29
Aug 20

Tarot Boxes

Been a lot of lathe work of late ‘cos it’s novel, so back to some rectilinear stuff. A friend was looking for some boxes for her favorite tarot card packs and I don’t quite get the tarot thing, but the artwork is interesting and there was a box design I’d been thinking about doing for a while…

Adrian Preda’s stuff is almost therapeutically methodical and precise sometimes. I didn’t go with walnut for the sides, and I did the base differently, but I mostly followed what he did here.

German steamed beech for the sides, and some curly cherry for the lids seemed like a good idea. I ripped the wider board down the middle so I could get all the sides out of it for the larger box and let the grain at least flow around two of the corners (it flows round all the corners on the smaller box). Before crosscutting to length, I used the #778 to cut the top rebate for the lid and the #043 to cut the rebate for the bottom – only 3mm wide and 3mm in but for a box this size, that’s fine. Then a forstner bit in a pillar drill cut out the thumbhole by just offsetting the point just to the edge of the board and slowly cutting down so the bit didn’t want to dive off to the side. I also rounded the bottom corner and put the top bevel on the sides with a handplane.

After all that but before cross-cutting to length, it was time to bring out the donkey’s ear and shoot the ends to a 45 degree miter (but I rough-cut the miter with a saw beforehand just to save on rough work as the shooting plane edge shouldn’t be a roughwork tool).

Okay, dryfit looks good, time to glue up and clamp.

There are better ways to clamp this kind of box, I’m certain. And there’s good reason for those ways to exist, because I cocked this one right up:

Clamp pressure was unbalanced enough that the miters slid slightly out of alignment and there wasn’t any nice way to fix this, so out with the saw and a framing trick:

The idea was to cut the joint in – you saw down the exact line of the joint and your kerf trims both sides so what’s left matches perfectly.

Yeah, didn’t work quite so well and after the second glueup still didn’t look right for one box (the other was grand) it was time for emergency measures and out came the veneer.

I know, it’s ugly, but I Have A Plan.

Both boxes glued up, cut the lids out now and then on with the fixing of mistakes.

I mean, shaping the lid has to come yet, but getting a nice fit first. This…. isn’t perfect but it’s not bad. Now, onto hiding mistakes…

The idea is to plane the corners with the low-angle block plane to get a small flat spot and then the dreaded power router will make a pass and cut the groove for the banding to go into. But cutting a grove down into a narrow flat spot on the apex of two sides is awkward so I think a jig is needed.

Bit of ply, mark a bolt pattern and a center spot, hole saw out a chunk, and now we need two rails which will have 45 degree slopes on them. Just grab a lath of softwood for that, but holding it on the donkey’s ear was awkward so masking tape goes on the donkey’s ear and on the lath and a bit of superglue goes on the tape and…

Nice and neat. Now crosscut in half and glue to the base of the jig with room for the router bit between and be careful to centralise it as much as possible.

And once that’s dried, it gets bolted to the base of the router, the box goes in the vice with the corner up and I route out a shallow groove and then it’s out with the inlay tools and I cut the banding to rough length and glue it in place using the syringe of glue.

After trimming with the chisel and some sanding with 120 grit, it’s nicely blended in and the miter corner is hidden, including the messed-up one. Sssh. Don’t tell anyone.

After that, I carved out two matching counter-grooves on the underside of the lids where the thumbholes go with gouge and rasp and a sandpaper-wrapped dowel and then shaped the ends and sides of the lids with a handplane, and thought I was done. And then noticed that one of the lids had a serious check in it, running half-way into the lid and that was probably a structural issue. Plus, a small piece had splintered out of the mitered corner on one box. So I thought I’d try to mask and repair both in one go.

Draw along the check on the surface and rounded end of the lid with pencil and do it in half-arcs that intersect in an organic sort of way, then out with the dremel and a small ball bit and route out the wood along the lines down into the check by about 3mm or so in order to let the resin get down into the check proper and act as a structural fix while also looking a bit pretty. And of course, mix some colour and some glow-in-the-dark pigment into the resin because why would you do anything else?

The lid worked out grand. The side…. not as well. The resin leaked both out of the surrounding tape (well, that’s fixable) but also into the grain of the wood in places, which I’ve not seen before. Bother. A top-up pour of clear resin fixed the leak out of the tape, and then #04 plane and some 120 grit to tidy up and it was good to go.

Finishing was all that was left, and I went with a coat of poppyseed oil to start, just slathered on and the excess cleaned off and left to cure for a few days, then two coats of melamine lacquer was sprayed on and cut back with 0000 steel wool between each layer, and then some Yorkshire Grit over the top of that and buffed well to a nice gloss. Then out with the buffing wheel on the lathe and I tried something new, a coat of Hampshire Sheen (the original gloss stuff which the carpentry store still had in stock even though they don’t make it anymore) and buffed that off on the softest wheel I had (so some beeswax got mixed in there as well). Then I cut some felt to fit the bottom because the plywood could look nicer and glued it in place and that was that.

Came out nice:


16
Feb 20

First chips!

Storm Denis, schwarm denis.

Simple 19mm pine footing for the lathe stand. Lap joints and glue at the corners. Got the feet as centered as I wanted them, then pencil around them and since the front two could overhang the bench safely, I could drill, countersink and screw up from beneath into the legs.

Then flipped it over onto the floor, and drilled, countersunk and screwed the other two. And that’s the stand complete, so at that point I stuck it outside for a few minutes during a break in the rain and moved stuff around and then wrestled it back inside.

And it fits! I mean, yes, it’s built to fit but still, nice to see 😀

The back corner is a tad close to the drills and such, but it turns out it’s just far enough away to be usable.

Yeah, that’s gonna take a while. I went through it today and anything that looked like I was hoarding wood got bandsawed into small pieces for the folks to burn. The 2×4 chunks are for turning practice, they’re going to go away in a hurry. The sheet stuff is getting hard to store, but the biggest challenge are those 12×30 ash and oak boards. I cut those to size to make some more of Richard Maguire’s coffee table designs and only ever made the one.

Could always make a few more I guess 😀

The pillar drill’s new storage spot works, which gives me that piece of the bench back at least.

And yes, the lathe does fit on the stand 🙂

It was a fair amount of fun getting that from the front of the house to the shed, and then Denis opened up with hail and rain right as I was unboxing it outside the shed to move it inside and onto the stand. That was fun.

I know it looks tight on the tailstock end there and it definitely is, but it does fit, you can get the tailstock off without smashing the window and you can wind the tailstock even without the handle sticking out the back (the record and coronet lathes we’re using in the course all just have a wheel with no handle, it’s grand, works fine).

And there’s enough space there to work with. Removing that tumbledrier has made a major difference 😀

And it fits! I bought this chuck off Rutlands in a black friday sale and it was demo kit, so it can stick winding it in and out – must take it apart later and see if that can be fixed – but it fits nicely on the spindle nose and I was half-afraid I’d have gotten some weird TPI and would need an adapter.

And it came with a screw center in case I want to be lazy 😀
Think I’m going to want to get a slightly longer tool rest at some stage mind.

Live center fits as well. I mean, that came with it, but I figured I’d check just in case 😀 It’d be just my luck for the 1MT and 2MT live centers to get mixed up in the box and me get stuck with the wrong size 😀

That back wall will need a bit more work. I want to put up some dust collection there (gonna need to run some more 4″ pipe for that and also sort out the power cabling better). I don’t think that wall is going to get hit with a lot of chips in normal use, so it might be safe to leave small tools up there or a small shelf for chucks and faceplates and the like, though reaching across the lathe isn’t exactly the best of ideas. But, 8×12 shed, so I could stand on the far side and still be in a hazard area anyway 😀

And there’s now just enough room between door and lathe stand to put up two of these, stick a 9″ wide board on top and embed the diamond stones in there so I’ll finally have a dedicated (albeit fold-down) sharpening station for the chisels and stuff 😀

Ironically, sharpening the lathe tools will need something completely different that will probably have to live on a french cleat most of the time and on the bench when in use. Oh well.

Anyway, couldn’t put the lathe in and not test it…

It works! 😀 First chips! And soooooo many of them….


Had a small offcut of oak so it was this or burn it. And as tests go, it was useful because I learned a few things. It showed where most of the chips go…

Everywhere, basically. Though not much against the back wall, which is useful. That’s not where the tool tote is going to live btw, I just had to stash it somewhere temporarily. Also, the extractor can just about reach to the lathe at the moment so cleanup was fairly painless.

The other thing, and this was odd, was that there wasn’t any vibration. The lathe didn’t vibrate on the stand and the stand didn’t vibrate around the place.  I mean, it’s a mini-lathe and it was spindle turning, but still, it was kiln-dried oak, not green lime. I expected some vibration, but it was solid as a rock. I need to mount the lathe to the stand for certain, and I need to find some hard rubber washers to go between lathe and stand, but I’m going to hold off on screwing the stand to the floor for now. May need to do this when turning bowls, but for now it looks like we’re okay.

Another thing I need to do is to start printing off some fittings for the extractor – I’ve been having issues with the extruder nozzle on the 3D printer completely jamming up and splooging everywhere this week. It looks like it was a mix of too low a hot end temperature (so the filament wasn’t as fully plasticised as you’d like causing more back pressure) and the PTFE tube on the printer being a bit damaged…

And the end wasn’t square-cut either. So I upped the temperature in the slicer settings and got a replacement tube and fitted that.

And that worked reasonably well.

No spaghetti, just parts. But now I need to look to the dimensioning because those parts all came out the wrong size…

That should sit down more over the bearing but nope. I have a few things to print off for the printer for things like stabilising that Z-axis screw and a better filament guide and so on, but they’ll have ball bearings as component parts (I’ve a bag of those sitting there at the moment) and if they’re not coming out at the right dimension, then the bearings won’t fit and it’ll just be a waste of plastic, like the dial indicator stand which left the dial indicator swivel freely instead of holding it.


09
Feb 20

Almost ready to start turning

Two more nights in the woodturning class since last time. And I’m still not dead, which has surprised everyone.

Lay off the jokes, it’s a dibber. You stick it in the ground, wiggle it about to make a hole, drop in a daffodil bulb. The burn lines indicate how far down you’ve gone becuase that matters for some bulbs (specifically, the ones you want to not rot in the ground). Sanding on a lathe btw, is immensely fun, because you just hold the sandpaper and the lathe does the work. Holy hell is that better than sanding a resin&walnut desk….

And then this week….

Yes, that thing was a branch in Marley Park the morning before. Green wood. Fantastic to work with, like cutting cheddar cheese. Woodcarving videos of green wood are now ruined for me, those lads are just cheating 😀

Tapered head…

Turn a handle and put in some burn lines for fun…

Check the fit, refine it a bit…

And that’s it done. And I needed a new carvers’ mallet because I only have two of those and three other mallets (and a few hammers).

And then of course, the part woodturners don’t tell you about…

I’m going to have to figure out how to cope with this in the shed 😀

Meanwhile, the lathe stand progresses. I got the compound cuts in the legs and crossbar done.

Then once that had cured, out of the clamps and out of the shed to get levelled.

First level the MDF on the sawhorses, then level the legs with shims so that the spirit level says flat on both the MDF and the crossbar of the stand.

That’s a wee bit tall to check the spirit level btw, so mirror-on-a-stick came in useful…

So with the legs marked, out with the ryoba and cut to the line and a bit of chisel-paring for the bits where I missed the line, and…

And built up the webs (which were already 3/4″ beech) with offcuts and glue and screws to make that whole area into a solid block for stability.

And it’ll have stretchers under the feet to lock them at the bottom and I can optionally screw the stretchers to the floor if I have to. I might have to, lathes vibrate a lot…

And while it’s still not done (cheers Storm Ciara and having to go vote), I do get to take my new toys to turning class tomorrow night…

Cheap and cheerful set from Rutlands. Now I need to finish the lathe.

 

And maybe get some stuff printed for the shed on the 3D printer, but I’m having issues with that at the moment.

That took almost an hour to clear. Jaysus. And it did it again on the next print so I obviously didn’t get it right either. Le sigh. And that was *after* I’d bought it a new tempered glass bed.

And a new aluminum thingy for the extruder feeder yoke.

It can be a tempermental little bugger, so it can. And it might just be the filament, I’ve heard that some people found this stuff to be a bear but if you bought decent filament all the issues went away. Well, I guess we’ll see…