Friday, July 13, 2018

Colgate EALL (14)

This job sure entails a diverse range of items, from architectural millwork, sliding doors, to furniture, to windows, and so forth. It’s fun in that respect.

I’ve been working on the round window for the Japanese alcove. I considered various ways to make a round window, and in the end decided that glue up from solid segments made the most sense. I chose a decagonal arrangement of pieces as a compromise between grain straightness and overall complexity.

After gluing up pieces in a couple of stages, I had two half-rings of 5 pieces each. These were then tuned along their abutting ends with a hand plane:


Once that was satisfactory, I could proceed with the glue up:


All of the joints have an internal spline.

With the glue up done, I proceeded to process the cuts to make a round, lipped window frame:


A bit of table sawing with the rip blade cut away the remainder of the waste and I cleaned up the surfaces of the flange by plane:


Then some additional smoothing work to finish the cut out out phase:


On goes the finish, in the end 5 coats applied and hand rubbed between in total:


It’s nice to use Enduro Var as it allows me to get several coats on per day.

The spline ends are exposed, but fairly discrete, so I doubt they will be noticed:


The cusped window is done, and has been waxed:


The alcove has a floor on each side. The alcove proper has a single piece black cherry slab, now into its 4th coat of finish:


The other side of the alcove, which features the round window and the staggered shelves, has an avodire floor, and is a glue-up of 4 pieces:


The glue up produces a panel w

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Thursday, July 12, 2018

Wadkin Dimension Saw: Resurrection (Phase I), Part II

I’ve been too engrossed with project work to be able to make it back up to Rees shop in NH, however he has made a lot of progress on the machining work. In fact, the work is complete after nearly 40 hours. I asked him to take some pictures as he went and he kindly obliged.

The sliding table’s upper surface was one of the first things Rees tackled, and just a few passes with the planer shows the condition of the surface quite well:


The table was bowed up in exactly the last place where I could tolerate it, right next to the saw blade when ripping stock.

Just like hand-planing a piece of wood, you can reach a point where most of the surface is done, but the ends remain low and many passes are yet required to flatten things out:



After about 0.023″ (0.6mm) had been sliced off, there was at last a flat table top:


A bit more than that had to come off the underside of the table, along the runs where the linear rail assemblies are fastened. All in all, over 0.05″ (nearly 1/16″) was removed in correcting the surfaces, which was about the degree that things appeared out of whack with the table at my shop when it was on the machine.

Curiously, one of the underside rail supports was dead straight until the last 12″, where it veered off of parallel with the other rail by 0.005″. This would have of course contributed to the difficulties I found in getting the table bearings tightened  – it was not possible to get them adjusted properly, and I had to run the table such that it had too much play in the middle of the stroke and got slightly tight at the end of the stroke. Those bugbears are going to be problems in the past now, it would appear.

After the upper table was sorted Rees got to work on the support beam:


The support beam was decently straight, yet was improved to a higher standard than before, with about 0.012″ taken off.

One of the tricky parts was dealing with the linear rail support ribs, which have a sloped top and a curved bottom surface:


Rees also dressed the sides of the casting to clean them up:


The sliding table casting has also been cleaned up in the same manner.

Another view of the planing work underway on a linear rail rib:


With the two castings straightened out, the mitre fence was then worked on, and after that, the holes for the mitre fence in the table were redone. Both the main pivot hole, which had been heli-coiled previously as a repair, and the worn out detent holes for the various mitre positions were bored out, plugged, and redone. The detent holes are conical. The pivot pin threads were cut off and a Whitworth 1/2″x12TPI set screw was installed.

Here’s the primary mitre fence position after the re-working:


I had Rees add a second position of pivot and detent holes in the middle of the table, so that when I do obtain a back mitre fence to pair with the main mitre fence, it will be much more usable tool in terms of the sliding table being able to support the work:


In case you’re wondering what a back mitre fence is, here’s a picture from the Wadkin PP saw brochure showing it in use (see pic lower left):

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Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Письмо «Мы нашли нов

Письмо «Мы нашли новые пины для вашей доски «Корзины и коробки».» — Pinterest — Яндекс.Почта

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Wood Project Plans -

Wood Project Plans - CHECK THE IMAGE for Lots of DIY Wood Projects Plans. 48372723 #woodworkingprojects

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Saturday, June 30, 2018

Colgate EALL (13)

Well, though this video covers ground already detailed in the last two posts, being at last edited and narrated, it seemed worth sharing:

I did my first trip out to Colgate this past few days to install some woodwork. I got into ‘worker bee’ mode while there and didn’t take a lot of photos, but I hope a few is better than nothing.

Here, in the Japanese room, I’ve mocked up the arrangement of the wainscot panel with some plant-on inside corner posts, and a piece of baseboard:


There’s a 2-piece cap to be fitted to the baseboard yet of course.

I’m using 1/4″ (actually measures 0.2″) plywood with one side faced with VG fir. I hesitated to employ plywood, but it was the best option it seemed to me for an appliqué which needs to be thin, and given the difficulty/expense of obtaining VG fir at this time. As you can see, the bamboo floor laminate has been installed in that room and the upper portion of wall has been painted.

My main task in the Japanese room was fitting the various plant-on posts – here’s a look at another area of the same room:


Excuse the dust spots on the lens. The posts, now that they have been trimmed to length, were taken back to my shop afterward, to have yet more cut out done upon them.

The Chinese space at the other end of the connecting hallway saw the installation of the framed bump-out which in turn will later receive a cusped window:


The framing had been largely done in my shop ahead of time, save for final length. I used 2×6 spruce studs, and sheetrock. Not materials I would normally want to use, but they make sense when you are affixing to that same sort of wall system, though the existing framing uses steel studs not wood. I put some drywall compound on the exposed screw holes, and will leave the rest of that work to Colgate’s plastering/painting workers.

Speaking of attaching the framing, I had brought some Spax™ screws with me for the task, which are advertised on the box as being for various materials, including steel, however I only had luck getting them into the steel framing studs at the bottom of the wall. Of course, when I was atop a ladder and struggling to get the screws in, they stubbornly refused to do their job. I ended up having to go out to a building supply and obtain some self-drilling drywall screws. That really was the only hiccup during this install.

Leaving the site work for the moment, as regards the cusped window, it is made. I elected to use a chunk of bubinga that I had for that. The sides of the frame were made with a pair of pieces joined at a slight mitre angle, with a glued spline joint inside. Here’s my glue-up fixture for that task:


A pair of wedges at each end pushed the two segments together. It worked well.

Once the gluing was done, the parts were marked out in preparation for band-sawing to shape:


Here’s a look at the cusped window frame about halfway along the course of fabrication:


Not yet fitted in the above photo is the face frame portion, now glued on, which gives it the final appearance at the front. That’s almost done, not photographed though, and into its third coat of finish. Also completed is a framed glass panel that attaches to the back of the window via 4 magnets. a sliding panel goes behind that. I’ll install the window frame and associated parts into the opening on my next trip out to Colgate.

Also installed during the visit was the transom at the entrance to the Chinese room, which went in with a little planing and coaxing:


I did end up scratching the wall on the right and some fresh paint was removed, however there will be a bunch of electrical work done in that space and the adjacent hallway, involving cutting into the sheetrock in several places, so further plastering and painting is needed in the space regardless. I felt like I should have left a little apology note for the painters though!

I now have a slate of tasks for the next two weeks before the second installation visit. Hopefully I can complete everything in that timeframe.

Thanks for coming by the Carpentry Way.

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Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Bye-bye blogger

After many frustrations in recent months on Blogger, I reached a point where Google’s ‘free’ product simply wasn’t serving me, or my readers, well at all, with particular regard to the commenting function.

In recent months, the notification of new comments on posts ceased, due to an unknown cause, and I had to visit blogger’s admin section and look for posts in a moderation queue. That got old fast.

Then there was an option to ‘upgrade’/switch my blogging identity from ‘blogger’ to ‘Google-plus’. I tried this change and discovered it had some curious outcomes:

– it allowed some folks who had been unable to successfully add comments in recent months to post now able to do so – yay!

– I now found comments on posts from months back, submitted by readers via Google Plus, which I had never seen nor received notification about. My apologies to those readers, like Ward in Seattle. I wasn’t ignoring you – I never received any notification, and the comments you made only seemed to exist in the Google Plus universe.

– when a reader comments via Google Plus the post author (me) is NOT given any notification as to whether a comment was left. And this applies to any post on this blog, going back, in this case, some 1020 posts back to 2009. The only way I would discover that someone had left a comment on an old post was by manually scrolling through the summary page for all 1020+ posts, and I’d have to do that on a regular basis. It would be almost a full-time job, and a very boring one at that.

-worst of all, on Google plus, there is no comment moderation, leaving my blog wide open to abusive comment content, x-rated comment content, or just the run-of the mill spam which comes in daily. No way that would work for me, and readers here I’m sure are not looking for that sort of thing either.

– if comments were made by readers with Google Plus, then reader without Google plus would be unable to see them. If i reverted back to ‘blogger’ identity instead of Google Plus, all comments left by google plus readers would be lost.

So, digging in deeper and finding these issues in blogger seem to be more of a feature than a bug, and Google isn’t in any particular hurry to do anything about it, I decided enough was enough, and though it costs me money to have the blog hosted here, at least I have ownership of the content, which is not the case with the Blogger platform, in which Google owns all your content. Whenever the product is free, then you are the product, as they say.

I’m so annoyed at google that I am thinking of canning all my Google accounts, including Youtube, gmail, and stopping using Google as a search engine. We’ll see how far I feel like taking it – for now, I’m happy to be here, and look forward to posting new content. I’ve placed a redirect on my old blogger site, so hopefully you will automatically land here when you visit the old site. Please update your bookmarks accordingly. And thanks for your steady readership! My apologies to all who were inconvenienced/annoyed/puzzled, or simply struggled trying to leave comments previously on blogger. Those problems are now in the past. Onward and upward.

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Tuesday, June 12, 2018

PVC Dust Catcher

PVC Dust Catcher

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Saturday, June 2, 2018

Garden Structures Update

A few years ago, in May of 2013 to be more precise, I created some planting beds and trellises for our family garden plot in the community garden space.

Here is a listing of those posts, in case you missed them

Tower of Power

Trellis All About It

Trellis All About It (II)

Trellis All About It (III)

Trellis All About It (Conclusion)

Three months after installation of the Jatobá trellis, I did an update:

Three months On Garden Update

And now it seems, 5 years on, another update is in order. As I explained at the time of making the trellis, these garden structures, while ostensibly for containing dirt and supporting climbing plants, are really a laboratory of sorts for me, to get a chance to observe how certain woods and certain kinds of joints do over time in the harsh conditions of the outdoors. Save for exposed end grain, none of the wood is painted or ‘sealed’ or has any finish other than what my plane leaves behind.

I am convinced that the hand planed finish does the best outdoors and all other attempts to apply coatings are simply doing nothing to make the wood last longer and just giving you a new bit of maintenance work to do, so I don’t bother. Planed is best, though I will note that the Black locust boards were not hand planed, but just machine planed, IIRC.

First up is an overview pic, showing all the structures in the garden:

As you may note, if you looked over the previous build threads, the black locust garden beds are now elevated, while they were, prior to this year, sitting right in the dirt. The reason for this is largely to combat Meadow Voles, which are now well established in the community garden and which caused a couple of my beds last year to really underperform. I’m not a care and share sort of fellow when it comes to rodents. So, this spring, I dug all the dirt out of the beds, re-leveled the ground, laid down some galvanized hardware cloth with a ½" mesh, then placed a perimeter of CMU’s, aka cinder blocks, around the edge, and then placed the wooden beds back on.

This should keep the voles out, and as a benefit the beds have twice as much soil and require less stooping to tend. It also allowed me to see the condition of the black locust a little more clearly.

This picture shows what might be a typical condition:

The black locust was purchased green, the only option in N. America it seems, and has undergone a fair amount of distortion, cracking and movement over the years. This was to be expected - the multiple through-tenons though have held on quite well, which is good to see.

Black locust is famed as an extremely durable wood in contact with the soil, with people stating that fenceposts can go 50 years in the ground, and so forth, but I am a bit underwhelmed so far. One bed in particular is undergoing significant degrade and rot:

The diagonally-opposite corner of the same bed also shows that it is rotting away, much faster than anticipated:

That’s a big disappointment. The other two locust beds aren’t nearly as bad, but they are still more deteriorated than I would have expected. Still, the locust, at $4.50/bd.ft., was cheaper than most other options in rot-resistant species, but still, I’m not sure I will be inclined to use it again, unless I could find it properly dried. Hah, good luck with that.

The Jatobá trellis, on the other hand, shows zero signs of rotting, and is holding together well, though the wood movement of this species overall is a bit on the high side it seems to me:

The Jatobá does not accept/retain end grain paint well, and does not degrade with much in the way of end-grain checking, so I guess in future I could skip the paint step with that material.

Next is the Spanish cedar pyramidal trellis with teak cross pieces fastened with stainless screws:

That’s doing really well, with no appreciable degrade save for the usual weathering to silvery grey.

The last one to look at is the newest bed, completed in the past couple of weeks in my spare time:

I’ve noticed that different woods have different abilities to retain end grain paint, with Jatobá being noticeably poor in this respect, and Honduras mahogany the most excellent. The new bed is made from teak, which is oily and difficult to glue, but which should last very well outdoors. I used a special epoxy for oily woods and sealed the end grain with that, then applied a clear coat epoxy with white pigment over that. It will be interesting to see how well it holds up over the years.

The corner joints are a place where various joinery options present themselves. I was briefly tempted to do a double-mitered half lap, but that joint, it seems to me, has certain vulnerabilities, so I went with triple rod tenons and 6 shachi-sen fasteners, making the corner joint using a separate nose piece:

I think this should hold together well, but we’ll see of course.

A view of a different corner:

A little gappy on that upper rod mortise, but I made these joints at a high rate of speed, and not the normal care I would take with furniture or architectural joinery. Nothing to see here folks, just move on….

The other outdoor wood/joinery experiment I have going on is the shrine lantern in my front yard, which is of Honduran mahogany and currently looks a bit forlorn:

There is a landscape maintenance crew which looks after the front yards in our community and last year a less-than-attentive mower operator, no longer with the company, caught the corner of the roof of the lantern head and tore it partially off, creating quite a bit of damage. I took the lantern head off last fall and brought it to my shop but I just haven’t had the time to deal with it yet. I need to make a new roof altogether.

I noticed of late that the support framing for the head was also damaged, so I have to take another layer off yet and fix a couple of sticks:

Hoping to get to that work before the summer is gone. Sigh! Otherwise, the mahogany is clearly the champion in terms of withstanding the elements.

All for this time - thanks for visiting.

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Friday, May 25, 2018

Colgate EALL (9)

With the benches out of the way, I have a couple of items to finish up for the Japanese room before turning to the Chinese room and its woodwork.

One task that presented itself was to create the crossbeam which supports the alcove post, toko-bashira, and serves double duty as the upper sliding track, or kamo-i for a pair of sliding doors below. For those door, a sill, or shiki-i, also needed to be fabricated.

I cannot obtain avodire, at least not in the US, in the thickness required, so laminated some pieces together:

There’s more than meets the eye here, as the lower portion of the beam is in fact a piece of black cherry:

You may wonder, why is he doing this? As mentioned in the video which accompanied the preceding blog post, I find avodire to have a quality of having rather high surface friction when you are fitting things together. It is not a wood which slides around easily, so I think it would be a poor choice for the sliding tracks and the frames for the sliding doors. Black cherry, on the other hand has much more suitable characteristics, and is beautiful to boot, however this aspect will be largely out of view.

I used my portable grooving machine to rough out the tracks in the beam:

And with a change in the depth setting, the sill-piece was similarly roughed out:

Then I used a router with edge guide to trim the grooves to a more exact width:

The top of the beam is formed into a tongue which will carry some spacing pieces that support both the alcove floor panel, toko-ita, as well as the floor panel under the staggered shelf assembly. I roughed out the tongue on the table saw, then cleaned up on the shaper:

The result:

A few more steps remain on this beam, however my attention next turned to the spacing pieces which attach to that newly-formed tongue on the topside:

The alcove post, toko-bashira, will sit on the beam in the divide between the two spacers. The fit of the t&g joints, though not too tight, is sufficiently snug that with the high sliding friction of avodire I am disinclined to fully put the parts together at this time, not wanting disassembly struggles.

Another view:

All for this round - thanks for tuning it to my site. Comments most welcome.

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Saturday, May 19, 2018

Colgate EALL (8)

A bit of water has flowed under that proverbial bridge since the last posting, and in the interim, I’ve made good progress on the project, specifically the benches, which are now complete.

A stray pic from last time, showing the use of a chisel to clean up a trimmed through tenon:

Another stray - a look at one of the leg assemblies after the lower stretcher tenon has been wedged, prior to trimming:

The wedges are in avodire, in an attempt to make the through tenons, which are numerous, a less overt design element. The wedge stock is prepared from flat-sawn stock, then the wedges are cut out on the sliding chop saw:

The medium bench after the two leg sets have been fitted:

And a little further along, the two smaller benches are nearing completion:

Then came the larger bench, the assembly of which i decided to video tape - the editing and publication of the video that followed is the primary reason why the 8th post in this thread was slow to eventuate.

Here’s a video I put together showing the assembly of the long bench:

There were some additional pics which didn’t make it into the video, for various reasons. I had intended to show more of the finish planing, however on that day my camera’s video card became full just as I got into some of the planing, and a video of planing which I thought I had taken ended up only being a 5 second recording of nothing. I did manage to snap a couple of pics from one of the shorter benches however:

Here’s one where you can see the portion of end grain and wedge within the wider shaving, which I think looks kinda neat:

I find avodire very pleasant to work in general, save for the dust, which if I breathe in any significant amount, say while cross-cutting on the table saw, I find my lung capacity becomes a bit diminished for 24 hours. Like a short term asthmatic reaction. Maybe some people would have a worse reaction to this wood, so if you tend to have reactions to wood dust (which I don’t, knock on wood), then caution would be in order with this species. I’ve found simply paying attention to having the dust collection going even when doing minor tasks seems to take care of the issue.

A final step, not shown in the video as the hardware arrived on the scene only in the past couple of days, was the fitting of some decorative nails, or tacks (termed byō in Japanese). I put these in because they are somewhat common on the Japanese benches that I have come across. I decided however not to use these tacks in any way as an actual fastener, but purely for their decorative effect alone. The tacks I obtained are only as long as the boards are thick, so they perform no mechanical attachment function.

Here you can see a bunch fitted to the mid-size bench:

I think fitting nails to board in such a fashion, if they were to actually go all the way through and fasten into the supporting crosspiece below, is not the best idea given that the bench seat boards will tend to widen and narrow with seasonal moisture swings. Now, in this case, the bench seat boards are vertical grain material, and the bench is an indoor item in a conditioned space, however I stick to the principal of designing around wood movement all the same.

The budget for this project did not allow for more elaborate all-wood joinery solutions, so I instead fastened the middle of each board to the supporting crosspieces with a trim-head screw, as you can see in the above picture. Of course, in no way did I want these screw heads to be visible, so I came up with a way to cover them with the decorative head tacks, which were only a bit larger in diameter than the screw heads.

I cut a notch in the side of the screw head using a thin cut off wheel with my portable 4.5" disc grinder:

Another view:

As you can see, these are torx drive trim screws. My though was that this form of drive would exert at most only modest forces into the screw head (trying to split it), and thus, even with the head slitted like that, the screw head would be tough enough to withstand re-insertion in the hole, and such proved to be the case:

Then the tack can thereby be driven nearly straight over top of the screw:

The result is a concealed screw head which, if need be, could be accessed again in the future:

I found this approach worked really well, and only had a couple of tacks out of the total which didn’t work out on the initial try and had to be replaced.

The mid-size bench complete, with all the tacks in place:

A view from a bit further back:

The small bench was the quickest to nail:

The avodire has some nice figure and chatoyance which my pics do not do justice.

And nailing the long bench took a while:

That’s all for this round. Look for a follow-up post in the near future, and thanks for visiting the Carpentry Way.

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Thursday, May 17, 2018

My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #1859: Our Goals Regarding Creating

I have a new blog post regarding our goals and creating! Come and read! (and like and share if you like it!) :D

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Wednesday, May 16, 2018

My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #1858: Mid-Week Update

I have a new blog post on my Wordpress account. :) I hope you come and visit there.


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Saturday, May 5, 2018

Colgate EALL (7)

Work continues on the three benches for the Japanese room at Colgate University’s East Asian Language Lab (EALL). I am a chronic under-estimator of time - what I thought I could wrap up in a day and a half ended up taking three, ah, well four, but at least the work went without any glitches, so it’s all good.

Some more avodire showed up, quartersawn 4/4 and 8/4 material I had ordered up from M Bohlke in Ohio:

Where staples were sticking out enough to gain purchase, I found duck bill pliers helpful, though with cases where the staples were driven in flush I simply lopped the last inch of the board off:

Back to the long bench, where mortises were added for supporting the bench seat via 6 blind-mortised crosspieces:

Here the housings have been trimmed square and central mortises have been punched in, and, oh yeah, the dadoes for the floor panels have been done:

Another view:

The crosspieces have what could be termed a simplified tusk tenon, sans sloped haunch:

Nearly there:


All the joints I am fitting here are a tight friction fit, with grain compression required via hammer. I chose to rely upon the joinery alone, and these joints will not be glued.

Another view:

A while later all 6 crosspieces have been fitted, to both rails:

Next up is the fitting of the end rails and the three intermediate through-twin-tenoned rails:

Once the long bench was through the fitting stage, I set the parts aside and could at last get into final assembly, starting with the small bench. I jointed and planed the floorboards for all three benches, then processed tongues on the boards.

Here the three seat boards have been fitted to one of the end rails:

The middle board is only tongued on the ends, not the sides, and there will be a space between the sides of the middle boards and the two boards which flank it.

A while later, assembly is slowly being realized:

I found some 1/8" (3mm) shims were needed to keep the boards at the spacing I wanted. After the frame joints were drawn up tight, I fabricated the wedges, also in avodire, and got ready to fit them:

The only glue here is on the wedges:

As soon as the last wedge was driven, and the squareness re-checked, the painter’s tape was removed and the protruding wedges summarily hacked off with the dozuki:

Though through tenons could be described, especially if they stick out proud, as a somewhat ‘loud’ design aspect, in this case the tenons will be trimmed flush, and the wedges will be hard to spot, so hopefully this will strike some sort of middle ground in the 'loud vs quiet’ tug of war:

Another view:

I will trim the protruding tenon ends next time, and after that the 'horns’ on the ends of the frame rails will also be trimmed.

The top was flipped over and a check of the leg assemblies was made, just to be sure all the effort to hit my numbers in cut out was worth the trouble:

Everything was lining up as it should so it’s not too much more work until the leg assemblies are installed and wedged:

That bit of fun will wait until the start of next week. The weekend is here and Saturday will be a nice day so I will make hay, as they say, outside of the shop while the sun shines. Gardening season is just getting going.

Thanks for dropping by the Carpentry Way. Comments always welcome. Have a great weekend!

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