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Saturday, June 15, 2013

Dining Room wall 2

        The last pictures take you on site and to completion.
     Here you see the basic problems; existing work; large window; radiator; and walls of two different depths.  The base cabinets are in.

    The tall  wall units are in place.  It's starting to take shape.

    Everything is complete!  The radiator, (which isn't centered on the wall or under the window), now looks like it belongs there.  Counter is in place, the trim is in and matches the older work, and the glass doors are finished.  Looks great in the morning light.  Whew!  On to the next event............

Friday, June 14, 2013

Dining Room window wall

     This project took awhile to complete for many reasons.  The first was that the area of shelving had to match the existing section that I had made two years before.  The second problem was fitting around a large window, a radiator and uneven walls.  Added was the angles necessitated by the design.  The two sides of the window were not the same and the shelves weren't cut at a 45.   However, in all the project turned out very well and provided plenty of storage space.  Now the window and the wall are a focal point in the room.

Here are some pictures showing the progress of work.

The pieces are all stained and on the rack.   Second begins the hard part, dealing with all the angles pieces.
Here begins fitting doors on the base cabinets.

Building the radiator cover was tricky because you have to be able to take it out
to service the radiator.  It also had to fit perfectly under the counter.  Grill work let air circulate.


Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Not all woodworking involves making furniture.  There are infinite projects that you can be invited to do if people know you are a woodworker.  This project comes from a friend who owns pizza shops.  He is making a 28 inch pie and, of course, needs super-sized peels for getting the pies out of the oven. 

These "paddles" have to taper toward the edges so they slip easily under the pie in the oven.  When I made the first one a few months ago, I hand planed the entire surface.  This time I used a sled for my planer which gave me most of the taper I needed before  the final glue-up.  This cut my hand work in half, but it still was a bit of a job.

The final piece was 26" by 54".

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Here is another "common sense" tip, born from experience.  This refers to the table saw and is important to note when cutting without the guard.  I know you do sometimes. 

When you are through with the cut and the pieces are past the blade on the off feed table, don't lift them up and over the spinning blade, even if the saw is coasting to a stop.  If by chance you drop the piece and it hits the blade it can become a wicked projectile.  The smaller and thinner the piece the worse it can be.  The piece can spin and travel like a disc and travel in any direction high or low. 

This is another reason for using guides but I know that some procedures won't allow you to.  If this is just one cut I'm making, I'll turn the saw off and lower the blade before retrieving the pieces.  Then I can just slide the pieces off the table safely.

Sounds simple but you have to think about doing it each time and form the habit.  It only takes one miss or slip to create an accident.  And you can ruin a beautiful piece of material and lose all the work you spent making it.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

This is not so much a tip as a common sense idea.  If you are out to cut a small piece, cut it from a large piece.  The idea here is not to work with small pieces of trim  or anything, and put your fingers in danger. 

How many times have you started with a length of molding and worked your way down to the last few inches, then thought, "I just need one more two inch piece and I can get it out of this three inch chunk I have left".  Imagine the picture of you trying to hold this tiny piece of wood and making an angled cut on it with your chop saw. 
I've seen it.  You just don't feel like taking another eight foot piece for such a small piece.  What a waste.  I only have one more to cut.  I'll have to go out to the truck and get it... and it's raining...  and it's getting late...... and.... and....

Starting to see my point?  Don't yield to laziness, tiredness, or stupidity when your fingers are concerned.  Think, breath deep, use your brain.  You may have used a ten dollar piece of molding for two inches, BUT you can still count to ten!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

This project was building a cabinet around a laundry sink.  The cabinet had to be matched with the existing cabinets, both style and color.  The consruction had to take into account the inside demensions to make the sink fit. 
A face frame has a false drawer front and a door on Euro hinges, giving access to bottom storage.

The sink was disconnected and I was able to remove the legs.  Then I  provided a platform for it inside the cabinet, leaving the bottom portion clear for storage.

The back was left  open for ease of replacing the plumbing.  A solid surface material is being used to frame the sink opening and will be attached to the top to provid a clean look that is easy to clean.  Here it is installed but without the top surface...... to be added later..........

A few weeks ago I showed you a handy dandy jig for keeping the jaws of your end vise parallel.  When you clamp a piece using just the corner of the vise, the jaws want to twist and won't remain parallel.  Using this jig alleviates the problem no matter what the width of the piece you are clamping.

The jig is just a number of 2 x 3 inch pieces held together with a bolt and a wing nut.
Swing down the number of pieces to match the thickness of the board being clamped.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

My most recent event was hosting the Webelos pack 139 for a day in the wood shop. We made wood cases for  their belt loops and pins that they earned for various academic and sports activities.

The frame was made of 2 x 4 pieces and the belt loops hung on cord, stretched across two of the sides.  The pins could be stuck into the felt and cork backing. 

This picture shows the finished product and all the belt loops that the kids can earn.  It was my idea to get these boys to use as many skills as possible in constructing their cases.  Safety; sawing; measuring; marking; hammering; assembling; drilling; and careful workmanship were all necessary and they did a great job!!

I did the power saw cutting of the basic pieces but had them measure and mark the cuts necessary on the short sides.  They had to use a tape measure, a square and a pencil to mark the line where I was to cut.  They got a chance to at least see and hear a big power tool in operation.  I cut the short sides for them on their lines.
This done, the next step was to pre-drill holes for the nails for putting the four pieces together.  Each long side required four holes.  I left out one for them to drill with the drill press.  Each person then had two holes to drill.

The  next step was the most fun.  With the hammers they brought from home, they now had to insert nails in the drilled holes, line up the sides just right, and knock them home.  This was the part that needed the most concentration.  And it needed some parental help as "clamps".  It was a great learning and sharing experience for both parties.  We found that the concrete floor was the best place for hammering.
When the guys had the final square made, it was time to show the pictures of the monkeys.  I had to get picture of the kids "framed" in their projects.

After the basic square was made, then I asked the guys to measure for the nails needed for the strings that stetched across the frame. This was where they were to hang their belt loops. After they made their marks then it was their job to hammer in nails part way at each point, then stretch the string back and forth tightly, twisting it around each nail. To finish the job, the nails were hammered home to hold the string taut.  
Of course you learn how to pull bent nails out when you need to.

To finish the project they had to put on the back which was made of felt backed by a square of cork.  This gave them a nice surface to push pins into and the color made the whole work brighter.  I helped this part along by showing them how the air stapler works.
This is a picture of the "gang" with their final projects.  Now they can paint it or decorate the way they want.  It can stand on the table or hang on the wall to show everybody their achievements.  It was a fun project and not at all costly.  You need plenty of room with lots of work surface and nerves of steel when working with all those boys wielding hammers. 
Congratulations to the guys in Pack 139, Great job, Great projects!!!





Sunday, March 3, 2013

This is a project in which I was enlisted to re-do the interior of this armoir.  These folks had gotten a really good deal on this beautiful walnut piece but the inside had been much abused.  A mirror on the back had been taken off and the mastic remained.  The lighting was in disrepair and some up-graded shelving was needed.

Much of the bottom level was still worth saving but hinges and glides needed repair.  In all, the quality of the cabinet made the rennovation worthwhile.

This is the finished interior.  I was able to salvage the lighting and, with the addition of glass shelves, add to the dispersed light on the inside.  Now glassware had a home and, you had enough light to work on the counter.  The hinges were adjusted so the large doors closed accurately and everything shined with TLC.

Now with the large doors closed the beauty of the walnut wood delights the eye.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Push stick tip #4

Building corner cabinets can be a nightmare especially when the angles are not 45.
I was trying to get corner shelves fit into this cabinet and forgot to allow for the 1/4 inch backs.  This led me to the problem of then cutting 1/4 inch off of each of the long sides on all the shelves.

To solve the problem and to keep all the good sides up I turned to my trusty push stick.  I always have a number of them with different thichness sides so I can rip narrow pieces.  This time the piece was only slightly over 1/8 inch.  The pusher that I made had 1/8 sides and so worked quite well in helping me with this task.

Take a look at how things worked out, in the video section.  The method takes careful technique.  If it doesn't feel right don't try it.  The pusher keeps the cutoff from flying up or back.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

I try to make my furniture unique.  One way is to incorporate unique molding designs.  I try to ferret out different companies that make unusual trim but sometimes the most fun comes from making my own.  A lot of times I use a combination of molding profiles to create something more complex.  It takes a little time and a willingness to just sit, take the time, and play.  I keep a box of scraps and end cuts of things that I have done and then just try them in differing combinations to see what I can come up with. 

Sometimes it might be just a simple pattern repeated or turned upside down that will create a spark.  I've tried also to use large molding elements but scale them down. A pediment for over a door turns into a eye catching idea for a picture frame. etc.....

Just using router bits alone you can come up with countless imaginative ideas.  If you keep a box of "idea seeds" as I do, then you won't have to get your router out to try new ideas, just use your "puzzle" box.

I took some pictures of some of the "scap" piece in combination to show their new life.
Some of the things you try will not work out and others may surprise you.  All the things on this table I thought were  good enough to use in various projects.  It has been standard practice to "build up" larger moldings using stock elements.  Crown moldings are often done this way on higher ceilings which require larger elements because of the height of the room.

One such molding you can see I made up from five pieces.  The central piece is a piece of 4" cherry cove molding which looked skimpy atop an office with ten foot ceilings.  Now it looks grand and in proportion to the height of the room.  However, it did necessitate going around the room three times to add the pieces.  Here are the pictures...........enjoy... All these show two or more pieces in combination.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Remember that old workbench with the end vise?  I showed you how I keep the jaws parallel by using spacers equal to the width of the thickness of the work you're trying to hold.  I also use this trick.  I make an "S" shaped piece as in the picture.  One side is 3/4 " thick and one side is 1/2" thick.  This works easily since most of the time I'm trying to clamp wood of this thickness.

The jaws are kept parallel, no problem!


Sunday, February 17, 2013

Here is an example of what homeowners can do to brighten a dull spot in their home. With a little help from EG Wood, this refrigerator corner is now useful and definitely brighter with the new lighting system. Here are before and after pictures.

     First the refrigerator was given a better home.  The exposed side was covered with nice harwood veneer to match the surrounding wood. 
     The top of the refrigerator is always a catch-all spot for "things" that can't be easily fetched unless husband gets a ladder.  So, a display shelf was the choice, created with added lighting to show off some better pieces of kitchen ware that may only be used occasionally. 
     The final step was to create a cabinet worthy of that corner.  Instead of a flimsy roll cart, a more permanent cabinet was made.  It has three functions now.  With a granite top it is part of the kitchen, a usable surface.  The doors and drawer are storage you can reach. The sides hold 20 bottles of wine.  You can use the entire cabinet for wine serving.  The granite top is unharmed by water, heat or alcohol.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Here is another chronological pictorial. It shows a set of beds I recently built for my nieces twins. Twin twin beds for the twins, if you will.  Follow closely, the frames move quickly..................

 In the beginning we  start with this pile of sticks.  Clear grade hardwood which will be stained to match the existing furniture in the twins room.

The plan that was agreed on, has sides that match the head board and foot board and go all the way to the floor.  No toys or lost dragons under these beds!

 Lots of clamps and lots of measuring and lots of cutting and lots of glue.  These parts are going to be kid tested so they have to be strong.

 The two side panels look accurate and are square and level. 

 A dry fit shows that the final glue-up will work well.  The proportion looks good.  Now to figure out how the mattress will fit and add a bit of engineering that will allow me to take these apart and assemble them in the room.

The last thing is to subject them to the kid testing division.  I think they are going to work pretty well.  Another satisfied customer.  On to the next project!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Many of you woodworkers might have a workbench like mine.  My end vise has a single screw and rides on two pipe pieces.  It is a simple mechanism but when clamping anything on the corner of the vise the jaws won't remain parallel.  This idea came to me to help keep the jaws aligned when I'm using just the corner of the vise.

I made a stack of 1/4 x 2 x 3 inch pieces and used a carraige bolt and wing nut to secure them.  I then put the number of blocks in the opposite end of the vise that matches the thickness of the board I'm trying to clamp. 

Now the jaws of the vise are parallel and will hold the work solidly.