Thursday, November 24, 2011

Twirly Rolling Thingy

Yes that it what it was called.  It was originally designed for my wife's classroom but the district rules stated that every classroom had to have the same furniture so it was never used for what it was designed for.  It was a fantastic design (yes it is one of mine).  There is no unused space.  Two sides will hold books, baskets, toys, or other things.  The other two sides were made as a magazine holder.  The entire thing is on wheels and a lazy suzan so it rolls and spins.  This is the project that started me on my path of pattern making.  This is about a 5 year old project but felt like sharing.

On a side note.  I will not be adding beeswax to my finish.  I was doing some research on the matter and a beekeeper would not suggest using beeswax for the same reason one does not give honey to an infant.  It contains the same pollen and bacteria that honey has. 

I have also been doing some cleaning.  I found several sets of 14" ball bearing glides.  I do have a use for them and would like to get rid of them.  So here is what I am willing to do.  I can make two 4-drawer chest of drawers like the one I did earlier this year. Cost will be $100 per cabinet.  Let me give you a little comparison.  Ikea has a similar unit for the same price.  It is particle board with epoxy drawer glides and frame less.  This will be solid wood and ply wood ball bearing glides, framed and you will not have to put it together.  I will also let you decide the width of the cabinet (within reason).  The height and depth are all ready determined.  Sorry this is for locals or pick up only because it will not be easy to ship.  Please email me if you are interested.

Sunday, November 20, 2011


I try to make all my toys with a child safe finish.  In other words if it goes in the mouth it is OK.  Details of my finishes are on the right side of the blog.  This also goes for the wood.  I learned something about my finishes last week.  All of my blocks I put on a coat of mineral oil.  I buy it at Ikea and it is found in the kitchenware section as a wood cutting board oil.  I am really close to running out so I needed to buy more.  I do not live near and Ikea and I heard that I can pick mineral oil up at Walmart.  So I tried and could not find it in housewares.  I asked, I know a guy asking for help is unheard of.  They directed me to the personal hygene section.  I found it on the bottom shelf as a laxative.  I was disturbed.  I hope that I have not turned any one away because I coat the blocks in a natural bowel lubricating oil.  This is pure mineral oil with no fragrances.  If you put a fragrance or other additive it is called baby oil.  It is completely harmless and it is food grade.  So if you are disturbed by this, oh well.

On another note, I am going to try a new finish on the blocks if I can ever get it made.  It is mineral oil with beeswax melted into it.  It makes the mineral oil more of a paste which makes it a little more friendly to use with a toddler running around trying to dump, drink, squirt, or whatever toddlers to with a bottle of stuff.  The problem is the beeswax, it is expensive and not easy to find.  I found it at Micheal's but for $18 a pound.  thank goodness for coupons.

I know it has been a while since I have given away a bucket of blocks.  I have a lot.  I think I am close to three buckets full of unfinished blocks.  I hope to finish them before the Christmas season to give away to families that may be struggling.

Projects are coming along.  I don't know if I will have any finished before the holidays.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

The Latest and current project

Doll cradle
This is the most current project I finished.  The plan was free from Wood Magazine and I had a lot of wood that I needed to get rid of. The plan was not the easiest to follow but  it was mostly template work.  I ended making six of these pendulum cradles; one was a guide, three are complete, and two need to have have the bases built.  I was also using several different woods.  Two were mad out of counter top material.  I did not know that oak butcher block material had two sides.  One really good and one really bad.  The counter top was 1.25" thick so I re-sawed the material in half and planed it down to the correct thickness.  My band saw really was a huge help to me in this project.  The back side was used as the pattern cradle.  I was told not to burn it but make it into a planter.  It is at may parents if any one wants to pick it up.  Two are made from alder, at least that is what I think it is.  It was given to me after the passing of my grandmother. It came from a front room shelving unit that my grandfather built.  I made 4 sewing boxes out of it and then I had enough to make two cradles.  This cradle is the one pictured.  The other two are made out of birch plywood.  I don't know what wood the base is going to be.  This will be one toy that I will not be keeping because I have a crib that I made before I was married modeled after the one my grandfather built for my mother when she was a child.
I was able to successfully use my plug cuter to hide the screw holes.  This was the new technique I learned this time around.  A few things came out of this project: First, assembling parts that do not sit flush to a surface is a pain.  This is the reason there are screws in this project.  Second, it was nice to have a test sample to screw up on.  And third, I really need an oscillating drum sander to sand these larger parts.  I have the modification parts to do this on my drill press but the table is just not big enough.  Fun project probably will not do it again.

Last weekend was the wood working show at the Pomona Fairplex.  It has been a couple of years since my dad and I have been because it seems to keep getting smaller and the deals are not there.  I went to look a band saw class.  I realized that: my band saw is not set up correctly, I have the wrong blades, and it do not use the saw with its blades correctly.  I will not go much further it to this.  I did purchase a couple of things.  I got a wider nozzle for my air brush.  Hopefully I do not have to  thin down my finish.  I also purchased a plate glass sharpening kit.  The thought process is glass is flat so lay wet/dry sand paper of varying grits to use a wet stones.  I tried it out on one of my grandfathers hand plane irons.  They were duller than I thought but I got one of them sharpened.  Now I just have to figure out how to use a hand plane.  That will be for another post.  I did learn something.  Wet sand paper will sick to glass with out adhesive and is much easier to peel off.  If you are in the market for a sharpening stone I would recommend a 1/4" piece of tempered glass and various grits of wet/dry sand paper.  I don't know if I recommend  buying this system. Please note that this sand paper is meant to be wet when used.  I have also heard the using a marble or granite tile also works for the flat surface.

This is the project I have been working on for the past couple of years.  It is not complete yet but here is a sneak peek.