Thursday, October 12, 2017

Make it Rain

And with the rain comes the need to make planks.

I started with a small project to ease the hands back into work after a summer of truly exceptional distractions. The project involved remaking the top section of my 'Outlaw' coffee hutch to better accommodate my latest coffee machine. The coffee addiction is real. This meant going from two drawers to one so that the machine could sit at a lower elevation on the right.

Some free hand doweling on the mortiser using the shop made doweling jig.

My dad gave me these pincer pliers years ago. They work great for pulling the pins that hold the jig in place.

Fresh off the drill press. I typically make a jig for each butt joint, so in this case 4 jigs. This helps keep the mating dowel holes consistent for each joint, and also spreads out the wear and tear of the jig holes.

Stitching it up, dry fit.

Tapered cauls for the glue up. To apply pressure in places where no clamp can go.

I re-used one of the old drawers. It was an nk drawer which was obviously fit to the previous cabinet. I oversized the drawer opening height & width by a couple hairs, then I made up some 1/16 veneers and laminated them onto the drawer rails, then re-fit the drawer.

Ready for a stiff pour. And while we're getting jacked up. I picked up a Mazzer Mini on craigslist about a year ago. It goes front & centre in the kitchen, no cabinet modifications necessary. Built like a tank.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017


Finally got round to installing the glass guardrail for the bedroom shutter.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Spearhead Dining Table

Make It Like This.

I heard this story about Tom Waits' 1985 album Raindogs on CBC yesterday. Tom said something to the effect that every sound has to be hunted down, killed and skinned, and not made with the press of a synthesiser button. When a fellow musician suggested they just sample a particular sound, he said, No. I'd rather go hit my bedroom door with a 2X4, really hard. When giving direction to Keith Richards he was crawling around on all fours, saying "play it like this". to which Keith replied "I know exactly what you mean".

And so it is with furniture. Every part has to be hunted down, killed and skinned. It's a process every time. An enjoyable back and forth process, punctuated with educated guesses, and critical decision making while machines are roaring. Here's a few shots taken during the table build, as though everything went like clockwork.

Flushing the aprons with the legs after glue-up.

Get me Big Will. Will is most comfortable when he's on an edge joint. He just loves a good edge joint. These were a little rough coming off the jointer (I've been getting them damn close on the machine recently but these were a bit tricky for whatever reason). Big Will stepped in and within an hour had three joints just perfect.

The rough table top after glue-up, straight out of the clamps, after glue clean up.

Removing a high spot along one seam. Haven't busted out the cabinet scraper in a while.

Some machine room hand planing. Flushing the rails with the aprons after final glue-up.

My sophisticated jig for routing table top clips mortises. generally double stick tape and some plywood does the trick.

Flushing table top end grain.

The soap finish. An outdoor affair. The most environmental finish known to man. Juxtaposed with a gas guzzling beast. Mankind has a lot of work ahead.

Less Toxicity

A fellow woodworker put me onto this plant based epoxy. I've been enjoying the benefits of epoxy for complex single handed glue-ups. but haven't been enjoying using or supporting a toxic product. until now. Haven't put it to the test yet, I'll report back. One drawback is the 48 hour cure time.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Many Mortises

34 mortises 1 dining table.

They eventually went in well, but it wasn't all plain sailing. I had to toss a leg. That's 3/16 from the edge of the leg not 7/16. Didn't even realise until after pushing in the second mortise. Sloppy work. Head in the clouds, distracted thought processes, or something. Just lucky nobody got hurt. Also lucky I had a couple spare rift sawn legs from the desk project.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Kate Duncan's Address Assembly 2017

Big thanks to Kate and Oden. A few pics from the 4 day curated pop-up.

The spearhead desk receiving some fingering.

The Easy Rider taking it easy in the chair section.

The Arrow End Table in the upstairs area.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Table Top Idea

Egg before the chicken kinda thing. Don't normally start a table with the top. Although it's nice to know the top dimensions, there's not much space to have a top kicking around the shop getting damaged.

But the edges of these Ash boards were confusingly rough. I also found a couple bookmatched planks at the lumber yard that I thought I'd incorporate, equally rough edges, and matching them up would dictate the top length. More confusion. So I rough milled the edges to see what I've got, if anything. Fair bit of trimming involved, but the bookmatch grain tied together rather nicely.

Won't do final milling and glue up until the frame is closer, but at least I have a better picture of length, width, and something to mull over in my sleep.

Spearhead Desk - Shorty Version

The 4.5 footer.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

One of Many

According to this blog, it's been 3.5 years since installing the Shelix cutterhead in my planer. and I haven't touched it. until now. In that time I've thrown a small shit-ton of linear feet through the thing, with very little tear-out. I probably could have run it out for another 6 months without too much trouble, but I figured enough is enough.

So I rotated the inserts to their second cutting edge. Definitely tedious. Not sure how many hours passed. hundreds of the little suckers. But no doubt a time saving over setting straight knives once or twice every year. Certainly less voodoo magic involved.

I tackled one at a time, more controlled that way. Loosened with a socket wrench (and adaptors for the Torx bit). Brushed the insert platform and sprayed with compressed air; gave the insert a wipe down on a dry cloth; hit the odd one with a brass brush if it needed it; screwed it back in. To tighten I just snugged up by hand using the straight handled screwdriver in the picture. I thought about buying that torque wrench I've wanted for years, but I reckon a good hand snugging is all that's required.

Be sure to make a note in your journal of the starting orientation of the inserts (they have notations stamped on them) and which direction you've decided to rotate (in my case clockwise).

Wood Haulage Machine

Bunkhausdesign's new rig has seen some action. Here's the Honey Badger helping Chainsaw Dan reduce his Elm inventory. Thanks again Dan.

I also got this truck bed extender hitch rack from Lund. This thing should come standard with every pickup. Gets the weight off the tailgate and lets me haul flatdeck with a five foot bin. I'll probably trim down the post a little to get more clearance. This is a tiny load of Ash to top up inventory, but the rack is rated to 750 lbs, plenty.

Button it Up

Flushing the table top ends, and attaching the table top to the frame. It's always a little disconcerting drilling and screwing into the table top. After checking the depth about twenty times it's time to go. My dad's old Stanley hand drill is good for this, get into tight spots and you can take it nice and slow.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Framed up

Laminating the aprons. I do this because I like to have straight grain on my aprons, and so it's an efficient use of 8 qtr flat sawn material. The bookmatch is a bonus.

Lots of double mortise magic.

Layout for cutting the front legs to length. Set the tops co-planer and mark the bottom off the bench edge.

 Some angled round mortises for the stretchers.

 Cutting tapers on the front legs.

Paterns, templates, cauls and all kinds of cheat sheets.

Yes, there's days when the hand planing is challenging, and you think about busting out the palm sander. And indeed, there's a time and place for the palm sander. But yesterday was not one of those days. My dad's #3 Stanley Bailey was singing. I imagine it comes close to what a musician must feel when his finely tuned instrument is making music in his hands. I slipped into an elevated spirit animal trance, so here's pictures of all the frame members receiving treatment.