Friday, February 5, 2016

Veneer Hammer

It's been well over a year since my last post. For several reasons including almost having the roof over the garage were my shop is located collapse from snow load, and the foundation needed to be repaired,these thing had to take precedence over playing in my shop. I had to put most of my woodworking on pause. But as it looks I can know get back to it. I did have the opportunity to go to my yearly class at MASW and take a class for  French Marquetry from Patrick Edwards.  It was a great learning experience for sure. I.m scheduled for anther veneer and inlay class from Scott Grove in May and am looking forward to that.

One of the things on my bucket list was to make a veneer hammer and being its something small to make it would be the perfect project to get my woodworking chops back in gear. I used the hammer from.Tom Fidgin's the Unplugged Woodshop blog as the model.
 I started with a couple pieces of scrap, a nasty piece of walnut and some curly ash from a log I bought a few years ago. 
 I wanted a turned handle but I have very little turning skills and the fact that it was a such a nasty piece of wood it didn't make it very easy on me to turn. I first made a thru tenon to fit the ash then I turned the handle. I used  a piece of 1"x 1/8" brass bar stock for body of the hammer.

This is the pattern for the body of the hammer.
I put a Waterlox oil finish on it.I have a project in mind to try it out on that I need to get done soon so hopefully I can start working on that soon. Hear are a few pics of the finished hammer.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Tenoning Jig and Chairmakers Saw

I am happy to say I can check one more project off the list as of today. A couple of days ago I got back to work on the vise part of the tenon jig. I trimmed my ends off and added the screw part of the clamp, The hardest part was finding a way to screw the bracket on the inside of the vise, this was done using a socket wrench and a #3 screw tip fit into the socket. I could fit that into the inside and screw the bracket in with no problem. With that done I just added a single coat of oil to the vise and a little wax to the inside of the jig were the parts slide along the inside walls.
With that done today I moved onto the chair makers saw The saw consists of a blade sandwiched between to pieces of wood with a couple of handles,I used walnut for the top and maple for the bottom. In the article in Popular Woodworking the author used a saw he purchased from Lie Nielson. As  much as I would like to do that it wasn't going to happen. I went to Lowes and bought a tenon saw for less than  $20 ( I think it was $14) and disassembled it.

The blade needed to be drilled for the holes but once that was done it was just a matter of screwing it together with machine screws.

I used two handles from one of those cheep blue Stanley planes that was given to me. The last thing was to make a setup block to set the tenon marks to after they are marked, its just a piece of wood with a washer filed down so it lines up perfectly with the bottom cutting edge of the saw.

 I screwed the washer to a piece of wood then filed it down to a sharp edge so it would fit into the scribed lines for the tenon.
The set up jig lines up to the lowest part of the blade
 I did a test run with a straight joint and an angled joint and it works great.I cant wait to use this on a real project.I always seem to have trouble getting the shoulders to line up perfectly when I cut them on the table saw and cutting angled parts is even a bigger headache.


Here are a couple more shots of the clamp.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Getting Some Freebies and Working on some UFO's

My wife is a quilter and in the quilting world they use the term UFO for "unfinished objects" or Projects. Well as things go I have several of those and I am trying my best to catch up.since my last post I did manage to do a local art show, sell a table, and meet some very nice folks.There was a couple that I was talking to and the gentleman ask me if I wanted some free wood that was cut 1/4" thick. He seen that I was doing marquetry and thought I could use it. It is not like I don't have enough odds and ends around but I said I would take it. He was a professional woodworker that works with slabs and has a lot of off cuts of some pretty nice wood. What he didn't mention was the thicker 3/4"to 1" mostly high figured and burls that he had . Below is what he gave me and I admit it was more than I expected.
Box of 1/4" thick wood pieces

  I normally work on one project at a time and then move on but since I have been working with the chevalet I end up with several marquetry projects also when I did the tea table I cut parts for two more. All this adds up to doing several of the same projects over again and getting the ambition up for that is like pulling teeth. I must admit though when I am working on them it is still enjoyable, I just want to start something totally new.

The first thing I began was refining the legs on the tea table. The finished table was fine but it just didn't look as light as the original .

I took the leg down to 5/8" from 13/16 " on the bottom and that may not seem like a lot but the difference is very noticeable I wanted one to be as close to the original as possible so I made a scratch stock and cut some flutes along the leg close to what were on the original. I'm not sure if I will add marquetry to the other one or not.

 I also started on the other three tiger pictures. This seems to be going a little better than the first one because I am assembling all three at the seem time instead of just one at a time. It is still a time consuming project but I will end up with three pictures in just a little more time than I spent doing one.

 I started with the head because its the hardest part and has most of the tiny pieces.

Another project that was started but never finished was the tenon jig. I had all the wood cut and even had a start on laying out the dovetails. 
After all the layout was done on the joints I cut the the dovetails on the table saw and chopped the pins by hand with chisels.

I made a mistake and didn't take into account the 1/2" I cut away on the inside of the tail sides and the pins stick out by that amount on both sides UGH! The only bad thing is I will lose about an inch of space on the inside of the jig for real large tenon's but I don't really work on that scale much so I don't think it will be much of an issue.I had to cut a recess on the inside of the front piece to accept the steal vise and give me a 1/2" more room.
I just glued it up as is and will cut the excess off when it is done.

The last little project was not something that was started but only took a hour or so to complete. It started when visiting my in-laws in upstate N.Y. They had a friend who lost her elderly parents recently and her father had a wood shop in the basement. She was selling the house and wanted it cleaned out . She told my father in law and me to take whatever we wanted and she didn't want anything for it. Although he had some power equipment I could have taken I didn't want to take something I didn't need just because it was free. What I did end up with was a few nice saws, one of which was a very nice backsaw, and some drill bits for a brace, and a oak shop stool.

 With all these new (old) saws I needed somewhere to store them, so along with a few I already owned I made a rack and mounted it to the wall next to my bench.
I already ordered the files to sharpen them so once sharpened I will be pretty set up for hand saws. I would like to get a 5tpi rip saw but that can wait as I do have a table saw that I don't see me getting rid of to go powerless in the near future. I will eventually have to make something for all the drill bits to keep them from being knocked around and getting dull, maybe a case for the braces and bits together.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Finishing The Tiger Chest

I have finally found some time to post the end results of the tiger chest I have been working on. I thought I had taken more pics of the case construction but I was mistaken. The case construction was pretty straight forward and done similar to the last blanket chest I did (June 2013.) One of the few changes I made was to use red cedar veneer on the inside of the chest so  with the solid cedar bottom the whole inside was done in cedar. The outside was done with Makore veneer.
 The panels where pretty easy to glue up using a vacuum press but the front panel did take a little bit of time to clean all the veneer tape off and get sanded.

As with the last chest I also did all the finishing before glue-up. This takes a little more effort but I think I get a much better end result also I can fix any flaws in the finish a lot easier with the parts broken down.Below is a picture of the chest during a dry run on the glue -up but before the finishing.
dry run with no frame on the lid

 I needed to dry run the chest to get an accurate measurement for the lid.

I was looking for an Asian look for this chest so I thought I would ebonize the oak frame part's with the solution made from steel wool and vinegar. I added tree bark tea (quebarcho extract) before the vinegar which gives the wood a bit more tannin, the tannin in wood mixed with metal is what makes it turn black. The process is fully explained in an article from Popular Woodworking Ebonizing Wood.
After adding the quebarcho extract

After ebonizing
side frame parts drying after vinegar, notice the different color as the top pieces where done first.
All the parts where finished with lacquer except the red cedar interior which I left unfinished. I was a little concerned about only finishing one side of a panel  but after doing some research I found it was acceptable to do if your not gluing the veneer with a glue that is susceptible to moister, as it was I used unibond 800 and it is not.
The chest was only slightly out of square when I put the clamps on it so one clamp across diagonally did the trick bringing it back to square. I used a piano hing for the top and leather to keep the lid from swinging to far back.

The lid has the characters for the Chinese proverb "Three  Men Make A Tiger".

Three men make a tiger is a Chinese proverb that refers to the idea that if an unfounded premise or urban legend is mentioned and repeated by many individuals, the premise will be erroneously accepted as the truth. This concept is analogous to communal reinforcement or the sociological concept known as argumentum ad populum (appeal to the people).
The proverb came from the story of an alleged speech by Pang Cong, an official of the state of Wei in the Warring States Period (475 BC – 221 BC) in Chinese History.
According to the Warring States Records, before he left on a trip to the state of Zhao, Pang Cong asked the King of Wei whether he would hypothetically believe in one civilian’s report that a tiger was roaming the markets in the capital city, to which the King replied no. Pang Cong asked what the King thought if two people reported the same thing, and the King said he would begin to wonder. Pang Cong then asked, “what if three people all claimed to have seen a tiger?” The King replied that he would believe in it.
Pang Cong reminded the King that the notion of a live tiger in a crowded market was absurd, yet when repeated by numerous people, it seemed real.
As a high-ranking official, Pang Cong had more than three opponents and critics; naturally, he urged the King to pay no attention to those who would spread rumors about him while he was away.
“I understand,” the King replied, and Pang Cong left for Zhao.
Yet, slanderous talk took place. When Pang Cong returned to Wei, the King stopped seeing him.