Baby Bed Build Bis

Had a change to take another crack at the cot build this weekend, which was good – more progress.

After last weekend, we had the bed itself built (as in the surround and support for the mattress), so today it was time to build the side rails. Oh, and fwiw we are referring regularly to ensure compliance with the Australian Standard for cot design, so the maximum clearance between mattress and bed, height of sides, gap between slats etc etc are all being carefully adhered to.

Once again, we started with a large chunk of timber (around 250×45) and began machining it down.

A combination of jointer, thicknesser and tablesaw gave us the rails and stiles as the frame for the sides.

Despite having them for years, this is about the first time I have actually used the jointer MagSwitch featherboards. They worked very well to ensure even pressure across the jointer cutter. A quick tap down between passes to ensure even pressure is maintained as the board becomes thinner (I do 0.5mm passes on the jointer, so not a real issue in any case). And in case you were wondering, we jointed an edge so we had something straight and true to run up against the tablesaw fence, then ran the board through the tablesaw to get 2 lengths a bit over 90mm wide. From there, we started machining the boards from scratch, jointing a side, then an edge. Next onto the tablesaw to rip the boards in half, so they ended up 20mm thick after machining.

We then spent some time testing and preparing to make the slats for the sides. A number of test pieces, and setups done to fine tune the operation. We started with the Domino – when we need mortices, why not use the best tool for the job?! So with a 10mm cutter, and set to the widest mortice setting, we got a 33mm slot, and thus our slat size was determined. We then made one, and tested it for strength. That went well too.

With all setups done, all the spare pieces, offcuts from other pieces of this job were run through the tablesaw to create the number of slats needed, with a number of spares. Each was then tested, bent and abused. A few failed, but the majority were perfect, and will be able to survive even Arnold Schwarzenegger’s kid.

Still need to actually create the mortices in the rails, but will do that after some sanding and finishing.

To get the required slat placement, the Domino grows wings. It makes cutting the required mortices so incredibly easy, and accurate.

Now I know there are two main groups out there – those who cannot understand how any tool can be worth as much as a Domino, and those who love the tool. Unfortunately, I used to belong to the first camp, but since first using the Domino and then more recently (last couple of years) owning one, I cannot help but reside in the second. Awesome machine. Yes, I know – hideously expensive. But very, very cool. One of these days, I’d love to become permanently familiar with the Domino XL too.

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All 2000+ Posts, on one page!

WordPress have updated their software so that you can now scroll to the bottom of the page, and instead of clicking next page to continue reading this website, it will automagically load the next batch of articles, ad infinitum until you have manage to read the entire website end to end!

Cool 🙂

Well that sucks

Got an email from Lost Art Press about their new American-made T Shirts, and decided to get me a couple of those puppies, along with a couple of their books (I already have Workbenches, which unfortunately didn’t come with the DVD that you can get when ordering direct- you have to purchase it separately, if you can source it at all, and pay a premium).

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Got to the checkout and went to select country. You can have USA, USA or, you guessed it, USA.

So found a tab that said International Customers, and read what it had to say

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That sucks. 😦

Toy Story

For those with kids (or are big kids themselves), it ’tis the season for bulky toy catalogues!

Other than living a second childhood, I find one other particular benefit of looking through the acres of pages: toy after wooden toy that I see, not to buy, but that I can use as a source of ideas for ones I can make.

Following a plan, the step by step in a book is fine, but I don’t get anywhere near the same satisfaction that I get by coming up with the method myself, even if the actual product concept is sourced from an existing product.  It will often be that the end result doesn’t look much like the product that inspired it in any case.  The last batch of toy kitchens is one such example.  At first glance it looked something like those in the toy catalogues, but the devil is in the details.

My interpretation is below

Some toys are just so over-engineered, they engineer all the imagination out of play.  Especially the plastic fantastic ones.  Well made wooden toys benefit both from very durable (to the point of being able to be handed down the generations) they have great tactility and physical presence.

Back to the catalogues for me.

Ooh – a lego Star Wars Millennium Falcon.  I’m sure my 5yr old daughter would love that.  If not, shame it can’t be returned once opened!

H.O. Studley Tool Chest

I was sure I had posted about the Studley tool chest in the past, so sorry if this isn’t new (but a search of the site didn’t turn anything up!)

Henry Studley was a piano maker from the late 1800s (1838-1925), who is still famous today, not so much for his pianos and organs, but for the magnificent tool chest he made that houses over 300 tools in a 40″x20″ case (closed).

Photo from Fine Woodworking Magazine

There is a poster that FineWoodworking.com sell of the Studley case, and I had it on my iPhone as a screen saver for a long time (although the details are a little hard to see!)  What the poster does not reveal is the magnificent details of drawers and hinged sections, sliding shelves within the drawers etc.

Thanks to IS for linking me to a video by the New Yankee Workshop, we can get to see the real detail that a static photo hides.

And for those particularly interested, Lost Art Press (aka Chris Schwarz and co) are coming out with a book in 2013 specifically about the chest.

Anyone prepared to draw the unit in Sketchup?!

When Worlds Collide

Source: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Really, nothing so spectacular actually.

One of my staff is having a baby soon, so came around to ‘the shed’ so we could start working on a cot.  He’s chosen Tasmanian Oak, so bought some lengths, around 170 wide and 45 thick. (mm that is).

We were too busy to stop for photos, sorry about that!

First job was resawing, so I tried the bandsaw, but had a few problems there.  For one, I think my resaw blade needs sharpening – it really struggled.  I know hardwood is, well, hard but this isn’t the worst thing I have been able to put through this blade.

Combined with the blade dullness, is the increase of load that creates on the bandsaw and therefore an increase in power that is drawn.  Problem number 2 then cropped up – kept tripping the circuit breaker.  Now I know that isn’t related to any fault in the tool, just a underrated circuit breaker that trips at 10A (and probably less), without any threshold.  We ended up giving it away, and swapped over to the tablesaw, with the blade at full height, and two passes to split the board.  Even with two passes (flipping the board over) wouldn’t be sufficient to cut that entire width, but all we needed was actually 145mm, so ripped the board down before splitting.  Even the 15A tablesaw was pushed with such a full-depth cut, and even when changed over to a ripping blade, so perhaps the timber was as hard as the machines were saying.

So we properly dressed the timber all round (using the combination of the jointer (planer), thicknesser and tablesaw).  This obviously isn’t your garden variety DAR – the boards are left flat and true, without warp, twist or bend.

After docking the boards to their required length, it was over to the router table, where a 6mm groove was cut near the bottom in each side, so when assembled it can have a captive base.  By the end of the session, we had made the bed section itself (that has the mattress filling the area, with a maximum of 5mm between the mattress and the sides.  The standard allows for double that).

Once all machined, and edges rounded over with the Fastcap 1/8″ roundover plane, it was onto the Domino to make slots for floating tenons.

We ran out of time to sand and finish – job for another day.

This was part 1 of about a 3 part project. Good using the tools for a bit of furniture again.

Animal Train

Wooden toys are one of those things I particularly enjoy making in the workshop.  The whole quality thing, the tactile thing, the longevity thing, the imagination thing (as opposed to all bells and whistles being built in), and not to mention the satisfaction of watching a child genuinely enjoy and play with a toy that you have made for them.

Some of the toys take quite a bit of effort to make, and as a one-off, that is never a drag.  It is also very rewarding to be able to donate toys to other causes, and in those situations you want to be able to make as many as possible, and as quickly as possible so coming up with a duplication method is very valuable.

There are many different ways that parts can be duplicated – stacking, router table template copying are probably the most common.  I have the advantage of the Torque Workcentre, so for this project I chose to create a duplication template.

Instead of cutting the patterns for the animal train out of the intended timber, I chose 6mm MDF.  It has the advantage of being dimensionally stable, easy to machine and shape, and cheap.

Once the shapes were cut out, I stuck them to a 19mm thick MDF board using carpet tape. Flipping the board over, then holding each pattern against the copy pin in the table while the router with a matching router bit cuts a new track.

The resulting tracks makes creating duplicates of each object very easy.  The board is again turned over, and one of the paths is captive on the copy pin.  Whatever timber you then want to make the object out of is attached to the upper side, ready for routing.

For this project, I am using New Guinean Rosewood.  Carpet tape is applied to not only stop the board moving, but once the object is cut free, the carpet tape keeps it from bouncing into the cutter.  I also used a couple of screws in non-essential areas to ensure the board could not slip during the cuts.  The patterns up can see under the board were lightly cut into the upper surface making it easy to align timber to the pattern, and in particular ensure the grain direction supports the weak areas of the pattern.

After 2-3 passes, the items are cut free.  These are then taken to the spindle sander for a quick post-machining touchup.  Given I am making these out of a decent timber, I will come back to give them a much better degree of finish.  There is some waste areas between the patterns, but this is not wasted timber.  From here, the offcuts make their way to the drill press where I cut wheels out of the offcuts with a Carbitool wheelcutting bit.

I still have some work to do to finish this train, but at least you can see here where it is heading.

The benefit of making the copy template means I can now easily produce train after train in whatever material I want.  I’ll probably make the next set out of MDF and paint it appropriately.

Moo.

 

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