Pottering about

Last project finished, next one not properly started yet (just have the rough cuts done) and another in mind but not off the notepad yet. So now’s the time to work on the shed itself…

That’s the dust collection for the shed (it’s collapsed because the vacuum hose got clogged with shavings and the shop vac managed to pull enough air out of the barrel for atmospheric pressure to crush it). It’s a bit… big. For the shed at least. So a while back, I got a smaller drum.

And it’s been sitting there since I bought it, getting in the way, because I was trying to get other stuff done. So…

Out with the old…

And mark out and measure for the minicyclone seperator in the lid of the new drum, cut out the large hole with, of all things, the lie-nielsen radius cutter I was using for stringing on the last project, and then drill the holes for the attachment screw and fit it. In the end I didn’t use the sealer though, I’m not sure if it’s needed just yet.

It’s a wee bit smaller 😀
May need to re-jig how it’s held upright because unlike the older drum, this one has no side handles to thread with bungees.

Much smaller and neater. I didn’t use the sealer yet – I was mucking about with a safety valve to stop it getting crushed like its predecessor, but discovered that even with the 10mm hole in the lid wide open I was still getting suction on the main hose, and if I blocked that main hose, the 10mm hole wasn’t enough to stop the vacuum trying to collapse the drum. May need to rethink that a bit – it could just be that the smaller size results in far more rigidity and I don’t need it. Or I may need it later due to wear and tear. We’ll see.

Either way, more room!

And more clamps! There were a few 3″ clamps going for a fiver per pair on ebay so I grabbed them. They’re getting some PTFE lubricant here. At some point I really ought to take off the old paint and repaint all of these but I like the old record blue and I’m not sure I want to go into learning how to stove enamel stuff in the same oven we cook dinner in…

(Oh and the calculator is because I can’t multiply by 1.618 in my head)

And this is the next project after the next one; it’s not off the notepad yet but I was looking at how beech and walnut look beside the rippled sycamore that I want to use in it, trying to figure out colour contrasts so things look matched rather than looking garish, but also letting me keep mucking about with stringing.

I do have one shed task left though, and that’s to grind a camber in the new scrub plane blade. It won’t be anywhere near as severe as Sid’s camber, that was something like a 4″ camber, this will be about 7″ or so. I’ll get to that next, and then I’ll get back to the locker.

Starting to finish

So time to take the shelf out of the clamps and see if it’s okay…

holds breath…

That’s not too bad from the front 🙂
Different story from the back mind…

Urgh those dovetails. There will have to be some remediation work there. At least the white inlay bits worked reasonably well (you just can’t do dovetails from end to edge like that if there’s more than one tail, the short grain on the pin means it always breaks off, so I deliberately broke off the pins and replaced them with some sycamore chunks).

Okay. Time to start finishing. I could keep trying to touch this up for ages and never finish 🙁

Going for a simple finish this time, just some thin coats of osmo and buffing it out.

Magic time 🙂

Little better at the back after some touching up.

That might be nice once the rest of the coats go on…

 

And then the surprise for the day – Custard over at the UK workshop forums offered to send me some thick sycamore veneer while I was trying to sort out a commercial vendor here for the stuff (the laminated 0.6mm stuff is workable but fiddly as feck and occasionally bits delaminate and you don’t know it till you expose the delamination while trimming off the excess and you now have a double thin white line instead of one slightly thicker line; and it’s hard to thickness properly as well). And the box arrived today. “I’ve thrown in one or two other bits” he said…

2.6kg. In veneer. What the hell is in that box?

Holy shit.

So that small sheaf at the front left over the vice? That’s all I was hoping for. Look at the rest!

Thick ebony and boxwood veneers – boxwood is bloody lovely stuff and with an interesting history and source. And rippled sycamore. Wow. That stuff is stunningly pretty. (If you’ve not seen it before, that plank is perfectly smooth – the lines are figuring, cellular anomalies in that particular part of that particular tree, we don’t quite know what causes it and it’s become very fashionable these days (in the 17th to 18th century it wasn’t so much because it’s not as strong as straight-grained wood, but when veneering was invented you could use stronger wood for the substrate and let the veneer of a figured wood be the final decorative layer).

And the walnut is even prettier when it’s figured like that. And the cherry is figured as well – I’ve not even seen cherry in the flesh before now, I can understand now why it’s so popular for furniture making. It doesn’t come across well in photos (well, in mine anyway) but it’s very very pretty up close.

Custard, the stuff is incredible, you’re a maniac. Thank you!

 

 

 

Oh, and the resawn beech still hasn’t pretzel’d on me…

Glue-up part two

The resawn beech from yesterday is holding up well…

But never mind that, time to focus on the glueup from yesterday. It went reasonably well despite the fiddliness of the clamping.

They don’t look even from that angle, but they are:

There’s some squeeze-out and the join needed some fettling to get it properly smooth, and I suspect I’ll be running round the piece with a chisel checking arises before finishing, but it’s not too bad.

It’ll be interesting to see it with finish on. But today’s task is the final glue-up so I did a dry-fit and some inevitable tweaking and then did a dry rehearsal and then prepped to glue up:

The final glue-up was almost calm right up until the end when I realised I needed to clamp the dovetails as well and I had nothing on the front to clamp against and had to rig something using a third sash clamp and some heath robinson nonsense…

We’ll see how that went tomorrow…

Can you tell what it is yet?

While wrapping up the stringing and preparing to glue and finish the latest project, I got some time to do the initial rough-cut of the pieces for the next project; which is to take the roughest thing that’s ever come out of the shed and remake it with a bit of refinement 😀

A quick hacking with the large ryoba broke these down to approximate length, and then some quick ripping with the bandsaw…

And that’s the rough stock almost ready. I want to see if I can resaw this (it’s some nice beech bought a while back in the timber yard, but I’ve not worked with this before and beech apparently has a reputation for movement). So I resawed one of the off-cuts and I’ll see how that moves over the next few days while I finish the stringing project.

I also have to get some brazing rods; the recent subzero temps appear to have made the water in my spray mister expand in just the wrong way:

Poop. And that’s thin-walled stuff; I’m not sure it’ll braze readily.

Oh well. Might as well try; worst that happens is it destroys it. And given that it’s not working now anyway… 😀

Wrapping up the stringing…

Finally some decent weather combined with a bank holiday this weekend and I wound up spending some time in the shed (and got the weber out so yay!).

Started off trimming and cleaning the lines put in on Thursday (Friday was a work do and I was done in by the time I got home so I just crashed, so this was all done Saturday evening).

Then I checked the feet to be sure I liked how my idea for how to do these looked. I quite like the idea, but we’ll see. And I took the new laminated stringing out of the clamps:

The – I don’t think it’s ebony, maybe dyed pearwood? – darker stringing is stunningly dark, but I cut a test bit and compared it with a test bit of the walnut and it was just too dark; jarring, in the piece. So I went with the walnut instead.

The front curve is almost vertical, but no, really, it’s a curve 😀

And that’s the feet done, the second circles on the bars done, the last of the string on that face of the sides done, and that got to dry overnight.

BTW, so much for credit card thickness plastic being a perfect pivot point 🙁

The next day, cleaning up and trimming the excess…

And laid in the last stringing line on that face of the sides…

And then after running a smoothing plane over the bars a bit and rounding over the arises, it was branding time.

Bit hot on the iron there; another pass with the smoothing plane needed to fix that.

Grand. And then on monday…

The last decorative element. I wanted to do these in different colours, but my plug cutters didn’t arrive on time (bet you they show up on Tuesday) and tempus fugit, so I cheated and used a dowel. An hour of curing time, then in with a flush-cut saw and some chisel cleanup…

Then a few passes with the smoothing plane and some scraping to get the surface smooth and the pencil marks gone, and then I started in on the glue-ups by putting on the feet first. At this point clamping got… complex because the feet are wider than the sides and that creates a twisting moment when you apply the clamps (and I need the bench to keep the feet and sides in the same plane so I can’t flip it over or anything).

Complex clamping arrangements are a bit suboptimal – they’re fiddly and prone to slipping and so on, but shikata ga nai. We’ll see how it turns out tomorrow. If all goes well, I’ll cleanup the squeeze-out and then do the final glue-up step. And after that, it’s osmo time…

Stringing continues…

Bit fiddly in one place this evening where the groove was slightly thinner than the stringing. A bit of work on the stringing with a scraper sorted that out. I’ll leave this dry overnight and clean it up tomorrow, and then add the remaining pieces. I still have other elements beyond the border stringing that I want to add though, but my plug cutters haven’t arrived yet…

The feet are a different wood to the shelf, so I wanted some contrasting stringing there; the “variety pack” of veneers I bought an age back had some possibilities, but again, 0.6mm so I’ve laminated two sheets together and they’re gluing up between two sheets of MDF there. Not sure about my cauls mind you. But it shouldn’t require *that* much pressure… we’ll see how it turns out tomorrow.

I do need a better way to stash the syringe when there’s still glue in it. It’s a pain if it hardens into the needle itself. I’ve buried it in a small puddle here to try to keep the air from it, but there has to be a better way. I’ve seen how Steve Latta does it, but I don’t have the same glue bottle design he has, I’ve got the normal titebond ones while his is more of a traditional nozzle design and he just sticks the syringe into the nozzle like it was the cork:

More thought required…

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