Sunday, September 14, 2014

Review of Two WoodRiver Vises: Pattern Makers' and Gunstock

Long ago, I drooled on the Tucker vise page of the Lee Valley catalog. Seemed really nice; seemed really expensive.  So I punted and got a typical quick-release vise.  Works great, for flat stuff.

Recently, I took a class from Michael Fortune and had him over to my shop.  Showed him my projects and he recommended these two vises from WoodRiver.

The Pattern Makers' vise is an Emmert vise-like vise (as was the Tucker, which is no longer made).  The Gunstock vise is a different style vise, but has a lot of uses.

In this review, I'll show you what they do and how I used them on some curved and tapered table legs I'm working on right now.

They aren't cheap so getting a chance to see them swing around and how you can use them is likely a good thing.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Something from Left Field: Fiberglassing your Fingernail

No, seriously, crazy cracks on toenails happen often enough in hockey and this is what I do to fix that problem except this time it was for a fingernail that couldn't stop snagging on everything.  Like the pillowcase.  Right after you roll over.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Angle Madness! - Finishing the Burl Panels

The burl panels for the Angle Madness project need to be pre-finished before gluing them into the drawer tiers.  I did a number of color experiments before picking a color for the panels then shot them with Polyacrylic before wet sanding to a high gloss finish.  If you've already wet sanded a hard film finish, this video won't have much for you.  If not, hopefully the process, the experiments, the repair, and all that will be interesting enough even though "it's finishing" :)

Next episode, which starts recording as soon as I hit post on this, will make trap doors in the back of these pre-finished panels for pushing cables into the back column. I may do the special episode on wire inlay first since it will cover more of how the wire for those doors will be attached.  Not sure yet!

And, yes, the past couple weeks with highs over 113ºF have been really draining! I want a ride inside a Zamboni!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Foredom Inlay Router Guide Ring Base Adapter

I've been playing with wire inlay recently as there's 35 feet of it for the Angle Madness project. Along the way, I had to make some new base adapters for the Foredom inlay router base.  Mine is the William Ng version; it is based on an earlier version of the Stewart-MacDonald base that has since had some nice improvements (link is to the new one).  Both are fantastic.  William also sells the Foredom kit.

Also, the small router bits mentioned in the video are also from William's store; I prefer these to others because of collar on them is precisely placed the same distance from the tip. Once you set a routing depth, you can swap bits by dropping them to the collar and you don't need to adjust the routing depth with the different bit... saves a lot of hassle with inlay routing.

In this video, I just walk you through how I made a simple base adapter to act like a router guide ring (or bushing or copy ring or likely a dozen other names :)

This adapter will get used to route a nice curved opening in the back of each drawer tier for getting all the equipment wires into the back column, but also look good when there's no equipment on the surface as would be the case if it weren't used as an entertainment center.

There are some unique problems to solve for the Angle Madness wire inlay as there are for a table I made in a class with Michael Fortune. I'll be gathering up what I learned about it in a special episode outside the Angle Madness series since it'll cover more than I need for that project.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Unexpected tool porn

Had the camera on while I was putting on a test coat; background video and all that.  While editing, I noticed what I did while on camera...

wait... is that what I think I did?!?

no... really?!?

Ghads! Used a Blue Spruce chisel to open a can of finish!?!?  I thought only NWWMOTHs did that (non-woodworker members of the household).

Ah, but it's okay!  :)

So last week, I was for-real putting on coats of finish on the Angle Madness panels. When I went to open the can of finish, I looked for the church key on the bench, but there were a bunch of Blue Spruce chisels cuz of a separate project.  I thought, "you know, it would be funny to have a Blue Spruce paint-can opener so I could open cans in style and freak out viewers when they see it happen".  Yeah yeah, I know, I need to get out more.

I sent the idea to Dave Jeske, owner of Blue Spruce Toolworks.  He replied quickly with:

Well, he liked it... back to finishing...

Then today I go to the mail and find a nice unexpected package:

Thanks, Dave, for what has to be the first and only Blue Spruce paint-can opener!  For the record, it required no honing before use.

Best I can tell, this is a by-request product so let him know if you want one by sending mail to Dave!

Think about it: put it by the paint cans so when your family need to open a can, naturally they'll reach for your "chisel" (-wink- -wink-) and find that indeed a chisel works wonderfully well at opening cans!

Your chisel stash will stay safe.  A stylish decoy, in Cocobolo.