Sunday, April 25, 2010

My Wish List of Things I want to Build

I think ever woodworker I know has a wish list of things that they really want to build in their hobby or career, I know I have several, and I thought I would share them with all three of my loyal readers. One of the first must builds on my list that I want to build is a mountain dulcimer. I have wanted to build one for my wife for a long time.  I think one of the reason that I still haven't build one is I think I could easily catch the bug and want to just on keep making them, not that would be a bad thing. I know its not a huge job or for that matter a tough build, but it still be a challenge to make the instrument. The sound of the instrument is one of the things that draws me to it. I have always loved dulcimer music and would love to learn to play one.

The second is a much larger project and it is a Teardrop Camper. I love these things they are like a piece of furniture on wheels or a land boat. I want one that is build out of wood, no plastic, or metal like the ones you can buy. I am always on the look out for a trailer to start this project and when I find one I know I will put ever thing else on the back burner and dive in head first.

The third project is more in line with what most would expect from a woodworker. I would love to build a piece of furniture from every period like a Chippendale High Boy and a Queen Anne Secretary, Pennsylvania Dutch Chest, and a Windsor Chair. these are just a few. I know all these would really expanded my skills as a woodworker. When I think about these project right now I feel I don't have the skill to accomplishment them but I know if I started one of them I would accomplish my goals one step at a time.

The last on my list is a cedar stripped canoe, I have already build a couple of kayaks out of plywood, but never a stripper. They are so wonderful to look at that it all most seems a shame to but them in the water. I know one guy who owns a stripper canoe that he bought and he says that he can't go any where in the canoe without people stopping him to talk to him about it, the same with the people I know that own teardrops.

This is my wish list, what is yours? drop me a line in the comments and share your list, I would really love to know what other people want to build not just what their are building.


Friday, April 23, 2010

Country Island Design

This is a design I really need to take from the drawing board to the kitchen. While I'm still not happy with it yet I think I on the right track. The bottom looks heavy to me so I plan on changing that part. The two drawers at the top are pass through so you can open them from either side your working on, the second shelve is where I want to keep mixing bowls and other essentials needed when I cook. The bottom shelve will be for larger pots and pans. I thought about going with three drawers at the top and I still may do that. I still not sure what to do for the top My wife wants granite for her baking but I'm thinking cutting board with a 2 x 3 marble insert.

This exercise was mostly to help me improve my skills with Sketchup and I must say this one has been the hardest yet because of the turnings on the legs. I am using Sketchup Pro Eval and it has shown some kinks that I wasn't having with the other free Sketchup I was using

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Design of the Week Carvers Bench

This is a carvers bench that I have been kicking around since I seen one in a old scroll saw magazine, and then again in a in the last issue of Carvers Illustrated magazine. What makes this bench different is that the top on it is hinged at the front so it will tilt up like a painter's easel and there is a vice on the side that it can be used with the dog holes for holding flat panels while you carve. This bench can also be used for joinery work like cutting dovetails and tenons. The over all dimensions on the bench is 24" x 24" x 32" high. the top is beach and the base will be out of fir. I really think it is a great little bench to supplement my bigger bench and improve my carving.


Monday, April 12, 2010

Check This Blog

Woodworking for Mere Mortals is a wonderful, funny, and entertaining blog. He also has a YouTube channel that he post many videos on that have great information and ideas, so check them out and enjoy.


Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Fixing Poorly Constructed Chairs

One of the jobs I did in my woodworking career was fixing broken chairs at the University of Cincinnati. Boy, they had a lot of broken chairs, so I got a lot of experience at repairing them.

This past easter sunday one my daughters new chairs, from her new dining set collapsed at dinner, so I spent most of today repairing it.  Now out of all the chairs I have put back in service, I have never seen one as poorly constructed as this one. Not in any of the joint did I find any glue, just pin nails and drywall screws was all that was used to holds this chair together. I thought, maybe it was just one that got past the inspectors, but after checking the other chairs I discovered that was how all the chairs were assembled. This chair didn't just collapse one of the cross pieces split in half and gouged a nice chunk of skin out of the person that was sitting in it. luckily, he was all right, he was young and bounced, but what if it was one of the older people there for dinner, they would not have been able to have take a fall like that, and the split wooden piece could of done a lot more damage than it did.

Next week, I plan on disassembling all the chairs and gluing them back together the right way. I would say this is just another example of you get what you pay for, but she paid as much them, as she would have for some good chairs, made by someone that cares about what they do.  

Monday, April 5, 2010

Love my Class, Carving for Beginners

I had a great afternoon at my woodcarving class, after some introductions we got started by, first getting a nylon bag that contained a Kevlar glove, carving knife, leather strops and a packet of instructions to help learn some of the different cuts for carving with a knife, or whittling.

The first project was designed to teach us how carve with grain, it is a ball a top a cone with a cove in the middle and another cone on the bottom. Carving this helped the carver to see how you have to cut in different directions for different effect and grain direction, kind of like when you're planing, but with a whole lot of changes in the direction that you cut with the knife. This was designed for the guys who have never worked with wood before, and aren't aware of how the grain effects what direction you need to cut to get good results

Then we carved a dowel out of a square stock of basswood. The dowel was fairly easy until we found out that for homework we needed to whittle a whiskey jug on one end and a coffee pot on the other end then seperate them with just the knife. We also got a duck and a swan to do a home with an encouragement to carve at lease twenty minutes each day.

I have my swan and duck done, but I have been putting off the jug and pot till I get a little more comfortable with the knife.

The best part of this class for me is just sitting around shooting the breeze with some fellows. We all  got comfortable with each other really quick and after just a few minutes of talking about woodworking and carving, it was like we were all old friends, and that is one of the best perks to being a woodworker, the brother and sister hood of other woodworker to be friends with.

Next class was face carving and chip carving, both went well for me and the face was a lot of fun to carve. They are called No-See-Ums becase they are carved without eyes, instead they have a hat pulled over their eyes this simplifies the carving and makes easy for the beginner.

The chip carving is a lot of fun and takes a lots concentration to do, you just get lose in it and before you know an hour is gone, kind of like meditating.

I know I am hooked on carving all ready and I plan on learning to do all I can, besides my wife already has a honey do list of things she wants carved, so what can a guy do? Honey I need some new gouges.


Saturday, April 3, 2010

Website of the Month

Featured Website this month is In The Wood-shop with Derek Cohen. Derek is from Perth Australia and has many techniques and tutorials on his site. Derek is a hand tool user and has loads of information on using them in his projects at his Building Furniture page. check out his site, it is well written, easy to follow, and has a lot of great information on it, so enjoy.


Thursday, April 1, 2010

Design #3

This is my third design and I wish it was the third week of doing this, but it isn't and I'm a little behind. Oh well, maybe I should do this once a month instead of once a week except then, I would only get them out every two months, so I'll keep shooting for once a week. lol

 This design is a knock down book shelf that held together with sliding dovetails that lock the tenons in place once they are through the shelf. there is nothing special about this except the way it is held together. If the dovetail was tapered it would even make assemble easier.