Being new to the “blogging” stuff here I go. Let me start out by saying I am new to woodworking and my goal is to learn how to 1. use my used/new woodworking equipment safely and efficiently and 2. learn how to cut/carve/sculpture wood into beautify/functional items. I want to be able to complete the interior trim work on the house my wife and I just built.
I wanted to learn how to use my new Jet 18” band-saw first and foremost. I just completed a pretty neat little project using my new band-saw and a chunk of walnut limb that a friend gave me. Here is the processes I used to get the completed collapsible castles I made.
The walnut limbs I received were on the small size not larger the 4” in diameter. I first cut them into 2 maybe 3 foot lengths and then cut those pieces into quarters.
I next took the quarters and established what I perceived as the most interesting, as in most detail, maybe a little moss…... I then took each quarter and surface plained the bottom on the jointer. My intent was 1. learn to use my jointer and to establish a smooth surface for the castle to sit on when finished.
At the band-saw I put on my 1/4” blade and established the table at 90 degrees to the blade. Then I tilted the table to 5 degrees and locked everything down.
setting one of the quarters of walnut on its bottom I established the best place to start my smallest radius cut. You start with the smallest and work outward in bigger and bigger radius. I hope I explain this correctly, you want to start your cut at a very steep entrance, almost like you are at 170 degrees angle to the limb. Cutting this way almost establishes a complete circle but not quite, by doing this it locks the piece into the limb while collapsed. You must stay at least 1/2 inch away from the front of the log, get too close and the limb looses strength and most importantly it rigidity. The rigidity is what keep the castle raised as the castle pieces press against the sides.
When you have cut your last radius its time lift the smallest radius straight up, the other will follow. Once extended fully I give mine a little extra pull, not too hard but you will feel it lock in place. If you are happy with our castle give a quick spray finish and let it dry.
I like to attach my finished castles to flat rocks with epoxy, or a mirror if it is exceptionally nice.
Have fun! I am completely addicted to making these darn things, and they disappear as fast as I make them.
-- Kelly, woodworker under construction