Monday, December 19, 2011

Chaos Tamed! (a bit)

Usually when I complete a project, I spend the next week or so deciding what I want to build next as well as lowering the project-induced chaos in the shop before ramping it up again.  The bathroom vanity project definitely punched up the chaos; normally I don't do a big project over summer as it is too hot in there to hang around and, you know, put stuff away.  So there was some stuff to put away.  As my dad would have said, there was 10 lbs of crap in a 5 lbs bag.  Roll up your pant legs...

Part of my chaos problem is that I don't really like to do shop projects.  Oh, they are a necessary evil – and sometimes a great excuse to try something different! – but what I do about a tool or "thing" that needs a shop project is I put it on the assembly table to annoy me.  Once the assembly table is full of such things, I break down and dedicate a weekend to those shop projects.  Last weekend was such a weekend.  BTW, any of you do this, too!?  Tell me I'm not alone...

I rearranged a lot of things, put up 3-4 small shelves, fixed the broken things in the pile, and dug through too many plastic storage boxes that needed coalescing.  In fact, the coalescing resulted in this pile of previously full baskets:

What's funny is that things are more accessible now from better placement; when I get something new, usually its home is the first open place I can find.  Which explains so many tools in my refrigerator, but enough of that.

The projects included shelves for router "stuff", putting away the extra bases and edge guide for the router that will never leave my table, pulling out a slow wet slow grinder (sic) to the sale pile, and dismantling a pile of Systainers that were on the floor and finding them really decent shelf space.  Those damn things multiply when left to their own devices!

One of those baskets became home for piles of sandpaper sheets, another for drill bit packages; so much better!

The result (though I admit, superficially it looks like not much changed):


Oh, the clock? well, it merits a close-up:

A friend from the UK surprised me with a package that included this clock and (drum roll):

a toolie!  Those things are crazy unavailable out here so I'm very happy with both!  Thanks person-whose-name-I-wont-mention!  What's great about the clock, too, is that my old one suddenly started running at a different speed, like it was made for a moon or something.

That inlay?  It was something I put together with the Jointmaker Pro and some gouges as a sample.  Had some gaps (dammit) because I decided to try inlaying each piece individually so I could take advantage of the gouge's shape to accurately mark the recess.  Problem is as a sweep instead of a radius, you have to get the gouge lined up exactly as you did on the wood or you introduce a 'sweep error'.  Eh, next time...

I do still have one big shop project to do, but it is mostly done:

I'm awaiting an order of balancing kits for the wheels to kill the vibrations; so much nicer grinding a hollow grind the same day you started!

There is another project to build, especially before the next big party:

these were cast in PerĂº; I picked them up during my trip last year since we had a lot of fun playing Sapo (the "frog" game) at a local restaurant/pub.  Fortunately for me, I took the video camera and detailed the "game console" with audio notes as well; the build instructions are useless.

Now, though I was working hard at reducing the chaos... I added a lil...  I have a couple gift projects coming up as well as two projects for myself so I ordered a bunch of wood from Bob Kloes.  I went the internet route since local suppliers here charge outrageous prices and "do you the favor" of planing your stock to 13/16" or worse 3/4".  Bob normally skip-planes to easier packing and slightly cheaper shipping, but if you want it rough, let him know.  That didn't sound right...

This is what I picked up from Bob: (NSFW for woodworkers!)

The boards in front of the Swiss Pear are all from Bob.  There's a bunch of Tiger Maple in there as well as this:

8/4 Birdseye Maple... that picture is completely rough: no planing at all yet the birdseye are plainly visible and plainly all over the place!  Around here, a common woodworker pastime is to play "find the birdseye" on local birdseye boards.  Not with this stuff!

Another special board I got from Bob was this one:

it's a Maple board with bark inclusions.  Actually, this picture shows the tiger striping of the Tiger Maple on the boards to either side of this one.  The inclusions penetrate the board so if need be, I could resaw it to make more stock; this one was an impulse buy since I was already shipping 3 big boxes.

I've been working on a Christmas present this weekend using some of that lovely stock; this was my first experience buying from Bob (or any internet lumber dealer) and it definitely won't be my last.  I've since added Bob's blog to my blog roll, but in particular, look at this entry about what's going to be ready soon.  Leave some for me!

I recently blogged about my class with Garrett Hack.  It was in a Woodcraft.  That's dangerous.  Right by the door to the class was a huge load of quartersawn Sycamore.  Wide stuff, too!  All day long, people would look at it.  I looked at it during a break and found this one in the middle:

It's huge!  The colors are amazing as are the rays of figure on this quartersawn stock.  On the division between the sapwood and the heartwood is a black ink line of spalting; the heartwood is a crazy array of colors:

I have a spare bedroom I'm converting into a reading room/study.  Planned on making a 7' long low credenza for media, books, etc. and the multimedia components.  The inking on this board goes for 7' and the board is the width I want for the credenza.  It'll make a beautiful top!  The offcut is a little narrow for a center coffee table, but I may resaw it to bookmatch it into a larger table.  Have to design the pieces still, but they should be coming up soon.  (Oh, I've said that before).

Okay, after all that wood porn, I feel like a smoke, and I don't like cigarettes!


  • bob kloes said...

    Nice blog! I was wondering what I sent you when I looked at the pictures. I didn't think it was that dark. Then I read the pear wood. Hope you enjoy the wood my friend. I will be waiting to see what you create. After the cigarette....bob

  • Anonymous said...

    So, like me, you have a lot of stuff (too much) in your shop. So when does the giveaways start? ;)

    PS: That clock is a nice fit in your shop.

    Chris, who has no pearwood (just saying!)

  • Anonymous said...

    Nice drill press table!

  • Brian Q said...

    Shop is looking sharp. When you gonna show me that big pile of wood you got? I have yet to see that side of it.

  • HalfInchShy said...

    No giveaway yet, Chris! And thanks for showing me how you made your drill press table; love it! But need to get that fence attached soon.

    You're always welcome to come by, Brian! Hey, this week, I have the Christmas lights on the CT-22 again and we can look at that wood. That's the secret stash over there, uh huh...

  • TahoeTwoBears said...


    Where are you getting the balancing wheels? I didn't know that was available from Delta.


  • HalfInchShy said...

    Hi, Tahoe,
    I have the Oneway Balancing System on order through Woodcraft, though I don't find it online. Lee Valley sells it as well. I hope to get the balancers this week so I can take advantage of the holiday time to fix a couple blades!

  • HalfInchShy said...

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • Brian Q said...


    THe game from Peru... is it Sapo(frog) or Sado? Game looks interesting from the look of the brass pieces you got there.

  • HalfInchShy said...

    It's probably Sapo... the instructions are in Spanish with the backside converted to English. Likely was poorly machine translated and the title changed to Sado?! Dunno. Was a lot of fun, though. After I make it, I'll bring it to a BBQ and the kids can break it in. Uh, won't be a drinking game, though :)

  • Dyami Plotke said...

    Nice shop update. Unfortunately, it looks like you may have some shop projects ahead of you. ;-)

  • JimE said...

    I can really relate to that, "Every damn tool is out and every horizontal surface is covered" felling. I just took a three month shop vacation because of it.

    I just conquered part of it. I got on craigslist and picked up a few legal size file cabinets for $20-25 apiece. I use them for some of that smaller stuff that's really too small to have it's own place. Some I put in plastic container, etc.

    I purchased some of those magnetic floor vent covers that are white on one side. I cut them to fit the front of the file cabinet drawer and use a dry maker to identify what's in the drawer.

    Keeps stuff clean, "findable" and works for me.


  • HalfInchShy said...

    Great idea with the white magnetic vent cover, JimE. I may use that on my metal tool chest.

    There's definitely more shop projects, Dyami; a couple will actually be fun once I figure out where I really want to put it.