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Chips N Dust

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    Chips N Dust reacted to Joe Candrilli for a blog entry, 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.
  2. Like
    Chips N Dust reacted to Joe Candrilli for a blog entry, 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.

  3. Like
    Chips N Dust reacted to Gerald for a blog entry, Lets talk Photography 2- Lighting   
    Lighting is a subject that takes a backseat for most people as it becomes " this is what I have to work with". Even in this case it can be managed. Preferred is to have one light source with reflectors to fill in the shadows. The color temperature of the light source must be balanced and for this you can use the WB on your camera or use a grayscale card to set it based on the light you use. What this does is eliminate or strongly dilute the colors that the camera sees but your eye does not. Fluorescent light can be balanced with special color corrected bulbs, Tungston gives a warmer color. Led can also be used and would allow less heat buildup while you are in session.

    This photo was done with white balance (WB) set for flourescent and lighting was incandescent photo bulb. Note the reds on the background which is colored from white (bottom) to dark gray (top.

    This is the same light setup with WB changed to tungsten . light is not covered and is bounced off ceiling at the 4 oclock position. Note the heavy shadows.

    This shot has a tshirt cover over light to reduce harsh shadows.
    Lights can be "bounced" to give softer lighting. To bounce the light is not directly on the subject, but is aimed at the ceiling or wall giving reflected light to the subject. Remember that the color of this light is affected by the object it is reflected off of.
    The objective of lighting is not to totally eliminate shadows, but to highlight areas and leave some shadow line which will create depth in the picture. The source can be to either side from the 4 or 8 o'clock position. Tents can be used to soften and spread the lighting and you can make your own As Has Been Done Here . Reflectors can fill in light on the opposite side to fill in dark areas and for this use white fabric or Mylar reflector. These are simple to build also.
    A good point about lighting is do not lock yourself into one method. Be willing to experiment. Do not use internal flash, but do try changing settings which we will cover in other posts. While you are set up make more than one picture and try turning the piece to get shots from different angles as this will change the effect of lighting.
    All that leads to this is the set up I have. I use a plastic gradient background. The lights are either halogen worklights or a photo bulb I have had for years and dug out recently. The lights are aimed at the ceiling either over the subject or 110 degrees away from the subject. Photo space is limited for my set up so camera is 3-4 feet from subject on tripod . I just bought a remote switch I will use or you could use the time delay feature. I have 2 shop windows and I cover one to reduce the glare spot caused by external light, also turn off all other shop lighting.
    This is my setup for the photo itself . With gradient backgrounds you will hereHhave the dark end at the top.

    Here you will see the setup for the light. The swing arm allows me to change position of the light easily.
    This is a Brief Tutorial by John Lucas. John is a retired professional photographer and wood turner. We have invited him to participate with us as he has many helpful tips
    This is another tutorial on Photographing Your Work by Neal Addy.
  4. Like
    Chips N Dust reacted to Gerald for a blog entry, Lets talk Photography   
    Here is a topic that may not come up often enough. I am not a professional and do tend to point and shoot, but there are some basics we can all benefit from.
    Lets start with equipment.
    A good camera helps, but there lots of them. I like SLR's and have been using them since the early 80's. Now using DSLR. There are plenty of compact cameras out there that will work also. Important is being able to change settings from A,to T to P,or portrait or macro and capability to adjust light balance. The camera does not have to break the bank and if you want a good SLR (film) I have one for reasonable. A tripod is essential to get a good shot and this too could be reasonable as it only needs to hold camera steady but can be difficult to set up so look at reviews before a purchase. A background for the picture helps to eliminate distracting background. Do not use wrinkled fabric. The background should be a neutral color such as gray or gradient gray to white. This can be paper on a roll or plastic in various sizes. You can google search and find many available. The background should go under the work piece. Lighting is essential and it will be very evasive. You will only need one or two light sources and they should be the same color temperature. Do not choose CFL unless you can find the color corrected type. LED's also work just not the white light ones. I use halogen work lights pointed toward the ceiling for reflected light to reduce shadows and glare. You can also use tents and diffusers to soften lights. These you can make from several different fabric types (Tshirt to sheets to shears from curtains)        
    This covers the minimum for photographic equipment to get a good picture of your work. You could spend as much as $2000 or more or as little as 200 based on your budget and how you are bitten by the photography bug.
    I will be covering other areas in future installments.
  5. Like
    Chips N Dust reacted to lew for a blog entry, And Finally...   
    And Finally:
    The last bit of machining was to create the two lower shelves. The minister wanted to keep the “maple” look for the shelves but hard maple is a little expensive so we went with soft maple.

    Planed everything to ¾” and used biscuits to help with alignment during glue up. I made these shelves full width during the glue-ups

    A card scraper brought everything smooth.

    I sized the shelves using the same procedures as the top. Cut to length and width with the skill saw and a guide; then used the router, flush trim bit and a guide to finish off the saw marks.


    The guide is held in place with double sided tape and screws. The screw holes are located in the area that will be removed where the shelf wraps around the legs. I also ran the chamfer detail around the perimeter of both shelves.
    Marked and cut the corners

    Finished shelves

    One more dry fit to make certain everything fits

    Set the top in place to locate and thread the lag bolt holes.

    While I had the top in position, I did its’ final sanding and oiling. The top is sanded through 320 grit. I used two applications of mineral oil; allowing each to soak in about a day. Then, I used one application of hot “Bumble Bee Wax”- a blend of mineral oil and bee’s wax. Once that cooled, I buffed it out with an old towel.

    A final dis-assembly; the maple shelves sanded through 320 grit; the poplar pieces sanded through 180 grit. All of the hardware was pre-drilled and pre-threaded using bee’s wax to lubricate the holes.
    The minister set a time and date to pick up the table and transport it to the church. It has to make the journey from south central PA to Ithaca NY. The day before he arrived, Mimi and I carried everything- except the top- to the carport and I did the final assembly. Due to the dimensions, the shelves had to be set in place during the assembly/glue up. That really added to the weight!
    The minister arrived right on time and we loaded the base and top into his van. The church members are going to do the final assembly and finishing on site.
    It was a long process and I was relieved that he was satisfied with the work. Even though we communicated via email and pictures, it is difficult to know what something is really like.
    Several days later, I received this picture

    I think the church members did an outstanding job painting and finishing the table. It looks right at home there in the kitchen.
    If you made it this far, thanks for following along. Also, thanks to John Moody for the advice on the butcher block top.
  6. Like
    Chips N Dust reacted to lew for a blog entry, Part 3:   
    Part 3:
    The work space in my shop is so small that I needed to build this project in stages. With the top finished, it was time to move on to the legs of the base. The entire base frame is made from poplar and the minister is going to paint it white. His specs were for full 4” x 4” legs. I suppose I could have gotten 16/4 poplar boards but those pieces would have been so large and heavy that I don’t think I could have manhandled them through the milling processes. I started with 5/4 boards and milled enough stock for a 4 x 4 glue up. I finished out the planing/ripping the boards a little over sized in thickness and width to allow for shifts in the glue up process.

    Gluing up the blanks was straight forward

    Space and number of clamps dictated gluing one leg assembly at a time.

    Once all of the legs dried, the jointer and planer brought the blanks square and to the correct dimensions.

    Cutting the legs to length was up next. I opted to use the table saw for this operation. I have a chop saw but it is one of the very early models with a 7.5” blade- it wasn’t going to make the cut in one pass. The table saw wouldn’t make the cut in one pass either but I felt I’d have a little more control using it.
    I set up my cross cut sled and squared one end of each leg. Next, I added an extend stop block set for the leg length. One pass, roll the blank over, second pass- done.


    At this point, it was time to layout and cut the mortices in the legs. To make certain the mortices were properly oriented, I labeled everything.


    Some practice slots with the hollow chisel morticer.


    Twenty-four mortices later.

    The minister added the chamfer detail around the top so I thought it would look OK to continue that detail throughout the build. I would have added the chamfer around the leg feet anyway to prevent tear out if the table was slid across the floor.

    Some sanding left but the legs are finished.

  7. Like
    Chips N Dust reacted to lew for a blog entry, Part 2:   
    Part 2:
    This build was not going to be particularly difficult. My biggest concern was the maple top. I’ve built smaller edge grain tops before so the process was not unfamiliar; however, the staggered shorter length field pieces had me scratching my head about clamping and gluing. Also, I needed to consider the size of the top versus the capabilities of my shop equipment. My Dewalt 735 planer maxes out at around 13” wide and my little shop made drum sander can only handle very small work.
    John Moody suggested making the top in several sections and then assembling those sections into the final width. He also suggested using biscuits to aid in aligning the pieces during glue up. Sounded good to me so that’s what I did.
    I started with 8/4 rough, hard maple. Milled it down into the strips I’d need to build the top. I was really worried about the amount of waste there might. Sometimes thick pieces have a lot of internal stress and can end up looking like a piper cub propeller after they are cut. I got really lucky and almost all of the pieces were nice and straight.

    I spent several hours sorting, moving and labeling the pieces so there would be less of a chance of a mistake during glue up (not that completely eliminated snafus). I also marked all of the biscuit locations. As John suggested, the biscuits really helped align and keep the strips in place while clamping each section. I also used biscuits on the end joints where the shorter field pieces were joined.

    Maybe overkill on the clamps but I didn’t want to take any chances. For the field pieces that were made up from shorter lengths, I clamped the pieces end to end.

    Instead of trying to completely assemble each section at once, I opted to glue on and clamp one strip at a time until the section was finished. It took longer but I had more time to make sure everything was lining up. Working by yourself forces you to think the entire assembly process through thoroughly and sometimes even do a “practice run”.

    Eventually, I ended up here-

    All the labels and notes are clearly visible and I transferred some of the markings to the edges/back for reference during the final glue up. It seems like every time I clamp up an assembly like, I end up with a little irregularity on the edges. A quick pass through the jointer trued the edges and then it was on to the planer.
    Next, the sections were glued together and sized for length. I used a straight edge and skill saw to trim the top to length. I guess I could have used the belt sander to smooth out the sections but I’ve really become a fan of the card scraper. One of our newer member- Todd Clippinger- has a really nice and quick procedure for sharpening card scrapers so you spend more time finishing then trying to produce that elusive “hook”.

    Originally, the edges of the top were to be square. The minister thought a chamfered edge would look nicer. A simple design change. Router and chamfer bit took care of it.


    A little more sanding (through 320 grit) and the top is done (except for the oil/wax). It weighed in at around 90 pounds.
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