Monday, August 31, 2009

Almost Done with the Hall Table

Well, the project is in the winding down phase, as in; the first coat of finish has gone on.

I didn't write about the drawer construction because it was kind of painful. All was well up until I had to cut the front half-blind dovetails... It was a lot more work than I had anticipated and I didn't feel quite up to the challenge. I didn't leave nearly enough space on the ends and several times the thin walled front piece broke off, only to be glued back on. It was very frustrating to say the least.... However, in the end they finally 'joined' up and the result could have been a lot worse (I suppose).

After that was the matter of fitting the drawers, as the opening on the left was not square. Eventually this meant literally cutting of part of the side with the bandsaw. So overall it was feeling like quite the hack job.

I had created a 'stop' on the back so that the drawers wouldn't fall out when they were pulled, but of course I didn't take into account the fact that when I created the drawer openings the stop was right in back. Ugh!!!! What more could go wrong with these things???

Finally, they somehow fit and the linseed oil went on... Now it's onto the shellac....

Drawers (pre finish)

First coat....

Drawers with finish...

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Time to Make the Drawers...

It's time to make the drawers for the hall table. I was a bit surprised that the drawers were going to be so small, but I guess I should've been able to tell that. The fronts (Yew) will be half blind dovetails hand cut, while the back (maple) will be through doves made with a jig. (The backs are maple as well.)

First, the raw stock cut to size. (Is that some free quilted figure on the left side? Niiiiceeee...)

Marking out the fronts and getting the jig ready to make the back joints...

The backs are done. Now it's time to layout the front, with the help of marking tools. I want to have skinny pins, but I remembered that my smallest chisel is 1/4". (Oh, when the hell am I going to get those LN chisels???)

Ready to cut..... this weekend.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Knife

Take a $200 Japanese knife and hack a chicken carcase. Put nicks in knife.
Grind knife on bench grinder, remove nicks.
Hone knife up to an 8000 grit waterstone.
Voila, new knife!
(And all in the name of an excuse to regrind the broken 3/4" chisel and hone the new LN plane blade!)



More Hall Table

Gluing up the cabinet part....

Putting the main piece together....
Another minor catastrophe - I had to cut the tenons down for the wedges to work, but in a fit of stupidity I cut the tenon too short; ugh.
Top after cutting the tenons off and sanding them down (looks like I need to sand some more...)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Hall Table Hiccups

A few steps forward and a major screwup on the hall table - I was able to taper the legs and create the slots for the wedges on the tenons. The I had the simple task of rounding over the legs on one side. Tragedy struck as the guide bearing on the roundover bit decided to fly off, thereby completely gouging the leg. The only piece of luck was that it happened at the bottom of the leg, which meant I was able to sand most of it out.

And ah yes, sanding - too much of it. Why doesn't wood just sand itself?

3 hand saws used to make the slots

Plane from a Planer

With the introduction of the new planer into the 'Flop, it didn't make much sense to keep the old Dewalt, plus the space was badly needed. So I listed it on Craigslist and it sold several days later - to a very nice guy I might add. Normally, the cash would have made it right to the bank. However, there was a little detour along the way. Wouldn't you know it, just 2 days later fate intervened and someone listed a Lie-Nielsen 4-1/2 bench plane, my object of lust for several months. And it was $75 off of list price. Now, considering that it's well known that Lie-Nielsen's often go for more than retail on eBay, this was just too much to pass up. I fired off an email and headed down to Wilsonville on Saturday to pick it up.

Much like purchasing the shoulder plane from them last December, there is absolutely no regret on purchasing a LN. It's just such a well made tool.... I already put a couple hours into trying to flatten my Stanley #4 and I'm nowhere near flat, and the LN is dead flat across a straight edge. Now all I need to do is sharpen the blade (which was pretty dull) and it will be a major tool in the toolbox.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

All the Guys Love a Sale!

As an avid estate sale seeker, I was really excited to check out this woodworkers estate sale this weekend. Normally, estate sales are all about the fine china and collectible toys, and sometimes they'll mention "tons of tools in the basement", which piques my interest. Well, this one was 100% woodshop stuff. Naturally, I headed out as soon as it opened. I bought about $40 worth of old tools - I found an old Diston backsaw for $6, some Mikra 5" sanding paper for $5 a box, and a couple old chisels.

There was a cool looking bench for sale, but at $325 it was out of my price range. Also a nice planer - a 15" Jet for $900. Both too rich for my blood, but I placed paper bids offering a lesser amount in case they didn't sell. Well, I got the call later that I was eligible to purchase both, the bench for $200 and the planer for $500. What a deal!
I roped my very good friend Milos into heading over there today not quite knowing what to expect. There were a couple of guys waiting outside, which had me a little nervous thinking that I'd have to bid on it again or something, but they were all there for other items they had won. It took about 5 of us to get the planer on the pickup. We also fit the bench on there as well. And soon we piled more on - Milos picked up a very nice miter saw (hand powered) for $20, and a central shop vac for $100 (originally marked at $300). I'm glad that I didn't drag him out there for nothing...
Now, getting the 500 pound planer in the basement with just the 2 of us was going to be a different story. We had many, many doubts, but we were able to gently tip the planer off the truck, and then somehow get it downstairs on a dolly - by ourselves even though I wanted to go and hire someone to help. Milos saved the day!!! I definitely owe that guy pizza and beer. (That's all that's expected for guys to help each other move things, right???)
The new equipment is downstairs. Unfortunately, I need a new type of 220V electrical plug for the planer in order for it to work (although I tried it out at the place we bought it). Hopefully it will be given its first test run in the 'Flop next weekend.

First, the hand tools.

Next, my new bench

Finally, the new planer - what a beast!

Sugi's In Da Hizzie

I received the call on Saturday that the cedar was milled. I drove out to pick it up, and it was a heck of a lot easier to get it into my truck this time around.

I brought it home and put it out back to air dry, 'stickering' it. Apparently, softwoods only take a few months to dry out, and not years, so I should be able to start using it next Spring. Nice!

Killed the Keller?

One of the pieces I inherited as part of the workshop deal was the Keller Dovetail jig. Last summer (after some false starts) I finally learned how to use it (with the help of Gary Rogowski - I maybe would have figured it out... or maybe not).
One of the things that Gary mentioned about this jig is that he never let his students borrow his because they tended to destroy them. I got a taste of that as somehow the router bit cut into one of the fingers. Ugh! I tried out some 2 part epoxy on it to try to repair it. Haven't run it through its paces yet, but we'll see soon if it was all for naught.

Can I Fix It?

...Probably not.