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Saturday, May 31, 2014

A place for my hand saws....

 This is a view of my nearly completed saw till. This first picture is of the closed till. If you look at the left of the saw handles, you can see that they are set back into the cabinet box. This will allow me to add another till if the need arises. The till is hinged with continuous hinge on the front of the cabinet.
 This is a picture of the first till opened. This exposes three of my saws.







 This is a picture of the second till open. With this open, I can get to the inner most saws.
This picture shows the two tills when they are spooned together. They are held together with rare earth magnets. I figure that if I add even one more till, I can hold a total of about ten saws.



The cabinet will probably weigh 8 million pounds when I am finished. That is ok. I will be dead so it will be left up to the kids to worry about removal! Ha Ha. 

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Just another piece of wood

 I have a friend, (yes I know that is hard to believe), that is terminally ill and is also an artist. He asked if I could make a board that would go from arm to arm of a recliner. Well, because he is an artist, I just could not just give him a slab of wood. I came up with this. The borders are cherry, field is walnut. The flower petals are sand shaded holly with cherry used as the stem. I hope that he will find this better than just a piece of wood.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Sea chest


This is the completed sea chest. The rope handles, dovetails, and bread board ends  are all hand cut and fitted.









The rope is cut about 43" long, separated into the three strands.
 The rope will make three of the handles. It is 5/8" manilla rope.










 The approximate size is the size of a glue bottle. This is just a little fussy to get the correct diameter of 5 1/4".
 The handle is drilled at 7/8" and then cut open. The inside is cut out to make room for the splice of the rope.

 Rope is cheap and I thought that I would make extra because I like the handle so well.

 After the rope is re-weaved and glued together, it is wrapped in glue soaked canvas, dipped in diluted glue solution to make the rope maintain its shape. This a a shot of the handles drying.


 This is a shot of the hand cut dovetails.

I used a jig saw to cut out the majority of the cloud lift and the router and the template to cut the cloud lift to smooth shape.






This last shot is of the chest with the door open. You can also see the bread board ends. The ends are held with draw bored holes to keep the edge of the bread board long edge and the top tight.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Covering a water shut off

 Karen threatened that if I did not make a cover for the water shut off then she would go to a cabinet shop and have someone make one. Well....I could not have that could I?  I do not know what her hurry was. It has only been 34 years since we bought this house. (in my defense, I have done MANY things to keep the house current). 
This is the opening. I made a simple frame of quarter sawn white oak.







The flowers are holly that have been sand shaded. The flower stem is cherry and the kanji (mizu=water) is walnut. The finish is 4 coats of shelac.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Phone table

I know, I know, people do not have a land line anymore but I saw this little phone table at a home nearby and just had to make my version of the desk. I would guess that the original was made in the 40's or 50's.








Here is my version. The original did not have a drawer. I felt that a drawer was much more useful than a phone book. (what is that anyway?)

 I began by making the mortises in the legs. I cut the tenons and made a mortice in the tenon that accepts the opposing tenon. This effectively locks the tenon in so that it can not pull out.
 Here is the tenon that inserts into the tenon above.
 This is how the tenons lock together inside of the leg.
 The chair back had to be bent. It is better to use air dried lumber, but that is extremely difficult to locate. Kiln dried has the lignins set and so it is necessary to re-saw the board, steam the pieces in a steam box and then clamp to a form. This picture is the back of the chair in the bending form.
 This is the chair back after gluing. The top is scrapped and then jointed.












The flowers are made and then inlaid into the bent back. This picture shows the cloud lift design that is common with arts and crafts furniture.









The back is fitted to the leg.




 I re-sawed a piece of figured walnut into the three pieces that you see. I book matched two of the pieces on the left here and slip matched the far right piece. After the three were glued into a single large piece that measured 22" x 22" I began the marquetry of the flowers.

 You can see here the flower just sitting above the cut out for the flower. When they join, they are tight fitting and no joints between the flower and the back ground should be seen.
 Here is the table in the rough. Final sanding and clear finish is all that needs to be done.
 Here is a raw view of the top veneers.
 Chair open view without the drawer.
 This is the beginning of the drawer cavity. I bent the walnut by steaming and then clamping it into the form. The gaps on the sides are hidden areas.
 Rare earth magnets hold the sides in place.
 Here you can see the front drawer with the carved wenge pull handle.











The front drawer has rare earth magnets that pull the hidden drawer.
The hidden drawer needs to be accessed by putting a finger in this finger hole, depressing a locking tab, and then pulling the hidden drawer out of the cavity.

 Here is a view of the finished top. I treat my walnut with Deftoil stain to keep the walnut from turning coffee cream brown. The bookmatch and slipmatch can be seen quite well here.
 The chair back flowers. The stems on the top are flush with the top so as not to interfere with writing. The stems on the chair are proud of the surface to give a 3d appearance.

 The pull on the drawer is carved wenge.



Holy bum oak!

 I made this little wall cabinet from re-purposed church pews. It uses a french cleat to hang it from a wall.
 Above you can see the flower that is padouk. It is first built marquetry style and then when the flower is constructed, then it is inlaid into the cabinet, wrapped around the cabinet stile and then into the door stile.



The pull is made of carved wenge.
Here is a better view of the flower. The glass looks distorted because it is an art glass. I treated the bright brass coated hinges with heat and then put them in an ammonia fuming. The back of the cabinet is bead board. The entire cabinet was made only with hand tools.

Monday, October 28, 2013


 Normally I never do re-finishing. In a moment of extreme weakness, I told a friend that I would re-finish her hutch. This is what it looked like when I got it. The foot at the bottom was broken off, the shallow full with drawer below the top drawers was in really sad shape and the doors were missing chunks of veneer. This was an old piece because of the thickness of the veneer. This had thick veneer and it had been glued with hide glue. The veneer was also very highly figured so I knew that it was very old. Today's veneer is thinner than toilet paper. I you tried to sand it, you would sand through to the substrate.
 This piece also had beveled glass mirror. Bevel glass is very expensive so I was running worried that I might do something to damage this beautiful mirror.
In this picture, you can see that the top has been sanded and I am working on the sides. The finish on this thing was extremely hard. I would assume that it was old fashioned varnish, but I am not sure. I would have to re-sharpen my scraper about every minute of use. Once I got the finish off, the stain would then sand. I had a company here in the area make some custom stain.
 The veneer on the small radiused drawer was removed with a heat gun. I then needed to make a clamping caul to match that radius so as to add on the new veneer. This method allowed me to make a clamping caul that very nearly matched the radius of the drawer.
 I first soaked the new veneer in boiling water and clamped the veneer on the drawer front. Wood wants to bend in the direction of the growth of the tree, but does not want to bend across the direction of the growth. After a few days, the veneer was dry and removed. It was very fragile and required patience in gluing the pieces across the drawer front. All told, this process took over a week to get done.




This is the drawer finished. I had to purchase a few new knobs as the old ones were not oak.

 If you look at the upper part of the left drawer, you will see where a patch to the veneer was added. Today's veneer is just not a pretty as old veneer. A total of three patches were necessary to complete the doors.

 This is a beautiful piece. These pictures were taken before delivery. Notice that the front leg is back into position.











 This is a picture in the friends home. Hopefully this piece will be good for another 100 years.