Thursday, May 26, 2016

It's the little things that will drive you crazy.... here's another Olympic Torch Cabinet

Sometimes things are moving along very nicely and then something pops up to derail the best laid plans. That's what happened in my world this week - I've been finishing up a few projects, like a cabinet that will eventually hold an Olympic Torch. Here's one I made a few years ago. 

You have to love the Internet - a fellow in the next state saw this old blog post about the Torch cabinet and contacted me to order one. It's tough to build a display cabinet when you don't have the item being displayed to use for sizing. Luckily - he sent me a ton of pictures, 

and hopefully - the "torch" I made will give me a rough idea of scale and sizing to make this piece.  It's not pretty, but it works. In a perfect world, I would have had the torch in my shop to use for a final fit. 

Starting out with some beefy stock, I managed to cut most of the parts in one afternoon. 

It's amazing how productive I can be when I let all my calls go to voicemail!

Did I mention that the dust collection hose inside the tablesaw was somehow disconnected?  When you're cutting boards and you get a face-full of sawdust, you know there's a problem that needs some investigation. I opened up the side door and found this mess. 

Twenty minutes of vacuuming and I was on to other tasks - like cutting these mortises to hold the corner posts in place.  

A little clean-up with a chisel and the top and bottom pieces were complete. 

It's starting to take shape. 

The door was the next component to tackle - 

it's easy with these Bessey clamps.

And finally... it's just down to the last few details. Or so I thought!

I love Lee Valley's no-mortise hinges, and luckily - I had the perfect pair with which to hang the door. I even located one of those cool magnetic latches, that opens and closes the door with a simple push on the corner. 

All that was left was staining and picking up the glass, but that's when things got tricky. The stain was easy enough to match, my client sent this picture of an existing cabinet and asked me to stain the piece something close to this color. 

Check √  !

But when I went to install the glass,  I discovered the weirdest thing! 

Two of the pieces of glass were a perfect one-eighth thickness, so they fit nicely into the slots that I cut to hold the glass. But the third?

Ugh, it was ever so slightly thicker - maybe 1/32nd too thick. There was no way to install the glass without widening that slot, and since the piece was already assembled, stained, waxed and ready to go - that meant I was about to tackle a job that no one wants.

I pulled out a super-sharp chisel and started working on the slot. The next hour was all about:  cut, scrape, test-fit. Repeat. 

Cut, scrape, test-fit. Repeat. 

cut, scrape, test-fit. Repeat. 
cut, scrape, test-fit. Repeat. 
cut, scrape, test-fit. Repeat. 
cut, scrape, test-fit. Repeat. 
cut, scrape, test-fit. Repeat. 

And finally - about 1.5 hours later, I managed to get the glass installed and this piece buttoned up. 

Sometimes the simplest things can create HUGE hurdles, but it's nice when everything comes together in the end. 

Friday, May 06, 2016

Sunday, May 01, 2016

Hat tip to Carter Products for their great customer service!


You know there is a problem when your bandsaw starts spewing out small bits of metal that look like this.

 I was cutting up a few logs for a friend 

 when I saw one of the guide bearings shredding apart. 

No Bueno. 

You can clearly see the seal on this bearing is missing, and little balls were rolling off the bandsaw table.  

The good news? These are Carter Products Bandsaw Guides, one of the best upgrades you can do for your bandsaw. A phone call and a week later and a complimentary replacement bearing was sitting on my bench.

 It was an easy repair - pull off the old one

and slip on the new one. 

Honestly, these guides aren't cheap, and I really struggled with this upgrade to the Laguna saw. But these guides make the saw cut amazingly straight and true. No drift whatsoever! I thought that was impossible, but after upgrading to their products, I'm a big fan. 

And you gotta love their customer service. 

Check this out: