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

Sunday, April 25, 2010

A shop of my own, at last!

After several years of using a community woodshop, I'm finally cleaning out our one car garage so I can get my own tools. Fortunately, for the work I do, all I need is a scroll saw, drill press, spindle sander, and vertical belt-disc sander combo.

Having my own "shoplet" will also let me shoot videos more easily. Videos made in my kitchen are OK, but sometimes just a little limiting. I'd love to be able to make videos "on demand" to answer any questions that come along.

I'm starting to research drill presses and sanders, so if any of you have any good (or bad) experiences with particular pieces of equipment, I'd appreciate hearing from you. Same for any good ideas for working in a limited space.

I'll post pictures in a few weeks--wish me luck!

Friday, April 23, 2010

One more sanding tip

The other day in the shop I was sanding with a 60 grit sleeve on my inflatable ball sander, and it was taking forever. I found that although the grit looked fine, it had less sanding power than the 220 grit sleeve I replaced it with (only one I had around). I could have saved myself quite a bit of time and frustration by changing it about an hour earlier, and will try not to make that mistake again.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Need help?

If you run into any problems while making your bowls, please let me know. Chances are good I've run into the same situation at one time or another, and am likely to have an idea or two that will get you back on track.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Ten Rules for Sanding Success

Ten Rules for Sanding Success

1. Less is more

Unless you must remove a lot of wood quickly, sand in small increments and inspect your work frequently. Although sanding errors be used creatively, it’s better to go slowly and stay in control.

2. Match the grit to the wood

Coarse grits are too aggressive even for rough shaping of soft wood while harder wood needs the extra abrasiveness. Use the finest grit that will get the job done to avoid removing too much wood or leaving deep scratch marks.

3. Change grits gradually

Moving slowly through the grits lets you sand out scratches, not sand them smoother.

4. Keep it clean

Clogged sandpaper does not sand effectively and may burn the wood. Change paper frequently when hand sanding, and use a cleaning stick for mechanical sanders.

5. Use a gentle touch

Too much pressure creates gouges and causes burn marks. Don’t make extra work in an effort to save time.

6. Defuse the disc

Disks rotate faster on their outer edges; the more aggressive sanding can quickly add unwanted curves. If you use the whole disc, hold work on the “up” side firmly to prevent flinging and its consequences.

7. Let your fingers be your guide

Touch, as well as look, to catch irregularities. Use fingers to locate bumps and hands to check for symmetry.

8. Finish today’s work tomorrow

When you think you’re done, put the work aside and look again when you’re fresh. You will always find something that you missed.

9. Accept imperfections

It’s better to live with a drill mark, a scratch, or a flaw in the wood than to ruin your project.

10. Start by machine, finish by hand

Machine sanding reduces stress on shoulders and arms, but there’s no substitute for a final hand sanding.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Finishing enclosed areas

A question came up on the scroll saw forum about finishing the inside of a vase. While a nice finish inside and out sounds like a good idea, enclosed spaces tend to hold odors, especially when oil is used. Once the inside of a vase is sanded smooth it should look good enough so you won't feel embarrassed if someone decides to take a peek.

That said, if you really want to finish the inside, spray it with shellac before gluing it to the other section, being careful to tape the gluing edge with blue tape so you don't get spray on it. Then when it's done, just remove the tape and glue it up as usual. Shellac odor dissipates pretty quickly, and brings up the color and grain enough to give a more finished look than just leaving it plain. It's really a matter of preference.