Sunday, May 29, 2011

CarryMaster Casters

I recently received a new Italian-made Laguna LT-18 bandsaw after much consideration of other saws.  I decided against the J-hook mobility kit for the saw because it just wouldn't work for where the saw needs to go.  Also, that part of my garage is in no way level.

A forum friend recommended CarryMaster casters from Zambus and they were amazing in this application.  I later ordered another set of 4 for my assembly table.  This video goes over the casters and how I installed them to the assembly table.  The install is trivial, but it is interesting to see how easily the heavy table moves when the wheels are engaged and how quick it is to anchor it on feet and level them.  This is the first time my assembly table has been level!

The reason for this video is because a lot of people want 95% stationary/5% mobile assembly tables and these are perfect for that application.

I ordered mine from MJ Vail and they shipped very quickly.  More interesting, though, is that Woodcraft now sells what looks like a relabeled AC-300F CarryMaster caster under the Woodriver brand for much less than the Zambus-labeled version.  I'm not certain, though, if they have the same weight rating of the AC-300F so give that a look first.  Note that for the bandsaw, I used the AC-300S casters that have just a 12mm stem since the base of the saw had threaded holes for feet; the flange version would not have worked very well at all in that application.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Festool CXS Preview

Okay, I'll admit I was sandbagging these videos until the May SysNotes release, but green gremlins tell me it will slip! d'oh!

Festool USA provided me with a CXS before the official release on June 1, 2011 to review.  Thanks, guys!

The CXS drill/driver is smaller than the more familiar C12 drill/driver, but it packs a lot of power for likely 95% of everything you'll do in the shop or job site.  It is true the C12 has more power, but unless you drive a lot of lag bolts, the CXS will take care of you.

I had the CXS for a couple weeks before recording this review.  The review is in three parts:

Part 1 is a video describing the features of the CXS comparing many to the C12 equivalent since many of us are familiar with the C12.

Part 2 is a series of demos putting the CXS to the wood, 6/4 hard Maple in this case, side by side against the C12.  You'll notice a difference between these drill/drivers, but I think you'll agree that it is likely a difference you could live without in the shop instead opting for the lighter CXS.

Part 3 was rolled a couple weeks after recording the first two videos.  Since that time, I had a busy weekend using it for everything from light screws to lag bolts.  It's more a summary of my opinion on the CXS along with a small segment on the eccentric chuck that is a favorite with the C12, but missing on the CXS.

If you haven't seen it yet, you might also like to see my demo of the Festool Centrotec chucks.  In my mind, these chucks are at least half the reason to own a Festool drill/driver.  That video covers the non-CXS Centrotec 90º and eccentric chucks besides the universal Centrotec chuck.  The CXS has its own version of the 90º chuck though the preview video will explain the differences.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Brownian Motion

It was a weekend of Brownian motion in the shop; many random things during the week culminated into this disaster:

And from the other angle:
I hope to catalog the pile early this week to post on Craig's list.

So naturally my neighbor who's framing a patio needed some special cuts in the middle of all this.  Hurrah for the pallet jack!

If you are far from Phoenix, there's nothing left to see in this posting.  :)   Otherwise, shoot me an email if you'd be interested in any of the following... I haven't figured out prices yet... I don't plan on retiring off it but I want my shop back! :)

I tend to baby all my stuff (shop stuff and otherwise).  Stuff will looked used (cuz it was!) but my definition of 'good condition' is decidedly different than some of what I've seen on CL :-/

  • Rikon 14" Deluxe Bandsaw; 1.5hp motor and 12" resaw capacity (and I've used all 12" often!)
  • 3/4" Resaw King blade (111" for Rikon, but size could be changed).  This is a brand new one to replace the one that snapped; that chunk of firewood from the jewelry box series is all I cut with it!
  • Performax (pre-Jet) 16-32 drum sander with upgraded (Jet) controller and dust hood
  • Powermatic 20" planer with mobile base (actually moves well on it; I move it whenever I use it).  For what it's worth, this was Marc Spagnuolo's (TheWoodWhisperer) planer before he previous move.  He didn't autograph it for me, though...
  • Rockler HVLP; I used this a lot before getting the conversion gun and later the Fuji HVLP.
  • Ten 48" aluminum bar clamps from Lee Valley
  • Four vice-action quick-release clamps from Lee Valley (18" & 24")
  • 5-gallon cyclone for a shop vac; I used this on a lunchbox planer for a long time
  • Ridgid lunchbox planer
  • Ryobi benchtop drill press
  • There's a half-moon granite vanity in there with a 'Chinabowl' (top-mounted sink, not undermount).  I made a replacement top for the vanity it was on and thought I'd do something with it someday... so I am! I'm selling it!  Sink currently attached to granite (silicone); I never bothered to separate them, but you could if you just want the bowl.
There'll likely be more... I haven't dug through the 'annex' yet though there aren't a lot of shop tools there...
Near Phoenix? Interested? Write me! 

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Sculpted Mahogany Vanity - The Start

In looking around the house, I had to ask myself, "self, why is there a granite vanity top in the living room?"  I decided that installing it needs to be the next project.

Now, building the vanity base is no big deal; installing it will be as it means removing the existing builder's vanity, fixing the drywall behind it, chipping away 6 half-tiles that surround the existing vanity so I can put down more to finish the field.  Good grief, reading that is talking me out of it :)

Anyway, today's video is the start of the vanity project.  Building a box and topping it with granite wouldn't be interesting so I decided to sculpt the drawer fronts and sides carrying over the relief to the backsplash.

I'll leave you with the video as I go down to the shop to get the structure dimensioned and assembled :)  wahoo!

UPDATE: this video is about the design and how I plan on shaping the vanity.  Once you've watched this video, head over to a photo update after the sculpting portion is nearly done so you can get a better visual of what that part is about.  It's a contemporary project, but I like those.  If contemporary isn't your thing, check the show-notes for each in the series as I try to cover things that are useful in any project.  Or just play some Angry Birds! :)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Installing Double-Bullet Catches

Taunton's Fine Woodworking magazine recently had a great article on installing various hinges.  This was mostly a great way to get me off my butt and install the 6 pairs of double-bullet catches that have been shuttled around my shop for the past year onto the Oak cabinet on my back patio (it's a thankless life being a cabinet on an Arizona patio, I assure you!)

I rolled a video of it so you can see how easy they are to install using this technique.  It was also a (minimal) chance to play with a new toy that is pre-destined to be my favorite.  This is a "prequel" of a review so check back very soon :)

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Lil' Boxes for a Jewelry Box with the JMPv2 - Gilding and Lining

The last of the videos for this jewelry box!  Banners fly! People cheer!

In this episode, we'll decoratively reinforce the mitered box then move on to something more interesting: gilding.  I decided to gild the inside of the coves with silver leaf to add a bit of shine.  It's easy to do and you can get creative with the process so give it a look.  All you'd need to gild is gilding 'size' (the glue) and a book of leaf of the metal you want.  I halfway considered gilding an escutcheon around the keyhole.  My mom has a lot of necklaces with silver Maple leaf motifs so a Maple leaf in silver as an escutcheon might have been a nice accent.  You could do this complicated pattern with a resist.  The reason I didn't is that the box is just nice Mahogany and having a bit of shiny bling in the middle would be too distracting.  ...but gilding offers those kinds of possibilities.

Lastly, the jewelry box lid and bottom as well as the tray box bottoms get lined with batting and velvet.

Overall, I'm happy with it.  Now to start planning the next project also in Mahogany!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Lil' Boxes for a Jewelry Box with the JMPv2 - Box Joinery

This is part 3 of 4 chronicling making two small tray boxes for the inside of a jewelry box I made for Mother's Day.

Part one was a good introduction to the JMPv2.  Part two a good introduction to the HP6v2 plane.  In this part, we'll use the JMPv2 to make the small boxes.  One has trivial mitered corners, the other has mitered-shoulder through-dovetails.  These are cut mostly on the JMPv2 with some hand-saw work with the dozuki.  Have I mentioned that dovetailing softwood is, uhm, annoying?

Part 4 will wrap it up with some gilding, finish, and lining.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Lil' Boxes for a Jewelry Box with the JMPv2 - HP6v2 Tour and Profiling

Continuing on with the little boxes for the jewelry box started in part one, in this episode, I'll show you more about the HP6v2 multi-plane and use it to put a cove on the inside edge of the boxes as well as plow the groove to accept the panels.
It's less JMPv2 and more HP6v2, but as long as you have a 'v2', you're stylin'.
Hmm, how many days until Mother's Day?  Good grief...

Monday, May 2, 2011

Safety Awareness Week 2011

Safety Awareness Week 2011 is upon us again.  A couple years ago, Marc Spagnuolo set aside a week to focus on safety issues in the shop and now it is a recurring event, much like National Backup Day and equally without a plethora of useless Hallmark cards.

In this video, I go over a couple things I have in my shop to keep me counting to 10 with my shoes on.  Some are original ideas (that I know of) and some were stolen for the better good of my digits.

Safety is boring, kinda like backing up your personally penned haiku collection, but not nearly as boring as reading last year's Field & Stream in the ER waiting room.

If you have other suggestions, please add them in the comments!