Sunday, December 14, 2008

the sofa has begun

i've been working on an elongated morris chair for the last little bit. it's been interesting to work on something that is to be sat in. it's definitely a different ball game then what i'm used to. the lady i'm making it for is a seamstress, and is going to be taking care of the cushions, to be made out of leather and four inch foam. i laminated the arm out of five plies, and they have a nice grain graphic on the top of them. they appear to be hugging the sitter. all of the mortises have been punched for the frame of the sofa, except for the top curved rails. i'm going to fit the arm onto the legs and use that as the template for fitting the top rail. i'm still scratching my head as to how the back is going to be supported, but i guess i'll figure that out later, when i get closer to that part of the project.

Sunday, November 30, 2008


this is my walker turner B745 tilting top table saw. i got this from a fellow south of detroit for 85$. he had completely restored the saw; paint and bearings. that's pretty much all there is to this thing. the top is 19"x25", and the little bugger weights about a hundred pounds. i got the fence with it, but no blade or mitre gauge. i made up some zero clearance inserts the other day. i guess i got the ass kick i needed from the last ffw.

since it's a tilting top, the table is fixed onto two pivots points. this makes adjusting for parallel a bit of a mystery. i figure that the whole arbor setup gets loosened and adjusted from the bottom. one step at a time... no sense adjusting for parallel before it's setup with a motor and a table.

i decided to get a forrest blade after our dollar drop from it's high point, and i paid dearly for this. i had to order directly from forrest to get the 8" blade that this saw takes. i decided to go with a four inch stiffener for this blade. the stiffeners make a huge difference with thinner kerf blades. i'm not a fan of the thin kerf, but that's what my dad has for his saw, and the stiffener made a really noticeable difference in the quality of cut. the 8" blade comes only as a thin kerf. so after i paid the taxes on the package, i did what most nerds do when they get a new tool, i took out the dial indicator... whoa. i had .0012" runout at the blade's edge. knowing that this was much, i swore. then i checked the arbor. i had about .0003" runout there. out it came, surprisingly easily. it ended up being an interesting setup between the bearings. that long sleeve with the bolt hanging out of it allows for a lateral adjustment of the blade and/or pulley in case it is needed. if fit's snugly into the hole in the casting, but fits loosely around the actual arbor shaft.

so now i need a machinist... there's a family friend down here who is a very meticulous machinist that i'm anxious to bump into. i got him to cut threads on my lathe shaft so that i could mount a jacob's chuck on the outboard side, and he did it for practically nothing. that's my kind of machinist, very precise and cheap.

underneath is an unauthorized photo of a certain mister klager working at truing his arbor flange on his unisaw with a shopmade setup. the setup was essentially coarse sandpaper on a stick. turn the saw on, push stick onto flange. this ended up helping some, but in the end we decided to take it into a machine shop. it came back with, if my memory serves right, .0000" runout.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

stand offish

i milled up the wood for the base of the stereo cabinet about a week ago. it's been sitting under the bench and hasn't moved much at all. so i left it and hand planed the snipe off of one side of each short piece in order to glue up some blocks for the short parts of the base. it planed quite nicely even if it was rowed. this wood is kind of funny. the faces are heavily rowed, and yet the edges seem to have more of the flat sawn look to them. curious, since it's almost perfectly rift sawn.

the blocks went together nicely, a little bit of squeeze out all the way around. the end grain has got a nice bookmatch happening as well. there's also a nice little bit of lighter wood towards the bottom of the joint. but, i've been using a whole lot of clamps a whole lot, and my hands hurt. i'm happy to be over the hump of massive laminations, i took the clamps off of the second arm of the sofa i'm building today as well. i'll post about that latter.

so this is about where i'm at. this is my new way of mocking up. using the actual part that were kept long and big to try and see what would work. i did this for the top and bottom overhangs of the cabinet. it was nice to be able to quickly move the piece around and get a view of what reality could be without having to do a mockup with other wood. i was thinking of putting a bit of curve or angle on the ends of the members and having a half lap joint to seat the long rails into the floor members. then i'm either going to use brass tabs that i'll make up, or some short rails going between the long rails directly underneath the cabinet to attach the base to the cabinet. i'm a little worried about this thing being picked up from the cabinet and not from the base. the base is going to end up being a little heavy weight wise, and i wouldn't want it to dislodge itself from the cabinet. i think i'm going to finish this up while the rail stock for the sofa is settling. i've milled it twice already and though that i would give it the weekend to chill a little.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

stereo couch

here we go...
so i've got two projects on the go right now. one's a stereo cabinet that only needs a base, and the other is an arts and crafts style couch. the mahogany base for the douglas fir stereo cabinet is milled up and settling for a little while. i got it from my uncle who works in a door and window factory. they make some pretty high end things for the us market, and so they go through a whole lot of wood. they are by far the cheapest source for mahogany that i've found, and the board ended up being quite nice. straight, dense, consistent color. perfect, for about 5$ a foot. i consulted with my design guru, lord godfrey, and he suggested a japanese style base for the low cabinet. i don't have all the details figured out yet, but i'm not going to be doing what is in the photo. the idea behind this thing was to make a cabinet for a record collector. records on the right and amp and turn table on the left. that's why i needed the slits in the back panels, for the wires. the verticals ones on the right are just for show. the back panel was pretty fun to make, lots of stopped grooves and floating panels, and panel ends that cover the grooves... oh, what fun that was.