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…


19
Jan 20

Lathe stand

Slow week for the shed, not much time spent there. The lathe stand is the thing at the moment, have to get that built so I can get the lathe out of the hallway, and start to tidy the shed back up again. So the plan is to make something that is a bit minimalist instead of overbuilding the carp out of it. Most of the designs I came across were basically an inverted T with the lathe mounted on top and all the weight available piled on the bottom in the form of sandbags, bricks, concrete and so on, which is okay, but if I do that I won’t have room to get into the shed afterwards and it’d still be tippy even if I bolted the thing to the floor because I’m a bit taller than the average 1930s person and so the centers of the lathe should be 47″ above the floor.

So instead I’m going to build what will effectively be a tall sawhorse following Paul Seller’s plans:

Since the tops of the legs get a birdsmouth cut in them, the weight of the lathe goes down via compression into the legs and since they’re both spayed and raked, they resist vibration via geometry. I’ll also have the legs standing on some 19mm thick boards that will tie the front legs to the back legs and the two back legs together (the two front legs won’t be so I can stand closer to the lathe), and there will be an inch-thick board on top of the whole affair that the lathe bolts to and I’ll try to let the legs come up above the crossbar to mortice-and-tenon into that board to lock it all together.

Since I’m trying to get space in the shed, I’m using whatever material I have to hand, which means laminating inch-thick beech for the legs…

New toy idea here, that’s a #4 artist’s pallette knife, the blade is a bit flexible. Trying it as a glue spreader. It’s quite good, though this entire face was a big large for it really. Also, drill small hole in the handle, fill with superglue and a neodymium magnet and you can stick it on any old surface…

Works for paintbrushes too. Handy for places where you can’t screw a magnet bar to the wall.
Anyway, on with the glue-up and out with all of the clamps.

Getting good squeezeout here.

The purple hockeystick grip tape on the handles of those F-clamps was a good idea it turns out, it helps quite a bit. I’d done the glue-up for the crossbar earlier in the week from some 38″x6″ poplar boards that were about 5/4″ thick.

Once they’d all cured, the new record scrub plane (sid would have been overkill) got the sides into some sort of level affair and the #05 flattened one face on all the laminated parts. Did the same for the beech offcuts for the webs (I used 5″x61″ boards for the legs, but cut down to 40″ so I had some offcuts to hand) and the oak board for the top (I wanted something very rigid for that and that board was the closest thing available – it’s probably overkill but the idea was to free up space as well).

That laminated poplar crossbar is the one part I’m not so happy about, poplar being a little soft, but it was the only thing I had that was the right size unless I cut down a 16″ wide sapele board and I just couldn’t bring myself to do that. That sapele is just screaming out to be made into a desk or a table or something nice.

With one face flattened by hand on all the parts, I’m letting the donkey do the other side because I’m being lazy (I’ll do the edges by hand later).

Not happy about that hose run, I need to buy some more 100mm hose I think and maybe 3D print off some quick-couplers for them, but I tested this with a single board this evening (all I had time for) and it worked. No massive amounts of dust and shavings everywhere, so that was a massive improvement.

Not sure how I’ll do the longer leg, top and crossbar boards though, I might need to do that outside, which would be rather antisocial after I get home during the week (when it’s usually after seven) so it may have to wait for the weekend. Or maybe I can get 40″ infeed and outfeed if I line it all up carefully. I mean, 40″ infeed, 40″ outfeed, 8′ wide shed, that’s a whole 16″ to play with there, right? Yeesh.

Oh, and also finally drilled that second holdfast hole in the leg of the vice now that the tumbledrier is out of the way…

I’ve only been wanting to do that job since, oh, 2016? Progress…


06
May 19

Finished!

Adding the hinges actually worked this time. I have no idea why. I morticed them the same way I usually do, though I did take more time with the fitting to the lid and setting up for workholding with shims and such. I still think I have particularly cheap hardware to work with though – one set of Brusso hinges probably costs more than my entire little stock of hinges and hardware. And I think they’re all too shiny as well; a 17thC style oak box should have black or at most bronze hardware; and really a forged or cast iron set would be ideal. But this is faux-17thC so I can get away with blue murder 😀

Honestly, they’re garish. But they’re all I have and the deadline for delivery was over a week ago – the baby this is intended to hold blankets for was born ten days ago now. One of these days I’ll get these projects done on time or convince someone to delay a deadline for once 😀

They’re not as jarring from the front, happily. But they still clash with the other ironware.

I really need to use a stay on these I think, but I don’t have one to hand. I foresee a small spending spree in the near future…

But for now, this project is done. Faux-17thC carved oak box with oak lid and ash base, finished with a simple coat of boiled linseed oil. Sized to hold mothercare cellular blankets that have been folded while you’re half-dead from exhaustion dealing with a newborn and two older siblings.

Even herself was impressed, so it must look okay 😀

Next up, cleaning down the last few bits remaining from this build, and then back to the inlay and decoration work for Calum’s desk/shelf unit. Primary school starts this autumn, so I only have a few months and at the rate I’m getting to the shed these days, that’s a tight deadline 😀

original plans