Saturday, January 30, 2016

Europe2You Baguette

Europe2You Baguette Boards come in a variety of sizes. #europe2you #serveware #baguette

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Kitchen Treasures #1

Kitchen Treasures #1 Making the Celtic Knot Rolling Pin #4: Glue Up and Trimming The Blank- The Final Steps - by lew @ ~ woodworking community

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I want there to be g

I want there to be garden parties at my house every day. :D 23 DIY Birdfeeders That Will Fill Your Garden With Birds

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Friday, January 29, 2016

My Journey As A Scroll Saw Pattern Designer #1688: Deadlines

It seems that I am always working on some sort of  'deadline’.  I know that people think of those who are self-employed as being free to do whatever they choose whenever they wish to do it. While we may find that our schedules are a bit flexible at times, I honestly believe that if we follow the ‘take-the-day-to-go-to-the-beach’ mentality that so many perceive us to have too often, it is with near certainty that our business will fail. 

The entrepreneurs that I have known (those that have achieved any level of success, that is) work harder than anyone else that I have encountered. They know that businesses don’t grow themselves and that it is only through hard work and not luck or good fortune that they are able to survive and thrive. The difference between them and someone who works a 40+ hour week for someone else is that the self-empolyed person usually has a love and passion for what they are doing, so the number of hours per week that they spend on 'work’ is inconsequential to them. In fact, most of them probably wouldn’t even begin to name how many hours they work on their business. I suspect it is pretty close to the number of hours that they are awake. 

These past few weeks have been amazing for me. It seems that our little business has turned yet another corner and we are beginning a new chapter in our story. It isn’t that we are changing anything, but we are seeing the demographics of our business change right before our very eyes, and we are doing our best to change with it and keep up. Of course, there are some small hiccups along the way (growth pains, if you will!) but that is expected and so far we have been doing pretty well with adjusting to things. I hope it continues. 

While I have been a bit tired, it is a good type of tired. It is the kind of feeling you have after a great workout in the gym. At the close of each day I look at what I accomplished and even though my list of goals for the day may not be complete, it is hard to look down on myself because the list of things that were accomplished is much longer. Yet still I try to do better. :) 

I am going to keep this post short today because I have some deadlines looming. It seems that as our little business continues to grow, I truly have to re-assess the things to spend time on.  I am afraid that for now I may not have the luxury of sitting here and writing at my leisure each morning (as many of my longer and contemplative blogs can take quite a bit of time for me to complete.) That doesn’t mean that I will not be here and not be keeping you up to date with all the new and exciting things that are waiting to be created, but I do have to check myself and keep things shorter, as there are only 24 hours in the day and I wish I didn’t have to spend any of them sleeping! I just have to spend the time concentrating on the deadlines and commitments before me. I know you will all understand. 

It is part of the painting design I am creating for Toletown that I showed earlier this week. It will go with those beautiful, intense colored swatches that I created. I hope to finish it up in the next day or so, and I will also be adding in a video with the techniques for creating those pretty background pieces that I showed. It will be fun and certainly fill up my weekend. (Among other things!) 

I hope you are all a little patient with me with answering emails and stuff. I am really trying my best to keep up with everything, and move forward with creating as well. All in all it will be a busy and beautiful weekend for me. I hope you have a great one as well. 

Happy Friday to you all! I hope you spend your weekend making beautiful things and fulfilling your own creativity! 

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Thursday, January 28, 2016

A Ming-Inspired Cabinet (28)

Post 28 in a continuing series, and 900th post since this blog was started back in 2009.


I got tired of using a screwdriver across the terminals of the otherwise dead start switch on my Zimmermann, and got around to replacing both push buttons and their mounting plate:

The original push buttons were a larger size and in replacing one of them with a 22mm push button operator, I needed to make a new mounting plate, so I ended up getting a new 22mm ‘stop’ switch as well . The new 'stop’ switch is larger and a little easier to hit if you need to shut things down in a hurry. Safety first!

While doing that work, I accidentally grounded a light circuit conductor and blew a 6 amp fuse. The fuses on the Zimmermann are ceramic, a bit like the ones you find in an electric stove, and fortunately I had one spare 6 amp fuse on hand. There are a dozen fuses in the machine and when a fuse blows there is no obvious visual indicator that I can see on the fuses themselves.  You have to test across each one for continuity, which is a little tedious.

Looking in my factory operation manual to dig into the wiring schematics and electrical component specifications, I discovered that the fuses are supposed to be Seimens 'Neozed’ 25amp units, however almost all of the ones in the machine are 6amp. That leaves me slightly puzzled. Either the ones in the machine are wrong, or the operations manual (from 1980) is wrong, or for some reason the specification was changed between 1971 and 1980. I also have a wiring diagram from another year, and it is identical to the first one but there is no electrical parts list included in the other year’s paperwork to confirm which model of fuse was used.

I am tending therefore to think that the correct fuse amperage is 25, not 6. But what if I’m wrong? They have all been working fine so far, but then again, other than the recent accidental connection, there has been no event which has caused them to be tested. They could be fine and they could also be inadequate. I’m not sure what to do. I’m seeing no reason to change anything, but also wondering if the fuses in place are undersized.

I bought a package of 6amp fuses from Germany, and they were pretty cheap actually, and shipping was less than $10.00. Hopefully they will be here soon as I feel nervous having no back up fuses.

This is where I wish I was a bit savvier about motor electrics, and could possibly work out what the correct fuse size should be. I need to study this more…. I confess I am a little fuzzy in my understanding of momentary switch electrics. I do understand that the starter switch is a normally-OFF circuit, meaning the button push connects the circuit, while the 'stop’ switch is normally-ON, and thus pushing the 'stop’ button disconnects the circuit.

Motor controls are not direct in the same way a when you turn on a household light switch. There are magnetic controls between the switch and the motor. When the “start” button is pressed, the motor is not powered directly, rather the electromagnet in the contactor is energized. The magnetic switch in the contactor then engages, simultaneously switching current to the motor and providing self-sustaining current to maintain its own state. Thus when the start button is released, the magnetic switch remains engaged and the motor remains running. I find this fact slightly counter-intuitive, but it is rather similar to the use of relays in an automobile. Instead of routing 460volts through the start/stop switching, the power comes from an internal transformer putting out 30 volts. A low voltage circuit controls a high voltage motor.

I spent the past couple of days doing some CAD work, as my car has been in the shop. The client got back to me and is fine with the design revision to change the steps in the middle portion of the cabinet for shelves. He also wants me to devise a system to attach the cabinet mechanically to the wall in case of earthquake. He lives in LA, so this is a reasonable concern of course. I’ve got some ideas about that and we’ll see where things end up.

Last time in the shop, I was trimming leg tops to a double-bevel or compound angle:

The legs only slope 0.5 in 10, so the slope is hard to see in the above picture.

The legs after the compound bevels have been cut on top - a little more obvious to see the bevel now:

The post tops were the tenoned in one axis:

Another view:

 Another view:

Further reductions lay ahead….

Thanks for visiting the Carpentry Way. My car should be fixed this morning so I will be back in the shop as well.

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My Journey As A Scroll Saw Pattern Designer #1687: Encouragement

It has been another couple of very busy days. I am very fortunate that things are going so well and things keep me so busy. Not everything about what I do though is ‘blog-worthy’ or what I feel would be of interest. After all – how many times do you want to see photos of blank ornaments that I cut?  I am sure it loses its impact after a bit. 

But my month of January has been pretty much spent at the scroll saw.  (or packaging boxes, or answering emails!)  While I have been able to slip some new designs in there, filling orders has taken most of my time.  I am not complaining though, as I am so thrilled that things seem to be taking off in such a wonderful and positive direction. It is what I worked for these past several years. I thank every single one of you for your support – whether you have become a customer, or are just reading. Without you, I wouldn’t be doing what I love. (I will never get tired of saying that!)

So this morning as I was going through my Facebook news feed, I came across a post by an artist friend of mine named Kim.  Kim has been designing and teaching decorative painting as long as I can remember. I owned several of her patterns and books many years before I met her here on the internet. I even met her in person once, many years ago in Indianapolis, and we had dinner together with the people from the magazines that I used to work for. We sat right next to each other and I remember her talking about her daughter’s upcoming wedding. Who would think that so many years later we would become such good friends. It is funny how paths cross that way. We never know when a chance meeting will turn into a real friendship many years later, in such different venues. But life is crazy like that. That is what makes it so exciting and so hopeful. 

In any case, Kim’s post today talked about her 'word of the year.’  Kim always has wonderful and inspiring posts. They are down to Earth and helpful and I admire not only her talent, but I like her very  much as a person as well. I have no doubt if we lived closer we would be wonderful friends, sharing our creativity and love of art. 

It made me think though … 

If I were to pick a 'word of the year’, what would it be? I had thought about that around New Year, when people are thinking of things like resolutions and setting new goals and things of that nature. But I never really settled on one particular word that I felt was fitting for me to focus on. 

For some reason, today it hit me. As I read Kim’s post and thought about things in the fog of my morning coffee, I decided on a 'theme’ for myself for the year. Perhaps some of you think it is silly to do things like this, but to me, it feels good to define some of our goals and remind ourselves of them every now and then. If picking a 'word’ to focus on helps us with that, then so be it. Whatever help us grow and thrive is good for me. 

So the word I picked was “encouragement”. 

I thought about all the wonderful and encouraging friends and family members that I have in my life, and I realize that the impact that they have on me is huge. In both the art groups and the woodworking groups, people show their creations every day so that they can be encouraged (and sometimes helped) by others who have the same interests and love of creating. I find that those who surround themselves with positive and encouraging people are the ones that seem to thrive the best, and are the happiest. I, myself have benefitted so greatly from the kind words, encouragement and also critiques from my friends that a goal of mine is to be that kind of person to others. I want to support them and encourage them to do things that they perhaps feel they may not be able to do. I would like to help them overshadow the self-doubts they have with excitement and teach them that sometimes taking chances reaps great rewards. As a teacher, there is nothing that is more rewarding than seeing those you are teaching accomplish. I think that it the best reward there can be. 

So even though nothing has really changed in my life, it seems that some things have. It is amazing what a difference a positive and focused mindset can make, and on those days when things may not go so well, I can always turn my focus to encouraging others. The good things that doing that will bring are bound to make even the difficult days better. Positive thinking can always move mountains. (Really!)

With that in mind, I am going to be spending my day working on my project for Toletown again. I spent Monday experimenting and coming up with a clear, concise method to achieve the colors and look that I wanted for the backgrounds of my project. I now feel confident that I will be able to share it with others when teaching the design, and I will be making a video of how I did it to go along with the pattern. I think the results is really cool:

And for all of those who wonder where I find my inspiration, just take a look around you. It truly is EVERYWHERE:

This is (once again) the photo of Monday mornings’ sunrise. 


I think not. 

Have a beautiful and inspirational Wednesday! 

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Tuesday, January 26, 2016

My Journey As A Scroll Saw Pattern Designer #1686: Color My World

I am going to just do a short post today. It has already been quite a busy day and I need to stay ahead of things. 

Yesterday was busy and productive. Among other things, I was able to do a lot of the ground work for my next project. (The one I am creating for Toletown, that I mentioned yesterday.)  This project is taking some thought and experimentation, because I am trying a technique that I haven’t really seen done before. That doesn’t mean it is difficult or that it hasn’t been done, but there doesn’t seem to be a lot of information ‘out there’ and I have in my head what I want things to look like. Getting from the “idea” to “reality” isn’t always a straight path I found. But the journey is part of the fun. 

The project isn’t a difficult one. In fact it is quite easy. Once I figure out exactly how to go about the process, that is. But finding the simplest and best way to accomplish something is something that sometimes takes a bit of thought and experimentation. It also usually takes a couple of failures. 

I think this applies to many things. 

When I cook, I say it usually takes me a minimum of three times of making something before it comes out 'perfect’. The first time I try to follow the recipe as closely as I can. The second time, I adjust the flavors and seasonings to tune them more to my liking. The third time, I further adjust things and 'fine tune’ everything and I am finally really pleased with what I made. I don’t think creating a project using a specific technique is much different.

Like cooking, art is not an absolute science. I know that some will disagree, but I don’t think it is completely necessary to follow things exactly to the letter to have good results. (CONSISTENT results – perhaps – but especially in art, I think that the variances between what one artist creates and what another does is part of what makes it so wonderful.) 

But when working with a new process altogether one needs to use both 'instincts’ as well as knowledge of products to get the best results. That usually takes a few tries. It did with me, anyway. 

My vision for the project was to use RocLon fabric as a base and have it as the background, but a large part of the design. I wanted the colors to be bold, yet fluid – somewhat like watercolors. But since RocLon has a rubberized core, it would act differently that traditional fabric. So I knew I had to 'play’. 

And 'play’ I did!

I spent the afternoon making many (many) swatches and trying many different techniques and products, adjusting this and changing that and after several different tries with less-than-optimal results, I finally figured it out. I was truly happy with the result and the process was … well … 'easy’! 

Below are two of the swatches that I felt portrayed what I had in mind:

The goal of intense, yet washy and pretty springlike colors was reached. These are only a couple of samples of what I intend to use though. I plan to do more shades and combinations as well for the actual project. 

But I had other work to do on the computer and I had enough 'mess’ for the day. I cleaned my area and thought I would start fresh again today with this part of the project. Only this time I had the technique under my belt and I could move with confidence that things would 'work’.  I will make several more sample sheets today and then choose some of them for the actual project. The project itself will be quite quick and simple, and I think will be fun to do as well. I am going to be making a video of me doing this process to reach this point for the online class, and I think that will show how easy it is to achieve. 

So all in all, it was a great day. Today will be another productive and fun day, I am sure. As I looked up before I began writing my blog, I saw the sun rising in our sky. It was breath taking! 

Although it only lasted a few minutes like that, I took it as an oman. A day that begins with such beautiful colors is bound to be filled with beautiful colors as well. Doesn’t that make sense?  

I can’t wait to get back to my project! 

I wish you all a wonderfully beautiful and colorful day!  Happy Tuesday to you! 

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Monday, January 25, 2016

10 Paint Tips & Tric

10 Paint Tips & Tricks You Never Knew!

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Handmade maple and w

Handmade maple and walnut wooden box for by DocsWoodenCreations

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Turning scrap wood i

Turning scrap wood into a ring

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My Journey As A Scroll Saw Pattern Designer #1685: Christmas in January?!?

I had a truly wonderful and productive weekend. while most of the eastern part of the United States was getting pounded with a blizzard, oddly enough Nova Scotia escaped its wrath. In fact, tomorrow (Tuesday) and Wednesday it is supposed to be 7 and 6 degrees Celsius respectively. What an odd winter we are having… 

But living where we do, it didn’t hurt to ‘be prepared’ for the storm, just in case it decided to change its path. It has been known to happen. We got all of our errands done on Friday and I planned to stay in the entire weekend and get some serious work done.  It is a win/win strategy, I think. 

On Saturday, I spent the majority of the day (what else?) cutting ornaments. I have cut over 100 dozen ornaments since the beginning of the month, and I am certain you are all tired of seeing the piles of them as photos here. I am very pleased for the work, but I must admit that I am happy that things are slowing down a bit. I haven’t had much time to design or do anything else really (like embroider or paint or cook!) But I have been doing this long enough to know that things would even out, and it seems that they have. My ultimate goal for my business is to cut one or two days a week to keep up with orders, and then be able to design and do other things the rest of the days. While we are rarely able to dictate our schedules in this way, it would be nice if it were 'somewhat’ possible. I can try anyway, right?

We are coming to the last week of the first month of the year. For me that means that some deadlines are quickly approaching. Some are self-imposed and others are commitments that I made for designing. I know that I need to spend this week working on them all if I am to reach them. Failure to do so is not an option for me. 

One goal for designing is that I am honored to be on the Design Team for Toletown – an online painting community. Those of you who read often know that I have been working with them for a while, and it is something that I love to do. It is a great place for all levels of painters to learn and enjoy and the cost to join is very minimal. (Please check out the link to see all they have to offer. I don’t think you will be disappointed!)  

Each month Toletown has two full video classes and a shorter “Quick Paint” pattern. Each is contributed by a talented artist, so there is always a nice variety of styles and subjects and levels of painting. The videos are really nice because they always teach new techniques and help even newer painters grasp the concepts of painting. I am always happy to contribute. For the month of February, I am one of the featured artists and will be providing a project which will include an instructional video. That is what is on my agenda for this week. I want to get it to Lorrie – the owner and coordinator of Toletown – as soon as I can. 

That is what I will be working on today and the rest of the week … 

As for the weekend, as I mentioned, I cut ornaments and kits on Saturday. I am pleased to say I got everything done that I needed to do and even a couple of extras. That left Sunday open for 'my own’ creating. I was truly excited about that. 

Earlier this month, I mentioned a project that I am doing for several people that were on my Christmas list. I am painting them the full set of 12 ornaments from Lynne Andrews’ Christmas Blessings book. I gave “Day 1” to the five recipients on Christmas, and I planned on painting one “Day” per month and sending them all through the year. 

For me it would be impossible to do six sets of 12 ornaments all at once – especially when they are so beautifully detailed, front and back as shown above. (One set is for ME!)

So doing six ornaments a month is much more workable for me, and I goal I feel I can achieve. That means that “Day 2” needs to ship out next Monday, February 1st. Time is a-ticking … 

I had based the ornaments in between my mad frenzy of cutting and designing that I have been doing this month. Believe it or not, I found the time. I decided that yesterday I would devote much of the day to working on Day 2 and getting the ball rolling again. I think I made great progress. 

Here is a picture of ONE of the ornaments with the main design finished:

Obviously it is the “Two Turtle Doves” from the book. I think it is coming out beautiful! 

Here is a different angle where you can see the JoSonja Opal Dust that I added over the design to look like 'snow’. (All of the ornaments will have this)

I also added the white snow 'dots’ in the above shot. I think it is beautiful and I am once again excited about getting them done! 

I still have a little way to go, but I am well on my way and I do believe that my goal can be reached. I think it will be wonderful for all the recipients to get a new ornament each month, and it will 'Keep Christmas in their hearts all year!“

Here is my group of six:

It will be fun to see them all being done. 

So for today, I am turning into another direction completely. I have some fun experimentation to work on using paint on some fabric for my Toletown project. I think it is going to be something that will make a wonderful project. 

I hope you are all safe and sound and that those of you who got a lot of snow are alright. Last year we were pounded with so much snow that even I was tired of it. I know we are not done yet, but we dodged the bullet this time. 

I look forward to a fun and productive week ahead. It is bright and sunny here today and looks to be a beautiful day. It is time for me to get moving … 

Happy Monday to you all!  I wish you a great week too! 

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Sunday, January 24, 2016

Hiding spots to buil

Hiding spots to build into your house.

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Wooden Animal Boxes

Wooden Animal Boxes By Karl Zahn

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Wooden Business Card

Wooden Business Card Holder in Walnut or Mahogany by Woodstorming | This business card holder has simple, elegant and modern design. It is made walnut and reclaimed mahogany wood (it was a part of flax hackling machine in his earlier life) which was sanded and polished especially smooth to have that shiny look. Impressive wood pattern makes it luxurious and solid accessory. We created this item to carry your business cards elegant and safe.

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Classic wooden Penci

Classic wooden Pencil Box

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DIY Woodworking Proj

DIY Woodworking Projects For Everyone

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Wooden Business Card

Wooden Business Card Holder

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Beautiful wooden bus

Beautiful wooden business card holder. Because I actually need business cards sometimes these days.

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A Visual Compendium

A Visual Compendium of Guitars / Pop Chart Lab

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Acoustic Guitar Key

Acoustic Guitar Key / Open up the door to your Rockin’ world with this unique acoustic guitar key!…

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Natural wood dock fo

Natural wood dock for iPhone 4 iPhone 4s with UK power by icolio

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Wood burned WELCOME

Wood burned WELCOME tree slice wreath by WoodburnWithStyle on Etsy, $35.00

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Ashbee Design: Wood

Ashbee Design: Wood Slice Flowers • DIY

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Friday, January 22, 2016

My Journey As A Scroll Saw Pattern Designer #1684: You Don't Got a Thing if you Ain't Got That BLING!

You knew I was going to do it … It was just a matter of time. 

You knew that I wouldn’t be able to resist adding some BLING to my new SLD521 Damask Heart Ornaments and SLD522 Heart and Soul Candle Tray.

But how could I resist?  The rhinestones I get from Rhinestone Canada are so PRETTY and they are so EASY to apply.  And you can’t deny that they make them look better, can you??

So I got out my heat wand and rhinestones and went to work …

All I had to do was place the stone on the piece and touch the wand to the top of it for about 20 seconds:

And “BAM!”  (That expression is from my friend Mary!) 

Beautiful sparkle! I added coordinating rhinestones and ribbons to all the ornaments and I really think that it brought them up a notch. I matched the color of the DecoArt Metallic Lustre that I applied a couple of days ago (they stuck beautifully!) and just look at the result -




The ornaments colored with the Metallic Lustre are just fabulous:

… but then so are the ash ones:

I honestly can’t say which ones I like better. I love them all! 

And while I was taking nice photos, I decided to re-shoot the SLD522 Heart and Soul candle tray that I showed the other day. 

Ok – now I am just showing off! But isn’t it beautiful??  

As you may have suspected, the Lindor chocolates that I used for ‘props’ earlier this week are long gone. They seem to have 'disappeared’ right after the photo session last time.  (I guess I have to get more!) 

I am very thrilled with how these patterns finished up. I actually spent most of the day yesterday cutting orders. I figure you are all tired of seeing the piles of ornaments and wood kits that I cut every day. As my little business grows, it seems that I am getting more and more surface orders. That is fine with me, as I am truly in my 'happy place’ cutting and listening to good music. I am grateful that people enjoy what we do! 

Keith has been working hard on our new catalogs. We decided to separate the PAINTING PATTERNS and SURFACES from the SCROLL SAW PATTERNS to minimize confusion and also to make smaller catalogs. We just keep adding stuff and they get bigger and bigger. This will make it a little easier to download for everyone as well. 

Keith also created a wonderful NEW set of ten Veteran’s plaques (SLDKVET)

Each plaque honors a different war.  They are available individually, or as sets of three. We hope you enjoy them! 

That will be all for today. We are preparing for a big snowstorm over the weekend. I don’t know how much will reach us, as our weather here is showing that we will get NOTHING. It seems highly unlikely that will be the case, as there are already large flakes falling. Go figure. 

But we are prepared for whatever the weekend brings. The wonderful thing about painting and drawing and doing needlework is you don’t need electricity. I shant be bored. :)  

I wish you all a wonderful weekend ahead! I hope you all stay safe and warm. Happy Friday to you!  

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Wednesday, January 20, 2016

A Ming-Inspired Cabinet (27)

Before getting to project progress stuff, I guess a few more chisel set pics wouldn’t hurt, as the earlier ones shared in the previous post were a bit dark. Hope this gives a clearer view:

The gumi has some nice irregularities, which I like:

The rings are pre-fitted about halfway on, and it did not take long at all to prepare the handle end and drive the ring on:

I fitted 10 rings in a row and it took about 30~40 seconds each. These tools almost set themselves up.

The flat neck allows the chisel to behave like a long paring chisel:

Meanwhile, more legs were being milled on the Zimmermann. The splay on the legs is 0.5 in 10 each way, which is the slightest slope I’ve worked with when dealing with these type of compound-angled projects. It’s challenging.

In this step, the legs and attached bronze leveler foot are being made very slightly out of square in cross section - intentionally so - with but a whisper cut:

There’s likely no point in trying to mill such a thin angle, but I thought I would give it a go.

Then the set up was changed and the top of each leg rebated in two directions so as to form a clamping tab:

A minor puzzle to set up:

The clamping nub on the end of the leg:

The c-clamp was tried and then latter found to be unnecessary:

The last couple of days however I’ve been working a fair bit on the project drawings again, so I haven’t been at the shop at all.

As I revisit the drawing time and again I have been allowing the design to percolate. This has proven to be advantageous actually. Some aspects cannot be reversed now as I’ve already cut the parts, however other aspects - namely much of what will be placed atop the stand I’m currently making - exists in a window of opportunity for change. So I keep thinking about ways the piece could be improved or tweaked.

One area in particular I have been scratching my head on concerns the hardware for the bifold doors. In a past project, the walnut vanity shown back in 2009 on pages here, I overlooked the hardware a bit and it came back to bite me in the ass when I found that the little doors with curved edges were problematic to hinge. I avoided a disaster on that one by slight fiddling with hinge centerlines, but it was a close call and drove home the lesson that sometimes seemingly minor things can have significant effects on a given design.

With the bi-fold doors, I have multiple hardware requirements. There are the pivoting hinges, there are the hinges between the door pairs, and there needs to be some means by which the doors can be latched and held, at least in the closed position and possibly in the open position as well. There need to be handles on the front of the doors, and these handles should stylistically tie to other hardware if possible.

Intersecting the hardware choices for the bifold doors are the hardware choices for the drawers, along with the set backs for the drawers and the upper sliding doors relative to the back of the bifold doors. A certain type of drawer handle, if located in an area where a piece of hardware for the bifold doors was located, could create a point of interference. That’s just one of the potential hazards to be considered.

I was going to go with a piano hinge for the bifold doors, however, strictly speaking the doors are not so heavy or heavily stressed that the piano hinge’s strength is especially needed. So I began to consider smaller hinges. Piano hinge quality wasn’t all that great for the most part besides.

Then I came across some interesting sprung hinges, made by Bommer. Here’s an example:

Between the hinge parts on the upper end you can see a little capstan turret sort of affair. You insert a metal tension rod into the capstan and turn it to add tension to the hinge spring, then move into place a second small pin, into a keeper hole, to keep that tension setting. They are pretty cool, stoutly made and the company has been in business since 1876. They make a small enough model, 3" long, which could work very well I think on this cabinet. They would be largely concealed from view. The springs would work to help the doors close flat and would assist in the process of opening the doors from their folded position.

The thing I want to avoid is a uncontrolled bifold door swinging open all the way or dangling out in space. I want the door to fold away tidily, and store well in both open and closed positions. The bifold doors on the closets in my house use a metal guide track on the lintel, however it makes an unpleasant noise when the doors are opened, and look horrible. That was not an option. For a while I thought of making some sort of wooden track on the cabinet’s bonnet support rail, and a sprung pin on top of the doors to follow that track. I think the spring hinges might door the job better, and more quietly, however I don’t really know for sure. as a result, I’ll do a mock-up and test out a few different combinations of hardware to see what is what. I want the door to feel smooth and well-guided as it is opened and closed, so some experimentation is in order.

A means of latching the doors in the closed position has also been an avenue of investigation recently. I’m leaning at the moment to using a metal ball stud and socket type of catch mechanism:

Receiver left, male threaded ball stud to the right. There are various tensions of receiver available, so the pull out load can be configured as 3lbs, 6lbs., 12lbs pull, and on up. I can mount the receiver on the edge of the interior work surface of the cabinet, as that board will be thick enough to accommodate a receiver, fitted behind a piece of bronze plate or something like that.

Then there’s the hardware for the drawer pulls. That remains undecided though there are some leading contenders.

Here’s a view of the cabinet with doors closed, the normal arrangement the cabinet will have:

There need to be a couple of pulls mounted on the bifold doors, probably on the inner door of each pair, somewhat close to the hinge line.

As I’ve worked over the past month or three to obtain shop drawing take offs from the main sketch I’ve also reconsidered the middle section of the cabinet, and have decided to revise it. Previously, I had fitted a ‘step-tansu’ arrangement of storage, however I came to see that it wasn’t a very good use of the available space inside the cabinet, and that since display is one of the functions of a step-tansu, and storage is the primary function of the cabinet, these things were therefore at cross-purposes.

I decided to take the steps out from the middle and reverted the area to an earlier arrangement of having adjustable shelves inside with a central divider. The central divider makes for a configuration where with one door open there is a dedicated shelf space:

You can also see in the above sketch that the drawer detailing has bene fleshed out and modified a little bit. I’m also going to look at placing a tiny low railing along the front of the middle section, an architectural motif, and see how that looks. A lot of Chinese cabinets have them and they look pretty good to me and serve a useful purpose of keeping things contained within.

I made the top and bottom edges of each drawer front a little bit thicker, which makes the top and bottom through-tenoned connections between drawer front, runner, and drawer side even stronger, and adds a horizontal element which emphasizes the sense of, oh, what to call it? - the visual horizontality of the section. The horizontal divisions between drawer levels are more clearly demarcated, put it that way:

The color of the Shedua drawers, etc., is a little off in these sketches. In reality that material will be a bit browner than it is greenish.

I feel that the changes in the middle move it away from being a storage space of a somewhat particular nature (in terms of what sorts of things could be placed on the steps and inside the irregular compartments), to a much more generally useful arrangement with the shelves. The sideboard could serve equally well as a wardrobe I think - it’s versatile.

I have shared these ideas with the client and am waiting to hear back from him to see how he likes the change, or not. If he wants to keep the step tansu inside, I will make that for him of course, but for our cabinet in this pair, we’re going with the shelving.

All for now, thanks for visiting.

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