Welcome to Woodworker++

This blog is intended to be a journal of my progress as a woodworker. Grab a drink, maybe some popcorn, sit back and enjoy a glimpse into my woodworking projects, both failed and successful. Why should you care what I do, or what I have to say? You shouldn't, but just maybe I can keep you from making the same mistakes that I had to learn the hard way.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Next project...

Looks like it's going to be a quilt rack for my sister in law. Right now, I'm going to try and make it out of poplar, and stain it with pecan stain. If the poplar does not work, then I'll switch to maple. I'm using a plan I found on Lowes' website. I've attached a pic of my Sketchup model. I'm going to give wedge tenons a shot.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Toy sleigh project...

Wifey informed me she wanted a sleigh for a Christmas play. "Nothing huge just a toy sleigh that can be pulled by a horse.". Did I mention it had to be pulled by a horse? Here's the quick 1.5 day sleigh I came up with. Fortunately, I didn't have to paint it. The kids in the play will paint it. No big write up on this one because I didn't document the build process or anything, but here are the pics. Did I mention it was horse drawn? I seriously have my doubts about whether this thing will hold up. Not pictured are the eye bolts used to hitch up the pulling harness.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Paper shade...

I just finished the paper shade. It doesn't look too bad. Some oopsies here and there. I'll see if I can't get some of my more crafty friends to help me out in the shade department. I made a video of the lamp in action. I used some of my software expertise to create an Red, Green, Blue, L.E.D. circuit and write some software that makes the colors randomly change. A video example is below.
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Shellac and oiled...

Here's the finished piece, shellaced and oiled. I usually screw up a piece when I finish it, but this one turned out ok. I used a 1lb cut of shellac as a sealer, and did a fine sanding with 400 grit. As soon as the shellac went on the walnut really popped. Once the shellac coat was sanded, I applied a coat of Danish Oil. The walnut really came alive. I followed the Danish Oil directions from a Fine Woodworking article, wiping off the excess that seeped out. I ran out of time and had to let it set for a week. The next weekend I applied another coat, again following the Fine Woodworking article directions. This is the result of 1 coat of shellac as a sanding sealer, and 2 coats of Danish oil.

Now all that is left is to apply the shade. I'm not 100% sure how I'm going to do that yet. As of right now, my plan is to cut a piece of material to fit each of the "4 frames" and place the material in the frame without glue. If I have to use glue I will. Any ideas on what material to use or how to attach it would be appreciated.

As for the pictures, I'm no photographer. I do know that over a distance parallel lines will look somewhat curved because of the curvature of a camera lense. So, the curve effect in the full length picture is an optical illusion. Another optical illusion is the bottom stretchers. The angle in the picture is just weird. If there are any other mistakes in the piece, those are optical illusions as well :).
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Half lapped support...

To ad rigidity to the lamp, I decided to have a half-lapped cross piece holding the stretchers together. This was my first half lap attempt, and it came out pretty good. There was a mild gap in it, but only on one side. The joint was still tight, and somewhat square. I ddin't go for looks when putting the cross piece into the lamp, which is obvious. This part will be covered up by the shade, so I didn't spend a lot of time on it. In hindsight, I wish I had. That, and the wifey's comment "I doesn't matter if it's not seen, it's called craftsmanship". She's right. I should have spent the extra time.

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Milling and assembly...

I didn't take pictures of the milling process. I basically had a couple of pieces of walnut that were 3" x 7/8" x 6'. For assembly, I thought about using mortise and tenon joints. I decided that would have been a lot of extra work for a simple project, so I decided to go with dowel joints. In hindsight, I should have done mortise and tenon. I think it would have been more sturdy, and I would have gotten much needed practice. I drilled out the holes for the dowels and used just a regular hardwood dowel from Home Depot. Assembly was fairly easy, and all went well. I did notice that without the extra support of the shelves along the lamp, it was very wobbly. I decided that the lower part of the lamp portion needed to be supported more...

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Wright standing floor lamp...

While looking through a magazine, (Pottery Barn, Crate & Barrel, I really don't remember) I ran across a lamp that I thought was really cool. I needed a project kickstart my woodworking agian, and I had some scrap walnut from my workbench, so I thought I'd try to build this lamp. If you're interested in buying the lamp I found it online here. I wanted my lamp a little different. I decided to not have shelves on mine, and I made it a little smaller. Instead of the 10 1/4" square I made mine 8" square.
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Technology almost fail...

Working on getting pictures of the new project from the depths of the hard drive... hopefully I'll have them posted soon.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Updates soon.

New project with updates coming soon....

Monday, August 3, 2009

I have legs!

For my workbench, that is. The sawyer called and I picked up four 4"x4"x36" pieces of kiln dried walnut. Only one has some minimal cracking, which is to be expected from kiln drying, but nothing that would cause structural problems. Wanna know how much it cost? $33 and some change, after tax. That's right. $33. If you're shopping for domestic woods, I suggets you try to find a local sawyer. You'll wait a while, possibly even a year. But the price is right. Pics to come soon. Now, to dig out the workbench plans and mill up the legs.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Legs for the workbench...

It's been a while since I've updated this thing. We've been converting a dining room into an office, and fixing up the house some. So there's not been time for woodwork. I do have some news, though. The gentleman at the sawmill left me a voice mail and told me he had the walnut cut up for the legs of my workbench. It's currently in the kiln. So in a few weeks, I'll be able to take my workbench off of those saw horses and get it on a more stable surface. Finally.