Last spring I helped clean out the loft in an old barn on my Grandparents farm. the barn is getting old and starting to sag. My Grandpa had a huge stash of lumber up in the loft that he milled himself about 50 years ago when he used to have his own portable saw mill. (Sadly it burned in a forest fire) Most of the lumber was no good anymore and went to the burn pit, but I salvaged a fair pile My Grandpa had no use for the wood anymore and let me take it. I finally got it back to my place th...
My efforts to get a nice slab cut from this beast was met with failure, but it was not without a good effort. I took every opportunity to sneak out in the garage this week and work on the big cut to rip this redwood root down; even if for only 5 minutes. Every little bit of effort adds up and makes the task seem less monotonous. I had made good progress and loosing our DSL connection on Thursday gave me an unexpected excuse to duck out of work and get some garage time in. By Friday afte...
I’ve been on a bit of a project tear as of late. I finally got fed up with piling stuff in one corner of the garage only to move it to the other, then back again. After knocking together a couple of small coffee/lamp tables, I wanted to tackle last of the big stuff. that big stuff would be 1/3rd of a large redwood root I had purchased. Part 1 became a still in-process bench and, part 2 was sold in a semi-rough state (offsetting the entire purchase and then some). I could have t...
I’ve been chipping away at my stock of thrift store redwood (literally all purchased at a thrift store). I had two large left over pieces that I have been trying to sell, to no avail, on craigslist. The one slab is good for a small coffee table, has some nice figure and was surfaced flat on one side. Started at $120, worked down to $80 and had marginal interest but mostly from people wanting to offer $60. I couldn’t justify letting it go that cheap, especially since with min...
I’ve made good progress this week on the base for my coffee table. After splitting the larger chunk of wood down to size and doing some rough sanding, I decided to cobble together enough stuff for my router jig and set about getting ‘root’ side of this base leveled out. The router jig may not be the best tool for this procedure. I’ve seen guys work wonders with a steady hand and big chainsaw. But it does work well enough and it’s quieter than the chainsaw an...
I’ve decided to finish this in two stages. I still have to figure out the legs/support for the bench but felt there was value in getting a protective coat of finish on the piece. With the redwood being fairly soft, and this piece being so heavy I could already see imperfections being introduced just from moving this around during the sanding process. Also sand; sand everywhere. Given that this spent part of it’s life as driftwood, many of the nooks and crannies are filled wit...
I used to really enjoy sanding. Give me a nice big flat surface, some headphones perhaps a beer or two (or three; I’m Irish) and I could sand uninterrupted for hours. With this project, I have met my match. Those irregular surfaces are just brutal… as was the wood itself. Not only did I meet my match, but so did my sander. The velcro pad is pretty well toast (2nd one) I blew a hole through the dust collection bag and the bearings are starting to go as it sounds like a combi...
Well, I broke down and added a new power tool to the arsenal. I picked up a 4.5” angle grinder from the big orange home store. I’ve been wanting one for a couple of years and had hoped to turn one up at the local thrift shops, but no such luck. With an upcoming instillation of hardwood floors and the need to undercut our existing existing cobble stone hearth I figured it was about time to crack open the wallet. While in the spending mood, I also picked up a 60 grit flap disc...
I have to start by thanking others for the advice given in my last post. I put a new edge on my planing blade, getting it hair shaving sharp, and adjusted the depth to take a very thin slice. While not smooth as butter it was a tremendous improvement over my initial attempts. However, I also admitted defeat in my attempts to make this a hand tool only project. There were a couple reasons for this. The last foot (.3 meter) of the surface took a pretty nasty dive; a bit over a half an ...
Things have progressed nicely over the past few days. After a good 30 minutes of study, I laid out some chalk lines to square up the live edges. Then went to work ripping with a combination of the old cross-cut and a small rip-saw on the sections that were thin enough for that to be effective. It’s about time put a fresh edge on the old crosscut. Things really started bogging down during these cuts. I was able to muscle through, and am pretty pleased with how the projec...
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