Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Arbortech Looks To Have Solved Complex Sanding

Arbortech recently introduced their Contour Random Sander. Since hearing about it on WoodTalk I've been intrigued. It's a small and flexible sanding pad which fits at the end of an extension arm and allows sanding of intricate concave and convex contours.

Dust in your eye?

The amazing part is that somehow Arbortech has engineered an extension shaft that - though attached to a standard 4.5" angle grinder - produces a random pattern at the sanding pad. You can see it in action in Arbortech's video and it looks amazing.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Sharp Edge, Part I

+Gervase Evans sent me a Sharp Edge Precision Tool Sharpening System this week. It's a strongly build device which registers the blade and holds a sharpening stone (or film) in a carriage which slides back and forth across the blade. It moves the stone, not the blade.

The Sharp Edge and all it's included accessories.

The kit includes all the parts needed. This weekend I'll put some of my duller chisels through it and hopefully use them on Sal's Clock. I'll be recoring how it goes along the way and I'll have a full review up in the next week or two.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Inside Baseball

I do my best (and often fail) to keep the blog to woodworking and not the distractions which keep me from woodworking. Unfortunately, September has proven to be one hell of a month full of distractions. Between the stress of the kids starting back in school, camping with the Cub Scouts, becoming a Cub Scout Den Leader and the ever time consuming beast that is work, I don't think I've managed more than 10 minutes in the shop this month.

While absolutely rewarding, I'd rather have spend this weekend at WIA14.

I feel even more guilty that these distractions have kept me from the blog. I've been averaging over two (2) posts per week since January, 2013. I find writing here and sharing with the community a labor of love (I did minor in English with a focus on writing). Since September 6th, I've been bad to my love.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Sal's Clock: Part II, Time To Start Over

Last month I wrote about the clock I was restoring for my friend, Sal. I wrote about the chip I was fixing and about how even though my color match was good, the pieces I'd fit in to fix the chip didn't actually fit all that well.

Sal's clock with the first two misfit patched applied.

I spent most of last month futzing with different wood fillers, trying to find the one that would take the dye the best. After some experimenting both off and on the clock I finally realized what I should have known initially: I'd never be happy filling around the misfit pieces.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

I missed Woodworking In America

Woodworking in America (#WIA14) was this passed weekend. I had to sit it out for the first time in 5 years as the dates conflicted with my youngest Son's birthday and my older Twins' first Webelos campout. Luckily, many of my friends were able to go and even through the bitterness of having to miss it I've enjoyed everyone's posts.

A wonderful heading for the weekend, stolen from The Drunken Woodworker.

While I checked twitter constantly during the even (even while camping), I'm finding the post #WIA14 blogs are where it's at for wonderful wrap ups.

First to check out should be Midnight Woodworking. Lawrence brought his son Adam to #WIA14 and they had a wonderful time.

Adam made two very cool light sabers.

Next up is Tom's Workbench. Tom, Chris and Sean were carrying our MWA mantle at #WIA a man down and they did right by me. Tom got very social.

Not to be left out is Popular Woodworking's own Megan Fitzpatrick. She took some damn good photos during the event and shares them in her blog too.

My friends, up to no good.

Luckily, there Tom and Chris were able to get some audio too and we should have one hell of a podcast coming up.

The MWA Podcast, live at #WIA14

With any more luck, the dates will change for #WIA15 and we'll all be able to make it.

Clearly, adult supervision was needed.

Don't forget about the +Modern Woodworkers Association Podcast. We talk woodworking with Guests from around the world of woodworking every other week. Subscribe to the RSS feed or iTunes today.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

The Birthday Planter II

Last Saturday I began the day with a stack of lumber and a plan to build a garden planter for my Mom's birthday. It was a very simple design and luckily, I pulled it off in time for party.

The design was taken from a gardening brochure which my Mom clipped and asked me to copy. I made it from simple ACQ with pocket hole joinery.

The brochure photo my Mom gave me as a request.

The three (3) leg assemblies were made first. They were very simple until the angled support came up. While it wasn't hard, cutting the steep angle ended up being the most challenging part of the build (that is to say the build wasn't very challenging). I ended up using a square of scrap MDF clamped to my miter saw to hold the board perpendicular to the fence so I could cut the three (3) supports. This did result in my finished piece falling to the floor after being cut. If I'd had more to cut I would have taken the time to build a proper jig which would have provided better support.

Cutting the steep angle.
The finished leg assemblies.

Once the legs were done it was time to cut the support slats. Because I'd bought 5/4" x 6" x 12' for the slats, I began by cutting them in half. I clamped them all to my BenchMark table and cut through the stack with a pull saw. Unfortunately I cut them 60" from one end, not the 6' from the end I was supposed to. This meant I had three (3) slats which where too long and three (3) which were too short.

For 12' boards, it's easier to bring the saw to the wood than the wood to the saw.
Be sure to bring the saw to the right place in the wood.

I cut the too long ones to their exact length on my miter saw and used them for the slats on the angled face (the front). For the slats on the back face, I used two (2) too short pieces on each row, with a simple but joint at the center leg. All the slats were attached with DeckMate screws. Scrap 5/4" was used as spacers for the revel between slats.

The front slats during installation.

I closed off the sides with the same 5/4" x 6" slats. Because the front is angled and the side slats run horizontal, I lined them up with the rear slats. To line them up with the front slats I would have had to have ripped the stock to custom width to mach the actual vertical height of the front angles slats instead of the total width of the front slats.

Finally I ran a length of 5/4" x 4" PVC around the top and capped it with a 5/4" x 6" ACQ lip. I used the PVC so that my kids could paint on it for their grandmother.

The 5/4" PVC is installed, the geotextile fabric is in, I'm test fitting
the top cap and I forgot to take photos after this.

The last part was to install was the geotextile fabric which lines the planter to hold in the dirt and allow drainage. I attached it with rust resistant staples.

Being the idiot that I am I don't have any photos of the finished project. It was still a great success in that it was finished on time and my Mom appreciated it.

Don't forget about the +Modern Woodworkers Association Podcast. We talk woodworking with Guests from around the world of woodworking every other week. Subscribe to the RSS feed or iTunes today.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

How We Powdered Woodworking In America, 2015 (With Bonus Tweets)

The moral of this story is, if you're attending Woodworking in America 2015 (no matter where it is), be sure to wear a powdered wig.

This story may not end here, but this is where I went to bed.

Editor's Note: The Story Continued

Don't forget about the +Modern Woodworkers Association Podcast. We talk woodworking with Guests from around the world of woodworking every other week. Subscribe to the RSS feed or iTunes today.