Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Top blanks

The blanks for the tops. Again, there's significant work involved in making rough lumber into the boards out of which you make stuff.
Each of these blanks is glued-up from five sticks; each of those sticks was cut, planed, jointed, and grain-matched before they were glued up.

Once glued up, they have to be leveled again - the sticks weren't exactly the same size (my planer's knives are a little slanted, I think), there's a glue line, and there's the imperfection of aligning the faces in the same plane while gluing up.

Normally, not a big deal - just another few trips thru the planer... unless the blank is 10" wider than your planer in which case...

Notice all that fluffy stuff behind them?...

...and on the floor, and behind the bench, and on the floor on the left end of the bench, and in my shoes, and on my shirt, and leading from the basement to the chair in which I now sit typing?

There's something really satisfying about hand-planing stock: you feel like a "real" woodworker - for the first ten minutes or so. After that, it just feels like manual labor.

Table base trauma

This is one of the things I hate about WWing: there are sooo many little details to remember at every step. Forget one little detail, and you've ruined lots of effort. The forgotten thing here: pay attention to grain orientation.

The corners on this thing are oriented with the grain direction such that it's easily split off.... even when taking really shallow passes with the router. I'm thinking there's an order of cuts or a feed direction that mitigates this, but I can never remember when the chips start flying. Plan: cut off the corners, glue fresh stock on, try again with increased wisdom.

Note that there's a lot of effort (besides making the template) to get to this point: that piece of wood didn't start out all nice, flat, smooth, and of sufficient width to make these bases.

Everything looks better from higher up. I think the square peds need to be smaller and higher. More milling and gluing, yeah!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Table base template, continued

The router has been fitted to the plunge base, which is in turn double-stick taped to my homebrew circle cutting jig (dark, triangle-shaped thing sticking out from under the router). A large scrap of plywood (one of the templates from the bed) has been clamped to the table. This raises the router base up to the height of the work, and to gives something to pin the jig to.

Note the little metal pin midway between the the router body and the dowel "handle" on the end of that dark triangle. That's the pivot pin. The pin has been strategically placed with respect to the circle (which is still on it's original pin from when it was cut out) to get the right amount of arc.

The router will swing around that pin, intersecting the circle and creating an arc. Note the router is pinned and swinging around to make a circle - in the previous step (making the circle), the router was fixed (under the table) and the work was swung around. 6 vs. half-dozen.

Since I want 4 equally-spaced arcs cut out of that circle, I have to index after each cut. A mark on the table lines up to marks 1 of 4 marks on the circle (a big "X" on the circle, really).
Since I don't want the circle to move while I'm cutting the arcs, it's clamped down.

A few swings later and the first arc is described on the circle. In this pic, the circle has been rotated 90* (to the next index mark), to prepare for cutting the next arc. The router is pivoted all the way to the right of the circle.

Lather, rinse, repeat... In this pic, the router happens to be pivoted all the way to the left of the circle. If I wanted to, I could pivot the router thru a full revolution and continue to cut the circle thru the scrap on which the router/pivot is mounted.


Bedside table, base template

A board with a nail in it the desired distance (radius) from the router bit.

Drill a hole in another board, stick it on the nail, a few spins, and...

Shop storage

Under the bench top-to-bottom: misc often-used stuff, files, chisels, sharpening stuff, drilling stuff
Pipe clamps overhead on the left side of the bench. Quick clamps over the right side (not pictured).
A grinder and sawzall hanging up in the joist spaces between some overhead boxes.
Overhead joist boxes down left-to-right: biscuit jointer, nailers, ROS/jigsaw. Hard to see, but extra jigsaw blades live in pocket holes at top of box.
Overhead boxes stowed "up".