Archive for the ‘Woodworking’ Category

Chairs: Shaping the back legs

June 17, 2017

The rear legs of a typical side chair have a backward curve near the floor. This keeps the chair from tipping over backward. The tops of the back legs are also angled backward so that the chair back is at a comfortable angle.

The wood for the back legs should be cut out from a board that has a compatible grain direction for the shape of a the leg. If the grain direction is wrong the leg will be prone to break and it will also look bad.

 

IMG_0391

(more…)

Advertisements

Chairs . . . slowly

May 22, 2017

Side chairs present a number of difficulties. The chairs I am making have back legs that are spread out at the top three degrees so that the legs are closer together at the floor. This keeps the footprint of the chair small. The back legs are also turned in three degrees. This simply looks better.

The seat on this type of chair is narrower in the back, and wider at the front. (more…)

Chair Parts

December 23, 2016

I’m starting to make the parts for four chairs in red oak. The old chairs we have are falling apart. The chairs I’m making are based on a 1940s production chair.

CrestRails

Bent laminated crest rails

(more…)

Small Stroke Sander and Paper Belts

November 28, 2016

img_0358
I built one of these sanders back in 1982 by following Andy Marlow’s plans in Fine Woodworking magazine. When I bought some large 3 phase machines in 1984 and moved my shop to a commercial space, I gave away the little stroke sander.

One of the first things I did in setting up a home shop last year was build a new stroke sander like my old one. This time I used larger angle iron and made the traveling table out of heavier stock.

IMG_0148

After I mounted the motor, pulleys and a v-belt, I clamped a piece of angle iron to the sander frame. Then I used a big gouge to turn the glued-up pine squares into round drums. That was an unpleasant job! (more…)

Sharpening

October 7, 2016

I recently posted a short description of my sharpening method over at Madcap Woodwright, but without a picture. I do have oil stones and water stones, but avoid them if possible because the oil or water, along with the black steel left on the stones gets all over me and the work. The very accomplished  woodworker at Ishitani Woodworking has his water stones on a tray bridging a sink under a faucet and over a drain (starting at 9 min. into the video). This looks like an excellent way to clean the stones after use, and generally keep the mess under control.

I probably will install a utility sink in my basement shop at some point, and follow suit. Until then, here is my sharpening set-up.

Version 2

I just use two diamond blocks. A 30 year old coarse interrupted one, and a newer continuous 1200 grit. Both DMT brand. I use cheap window cleaner to wet them. I clamp my 4×24 portable belt sander in the front vise and hollow grind (if needed) on the front wheel with a 60 or 80 grit belt.

Robland X31: Three Legged Horses

October 3, 2016

 

My out-feed table on the Robland X31 works very well. I can rip boards and stack them right on the table. On the other hand it has taken me a while to work out the best way to stack wood at the front of the saw. In the past I usually set up regular four legged sawhorses, and I was forever tripping over the near-side legs!

These funny looking sawhorses work great as in-feed supports for the table saw. They are just shy of the saw table height, and with a bit of weight (an extra board maybe) they don’t tip over. I can put a stack of lumber on the horses and easily walk through them as I pick up and feed the wood into the saw.

img_0327

Three Legged Horses: Made from 1/2″ black pipe and fittings, and soldered at the joints.

 

 

Tail vise with drill press vise

August 1, 2016

One of the best ways to plane a long and narrow piece (on a bench with a traditional tail vise) is to hold it in a drill press vise. I’ve glued pieces of 1/4” ply on the jaws of the drill press vice to keep it from marring the wood. This piece of wood is a little over seven feet long, and too long to hold with the regular bench dogs.

The bench needs to be dead flat so that the wood being planed isn’t distorted by something wrong with the bench. Using this method I can take a single shaving the full length with a smoothing plane.

IMG_0303

The Jack plane is a Union and the shorter plane is a Millers Falls – both with corrugated soles.

IMG_0305

Another use for the drill press vise is to hold small pieces to plane odd angles for repairs.

 

Table Saw To Fence Measurements

July 23, 2016

I first put a Biesemeyer fence on a Unisaw in 1980-81. And as much as I liked the fence I never used the ruler on the rail. I know some people get very fussy about adjusting the indicator on the rail. They want to be able to go over to the saw, set the fence, and start cutting.

I always want to measure from the saw blade to the fence, and actually see that the measurement is right. And I want to be sure the distance is just the tiniest bit greater at the back of the blade so the wood won’t bind. I just can’t bring myself to trust an indicator that’s almost two feet from the blade. (more…)

Going Cold Turkey!

July 22, 2016

Banned from shop! Chopsaw

 

After seeing this video by Matthias Wandel

http://woodgears.ca/dust/mitersaw.html

and finally accepting how much dust this thing produces . . . I have taken my 10 yr. old Makita compound sliding miter saw out of the Woodshop and put it in the garage for use outside. It is handy for quick cuts, but I now have other ways to crosscut wood (table saw, band saw, hand saw) without producing so much dust. Even with dust collection this kind of saw throws clouds everywhere.

I miss it though, and I feel a little bad about it out in the garage. OK, I can do this. It is for the best. I can use it for handyman stuff around the house. Done.

IMG_0297.JPG

Banned Chopsaw in the garage.

Robland X31 Straight Line Rip Jig!

July 18, 2016

IMG_0292The Robland X31 predates modern sliding table saws where the wagon slides very close to the saw. The newer sliding saws do a great job cutting a straight edge on a crooked or waney edge board.

Here is my new attachment for the sliding table so that I too can straight line rip like the big boys! Well, not quite. The travel on the X31 sliding table is limited to sawing about 52 inches long. But for most everything I do this is plenty long enough.