Friday, January 22, 2016

Lesson Told Now Learned

When I took over the sample shop at the company I currently work for, my first goal was to stock the department with the small tools that they needed so they were not waiting on each other.   One of the recommendations was more clamps.  I asked if they wanted more quick grips because they were faster to use and less cumbersome than the bar clamps.  I was told the quick grips do not have enough holding force for what was required.  I thought that was an interesting comment and tucked it away as a metal note.

Eighty percent of my clamps are quick grip style clamps.  They work just fine for making toys and I have large bar clamps (not quick grip style) for larger pieces.  I am currently working on my kids Valentine gifts.  I received a slab of 10/4 mahogany from a friend cleaning out their garage.  It was water damaged and I was not sure what it was used for so it will not be made into toys.  I figured I could do some through mortises on this project.  Sorry not saying what it is because my wife also does not know and it drives her nuts.  So I made template.  I realized why I do not do a lot of this joinery.  I even cheated and did the template on using CNC.  I cut out most of the material before using a flush trim bit to clean it out.  I started routing and the template moved.  Adjusted it back and made sure my quick grips were really tight and tried again.  It moved again.  I used my bigger quick grips that supposedly have more holding force.  It moved again.  Brought out my furniture screw type clamps.  This time it did not move.  Quick grip clamps are good but not for holding router templates.  The lesson learned a while ago now makes sense.  Looks like I need more clamps.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Redesign and Maintenance Work

I have been making the redesigned/improved rubber band guns.  It is interesting how popular they are.  So I will start with the redesign.  The first thing that I did was increase the barrel size to 3/4" dowel.  Home Depot has a cart with 3/4" square and round dowel for the same price as the 5/8" dowel in their quality section.  The only difference is they come from random scrap wood.  So I have found zebra wood, walnut, African mahogany among others in this section.  The quality is comparable to their other section.  I do have a little rant on Home Depot dowels I will get to later.  On the barrels I drilled notches on both sides.  One side I left both prongs for the business end, the other I left only one to load the rubber bands on.  This removed the 1/4" dowel on the back side which seemed pointless on the first build.  I then tapered both ends.  The front ends for aesthetics and the other end squared the sides to hold more rubber bands.  I found that the round end caused the rubber bands to slip and miss fire.  This feature, with the larger diameter dowel, allows for more rubber bands to be loaded.  That is it for the barrel.


The last big adjustment was the removable pin on the crank.  I am left handed and stuck up about it.  Not really, but it does make it difficult some times.  The pin  allows the crank to be either on the right or left sides.  I am happy with the improvements

I am not happy with the dowel section of Home Depot.  They advertise as hardwood dowels.  I get that means poplar and oak dowels.  This would be in their "quality dowels".  On this trip to get the 3/16" dowels to peg in the barrels, I had the choice between oak and pine.  Last time I checked pine is not a hardwood.  In the 3/4" off cut section, also labeled hardwood dowels, they had bass wood.  Again not a hard wood.  I have started looking at ordering dowel online.  With a slightly higher quantity order and no shipping charges (yes it is offered) I can get dowels cheaper than the big box stores.  That was my little rant.

I have also been doing a little maintenance to my shop furniture.  I finally put the doors on the sanding cart.  Doors were kind of needed because of all the dust.  I did concealed hinges.  It is the first time I have used these in a while.  The firs time it did not go very well and I have shied away from them for a long time.  Same went with hardware.  I am pleasantly please with how everything went together. Here were the main take ways from the project.  This time I had more accurate measuring tools.  Ruled squares were a big help in making sure that everything was the same distance.  The drill press was also a huge help in boring the hinge holes.  I also learned putting a scrap block behind the door prevents blow out.  I also added the rails for the hanging file holders in the bottom drawer (sorry no picture).  Much better than making my own.

I have also started adding wall cabinets to the shop.  This is more of a request of my wife.  She is tired of all the dust that accumulates on the shelves.  I did not make these.  They are purchased.  One of the perks of working at a cabinet manufacturing plant.  First time installing kitchen cabinets.  Not all that bad.  If I had to do it again, I would have moved the washer and dryer first.
Hopefully the next post will be the finished car carrier.