11
Apr 20

Using up offcuts

So with the lockdown in Ireland now extended to May 5 – or The Lock-in as we ought to be calling it the way WW2 was The Emergency – garden centers are closed (apparently the Greens asking us to feed ourselves from our window boxes full of lettuce didn’t make Woodies an essential business πŸ˜€ ). I ran around one before the Lock-in commenced and got a lot of seeds and potting compost (and we already had a general-purpose liquid fertiliser and tomato feed and for high-nitrogen stuff like Basil, well everyone knows that trick of mixing eggshells and used coffee grounds with their compost, right?); but I thought we had more planters than we had. Seems I threw the ones we did have in the bin a few weeks ago because the UV had finally mangled them past maintenance’s hopes. Oh well.

I do have a shiny new brad nailer…

And I also have every woodworker’s inability to throw out wood combined with a large timber storage box πŸ˜€

Why yes, those are a lot of bowl blanks, and yes, my first bowl is all finished off and put to work as well, thanks for asking πŸ˜€

So I found some of the cedar T&G lengths I had which I have literally no other project in mind for but I still had a single three metre length in the house and three or four metre lengths in the box, so those are obviously the sides, and I can do the ends with some plywood bits and pieces and use some 1×3 scraps of deal to tie them together.

For rapidly knocking something like this out, that brad nailer is a bunch of fun. There’s glue providing the actual long-term strenght but a few 50mm brads act as temporary fixings and clamps all in one.

Then an offcut of poplar which was, to be honest, so scraggly that using it for anything proper would have meant a fair bit of work getting it straightened out, but for something that will live outside and be full of earth, this is grand. It acts as the base, and it was about 3″ too long so those 3″ get cut up into feet.

I didn’t have brads in any size bar 20mm and 50mm so I had nothing that really held the sides in place; the 20mm ones pinned them in position long enough to drive longer screws into the 1×3 battens though. Need to buy a few more lengths.

And that was it really. Very quick and dirty, handsaws and brad nailers and even the pillar drill with a fostner bit for the handles (along with a rasp, some sandpaper, a block plane, and some tidying up with a chisel). But it does the job and kept us at home, so that’s fine by me.

Filled with potting compost mixed with eggshells and coffee grounds, then transplanted our basil plants into it and watered with some liquid fertiliser.

Slightly less ghetto than previous solutions πŸ˜€


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 πŸ˜€

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 πŸ˜€

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 πŸ™‚

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 πŸ˜€

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 πŸ˜€
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 πŸ˜€ 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 πŸ˜€

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 πŸ˜€

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 πŸ˜€

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! πŸ˜€ 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.Β  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 πŸ˜€

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 πŸ˜€

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.

Β 

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…