Saturday, December 20, 2014

Talk to me Maloof...

...what's the next step sir? Small wonder these chairs take so long, the guys dead you know, takes him ages to respond from the other side. In the meantime, I've cleaned up the spindles and dry fitted. thought I'd throw it on the sleds, take a seat and enjoy a beer. There's actually nothing like throwing your exhausted body onto a rocking chair. Especially when it's your first beer in two weeks coming out of a pre-xmas fast. This chair's got me teetering on an emotional tightrope. Can't wait to start blending all those joints, but no doubt Sam's gonna tell me to do a ton more work to prep for the glue-ups.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Staring at Spindles

Spindles are roughed out. Time to make some tea, sip and stare at them, then start cleaning them up and reconciling all aspects to the lowest common denominator.

Before any herculean scraping task, the card scraper must be tuned up...

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

and then this happened

I had been warned that snapping a spindle was likely. Still a pisser when it happens. Not too much of a short grain situation, just got a little rough with it checking the fit of the tenon in the 'go-block'. Shaping down to a mere 3/8, things get a little touchy. Luckily I had a spare milled, but would have liked to keep that one in the bag for a bit further down the road.

I tuned up my 3/8 tenon cutter & started cranking. Some pics of the nice hollow grind on the curved blade:

More Shaping Parts

Trimming the fat off the goliath crest rail/headrest. Roughing out the 3/8 (top) end of the spindles before attacking it with a rasp at the bench. Really like this Typhoon carbide carving burr on the die grinder.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Shaping individual parts

Each part is rough shaped, with lots more shaping once the chair is glued up. I've cleaned up the seat, taken the grinder to the armrests and headrest, and the General was thrown into production with a little more waste removal from the rear legs (cutting the seat & armrest radii). I am humbled that Maloof made these chairs for a living, back-breaking stuff, feels like I'm in the midst of a rite of passage. It's also time to accept that I'm horribly allergic to black walnut; it's officially on the list of woods-not-to-work-with in 2015.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

As I suspected...

...I couldn't just leave the General sitting in the corner of the shop without a proper tune-up. It didn't seem fair to the old boy. So the rocker was set aside for a week to focus on the bandsaw rehabilitation.

He only needed lots of love, no deep tissue therapy: new neoprene tires fitted and equalised; new link-belt pulley & modification of his belt cover; 21st century dust collection; new switch; zero clearance throat plate; and of course the finest rock-solid foundation/motor cabinet the bunkhaus metal fabrication department had to offer. Every small bandsaw needs a solid shop made foundation. This one is like any ordinary tool stand, except built like a Ukrainian ablution block.

I also bought a new tension spring. However the tension rod has a collar on it with a 1/8 roll pin to secure it, and despite best efforts I couldn't get the roll pin out to remove the rod from the frame. Hit it with a bit of heat and a pin punch, but guess it would need to be drilled out with a carbide burr on the foredom, a drill bit that thin would likely snap. tricky little f*ker, that round rod doesn't sit still. If anyone has done this before I'm all ears. The original spring has some life left in it so I'm ignoring the issue for now.

For anyone else doing a general 490 restore, I ordered the neoprene tires from R&D Bandsaws. They're for a 14" wheel not 15", but they do go on, only when you think your forearms are going to explode. To get it started I used a surgeon's knot instead of a clamp which can leave a flat spot on the tire, put the tire on the wheel and wrap a strip of cloth around the wheel & tire, neat trick from the internet.

Here's the amputation of the original pulley cover. I had to go full Shinya and cut a nice straight line with my angle grinder & zip disk...

making the zc throat plate from some plastic...

The link belt, they're pretty cool, and you don't have to make an adjustment/tensioning mechanism for the motor. They're meant to significantly reduce vibration too...

My make-shift dust brushes. The tire brush is a sawn-off toothbrush screwed into a scrap of plywood and crazy glued in place. Works like a charm. Haven't had one come off while the saw is running yet...

This is how I do all my ports, drill a hole with a hole saw and weld in some tubing...

Not sure how this turned into an epic post. Perhaps just another reason to continue ignoring the neglected rocker. Or perhaps it's the warm glow of another gem in the shop.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Regulator Dining Set - in situ

I still have a killer piece of pop art that will be added to the mix, but here's how the Regulators stand. No farmers' wives were harmed in the making of these products. The Chief gets the head of the table, titled 'My people were many', the other print is 'Mutiny on the Belafonte' (from our fav movie, Life Aquatic) by Tim Doyle, check him out.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Chair #2 - Regulator Edition

Rocker Shaping, Scratching the Surface

Time to throw a carbide wheel on the angle grinder and start whittling down those massive chunks of wood. Also picked up a cool old flex shaft die grinder to help in removing waste, makes my dremel look like a child's toy. Here's the seat top, front and bottom taking shape and the armrest. Definitely an outdoor pursuit. Not something I'd like to be doing all day every day, but sculpting wood is fascinating work, and it's feels good to be outside the comfort zone trying something completely different. Maloof Vs Krenov; polar opposites.

Make it More Green

You can never have too much green in the shop. 2014, the year of the machine upgrades: planer cutterhead; table saw; router table; jointer. Thought I may as well round off this whole upgrade phase. Looks like this General 15" will replace my little rockwell 12" bandsaw. I like my lightweight rockwell, but the heavyweight General 490 is after all the perfect secondary bandsaw. As did the General jointer, it came from the original owner who wasn't asking too much for it. It's about 25 years old, little use, wheels are co-planer, solid cast frame looks like it came out the factory yesterday, but it needs some time investment to run as silky smooth as these saws typically do. Dust ports, decent stand, tension spring, tires, pulley alignment etc. In other words a bit of a project before it's up & running.

Of course this acquisition sparked a minor shop re-organisation, and it was also at this point that I realised I was drowning in off-cuts. So I pulled a few wheel barrow loads of wood out the shop. Included in the shop re-org was relocating the shop stereo, a matter which shouldn't be entered into lightly, something that requires careful deliberation & execution. But in the end, the bandsaw duo make a good looking team, they actually have very similar lines, I like looking at them.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Rock'er On

These rocking chair parts have been sitting patiently in the shop since June last year, staring at me. I couldn't bear the guilt anymore, so I'm going to devote some more time to this ultra marathon event. I had to catch up with the headrest; cross cutting and starting the shaping on the bandsaw. I made a plywood template first, then made the angled cross cuts on hefty 10/4 stock. Then a big freehand curved re-saw cut on the bandsaw before the top & bottom curved cuts. I'm still blown away with how much wood goes into these rockers. Then onto fitting the spindles to the seat mortises, with a helping hand from a tenon cutter used like a pencil sharpener.