Friday, February 27, 2015

Mantle, The Continuing Saga

I, pretty much, finished the mantle today. It turned out to be a pretty simple deal. Though it appears ornate and complicated it is just oak veneer plywood, some store bought crown molding and some trim that I cut on the router table. The fact that I have accumulated a number of tools over the years made it much simpler. The pocket hole jig, a tool that every wood worker needs, a brad gun, a micro pin gun and a good selection of clamps made it a breeze. I still have to make the top, but all that will be is a flat slab of oak. I still have final detailing, sanding, staining and clear finish before I can install it. The off color parts are from a tabletop that I made a few years ago, but was not happy with. There was just enough to make the 12 pieces that I needed for the column bases and tops. I also have to engineer a TV mount, but I think that should be fairly easy

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

A Place To Hang Yer Hat

I built this drawer for the little wall desk. I had planned it all along, but I got in a hurry when I built the desk. It looked so good, hanging on the wall, that I just left it there, promising to add the drawer later. Later finally arrived. I turned 6 little pegs on my lathe and added them to the side for keys and my, ever present, ball cap. Not a big, monumental project but it looks good and gives us a bit more drawer space in the kitchen

Putting On The Brakes

I have had this router lift for 12 or 13 years. It is a nice piece and I use it often. One problem that I've had, over the years, was the bit raising up, on it's own. This is very annoying and wasteful. I've ruined a boat load of nice hardwood. I always blamed myself. I thought that I didn't tighten the collet enough or maybe there was some debris that kept me from getting a good grip on the shank of the bit. As I was cutting the lock miter joints for the mantle project, it happened again. I did notice that the little dial, that indicates the amount that the bit is being raised or lowered was moving as the machine ran. I assumed it was loose and needed a tightening. I discovered it was tight and that the vibration from the machine was causing the lift mechanism to turn. There are small, ball detents that are supposed to lock the lift in position, but they are inadequate for the job when running large, heavy bits. So, I took it apart and saw what could be done. I cut a clamp, to act as a brake, from a scrap of maple. I then drilled and tapped the lift base and bolted the brake to the base with some long bolts and some spacers that I cut from some aluminum tube from the scrap bucket. I grabbed an old  3/8 socket from the box of junky Chinese tools. The clamping bolt is 1/4 so it has a 7/16 head. I ground it to 3/8, put it in the socket backwards so the bolt extends though the square drive end is, and screwed it into the brake. There is a "T" nut on the other side. The crank to set the bit height is a 3/8 hex, so I can use it to set the brake. After a few minor adjustments, I gave it a test run. I put the big lock joint bit in, set the height, and tightened the brake. It seemed to work well, I couldn't turn the adjuster with the crank unless I backed off of the brake. I ran some wood through it and there was no creeping of the bit. I think I'll call this one a success. Another annoying problem solved.

Hearth And Home

Today, I began a long planned and promised project. A mantle for our fireplace. We finally got a flat screen TV and we want to mount it on the fireplace, but cannot. The reason being, there is no way to hide the electrical and cable hookups. A mantle will solve the problem. The wires will be brought over from the wall, hidden behind a piece of trim and enter the hollow mantle. I can then install a plug inside and pass the TV power cord through a plastic grommet and into the plug, hidden inside. Additionally, I will run power over to the other side for the components. More pix and further explanations will follow. Today, I managed to cut and glue up the two vertical columns. Most of the construction will be oak faced plywood.I will cut as much of the trim as I can from scraps lying around the shop. I will likely buy some precut crown molding for some of the areas that I have envisioned. As with most of my projects, there are no plans. Just build as you go. I have an idea of what I want it to look like, but it may evolve slightly

Friday, February 6, 2015

New Garage

No, not for the car. It's an appliance garage for the coffee maker and the toaster. I made up another tambour, like I did for the little wall desk. Two matching sides with grooves routed in for the door to slide in and a small panel across the front. I cut a bead detail where it meets the existing upper cabinet. Works real slick. I cut a little flower design on each side to give it some pizazz. A coat of stain and some clear lacquer and it looks pretty good