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.



Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Angle Madness! - Photo Update

After posting a couple more photos to my Facebook page, I realized that I should post these progress pictures here from time to time, especially while recording an episode that will take awhile to complete.

I'm currently working on a number of tasks on the project, some for the current episode and some for the next two, simply because they all need to be done now to an extent.

After many finish experiments, I settled on a schedule and color for the burl panels.  Was nice to see color go on those!  The next episode goes over some of the finish work, gluing in the burl panels, and shaping the boxes. Boxes get their finish, too, by the end of the episode.

I've been working on the columns, too. There's a fair amount of work to do on the column start to finish after the inter-tier rods are installed.  Oh, yeah, did some experiments to decide on which tubes to use for those interconnects; heading to Industrial Metal Supply tomorrow!

The project gets some wire inlay.  Actually, 35 feet of it :)  I need the exact dimensions of the inlay now though it won't happen for at least 2 episodes.  Went to Jared Fine Jewelry and sweet talked the manager to run some sample wire through their rolling mill.  Picture a small, very heavy clothes wringer that squishes wire as it goes through.  Squished it perfectly although apparently that's not the common way to run it since I spent more time explaining what I needed than it took for them to spin it through.  But, was enormously helpful!  Here you see some different gauge wire inlaid proud on a board where I did sample finishes.

To do the inlay, I needed a jig for the Foredom to run it on a guiderail, so built that.  I recorded a bit on making it since you could adapt the technique to any number of tools.

Here's the panels after color and finish; one is dry-fitted into its box.  I need to prep some inlay parts before the tops get glued in, though.  The panels appear redder in these photos than real life.

Everything is a dependency on everything else right now.  Sorting it out into episodes that don't jump around proves a bit tricky.

Also, besides the Frank Klausz class and Paul Schürch class, I took a class with Michael Fortune; it's tough on the schedule to have three week-long classes within a month and a half, but well worth it for these three.  I haven't yet written up an article on this latest class... soon!  It is another unfinished project, but I'm doing a special metal inlay on the project and will cover that here, as well.



In all my ample free shop time (?!), I also built a built-in cabinet for a friend who just got a house.  This cabinet will go into a laundry closet and will have the washer/dryer on top of it (yes, there's a stack of cleats to attach everything to the wall studs!)

The 4 drawers have chalkboard paint on the fronts since he has a full wall like that around the corner.

30" long drawers for storing those 24" levels conveniently.

Though this was a plywood project, I opted to resaw Basswood so I could dovetail the drawers... turn it into skills practice.

The open area to the left is for a cat litter box.  Since that sh*t stinks :) I put a low-speed 120mm fan in a box shaped to hold a pack of lava filtering media.  That will hopefully contain odors.  Now if they'd stop feeding the cats burritos...

There are also two shelves above the machines hence the stile post standing there (it is attached at installation).  The left end is not glued into the groove; instead it has a cleat glued to it and will be attached with screwed from above at installation.  The cabinet has to be moved into the closet tilted then dropped into place; that would be impossible with the left end in place.

Not a great project, but thought to share the photos in case it gives you some ideas.  I'll add photos here of the install when that happens.