Sunday, October 23, 2011

I finally sanded the bulk of the flooring last and this weekend.  After sanding, I planed both sides - then over to the table saw to remove the tongue & grooves that's not needed (and has lots of what I would call schmutz on it).  

It cleans up nicely and is really beautiful.  The smell is the same as construction lumber which reminds me of something a little sweet & sour mixed with something musty.  Definteily difficult to describe.    

After that I needed to start making a jig for a modified box cut.  Of course even though I seemingly have tons of odds & ends for hardware, I lacked a thick enough bolt, so I'll need a trip to the hardware store to complete that.  

So not huge progress, but getting there little by little.

Beginning of a jig...

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Where's my blanky?

Well, it's that time again for a new project.  There hasn't been much activity at the ol' Flop as of late (for all the fans); however, that does NOT mean it's been idle.  Far from it.  The issue was more or less that I was doing projects that weren't that interesting for me to document as I wasn't performing with any novel woodworking skills or designs.  

All that's changing of course as I embark on my newest project, which is ostensibly going to be a blanket chest.  The design is going to be a bit different than a traditional blanket chest.  Difficult to describe in words - but oddly the design did come to me in a dream I had which, believe it or not, I don't often dream about.  

The piece will be made out of fir and white oak.  The first order of business is to prepare the fir - which in this case is currently in the form of used flooring.  

A small rant - it just seems crazy to me to believe that some majestic tree (OK, maybe it was in a shabby location) grew for some several hundred years and was felled 50 or 80 years ago and milled into flooring.  And it wasn't just any part of the tree - it was chosen for looks as it couldn't have any obvious knots as this wasn't acceptable at least here in the NW.  So you have this CVG fir and either through disuse or more likely a design choice (and a questionable one at that) a homeowner decides that what they really want to do is to rip up this otherwise pristine flooring and incredible wood and replace it with something from Lumber Liquidators (ugh!) or worse, maybe some 'exotic' Brazilian Cherry (i.e., former rainforest that's been turned into a cow paddie or soya farm).  

So now I have this stuff.  The only problem is I have to remove the top layer of grime and stain/poly before I can put it through the planer.  I attempted to use a card scraper with one board, and though it showed some promise it was obvious that it was going to take way too long.  So I figured I would try the drum sander, but the feed belt finally bit the dust.  The random orbital sander took off the schmutz, but I think that will take a while.  Hmmm, what to do?  

Meanwhile, I need to actually figure out the dimensions on this thing.  I can tell this is going to take a while...

The stock

 One ready to go - quite the color difference.  

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Monday, June 21, 2010

HTH Day 5

The final day of HTH was another good day. We essentially spent the day finishing our planing stop. We used air dried alder for it, and I think it was a bit too wet to work. This turned out to be true, as when I got home it had a crack in it. I'll either have to use it as a paperweight or patch it.

All in all it was an awesome class for the week. It was a much better experience overall than the class I took 2 years ago at the NW woodworking studio. I read on a WW forum in the past few months that classes are a great way to increase your knowledge and something like this makes me concur. I think that I'll definitely try to see what they offer next summer and repeat the experience.

Using a Veritas rabbet plane to make a groove. This is a very nice tool and now it's on the wish list. Unfortunately it's not cheap, as expected.

The planing stop completed.

At the end of the day Jim went through the process of saw sharpening. It was a great overview and I took a picture of his jigs to remind myself later which one is which.

Friday, June 18, 2010

HTH Day 4

Finished up the bench hook / shooting board today. Thank gosh - I needed a primitive shooting board, and now I have one!

HTH Day 3

Have not really been able to keep up with the blog, so high level stuff for the next 2 days:

Flattening a board to be used as our bench hook / shooting board.

End grain planing - very difficult to do unless you have a VERY sharp blade!

Got a chance to visit on Wednesday night with our friend Aaran and his cutie-pie daughter Callah (probably butchering her name).

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

HTH Day 2

Day 2 started up finishing up activities from day 1. We then proceeded to make winding sticks for the majority of the day. I've always wanted my own set of winding sticks, but have just never gotten around to making them of course. What a perfect opportunity - I guess I could have refused, but that would have been fairly idiotic.

We used planing skills the entire day. My arm was definitely tired. But jeeze, I've done more planing in the past 2 days then I've done in my entire life so far, so that's something. It helps that we've tuned them a bit (blade sharpening mostly). Was quite fun and relaxing.

Last night after finishing up some work (work-work, ugh) I headed over to this Japanese noodle place called Hanazono. OMFG!!! It was the BOMB! I had easily the best udon dish this side of Japan. I asked them if they would relocate to Portland. They would do killer business if they did!

Finishing up the straight edge from yesterday.

Much work done on the winding sticks. Making them trapezoidal.

Lots & lots & lots of shavings!

Almost done the winding sticks.

Special Udon bowl from Hanazano. Tempura, egg, shitake, chicken, fish sauce and lots of luv. Also, the tastiest sake I've had as well. YUM!!!!!

Monday, June 14, 2010

HTH Day 1

The first day of class is over, and it was well worth it. I'm very pleased about that! As expected, things got off to a somewhat slow start, but having no expectations resulted in exceeding them.

The school itself is in a neat old building on the old Fort Warden (spelling?) facility - it's kind of like a bunker. The room is spacious and it has really nice benches for everyone. The class size is 7, which is a really nice number (i.e., not too many). Jim, the instructor, is a super nice guy - very laid back but passionate about what he's teaching. They have a generous donation of tools from Lee Valley - I brought my own but it's nice to have these if you need them.

The day's activities involved making a straight edge - we started from rough lumber and crosscut and ripped the pieces. We did 'cheat' by using a bandsaw to rip them into 2 pieces, but that will be the only cheating we do today. But the main bonus for the day was face planing the stock - Jim helped tune up my 4-1/2 smoothing plane, and it was the first time I was able to succesfully face plane a board thanks to cambering the blade. The surface was super smooth. Some would refer to it as smooth-mo-'d'. Anyway, very nice to get such nice results!

Plenty of planes for all.
Everyone gets a plane!!! You get a plane, she gets a plane, you all get a plane!!!!!
My bench, my tools.
Nice and planed, to the smooth, to the d.

PT View

Here's the view from my room in Port Townsend. It's a cool little town, kinda small.

'Twas true what they wrote - last night at approximately 3 a.m. I was approached by a ghostly apparition - apparently one of the working gals that once lived here. She asked me if I knew someone named Ethel Lapinsky. I said no, and then she turned into a druken sailor and disappeared. Go figure...

The Ferry

The ferry ride from Seattle (actually, north of Seattle from Edmonds) over to Kingston, WA was kind of cool. There was a pirate boat and everything. They tried to board our vessel but we successfully repelled them with week old bologna slices. The battle was epic.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Heaven is just around the corner...

Well, this was the email I received this morning. It was announcing the start of my class next Monday, which is 'Handtool Heaven' at the Port Townsend School of Woodworking. I'm looking forward to it - obviously the emphasis is solely using hand tools and I'm going to bring my small collection.

I'm staying at the interesting looking Palace Hotel in downtown Port Townsend. When you type in 'Palace Hotel Port Townsend' in Google the description appears that place is haunted. That, and it was a former brothel. So will I see the ghosts of former prostitutes? I sort of hope not.

Hopefully I'll post pictures of the class.

The desk(s) - continuing. Not much to show since it was well documented in the practice piece. So many other home improvement activities going on that it's tough to get down there these days.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Creating the back mortises was probably made a bit more difficult than it absolutely had to be. However, one thing led to another that worked its way up to 6 clamps, a straight edge, and a roll support. Apparently, the straight clamp doesn't work very well on non-straight sides. I'll have to remember that for the future. Eventually it did work and I got the result I wanted. Was also able to glue up one of the front legs...

Quel Imbecile!!!

What a moron. What a rube! What a complete and total dumbace! Who in their right mind that is not a total and utter idiot would take the time to go through a somewhat complicated glue up and put the leg on the wrong way????!?!?! Um, I would.... apparently.

Back in Bizness

After chicken coop building and condo remodeling I was fnally able to get back down into the shop. Thank flying spaghetti monster! I'm working on the walnut desk for Lisa and have made some decent progress.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

O Whither Thou Go, Kanye West?

What are the odds? Our neighbors and ourselves purchased a total of 8 chicks, or four each. Each of us named one out of the four with a ‘male’ name, i.e., one had a name which could be construed as male in our society (Kanye West for us, Willie for our neighbors). In both cases, these males indeed turned out to be roosters. What, I ask, are the odds of this? Where is a statistician when you need one?!?! Considering these were supposed to be sexed those are pretty weird odds. Once Kanye showed his true nature, and his nails on chalk adolescent cock-a-doodle-do, the question became what do we do with this guy? We couldn’t keep him as it’s unlawful to house a rooster within the city limits. I did what any reasonable person would do – I tried to give him away for free on Craigslist. I figured that since there were roughly 20 or so other roosters on Craigslist that this was a hot commodity. Apparently not. No takers, not even an email asking if he would taste good for Sunday supper (which we would have happily obliged). It’s not that Kanye was a bad sort – it was not his behavior that gave him away but rather his physical manifestations.

Luckily, the farm store had a policy of taking back the roosters (which they should since they’re claiming they’re only selling hens). Apparently it was a long drive out there for Melissa, but she was able to keep him out of the stew pot – at least that’s what they told her at the store. Now we are down to 3 hens, and only one easter-egger. That means fewer eggs, but also fewer beaks to feed. We’ll see how it goes the first year and whether we want to increase the flock next year by a bird or two. The remaining gals don’t seem to mind having their stud gone, but perhaps I missed a tear or two that was shed. They do seem to love their new home since they’re in it 24/7 now.

Fare-thee-well Kanye, wherever you are!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Coop Complete

Well, it is with some sigh of relief that I can say that the chicken coop is done. It's ready for the ladies to move on in, and the sooner they're out of the workshop and making their chicken mess, the better! It turned out OK - and if it didn't, no sweat - this hopefully isn't a testament to woodworking but rather a good enough for government, or good enough for chicken feathers kind of job. I think they'll like it in there. It doesn't have central heat and A/C, but heck, we don't either!

The color here (for all of the design blog type folks ) is 'rocket red'. I actually asked the guy at Fred Meyer what color was closest to a barn red, and he replied that he is color blind. I think I am too. Oh well. It works.
The side of the coop are 2 used windows we took out of our upstairs bedroom. Is this recycling or upcycling? Hmmm? Who cares, they're out of the basement. You can see the string that opens and closes the coop door so that we theoretically don't have to go in there each morning and night, although I'm sure that we'll have to enter often to give them food & water & bugs.
The door with the ultra high security anti-racoon latch.

A bird's eye view from inside. You're now a chicken!!!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Making a Coop

There was no woodworking going on this weekend as it was all about building the chicken coop. I started on Saturday morning at 8 a.m. and setup a temporary outdoor bench and started cutting the wood for frames. First just a base, and then the side and end walls. Everything went together with pocket hole joinery which is a quick way to go. But quick is a relative term as it took a couple of hours to get all of the wood cut and into their respective frames.

My neighbor came over and helped me put up the 'walls' and get them screwed together. We then put up the 'joists', although I use that term loosely for what we actually put together. But it worked... 2 sheets of 4x8 1/2" CDX served as the sheeting (sp?) for the roof. We then went in and primed everything since I only used pressure treated for the base.

The last part of the day was putting up the shingles. Even though it's only a chicken coop, it really bugged me that I only had one pack of shingles from Home Depot, so when I ran out to get more from Parr Lumber I just go whatever they had, which turned out to be a different color, which looks very goofy. However, I don't think the chickens will mind.

Today (Sunday) was spent at my neighbors helping them with their chicken coop. We were basically able to get to the same stage with theirs, but their design is different and they want a galvanized roof which has yet to be purchased. I came home and put up the side 'walls' which are old window sashes. I then drew out what would finalize the hen house and can hopefully get that done next weekend, weather permitting. I'd like to be done just to have it over with and so that I can back to some actual woodworking.

Frames being built...

All the frames together

Getting the shingles on (notice that my helper who was supposed to be holding the ladder decided it was a better idea to take pictures. Luckily I didn't fall to my death.)

2 of the walls up.

Chicks Man....

Well, the chickies have arrived and they're in their temporary home in the brooder downstairs in the workshop.

EggSlayer & Kanye West doing, well, whatever it is that chicks do...

All 4 of them together (or is it 8?)

More chickie madness...

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Top Rail

I was able to get the top rail fit.

Getting rid of the waste with the palm router.

Chiseled out the waste - made so much easier with the fishtail chisel (yay!).

Pretty good fit...

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Desk Update

Today I was crafting the top rail of the desk that will hopefully hold the two legs together. I'm especially hoping that it will add stability (that was lacking on the prototype).

The rail laid out with the dovetail at the end....

On its side.

I transferred the lines to the top of the legs.

Ready to hog out the bulk of the waste. Will it work? We shall see (ran out of time tonight).

Sunday, January 24, 2010

EW Desk progress

I received my new chisels in the mail this week (3/4 & 1") - I put the new chisel to work today with shaping up 4 mortises and as many tenons.

This mortise on the leg was cut with hand saws only. The cleanup wasn't too bad...

The fit on this leg really isn't very good. Ugh, thank gosh for sandpaper.

The leg and the side went together OK, but it was way off initially (actually, because of a cut on the table saw). It had to be cleaned up with the hand tools.

The 2 front legs and their sides connected along with the future stock.