Friday, June 15, 2012

BambiDaddy starts Childcare

Well after a fine breakfast served up by Jo, designs for the left side of the airstream were finalized and demolition began.

The Mickey Mouse cabinets above came out in about two hours. Whatever weight was saved using 1/4" plywood was lost with the 400 screws the builders used to Gerry-rig this set together.

New divider is baked amber plyboo. Amazing stuff. It's not green, but it is a great building material. It's bamboo the whole way through, so no edge banding needed and it's hard as hell. (read: only suited for carbide)

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Sunday, May 13, 2012

Now we're cooking with gas

Well the bench is standing and the leg vise is everything I hoped it would be.

I didn't understand all the fuss over leg vices while I was building one, but now that it's in place I can understand: having the screw 15" from the clamping point produces a huge amount of leverage compared with a shoulder vise or face vise where the pressure is directly on or only 3" below the clamping point.

I'm pretty happy with the old acme screw currently on place, but I now have a 2" coarse tap and am looking forward to adding a wooden wagon vise in the weeks ahead.

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Saturday, April 7, 2012

Bench and TV console

Made good progress on the bench and secured some 3x12 for for the top at Urban Ore. $15 for the pair.

The mortises are all cut on the base. Now to add cut the tenons on the remaining stretchers and once again have a bench I can wail on!

Derek's TV console is coming together nicely as well.

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Location:Grandma's Haus

Friday, April 6, 2012

Designing a Workbench (around available scrap)

The design of my last bench was heavily influenced by Scott Landis's The Workbench Book. It is an inspiring read to see how work tables evolve to suit the needs of different traditions or different individuals. It gives good insight into how to anticipate your own needs from a bench.

Before starting my next bench, I read Chris Scwarz's Workbenches. This book focusses on two different styles of workbenches, and takes a vey different approach than the Landis book. The piece I love about Schwarz's book is the emphasis on building with locally available and inexpensive materials. Well in San Francisco that means sidewalk shopping.

This junker yielded 15 - 2x6x8' boards of (surprisingly) dry Doug Fir. I'm now committed to spending less than $40 for the whole bench so I'm keeping my design very flexible. There will be some stripping and planing this weekend for sure and I'm looking forward to using my latest Alameda Flea Market purchase to remove some of the nails.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Robots and Salvage Yards

Great day at Grandma's Haus with Derek finishing up the miter saw stand. This is my third and by far best miter saw stand to date. You'll need two piano hinges to pull it off.

We think it looks like R2D2 with the arms down. (We're really cool).

Other great event of the day was plowing into the 12/4 Walnut board I bought at Urban Ore for $7 (total). But it wasn't walnut, it was teak. Life sucks.

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Location:Grandma's Haus

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Sliding Dovetails ... by hand

I began using this joint after I built a great router table back in VT, but I had thought the idea of cutting them by hand nothing more than a novelty. I have changed my mind.

I had read descriptions of hand cutting the groove in Tage Frid's books, but until you do it, it's just unbelievable how easy and forgiving the process is. Lay out in pencil, saw to your line and knock most of the waste out by chisel before cleaning to a final depth with your router plane. Like I said, it sounds hard until you try it. Cutting the male dovetail proved a different story.

My dovetail plane is nothing more than an old rebate plane that has bootstrapped itself up in the world. It's working out, but as you can see it ate away at the shoulder in the left side of the picture. Lessons learned:
1) the nicker on "commercial" dovetail planes is essential, not a luxury.
2) the adjustable fence that comes with "commercial" dovetail planes is not a luxury either.

Hopefully I have more inspiring pictures on the next post. I think this is a pretty efficient sawbench design as well as a forgiving intro to making a sliding dovetail.