Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Week Three

It was another fun day at class and I progressed more on my projects. They are now starting to take shape and look more like toys than just a pile of wood. I did make another mistake, but it was kind of on purpose. I wanted a little bit stronger of a joint on the boxes so I put a dado in the front and bottom of the box. This created a groove/space where the back is going. not to worry a couple of pieces of scrap and you will barely be able to tell were I made the mistake. Now that the basics are pretty much done, the fun begins. I have a bunch of detail work to do.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Toy Testers Wanted

I have been thinking (which is never good) about all the toys I have made and would like children to use them. My wife and I have talked about opening our house to let kids play with them. Now I do not want this to turn into a free for all so there are some guidelines.
  • Kids ages from 3 to 8 years and potty trained. (I change enough diapers)
  • I can only allow 6 kids at a time and 2 kids maximum per family.
  • I am going to exclude kids related to me because they see all the toys I make and benefit from me making toys (This my change)
  • Parents are responsible for dropping off and picking up their children on time.
  • I will be taking pictures and posting them on my blog. I will not mention names on my blog.
After talking with my wife, we would like to do this every fifth Saturday from 10:00-12:00. We would provide a pizza lunch. My e-mail is on my face book account so please e-mail me if you are interested (I may need your phone number) and I will contact you by Wednesday if your child is selected. We are looking at doing this Saturday, January 30th.
I don't know if I am going to have first come first in or randomly chosen but if this works out I plan on doing more. Kids who have not been over will have first priority over kids that have been here before so everyone who wants will have an opportunity.

For those kids ages 9-13 who feel deprived not coming over I am looking at starting a wood working class. I have not put all the details together because it is a little more work to teach woodworking.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Week Two

Here is the latest on the projects I have been working on. There are more pieces and I have some patterns adhered to some pieces of wood to scroll saw. I am not as far as I want to be because of some factors beyond my control. So far they are coming out good. I only have one mistake so far. I glued incorrect parts together. Thank goodness for an article in Wood Magazine I was able to save the project. There was an article about fixing a glue up mistake on panels. In short, take a microwave heating pad (I used a sock full of rice) and heat it up. Put it around the glued panel seam that needs to be separated. In a few minutes (10-15) the glued panels would come apart. Granted the glue can not have dried for weeks. Well I tried it but my parts was two face joined pieces and not a panel so my part was too big to put the rice sock around and I thought I was going to lose two of the hardest pieces to make. Then I realized my part was small enough to put in the microwave. One minute later and a little nudge from a chisel and hammer, the parts separated. With a little bit of sanding they will be good to work with. Hopefully the toy is not radioactive now!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

My Christmas Present

This year I asked for an after market miter gauge for my table saw. The miter gauge that came with the table saw was ok but I am doing some more projects with compound angles. I was also reading how much better after market gauges were. I was excited to get it and it took me a while before I had an opportunity to set it up. I have only done 90 degree cross cut but I am amazed how much easier and staple the gauge is. After making some cut I told my wife that I loved the miter gauge but I now need a new table to match the nice new gauge. She said she could take back the miter gauge. I guess I have been converted to the after market miter gauge. I am excited to try it out on some miter cuts to see if I set it up correctly.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

My Current Projects

Well I have decided to try something new. I am currently working on four projects. (That number is likely to increase but this is my current work load.) I have decided to photograph my progress. I have a woodworking class on Monday and sometimes I can work on them on Saturday so I hope to update the blog mid week. I hope that I can keep this post going because I enjoy the progress of a project just as much as the finished project. This is technically the first week of the post but I have been working on these for a little while and stopped. The glue ups and some of the cutting was done earlier.
I hope that you enjoy watching these projects develop. We will see how long these will take!

Friday, January 8, 2010

What to do with Scrap

I was reading on one of the woodworking forums I follow about scrap and what people do with it. This person posted a picture of is "scrap pile" which was two 5-gallon buckets and said he gives his scrap to some neighbors who have fire places. I was surprised how large some of his scrap pieces were. Some of the pieces would make some decent projects. This prompted me to share what I do with my scrap.
When I start a project I will usually have an empty bucket to put my off fall. This way I have all the scrap from the same project and if I need a setup block or need to test a set up I know that it is the same thickness or from the same board. After the project is over I go through the bucket and pieces that I can reuse get put back in the wood pile. Pieces that are too small or unusable are thrown in the fire wood pile. The rest is made into wood blocks. Every so often I clean out the wood pile and make more blocks out of wood that I realize I will never be able to use. When I have a sufficient pile of blocks I give them away to friends or family. I am running low on friends and family so I will probably be giving them to a local charity. Granted it is not the best set in the world. They are all different sizes and shapes but there are many types of wood. Kids still have fun with blocks even if they don't make the perfect castle.
I know that hardwood makes a good fire but I hope that this will at least will get others to do the same.