Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Back to woodworking.....

Things are rolling pretty good with the lectern. Even with all the distractions it is coming right along. Maybe I'll be able to deliver it before Thanksgiving.

Tonight I was able to dry assemble the sides and front to the top of the base. I chose pocket screws for ease of use. I wanted to use biscuits, but that was gonna require a lot of figuring.

Anyway, here are the pics of the mock up. I will glue and assemble after some much needed sanding.

This is my rifle

Nothing particularly special. My first M-4 build. LMT stripped lower, Armalite lower parts kit,

BCM Upper Receiver Assembly and Bolt Carrier Group. Iron sights. I got
the buffer tube and butt stock from a friend. Can't wait to sling some

This is my rifle.

There are many like it, but this one is MINE.

My rifle is my best friend. It is my life.

I must master it as I must master my life.

My rifle without me is useless.

Without my rifle, I am useless.

I must fire my rifle true.

I must shoot straighter than my enemy who is trying to kill me.

I must shoot him before he shoots me. I will...

My rifle and myself know that what counts in war is not the rounds we fire,

the noise of our bursts, nor the smoke we make.

We know it is the hits that count. We will hit...

My rifle is human, even as I, because it is my life.

Thus, I will learn it as a brother.

I will learn its weaknesses, its strengths, its parts, its accessories,
its sights, and its barrel.

I will ever guard it against the ravages of weather and damage.

I will keep my rifle clean and ready, even as I am clean and ready.

We will become part of each other. We will...

Before God I swear this creed.

My rifle and myself are the defenders of my country.

We are the masters of our enemy.

We are the saviors of my life.

So be it, until there is no enemy, but PEACE.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Lectern for my church

This is something I have wanted to build for a few years now, and I figure now is the time to get started. The pics are pretty self explanatory. The first two are 2D exports from Google Sketchup. If you aren't familiar with Sketchup, check out the link and they can explain it better than I could.

I am building this out of cherry, mostly solid. The sides and top will be cherry ply. I plan on finishing with a wipe on poly since I have had amazing results with the stuff on some other small projects and really want to get more familiar with it. It's also a lot easier to apply than a brush-on finish.

These are the base pieces after mitering and just stacked to get a sense of scale.

Here you can see the pieces glued up and waiting for the next step.

I built spacers that would fit in the recesses of each level and put it 1/4" above the one below in order to lighten the appearance of the base a bit.

I think it looks lighter... Now I need to bullnose all of those.

But first let me mock up the front panel and place it there to get a perspective on the size and scale of the whole thing. I think the proportions seem correct/good to me.

Here is the glue-up of the front panel. Notice no clamps, only tape.

Bullnose complete! Looks good if I do say so myself.

Another view.

And now with the newly glued-up front panel in place.

And from the side.

Over all this is going pretty much according to plan. I drew up a full sized template before I started and that has been my guide for the odd angles, especially on the pieces for the front panel. This week I hope to get the sides cut and fit and put together with the front. Then I have to make the same thing (only smaller) to fit inside of the main stantion. I am designing this lectern to be adjustable for different speaker's preferences. That is not on the sketchup drawings and pretty much only resides in my head how it's going to work. I need to try to get it put on paper somewhere....

Thursday, October 22, 2009

In other news

I'm building a new rifle. I will be getting the rest of the parts over the next week or so and I will post pics when it's done.

It's been a while....

I really need to be more vigilant on updating this thing. This will be a very short post with some pics, so here goes.

I recently finished a couple of loft beds for a friend's daughters. Upon delivery and setup, I learned a valuable lesson on not believing everything you read on the internet. I got the twin mattress dimensions there and the mattresses had to really be stuffed into the frames. I have another project to work right now and then I will be building a couple of desks for each girl, and then I will take the beds back and fix them so the mattresses fit better. Anyway, here are a few pics of the beds as they sit right now.

I really need to be more vigilant on updating this thing. This will be a very short post with some pics, so here goes.

I recently finished a couple of loft beds for a friend's daughters. Upon delivery and setup, I learned a valuable lesson on not believing everything you read on the internet. I got the twin mattress dimensions there and the mattresses had to really be stuffed into the frames. I have another project to work right now and then I will be building a couple of desks for each girl, and then I will take the beds back and fix them so the mattresses fit better. Anyway, here are a few pics of the beds as they sit right now.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Paddle Making

So, the guy who bought my canoe bought "custom" wooden paddles from some dude on the internet. A guy who makes at least a good part of his living making canoe paddles. My buddy paid $160 ea. for two paddles. I was looking at one the other day and was somewhat less than impressed.

I told my friend that I really couldn't talk since I had not made a canoe paddle but the quality and craftsmanship were somewhat lacking. My buddy agreed that he wasn't happy with the craftsmanship considering what he paid. This was exactly the motivation I needed to get busy making a paddle though and the fruits of my labor are in the pics below. This is my first paddle, and I am quite pleased with how it turned out.

I used left over strips from the canoe for the blade and a strip of scrap white oak for the spine. Then I laminated some mahogany that I have for the remainder of the shaft. Finally, having decided on a "T" style grip instead of a palm grip, I used some more white oak to mortise and tenon (with a through tenon) to attach that. I also wedged the through tenon. The grip looks a little clunky for a "T" grip, but it feels like a palm grip.

I glassed the blade with some extra glass cloth that I had lying around. It is 6 oz. but I think if I started to make paddles, I would get my hands on some 4 oz instead.

I finished it today and I will be taking it on a canoe trip next weekend with the boyscouts. I will pass it around to all the adults to get their feedback on what they like and, more importantly, what they don't like, and I will incorporate the changes into #2.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Bathroom Cabinet Done!

I finished the bathroom cabinet pretty quickly. Once again, I deviated from the plans and didn't put the door on. This is mainly because the cabinet is only 6" deep, take away nearly 3/4" for the back and another 5/8" for the door, and you wind up with a pretty shallow cavity for anything useful, so it made more sense to make it an open shelf instead.Corner detail. The bathroom is too narrow to allow a shot of the dovetails.

The whole thing.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Cherry Bathroom Cabinet

This drawing is about the most in depth drawing I ever do. Most of my plans are in my head. This is actually (for me) a very detailed working drawing. For the most part, whenever I build anything, I work from a VERY rough sketch with dimensions penciled in. Rarely do I stay with the actual design. This can be discouraging to my wife. I promised her a coffee table in white oak; very country looking. This evolved to a more contemporary design in cherry and walnut. She wound up with a pine blanket chest for a coffee table instead. I know it can be confusing for some, but to me it made perfect sense and turned out exactly as I thought (eventually).

This is a rough drawing of the cabinet I am building for my half-bath to hang above the toilet. This drawing has the door with two panels (I'm using bookmatched spalted maple with the cherry) but I decided to do a single bookmatched panel instead.

Glued up and out of clamps. The shelf is just set in place for now and will be glued in after the back is installed.

Here's a little bit of a perspective view.

And from the other side. The dovetails are hand cut. Partly because I'm too cheap to buy a dovetail setup for my router, and mostly because I want to be able to do them by hand. This is actually the third set I have ever cut. I do have some improvements to make to my technique (mainly patience) but each set gets better.

And here is the book matched panel for the door I will be assembling soon. Am I the only one that sees the eagle bottom center?

New Tablesaw

Well, now that I had turned over the Prospector to the rightful owner (and gotten paid) it was time to look for new tools. I was going to buy a new table saw to replace my old Craftsman contractor model. I was thinking of the new Rigid with the granite tops. Then, as I thought about it, I convinced myself that that is not exactly an upgrade and as such, not worth spending any money on. Not that I don't think the Rigid would be an improvement over the one I have, just not better enough to justify the expense.

Aside from that, I wasn't prepared to spend the money on a cabinet saw, because they are really expensive and I really didn't want to pay for one. So I had convinced myself that I didn't need a new saw anyway and the money would be better spent elsewhere.

Then I started poking around on Craigslist. That's where I found this baby.

A Delta unisaw 52" unifence "Grand Edition" Model 36-816. I noticed that the guy had it marked down to $950 from $1000. A bargain at either price. The saw is about ten years old, and that is all time in a hobby workshop, so I know it wasn't subject to running 6-8 hours a day 5 days a week (which means low hours). This saw could handle that type of running though and still be worth the money I paid for it.

Needless to say, I couldn't pass on this deal because I would never see one like it again. I borrowed a trailer from a friend, hooked it up to my Danger Ranger (with 259,000 miles) and took off to pick it up. The guy I got it from had already sold the other tools he had that I would have been interested in, but he gave me a boatload of lumber. All cherry, walnut, mahogany and curly maple. I tried to pay him for the lumber as it was worth about $800, but he wouldn't take anything for it.

I didn't travel 2.5 hours to fight with someone to take my money, so I loaded my truck and took off.

Now I have to wire my shop. My new saw needs 220v service (I have none in there). Not to mention that I really need more outlets. I originally had 2 pairs of outlets on the same circuit, and couldn't run my shop vac with any other tools without throwing a breaker. I added two circuits at 110v and one at 220v, all at 20A, so they should be able to take any load I place on them with my small shop tools. Here are some pics of the conduit and outlets I ran.

Note that I also ran conduit and boxes for a third circuit should it become necessary. I probably should have run the stuff for an additional 220v circuit for a future dust collector, but I will hold on that until I locate one.

Now I can get on some other projects that are pending and need to get done.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Photos of the Complete Prospector 16.

Well, here is the finished product. Pay attention to the size difference between the Prospector and my Bob's Special. I will have another post soon with the photos of the toilet cabinet I am building now.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Finished and delivered!

I finished the canoe! I really need to catch up and post the final series of pics, but I'll get to that later.

I put the finishing touches on the canoe last week and was ready to get it out to the water for a test drive before I turned it over to the client. The first thing I noticed was just how much bigger than my Bob's Special that this Prospector 16 is. It is immense! Even though it's only a foot longer and a couple of inches deeper, it really seems huge.

I took it out to Northeast Creek to launch at Camp Brewster aboard Camp Lejeune. When I set the unloaded canoe into the water, the first thing that stuck out to me was the fact that less than 1/3 of the hull was in contact with the water. I performed a wet launch, and when I climed in, the stability of the craft was impressive. Even with me climbing over the gunnels, the canoe was incredibly stable and, at no time did it seem like it was going to capsize.

I then knelt in the center of the canoe and heeled it over and the responsiveness was pleasing. I paddled it sideways, forward, and performed turns with the greatest of ease. This is one amazing craft! It will go any direction you tell it to go, and go with ease. I look forward to building one (or two) for my own use soon. But before I can build my own Prospector, I have a couple of other projects to attack.

I will be building a pair of loft beds with desks and dressers next, as well as a set of book shelves. Those projects will show up here as they progress. I also have to get my workshop in order now that I have cleared out some space. I am also currently engaged in building a small cabinet in cherry for a half-bath in my house to hang above the toilet, and will also get pics of that up here as well. Hopefully, I will be able to begin my canoe around October and be ready for launch in the spring.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Building the Decks

While I was working on the inwales, I was also able to get the material for the decks prepped and assembled. The following pictures show the decks ready for installation and finishing. As it sits right now, I only have the outwales and decks remaining; only four pieces of wood and the canoe is done!

To build the decks, I prepped the joint on the jointer with the angle to create the camber to the deck. Then I taped the joint and applied the thickened epoxy and more tape and a couple of clamps.