Monday, January 28, 2013

Shop projects

I spent my shop time over the weekend building a few items for the shop. I started on a Thien Separator for my dust collector system. Ever since I got the dust collector I've been meaning to build a separator. Taking the bag off the dust collector is always a chore and was having to be done about once a weekend lately. Also since  getting the collector in July the amount of dust trapped in the top filter is surprising. Hopefully the separator will keep some of the fine dust from reaching the filter and I know it will be easier to empty the separator than the emptying the dust collector bag.

The separator is built from a container (trash can), a baffle, and some plumbing parts. I used my router and a circle cutting jig to create the lid from a sheet of 3/4 birch plywood. Next a jig saw was used to cut the holes, the center port goes to the collector and is a 3" schedule 40 pvc pipe connector. The inflow is a 3" schedule 40 street elbow. Both were a snug fit but were sealed with silicon caulk.

The underside of the lid has a rabbet that is sized to create a snug fit on the trash can. 
Here you can see the elbow
The baffle inside the separator creates a trough for the debris to be able to fall down into. The separator acts as a cyclone to remove the debris from the air. Once again I used the router to cut both circles.
The inside radii is 1.25" smaller than the outside radii

finished baffle
 I still need to attach the baffle to the top to complete the separator.

 I also built a router sled to be able to flatten large cutting boards and pieces to large to run through the planer. It is built from 3/4 birch plywood. I will be rebuilding this because currently the side rails are too high on the base which limits the thickness that can be milled.

This is a piece of apple I was using for a test. The router left some small ridges but those would come off with a  small amount of hand plane work.
I plan to use the router sled for leveling cutting boards, and eventually to level the top of a workbench.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Shop Tour January 2013

Last night after cleaning my mess from the weekend I decided to make a short shop tour video and took some still pictures as well. I am not proud of how messy some areas are in the shop, but most the time I choose to build rather than organize.

Any way, My shop is a 20'x24' metal building (it is an enclosed carport). It has 1" foam insulation against the metal. I use a wood stove for heat. The shop is mainly for wood working, but has to store a lot of other stuff and is used to work on tractors/mowers.
Standing at the entry door looking in

My current workbench, a 4'x by 2' piece of counter top on a frame built from 2x4's and 2x2's all just screwed together. I built these back before I was woodworking and just needed work surfaces to tinker on. Hopefully A real bench will replace this this summer

3 file cabinets for parts storage and my shop fridge.

Looking across the shop from infront of the fridge

lumber rack in the far corner, router table burried in the fore ground

Looking back to the entry door from by the lumber rack.

here is a link to the video.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Cutting Board production

While most of my fall wood working was consumed by making cutting boards for gifts now I am starting to make some cutting boards with the hopes of selling them. While waiting for glue to dry on the butcher block island I started two maple and walnut cutting boards.
I am using 8/4 stock to build these and I enjoyed working with the larger pieces. This blank will make two cutting boards with a final size of 12" wide by 14" long and 1.5" thick.

Example of final pattern

Maple Mania part 3

I am not sure how many post are going to cover building this butcher block island, but I am having a good time building it.
I got the other lamination done that will make up the field of the top. This glue up made a lamination that is 12" wide by 48" long by a little over 1.5" thick

Both top panels will now be ran through the planner to make sure they are the same thickness. Then both pieces will be glueed together to make a 21" wide panel. Below is what that will look like.

This monster panel will be cut into 2.75" strips and then rotated to expose the end grain the same way I build end grain cutting boards. That will yield the field of the butcher block which will be 21" x 21" x 2.75".

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Maple Mania part 2

This is a continuation of the last post about the Maple Butcher Block island. Last week I took another trip to the hard wood dealer, I needed another piece of maple to replace the ambrosia piece, and I wanted to get an extra board encase there was more waste than I anticipated.
Over the weekend I surfaced these new maple boards. I shot some video showing the process of surfacing the boards.
Next I selected a few boards from each batch of milling and surfaced them again to remove any warp that may have formed after they had been initially surface. Then I ripped each board to just over 1.5" and glued them up into the first blank for the butcher block top.
This slab is 9" wide, 43" long, and 1.5" thick.
I used several boards to make this glue up with hopes of the final product having a random look to the different colors in the maple. This was just the first of several glue ups that going to be required for this project, I would like to get at least 3 more done this week/weekend.

While at the hardwood dealer I picked up some 8/4 (2" thick) hard maple and walnut for more cutting boards. I also got a piece of hickory to build another knife block from.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Maple Mania

Over the last couple of weeks I have began working on a Maple Butcher Block island. I am building it to look like a old traditional style butcher block. I bought about 40 board foot of maple for this project.
Most the boards were a little longer than 9', three of them were around 6" wide and the other three were in the 7-9" range. I cut all the boards in half length wise for easier handling and rip the wider boards in half so they would fit on the 6" jointer. 
I surfaced/milled the boards in two batches. 
Here is the first batch of boards I milled. These are the 6" wide boards.

One of the boards has some nice spalting in it.

This is the second batch of milled boards.
There was some ambrosia maple in the second batch of boards. Ambrosia maple isn't a species of maple, but is a characteristic of the maple that happens when the wood is infested by the Ambrosia beetle  The beetle brings a fungus in with them and that is what causes the discoloration in the wood.
Ambrosia Maple

Ambrosia Maple
The ambrosia maple won't mix well with the regular maple in this project so it will be set aside for a future project.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

A new year, new projects

For the last few months making gifts has been the focus in the shop and on the blog. But Christmas is over and all the gifts have been given. There are a few gifts I made and hadn't put on the blog to keep them secret. So here are some of the gifts I made and gave this year.
Of course there are the cutting boards from the "Cutting Board Crazy" post. These made great gifts, everyone who received one was very happy to receive one.
Walnut and Maple cutting board
3 Cherry and Walnut boards, and One Cherry and Maple
My sister told me my brother in law had played corn hole over the summer and that a set of corn hole boards would be a good gift idea for him. He is a huge Pittsburgh Steelers fan so I knew how I wanted to paint the finished boards. The game boards are made from 3/4 birch plywood and some 1x pine for the frame. I made a circle cutting jig for my router to make the holes. The frame is rabbeted to accept the plywood and mitered on the corners. I painted them with a high gloss interior/exterior enamel latex paint.
Assembled corn hole boards

Finished corn hole boards.
I wanted to build something for my wife since she puts up with me and my crazy hobbies.  She uses the cutting board that I made for her daily and it is stored on the counter next to the knife block.  I thought it would be nice to have a stand to hold the cutting board when its not in use. I found some nice looking walnut in the scrap pile, and decided to just make a simple stand.
Here I was mocking up a the design.

Here it is right after applying a coat of boiled linseed oil.
 Sadly I wasn't able to get it complete it before Christmas, it still needs a few coats of shellac. I always wait at least a week after applying boiled linseed oil before top coating.

I also started surfacing and preparing some maple for the next project. I was pleasantly surprised to see some spalting on the maple while processing the boards. I got about half the boards processed and will process the other half before I start cutting anything.
Spalted Maple

Surfaced Maple stacked waiting to be used.

Another up coming project is a air cleaner for the shop. It will be built with a old furnace blower and will use 20"x20" furnace filters. Hopefully it will capture the fine dust the dust collector can't capture and keep it out of my lungs and off everything in the shop. (I will still wear a dust mask.)
Future air cleaner