Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Shop Floods (again...)

Getting your feet wet is not a good strategy for a work bench. Endgrain always looks nicer when not soaked. That's why I store my bench indoors....

The weather has been consistently wet. 65mm in the past 48hours. Winds ~30km/hr with gusts up to 55km/hr.

Water is coming through the plastic membrane (above the first row of bricks) and little around the window frame. It also seems to be soaking straight through the bricks.

No easy way to fix the problem (esp. while it's still wet.) Time to shift some timber and get the bench off the floor.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Quality Control

This photo shows a work in progress on the dovetails for the lectern's base. They looks nice, but this is take two. The first version was below par and didn't make the cut. There's no excuses but basically it came down to being in a rush, and being in a rush is never good for quality. 

John West wouldn't want part of this.
Substandard Dovetails.
Wenzolf & Sons' Saw.
Today I started on take two. I milled some new timber, took time with layout, used the proper jigs (bench hook, shooting board and dovetail marker), and didn't rush. Still a work in progress but looking better.

Now what to do with the old one. Cut the joints and use the timber? Add some wheels and base for a child's wagon?

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Positioning XLR Panel Mounts

One of the more complicating factors of the lectern project is the internal XLR wiring. Two panel mounts installed on the lectern tablet and two within the bass are connected with wiring within the vertical column. (Made more complex by an adjustable height column.)

The panel mounts are 24.1 mm deep - tricky in a 20mm top. Options are:
1. Re-cut the top from 2" timber. 
2. Build up the table around the mount (either above or below.)
3. Move the mounts from the corner to within the box (about 5cm, which could get the way of the paper/books.) 

Happy to hear suggestions.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Red Cedar and Blackbutt Burl?

I'm keen to explore the possibilities of working with timber 'burl'. Burls are the tumours of the tree world. They are knobbly, knotty, bumpy, irregular tree growth. The timber found in these burls is always complex and often beautiful. On the downside they are often difficult to work (due to alternating grain and denser than normal fibers), unstable due to unpredictable changes with humidity, and fragile. 

The above pieces are dressed ~50x250x550mm in size. I'm fairly confident to resaw each into three 10-15mm panels.
 (Though I should fill the sap lines and defects with epoxy before cutting into it.)
The original burl slab.

 I have enough cedar to then frame the panels to make a small table. But it's unusual combination, will it work?

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Lectern Project: Dovetailing the Top

The dovetails for the top piece are made more complex by both the 30 degree tilt and the tapered side pieces. Some careful layout, and a good portion of the morning lead the basic carcass is complete. 

I originally planned to have a series of floating panels for the base. However, I had considerable difficulty cutting the grove due to the angles and the small dovetails. I may just have attach a smaller panel that overhangs like the top. Happy to hear peoples thoughts on this.

A clean work bench to finish the weekend.

Lectern Project: Dovetailing disappointments and other progress...

Yesterday considerable progress was made. All the pieces rough cut and dressed (by machine.) The base was dovetailed (by hand), and the center column's mitre's planned (also by hand.)
Dovetailing set up. Good times.

To cut the dovetails I used a different technique to normal - using measured marks with an irregular edge compared with using dovetail markers on  a square edge. The tails worked well - happy enough. The pins - below average. It's a shame, it took time and nice timber, but I think it will have to be scrapped and started again.

The lectern base (overhang will be 5mm when cut to size.)
The lectern table top ~360mm x 640mm.

The two large boards were cut from a single piece. Ripped, machined, and re-glued.

The strength and aesthetics the center column is going to be formed by splined mitre joints. This center column (whom's joinery is hidden within the larger column) was formed by hand. The mitre rough cut to 45degrees by a no 4 1/2 jack plane (which was surprising accurate) and then smoothed with a no 7 jointer (which went a little far on the inside.) The groves cut with a small plow plane. No perfect but for a first time technique it proved it can be done. 

Friday, July 8, 2011

Communion Table Design

The second piece in the church furniture project is a small communion table. A table to be situated at the front of the church and at times  hold ceremonial items like communion bread and wine while the rest of the time blend into the background.

I have some very interesting (and probably extremely difficult to work) coastal blackbutt burl which I plan to resaw into panels. The frames would be made of cedar.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

New Cedar Boards

Last weekend I dropped in on Mal Ward from Boutique Timbers. Turned into a pleasant afternoon casually looking for 'interesting timber' and a quick cuppa.

One of the joys of woodworking is seeing the potential within the timber. This slab had been laying on the ground and was covered in mud and mould. The end had split. Most people would have walked past and missed out.

I used a jigsaw to cut down the large split end into smaller usable pieces. A no 5 and no 7 bailey did the rest. (You might also spot an interesting piece of blackbutt in the background.)

Silky smooth Australian Red Cedar. Now I just need a project.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Lectern Table

I'm in the process of fine tuning the details of the lectern design. The desk is 500x300mm - comfortable size for  2 A4 pages. It is tilted back at 30 degrees. Below is a dovetailed case reducing the angle from 30 to 15 degrees. The bottom which will show from below would be frame and panel. 

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