Monday, February 29, 2016

A Ming-Inspired Cabinet (38)

Work on the web frames for the lower part of the cabinet continues….

The pockets on the center boards which receive the sword tip miters are chopped:

Another one underway:

Getting closer:

At this point, a paring jig is brought into play. Well, two paring jigs actually:

I set one guide up by eye as best as possible, and then tap the other one to meet it. At the moment that the line of light between the paring guide miter tips is closed off, I figure I have them pretty close:

Paring then can begin:

This one looks done:

By design, there is a reinforcing rib formed inside the joint immediately behind the reentrant miters.

Another one pared, same routine:

The paring guides seemed to do the trick, and I then was able to process the roughing cuts on the remaining boards:

A while later, all miters had been pared to the line on all the boards:

Then it was back to the front 3-piece rails, of which there are 4 sets, where the center pieces had not been spear-pointed yet, and the end pieces, which were spear-pointed yet had been left fat of the line by about 1/16" (1.6mm).

So, same paring jig different sticks:

Time to try a fit to see how things are looking:

The clamps are holding the board to my planing beam. I also used a clamp to draw the joint fully tight.

At this point of the process I am moving with caution, not having ‘proof of concept’ yet as far as the cut out approach goes, not sure if the paring jigs are on the money or not, etc.

The next front rail piece can be fitted:

After checking that the front rail pieces were in line with one another and square to the receiving board, I had the connection together:

Almost there with the miters it would seem:

Another tweak brings it closer -you can see by the pencil mark which parts I adjusted:

Then I scuffed the surface with a sanding block and 220 paper just to clean up any slight irregularities where the miters met one another:

That was looking decent I thought. I can set it aside once I complete one last task on it - the mortises for the parallelogram-shaped keys which lock the joint need to be established.

The shachi sen mizo were marked out on each stick when the joint was assembled, and then the joint was separated, layout completed, and the trenches could then be cut out, first sawing then paring:

After cutting was mostly there, I reassembled to see how that looked:

Wishing I had used 320 or 400 paper instead of 220. Tomorrow is a new day though….

While the joint was apart I noticed a slight area of interference inside the joint, so I cleaned that up and that allowed the 2-way spear point miter to draw just a hair tighter perhaps.

The gap at the end of the rod tenon is a hair more than I had planned, but acceptable:

These joints are located under the drawer’s runner piece and is not viewable unless the drawer itself were to be removed entirely.

The other side:

These two are pretty close. Now that I have  them together I can do some final clean up on the parallelogram through mortises.

The last picture is a hair blurry - sorry about that:

I was trying the 'Super Macro’ setting on the camera, and must have done something wrong when I clicked that one. It was the end of the day and time to head home. I don’t always know for sure if the picture is blurry until i look at it at home on the monitor.

Anyway, I think the joint came out acceptably, and will draw up possibly even more when the wedges are driven in later on. The above picture is taken without a clamp on the joint.

And with that connection done enough for the moment, that leaves me seven more of the same to do. The fitting of those pieces should go a bit faster than the first pair through as I am now confident that the paring jigs are  accurate, and I have a better sense how much material has to come off the spear points on the front rail pieces to get them in the ballpark of a fit.

I’ll see if I can take some non-blurred closed ups tomorrow as I work my way through them. Hopefully tomorrow will see me through that.

That’s all for now, thanks for reading this far, and hope you are enjoying the series.

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My Journey As A Scroll Saw Pattern Designer #1704: Leap Day Monday

I am always looking for more time, it seems. Once every four years my wish comes true – we get an extra day to do things. Today is leap day and many consider it an ‘extra’ day. I will gladly take it!

This year has been so busy from the start for me. I can’t believe that we are through the first two months already. Time is certainly moving quickly – even more so than usual. I suppose it helps that I sit here on this February 29th with my window open slightly. I am enjoying the fresh air that is being brought in and the beautiful sunny morning. This is certainly not a 'typical’ winter for us here in Nova Scotia. We have had a few days of snow, but nothing that lasted very long. For the most part, it was a grey and rainy end to last year and beginning to this one. Certainly it was nothing like the mountains of snow we had last year. Even though I never really mind winter, I think I will take this for now. There is so much I want to get done and I think I am ready for some nice days. I think everyone is. 

The weekend seemed to just fly by again. Keith and I had some personal things to do on Saturday and we treated ourselves to a nice dinner that evening. When we got home, I did some more work on my embroidery project and made good headway. I finished the next flower on panel 3 (the Narcissist) and was happy with that. But I will show you that soon. 

Yesterday I took the day to do some things around the house and I wanted to work on my Day 3 of Lynne Andrews’ “12 Days of Christmas” ornaments. I am happy to say that they are nearly done and will be shipping out in the next day or so. I am right on schedule. 

Here is a photo of the front of them:

At this point I still had a bit more to do as each of the hens was holding a sprig of holly in their beaks. Then I had to add the hologram Opal Dust to the centers and crystal rhinestones, which needed to be done last. The backs look like this:

These are pretty much completed, as I took the photos after the hologram glitter was added. I think they came out really nice. 

For those that aren’t aware, I created a wonderful Facebook group for those of us making Lynne’s Ornaments as well as those who want to cheer us on and watch. You can access it here and join if you wish: 

12 Day of Christmas ornaments by Lynne Andrews - We are Making Them!

Just put in a request to join and we will be happy to add you. We love the group and even if you aren’t painting, you can learn a lot of nice tips and tricks from those who are. 

Today I am changing my hat and once again doing some designing for the scroll saw. I have some nice ideas to draw up that I think others will like. As usual, it will be a busy day. 

I am going to keep this short today and get to it. I hope you like seeing the progress on my ornaments. I am so happy that I am able to keep on schedule with them. So far, so good. Now if I can keep it up for the entire year.  . . 

Happy Leap Day Monday to you all! 

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Friday, February 26, 2016

Nambe' Anvil Salad B

Nambe’ Anvil Salad Bowl & Servers!

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A wood turned Christ

A wood turned Christmas. Wooden Ornament

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Craziest Table Saw J

Craziest Table Saw Jig On The Planet! Makes Wood Bowls

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Shop made tools #6:

Shop made tools #6: Ruler Stop

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Deck building tips *

Deck building tips ***Repinned by Normoe, the Backyard Guy (#1 backyardguy on Earth)…

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Tubular Storage - Th

Tubular Storage - The Woodworker’s Shop - American Woodworker

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Learn how to make Wo

Learn how to make Wood Floating Shelves with DIY Pete! Simple, affordable project that looks great. Check out the video, post, and free plans here:…

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homemade lathe chuck

homemade lathe chucks

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Turning large bowls

Turning large bowls on the table saw #woodworking

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A Ming-Inspired Cabinet (37)

Work continues on the lower portion of the cabinet carcase framing, an ‘ice cube tray’-like structure of interconnected horizontal and vertical dividers. Here are the 24 drawer runner supports, completely cut out save for a final chamfering:

Q-q-q-quartersawn baby!

The other end of the same supports are dovetailed:

Later on, checking the fit of one of the drawer runners to one of the main vertical support boards:

This is just what I wanted at this stage - a close 'light interference’ fit which can be eased very slightly later on.

The horizontals - the rails-  are pretty much complete, save for some more spear point miter trimming:

Another view:

The spear points are likely 1/16" (1.5mm) long at this point. Fitting spear point miter joints requires a certain carful circumspection in approach I have found. You can creep up on your lines, but woe be you if you go beyond those lines. It’s the sort of work suited to an Optivisor, put it that way.

Another view:

Test fitting the rear rails to the vertical dividers, the connections involve pairs of simple half lap joints:

A little closer look:

This joint is about halfway from the fully closed position, and seems to be going together without undue complaint.

A view from the other side shows the open mortise for the runner support piece’s tenon:

The other set:

I know from measuring that these joints for the rear rails will close right up, so no point smacking them all the way down with the mallet just yet.

The wider boards which serve as vertical dividers will need some further mortising yet, however they are getting there. The bottom of these boards will have multiple tenons, while the top end will feature a stepped arrangement of sliding dovetails.

All for today- have yourself the best possible weekend!

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My Journey As A Scroll Saw Pattern Designer #1703: Some More Embroidery - Panel 2 Completed

I am going to keep my post short today. (I know – I always say that!) I had planned on doing some drawing yesterday, but we kind of changed plans and that didn’t really happen. I never really mind when things change up like that, as a little bit of being spontaneous is good for us. Many times things are even better than we anticipated. I think that was the case here. 

We decided to invite Keith’s mom over at the last minute, as we always enjoy her visit. It was a dreary and stormy day outside and it was nice to have some company. We have a nice relationship and she always brings some crafts to work on. That is the good thing about family – they take you as you are and it is never a fuss to have her drop in at any time. 

The only thing that changed was that I didn’t spend my time at the computer, but instead doing other things. While I had the choice of either painting on my “12 Days” ornaments or working on my embroidery piece, I decided that I wanted to move ahead with the needlework. I am excited about this piece and I think the several months’ absence that I had from doing needlework has me longing to do more. 

I am happy to say that I finished up Panel 2 of the piece, and even started on Panel 3. This one is going along really quickly, I think. Much quicker than my “A Perfect World” piece that I completed last  year. I don’t know if it is because it is an easier piece to make or if my skill has improved or perhaps a little of both. I do know that I really, really enjoy creating this lovely project and I soon hope to be doing some designing of my own. I want to offer not only the instructions, but also some small kits to encourage others to join me in this form of creativity. 

I am not thrilled with the photos, as the lighting isn’t great today. I didn’t want to take the time to get my light box out, as I will take better photos later (I promise!) but you will get the main idea of how the work is coming. 

Here is a photo of the finished panel #2:

It is cut and fun and I am proud of it. I loved creating the little snail using all silk thread:

I think he came out adorable! 

The wildflower on the left is called Wild Sorghum:

It’s leaves and stems are comprised of delicate chain stitches and the flowers themselves are French knots and pistil stitching.

Together the three look so pretty! They make a nice little vignette themselves and the panel is adorable. 

On to panel #3!!

I plan to spend my weekend working on some new scroll sawing patterns as well as painting patterns. I plan on working on this embroidery when I get the chance and also I need to finish up my “12 Days” ornaments for day 3. I hope to ship them out on Monday or Tuesday. 

It makes for a busy weekend. I hope to possibly get some cooking or baking worked into that as well. I know the days will pass quickly. 

I wish you all a wonderful weekend, too. It is still springlike here in Nova Scotia. Once again we dodged the bullet of the storms that hit both Canada and the US. Perhaps after the long and snowy winter last year, the weather gods are giving us a break. I can only hope so, as I am kind of looking forward to warmer weather and having my car back with me again. I need to keep busy so the time will go quickly. 

Happy Friday to you all! I wish you a fun and creative weekend! Have fun and find time to play and enjoy life! 

    “Your successes and happiness lies in you. Resolve to keep happy, and your joy and you shall form an invincible host against difficulties.” – Helen Keller

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Thursday, February 25, 2016

My Journey As A Scroll Saw Pattern Designer #1703: Gold Leafing Egg Tutorial

I am still not able to upload photos.

You can read my blog on my site here:

(It’s a GOOD one! Lots of photos and a tutorial! Just sayin’ … ;) )

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My Journey As A Scroll Saw Pattern Designer #1702: Gold Leafing Egg Tutorial

I am still not able to upload photos.

You can read my blog on my site here:

(It’s a GOOD one! Lots of photos and a tutorial! Just sayin’ … ;) )

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Wednesday, February 24, 2016

My Journey As A Scroll Saw Pattern Designer #1701: My Mid-Week "Weekend"

Lj’s isn’t letting me post pictures here, so you can read my blog at my website here if you like. :)

(Sorry for the inconvenience!) Have a great day!


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Tuesday, February 23, 2016

A Ming-Inspired Cabinet (36)

Over the past weekend my wife and I took the opportunity to make another trip down to Springfield MA and visit a museum there. They had a new exhibit on featuring curios and curio cabinets, which included a small selection of tansu. That exhibit was a bit underwhelming however there were lots of neat things to look at besides in other sections of the museum. One of those was a Japanese samurai armor cabinet:

While I had noticed this piece in the past, this time I was struck by the fact that it had bifold doors, like my cabinet design. Bifold doors are not terribly common in Japanese or Chinese furniture, but they do exist.

On my cabinet, I am doing an unconventional form of frame and panel assembly for each door leaf. This method makes the doors a bit thicker than normal; otherwise I am concealing the frames behind the panels. With tall skinny doors, a conventional frame and panel has a slight drawback in the amount of room the frames must take up at a minimum. The part often to be emphasized is the panel itself, which tends to push the frame members to be as slender a section as is practical- and as may be accommodated with suitably strong joinery. With the frame members becoming increasingly slender so as to make the panel more prominent, the risk increases that the frame corner joins, typically glued, will eventually give slightly, causing the door leaf to distort. This effect will be more pronounced with a bifold door. Make the frame thicker to afford stronger connections and the view of the panels shrinks commensurately.

Such distortion from shear has occurred with this cabinet’s door corner joints at the museum - the inner leafs have sagged relative to the outer ones:

This situation could be ameliorated significantly if several battens were affixed to the rear of the panel to keep it flat, and those battens are then also tenoned into the frame. I strongly suspect that the doors in the above pictured cabinet do not have battens on the backside, at least not ones which are mechanically connected to both the panel and frame. Some people consider the main reason to employ dovetailed battens is for keeping the panels flat over time, which they certainly do, however the other function is to greatly stiffen up the entire door assembly against shear loads as are imposed by gravity. If you only consider the first function, then on a slender door one might conclude that battens are unnecessary since the panels are quite narrow. This is a mistake I think.

These bifold doors are hinged on the front and side surfaces, which means the doors can only open 180˚ and if the door is bumped when in the fully open position then the hinges take a lot of strain from the leverage. This view from the side also reveals no evidence of through mortises for any door battens, as you would typically see on a classic Chinese cabinet:

With a thin frame, through mortises are going to give the maximum strength at the connections, as compared to blind tenons.

The cumulative sag in the door frame assemblies is quite clear to see in this view of the lower portion:

Also, the type of front door latch does little to keep the doors themselves flat and tight to the surrounding casework. Below the doors are a pair of drawers with frame and panel fronts. I am thinking it likely that my glue-less drawer design could also be employed with frame and panel drawer fronts, and that is something I will explore with a drawing when I get a chance.

The door panels themselves did not have the cleanest surfaces:

This view shows one of the blemishes a bit more clearly:

Not sure if that blemish - well, let’s call it what it is, a crater - or the many other ones to be found in the panels, occurred after manufacture or during. It’s part of the story of the piece.

Anyway, it was educational to look at that 100-year old cabinet, as it confirmed some design-related suppositions I have had in recent months, and I now feel confident that I am on the right track with my bifold door design. Time will tell.

Back at the shop….

Currently working on the joinery for the drawer horizontal dividers, here processing the sliding dovetail mortises for the drawer runners:

Obviously, these are not ‘typical’ framing joints for web frames, but rather a result of problem solving when one desires to avoid the use of glue.

One by one, you get 'em done:

Another view shows the tongue and groove portions of these two-direction rod joints, nihō sao shachi sen tsugi:

A version of this joint is detailed in tAJCD Volume III.

This joint slides together as follows:

Another view:

The drawer runner stock lay below.

Each of these sticks is actually composed of three members:

A side view reveals the connections:

The sword tip miters remain to be cut so the joint cannot fully close up as of yet.

Another view:

Another view:

When the joints are drawn up, the spaces now seen at the end of the tenons will be considerably smaller, but not zero.

From the back a portion of one of the internal tongue and grooves can be seen:

The tongue and groove forms an enhancement to this connection, a change I made for some good reasons.

Dry fitted, these connections were plenty rigid and tight enough that I could super-surface the assemblies, which saved timer and made all the surfaces co-planar:

The super surfacing removed all traces of tear out from the VG bubinga, not an easy wood to wrangle.

Also worked today were the horizontal drawer dividers used on the back side of the cabinets:

These, as you can see, are one-piece assemblies rather than three-piece. The connections used to attach these to the vertical dividers are simple half laps:

All the drawer runners, 24 pieces, have been dimensioned with high precision and will have their joinery completed next time I’m back to the shop. Then it will be on to the drawer vertical dividers, which have been planed close to finish thickness. Things are rolling along.

All for today, thanks for dropping by the Carpentry Way.

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