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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Useful equipment for gluing

With many of my newer projects using veneer, I've been forced to face the reality that smearing glue with my fingers is probably not the best technique to use.  I was intrigued by a few pieces of equipment featured in a Rockler catalogue that looked just right for my purposes, and took advantage of a free shipping offer to give them a try.

I've long used silicon brushes for baking, and have been impressed with how easily they cleaned up.  This silicon glue brush is angled, and perfect for spreading glue.  The silicon tray holds just the right amount of glue securely, and although I haven't used the spreader yet, I'm sure it will help spread the glue on larger pieces of veneer.  It reminds me of how you spread thinset mortar for tiling.

So, although I tend not to buy the latest "gimmicks", this was certainly money well spent!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Back in the shop--hooray!

Well, couldn't do too much today, but I did manage to finish the laminated bowl that was featured in my latest gluing video.

The main wood is quarter sawn red oak, center ring is redwood burl, top and bottom rings are nogal (like walnut), and black and white veneer dress it up.  The construction was not difficult, but the slight warping of the veneered pieces is what led me to make the video.  I had too much costly wood invested to give up, and as you can see, the joints came out nice and tight.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Haven't disappeared, just recuperating

And just as the weather is getting warm enough to make some serious sawdust!

I'm trying to create a new type of bow, a little loopier than what I've done so far.  I'll need to do some prototypes from scrap wood before I invest in the veneer that will bring them to life.  Hope that tomorrow I can run off some patterns and get the process going.

I found a source for many more colors of veneer than I've seen previously, and if it works out, will pass along the source.

I'm used to being fully functional--now I'll be sure not to take that for granted!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Two tips for gluing up bowl rings

Here are some tips to help you get better glue-ups of your bowl rings.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

I'll be at the Fox Chapel Open House May 9-10

Just received an invitation to do some presentations at the Fox Chapel Open House.  The last open house was in 2006.  I attended as a fairly novice scroller, so this should be an interesting contrast.

I'm looking forward to teaching some of my newer tricks and techniques, and to having a chance to chat with other scrollers.  At least by May the snow should be gone!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Buying dyed veneer

Colorful dyed veneer is ideal for dressing up wooden ribbons and bows.  Unfortunately, the most common sources of this type of veneer, stores like Rockler or Woodcraft, sell it only by the pack, which gives you no control over the actual size of the pieces you're buying.  This can be wasteful, depending on your project needs.

A reliable source for dyed veneer sold by the individual piece is Constantine's.  I've probably mentioned their store in a previous post, but as I'm still getting inquiries, I thought it would be worth mentioning again.  Shipping cost is on the high side, but the overall cost is lower than any other place I've found, and if you place your order by phone, you can specify the dimensions you need.

In addition to the bright colors, I absolutely love the black dyed veneer, which comes in two different thicknesses.  It's wonderful for adding drama, and a lot cheaper than ebony!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

What's next?

I'm trying to use these cold days, when the shop is pretty much off-limits, to start planning out new projects for spring.

Specifically, I will be making an all-out effort to get plans published for more advanced bowls. This will be quite a challenge, since I need projects that move the art forward, yet are not too frustrating for the typical scroller.

I'd also like to make more use of veneer, especially dyed colors, for laminations and glue-ups--ideal for holiday-themed projects. Although I generally use natural wood colors, some projects really need that extra jolt that's not found in nature.

But it is very frustrating, not being able to move things ahead the way I'd like, or posting news of my latest projects and discoveries. However, it should only be a matter of weeks before I'm busy making sawdust again.  Can't wait!

Friday, January 31, 2014

The yarn bowl--final version

Here, at long last, is the final version of the yarn bowl I've been working on.  Patterns and instructions will be appearing in Scroll Saw Woodworking & Crafts, probably late this year.  I'm very pleased with the project, and hope that many knitters make good use of it.

For the bowl maker, it provides a new shape to work with, and a new technique--decorative cutting of the finished bowl. I took advantage of the few warmer days we had last month to get it finished, and am really looking forward to getting back to work in my shop.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

WJ bow box pattern correction

It was just brought to my attention that the pattern for the ribbon loop for the holiday bow box in the December, 2013 Woodworker's Journal is incorrect.  The pattern for the face (striped) side of the loop should be 7/8", not 1".  Here's my original, hand-drawn version of the pattern, which is crude, but correct.

I'd suggest copying the pattern that appears in WJ, separating the two parts, then trimming 1/16" off each edge of the face side.  Tape the two parts together carefully, and you should be good to go!

Monday, January 13, 2014

A weighty matter

Thought choosing the best weights for the yarn bowl, or anything else needing weighting, would be simple.  Although I ordered slingshot ammo, I did want to check out the possibilities in lead.

So, I went to Sports Authority in Connecticut, where lead can legally be sold.  In NY, it can be used, but not sold.  Go figure!  I decided to get some egg shaped sinkers, since they were heavy, although not as cheap as I'd like.

I've concluded that the best choice for projects, depending on the size of the cavity to be filled and the amount of weight needed, would be either the smaller egg sinkers, or slingshot ammo, 1/4" or 3/8" in diameter.  I found price differences on the ammo between Sports Authority and Dicks, so it pays to shop around.  I didn't look into BBs, since that's a restricted product for NY residents, but I know that some folks use them.

First proposal submission for the actual project is in, and I'm awaiting feedback.  One way or another, I'm getting that bowl out there!