Welcome to my blog. Let what you see stimulate your imagination and inspire your own creations.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Success at last

Still working out the last little tweaks, but I've finally got this one figured out. It's really a neat little design, and not too fidgety. I'm learning to tolerate the frustration of projects taking longer than I've expected. Gotta keep moving on!

Monday, October 12, 2015

A new project, finally!

I've been having a really frustrating string of projects fall apart at various stages. My standards are pretty high--the project has to be attractive, different, easy to replicate, and not require extraordinary skills or unusual equipment.

This one looks hopeful, so I'm moving it out of the prototype stage. It's a box with a hinged lid, where the hinges and lid are from the same piece of wood. The prototype posted is a simple version, but I plan to use a "jazzier" lid, and fix some problems I had with the prototype.

I'm overdue for a success!

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Face grain segmented bowl

Quite by accident, I tripped on a way to make a segmented bowl that had only face grain showing, without needing to cut angles.  This one was made from some 1/2" oak and padauk strips that I had lying around.  It's meant as a prototype, but I plan to see how far I can push this technique now that I know it works.  So many new things to explore . . . . .

Thursday, August 20, 2015

New source for graphite pads for Jet belt sander

A while ago, I posted a photo showing severe areas of wear on the graphite pad of my Jet belt/disc sander.  Until then, I was not even aware that there was such a pad, or that the deep indentations were the cause of my inability to sand vertical sides.

I had called Jet to help me troubleshoot the problem, found out about and ordered the pad, and installed it with a great deal of difficulty.  The old adhesive was almost impossible to remove, even with Goo Gone, and the new pad had the same type of adhesive on it.

Recently, the same problem sanding problem reappeared, not as bad as the first time, but still problematic.  However, in the interim, I had discovered that Klingspor's Woodworking carried short rolls of cloth backed graphite in 6" widths, and ordered a piece large enough for two complete applications to keep on hand.  Not surprisingly, it was far less costly than ordering the single piece from Jet.

However, the real bonus was the discovery that it was applied using spray adhesive.  I removed the old pad, with the same amount of difficulty as the first time, cleaned the bed thoroughly, and applied the new pad, cut to appropriate length, using repositionable adhesive.  The instructions specified spray adhesive, and this was what I had on hand.  It's been completely trouble free, and I'm now considering replacing just the lower part when needed, rather than the entire pad, since removal should not be such a production.

Nice to find a really good solution to a recurring problem.  I do like the fact that there is an interface between the sanding belt and the metal bed, which not only keeps things cooler, but protects the bed from "dings".

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

New display case

Like most people who love trying out new ideas and techniques, I keep running out of display room.  Joe kindly offered to build a display case, so we looked at all sorts of plans until we found one that was room but not overly large or overwhelming.

It's made from sapele, which blends in well with the dining room furniture, and is a pleasure to work with.  The glass shelves and absence of a back and sides keep the look light, so it's just perfect for our needs.

And of course it was a lot more work than we expected, down to the half-lap miter joints for the shelves, but the results were certainly worth it.

Of course I don't know what I'll do with future projects, but I'll deal with that when I have to!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

An easy way to figure out the cutting angle

If you're having trouble understanding how the cutting angle for bowls works, take a look at this photo.  The two parallel lines on the edge represent the ring width, in this case 1/4".

To get a rough idea of the correct cutting angle, tilt the saw table, left side down, so that the tensioned blade meets the right line on the top edge of the wood, and the left line on the bottom of the wood.  That angle, with the thickness of the wood in the photo and 1/4" wide ring, is about 20˚.  If the wood were thicker or thinner, the angle would change.

If you go to scrollmania.com and look at the diagram for the Angle Calculator, you can get a clearer idea of what that diagram represents.  Remember, the angle you are computing is actually the amount the saw table is lowered from its normal level position.

Hope this clears things up a little.  And yes, there are people who just use the method in the photo to "compute" the cutting angle.  If you're precise enough, it should work just fine, but I'd rather double check with a calculated angle.  With a neat online tool like the Angle Calculator, there's no excuse for not being precise!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

A new type of sander

At the Fox Chapel Open House this year, the SandFlee folks (RJR Enterprises) had an interesting new type of sanding mop.  I was intrigued by the compactness of the sander, and the fact that it came in both 2" and 4" sizes.  I'm always on the lookout for sanders that can be used to sand bowl interiors, especially for open segmented bowls.

I started out with 120 grit for a trial run, and was so impressed that I ordered both coarser and finer grits in the 2" size.  Here's what it looks like, chucked into the drill press, sanding an open segmented bowl.  I still have to test out the other grits for a more complete understanding of when and how to use this new tool, and will keep you updated on my findings.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

End of box saga

Looking for a home for my newest flower box, I submitted the project to the new German scroll saw magazine, Feinschnitt kreativ, where it was accepted and previewed in the current issue.  I only wish I were fluent in German, since there are limits to Google translate!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Fox Chapel Open House 2015

Well, the folks at Fox Chapel did it again, with another great show.  I had fun teaching my classes and   helping scrollers with their bowl projects.  When not teaching, I was at my table meeting folks, signing books, and just hanging out with whomever came by.

Here's my table, full of as many pieces as we could safely carry and set up.  Not a bad way to spend a couple of days!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Revisiting an old project

A while back, Woodworker's Journal published an article of mine which gave instructions for making a small cherry jewelry box.  It was one of the projects that had been intended for the box book, but there was no room in the book for all the projects I had planned, and this one was sufficiently different from the others so that it didn't fit conveniently into any chapter.  I was sorry not to be able to include it, because I liked it a lot, but there really was no way to do it.

Fortunately, it found a home with Woodworker's Journal, whose editors did a very good job with it.  I just happened to get a copy of their eZine today, and noticed that they were offering the full article at no charge on on their website.

If you missed the original publication, you might enjoy making this unique little box that is quite easy to do with the scroll saw.

To find it, just click on this link: Cherry Jewelry Box