I've turned several bowls and realized the need for a way to touch up the foot of the bowl. So I decided to build my own Longworth chuck. How hard could it be? Starting with some 3/4" Baltic birch plywood I cut two 17" squares and secured the corners and center together with brads. I was careful to keep the brads away from any cutting areas. I cut to within 1/16" of a 16" circle and mounted the blanks on the router mill (shown) and trimmed them round. I realized a dedicated face plate would take up too much of my face plate resources so using a billet of aluminum I turned a plate that would be permanently recessed into the wood 1/8" for strength and concentricity. I used an indexing head to locate the 8 holes for hex socket flat head machine bolts that locked the plate to 1/4" T-nuts countersunk between the wooden plates. Laid out the arcs as shown and using a double pivot arrangement carefully routed the curved slots. The round sub-table pivot established the curves and the other pivot centered the indexing for the 8 slots. (you can see the indexing tick lower left). Some TLC with sandpaper and two coats of lacquer made very smooth surfaces for a silky gliding action. Some #1 rubber stoppers on 1/4" bolts and washers completed the setup. The plate nests securely in the dovetail of the chuck jaws. Now to test it.
The recent craft show brought an order for a small piece of furniture, a child's booster seat that doubles as a multilevel step stool and is durable, small, and light enough for a walking child to carry or drag around. It is locked together with mechanical joints that are also glued with waterproof glue and can never come apart or even loosen. There are holes for carrying and tie down. The unique feature is the "love tails" that replace a more standard dove tail. These cute little heart shapes are first drilled then sawn. The pins are traced through the heart on the end grain of the mating piece and then cut and shaped by hand. It's beginning to take shape. Next up is fitting the pins.
The pins are fitted now so the stool-seat can be dry fitted. Mikey likes it.
And now it is personalized. Assembly and finish today!
Eureka! I think I’ve FINALLY settled on an easy, accurate, and repeatable way to quickly sharpen my marking knife. I use a broken planer blade with the sharp edge ground off leaving a 1/8” x 1/2” blank. I prefer it without a handle so that I can lay it against a tall flat surface when needed. It also takes up less space in my apron pocket. I put a flexible plastic cap on the point to protect it and it always goes in my pocket point first in case it slips out.
I’m using my Tormek SD185 jig with the same settings that I use for sharpening my spindle gouge with an Ellsworth type configuration, but on this flat stick it produces a very nice cone at the end whose center becomes the slightly radiused point. The sides end up being ground perpendicular to the face of the knife which is very desirable to keep the knife from peeling away my guide edge.
There is some stress in assembling this joint. Not only is there uncertainty that the joint will seat well, there is a LOT of glue surface to attend to. Having done the first leg successfully, I was comfortable enough to take this picture before the wedges will never be seen again. Ever. Well, OK, if someone chain saws the bench....
I did appreciate the persuasive capabilities of the BFH clamp.
Customer wanted a bench made from "sentimental wood". These cherry planks have been air drying in a shed for untold number of years but have never been in a heated house, so the customer will have to transition the finished piece over a long period of time, meaning several months. I am treating these as green wood and indeed they have shown movement after planing and working. The requirements were that there be no rails, stretchers or joint showing in the top. The only durable option left is massive blind double tenons.
A blind tenon is created by tapering the cross grain mortise walls to create space for a wedge to expand a slice of the tenon into the tapered space, locking the joint in place mechanically. The joint has to fit perfectly because there is no retreat for adjustments. If the wedge is to big in any dimension, the joint will not seat properly. If it is too small, the lock will not be durable and there is no fix because even though it's loose it won't come apart.
The procedure is summarized in the following pictures. First, the router mill does what it does best. Then I square up the corners for a precise fit. You can barely see the tenon slice in the third picture. The fourth picture shows a square indicating how much taper to the bottom of the mortise. The fifth picture shows my technique for getting consistent taper by first cutting "marker" cuts so it is easy to see how much taper is developing. Then the larger mortise chisel is used to remove the remainder of the waste leaving a smooth and consistent wall.
These are my own design. When you remove the angel from the base, the six pieces fold flat because they are attached to a cloth hinge. The head is glued to a stem that fills the hollow left by restoring the angel to the slotted base.
This looked like a handy little widget when I saw it, but I saw opportunities for changes, improvements I think. I wanted to be able to use it hands free so I fastened the assembly to the headstock of the lathe. Also wanted to be able to set inside and outside calipers against a wall, so I created two positions for the wedge to rest in. The first picture shows it recessed so internal calipers can be set against the walls. The second picture shows the other position where external calipers can be set against the walls. Finally I wanted a place to keep several calipers at hand, secure, and out of the shavings.
It dawned on me that we are about to run out of warm weather so I'd better make enough progress on this dormant project that I can finish it indoors. I had taken it all apart and there it sat...in the way everywhere. Now it is on its way back to functionality. It's a Bridgewood BWS15 wide belt sander. I've replaced a few bearings, stripped and painted everything, and most important, secured it to a pallet to prevent tipping. Part of the reason for this rebuild is that when I brought it to the shop, it toppled off the fork lift and landed on its top! Bent some sheet metal, but didn't really break anything serious. It was already in bad shape because it had been neglected and abused in another life. But it will be like a brand new machine in a few days when I finish it. I hope I can get all the electrics and pneumatics hooked up right the first time.
I have added several new items to my portfolio pages. There are several display case additions and a game box on the Boxes and Chests page.. There are several new items in the Miscellaneous page.
Getting busy making stock for the Olney Arts and Crafts show September 26, 9 am- 4 pm at the Olney City Park. Hope to see you there!
Dan is an experienced woodworker who is anxious to make an heirloom of the future for you.