Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Workbench maintenance

My workbench is a Sjorbergs Elite 2500. A good bench; my most prized tool in the shop. I love my bench almost as much as I love my woman and my boy. So it's been a little distressing watching her move out of flat, as workbenches do, and deciding it was time for surgery. I hadn't made any adjustments to her since she moved in 1 year ago, this would be the first. We were both a little nervous considering it was our first time, but once I got my jointer plane tuned in & got my head into it, it wasn't too painful. I didn't plane the entire surface, just the trouble spots for now, to get her reasonably flat. oiled her up, & we're back on track. I'll probably do more regular maintenace with a plane stroke here & there as needed. A workbench is a tool after all & all tools need tuning up.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Edge prep

I prepped & fitted each edge joint with my shop made jointer plane. All cut to final width & ready for laminating. I like to fine-tune the machined edges with a hand plane. This gets the edges nice & square and mating well with the adjacent plank. I wasn't sure how the edge jointing would go given the length, but it worked out ok, it just took some time, especially having 8 planks. After all that noisy milling it sure was nice to work quietly at the bench with no machines running.

Of course at this point I needed a distraction. I spotted a second hand slot mortiser. Nice to have my final machine in place. She's in good shape, a Rojek, cuts a sweet mortise, and the xyz table is very cool, allowing for repeatable mortises once the stops are set. Could have spent a whole day cutting mortises, I was in some kind of mortise nirvana. Also a pic of the 4 flute extra long end mills. The right end mill is hard to find, there's thousands of different types out there, I got these through Sowa Tools http://www.sowatool.com/catalogue/carbide_endmills.html

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Milling & Mortises

While the walnut rested after it's initial milling, I got to spend time at my bench, cutting & fitting the mortise & tenon joints for the doors. They're through mortises & with wedged tenons, doubled up for even more strength. This meant deep mortises 3 1/4". Cut with an end-mill & sliding table on the drill press. Time to pull the trigger on a slot mortising machine. With the tenons being so long, I roughed them out on the bandsaw first, then used the new 184 delta tenon jog to dial them in (really like the rapid fire macro adjust, & micro-adjust to creep up on it, nice jig), then did the final fitting with handtools. A card scraper works well to dial in the radius on the tenons, after initial shaping with a chisel or file.
Here's the Walnut all milled up to final thickness. moving these 8/4, 10 footers between machines takes some time. Setting up co-planer in-feed & out-feed work support stands becomes a Zen art form. How about a support stand with rack & pinion adjustment, & how about some levelling feet. I see Lee Valley has stands that look pretty good. These planks are tense. beautiful grain, but seriously tense. Dealing with such long lengths must be partly to blame, but maybe also because it's kiln dried, so probably drier on the inside than outside. But they just want to bow like madmen after a pass, and resawing really pissed them off.