Saturday, January 21, 2017

WSBO, Wall shelf build-off 2017, considerations.

With just a week to go for the biggest event since the American presidential inauguration 2017 takes place, it might be a good idea to start making a few plans regarding the build.

I have decided that I want to replicate the shelf that I made for my 9th grade sloyd exam. It is a small shelf intended to be mounted in a kitchen, with a dowel beneath it for holding a towel or holding a set of hooks that can be used for hanging various utensils.

The overall dimensions of my shelf will be pretty much like the old one that I made. Back then we had 3 hours to complete the build as far as I remember, but we were supplied with processed stock, so basically we only had to do the joinery.
I quickly scribbled down the measurements of the original before going to sea, so I have those to go out from.

This time I have to do stock preparation too, and I figured that I could perhaps use my new Stanley combination plane to make some decorative moulding as well.
As a small challenge to myself I think I will try to see if I can complete the build without using any metal fasteners.

I might try to make a sliding dovetail for the corners to attach to the underside of the shelf.
The corners and the backside of the shelf will then be glued to the back piece. I can then add a few pegs to reinforce it.

The dowel will be wedged into place.

My overall plan of action is to find a decent set of pallet sides during the coming week for the stock.
Come Saturday the 28th, I'll start with crosscutting the shelf to the approximate length, and the set of corners. The dowel will probably be ripped from the shelf piece.

The parts of the back piece will be made from the same length of wood, and I'll rip it to the correct width.
Next there will be some planing to do. The shelf and the corners are approximately 5/8" thick, and the parts of the back piece are 3/8". The dowel too is 5/8".

I am toying with the idea of decorating the back piece with a moulding along all the edges. I'll probably have to make a bit of testing first though.
If I choose to make mouldings, the back piece will be a little more difficult to assemble.Instead of a regular half lap joint with square cuts, it will require the corners to be cut of in a 45 degree angle, so allow the moulding to follow the side around the corner.

If you haven't already signed up for participation it this event, there is still time to do so.
The requirements for entering are very accommodating:
-You have to build the piece in the weekend of January 28/29.
-You decide what you want to build.
-You decide how you want to build it (hand tools, power tools, genetically modifying a plant to grow into the shape of a shelf, carve a shelf out of a rock etc.)
-Share the process online via social media (#WSBO), blog, and/or forum.
- There is no registration fee, and the WSBO is open to all inhabitants on this planet. So whether you live in Andorra, Zimbabwe or in a place that starts with a letter in between - you can participate.

Please check in on the page of Chris Wong and see the full details.

Sketch of the shelf.

Sketch of mouldings.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Spill plane build 1, removing rust from the blade.

I am not much of a tool maker, but I have read about spill planes a couple of places and I think that they are interesting tools.
My boys would really appreciate a plane like that in the shop that they could play with and make shavings for a purpose.
One time I bought a large box of old wooden planes. It wasn't as nice as it looked on the pictures, and I didn't really need those planes. I can't even remember why I thought it was a sensible deal at that time. But that box at least contained a couple of extra old plane blades.

I found an old Ward blade that didn't have a chipbreaker, and I figured that it would make a fine blade for a future spill plane.
I also found a nice chunk of beech that Brian Eve gave to me during the Danish Chairbuilding Extravaganza this year. I brought both the blade and a piece of the beech with me this time with the intention of building a spill plane.

There are several different methods that will work for removing rust from e.g. a blade. Previously I have used sulfuric acid out here, because I wanted the job to be quick, but this time I am not in a hurry, so I have switched to the less aggressive household vinegar instead.
I once used that at home, and it works perfectly.

My setup is an old plastic container which will hold the blade, and then I simply poured vinegar in until it covered the blade.
Tomorrow the blade should be clean from rust if all goes as planned.

Old Ward blade before treatment.

Rust removal setup.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Merry Christmas and a happy New Year.

I am back at work and that also means that I manage to find some time to sit in front of a computer and do a bit of blogging.

This past home period saw a bit of woodworking, as I managed to complete the second traveling bookcase for my daughter. I also made 5 window frames for the small barn. I never got around to taking any pictures of all that, so you will just have to take my word for it..

I think it is fair to say that the single most important thing that happened this home period was getting a new dog. 
We drove down to near Hannover in Germany and picked up the most adorable little Newfoundland puppy. 
She has grown considerably since then, but she is just as sweet and cuddly.

It is probably impossible to not compare a new puppy with the old dog, and often the new dog will fall short in comparison due to the strong memories of the old dog and it setting te standards for good behavior.
In one respect the new puppy (Bertha) actually comes out in front of our old dog Fnug:
Fnug never really liked to stay in the workshop.
She would enter occasionally - take a look around and then leave again.
Bertha on the other hand seems to think that the shop is a great place to stay, and that is something that warms my heart.
She likes to sleep while I work at the bench, and when she is awake she helps by rearranging small pieces of scrap wood.
There are a few drawbacks too though. The major one being that she has the idea the the broom is meant as a toy, and subsequently attacks it as soon as I start sweeping the floor.
Sweeping is not very efficient with a 35 Lb puppy attached to the head end of a broom playing tug of war while you try to clean the floor.
But given her sweet nature I can easily live with that and I'll just sweep the floor while she is not in the shop.

Besides getting a new dog, we also had a really nice Christmas and New Years Eve.

This Sunday a friend called asking if we wanted to join her on a ride in the forest. Laura was at home and really wanted to participate. Mette suggested that I took her her horse, and then she would just walk besides us all. Since the ground was frozen, we were only going to let the horses walk, so Mette wouldn't have any problems in keeping up with us. 
It was such a nice trip, and I actually think that I ought to do a bit more riding. What a fine way to experience nature.

Yesterday I checked my spam folder for my email address, and I found an invitation from Chris Wong to participate in the "Wall Shelf Build-Off"
Four years ago I participated in the SSBO (shop stool build off), and it was such a great thing to participate in. 
Chris had manged to attract some incredibly fine sponsor prizes, and the entire build off couldn't have been organized any better.
I highly recommend you to register and participate in the build. If it is anything like the last event, there will be loads of prizes, for numerous categories, Since the design limits for the build are very wide, it is especially interesting to see what other people come up with. .
The skill level of the participants last time ranged as did the design. I think that the most interesting stool built last time was the innovative works of Alex Leslie. He rightfully won a prize for that entry.

Bertha resting in the shop.

Shavings from the planer stick incredibly well to a soft coat of fur.

Gustav and Bertha right after getting her home.

Jonas/ Bent, Lene/Marco, Laura/Fairy

Friday, December 9, 2016

Pennsylvanina spice chest 9, the secrets within

I have decided to wait with the drawers till I get back home. There is no need to rush the job and make some crappy drawers that I know will annoy me for many years.

But I have completed the interior of the chest, with dividers and a couple of secret compartments.

I can't claim that I have invented those hiding places myself, as they seem to be fairly typical on those spice chests.
The crown moulding hides a secret compartment that is accessible from the back of the chest. You have to remove the lower drawers completely, and inside there is a sliding key that will let the back panel fall down revealing the secret drawer (which I haven't made yet).

The second divider, is loose and on the back there is a small drawer made up of some egg crate joinery. To prevent the divider from breaking, only the front has got the grain running vertically. The main part of the divider has horizontal grain.

My plane is to make a false bottom for the major center drawer too, but I'll have to see about that.

I guess all there is left to do out here is to wrap the piece in some bubble wrap and cardboard and hope for the best when it has to be loaded onto an airplane on its way home.

The inside of the spice chest.

Close up.

Divider with secret drawers.

Back slid down to reveal the secret compartment hidden by the crown moulding.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Pennsylvania spice chest 8, outside of cabinet completed.

Out here blogging takes longer time than building.
Not that I am such a slow writer, but just getting blogspot to open the page where I can actually write takes half an hour every once now and then.

But Brian Eve has sent me a tutorial on how to make my pictures smaller, so hopefully that should speed up the process of uploading pictures on the blog. Let's see about that. I remain skeptical until proven otherwise.

The crown moulding and the base moulding were difficult to mount. Mostly because I managed to make the box a little bit out of square, and on top of that I had to struggle with workholding for non flat pieces of moulding.
The front of the crown moulding was glued to the entire width of the case, and the two side pieces were just glued in the forward 2.5" more or less, and then got a few brads to secure them near the backside. Hopefully that will allow for a bit of wood movement.

The base moulding all attaches to a frame that was joined with mortise and tenons. So all the mouldings are simply glued to that frame. The frame is also where the legs are attached.

For the feet of the spice chest, I considered either turning some or making shaped feet. Spruce is not a super good wood for turning, plus I wanted to prove to myself that I could make shaped feet without a bandsaw or a jigsaw, so shaped feet it was.
The front legs were joined by gluing the miter. I didn't ad any reinforcements, cause they would also be glued to the sub frame anyway, besides there was no idea in pushing the difficulty of this to an extreme level.

The rear feet were left as a long block of wood (7.5"), so I could plane the shape for both feet at the same time.
I sketched the desired shape on the end of the feet, and used my moving fillister plane without the depth stop and the fence. The outside curve was a walk in the part to make, the inside curve took a bit longer and was cleaned up using a half round file with some coarse sandpaper wrapped around it.
When the shapes were planed on all the parts, I drilled a couple of holes to remove some of the clumsiness. For some strange reason, we have some incredible fine wood drills on board, approximately 1" and 1.25" in diameter. I used the 1"drill and the result was perfect.

After the drilling, I marked some angled lines that I sawed next to, and finally I eased the outside edges with a round file and a bit of sandpaper.

The feet were glued and screwed in place after I eyeballed their position.

Thanks to Brian Eve's trick, it only took 8 minutes to upload a picture :-)
Please note the very neutral and non disturbing background for my picture. I take a lot of pride in presenting my work so it looks the part. A key ingredient to this is to make sure that there is no clutter in the picture..

Outside completed.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Pennsylvania spice chest 7, making a door.

Yesterday I planed a base moulding, and the result was even better than the first one I made. The design was a bit different, with two coves, so a bit more sanding.
I also sanded the first moulding, because I figured that if I had to make a scratch stock, I woudl get all caught up in that and spend a lot of time on it. So instead I wrapped some sandpaper around a piece of an old bolt and sanded the internal rounding. It didn't take that long, so I am convinced that I have saved time.

Today I deemed the material for the door to be dry enough to work on. It wasn't soaking wet when I took it inside, just some water on the outside of the boards.

One of the boards from the pallet side was very clean and had only two very small knots that were placed in each end of the board, so that piece would make a perfect raised panel. 
Another board could give a couple of stiles, and finally there were two smaller boards that could each give a rail. 

I started by cutting the rails and styles a bit over length, and then rived them to 2"3/8 width. I then proceeded to plane them to the same thickness, and finally clamped them together and made them the exact same width by planing the edges all at once. 
After deciding the orientation of the individual pieces, I planed a groove for the panel in each of the pieces. Since my grooving plane only has a narrow cutter, I planed two grooves next to each other to end up with a groove close to 1/4".

I laid out the pieces on the carcase and took the measurements directly from there. there is less chance of messing up the size that way.
My idea was to use haunched tenons and stopped mortises.
So after marking out the inside length of the rails, I added roughly 3/4" to each end and sawed them to that length.
I used the groove for determining the thickness of the tenon, and made the haunched part a bit too long, so I could trim it once I had made the mortise.
A bit of sawing and paring, and the tenons were complete.

I marked out the location of the mortises by inserting the rails in the stiles. Once I had the mortises chiseled out to the correct depth, I tested the fit and trimmed the haunched part of the tenon to its final length.

When the frame was complete I dry assembled it and marked out the stock for the panel directly from it. I added a bit less than the depth of the groove to the marked area, and sawed the panel from the board.

The next task will be to make a raised panel.

Parts of the door.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Pennsylvania spice chest 6, crown moulding.

Today I completed the dividers and glued them in. My plan was to tackle the door next, but I had forgot to take in the pallet side that I wanted to use for the raised panel, so it was a bit on the wet side to start working on.
I moved it to the engine room and I guess it will have dried out in a couple of days.

For the design to work properly, I need a piece of crown moulding and also a piece of base moulding.
If I had known that I was going to make a project that needed a moulding, I would perhaps have brought a moulding plane with me on board. But I didn't.

The perfect piece of wood for a moulding is clear and straight grained, so I looked through what wood we have on board and found a reasonable piece. 
I am going to need a total length of 40" of each type of moulding. That length is far more than what I can accommodate on the workbench. So I had to make up a new type of workholding that would enable me to plane the entire length in one operation.

I started by crosscutting the piece to length, and then I sketched the moulding profile on one end. I tried to make a moulding that didn't have a lot of internal curves. The outside curves I will be able to make with the smoothing plane.
Most of the moulding are rectangular sections that I made with the moving fillister plane. I have incorporated a single curved section where I'll probably have to make some sort of scratch stock or a scraper to make it look good.

The exercise went rather well, and the next step will be to make a rip cut to separate the moulding from the board, and then complete the rounded parts.

I had a couple of more pictures, but just uploading this single one took 2.5 hours spread over a couple of attempts.

Rough moulding made with moving fillister.
Notice the glued up carcase in the background.