Well, I am still sitting here in the hospital next to my beautiful wife. It was a long night, but the good news is that her pain is under control and that she is getting excellent care. Its really just a waiting game, letting the pancreas decide when it wants to stop attacking itself!
Anyway, back to the pantry. I took a side trip to work on the Lazy Susan Tables. Before I go there though I must address one issue. When I am creating something, anything, a thousand things run through my mind. I see things very differently. If you have seen The Da Vinci Code, you will have seen the main character, Michael Langdon (Tom Hanks) be surrounded by virtual images as his mind attempts to unravel the mystery before him. When I saw that for the first time, I jumped out of my chair and exclaimed, “Thats it! Thats how I see things in the creative sense!” Of course, this did not have the desired effect as all I did was scare the daylight out of my family:). But really, let be be clear, I am not claiming genius status, or to have some special super skill or power. All I am trying to do is be understood. After all, isn’t that what we all desire? to feel that those we care about understand us?
Anyway, when I see things, I cannot help but be flooded with the thousands of possibilities that they present! Sometimes, when I am working on something I just seem to know what it wants to be, what works, what flows. Other days, I feel like I am in the darkest of black holes and I couldn’t even draw with a crayon.
The pantry was one of my good days. I could just feel the flow of it! I knew I could not just use birch by itself, especially since there was going to be saloon doors and one could see into the pantry from the kitchen. Also it is not in me to build something sub par. I always think to myself. If I were building this for The King, would good enough be…good enough? Would this be good enough? If He were to come by and inspect it would He say “Good job, good and faithful servant?” Or would He walk away shaking His head in disapproval?
Now to the point! Cocobolo! Birch and Cocobolo marry very, very well. If you have not tried it you should. I love Cocobolo. It is one of my favorite rosewoods, with Madagascar Rosewood being on the top of my list. But anyway, it just so happened that I had some beautiful Cocobolo that was singing in my shop and as I was in the pantry I could hear her song. (I also heard the song of some across the states that I had to order:) )
I could not wait to start working with her! I jointed her up! (Of course, this is when my Grizzly 8in jointer broke…another headache…I have decided, that given the next opportunity I am going to get a 16in jointer. I love my jointer! I find it a pivotal tool in the shop and could not live without it.)
So halfway through jointing I had to move to the sander to try and save her.
Thank God I did, but I was so stressed I forgot to get pictures of the rest of the process. I had to take her over to my fathers to use the table saw and rip her to proper size. (The generator ins’t big enough to run my bandsaw! and my new saw isn’t hook up yet, nor could it have been run either) So know that I have at this point cut up a bunch of Cocobolo for the pantry:)
Moving on back to the Lazy Susan Tables. I had to get them ready to mount on the lathe. I purchased a center finder from http ://www.woodturnerscatalog.com/ to help me get the faceplate placed exactly where I wanted it.
And to give you an idea to how big the Lazy Susan Table really is, here it is with the Woodpecker 24in Rule
I love these rules! Seriously if you have not used on, your missing out! If you like fine, reliable tools that are Made in the USA!, get Woodpeckers rules!
So then I had to mount it to the lathe and true up the edge, which really wasn’t needed as the router did a perfect job! (Yes, those of you that are observant, the lathe headstock is turned the wrong way! I took the headstock off, and modified the groove pattern in the cast iron locking ring to allow me to swing the head 180 degrees and lock in place. This allows me to turn very large things like this.) [O if I could only see the future]
I jump forward again without pictures because this part was intense. Steam bending with boys running around is…fun! I took the 1/8 inch strips of Cocobolo that I mentioned earlier and steamed them for about an hour using the Rockler steam generator. I then bent two strip around both Lazy Susan Tables.
Once the bends dried for 24 hours I moved them indoors and let them sit for a few days, then epoxied them on to the LS Tables. Once those dried for 24 hours, I mounted them on the lathe to true up, put a nice round over on the top edge to enunciate the Lazy Susan from the rest of the shelf. The plan was to also put two tiny beads on the face of the cocobolo separated by knurling. The knurling would provide gripping for finger tips once the LS Table was mounted.
When I first attempted it, the vibration was so bad, I couldn’t even touch the LS Table. So I got the Oneway Steady Rest to see if that would help. It did!
I am very, very disappointed to report that the Oneway Steady rest was not enough. Hind sight be 20-20, I should have seen this, but I was in a bullish mood and stubbornly pushed on. And that cost me a table, two strips of cocobolo and some hours of work. But I did learn allot so the glass is half full!
The issue is this. The Jet 12in Lathe runs off a standard motor which uses a Reeves pulley system to control the speed. That means that there are only set speeds and they cannot be fine tuned like on VFD motors. That means even though the speed of the lathe is set to low, when you turn something with a diameter of 24in or so, like the LS Table, the speed at the circumference is much, much higher. I saw this as soon as I turned on the lathe, but I thought getting the steady rest would eliminate all problems. Not. The table edge was moving so fast I could not put a bead on it or knurl it. When I did try, I destroyed the cocobolo edge! In frustration I scraped it down to just about nothing, then of course, as is the case when one is frustrated, I ended up messing up the table itself. Lesson number 2, when frustrate, just walk away and return when cool to re-evalute the situation before one loses control!
So, that is were I left the Pantry project before a much more pressing need at my sisters house called my name. (We, I say we because I enlisted the help of some men from the local churches to get the project kicked off, started an addition that will hold all 5 of her freezers. As they sit now, three are outside in the weather!)
I will be picking the pieces of this project up in the next few weeks, to my sisters great relief. But I have been over there working on other things so she knows it is not like I ditched her. I work slow, no so much when I work, but just getting days when I can work. She know that and is understanding.
So for now, that is it on the pantry! I will keep you posted! I will try and get pictures next time I steam bend as I have to re-due a table. I will let you know what I do about the lathe issue!
Thanks for reading…you all are awesome!
More to follow…
-- "With a little bit of faith, and some imagination, you can build anything!" Nate