It’s been awhile since I’ve made a post regarding my adventures in working wood. I frequently get distracted by shiny objects so I expect it’ll happen again.
Well, after several months of using my bench I’ve grown frustrated with it. It really doesn’t support planing the faces of boards very well. I’ve wanted to build a super awesome, too cool for school Roubo style bench ever since I spent two weeks going through the entire Workbench Smack Down thread. On Father’s Day weekend I went to the local saw mill to buy a few boards and ended up coming home with four pine beams and two oak beams for $60. The pine is about 5 inches thick and I think about 5-7 inches wide (a little more than 24 inches wide in total). One oak beam is about 4.5×4.5 and the other is about 5 or so by 4.5. All are cut to about 8 feet long though the finished length with be around 6.5 feet because one of the pine beams has some issues at its end. I’ve got the bulk of the lumber needed to build my bench!! I didn’t go there even to look for that stuff. I happened to mention it to the guy in passing and he showed me a pile of beams and giant timbers he said was taking up too much space and he wanted to get rid.
For $60, I wasn’t turning that down. The downside (if you can call it that) is that the stuff is still pretty green so I can either let it sit for half a decade to air dry or I can build a small solar kiln to speed that process along. We all know what the answer is. Just working on coming up with some scratch for the materials. Nothing big or fancy. Basically, it’s going to be a small, right triangle with a 2×4 frame, panels of foam insulation (stealing that from a MattNC’s recent post found here: http://lumberjocks.com/projects/102725) and the solar collector from…maybe 6 mil plastic or something. Need to keep it light and costs low. The biggest expense, I imagine, will be the solar panels and fan or two. Anyway, while I’m gathering the funds, the stuff is air drying in my shop with one of the beams drying outside, high off the ground and in the sun (it’s got some pine borer larvae in it). Until I get this stuff dry, I’ve got to use my current bench and make the most of it.
I need to keep a project list or something because I’ve got all kinds of projects I want to do and can’t keep track of them all. First, I’m making a turning saw for the saw swap. Something along the lines of this:
I want one for myself and decided a joining the swap would help me keep focused on it, force me to commit to a time frame and put some pressure on me to avoid accepting quality poorer than I think I can produce. I also want to make a frame saw for resawing lumber so that’ll be going on at some point in the future, too.
I’m in the process of making a small drafting compass right now, too. It’s mostly finished right now. I just need to get the brass hardware then put it all together. Here’s what it looks like so far:
It’s made from cherry and walnut. I’m not sure I’ll do any more shaping to it. I’m not totally satisfied with it’s “blocky” form but I haven’t thought of any modification I’d be happy with, yet.
The drafting compass idea came about when I was drawing up a rough template for a semi-hollow guitar I was designing. I initially used a scrap length of wood with a nail through one end and a hole bored through the other fit with a pencil. That worked for one of the curves but I had several more to do and ended up using cylinders of varying sizes to complete it. Then I managed to destroy it and decided I didn’t want to try to go through it all again. Besides, the attention to detail necessary for making small tools like this would benefit me when it comes time to build a guitar (I think, anyway). So the small compass is first followed by a larger one. Then I’ll eventually get on with designing and building a guitar. Perhaps several. Eventually.
I’ve also been getting a little tired of having my tools sitting on the shelf below my bench (the ones I use most, anyway). They always get covered in saw dust and shavings and bending over just gets old. Some days I want to put up a couple french cleats then make some tool holders and plane and saw tills (because Red’s looks so nice: http://lumberjocks.com/projects/89950) or perhaps a tool cabinet (there are several LJs who have really great cabinets). Other days I want to build a tool cupboard or armoire along the lines of what Paul Sellers has (in the background below):
Until I figure out what I want, I deal with the dust and shavings.
In addition to all that I want to make a new mallet, I’ve been seriously considering making a hand plane and I’d like to make a couple pieces of furniture(a morris chair for myself and a computer/executive-ish desk for my wife).
If that’s not enough, I’ve purchased a Husqvarna carpenter’s axe (the head of which is supposedly made by Wetterlings), a froe, some splitting wedges and a drawknife to do some green woodworking. Splitting and rough shaping with axe is coming along. Riving, on the other hand, is not easy. I need to make a riving brake, still. Then, I’ve recently purchased a chip carving knife and have been watching tutorials on that so I can enjoy woodcraft when I’m not on my shop. Maybe I’ve taken on more at a time than I should. Then again, it’s my life and my hobby. So long as I enjoy what I’m doing, who cares? Now, if only I can find a way to set up an area to get into blacksmithing…
-- - Billy