A place for me to display some of the varied projects that come out of my shop, as well as to "talk" about some of my experiences working with wood.

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Christmas Turning

An annual exercise for us is to determine what I am going to make for my wife to give her staff as Christmas presents. They have made it quite clear that something hand made by me is the "preferred" way to go. The challenge every year is to try to one up the previous years, and this year was no different.

Bowls! I could turn bowls for them - yea, "let's" do it...

I needed six bowls more or less similar to avoid the jealously factor, they did not have to be identical but "similar". I chose a couple of pieces of wood I thought I could get six small bowls out of and drew them out.

I rarely map out exactly how a piece will be turned, and this was no exception. The blank was mounted and once it was round I made a plan to finish it. In many cases I am working around voids or inclusions which I want to feature in the turned piece. Start to finish this project took two hours - off the hook for another year!

Just cut away the parts that don't look like bowls.
Turning a foot so I can reverse it into the chuck, here the piece is mounted on a small faceplate.
Cleaning out the interior. I keep the tailstock engaged as long as possible. Just in case...

Cleaning up the foot on the Longworth, a bit of sanding and...

Six bowls, all similar but quite different.

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Honey, I shrunk the Tommy Mac!!!!

I decided I wanted to build a smaller scale version of my Tommy Mac Tool Chest that I built 3 years ago.

I have a few miniature versions of some tools from various sources.  Once Veritas settled on one-third scale for their miniature tools, I have acquired most of these, some as gifts, some as "must-buys". I also made a reproduction of my original-design plane hammer, which was very cool.

I have purchased a few Paul Hamler reproductions over the last while as well and felt I wanted to house them in the style they deserve. My Tommy Mac Tool Chest was a seminal project for me which ties many of the skills I have developed over the years into a single project; and providing a benchmark to strive toward for future projects.

Lumber Stack
The miniature version was to stay true to the original, from the dovetailed case, to the cherry sapwood feature on the exterior,right down to the green leather drawer liners. And yes, as I have been reminded by friends and family - I do have a problem.

Like all projects, I started out with my lumber stack. All materials were milled to exactly one-third of nominal thickness of the original materials - mostly 3/4" (.250") & 1/2" (.166").

This provided a chance to use up some strips i had left from the previous projects, while still leaving at least a cord of tongue depressor sized strips behind. These will be for the next project - or the stove!

Cleaning out the tails in the top.

Since I was doing dovetails and it was to remain true to the full-scale version, I used my David Barron dovetail jig to cut them. While making dovetails 1/3 the size in 1/4" material is no different, errors are magnified so absolute precision was paramount.

test fit of dovetails...
Gluing up the carcase, staying square was critical.

Cleaning out the dadoes and rabbets with the Veritas Mini Shoulder.
When adjusting a mini plane, one needs a mini hammer...

The web frames installed providing more structure and runners for the drawers.
These are maple with cherry strips on the front.

The first drawer being test fit and trimmed for a piston fit.

Beauty shot of the original plane hammer and its baby brothers.
All parts turned by me on  the lathe.

With the drawers fitted, time to clean up the dovetails with my Bill Carter mini plane.
Drawer layout with green leather bottoms and knobs installed.

The Tool Chest completed, finished, and its a new home for some small tools

Now back to projects on the to-do list, this was a nice distraction.

Saturday, 14 November 2015

KUBISK Dresser complete

Bedroom set complete!

The completed dresser! Yea!
Last week was a busy one in the shop as I finished and delivered the last major piece for the bedroom set I am building for my youngest son.

The set includes the cantilevered night stands, the king size bed, tall chest of drawers and this longer dresser. This piece is substantial at 67" long and will provide plenty of storage with 30" wide drawers.

The skeleton of this beast.

The build started out the same as the other case pieces in this set with end frames domino'd together and an inset plywood panel, bottom rails and a web frame for the top.

Next the top is fitted, wood choice was key here and nice piece with gum and good figure was used for the front piece. The request was to use the interesting figure of the cherry to paint a picture. That's why you will see some sapwood in places. Some details were important to me and not likely noticed by the users, such as using the most interesting part of the plywood in the end panel that had some nice curl. Also wrapping the grain around the front and top of the side panels took some time to get right.

Fitting the top, this is challenging as the top is captured between the two frames and has to be exact.

The internal structure of the piece is provided by web frames, this simple form built with dominos (of course) ties the two ends together and provides the support to carry the weight of the drawers. The centre vertical rail carries the load down to a centre beam where a hidden fifth leg delivers the load to the floor. Since this part of the carcase carries over half the load, i wanted to ensure this did not sag in the next hundred years.

The outside surfaces with a coat of danish oil to avoid soiling from handling. The full-extension
black slides have also been installed.

Of course all the drawers were dovetailed.
Not by hand though!!
 The drawer fronts are all single pieces of cherry as in the chest, the horizontal grain alignment is another one of those details I insisted on. The drawer sides are 1/2" ash which is my favourite wood for this purpose. Mostly because the grain of the ash is so interesting and adds something I like. I saw this approach at the Thomas Moser factory and it was a nice detail I chose to adopt as a bit of a signature - thanks Tom!

The drawers are dry-fitted for spacing and rough alignment

Before the back goes on to tie all the structure together.
Making sure all the drawers fit and align properly, this is way easier with the back off.

Drawer detail, shows lip created to capture and hide the slides, inset
half dovetails and that lovely ash figure.

Close up detail of front.
And what's a dresser without a proper mirror. I threw this together with left over material
Nice sapwood eh? (In case you did not notice, this is a mirror frame, not an actual mirror!!)