Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 Review

2012 is on the way out so it seems like I should get all reflective and think about what has gone on over the year, but more importantly where things are heading for 2013.

This year saw fewer posts than last year mostly due to my day job and some personal events collaborating to keep me out of the shop.  You knew it had to happen because I finally got a mini-split A/C unit in the shop so it can be so very nice to work in over our hellish summers!  Oh, there's an important event in the past year: installation of a Fujitsu mini-split 30kBTU A/C unit.  The bill was also an important event, but well worth it.

The beginning of the year started with a bit of a blackout as I went to mock-up the Angle Madness project since I felt the mock-up was required to prove the angle calculations as well has have something to show for the design episode.  The calculations also proved to be a bit of a blackout as I swear I re-took my college linear algebra class to figure it out and write an iPad app to do the calculations.  After  a bit more refinement and testing, I may release the application in 2013; let the madness spread!

The Domizilla (Domino 700-XL) was released and I was picked to participate in an early preview group.  A very nice unit, but more on that in a bit.

The Woodworking In America (WIA) conference split into two events: one in Pasadena and one in Covington.  I went to the Pasadena conference to do demos of the Bridge City Jointmaker Pro with the new precision fence along with long-time favorite: the HP6v2 multi-plane.  My fence actually arrived last week so look to see a review of it since the WIA footage didn't go into a lot of detail.  There's also a tablesaw version of the fence; it just might be in my shop as well right now  :)  I've had a project waiting for the tablesaw version since April '12 so we should see it in action soon.

Around the time of WIA, a blog reader wrote me directly with some nice comments about the videos.  He was a news cameraman for a long time.  I asked him to pick apart what was wrong with the video/audio.  We had an amazing back-'n'-forth in email talking about what's wrong and what's right.  Several weeks of test videos posted for him and detailed feedback helped me make improvements where I can although some things are more difficult due to the shop.  As I work on a big video right now, I can see the difference it has made compared to even recent videos plus the shots I think are a bit lack-luster, I know why and can maybe be a bit less lazy setting it up next time :)

...for that, a big thank you, Derek!

The improvements started around the SensGard Hearing Protection review.  Must have worked because I have three requests in my inbox for details on the camera and post setup.  ('post' being post-recording editing)

Speaking of post, this year I moved away from iMovie.  iMovie is a fantastic app for even sophisticated videos although some things need to be done in some export/import round-trips.  That was the killer for me as every multi-cam video involved probably 2 hours of round-tripping.

Final Cut Pro X is what I'm using now.  Bit of a learning curve when you do it bit by bit over time, but well worth the effort.  I'll be updating the camera setup page soon with more details now that some representative videos are posted.

So what's coming up? Why the current blackout?!

I'm currently working on "No Comment #2"; this follows the idea of the first No Comment build last year where the video just shows the whole build start to finish in high speed sections, interesting multi-cam angles, and anything else to make it more visually entertaining short of inviting Megan Fox for tea.

This project is much more ambitious than the first No Comment build plus the extended footage and doubled camera angles have already completely consumed a 4Tb RAID stack; good grief, bought another stack last week...

The problem with No Comment #2?  I have to finish the build to complete the video :)  This build, though, will include several videos after the initial No Comment video to explain the build.  I really think you'll like the follow-up videos as they go into some interesting topics.
There's some interesting use of the Domizilla in this build, something the 500 can't practically do.

I should be applying finish to the project the first week of January.  Teaser frames to the left :)

Angle Madness? It'll continue, but the way it got dragged out due to other influences made me (likely you, too) need an intervention; No Comment #2 is the intervention.  It's videos will come out between other things as they get produced.

Other reviews besides the precision fence?  Yes!  Liogier rasps; these are really nice and got a heck of a workout in No Comment #2!  Besides the review, I have a couple others videos written up on their use; I'm no pro so if I can make something nice with them tells me anybody can!

That all?  No, my traveling tool steward Michael sent me a photo of the Bad Axe Tool Works specials board from Covington's WIA and I ordered a nice, almost too nice, hybrid dovetail saw.  (My wallet would like a word with you, Michael, when you have a moment...)  I've been playing with it a lot and will be doing a review of it in the episode for the drawers for Angle Madness.

It seems like all my new tools arrived in the past month; I may need a vacation to play!

Thank you for reading!
Thank you for the patience this year!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Angle Madness! - Designing the Column, Rabeting the Tiers

After way Way WAY to long of a hiatus on this project, I got a hall-pass to go into the shop this long weekend.  That, folks, is partly why it was called Thanksgiving weekend! :)

The back is to get a column in Etimone, a beautiful Mahogany with a lot of color (board on the right in the photo).  While I've talked about it and waved my hands a lot while doing it, we never committed to any dimensions.  I go through the design process I used to originally come up with the numbers for the column.

The drawer tiers need the panels installed as well as the webbing.  To install the panels into the drawer tiers, we need to rabbet the edge, but the edge is on an incline.  The fact that each tier has 5 unique inclines means we can't use some normal techniques for doing the rabbet.  I'll talk about some options and why I didn't chose them then show you how I did these.

The section on rabbeting is longer than I expected, but it shows you some tricks to do the operation safely, even if you don't have a hotdog-phobic saw :)  I think the techniques are useful in a lot of other operations.

You have no idea the amount of time between the recording of the first clip to the last... whoa, need to reel in that day-job :)

As always, thanks for reading!  Okay, bucket of hot apple cider ready? Cue it up...

(the slow-cooker in the last scene was loaded with hot apple cider in case my neighbors showed up; sure enough, they did and I got nothing done, but that's okay because there may or may not have been some rum involved...)

For my email subscribers, here's a link to the video page.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

WIA'12-Pasadena: Personal Tour with Paul Schürch

The week spent in Pasadena for WIA'12 included several side trips besides WIA itself.  When I think of the highlights of the week, WIA is actually pretty low on the list!  The number one highlight of the week was going to Paul Schürch's shop for a tour of his projects and shop in beautiful Santa Barbara.  As I eluded to before, I brought along two friends thinking we'd be there for maybe a couple hours.  Eight hours later, Paul and my friend Roger were both getting close to the doghouse with their wives otherwise it might have lasted even longer!

For me it was special to hang out with two creative minds I greatly admire; Paul being one, Roger being the other.  I got to know Paul earlier this year when I took a fantastic 5-day class in marquetry from him (read this post on the Paul Schürch class for more details!)

We started out just in the shop with general introductions and looking around.  Roger spotted some interesting work up on a back cabinet and the banter started.  "What was this for?" "Really? For what project?" "How do you know her?!" "When was that?"  After several minutes of this going back and forth, they realized they had bid against each other on a project.  Roger was a primary bidder while Paul was subbed by a bidding designer.

But that's when it got even more interesting as they exchanged details, difficulties, and solutions for their respective submissions.  Hopefully this introduction will get them collaborating in some way in the future (and I want to be the fly on the wall for those design sessions!)

For part of the afternoon, Paul took us up into a storage area above the shop where many of the projects you see on his site's gallery page are stored.  We got a personal tour of each item and all our questions answered.  I liked these projects before, but like them even more now that I got to see them up-close, see how smooth they operate, and the caliber of marquetry (which can be assumed with Paul).

We also got to see some of his projects in process.  No video of those, but they'll be impressive once you see them in his photo gallery.  I'm looking forward to seeing the ones using stone.  I'm hoping he'll someday do classes in pietra dura, or stone inlay.  There are lessons learned on dealing with stone in the dialog of the video; getting those in a class would be fantastic.

The video below was taken of that tour.  I'll apologize up front that we were very close quarters literally swapping places with each other to move around.  That said, there's camera motion I don't like.  I'm super sensitive to that and it doesn't bug me so hopefully it's okay with you.  Just focus on something far away whenever you hear me 'ooh' or 'ahh'.

Here's a link to the video for my email subscribers.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

WIA'12-Pasadena: Decorative Arts at LACMA

The last entry showed you the Metropolis II exhibit at LACMA.  We actually went there to see woodworking and decorative arts, but Hot Wheels are hard to resist.

Today's clip is a compilation of many short clips taken in LACMA's decorative arts wing.  The place is huge!  While there is a lot of art that is nice to see, I didn't film it all.  Though I wish I took a clip of the big billiard balls... next trip!

The photos in this posting are actually frames from the video so they aren't as crisp as a camera shot; watch the video, though, to get swung around into places that are difficult to see unless you're a camera on the end of a long arm :)

Because the museum is so dimly lit, I had to digitally process each clip to get some light into the shadows then color correct because of the processing.  Because of that, you'll see more, but some colors may not be as true to reality as I'd like.

The last clip of the video is actually from the Getty museum; it is a table top in pietra dura, otherwise called stone inlay. Gorgeous colors.

If you are in the area, LACMA is a great place to spend a day.

Hopefully the captured frames from the clip have tempted you... click play below for the real deal :)

There'll be at least one more video from the trip; it'll be the private tour of Paul Schürch's shop and previous projects.  I'm leaving it to last because it's driving Andrew nuts to wait :)

For email subscribers, here's the video page.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

WIA'12-Pasadena: Metropolis II at LACMA

After the Woodworking in America conference in Pasadena this year, I stayed awhile longer to take in some woodworking sights and meet with some fantastic woodworkers.

Chris Wong and I went to the LA County Museum of Art to see their decorative arts and also Metropolis II, an interesting piece of kinetic art made mostly of household items like Lincoln Logs, tile, blocks, along with a custom-made track and motor mechanism to drive the Matchbox cars around the display.  There are also several electric trains in the exhibit that make stops along the way to their destination.

The whole thing was Chris Burden's second piece to represent the busy busy city life complete with lots of traffic.  It has 18 roadways including a 6-lane highway.  Metropolis I only had 88 cars while Metropolis II picks up the pace with 1,800.

The exhibit opened January 2012 and will run for 10 years.

This video has no commentary; the first 3 minutes are a visual tour of the piece.  The last 5 are as the piece comes to life with cars whipping around all over.

Even while editing this clip, I noticed more and more things in the piece.  Might need to pause the video a few times to catch everything.

While not truly "woodworking", it's a fun exhibit.  There were a number of great items in the decorative arts section that I'll be posting next.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

WIA'12-Pasadena: Day-0 Vendor Setup with Bridge City

This year again, I volunteered to be a customer demo guy for Bridge City Toolworks at Woodworking in America 2012 in Pasadena, California.  As a demo guy, I got my hotel stay taken care of along with several excellent dinners and social events (in as much as woodworker social events are excellent... this isn't Mardi Gras in Rio de Janeiro!)

We got there early Thursday morning only to end up hanging out with Lee Valley people for awhile since the convention center floor wasn't ready yet.  Great group of people; I was with Chris Wong who works with them.

This video is a collection of short clips taken throughout this first day setting up.  As a warning, my arm makes a terrible camera tripod especially with the coffee I needed to get there at the crack of 9am!  There was this bright thing in the sky...

The start shows some setup shots, some other vendors in progress of setting up, some impromptu overview of the new Bridge City precision fence system for the Jointmaker Pro, a quick tour of the toy box Bridge City brings to the show with numerous out-of-production tools, and some video of a social evening we had at a friend's shop.

At the social, Lee Marshall of Knew Concepts unpacked a made-to-order power saw he makes for the jewelry industry; if you do inlay with shell or bone, this will do so much better than a scroll saw for lack of blade oscillation.  You'll also see the next version of the titanium fretsaw (the "birdcage" saw).

Voilà, the video (haha, I nearly forgot to paste it in...)

More clips on the way... stay tuned!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

On the right path...

Chris Wong is still out here visiting from Vancouver and we decided to go visit Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesin-West.  It was an unusual project for FLW since it was his home so he had nobody to answer to... or so he thought... Mrs Wright #3 had issues with using canvas instead of glass for windows in the high desert... he lost that one.

The camp was interesting in that FLW experimented to see what worked and what didn't.  You'd see two doors side by side with different hinge mechanisms.

But this post isn't about the house.  I didn't take a lot of photos since the interesting rooms didn't allow them and by then I was conditioned not to think of photos by the time we got to the two performance rooms (uhm, not the bedrooms... actual theaters and a hall).

What this post is about is the feeling that I'm on the right path.  You see, behind the bookstore (a new building made in the style of the house), is the workshop.  Oooh, the workshop.  That's where the apprentices of the on-site architecture school work on their graduate projects, make FLW replicas, and do restoration of the house.  So the workshop churns out some high-end work even if some of FLW's chairs in the main room were plywood chairs.

How am I on the right path?  Take a look at what's on my bench:

take a look what's at the entrance of their workshop:

Yeah, apparently the path to great things is marked out by a trail of rubber chickens!

The workshop isn't a part of the tour and guests aren't allowed.  A nice lady who works in the shop was on the way out when I asked if a pair of woodworkers could get a tour.  You gotta know there'd be an exception for woodworkers.

Pretty simple shop, but then they are replicating what FLW built in the high desert.  With that in mind, they are likely way over-tooled.  I have no problem with the idea of being over-tooled :)  As I type this, Chris is down in the shop building a cool project on time-lapse video... I swear every Bridge City tool I have it out!

The point where I shot the shop picture is at the end of the breezeway to get into the shop.  If you looked to the left, you'd see the interior yard is L-shaped.  To the left were many smaller rooms for other multi-disciplinary artisans like potters and a shop for ceramic work.  There was even a large kiln for firing ceramics although its use in June/July is optional... just wave the greenware in the sunlight...

Lots of tiny videos from WIA to edit.  They'll be coming out daily starting Thursday.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

A Day with Paul Schürch

I'm still in LA after WIA'12.  Today's plan was to go visit Paul Schürch at his studio in Santa Barbara for, oh, maybe a couple hours then chat over lunch.  I went with Chris Wong and Roger Savatteri, two pros I hang out with so I look like I know what I'm doing :)

We started out with a brief tour then started talking about what people are working on.  Paul and Roger are both very creative minds.  After a bit of discussion, it became clear that they both worked on a project bid against each other.  Being a fly on the wall to listen to the inside stories of the project was very interesting especially to hear two very creative designers exchange how they created what they did and exchange lessons learned.

After an excellent lunch together, back to the Schürch bat-cave for a look at his archive of finished projects.  I've seen most of them in books or on his site, but to see the spinning cabinet or game table up close was a treat along with answers to all the questions you could toss out.  There was even the veneered clothing on display alas without the lovely model.

Many of his works in progress were around the shop including one based on some pietra dure, which is marquetry using stone.  Imagine a stained glass panel made of stone... Some very interesting stuff coming out of Paul's shop this year.

We spent 8 hours together; what an amazing day!  I only expected to hang out for a couple hours.  Paul and Roger both may be in a bit of a dog-house... Good thing I brought some bottles of local Arizona wines to hand out as Get-Out-Of-Jail cards.  Hope it works :)

In other news, Roger decided to kindly give me his lathe, assuming I can get it in the car! No hard stops... Great timing so I can put it on the back patio as the weather is finally sub-100F. Hope I don't get a catch and launch a gouge into the neighbor's window...

I did take some video of Paul's completed projects as well as his shop.  I'll edit that this weekend after I get back home so you can peek at the work and description from the maker.  'Til then...

Friday, October 12, 2012

Join me at WIA'12-Pasadena

A quick post from the iPad, I'm in Pasadena doing demos for Bridge City Toolworks on the Jointmaker Pro. We're also doing demos of the HP6v2 mini multi plane, DJ-1 drilling jig, and Anglemaster Pro.  We assembled 5 Jointmaker stands today and outfitted them with the new unreleased precision fence.  Those of us doing the demos are all customers; we get a hotel stay and great food in exchange for our enthusiasm with the tools.

Wander by if you are at the show!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Review of the Festool Ti-15 Hybrid Impact Driver

I've had a Festool Ti-15 hybrid impact driver for about a month now; Festool USA kindly sent me one before the October 1st public launch for review purposes.  Thanks!

The Ti-15 is labeled a hybrid impact driver because it can also operate like a regular drill; for the tradesman, this can simplify life by giving you only one thing to carry for both functions and one set of batteries to keep track of.  And like most of today's hybrids, it's green :)

After editing this review, I realized it's a half hour.  Some parts talking about how an impact driver works might bore those of you who already know; have a sudoku ready.  But I've talked to people who don't know the benefits of 'impact' mode so it seemed relevant.  Besides, you guys should be used to my long reviews :)

I'll admit that when I first received the Ti-15, I didn't think it was the best fit considering I think of myself as more of a furniture maker than a reno/construction guy; the former use more wood-to-wood joints while the latter use more screws for good reason.  But having it around made me realize how many screws and nuts I drive for many non-furniture projects.  Having a hybrid tool with more power than my ultra-handy CXS is very handy around the shop and I've regrettably not been in my shop as much as usual.  Nice surprise.

The review ends with some demos mostly of the impact mode; we're all pretty familiar with a drill :)

Popcorn ready? (Sudoku, too?!) cue it up...

While you watch, I'm going to have a burrito with "hybrid" salsa... (green salsa) okay that was silly...

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Review of Laguna 2hp Mobile Cyclone Dust Collector

So a couple days ago, I posted a review of the Sens-Gard hearing protection... I never would have thought it would get the draw it did!  Hearing protection: the new sexy!

Other interesting thing... I got a bunch of emails asking about the Laguna 2hp Mobile Cyclone Dust Collector shown at the end of the video for the noise test.  What's funny is that I recorded this review before the Sens-Gard review.  Here I thought I'd get ahead on video for a change...

The summary? I love it.  Give the video a looksy to see why.  Some good stuff in there even if we're just talking about a dust bucket.

As mentioned in the video, many woodworking retailers are carrying this now including Rockler and Woodcraft.  Since I don't see it on both of their sites but have seen them both available in my local stores, it is possible that only certain stores carry them.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Review of SensGard Hearing Protection

Yeah, not a terribly sexy posting, but I like these quite a bit and that was the last thing I thought I'd say about hearing protection!

Since it's been at least a few weeks since I was a teen able to listen to heavy metal on "11" all day with obviously no damage (teens are invincible; stuff happens to other people...) I now actually find I like working with these on more than off.

SensGard makes two varieties of the ZEM hearing protection (you'll see it listed as ZEM not SensGard at local woodworking stores; dunno why).  A -26db attenuating and a -31db attenuating pair.

I wanted to review these about a year ago, but had no idea how to show you how well it works given my camera equipment at the time.  Now, I have a microphone I used so you can hear the difference.  I made sure the audio path to the camera wasn't going to mess with the sound so no automatic gain control or clipping.

Man, to think, just weeks ago I could listen to Iron Maiden at "11" with reckless abandon.  Hmm, that might have dated myself... okay, "few weeks" might be gratuitous...

Note: they won't stop the voices in your head.

Voilà, a video review of an audio product...

Friday, September 14, 2012

Fixing Veneer Bubbles and Related Topics

Let me be the first to admit that doing 12 veneered panels of varying sizes for the Angle Madness project in my shop is kinda no fun.  Takes all the available space between bags, work tables, "veneer flattening areas", and places to aerate the finished panels until they finish curing.  Plus at night when I'd think, "oh, time to go make another panel", I had flashbacks of the movie "Groundhog Day" only without the fun of ice carving.

All the burl panels came out great; only one has a bubble on it so we'll go repair it and talk about a couple other related topics including an experiment I did with some of the remaining scrap veneer to see how fine a gap you can get away with during a glue-up.

I've scraped and sanded all but this last panel now so we can move on to looking at the drawer webbing and back column.

Hope the weather in your area is starting to feel more like shop weather!

As an aside, I've been playing with different aspects of the video process to see how to fix some things I don't like about the current process.  One night while in the shop taking some test video, I saw a baby Gecko on one of the panels of the garage door:

It was fun to watch her scurry around looking for the smallest bugs that were attracted by the lights in the shop.  I say 'her' cuz I'm not seeing anything to say 'him', but I don't know Gecko parts well!

The interesting thing is that a friend of mine posted a similar shot to Facebook taken from their house window at very nearly the same time.  Two people replied with photos taken that same night.  An interesting coincidence!

Felt like scooping her up and putting her in the backyard; the ants this year are amazing... she'll be the size of a cow in no time!

Monday, August 27, 2012

A Lighthearted Interview with Christopher Landy

Christopher Landy over at blog comes up with entertaining interviews from time to time.  He decided to pick on me last week, which was a lot of fun.  Here's the light-hearted interview transcript.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Angle Madness! - Veneering the 4-Way Bookmatch

In this episode, I work on the Maple burl panels that will adorn the tops of the drawer tiers.  Each is will be book-and-end matched more often called "4-way bookmatched".  However, as we discussed in the last episode, I'm placing the burl cloud to the outside edges of the panels, which adds an extra step in the second set of bookmatches of the "4-way".  You can see the burl cloud on these two panels.

We'll talk about testing for bubbles; I have one I found tonight on a burl panel; I'll roll a short video this weekend showing the repair.

The end of the video has a high-speed start-to-finish glue-up of the panel to act as a bit of a check-list for doing a panel glue-up in a vacuum press.  Easy to do, but I was surprised when I started annotating it just how many steps there are.

I was recruited to dog-sit for 3 weeks while my mom goes up to Canada to enjoy cool weather.  I thought maybe these two could be efficient "Pavlovian Veneer Tape Hydration Units"... I even had a dinner bell!  But they look a little useless in the shop. -sigh- just use the regular dispenser I guess...

...and because I know someone will ask :)  the tape on the pinky isn't because of a shop accident!  Went to stop a high clearing pass and it was a harder faster shot than I expected.  Right on the tip of the nail!  By the end of the game, the glove was a little messy.  I didn't work on the panels at all that week because odds are I would have 'stained' them just like all my keyboards now :-/  But... we won!  :)

By the way, High-Friction Guard Wrap from Lee Valley is absolutely fantastic for wrapping a dinged-up finger like this.  Sticks to itself, can be repeatedly removed and applied, breaths nicely, and doesn't slip.  Even if you don't plan on inadvertently stopping a puck with your finger nail, I'd highly recommend getting a roll both for its shop function of giving you better grip, but also as a top-shelf bandage wrap.

Monday, August 6, 2012

The Joys of Video Editing

A side tangent from woodworking, but I know some of you do video work as well...

The last episode is among the first done end-to-end with new video editing software (Final Cut Pro X).  I used it a bit for the previous episode, but with considerably less editing than this one.  Learned a lot; the next video will be better with the lessons learned being applied up front.

Some things that caught me by surprise was that my "tool-cam" doesn't generate 30 fps like the specifications state... it generates a varying number of frames that average 30 fps on good days... which is odd given it has hardware encoding (ideas?)  It makes synchronizing the clips near impossible until I did a lot of pre-processing... the re-editing of the parts I did when scratching my head at all the synchronization issues!

Then the A/C comes in and now have to remember to change the louver setting before recording at it has a subtle effect on the focus.  Not something you can see when watching, but something I can see when scrubbing through the video, but it's there.

On the software side, my custom Motion-5 template for the trivial picture-in-picture effect was having all kinds of problems.  The first was that if I save the template without "build-out" markers then add them in after FCPX had opened the template, it won't see the markers; at least this is the symptom I had.  Second was a complete user error... I wasn't sure why the PIP window would get placed seemingly randomly.  My mistake was forgetting that crop/transform adjustments on the compound clip where I was applying the filter actually take effect after the template despite the order I did the edits.  I think my frustration with the other issues kept me from seeing this one.

Now that I have more confidence in using Motion 5 templates, I'll start adding in some nicer titles and effects to make things more interesting to watch or add better clarity to a (rambling) explanation.  Until this simple PIP effect could be solid, I had no intentions of getting fancy!

Then, just as I thought I was out of the water, I had the video rendered ready to go... I install the latest OSX Mountain Lion.  All I have left to do is upload the video; what could break?  Well, the upload did.  This video has been failing uploads all week.  Eventually figured out that Mountain Lion's new power management is significantly more aggressive than the previous OS (I don't recall my machine being asleep once on the previous OS).  As soon as the screen saver goes on, everything halts including that background render or background upload you started.  So, if you have this issue, change your machine's sleep setting to 'never' before starting either task.  This is a simplified description of the problem and resolution; likely both applications will get an update to resolve it.  It's a nuisance for me, but a nightmare for a friend who renders to many formats for a living.

On the positive side, memory management in Mountain Lion is much better; Lion leaked like a sieve if you used any large software (FCPX, iMovie, XCode).  Also once you learn FCPX and Motion-5, you can do nearly anything; FCPX gets used to edit motion pictures so it's that capable.  It's overkill for a family vacation video... for that, the $14 iMovie is a smokin' deal.

As for the toolcam, it works but I don't like how finicky it is for white balance and lighting; though I have all automatic modes turned off, it still has some light gain issues.  May look for a new real camera since this dual-camera mode seems to work well; it seems worth all the extra editing work so I'd like the video to be equally worth it!

Now comes the question: do I get a cheaper digital camcorder as the toolcam or do I upgrade the one I have thus turning it into the toolcam?  Whomever thought woodworking was a great way to liquidate excess cash hadn't yet started down the video path...

Okay, just felt like saying all that :)

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Angle Madness! - Veneering the Panels

This was a time-consuming episode to get together!  A lot going on!

In this episode, we'll veneer the panels for the drawer tiers.  I want to do the panels now so I can determine the size of the drawer webbing that will be between the panels in each tier.  And also, it is time consuming to go through 12 panels (cuz I'm making 2 units) so while I do some of the panels, I can be making progress on laying out the webbing.

This episode is longer than most because I try to go through everything.  If you've done some veneering, some parts will make excellent bathroom breaks.  But if you haven't, you'll get to see it all including some design decisions at the end for how to do the book-and-end match (4-way bookmatch) of the Maple burl.

A reference Paul Schürch often in the video as most everything I know of veneering and marquetry came from his DVDs and workshop.  Sure, there were other books, but they only confirmed what I learned.  Here, I reviewed the workshop I took with Paul Schürch; give that entry a look for details on his DVDs, which are fantastic.

Next up, preparing the drawer tiers for the panels, figuring out the drawer webbing, and... oh, yeah, there's a column in the back and some Nickel-plated rods!  hmm...  :)

Thanks for watching and thanks for the patience on these longer sections!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Angle Madness! - First one in the bag!

The next episode is mostly edited with just a bit more to record for it.  Should be out by early next week.

Meanwhile, a bit of a photo update and a handy shop project you might find useful.

I setup the vacuum bag and platen to verify everything was going to work; don't want to diagnose a leak while plastic resin glue is merrily curing!  (Big roll of packing tape nearby is your friend if you do!)  I tossed in some shop towels and the atmosphere promptly smashed them.  Left the VacuPress vacuum pump on for a little over an hour to ensure it wasn't going to cycle indicating a leak.

As you can see, this is a huge bag... it can press a full 49"x97" sheet with full platen.  A big chip-clip makes the back half of the bag inactive.

I put my VacuPress pump in a mobile stand that's pretty handy; I roll it underneath the MFT table next to two milk crates on furniture movers used for offcuts.  The VacuPress stand has 4 very smooth casters.

The top tray is removable making removing the pump trivial or to take all the VacuClamp parts to a workstation area.  Basically the four corner posts on the stand are inset into the lip under the tray.  No rocket science was used in this quick handy addition.

The back has a scrap of ply to prevent racking of the sides and also to protect the connectors on the back of the pump like the vacuum hose, air cleaner bottle, and power connector.

I use the VacuPump as a vacuum clamp sometimes so the pods and other stuff in the tray is handy to store with it especially since that stuff stores as well as a ferret.  The vacuum hose for the bag is too robust and long to store on the tray so I hang it on a hook with a bunch of other hoses like the HVLP turbine hoses.

So this is the first panel of 12 for this project in the bag!  This is an underside panel with curly Maple book-matched on the show side and Poplar on the inside.  I'll get a book-and-end match ("4-way") recorded tomorrow night to complete the episode then see how it all edits.