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

Friday, May 6, 2016

Preparing for Fox Chapel's Open House next week

Made a new project, a larger version of one I'd tried, especially for my advanced bowl class, and have also made a totally unglued version of it to show how to handle multi-blank bowls.

The larger version was made the same way as the smaller one, but with slightly thinner wood, and one extra ring for the lower section to give it better proportions.

Not too difficult, and a really fun project!

Friday, April 22, 2016

Finished table project

If you check down a few posts, you'll see the sanding set-up that I used to true the corners of a piece of wood to be used for the top of a small table.

We finally finished the table, and I'm pleased to say the the edges required only a little touch-up to prepare it for bearing-guided routing.

And here's a photo of the tray that inspired the project!

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Error alert for basket project in Issue 63 of SSW

It was just brought to my attention that the dimensions for the base piece of the basket are incorrect.  They should be 5-1/2" x 5-1/2", not 4" x 4".

If you have already cut the rings, you can use the remainder of the base from the original blank by sanding off the wedges from the underside. It should match the bottom ring perfectly.  If you drilled a small hole in the center for pattern placement, you can fill it with a mixture of glue and sawdust and it will pretty well disappear.

Sorry for the error, but sometimes they slip through despite many layers of proofreading.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Making the most of your belt sander

My belt-disc sander combo is one of the workhorses of my shop. Usually my workpieces are small and easily fit on the tables. This time, however, I needed to smooth out the curves for the top of a small table that we're making to fit a lovely brass tray that we picked up from a "free" pile outside someone's home.

The heavy duty stock support is usually used with the table saw or band saw.  However, this time it showed its versatility as it allowed me to rotate the wood easily as I smoothed out the curves in preparation for routing.

A little cumbersome, but really did the job!

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

New tricks with your drum sander

I've had success using these simple techniques to salvage wood that would otherwise probably be trashed. This is my third video about ways I use my SuperMax drum sander, and the more I use it, the more invaluable it becomes. Some tools are just that good!

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

When you need to go really basic

Sometimes simple is the best solution!  And Mikasa does make a really round salad plate!

Still trying to learn GIMP . . . . .

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Flattening cupped wood

It's always a pleasure to work with perfectly flat wood. However, sometimes the piece you want to use is cupped. Here are some suggestions you might find useful for flattening the wood.

If the piece is thin, try moistening the concave (incurving) side then clamping it firmly until dry. Often, this is all it takes to flatten the wood to a point where it can be used. However, try to use the wood as soon as possible, since it will tend to revert to the way it was originally. I do this with wood for box and bowl bottoms, and once glued into place, the wood becomes quite stable. I would not use wood that has been cupped and flattened this way for a slab lid or other unsupported use. It might remain flat, but it also might not, and why take the chance?

If the cupped piece is thick enough so you have wood to spare, place it cupped side up so that it is stable and put it through the drum sander. Eventually the top surface will flatten out. When this is achieved, invert the piece and sand the other side until it is flat.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Next generation vase

This was a tricky one to do--it took a different approach to cutting rings, one that I used in the bowl book, but never fully appreciated in terms of its versatility.

Center ring is laminated redheart, rings are black walnut, generously donated from a local lumberyard.

It will be a good piece to use in my advanced bowls class at the 2016 Open House.

Here are three different views. It's interesting how the grain varies so much, making it really important to be careful about matching.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Variation on a theme

As usual, I try to work with a project until I've run out of ideas.  This box of bubinga, maple and black veneer, is not quite finished--I haven't yet decided on a handle, and I'm taking my time with it.

This is now my fourth hinge lid box, and I must say that there is definitely a learning curve. Sanding the hinges is a bit out of my comfort zone, but I am definitely getting better. I'm also finding that I'm exerting more pressure with my right hand than my left hand, and I'm trying to be aware of it so I can feed the wood more evenly.

Still have the vase I'm trying to update waiting patiently, but at least I'm not bored!

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!