Friday, November 14, 2008

Shop Vignettes

I enjoy looking at shop spaces and projects. Here are a few recent photos from my shop:


The back side of my old Delta drill press has become an impromptu shrine to the kids: An origami whatsit from my eldest, and a note from the youngest. If you can't quite read the note, it says:
"Dear Daddy, I really love you and I really want to say I love you as much as Echo, because I love Echo a lot. To Daddy, from Marian"
Echo is the cat.


Above is a planing stop I built with nothing but saw dust. Oh, and glue and wire brads. Yes, the scrap MDF from the radial saw top and testing boards (I must post about this sometime soon—I have the pictures) has come in useful. This stop allows me to set the board unclamped on the bench and quickly plane both sides. It lets me plane down to 1/4" in width.


SWMBO recently started upgrading the kitchen. This involved some screw-together furniture, and a wish for one more shelf. The clear pine was almost too good for the project, but it was the perfect width with only one glue joint.

I don't know why the notches on the underside were so satisfying to make, but they were. These notches seat themselves on pegs, two of which I manufactured from the shanks of two wood screws (there were only two extra with the kit, and I just could not see paying Lee Valley $11 to ship me 50 more).

While making the shelf pegs I discovered that I no longer had a hacksaw (though I did have a hacksaw blade). Have you ever tried hacksawing by holding a loose blade in your hand? It makes the hand cramp up, so after a while I got smart and clamped it in a machinist's clamp. That was slightly better, but you can bet I bought a hacksaw frame when I went to the hardware store earlier this week.

This 12" wide, 10' long cherry board cries out to be used for something good, preferably before Christmas. Wish me luck with fitting this project in with everything else.


Two new additions to the shop, courtesy of Patrick Leach. I've wished for a grooving plane on many occasions, and now I have one. Will I ever do more axe hewing? I hope so. I just have to tighten the handle up in its socket and I'm all set.

I started the storm window stock preparation. Above was a rough rip and chop.

Then the pieces were jointed and planed to width at a friend's shop. I'm letting it aclimatize to the shop while I figure out when I'll have time to work further on it (maybe tomorrow after helping my brother-in-law lay subflooring in his new "man cave".


The pictures above almost speak for themselves. I cut a hole in the wall of the basement stairwell. Someday soon the plumbers will come and fix our plumbing, and I'm ready for them. For this project I pulled out the keyhole saw that had languished since I impulse purchased it from my friend Trevor.

Nothing beats the satisfaction of having the tool you need on hand, especially when you've never needed it for all the years you've had it.

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Sunday, November 9, 2008

My Boss

When the toolbox came upstairs for repair work last week, the cat appointed herself job-site supervisor. Notice the calm assurance that indicates her complete control of the project.


Thursday, November 6, 2008

Lumber Runs

Last Saturday, during a trip to Downes & Reader in Stoughton, MA, I picked up some Freijo at $3/board foot. I selected 5 pieces of 4/4 stock that were roughly quarter sawn. They are 5" wide and about 3 feet long. I know nothing of the wood, but it is beautiful to look at. Wikipedia says it is also called Spannish Elm, Ecuador Laurel, or Salmwood, and as they say: it looks very much like teak. I'm looking forward to working this wood.

In about a week, I'm off to western Massachusetts to retreive some rough sawn oak and planksawn pine. I'm told there is about 150 or 200 board feet, and I'll need a place to put it. I should build a lumber rack soon. Fortunately, my brother-in-law was throwing out some perfectly good 2x6 lumber that he didn't mind me bringing home; so I have the supplies. I just need to build the rack.

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