Friday, May 20, 2011

30 1/2" of pure sexiness

You know I get some of the coolest commissions in Las Vegas, right?

Here's another awesome one I'm working on right now - it's on my bench and I'm enjoying every minute of it. Let's start with a Ferrari crankshaft - that's 30 1/2" and about 80 pounds of utter seductive steel.

This shaft is from a V-12 engine, so there are six sets of two counterweights.

I'm not sure why, but I've always loved the stark graphic techie-sexiness of machined parts.

The task at hand is to build a wooden base to display this piece - and to make it a little more interesting, my client wants the counterweights to rest in curved slots in the wood. Proper spacing of those slots was critical, so I laid them out on a sheet of paper. Here, I'm using some 1-2-3 blocks to help determine the exact locations of the counterweights.

Here is the exact spacing, so that I can cut the slots.

I transferred these lines onto the piece of wood I'd laminated for this piece - a gorgeous piece of 8/4 Cherry. (That's 2" thick, for non-woodworkers.)

The diameter of the counterweights is around 7", so I knew I would want to machine a groove that would be close to that. But how would I do it? Router with a jig? Carve it by hand? Then came the light-bulb-over-my-head moment. Lets see who can guess how I did it.

Here is the piece, with it's six curved slots, perfect for holding the crankshaft. Any guesses yet?

These are about 3" wide, with a gap of 3/4" in between each one.

There is a fair amount of sanding to do, and frankly, it's one of my least favorite things to do. Festool has a very cool new sander that I've been drooling over, but I'm not sure it's worth buying for this one piece.

But until I start the sanding, I still had some work to do - mostly profiling the edge of the wood block. I'm a sucker for a nice chamfer, so I tilted my tablesaw blade and cut a bevel on each edge.

Next step - making some supports to hold the piece, and then final sanding and finishing. Just in case the world really does come to an end, I put off the sanding for a couple of days.


Julie @ followyourheartwoodworking said...

I have no idea how you did that, please tell!!

JasonS said...

I'd guess some kind of tablesaw jig. I'm envisioning a crosscut sled clamped down so it doesn't move. Stop blocks on both sides to define your cut area. Bring the table saw blade up a hair, turn it on, slowly drop the cherry down and slide between the stop blocks. Raise the blade a hair and repeat until the desired cut depth.

Julie @ followyourheartwoodworking said...

I think a tablesaw blade is too large for the 7" diameter cut you said you needed.