Saturday, May 6, 2017

Todays Project....

So, wanted to find a little two hour project this morning to relax from a long week.   While making pancakes for my grandson he insisted we 'wash beard'.   He loves to pretend to shave with me; perfect project - a toy razor for him.   This was a quick down and dirty kind of thing so no pictures of the build, just the finished product.   In fact, I didn't even go look at mine and as soon as I put them next to each other realized that I cut the 'blade' backwards so I might make another one.   Just doesn't look right :-).  Just in case a safety freak sees this; not to worry it's not sharp....



 In words the build went like this:

  • Rip a couple of strips of oak out of the scrap pile for the handle
  • Rip the center out of an old linoleum transition strip that has been laying in the garage for at least 15 years (good thing I saved it right?) for the blade
  • Sand the aluminum blade to take off the burrs
  • Sand the wood handle to shape
  • Drill holes
  • Pop rivet the blade in place and the back with washers for spacers
  • Try it out!

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Black Walnut Project #1

Convergence, like discrete pins in a lock tumbler aligning to allow the handle to turn.  I have a mill, we were going to become grandparents, and the baby's other grand and great grandmothers planned to remove walnut trees from their properties.  Three unrelated and isolated facts?  Perhaps; sans an inclination to provide a tangible link between the little one and three generations of family.

This entry is a bit of a time machine.  The cutting took place a year ago, after the wood was milled then air dried until ready.  Here is the start of a journey from field to home.

Black Walnut Slated for Removal
Black Walnut Slated for Removal


So, get the saw and get to work.  Funny, in the distance it looked absolutely puny.  Up close, while not large, it was pretty good sized.  Dada was right there lending a hand harvesting the tree with Gramps.

Felled and Ready to Buck
Felled and Ready to Buck


And by the time we got it all limbed and bucked, we had some tired helpers!

Weary Woodsmen
Weary Woodsmen


One of the key tools that make this whole venture workable is our log arch.  There is no other way we could move these logs about with such ease.  A toast to combining two simple machines; lever and wheel, into an effective package.

Log Arch for Easy Move
Log Arch for Easy Move


On the way home we pass by this lovely old frame building.  Such a shame that it's being left to rot away....

Log on the Road
Log on the Road



First of three logs delivered, two from Great Grandma and one from Grandma.  The last of the batch will be project wood, the tree was damaged in an ice storm when small so had a large 'L' at about the 9' point in the trunk.

Delivered!
Delivered!


Here is number two; the upper log from the first tree ready to cut.  The large limb ended up being the main feature of the project as you will see below.

Up on the Mill
Up on the Mill




Slab comes off and begins to reveal some beautiful wood beneath the rough exterior.  Any chance there are parallels?

Slab Comes Off
Slab Comes Off



After the boards are cut we put a second coat of sealant on the ends to reduce splitting.

Seal the Ends
Seal the Ends



Fast forward one year and here are six boards in the shop as we try to figure out what to make and which ones to use.  After some thought, and consultation with momma we narrowed it down to a high chair.   More thoughts, sketches on paper, considering dimensions and we end up with a booster chair.   

Rough Walnut: Which to Use
Rough Walnut: Which to Use


Some design work in SketchUp with help from Northern Lights Timber Frame Rubies, and viola a plan emerges.




After looking over the available lumber I decided to make the sides 'plain' and put one slice of knot in the center of the seat and another in the center of the back.  The boards were just shy of being wide enough so they had to be joined.   Probably worked better anyway, there was a good bit of cupping and other irregularities.

Plan and Boards for Sides
Plan and Boards for Sides



When rough it was hard to imagine the color and grain beneath the surface.  Nothing quite as satisfying as uncovering that character with a sharp blade.  I didn't realize the newer heartwood was going to be a shade of purple while the older center was a lovely chocolate with nice grain throughout.

Side Glued and Planed
Side Glued and Planed



After getting the boards to the right size it's time for a trip through the bandsaw to get the final shape.

Final Shape of Sides
Final Shape of Sides



Next is the seat.   Embarrassed to say that I misread the plan (that I made up, and dimensioned) and cut each of the two sides an inch narrow.  

(Most of) The Seat
(Most of) The Seat




So, plan 'B', add some sapwood for effect.  I didn't want to break into a new board so found a way to work in pieces from the scrap already cut.   While satisfied with the way it turned out I learned some things that I'll try on the next project that may make it look even better.

Seat Glue Up
Seat Glue Up



Here is the finished seat planed, cut, and rough sanded.  With the crazy grain had a lot of trouble with pull out using the plane so resorted to a good bit of belt sander action.

Seat Ready for Final Sanding
Seat Ready for Final Sanding


Here is the back.  Notice the significant cup on the center board due to stresses around the knot.

Back Boards Ready to Glue
Back Boards Ready to Glue



All that flat stuff was biscuit joined to add a little strength.

Joint Method: Biscuit
Joint Method: Biscuit



Here it is after a rough sand and cut out.

Back Ready for Final Sanding
Back Ready for Final Sanding

That's about time that Momma and Baby came to visit and see how things were coming along.  I think it was probably the first time he had been in the garage, his eyes positively lit up.  I could just imagine him thinking 'look at all the stuff I could get into here'.

Making it Smooth as, Well, You Know
Making it Smooth as, Well, You Know


The most fun was putting oil on the knots and watching the color and grain pop.  

Assembled with Oil FInish Going On
Assembled with Oil FInish Going On



Absolutely gorgeous. 

Close up of Grain
Close up of Grain



Decided to put the outside of the tree outside of the chair.  Seems 'right' for some reason.

Back View
Back View



Nice view of the back and seam mirroring each other.   Pretty much done at this point.  Will add a couple of coats of oil and rub it down, then put it to work!

Finished Chair
Finished Chair


Monday, August 17, 2015

So..... Great weekend.  Got up to the land with the family and got some stuff done.  Second try at time lapse, this time a section of short retaining wall along the camper site.   I only had that little baby tripod on a block of wood so the viewpoint isn't all that great.  Another couple of days and this section will be done, then on to the 'big one'!



This section is an extension of the wee bit'o wall that marks off the camper spot.  We started on it last fall and it'll probably be done shortly ;-)!


Sunday, July 26, 2015

2/5 Pairs of Rafters Ready to Go....

Well, I spent a few minutes this morning looking a distant neighbors blog on the subject of building a cabin and thought that I should add an update...  I have been working on (milling) what I am now calling the 'tool shed' and 'temporary tractor shed' this summer and just finished cutting two of five rafter pairs.

I got the logs from a rental property that was doing some clean up and, unfortunately, the timing is was pretty poor.   Cutting in the summer with all the sap in the trees is less than ideal but I had to take advantage of the readily available wood.

The problem I am seeing with the very wet wood is mold/fungus.  The big pine that I took (9 - 4x10 beams :-) had some serious discoloration and growth.  Not sure if it was the best idea but I thought that perhaps a little bleach would be a good way to knock it back.   Seems to have worked, will have to find out later if it messes my finish up.   I figure that I'll rinse all the pieces off good after they dry.

Tool Shed Plan.

Put on the big bar.

Makes for a pretty impressive saw :-)

Buck the log, took the 'small end'.

36" cut was almost not enough!

Too big for the mill, so invert to get it down to manageable sizes.

Second cut...

... and another view.

Result: 4" x 34" 'board'.

Quartered.

All that's needed are some basic tools.

And a plan.

Here are the first four rafters.





Saturday, June 27, 2015

Stitched Time Lapse....

So, took two more 'sessions' to complete the joint.  Patched them together and laid in some sound (thank you Stefano Vita), a little learning on iMovie.  I wasn't too thrilled at the level of control for viewing each picture, now I see that you can re-time a clip after it's made as a % of the original - problem solved.....




Always little things along the way too.  In the first clip I had the the camera on a small flexible legged tripod sitting on a board connected to one of the shelves in the garage.  It seemed too far away so for the second clip I moved it forward.  Then the tripod wasn't able to bend and point down well.   So I put together a little stand for the camera out of a pile of scraps destined for fireplace kindling.  Worked pretty good, think it's a keeper.




Sunday, June 21, 2015

Moving forward again - and first time-lapse :-).   Don't like the view, but I can tweak it next time....