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Strawberry Orange Banana Lime Leaf Slate Sky Blueberry Grape Watermelon Chocolate Marble
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brianpoundingnails

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About brianpoundingnails

  • Rank
    Gopher

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  • First Name
    Brian
  • My Location
    Texas
  • Gender
    Male
  • My skill level is
    You got me, you figure it out!
  • Favorite Quote
    "Hands, Head and Heart (mostly hands)"

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  1. brianpoundingnails

    Do It Yourself Lathe

    No. When I first came up with the idea to build the machine I was in the "need a sawmill" phase of a woodworkers natural development. I looked at TIMBERKINGs and WOODMIZERs. But that was way more than I could afford to spend on a hobby. I didn't want to be in the lumber business, I just wanted to cut my own lumber. I was aware of chainsaw lumbermaking, so I said to myself- "self, you can do that". I looked at some of the rigs on the market and how they worked, and said to myself "self, you could build one of those". I welded one up out of steel that I salvaged and bought an 8.5 hp Sthil chainsaw with a sixty inch bar. The whole thing weighed about 175 lbs and would wear a man smooth out, but it would slice a 46" diameter log into slabs. I soon found out that trying to cut and dry your own lumber with a chainsaw was like shaving a pig- lots of squealing, not much hair. While I was waiting for my slabs to dry(years, I have some I cut 3 years ago that still isn't dry), I started to make benches and tables out of the offcuts. I did it just for fun at first. When I found out I could sell them for more money than anything I could make out of the boards, I started looking for ways to speed up the process. Having built cabinets for over thirty years I was familiar with reading and drawing blueprints, CAD and CNC, production jigs and pattern making, but none of that really applies to building log furniture. I have a 48" RECORD lathe, that if you spin an unbalanced log at anything more than about 40 rpms, you could count yourself lucky if it just yanks the chisel out of your hand and hurls it into the nearest wall(trust me on this). Plus you are limited to 48" length. I was familiar with machine tools and CNC routers but if a sawmill was out of my price range, that kind of gear was pie in the sky. I decided I needed to build some jigs to account for the inherent variations in logs. While I was experimenting with different sliding mechanisms to make a crude, 8' capacity lathe using a router to cut the tenons instead of a chisel I realized I needed a jig that would operate like like a cross-slide vise. I'm old enough to remember the SHOPSMITH, so I was thinking along those lines. I built several "articulated jigs" from plywood, teflon, allthread, angle iron and nuts and bolts for the different functions needed to build the furniture. At the time I wasn't thinking of selling "log furniture making machines", or even blueprints for a "log furniture making machine". I just wanted to build more log furniture in a reasonable amount of time. Before I combined the different jigs into one, I had 120-150 hrs building a bed like those I show, that I could get $1200 dollars for on a good day. Not really worth building unless I was going to give them away.By building a sturdy robust frame of standard size steel angle and tubing I could combine all of the functions in one jig, taking up much less space in my tiny shop, and brought the hours necessary to build a bed down to 20-25 hrs. That is a much better rate of return.(more than I could make building cabinets). The machine was designed with two priciples that had to overide all other considerations- it had increase my production of log furniture, and be simple enough, and and cheap enough to build in my backyard shop on a shoestring budget(just one string, no spare). The most frequent remark from people who have seen the machine in action has been "You need to patent this". Well, as my Granddad used to tell me all the time, "If it was easy, everyone would be doing it". Despite sound archeological evidence that there was a lathe in use around the time the pyramids were built, and that there was a metal cutting milling machine milling in Augsburg, Germany in 1532 that looks suspiciously like my machine, I gave it a think.(as we say here in Texas).I don't own a factory in the third world and it seemed to me that I would have to associate with some extremly detestable people in order to patent and produce the machine.(lawyers, bankers, low-level government functionaries, not the third world, I can relate to the third world after living in America fifty some years.).That doesn't sound like much fun to me.(I'd rather scrub the latrines after an all-you-can-eat Chinese buffet, thanks). Let those aforementioned detestable people get thier slimey mitts out for a piece of pie, and it would drive the cost of said machine beyond the reach of the fellow who just wants to build log furniture. And who else would be the market for it? To save all that unpleasantness I just copyrighted my blueprints. I am much better protected legally from either liability or infringement, and none of those aforementioned people had to be involved. The machine just represents a new and creative way to use traditional wood and metal working tools produce an even older, more traditional form of furniture. The fact that I designed the machine using 3-D solid modeling software just adds to the multi-generational aspect of building the furniture. I don't care if I don't lease a single copy of my blueprints, In fact, any target market would mostly be people who could look at the pics I have posted and build thier own working copy anyway. I say to myself- "self, more power to them." I think it takes a special kind of passion for woodworking to even want to build log furniture in the twenty first century, and I am sure that a person who wants to, probably has the skill sets and motivation to build from my plans. All that being said, I have had offers into five figures to buy the machine. It would take some more figures than that before I would expose myself to that kind of potential liability and litigation(my mama raised a fool, but it was my brother, not me.) I always ask them why don't they just make me an offer to buy the copyright itself, and the machine, that it could be less than they might think. No one has made a serious offer as of now, and I'm not holding my breath. Myself, I almost think I'd rather see us all living in homes that we built ourself, filled with fine handcrafted wooden furniture, and we could teach our children to hunt those aforementioned people with slingshots, then poke them repeatedly with sharp sticks.
  2. brianpoundingnails

    Do It Yourself Lathe

    A few years back I semi-retired from building custom commercial and residential cabinets. To keep my hand in(our out) I started to build log furniture. Going from custom cabinets to log furniture has been a learning experience indeed. Turning tenons on a log is much different than turning dimension lumber spindles. I have a Record 48" woodworking lathe that is almost useless for spinning an unbalanced log.(to get 200-400 rpm's on an unbalanced log sets up so much vibration that it will yank a chisel right out of your hand, plus you are limited to 48" length. I looked at the pencil sharpener type tenon cutters that you mount on a drill. They are limited to a narrow range of diameters, and there is no provision for the tenon at one end to be parallel with the other end. With not much else on the market in the way of log furniture making tools other than ridiculously expensive metal cutting machine lathes, I decided I needed to build an inexpensive homemade lathe that would cut a round, parallel tenon of any size on either end of a 10" dia. x 8' log.(for bed frames, handrail, ect. I would use live tooling(router) instead of a chisel for the cutter. That would allow me to use a much slower rpm(40-60 rpm) than with a traditional woodworking lathe. It would also allow a much deeper cut and provide more accuracy than with a handheld chisel. I experimented with some wooden mockups of a benchtop lathe. I used 3-D solid modeling software to build virtual mockups and designs. I decided to build out of steel rather than wood. I used "off the shelf" bearings, shafts and gears, and standard size steel tubing and angles to simplify construction. While designing the lathe I realized that by combining a drill I could also have a giant drill press. I further realized that I could use the router as a giant mortise machine. To top it off I added a chainsaw so I could use it as a sawmill also. Sound like a tall order for a cabinetmaker? Maybe so, but I was going to give it a shot. I spent a year of Sundays drawing, building mockups, measuring tool lengths and strokes necessary for the different functions before I cut a piece of metal one. I used the old SHOPSMITH as inspiration for the design. It took several more months of Sundays to build. I am really pleased with the results and would like to hear your comments and opinions on how I did. Go to attached dropbox links for more detailed pics and info on how you can build your own from my prints. machine: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/nr4yw91iv2hgdl0/AACv5-Unq_KSGyYK-2YHwWIBa?dl=0 furniture it can build: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/pq9hfk8rqr7l416/AADQZxeku_HGeIBLpz4MeasIa?dl=0
  3. brianpoundingnails

    Home Built Sawmill

    I mounted it vertical so I could plunge cut the ice chests. I either lift it onto the bed with my engine hoist, or roll it up a ramp from either end. Mostly I use the chainsaw function to cut uniform half rounds for those tables, then take the cant to a local sawmill to slice up. The half rounds are worth more to build those tables than the rest of the boards or anything I could make out of them. The bed will accommodate a 24"dia x 99" log. That was a design goal. For longer logs I use my Alaska mill to cut. Every now and then I find a crotch or burl to cut. When I first started I would cut anything I could get my hands on. I'm mostly cutting red cedar and cypress and they don't weigh near as much as hardwoods.
  4. brianpoundingnails

    Home Built Sawmill

    I started milling with an "Alaska" type chainsaw mill that I built out of steel.(the store bought units seemed somewhat flimsy). With a Sthil 084 and a 60" bar it weighed about 150 lbs. It would wear a man smooth out. I decided to build a platform to mount it on that worked more like a sawmill. While designing the rails and action I realized that I could make a more useful machine by mounting different tools to the tool post. It functions as a sawmill with plunge cutting capabilities, a large capacity lathe(10" dia x 108" length), a large capacity mortise machine(24" x 96" bed, 14" vertical stroke), and a large capacity drill press(24" x 96" bed, 14" vertical stroke). I'm very pleased with the results and would love to hear your comments and opinions(even the negative ones). I offer a lease of my blueprints for prospective builders. Go to dropbox link below for more detailed pics and info. machine: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/nr4yw91iv2hgdl0/AACv5-Unq_KSGyYK-2YHwWIBa?dl=0 furniture it can make: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/pq9hfk8rqr7l416/AADQZxeku_HGeIBLpz4MeasIa?dl=0
  5. brianpoundingnails

    Hot Weather and Cooling the Shop Down

    I gave up. A swamp cooler just rusts every thing up. I spent more time cleaning coils on an A/C unit than I did working. Here in Texas when it get past 95 (2-3 weeks ago) I just go on nightshift. Not that that helps much, in another month it will be 100 degrees at 4-5 in the morning. Not much you can do but sweat it out.
  6. brianpoundingnails

    Log Furniture

    I sell mostly at craft shows and local rodeos. I don't waste time or money advertising or on a website. You are correct in that you have to see it in person to appreciate the craftsmanship. I built custom commercial and residential cabinets for thirty years. Selling a finished product is much more satisfying than selling a service.(and more lucrative). Thank you for your kind remarks. If you are interested take a look at the machine I built just for building log furniture at the dropbox link below. machine: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/nr4yw91iv2hgdl0/AACv5-Unq_KSGyYK-2YHwWIBa?dl=0
  7.  Thank you for your wonderful comment on my post. I've been working with my hands all my life, and building the log furniture is the most fun I've ever had working. I built the machine to make it faster and more lucrative. If you are interested there are more pics and info at the links below.:

     

      machine:   https://www.dropbox.com/sh/nr4yw91iv2hgdl0/AACv5-Unq_KSGyYK-2YHwWIBa?dl=0

     

      furniture:  https://www.dropbox.com/sh/pq9hfk8rqr7l416/AADQZxeku_HGeIBLpz4MeasIa?dl=0

    1. Grandpadave52

      Grandpadave52

      Brian,

      Your furniture both design and execution is excellent and obviously enhanced by your machine build.

      I certainly appreciated the pictorial sequences of the "lathe" build and various aspects for it's use.

       

      Thanks for the links.

       

      ...and BTW...really enjoyed the candor, humor and truth in the FAQ's:P

  8. brianpoundingnails

    Log Furniture

    After building cabinets for thirty years, I started building log furniture. Although I have nearly every tool a woodworker can use, hardly any of them are much use building log furniture. I had to invent a few. I've had a lot of fun building the furniture and it has been very rewarding fiscally. It it much different selling a finished product versus providing a service. I wish I had done it twenty years ago.
  9. brianpoundingnails

    Hey Y'all

    Thanks everybody for your wonderful comments. I'm looking forward to seeing how others are using one of our most precious natural resource.
  10. brianpoundingnails

    Hollow Log Ice Chest?

    Yes. I designed it using 3-D solid modeling software and my own wetware. I drew virtual models and built wood mockups testing range of motion for each process. I ciphered like Jethro Bodine for six months before I cut a piece of metal one. I had as much fun building it as I do building the log furniture. Go to the dropbox link for more pics and info. machine: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/nr4yw91iv2hgdl0/AACv5-Unq_KSGyYK-2YHwWIBa?dl=0
  11. brianpoundingnails

    Hollow Log Ice Chest?

    I have been making log furniture for the last few years. A friend came back from vacation in Colorado and showed me a picture of a hollow log ice chest. I said to myself, "self, I could do that". I would straddle the log and freehand slice the lid off with a chainsaw, then "hog out" the interior with the tip of the chainsaw(dangerous as hell, and the finish left something to be desired). I said to myself, "self, there has to be a better way". I built a machine that functions as sawmill with plunge cutting capabilities, a large capacity lathe(10"dia x 108" length), a large capacity mortise machine(24"x96" bed, 14" vertical stroke), and a large capacity drill press(24"x96" bed, 14" vertical stroke). I already had all the tools, so I've only got about $1400 in building it.
  12. brianpoundingnails

    Hey Y'all

    I am a semi-retired(mostly just tired) cabinetmaker from Texas. A few years back I built a sawmill so I could cut lumber for those "special" projects. I started making log furniture out of the limbs, offcuts and scrap. Very soon the value of the log furniture exceeded the worth of the wood I was cutting, or any cabinets I could make out of the boards. I've had the most fun I've ever had working. I wish I had done it twenty years ago. I look forward to seeing how others are utilizing one of our most precious resources. I picked this site browsing because I believe in doing things the old way.(most times they are better). Hands, Head and Heart(mostly hands)

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