running them thru the sled.  I went back and ripped some oak down to 1/2" x 1/2" and made the segments again.  So now I simply glue and zip tie in a circle to dry.  They fit around the can well.  I will need to trim the center to round which will give me a little room around the can.  I plan to use a cheap thin foam koozie to insulate the inside and that will make this a snug fit.   So for now it is simply cut and glue, cut and glue.  If my math is good I should be able to get more than 6 koozies from a single 2"x6"x24" block of oak (2 BF).  Assuming around $7 per BF for oak, it looks like I am in for $2.50 in wood per koozie plus glue and time.  My initial temptation is to price these at around $10 except that there is likely a ton of man hours in this.  $15 might be better, but not sure if that is pricing myself out of the market.   So I am already seeing a few issues that I will have to overcome.  First, I was able to dimension down the large block of oak into 24"x1/2"x1 1/2" Strips.  Using the band saw I ripped these into 1/2 inch strips, but they were not ripped in a straight line at all.  So now I have a 24 inch x 1/2 inch x a wavy 1/2 inch strip.  Not a big deal except the top of the rings once formed is not flat. Since the rings eventually have to be glued together, and need to be parallel to each other I have to figure a way to flatten the rings out.  The strength of these segments comes from each ring supporting the other.  The individual rings are end grain glued together and provide some structure but not a ton of strength.  The strength comes from the edge to edge gluing between rings.  So I guess I will sand the rings with my Ryobi combo belt and disc sander.   Thanks for reading, as always comments, questions, and recommendations are welcome.    

Joe Candrilli

Joe Candrilli

 

Day Two, plus some background info

Welcome back!   Before I roll into today's update please allow me to fill in the background story and update my tool list as per Mr John Morris' request.   I caught the woodworking bug back in 2014.  I have always wanted to be creative, but in all honesty I do not have that gene.  If you sat me in front of a canvas and asked me to create content I would fail.  I simply do not have the ability to take something from imagination and turn it to reality.  What I have found though it that I can reproduce things very well.  There was an old commercial from many years ago whose logo was "we didn't invent the _______, we just made it better".  BASF or 3M perhaps?  Not sure.  Anyway, I have found that I can watch a video or sit through a class or follow a decent set of instructions to reproduce quality items.  So I started taking classes at the on base hobby shop in Pearl harbor.  First was pen turning, then a cutting board, and finally keepsake boxes.  Within a year I had picked up most of the essential tools for my garage and was in full blown addict mode.  In April of 2016 I bought a house in Jacksonville FL and have been actively preparing to turn my hobby into a retirement project.  I have 2 years of active duty time left, my kids are all grown and the last one is finishing her Junior year of HS.  By the time I retire it will just be the wife and I.  So the plan is to start a business, build up inventory, then get in the RV and drive from Craft Fair to Craft Fair for a few months selling our wares.  Likely do that twice a year, fall and spring.  Not looking to make millions, but if I can support the habit and pay for gas and food while we are out then I would feel it is a success.   My issue right now is I have to figure out what to sell.  I enjoy making pens but not sure they sell well enough to rely on those alone.  Same with cutting boards.  So I am spending the next few months making new and different things to see what I can mass produce in good quantity, have them be useful and desirable, at a low cost.  This week my focus is on Segmented turning and specifically making a soda (or beer) can koozie.  I also want to try making a few resin cast spinning tops (cheap gift for kids trapped with parents at a craft fair).  I have shifted focus in pen turning to making sets, a matching pen and pencil set for Father's Day and/ or Graduation.  I have made some bottle stoppers and cheese knife sets, and I plan to knock out a few of the wine bottle/ glass carrier planks later this year for the holidays.  I feel that right now is the best time to learn all of these techniques so that when we actually get rolling with sales it will not be bogged down with any kind of learning curve.  I can just batch and go.   Second issue is finding a decent source of material.  My parents were able to find a decent batch of walnut and cherry a few months ago but I cannot rely on that kind of luck.  Woodcraft is too expensive for me to try and turn around any decent profit, but I have no where to dry wood on my own.  Cypress seems abundant around my area so I think I will start there, but I think that means cutting boards are off the sales list.   As far as tools go, I think the list is better highlighted with what I still need (want) vice what I have.  I am still trying to get either a decent sized drum sander or small jointer, preferably both.  With what I have i am able to get from rough lumber to decent large dimensions, but I repeatedly run into times where I have pieces that need to be flattened but are not safe to run thru my planer.  You will see later in the segmenting blog that I have strips of oak that are a perfect 1/2" on one side, and a variety of sizes on the other edge.  The result is 18 wedges that make a perfect ring,  flat on bottom and a stair case effect on the top. If I had either a jointer or sander I could flatten the stock to 1/2" square before cutting segments, but I am just to chicken to run something that thin thru my planer.   The foundation of my shop is the Delta 36-725 10" table saw. It is a workhorse and has done everything I have asked of it. Turning will be done on the jet mini lathe, non-variable speed.  I guess it would be nice to have VS, but I have never used it so I don't know to miss it.  I have too many turning tools because I cannot decide what I like.  I started with the generic small 3 piece set from PSI with the oval skew, gouge and parting tool.  From there I found a Carbide cutter set on Amazon where you get 1 handle and 3 bars (round, square, and diamond).  I like them but I think I am too aggressive with them.  With the square cutter I blow out acrylic pens at the tip (about 15 seconds after I think that is close enough and should sand the rest), where the circle cutter does awesome on wood but is uncontrollable on acrylic resin.  So for Chrismas I received a 3/4" Sorby roughing gouge and have used it extensively for all my turning work.  So much so that I wanted to get back int skew work and bought the Harbor Freight $70 set.  I cannot figure out why but this skew will not work for me.  I think the grind is different from what I expect and is causing issues but it is likely operator error.  I sharpen tools with the PSI knock off of the Wolverine sharpening system. I purchased a Harbor Freight 14" Band Saw.  I know many people dislike HF tools, but I could not afford big tools such as this without them.  It does well for me, but it did take some time to iron out a few issues.  I am not proficient at resawing but I am developing the skill as best I can. I was able to get a steal on a Craftsman 13" planer from Sears.  I happened to walk in and one was on the floor, open box for half off.  Looks like someone used it for a weekend project and brought it back.  It also has been a champ. If I regret a major tool purchase it is probably the Harbor Freight 2HP dust collector.  Don't get me wrong, it does a great job.  However, it is big.  Very big, and takes up more space when you add the second stage separator to it.  I also did not realize that NOTHING in my shop has a 4" dust collection port.  Not my table saw, band saw, planer, none of it.There was a period of time where I had tried to mount 4"adapters to everything so I could use the fancy 4" collapsible hose Rockler sells before it dawned on me I was wasting time and effort and ditched the 4" hose for a 2.5" hose. Other than that, just your typical random tools to fit a specific need at some point.  Ryobi combination sander, big HF air compressor, HF pressure pot, Ryobi router table and various plunge, fixed, and hand held routers.   Probably too much for this post, hope you enjoyed the read.  I will get back to segmented turning in the next post.

Joe Candrilli

Joe Candrilli

 

Segment Day One

I moved this post here, figured it was more appropriate as a blog vice a random post...   I figured this would be a great place to document my path down segmented turning.  That way we can all look back years later and laugh...   Today I will start with why I am looking at getting into segmented turning in the first place.  Last Christmas I was trying to figure out what to get my dad for a gift.  He is at the stage where there isn't much he needs, and I had already made him a dozen or so pens.  In the end I came up with the idea of a beer koozie.  Strips of wood cut at an angle on each side glued together with one of those thin foam can insulating things spray glued to the inside (example in pic 1).  Surprisingly, it came out well.  My dad received many compliments on it an I had numerous offers for purchase if I made more.    So I did, or at least I tried.  Imagine trying to glue Popsicle sticks together on the long edge to make a cylinder.  Yeah, I am stunned the first one went together at all.  You can see in both pic one and two some of the issues I ran into.  Really what it came down to was the material was too thin to turn, and there was no great way to get it into my lathe to turn it in the first place.  I could make a round bottom, but 12 Popsicle sticks glued together does not actually make a circle but more of a circle-ish dodecahedron.  So a circle bottom would leave many little gaps, or provided zero support when turning if I simply glued it to the bottom.  I failed four times before I realized that this was probably not the best way to go about making a wooden cylinder.   I did not make the jump directly from needing a cylinder to segmented turning.  As with most breakthroughs, I put the idea down for a while and went on to other things.  I follow a ton of wood people on YouTube and one of the videos that went by in my recommended feed was Kyle Toth and watching him turn a massive vase (if you have not seen it I recommend taking a look).  So of course I start going down the YouTube rabbit hole and found one where he made a segmented wine bottle...click...I could do that with my koozie!   So that started my research into segmented turning.  In my earlier post I discussed how most of my searches took me to a place called Seg Easy.  Next post I will discuss what I built, what I learned, and what I would do different with my first few rings.   Please feel free to let me know what else you want to know, any questions you have, or if this simply does not interest you and move on.  

Joe Candrilli

Joe Candrilli

 

Finishing Up The Top

With the base finished, all that was left to do was trim out the top with the walnut edge trim. Glue, clamps and some pin nails.   I forgot to take photos of the top to apron mounting system but this Sketchup drawing should explain what I did. These are simple wooden clips with their tabs captured in slots that run around the perimeter of the inside of the aprons. The slot is 1/4" wide by 3/8" deep. The clips are cut from 3/4" thick maple and the tabs sized of a snug fit in the slots. Screws are used to secure the clip to the top. The hole is slightly over-sized and the screws are the type used for pocket holes- nice large heads.   The finished table is awaiting pickup-   The church members are going to apply the finish. If they send a picture, I'll add it here.   Thanks for following along and the very kind comments that have been posted along the way.

lew

lew

 

Mistakes, Mistakes, Mistakes!

Once the legs were completed, I started on the aprons and stretchers. The stretchers are to be mortised and tenoned into the legs. The long stretcher needed to be securely fastened into the side stretcher but their thickness was only 3/4 ". That meant a very short tenon (1/2") on the ends of the long stretcher. I decided, mistakenly, to use a fox tenon and a dovetail style mortise, with tapered sides and wider at the bottom.     It took a little work to get the mortises chopped. I even had to make a small measuring tool to determine the width of the bottom. My inside calipers were just a little too big.       Next, I calculated the wedge size and then modified the tenons to accommodate the wedges.   My mistake here was failing to take into consideration the amount of spreading vs. the hardness of the wood. Fortunately, I had the foresight to try a test piece and discovered as the tenons halves spread, they cracked at the shoulder. Insert a long string of Navy language here.   Back to the drawing board. Early on in the project I had considered using a sliding dovetail for this connection. Hindsight being what it is, that's what I ended up using.   The other failure, at this stage was when I ripped the materials for some of the aprons. The wood was plenty dry but internal stresses caused the some warping and twisting of several pieces. Allowing the pieces to set for a couple of days only made matters worse.   I ended up ripping more pieces and then creating the tenons.   Used a stop block/miter gauge to create to shoulder cuts       Then the old Delta tenoning jig for the cheek cuts     And finally nibbled away the remaining material to complete the apron and stretcher pieces.     I cut all of the tenons a little over sized so I could trim them to get a really snug fit during assembly. The minister said this table would serve multiple duties. I wanted to be sure nothing would work loose over time.   All that's left for the base, I hope, is a final dry fit and then a glue up.

lew

lew

 

All building being built for wood shops should be built for 20 or 30 years down the road..

We left a very perfect size shop where we retired from. A  40x60  with a concrete floor.  So in thinking ahead with my lovely we won't need that much shop cause in our visions every road and highway is the U S was going to be our work shop.     Wild thinking but hey the very first 8 years of our last business we were open 7 days a week. Every day and even when it rained, we had many things to do.  From experience, so believe me when I say build a shop for 20 or 30 years down the road. It will eventually get to where every tool and piece of machinery known to man and a few gorillas will end up in your shop. And lots of those just got to have, I can't work another day with out those new inventions never gets touched again. They are there taking up room and yes you will smirk and brag to every one who enters your shop. I almost have to pay someone to come in my door anymore cause all the people I know has learned their lessons. Once I finally get someone inside the door they claim I lock it so every one who enters has to go through the long sermons everyone has learned word for word over the years...    Side tracked from my story already and not even talking bout the size of a shop. Men know size matters. In less than six months after I finished my shop I was tearing out the north end of the building fixing to add 12 more feet so now it would be 30x62. A motor home came into our life and I didn't want any part of it fading...when parked at home. But with all those highways, and some of them are even free to drive down but in a round about way still cost a bundle. Every trip we took a new map and a different color of Marks A Lot was used was to show every road we drove down... A new map and the marker thing was a results from the very first trip we went on right after we got married. This was before any kids showed up on our doors. We still argue how we got to Florida from Texas. Now every trip is recorded in color. I wounder if the markers fades like sales receipts?      Never having gone to any kind of construction or building classes, the library was my best friend. Having lived in the Lubbock area after I got out of high school another learning place was in the area where new homes  was being built. I never talked to any carpenters on the jobs but would sit around and watch. I bet they all thought , that is the youngest inspector we ever saw. I might have been responsible for their doing better work when I came around..I did witness a few guys who had picked up  hand full of nails for the other side of the house and had to put them on the ground and get some for the side they were working on....     After having put up the forms for more concrete for the extension and waiting for the concrete trucks to show up it dawned on me this adding to another existing building was going to be somewhat harder than building one out all by itself.. So this is where I will show wife how exact my style really is, bowling or horse shoes or building a building a person should be at his best for all the world to see.    I used oil field up set tubing for all the up rights and had welded flat 6x6 plate steel to the bottom and top of three foot long 2 7/8 tubing burried  in the footing before the concrete was poured. So after the concrete set up I welded the steel studs on to the foundation.  The building structure is ridgid and will be there after a tornado comes through. They might be bent all the way to the ground but will still be there.     So how do I get the same exact roof slope and wall sides exactly in line so they will match up like it was all built at once. Quick and easy to say>>>>>>>>>>>>>  I think I ended up with thirty different string lines going all kinds of directions and the metal siding and metal roof panels were not hardly faded in the six months or so they were up so hey, it all looks like one unit..    When you work by your self you do things differently and make helpers using other methods. A really old fork lift that would only reach 8 foot high was my best helper.  I built an addition that would allow me using a chain hoist to lift up the pipe trusses to more than 16 foot in the air so I could let them down on 9 foot tall  2 7/8 pipe uprights and rest there while I jumped down off the forklift and weld each truss every ten foot  on the wall pipes. The old Perkins motor of the fork lift smoked like a mosquitoe sprayer but as long as I run it at an idle it worked great. Make the trusses stay sitting on top of a 2 7/8 " pipe I used 2 pair of Vise Grip chain wrench's locking two pieces of metal on to each side of the up right pipes. Thus making a saddle and the fork lift keeping them in the air, I could go in an get a cup of coffee while the trusses sat there..  The only help I got was one day after I had put most all the sheet metal up on the walls a brother in law drove up and said looks like you might need some help. Well I could have used some the three previous weeks but yes today finishing up I could use it.    The trusses I built one on top of the other laying down on the concrete. My reasoning, if one truss was crocked they all would match and would make the sheet iron all lay flat and pretty.    I knew after all this extra extending would not get the motor home a place to park inside for the motor home clearance is 12'4" and the shop has 9 foot walls. I would get the extra clearance by cutting out the inside of the pipe trusses but first I would have to drill holes in the concrete installing new pipes under the end of each truss I would  have to cut out.  This was I would still have each end of each truss welded in to the ground through the concrete.   This area was a trailer paint room last week.   Then after I got each pipe buried in the concrete and welded under each truss I could go ahead and using a cutting torch cut the inside of each truss that was in the way. The motor home just barely fits but I have walking room beside it and I still have working space on each side of the shop and still have a 30 x 20 insulated with heat and air plus the shop area for wifes stained glass  8x20 heated and air.   Oh and I was smart enough when putting up the concrete forms to lay pipe and drains for bathroom  and sink which saves lots of walking.    I have more nonsense on shops but gotta wire my trailer right now thats it warm out.

Smallpatch

Smallpatch

 

Trim and Legs

For such a simple table, this thing has run me through the funnies big time. Everything started out pretty good. The walnut trim, for the top, was made by multiple passes over several different router bits to get the desired profile.       It'll take a little sanding to smooth things out but I am happy with the results.   Next I turned to the legs. I milled down some 1 3/4" maple into 1 3/8" square blanks. Then laid out the locations of all of the mortises for the aprons and stretchers. Cut an extra piece for testing, too. I was really please as to how straight the legs were off the saw. Usually there's some twisting/warping but these stayed straight.   Using the hollow chisel mortiser to create the openings     Prepped the legs layout   Punched out all of the holes-   For me, it is so easy to get confused as to the orientation of parts. I need to label everything to make sure I don't mix them up.   I thought I was on a roll at this point but fate had something else in store. From here everything went to "you-know-where" in a very big hand basket.   Next part- the failures.

lew

lew

 

#4 Other Inside Out Turnings

These were all done with one inch square six inch long configurations.  So this     broken apart, turned and glued.  Looks like this.     Turned to just round, looks like this.     Shaped and finish applied.  Anything that fits through the window can be hung inside for added effect.  Some beads are hung in this one.     Two smaller ornaments made from one glue up.                      

HandyDan

HandyDan

 

#3 Ornament With Cross for Windows

Next is how to make an ornament with a cross for the windows.  Here is the blank mounted in the lathe.     Here it is turned just round where the window will be and the cross upright length, one and a half inches, is marked out.     Everything turned away now will open the window double the depth of cut.  The upright of the cross is going to be a quarter inch wide so a groove one eighth deep needs to be cut the length of the upright.       Each side of the horizontal part of the cross is to be a quarter inch long so a groove that deep a quarter inch wide needs to be cut next.  To make it round seven sixteenths measured from the corner had to be removed plus two sixteenths for the upright and now four sixteenths for the horizontal arms comes to thirteen sixteenths leaving just three sixteenths of meat left to hold it together.  Good to go.     Here it is broken apart to check the window.     Didn't care for the top and bottom of the upright so it was put back together and the sharp corners were blended in and the finish put on it.  Be careful not to get finish on the glue surfaces.       When the finish is dry it is time to knock it apart and turn the inside to the outside and glue it back together.  Then mount it in the lathe for the finish turning.     Turn the whole thing to just round again.  If turned deeper where the window is the window will get steadily wider as wood is turned away.  There is plenty of meet above and below the window to shape as desired.  Just watch where the inside cavity top and bottom are so they are not cut into.  

HandyDan

HandyDan

 

#2 Getting Started

Mount the blank in the lathe and turn it just round in the area the window is to appear.       With it turned just round there will be no windows when turned back to finish as shown here.       Anything turned away from here on will open the window.  This was put back in the lathe and small grooves cut into it to show result.  Notice how any cut made is automatically doubled.        

HandyDan

HandyDan

 

#1 How Deep to Cut

Inside out turning starts with a glue up of four sticks cut perfectly square and glued together to make a square twice the size of the cut pieces.      There are limits to how deep a cut can be made and not have the turning ruined because the cut was too deep.  One inch square pieces will be glued up to create a two inch blank in this case.  When the blank is mounted in the lathe the first order of business is to turn the area where the window is to appear to the max diameter which in this case is two inch diameter or a one inch radius as seen on the right.  On the left is what it would look line if it was turned inside out now.  The center diamond would be air space and the points of the diamond are where the windows will appear when more turning is done.  This shows that a one inch deep cut measured from the corners would be too far.  The maximum cut has to be at least one eighth inch short of one inch and that may be pushing it.  So if two inch sticks are glued up to make a four inch square the cuts have to be less than two inches deep measured from the corner.  Depth of cut mystery solved.   Okay, time to get the table saw tuned up to cut perfect square and install a smooth cutting blade.  Start by cutting four sticks the same length and perfect square.  I used one inch square by six long pieces here.     Decide the best looking orientation of the end grain and put a rubber band around them.  Mark the four inside corners and number the pieces.      Keeping the same orientation turn the inside corners to the outside and glue them together.  A quarter inch line of glue on the ends is about all that is necessary as they will need to be split apart later.      Let it dry and wrap the ends with tape.  Heavy plastic tape can be as an added insurance that the blank will stay together.  The tape is also a reminder to not turn that area away.  It needs to remain for gluing later.              

HandyDan

HandyDan

 

The Original Request

My sister's Pastor asked if I could make a communion table for their church. In the past, I've made a lectern/pulpit and a kitchen work table. This seemed like it should be an uncomplicated build.   The pastor supplied me with his original thoughts and an image-   He picked this particular image for it's size/proportions, however, the "arts and craft" style was not his first choice. That style didn't really fit with their church's other furnishings. He said he didn't really want a drawer. He wanted the materials to be maple, walnut and birch to coordinate with other pieces of furniture.   My furniture building/designing experience is limited. Some research on the Internet lead me to believe that most all communion table designs lean towards the more massive proportions. When I mentioned this to the Pastor, he agreed but said their church is small and they felt a "lighter" piece would fit into their space.   We worked back and forth thru Sketchup making design changes. His original image morphed into more simple, final design-     The base will be made from maple, the top from birch ply and the top trim created from walnut.   The top trim/banding will overlay the plywood slightly. The pastor supplied a profile of what he wanted-   I think I'll start with the trim piece first.

lew

lew

 

Cherry Entertainment Center

Cherry Entertainment Towers Posted 8/25/2007 11:36 PM CDT Had been encouraged by the wife to build these for some time now. Spent maybe a year checking other designs an making plans. Tracking my time and will give it when finish.     The towers are 6 ft tall X 22 inch wide and 24 inch deep.Caucus began with making raised panels for the sides. The sizes basically echo the interior.
The panels are prefinished with BLO and Garnet Shellac for base color. Will cover all with varnish on exterior when complete.

Glue up of a panel this size and number of panels was a challenge and provided several lessons in how to get the panels and rail in evenly.

Dados cut into rails to fit plywood shelves and make for a more secure joint.

Caracas glue up using blocks cut to ensure square. Sides are rabbited to give more glue area for face frames. Face frames are joined together with pocket screws.

Caracas with face frame attached now ready for base of 2X4 lumber with covering of cherry with simple molded edge

The crown molding was a 4 piece made at the router table (top plate, crown and cove) and tablesaw (dentel)

This is what the build on the molding looks like.   After a few years we got rid of the old tv for an LED so needed a stand.. Made this to fit the existing spot and placed wheels on it for ease of wiring. Shelves made to fit existing equipment . Was expecting to place the bass in the large hole and place a door on it but changed my mind after reading about magnets and tvs. Used pocket screws for a hump over the wheels so that they do not appear to the eye, This almost makes the shlf look like it is floating . Once trim was added to front wheels are covered. Forgot to take a pic of the completed stand so had to stop and do that. The top is beaded and has a beaded molding added plus a cove.    

Gerald

Gerald

 

Making name tags using inkscape

I've mentioned that to take advantage of the potential of one of these little laser engravers  there are some software programs to know. One of these is an open source program called "inkscape". To someone who has never used it, inkscape can be intimidating as there are so many menus, options, controls, etc. etc. With a little effort it all starts to make sense and a person begins to understand what is going on. This is a little step-by-step to create a name tag file that can be used with a cnc laser or cnc engraver. Once the main template is created it's a simple matter to change the name to rout or engrave several different tags.       The picture above is the main screen from inkscape. As you can see there are menus and tool bars all over the place. The only one that concerns us just now is the one on the right of that picture and the close up just to the right of this text. This dialogue defines the size of the document we're creating. One of nice things about inkscape is the ability to create a working page whatever size is needed. For a name tag that's about 3.5"X 2.4". The laser software is written in millimeters so the document will be created in millimeters. In this case, 90X58 millimeters. Inkscape will work in mm, inches, feet, or even pixels. The document page is outlined in the above picture.                                       After creating the page three items were added to it. First, a rectangle slightly smaller than the document. This defines the actual size of the name tag as the laser will engrave this box and provide a guide for cutting out the tag. These small lasers aren't powerful enough for actually cutting wood, not even thin veneer. By engraving the rectangle I don't have to measure to cut but can just follow the line inscribed by the laser. Then, two decorative ovals were drawn. There are menu boxes to size, position, and manipulate the ovals or any other object. A person can even determine how thick the drawing line is. At this point the file is saved in inkscape as an SVG file. That is the inkscape default format. SVG stands for scale-able vector graphic. That type of graphic can be made larger or smaller without losing detail or resolution. This is now my master template, From now on the only design changes will be different names as required. When a name is added  it probably won't be exactly where you want it. For this example I'm going to center it on the page which is also the center point of the ovals. Incidentally, the rectangle and the ovals were centered on the page using the same method. Notice in the example the "name" is selected. It can be moved around, rotated, enlarged, or made smaller.               Centering an object on a page couldn't be easier with inkscape. Simply open the "alignment menu and choose what you want to do. Again, only because the program is so powerful there are many options. Looking at the menu to the right you can see I've chosen to align my name relative to the page. The two symbols I've pointed out represent vertical centering and horizontal centering. Simply clicking on those center the name perfectly on the page. A person can also choose to center items relative to each other or a dozen other options.     At this point it does get a little tricky. Its important to keep in mind a laser engraver is basically a plotter and not a printer. A printer moves the print head back and forth. As the paper advances the printer makes a dot in the right place, connect the dots and you get a picture or text. A plotter actually follows a path, much like writing in cursive. So, a path must be created that the plotter can follow. Two more steps and the file will be ready to send to the laser. First, all four objects, the rectangle, the two ovals, and the name must be selected.               You can see a selection box around all four objects and I've chosen the option "group" in the drop down menu. That will make all of the objects one entity as far as inkscape is concerned. If I enlarge one, they will all be enlarged the same amount. After grouping them the selection boxes morph into one box as there is now only one object. At this point there is one more operation before the file can be saved and that is to add the object to the "path" After, the file is saved in "DXF" format which is a "desktop cutting plotter" file.               This may seem a lot of steps but in reality it takes about five minutes to do this start to finish. Once the master template is created the name can edited in about a minute. This is a very simple example of creating a file that a laser or cnc engraver can read. The next step is to open the laser software and load the dxf file for engraving.                        

Steve Krumanaker

Steve Krumanaker

 

Turned Kitchen Scoops

So I'm down to making gifts for the nurses at my doctor's office. I rarely visit the office for a "Sick Call" but I do take care of their computers. It's always an inconvenience for the nurses when I have to interrupt their routines, so I try and make up for it by making each of them a little something every year.    My sister gave me this idea a couple of years ago when she gifted me a turned scoop and I've been meaning to make some ever since. I had some walnut and maple boards left from previous projects so they got glued into turning blanks.   Some were all walnut and some were walnut and maple combinations. Mounted between lathe centers, I turned a chuck tenon on each blank.   Over the years, I got tired of measuring the calipers every time I turned a chuck tenon so I made this quick little helper jig to make the measurements. One side is for the tenon, the other side of the jig is for measuring for the outside of the chuck mounting.     Sizing the tenon   As I was making a bunch of these, I do each operation to all of the blanks before moving on to the next step.   Next, removed the drive center and replaced it with the chuck and prepared to drill out the bulk of the material for the scoops. The first hole was just under 2" in diameter (my largest Forstner bit)   this hole set the depth of the scoop. Because I wanted the "back" of the scoop to be more rounded, I needed to also set the depth limit of that portion as well. I used my shop made drilling gauge to finish out the settings.     Finished drilling   The blanks were then remounted in the chuck in preparation for completing the insides. To assure the blanks get centered properly, I made a cone adapter that fits over the tail stock live center   Once securely chucked, The cone is pulled out and work can begin enlarging and shaping the inside. Each of the square blanks were slightly different dimensions, so every scoop was unique.   I did sand the inside of each blank as it was shaped using my shop made ball sander. The ball sander is from Mr. David Reed Smith. You can read the free instructions here- http://www.davidreedsmith.com/articles/foamballsander/foamballsander.htm.   Once the inside was sanded, the outside of the blank was rounded, using the cone for support. I have several of these cones- of different sizes- and they really come in handy.   To be able to shape the outside of the scoops, I needed to reference to depth of the rounded "back". A simple depth indicator does the trick.   (Notice the black indicator mark near the chuck end of the blank. I have gotten into the habit of marking my blanks with a reference mark that aligns with a reference mark on the chuck. This assures the blanks are always remounted in the same orientation in the chuck.)    The depth of the recess is transferred to the outside of the rounded blank.     The blanks are all marked and read for shaping.     Set the overall length, and shape the scoops         When I finished the shaping and sanding, I had 9 "bells" of which I forgot to take a picture.   Anyway, To convert the "bells" into scoops, I needed to cut each one on the bandsaw. Problem here was trying to safely hold each one and to be sure the cut was vertical across the scoop opening. To accomplish this I made a jig to hold the scoop. The following pictures describe the process-     This hole was drilled almost through the blank and then enlarged to match the average diameter of the scoops.         A piece of 1/4" plywood in tacked to one of the jaws of the wooden screw clamp and one half of the drilled block is also attached to that jaw. The opposite jaw with attached half block is free to move.     The jig and its' base made it easy to cut the curved profile on the scoop opening.   All cut and ready for finish sanding   With the hot bee's wax/mineral oil finish   I think the presents are done for this year. A few extra scoops in case we need a quick present- or I forgot some one! Thanks for following along!

lew

lew

 

Seam Rippers For My Sister And Mom

My Mom is 91 (this past Monday) and she still sews and makes clothes. I noticed she had an the same seam ripper for years so I thought I'd make her a new one for Christmas- but it turned out to be a birthday gift. However when making one it's just as easy to make two so the other one will be for my sister for Christmas.    I bought the kits from Craft Supplies because I needed some other stuff that I can only find at their site. Making the rippers is pretty straight forward, especially if you turn pens.  I had some walnut pen blanks I found in a box of scraps. Drilled them with the proper sized bit using the lathe. One trick when drilling pen blanks is to not drill the hole completely thru the blank. Using a brad point bit will have the point punch thru before the bit actually exits the blank. This process keeps the blank from being blown out when the bit would exit.      Once the brass tube is glued into place, the end of the blank can be trimmed near the tube- I trimmed mine on the band saw. Then used the sanding center to bring the wooden blank flush with the brass tube on each end.     I planned on doing a CA finish on these. To keep the CA from gluing the bushings to the blank/tubing I apply a coating of bumble bee butter to the bushings.   Then mounted the blank and bushing to the pen mandrel.     Then the assembly on to the lathe   Rounded the blank with a roughing gouge   Shaped with the skew     Sanded the blank to 400 with Abranet mesh to 400 and finished off with Abralon pads to 4000. Applied some sanding sealer.   Then about 40 layers of thin CA-   Assembled the parts with my shop made pen press     One gold and one silver     I still have a bunch of wooden scoops to turn for the nurses at my doctor's office and a few other people.

lew

lew

 

Getting to know what's possible

While it may not seem so at first glance, a laser engraver is much like a table saw, a lathe, or even a router. Now that you have it, what can you do with it? Not much as it's a "core" tool. With a table saw, an add on might be a dado set, or molding heads. A special sled or jig. A lathe is very dependent on other tools to prep stock. Different operations on a lathe require different accessories.  A hollow vessel requires completely different tools than a spindle. Of course, a router or shaper must have bit's or cutters to be functional at all. Not to mention a fence or sled.  A laser engraver? Well, it must have graphics and/or documents to do what it does. That may seem a simple matter, after all, there are thousands of images just waiting to be downloaded. While this is true, many of them are copyrighted and water marked. What if a person can't find the "just right" image to download? What if someone has a special request, like a graphic of a specific scene or pet? How to add text to a picture? How to make the picture fit on what is to be engraved? What if only a part of the image is to be engraved?   Let's address image size and making it fit the project first. It's fairly easy to enlarge or shrink an image. Windows paint can do it as can any number of programs. The problem is, enlarging or shrinking an image often results in loss of detail and crispness. This is an image called Odin's triangle, printed, or burned it will be about 3" tall and 3" wide. The lines that form the triangle are fairly crisp and sharp. This is what is called a "raster" image. That means it's made up of tiny dots of different color arranged in a pattern. What if I wanted the image to be bigger? Say, 3 times as big.                             You can see, the enlarged image isn't nearly as sharp as the original. This will happen with any raster image, that includes image files like bmp, gif, jpg, to name a few different types of raster images. The answer is to convert the picture to a "vector" image. A vector image is drawn according to a mathematical formula. No matter how big or small the image is, the formula remains the same. What that means is, the image always remains sharp and crisp.                                               What if a person had a picture of a leaf they wanted to use?  Easy enough to do, but what if only an outline is needed? What about using more than one leaf? What about overlapping them? That way it would look like one leaf laying on top of the other. That would be great for wood burning, painting, carving, etc. etc. So, let's use the leaf picture at the right, copy it and paste it to look like one leaf is on top of the other.                                                       It will look something like this. Hmmm, not exactly what we had in mind, is it? Why didn't it work? Well, because a bitmap, ie, jpeg, gif, bmp, can only have one layer and there has to be a back ground. Normally the background is white and on a white page  you can't see it, it's still there and will make it's presence known at the worse times.                                             Wouldn't this look much better?  This isn't the best job of editing as I still have a little back ground showing but that is easily addressed. The programs that manipulate images like this are the tools or accessories a wood burner or a laser engraver needs to be much more flexible than it would be otherwise. These programs are also very useful to a wood carver or pyrographer.                                         So, what are the programs that work this magic and how much do they cost? Probably the most well known is Adobe illustrator. To the best of my knowledge, illustrator can only be leased at this point. Licenses start at around $10.00 a month. Not a lot of money but for a now and then user not a good value either.  Fortunately, there are completely free alternatives. The two programs I use are "Gimp" and "Inkscape" Both are open source and completely free for downloading, although I recommend only downloading from their official websites.   https://www.gimp.org/   https://inkscape.org/en/   These are two powerful, full featured programs for manipulating images. Because they are so powerful, there is a steep learning curve associated with either of them. This section of the blog is not meant to be a tutorial on using these programs, but rather just to introduce them to someone who may not be aware they are available. While there is a steep learning curve with either, there are also dozens and dozens of tutorial videos on youtube about them.  

Steve Krumanaker

Steve Krumanaker

 

Kitchen Micro Plane For My Brother and Sister-In-Law

Since my brother and his wife retired, they are spending more time experimenting with various cuisines. I though I'd get them a micro-plane/grater for the kitchen. Rather than just buy the completed item, I ordered the planer/grater and made the handle. In the past, I sent them various kitchen/serving utensils so this handle would reflect the previous designs.   The biggest disappointment, with this particular grater, was that the handle was designed to be permanently attached to the grater using epoxy. In my opinion, handles should be detachable so that the metal portions can be adequately cleaned without damaging the handle.  Fortunately, the threads on the grater were standard 3/8 x 16 so creating a better solution was pretty easy.   I started with a piece of maple, squared into a turning blank. Then drilled the end of the blank to accept a 3/8 x 16 brass threaded insert- this will allow the grater to removed and placed into the dish washer. The insert was installed on the drill press using a shop made bottle stopper mandrel. The insert can be seen in this photo-   The handle blank was then prepared to receive contrasting walnut inserts. The insert slots were cut on the table saw using a simple angle jig to hold the blank in the proper orientation.     The blank is cut four times, using a single pass thru the blade. The depth of the cut is arbitrary but between 1/4 and 1/3 the thickness of the blank produces a nice pattern.   The inserts are glued into the saw kerfs. the inserts are 1/8" thick and just long enough to extend past the end of the kerfs at either end.   Once the glue dries, the inserts are trimmed to be flush with the blank sides. I trimmed these on the band saw. They don't have to be perfect. Trimming just makes the turning process a little easier.     Now it's just a matter of turning the handle. I used the bottle stopper mandrel and a Jacobs chuck to mount the blank in the head stock.   The inserts create a "twist" pattern as the blank is rounded   Shaped the blank   Finished with a bunch of layers of wipe on poly   And the grater screwed into the handle   Now I need to make something for my Mom.  

lew

lew

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