It has been awhile since I posted anything here. It has been awhile since I've been in the shop to do anything significant. This project came about because it's getting close to Christmas and my wife's Indian doll collection was in disarray. A display case seemed the logical conclusion. Made from recycled glass and a quartersawn red oak base, I used a magical glass adhesive called Nano470. Put a thin bead on the edge of the glass and "cure" it for about three minutes with a standard fluorescent light. The joint becomes stronger than the glass itself.
Here is the new combination jig about to make an octagonal turning blank. I do a lot of handles that start as an octagon and then get mounted on the lathe to turn the round parts. I started out making these blanks on the lathe with a router attached to the tool post...it took about 3 hours to make a good one. Now, on the saw, it takes about three minutes.
I made my own centers. The far end is a 3" x 1/4" dowel, sharpened on one end and slightly rounded on the other. I use the rounded end because I locate the centers I want on the log with a 1/4" hole about 1/2" deep. I cross drilled the rod in the center for a 1/8" roll pin which rides against a washer to protect the wood jig under pressure. The close end is a 5/8" metal rod about 6" long with a 1/8" roll pin. I drilled a 1/4" hole about 1" deep for another 1/4" metal rod with a blunt end center and glued it in. Then I ground four 30° slots using a 1/2" wheel leaving four spurs between them.
Here is the finished and pretty precise octagon. Indexed tapers can be cut on this also by adjusting the ends of the miter runner underneath the jig. The fence is snugged up to the jig to add support because at the moment the runner is UHMD which is not stiff enough in this length to be a steady guide. It will be replaced by a metal one as soon as I can find the metal. You can't see it in the picture, and I didn't draw it in the downloadable SketchUp file below, but there are two indexing "wheels" on this end of the jig that are drilled for octagons and hexagons...just in case. So a great variety of profiles can be cut.
I’ve wanted a froe for many years but just couldn’t bring myself to spend the money for one for the amount of use it would get. Now I have all this ash and hedge, and the intensity of desire picked up a LOT. So I mentioned to a friend that I was on the lookout for an old vehicle leaf spring with the loops. To my surprise, he walked to a back wall of his huge farm shop and picked an old truck spring off the wall. “Like this?” My jaw dropped and when I found it again I asked if I could buy it. “Nope, not gonna sell it. But you can have it.” Pushing my luck, I asked if he could do a couple quick mods to it, which he did in about 15 min. This is the result, applied to forming its own handle:
A brief afternoon entertainment in a 28 degree shop, this dimmer switch knob of burly walnut is on it's way to the State of Washington. The five leaf flower is intentionally irregular to mimic the real flower it was patterned after. The name of the flower is unknown to the Internet, surprisingly, because if you can't find a fact you can count on several opinions. Not a clue in this case, but the picture sure was pretty. I had to stylize the stamen because they were long and fragile.
This is a project that has been on the list for quite awhile. As shown here, two more chests are being test fitted. Things seem to fit nicely and will help to get clutter from underfoot. One thing I learned is that the vintage saws I bought for restoration and use should have been measured! Handles take up a LOT of length. They will fit only because of slots cut in the top! Handles and finish need to be applied, but that will wait until warmer weather. If I finished them now, I'd be out of the 98% club! I didn't get angles so you can see, but the dovetail spacing format matches the foreground case.
I have the distinct privilege to have been in the right place at the right time. One of my “hobbies” is to operate farm equipment, so I’ve become good friends with a large farm operation not too far away. They agreed with the neighbors to take out an ancient common hedge patch and recover about 20 acres of farm ground. I stumbled into the operation as it began and asked what was to become of all those giant hedge trees. Well, they were just going to burn them, and the fires had already been started. It turns out an acquaintance of mine was running the bulldozer and giant backhoe. I flagged him down and asked if I could harvest some of the trees he was going to burn, so he sort of reluctantly agreed. (People like me hold up their operation and make more work for them). I marked the ones I wanted and he kindly set them aside so I could cut them up. Then he went so far as to push the cut logs into piles and pushed all the brush over to his fire. I couldn’t keep up with them, so I only got 2/3 of what was out there.
I’d never seen such in all my wanderings around the country. The cut logs average about 20” in diameter and range from 6’ to 12’ long. If you know anything about osage orange, a 6’ straight piece is just plain uncommon, let along a 12’ piece! I just delivered 24 giant logs to the sawyer, and there are 21 more smaller logs not going to be sawn. This is the operation in a small window of good weather and very hard frozen ground:
They don’t look so big until you get closer.
Here you can see what I mean about not straight. You have to put them through a straightener before you can deliver them to the sawmill. So the loaded logs had been through the “straightener”, and these are next. The “straightener” is a 16” Stihl chain saw cutting at the curves to get maximum straightness. Some of these logs were over 30’ long before “straightening”.
I don’t have pictures of the remaining 21 logs, and as of tonight they remain in the field. I might have been able to retrieve them, but I ran out of daylight. They have to be hauled through a deep ravine and conditions have to be just right for that to happen. I spent all day Wednesday using a “Clydesdale” (JD8400) to drag these logs through the ravine and across the field to the closest road. According to the weather forecast it is going to be awhile before I can retrieve them.
So, if you need mallets, handles, or material for outdoor stuff (this stuff does not rot) let me know. Based on what I’ve had to give to harvest this treasure, it’s going to be something like $10 bd ft., still about half of what you pay any where I’ve been able to find the rare stuff.
I have created some spreadsheets for looking up or calculating elements needed to put true radius cambers on your plane blades. While many craftspeople do this by eye, I have a desire to increase precision in all aspects of woodworking...not to an extreme (and many may consider this an extreme) but to enhance the experience of woodworking. Precision often makes craft work so much more satisfying. So, for your convenience, here are the files to download if you wish. Comments and questions are welcome.
I've been wanting a reliable jig to create and keep repeatable true radius cambers on my various plane blades. I have done them for years by hand and even have a Mark IV holder with camber roller but the repeatability to the accuracy I wanted still eluded me. The available commercial models (e.g. the Jet "wobble" and the Mark IV) rolled the blade about it's center line, but the radius was unpredictable. They aren't much better than doing it by hand. I saw a couple of LJ postings that involved a bolt and washer thought the blade slot. They were on the right track. There are some blades I have lightly cambered that do not have a slot. So I made this jig which can get a reliable, repeatable true radius up to 16". On a two inch blade that is a crown just short of 1/32". The setup is the same as for a straight blade: establish an extension, I chose 2" from the jig, set the angle, check the centering and start sharpening. This setup also moves to the honing wheel and the same radius is used for the hone. It's very quick because very little metal is removed from one touch up to another, a hallmark of the Tormek methods. BTW, I used my new router mill to machine the plastic plate slot.
The Mark Router Mill Version Four Iteration 1.1 has begun its life as a productive machine in my shop. Tier 4, the Z axis head, was an afternoon walk in the park because Mark had done such an outstanding job on the head kit. After completing the machine and making a few adjustments, it was time to do some productive work with it. First up are parts for some workbench attachments I have wanted to make. (LumberJocks post #8543) I was dumbfounded at how simple it is to rout slots! Making slots was not trivial in my shop until recently, and now this! This machine is incredible...simple to use and set up, and accurate. I can't wait to discover uses and operations not possible in my shop before. In fact, there is already another attachment being developed that just might make this the most versatile woodworking machine around. Stay tuned!