Oct 16

A change is as good as a rest…

You can only thickness so many slats before you need to take a break 🙂
First off, I finally made a choice between the Nikon D70 and the Canon 450D I was comparing. It kindof came down to these photos. Taken from the same spot (though the Nikon had a different lens so it’s got different framing), the Nikon just had worse noise constantly. Look at the back of the camera over on the left or at the black lens on the camera on the bench (you’ll have to click on the image and zoom in):


Then compare that with the Canon:


The framing’s different because of the different lenses, yes, but that noise is pure sensor, nothing to do with the lens. And yeah, it’s a low-light environment, but I don’t see me adding four thousand lux to the shed anytime soon. So I returned the D70 and bought the 450D. Still though, even the D70 was a big step up from my last decent camera (an old Fuji Finepix which has long since died).

Some of the photos the D70 produced are just, well, pretty:


But when you zoomed in the noise spoiled it. The Canon doesn’t have that problem, even if it can’t quite match the framing as easily because it’s using a prime lens:


And I was mucking about with a borrowed telephoto lens just for fits and giggles today. I can confidently say it’s utterly without use in the shed, but I did get one nice photo out of it:


But I think something like an 18mm or less prime lens is probably what I’d want along with the 40mm I now have. And maybe later a tripod. First though, I want to get the battery grip for the Canon because it’s too small for my hands. Oh well, they’re relatively cheap for the clones at least.

Then, footering about complete, I got on with some stock prep. I wasn’t quite ready to return to the slats, so I finished up what I’ve been doing for the last two days:


2″ wide walnut laths for the frame, ripped from 4-5″ boards and planed with the jack. They’re an eighth over 2″, and are going to get some more trimming later, but I’m going to get them prepped like this now and try to see if I need more walnut or not for this build. There’s a lot of sapwood though…


Although, apart from the waney edge bits that have eaten around a fifth out of each board (but hey, those are experimental bits for testing finishes and steambending and so on), the sapwood itself isn’t that ugly looking…


The grain’s a bit of fun though. I think the card scrapers are going to get a workout.

And with those done, I went back to work on the slats. I now have ten slats planed to thickness and squared. If I can get the rest done by the weekend, I can get the other walnut boards planed and ripped over the weekend (and sort out the dust collection and maybe some of the electrics) and then the following friday I’m going to the timber yard for some oak and poplar (and if I get those bits done, I’ll know how much extra walnut and ash I need).

Oct 16

In camera

So I was trying to get a nice photo of a piece of the grain on one of the spars last night that had slightly hinky grain and which had torn out even on the smoothing plane, but which the card scraper had done a lovely number on. The camera on the samsung S4 phone I use was just not picking out the detail very well. Then today a workmate (thanks Gary!) loaned me his Canon 450D to try out. Holy crap. I used a Pentax SLR a few decades ago, and one of the Fuji not-quite-a-DSLR camera a decade ago for photos of target shooting stuff, so I knew the DSLR was going to be good, but seriously, holy crap it’s just in a whole other category.

Here’s the un-post-processed images of that tear-out patch of grain (I’ve just resized the image to the same 1200×800 size in both).


Normally I have to play with the cameraphone images quite a bit to sort out white balance and colours and so on (and it’s not always possible to get it right), but the canon gets it right off the bat. And the detail is so much better.


Spent the shed time this evening taking the 72″ ash board I had, and rough-cutting 30″ out of it…


…marking that out with the slat template…


…and ripping it down to make four slat blanks…


img_9350aThe ripping did not go so well this time. I’m pretty unhappy with it in fact, and I’ll only just be within tolerances when the slats are resawn and prepped. Finished up by planing the blanks around to make the marking up easier tomorrow.


You can see why I’m unhappy with that ripping!

I did notice some very nice grain in one of them though, I must remember to keep it on the top side of the slat in the assembly: