Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Week Seven

It is finished, sort of. The flat bed truck for this purpose is complete. I will not be showing this truck again until I clear coat finish it and add the wheels. The only parts that are missing are the air filters, bumper, and head lights.The other projects are coming along. It is more detail work and there is not much to show.

I did more on my wood dowels. It was kind of fun and chips of wood were flying everywhere. These turnings are pretty much complete. I have to cut them to size still and I need to check to make sure the diameters are correct. The thick plain looking dowel is complete. It is three inches in diameter and I have to cut it to size for the few projects that I am making with it. The other two are not candle sticks, but I will keep you guessing. (The candlesticks are the ones on the right. They look the same) I was unable to do any of the face turnings so I don't have anything to report.

The lesson for the week is make sure the tools are sharp. My coworker does a lot of lathe work so when he found out what I was doing he offered to let me borrow some of his chisels. There is a lot of responsibility when borrowing some ones tools because of the fear of damaging or destroying them. Well, he did lend them to me. It was amazing how much easier and cleaner sharp tools cut through the wood. Fortunately for me, my coworker also likes sharpening them too. I guess I need to sharpen some of my hand tools.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Week six

The abbreviated story of lumber is that a tree is cut down and then cut into flat square boards and sold. This week I reversed the process. I took those square pieces and made them round again with a lot of waste. Yep, this week I made dowels. These are not for the four projects I am working on now, but I wanted to make square boards round. The octagons are in the process of being made round. This is a new process for me called face tuning. On the back of each octagon is a piece of scrap wood. Its soul purpose is to be able to mount the hardware that attaches to the lathe without damaging the work piece. The pieces are glued together with a piece of paper in between. My instructor said that once the piece is complete this glue joint is easily separated by a chisel and mallet. I am a little worried. The lathe spins the part at 1200-1500 RPM. I am using chisels to cut the details. I don't know what is going to happen.
The octagons are maple and poplar with a ply wood scrap block. They will be made into disks. Starting on the right: the first dowel is poplar, the second is clear pine and the third is cypress. The last two are maple turnings that I started a year and a half ago. I think I need to finish them.

The other four projects are coming a long. One is almost ready to be finished. The other three have so more work to be done. It is all detail work though so the changes from week to week are going to be small now that I have to make square wood round again. My projects are starting to take notice in my class and I have received some nice compliments.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Week Five

I cannot say that I accomplished a lot this week. I have sort of been side tracked on a couple of other projects. In class I have access to a lathe and I really need to get some parts done in order to make some future projects. However I did have a chance to do some of the detail work on my projects.
This week I have learned that I cannot count. I am short one axle holder and two steps. Oh well, I should be able to make those pretty quick. The projects are starting to come together nicely. I am happy the way they are turning out. I have learned that my father's tape measure is off 1/8" in the positive (better in the positive than in the negative). His response is that I should have been using that tape measure though out the entire project. An eighth of a inch is enough to throw off the entire yield of a board and because I am making toys I also use a ruler. This is the reason some of my parts are a little big.
If you have not been able to figure out what I am making the pictures should give it away. I do not have the trailer in the picture for two reasons: I have not changed it since last week and it is 21" long.
Last week I had some one in class come up to me and tell me that a true woodworker does not use nails. This week another classmate asked if I sold my toys because she would like to buy one. We shall see.
I also learned something this week talking to a coworker about lathes and turning projects. His specialty is the lathe and asking about turning and he offered to give me some wood. I politely declined but he insisted. He purchases turning blanks online and the company uses wood as packing material and it was too small for him to use. (This is where I received the wood for the helicopter.) He said Wood workers give each other wood that they cannot use. So he gave me a chunk of spalted huckberry and cypress. He also offered to lend me his turning chisels because the school ones are not that great. Next week I hope to have some turnings done.

Friday, February 5, 2010

This fish does not get water

I spent four weeks on a few complex projects and post a picture of a fish that took me a couple of hours to make two of them and everyone comments on the fish. I am finishing this fish tale on this post. The plans wanted me to use a aniline die. at $7 an ounce, I don't think so (There are nine colors). I read in one of the books that food coloring is a good way to stain wood. So that is what I used. Well water makes wood swell and these were tight fitting pieces anyways. The good thing is that the fish is now colored and I only colored one of the fishes. The bad new is if the fish gets wet the colors will run. This is not a good puzzle for kids that put everything in their mouths. It would be like sucking on a permanent marker. I need to clear coat it still and with the weather I don't know when I can do that. Not bad for a weekend project that was purely experimental.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Week Four

There is a point were I get really excited about completing projects; this was that week. I had a great week and got a lot done. not as much as I wanted but there is never enough time in a weekend. My projects are getting closer, but the problem is I am getting distracted by other projects. I am working on some boxes also. They are very basic but I was asked to build them. I also did my first puzzle. I will talk more about that later. I am excited to put on the axles. All I have to do is drill the holes and glue. The fenders are ready to glue on and they are looking more like toys. I spent most of my class sanding though. It is a necessary pain.
Now for some stories:

On Saturday I was able to pick up some lumber at Peterman Lumber. Great lumberyard with a lot of different species. I was delayed several weeks due to truck problems and weather. They had a bunch of discounted hard maple so I stocked up a little. I also picked out some exotic hardwoods. not too bad priced when I only picked up one board foot. However I do wonder what damage I did to the rain forests. I will have to post some pictures later. Later that day I made a huge pile of sawdust (I haven't cut into the exotic hardwoods yet).

Monday was class. I got a lot of sanding done and I put together the boxes. As I was nailing the boxes together, one of my classmates came up to me and said, "A real woodworker doesn't use nails." In some cases I agree because I do not use a lot of nails on my projects. However, nails do a great job of keeping things together while glue dries. He came back a little later and said that I could borrow his bottle of glue. I showed him my bottle and told him the nails were to keep it together. He left me alone after that, not sure why. I also was able to talk to the professor about some lathe work that I need to do. It actually may finish the candle sticks I started a year and a half ago!

I also did my first scroll saw puzzle. I want to get better at the scroll saw and this is a good way to do it. I also learned a lot about wood and scroll saws with this day project. I had some one inch glued panel scrap that I used to make this puzzle. I don't plan on making that mistake again. The first one had a hidden knot in the middle of one of the glued up pieces. Of course the knot was in the middle of the fish. On the second one I realized the white rings in pine are a lot softer than the dark ones. So I would be pushing to cut and then I would cut into a white ring and cut way too far. They look good and they work. I can take the pieces out from both sides which means the scroll saw was set up correctly. They will be painted with food die and polyurethane.
It was a weekend that I needed.