Wednesday, January 31, 2024
Friday, January 26, 2024
It started when a customer brought this piece to my shop, asking me to turn it into a coffee table.
I'm not even sure what to call this – from this view, which is the bottom of it, it looks like an old farmhouse door. Maybe something from a cellar, with numerous coats of paint, and some odd handwriting on the panels. The wood surrounding the doors is massive and heavy, and mostly rotted.
They also gave me a set of legs, and upon further inspection, these legs appear to be made from solid blocks of wood. I can't identify the species, but I know the wood is heavy.
The skirting around this piece was in horrible shape, with old hardware attached to it, and dozens of nails in it.
Most of them were bent over, and I pulled out this cut off wheel
to get rid of the nails.
Did I mention some large cracks in the skirting?
Luckily, I had a syringe that made it easy to get glue in all of the cracks. After clamping all of the repairs, the cracks mostly disappeared.
The corner of one of the skirting boards that was missing. These boards have such a nice patina and distressing to them, that I decided to repair this corner. So I trimmed off the ragged edge,
and dug out a piece of wood to match it.
When I turned my attention to the legs, I realized that the top part of each leg was out of square, and at different lengths. I have no idea how they made those legs work for this piece, but maybe these legs were from another project.
One by one, I attached each leg to the corners, attaching them in place with perpendicular bolts. Drilling through the top of these legs felt like drilling through concrete.
Wednesday, January 10, 2024
Friday, January 05, 2024
It's that time of the year - time for cleaning, finishing up some projects, and planning for what needs to be built going forward.
After finishing that huge Sapele linen cabinet that frankly, was a little overwhelming,
I wound up with a stack of cut-offs from the lumber I was using. (Thanks for the major help with that, Ken!) They weren't long - maybe ten inches or so, and it was either - use them, give them away, or burn them.
I love this calculator for building with segments. It lets me design a frame like this, tweaking it until I have the specifications that I want.
I started with 16 pieces, about 10" long and 3" wide. Of course I Domino'ed them!
It starts with gluing together two pieces.
And then gluing that set into a 4-piece set. And so on...
When you start getting larger segments, the clamping can be a little tricky. In this case - a clamp is needed end-to-end, but the force of that makes the miter want to come apart, so a perpendicular clamp is needed. Also - an extra set of hands is nice to have.
These two "quarter segments" now get glued into a half. And so on... until I had two halves.
Here's the best part - once you have two halves, you can check the joints on the two halves, to see if they mate correctly. If not - you can correct the angles slightly, to make you look like a woodworking rockstar. That sketch below shows that the two haves are slightly off, but easily corrected.
Clamping that was a little tricky - the strap clamp needed to put this together has to be HOW LONG??
Well - if that circle has a four-foot diameter, what's the circumference? Well, I guess it's a good thing math is my friend. So here's how you calculate it:
Answer is: 12.5664 ft
So the bigger question is - who has a strap clamp that is 13 feet long?
NO ONE! But in a pinch, a towing strap will work, along with a couple of long bar clamps. Of course, I forgot to shoot a picture, but trust me - it worked.
And here's the final piece, assembled and ready to be cut into a circle.
I added a temporary center piece, to attach my router/compass.
It was fairly easy to find the dead center, measuring from a few different sides, to find the center point.
Wonder how my round frame turned out? Stay tuned...