Saturday, November 1, 2008

New Jig in progress

With my interest in turning growing, I needed a way to keep my turning tools sharp. I was given a grinder last spring, but I need to learn how to sharpen. One popular way to speed up that learning curve is to use a jig, and the most popular one is the Wolverine. Unfortunately I don't have the $90 plus shipping to buy a wolvie. Luckily there are plans available online to make your own.

I still have to bolt down the grinder and make another smaller jig which holds the turning tool for the grind.

Lots of progress

I've continued the small shop shuffle, and here is how things 'stand' for the moment

I moved the storage cabinet to its semi-permanent home next to the main doors. The 'man door' will be just there to the right of the cabine where the bandsaw is at the moment. I'm thinking that will be a 'springtime' project.

Looking up into the loft, where Adam was a big help getting the gear up the ladder. I handed him the items as he stood on the ladder.

A whole lot of clutter, but I'll get it sorted out eventually.

Looking from the doorway down the left side of the shop. As you can see I have to clear up my benchtop a bit. I moved the power strip to the middle of the wall, eliminating one extension cord up to the 4' shop light

yeah, that light!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Moving in almost complete

Well, at least the storage unit has a lot more elbow room in it, and the shop a lot less. I brought up the remainder of the wood from the unit, as well as several boxes of cut-offs and assorted old projects which I never got a chance to finish in the Madison Woodsmith shop.

I also did the small shop shuffle, moved everything away from the end wall there in the photo and popped open the insulation batt package. Emphasis on POP. I still have one whole batt left over plus a thin strip after I cut a couple of batts to fit under the window opening. I also had to slice three batts in half to get full coverage above the 8' long batts. Quick and easy to do, and minimal itchiness thanks to the paper backing.

One of the boxes fell apart on me (poor taping job when I packed in a hurry two plus years ago). Here is some of what I found in there. A few scrollsaw fretwork portraits and some chunks of Mahagony and Oak. I have three more entire boxes of short cutoffs. THankfully I now have a lathe, and I'll be able to use them for bowl blanks, and/or cutting boards etc...

Thursday, September 4, 2008

truck down!

Labor Day weekend is passed, where Did the summer go?

Lori was busy all weekend at the fire house, well, at the field days at the fire house to be more accurate. Bridgeport VFD has their annual field days every Labor day weekend, and she's the treasurer there, so has to handle all of the cash. Normally I spend the weekend there too, but this year, I decided that if they seemed like they could do without me, they would. Sure enough, I went to help out on Friday, and got a polite 'thank you' and got to make a few fried fish and french fries. Pretty soon however, the ladies auxiliary member whom I relieved came back and took over again. Well, I've set a move out date from the storage unit, and that date is fast approaching, so I decided that I would do my best to get a few truckloads out of there each weekend day. Good thing I did so on Saturday & Sunday, because monday Grizz convinced me that my driveline vibrations needed to be taken care of now, vs 'someday'.

The third U-joint on the shaft was shot, and Grizz took excellent care of the truck and me, getting it fixed for a lot less than a garage would have charged. Yet another big favor I owe you buddy, your day will come! The day ended with us needing to take the driveshaft to a shop to get the bearings torched to get them out. We tried hammering on them, but to no avail. Tuesday he was off, and got the job done while I was at work. Night and day thanks to this timely repair.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Progress, lumber racks and more

I'm on a major kick to clear out my storage unit and move all of the gear up to the shop. Here was one trip's worth of lumber... I still have a bit more to come up, but it is mostly shorts and cut offs.

Speaking of shorts, I had to move the short stock I had on the lumber rack above the miter saw station, I think I need to install a couple of more brackets, that's a tad overloaded for my taste.

There's that truckload of wood up in the racks. The top level holds mostly butternut, the middle is all cherry and the lower level is maple. Most of it is still rough cut lumber, but there's a few pieces which have been dressed S4S (surfaced 4 sides for the non-woodworking reader)

This is the back end of the shop, note the sheet goods temporary storage area. along with the reflectix insulation which is going on all of the walls.

view of the far corner of the shop, showing the wall which will get insulation and plywood installed this weekend. Might even get ambitious and put in the window, since the storage unit is almost empty!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

bench reassembly

I decided that my workbench, which is in two halves needed to be just a bit lower. I originally built them to just below elbow height, which for me is 42" high. That makes it convenient for not having to bend over and such, but it is a bit too high for good hand tool usage; planing and so forth.

Here you can see the torsion box and legs before the top stretchers get put on. The torsion box is 1/2" plywood with SYP for the 'meat' in the sandwich. Very sturdy, and makes for a nice solid workbench. The legs are hemlock glued and screwed into the classic 'L' style leg.

I made the lower bench just 35 3/4" tall which lets it serve in a pinch as outfeed support for my tablesaw.

Here's a view showing the stretchers in place. that 6" difference in height makes a big difference. I think the taller bench is going to get a similar reduction in height. once I have a lot more of the moving done.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Man its dark in there!

Howdy folks, got a little more progress on the shop this weekend. As regular readers well know it’s been a long project, and I’m far from done. This weekend was spent avoiding the last summer blast of heat, and hanging the doors on the shop…

This may seem like a small step, but for me it marks when I can truly start moving in equipment and stuff into the shop. I made a couple of trips to the storage unit. The first trip was to get the drywall and cement board which I scored this spring. For a mere $20 I got 5 sheets of moisture resistant drywall, plus numerous cutoffs from a friend of Mark's who was clearing out his garage.

I forgot to get a photo, but I'll grab one tonight after work.

The second trip brought my lathe and benches.

Starting to get a little crowded in there, but that’s the nature of the beast… at only 240 sq ft I’ll be doing the ‘dance’ a lot as I get things ironed out.

Here's my first bench. And my midi lathe:

Here’s the first of my old workbench’s to be reassembled: I’m 6’1, and this bench is 41” high. I’m going to lower the other half after measuring my mini lathe on there:
As it sits now, if I were to use the other half of the bench the spindle would be at 57” high. I think I’m going to lower it about 7” just for good measure.
I’ve still got the other half of the bench, plus a benchtop drill press, a storage cabinet and a bandsaw to stuff in there as well. Not to mention, lumber, and so forth.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

One Door Hung.

I was out of town on Saturday, meeting up with my friends Tom & Cathie, whom I haven’t seen in about 10 years. On the way home from Buffalo, I stopped at the woodcraft store in Rochester, where I picked up some turning supplies. I got a micromesh sanding kit, as well as a few pen and pencil kits and some HUT brand wax for pen turning.

Sunday saw me back out in the shop in the morning, while the family was sleeping. I was busy building this:

It’s intended as a temporary rack, but it’ll likely wind up as semi permanent fixture of the shop. The location will certainly stay the same at least. I have to start putting some thought into what will go where in the shop. I’ve got a ton of stuff and not a lot of floor space to put it in. What I do have a relative ‘lot’ of is vertical space thanks to the 10’ sidewalls. Those racks are going to be right above the initial location of my CMS. I’ll add two more racks above those. When & if I fill those up with lumber.

Sheet goods will be another issue altogether, at least in the beginning. I’ve got at least 8 sheets of various materials to cope with. In the long run I’ll only be ‘storing’ cut-offs from whatever current project I’m working on.

Later on Sunday I started working on hanging the doors.

I trimmed back the OSB from the doorway, which was fun. I got to use the saws-all and the router. Bet you didn’t know that a PC 690 was really an overgrown laminate trimmer. Had to use it one handed from the ladder, but it got things cleaned up in short order.

James helped out, steadying the door while I installed the hinges. Everything was going ‘well’ until we opened the door…

And it hung up on the top step of the stairs, not quite opening halfway.

SO… after a few ‘bad words’ were uttered, we removed the top step to see just how much space we had…

and a close up view or two

My first impression was to cut the riser back and lower the top step, which would probably catch me every time I tried to walk into the shop. It’s only held on by a dozen or so deck screws, so I think what I’m going to do is hang the other door and then remove the stairs, dig out the bottom step area just a bit, level it off and then screw them back onto the building.

if you click on the inside view, you can see there is a bit of a gap around the door, but I'll put trim on it later, once all the tools are in and working.

And it can be hard to find ‘good help’ Lucky for me, I did just that…

Thanks James!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Upper section of walls installed

I was working on building a lumber rack for the shop yesterday, there are the cross pieces cut at a slight angle to counteract deflection from weight. I'm going to temporarily install them, just so I can get the wood from the pallets in the side yard stored, not to mention the cherry I have in my storage unit. I'm sure that eventually I'll build a much sturdier unit, but that's just part of the continual evolution of any shop.

Here's the wall which will hold the rack. About 10' of linear space. I'm planning on three levels initially, plus the floor.

At just about the time I was going to wrap up for the evening, one of the guys who helped me install my roof; Josh, stopped by. I had asked him for help putting the upper panels up on the end walls. I'd tried several times, but hadn't managed to get them installed. He spent maybe 15 minutes and got them up with only one adjustment to the pieces I had cut.

As you can see there are still gaps to deal with, but those should be a simple matter to cut and nail home. After that, I'll be putting the doors up after work tomorrow.
I also have a line on getting the sub-panel run out to the shop. My wife Lori works at a local convenience store, and their handyman/contractor said he would stop by this evening to take a look at the situation. I told him I can run the outlets, its the panel I'm most concerned with.

Saturday, August 9, 2008


I visited Grizz today up in Fulton. We caught up on the family news and events, and then got down to business.
I can only describe the process, as we just went to work and didn't stop to take photos. *gasp* yes, I know, but it was just one of those working sessions where photos would have slowed us down.

We first rolled his tablesaw out into the driveway, then proceeded to rip two sheets of plywood to width to fill the 6' wide doorway. Then we measured and cut the 2x4's to length first for the sides and then the top and bottom sections. We actually used 2x6's for the bottom of the doors.

Once we had the outer sections installed, we measured and cut the diagonal braces and Grizz hand cut them to fit. Here's a sketch involved in how to install the diagonals...

We were discussing which way we were going to cut the diagonal, and I finally convinced him that we needed to go top center to bottom right for the R door.

and here are the finished products:

and a second view

Those suckers are Heavy, but I managed to unload them by myself tonight. I just backed the truck up to the stairs and tipped them right out into the shop.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Turning my first bowl on the lathe

This past week I was out of town for work, and I visited my good friend Don Orr's shop. He was gracious enough to host me at his shop for the evening for dinner and teaching me how to turn a bowl.

We started with sharpening, he showed me his wolverine sharpening jig home-made clone, and how to shape and hone the gouges we used.

I didn't get a photo of the profiles, but one was basically an ellsworth grind, and the other was a much blunter profile, which I liked more. I also got to try a round scraper for cleanup and then sanding on the lathe. Note to self, get DC fired up before getting the spinny thing going... koff koff... Turning wasn't bad, but sanding would have been a different story. Don has a really cool DC hose holder for the lathe, I need pictures of it the next time I visit so I can build a copy of it.

Here's the end, wait. I'm only kidding....a little..Don had a 8 or 9" Ash blank all set.After a couple of walk throughs for angle and such here I went...Don is an excellent teacher, and I cannot thank him enough for opening his shop to me and giving me this lesson. I had a blast, Thanks Don!

Here I am starting to rough out the blank after we got it on the lathe and spinning nicely. It was a little unbalanced, but not enough that Don's very nice Jet full sized lathe couldn't handle it. He also has a Jet Midi, but for this large of a blank it wouldn't have done the job very well.

As Little Bill Grumbine would call it (.... yep, I said little. Ask Bill about hanging out with Bill and Nettie Turpin from NC after 5 Barns and you'll understand 'Little') I was excercising my 'turning muscle.' (turning muscle = Big Belly, something which Bill and I share)

After awhile, we wound up with this:

Here's proof that I didn't turn it into a Funnel (turn right through the bottom of the bowl)

Here are a Couple of shots I took at my motel later that evening

Thanks for looking!