Sunday, October 30, 2016

Grain direction.

Grain direction is usually first hurdle most students need to understand.  Often I tell students that the wood will point the way- almost like arrows. When using machines to mill wood down I often say the wood will speak to you.  What I mean by this is that wood will splinter and tear out and you can hear it as it pass though or over a machine. I  am a big believer of visual aids versus trying to explain the process on a blog post. Below you will find 3 images that are very informative and can really answer many of the questions beginners have when starting to get into woodworking.  

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Window Bench

The completed cherry window bench 12 feet long 42 inches wide and 15 inches tall

Here you can see dividers and back put together with pocket screws.
Using pocket screws really speeds up the process and allows to correct any unforeseen issues.  
The window bench was constructed with modern construction. The use of domino loose tenons, pocket screws and plywood was used.  The reason for modern technology and joinery is simply due to budget, time, location, and situations.  Material of choice is cherry and cherry plywood primarily. The top was made with poplar as well to help reduce expense.
Please note how light the cherry looks compared to the final result. 

After the base is assembled duct work was added.  

Many thanks to Paul Jasper for all the help and guidance throughout the job. 

Custom made blast gates CNC'd.  

Water stain from General Finishes was the perfect match for surrounding paneling in the home.
I am happy with the overall result and that its over.  

What a Maker really means....

If you ever wanted to be a professional maker/restorer than one must first truly understand how half of my time is spent.

As a maker/restorer its never enough to be just a skilled furniture maker or furniture restorer, you have to be an even better business person - an entrepreneur.  You must be capable of running a business small or large.  What many may not know is 50% of my time is spent performing non furniture related tasks.  The world out there is challenging and the responsibilities are always growing each and everyday. Being a business owner means their is this welcome form of freedom and rewards. But you will be fooling yourself if you don't think there is risk.  It is very important to have business sense and management skills.  

With all that said remember you must enjoy life and your work.  Which is why we got into this craft in the first place.  I am no where near the ideal business man but I strive to become one daily.  

May you all have success in your work.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Cutting Gauge

The conference in Covington Kentucky known as Woodworking in America proudly hosted by Popular Woodworking was amazing event for so many reasons. But one thing that caught my eye at the event was this amazing English style cutting gauge.  This form of cutting gauge has been on my list for about 14 years, and for some odd ball reason Pat Leach gave a price I couldn't refuse.

There is something about the form of these cutting gauges that just attracts me to them. Its amazing the weight and balance they have and how well they hold the desired setting. But with every old cutting gauge comes the blade that was used. Honestly I never keep any of the old blades. They are often too small and not harden enough to hold an edge.  

Which leads me to the main purpose of this blog post. When needing to make a blade I use old worn or dull jig saw blades.  The way I look at it is, these pieces of metal need be good for something. That is the old Yankee in me I guess.  

My process in making a blade it to grind all the teeth off on a slow speed grinder.  Keep some water near by to cool the metal. Than I eye ball center and form a triangular tip.  After the tip is formed I put a bevel on the right and left side of the tip.  The triangular tip allow for the cutting gauge to be used in a pushing and pulling method.  The knife edge gauges are the only ones I use and find them the only ones worth buying if you are doing hybrid woodworking. 

Layout is by far the most important feature in woodworking. Pencils are not accurate enough. A knife line guides can guide a cut or can be used as a reference when paring with chisels.  Like everything else you must sharpen the tip and I count my strokes on each bevel to ensure even sharpness.  

This may sound like a lot of work but it actually took less than 5 mins to do.      

Jig Saw Blade on the left.
The blade on the right is the result of the teeth grounded and a triangle tip was grounded free hand.  

In this photo the right blade was flipped to show the double bevel. 

The cutting gauge in the english style. 

Free hand grinding the bevel. Angle to the left for the left bevel. Angle to the right for the right bevel.
Its amazing how quickly these bevels form.  

Look at that knife line that has been scribed.