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

Friday, December 31, 2010

A Tip for the New Year

When I start moving from basic bowls to more elaborate projects, I studied segmented bowls, made on the lathe, to get some ideas. What I noticed, consistently, was the use of veneer to set off decorative rings. Although not cheap, veneer is less expensive than thin wood, and can sometimes be obtained in thicknesses as great as 1/16". For the new box book, I experimented with dyed colored veneer, and was very pleased with the results. It works similarly to padauk, or any other wood that can bleed if you're not careful, but otherwise presents no special problems.

Constantines, located in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, is a reliable source for specialty veneer, as well as other interesting stuff. I visited their store last summer, and was impressed with their stock. I was sorely tempted by a beautiful piece of bird's eye maple veneer, dyed a gorgeous blue, but could not think of a way to use it. Of course I'm sorry now to have passed it up. They pack the veneer carefully, so mail order is not a problem.

Since they're a small outfit, they are responsive to special requests, and seem to choose their stock carefully. If you're looking for a way to make your projects stand out, give veneer a try.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Holiday Wishes to All

Just wanted to wish you all the best in this holiday season, and to promise you a bunch of new and fun projects and helpful videos in 2011.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Model number for the elusive pad sander

I've received many requests for the model number of the pad sander that I use for shaping and sanding bowls, especially those with curved sides. I recommend buying from Klingspor, since they seem to have the best prices, and their customer service is excellent.

The basic tool is the 2" hook & loop pad, FP50200. Add some 10 packs of 2" scalloped discs. in various grits such as 80, 120, 180, 220, 320, and you're good to go. The scallops generally protect against gouging, but if they get in the way for a particular job, just cut them off.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Back to the drawing board

Since it's impossible to test your own instructions, I asked my partner, Joe, to make up some pivot-lid boxes that will appear in my new box book.

He made up a few, and filled them with candy. We gave out two yesterday, and within a matter of minutes, one of his grandkids snapped off the lid of her box.

Although I thought the dowel I used would be strong enough to resist shear, I was thinking "adult" not "child". We quickly drilled out the broken remnant and substituted brass rod, instead. I think that should work, and even though I'll have to take a new set of process photos, I was glad that I had the chance to improve the design.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Please read the instructions

The current Holiday supplement that Scroll Saw Woodworking & Crafts magazine sends with a 2-year subscription (and is also available separately) contains plans for a collapsible basket similar to the one pictured. I wanted to make the entire basket from a single 8" x 8" piece of wood, and used scrap left over from the main cutting for the base strips. So far, so good.

What I didn't anticipate is that people would not read Step 2 all the way through, to the part that says to save the scraps for the base strips. If you don't do that, then it will appear that no wood is provided for them. If I knew this was likely to be a problem, I would have highlighted that part in boldface or italics, but who knew?

So, if you've tried to make the basket and are wondering where to get the wood for the strips, just check back to Step 2.

It's a really neat project, and a great way to use up scraps. It also works well when made from a single piece of wood.