A Package

The line shaft pulleys and belts have arrived, and they are as good, if not better than their photos.

Definitely showing their near 100 years of age (which is fine, in fact desired), they are a fine example of an age just passed.

Photo 6-05-13 10 44 35 Photo 6-05-13 10 44 45 Photo 6-05-13 10 53 03

I will definitely talk more about these when they are being set up as a display in the new shed, but just to mention, I was really intrigued by the 3 different leather belts.  One was thin strips of leather stitched together.  One was a single long length of leather (sure there are some joints in there, otherwise it would have been a world-record cow!) which is two wide pieces stitched together.  The last are short strips, with metal joiners ever couple of feet.  Sort of like a modern link V belt, you can increase or decrease the belt length by adding or removing segments.

Two of the belts are really cracked (the solid leather ones), but still pliable (just).  The third is very still indeed, so I will have to find out how to soften the leather enough to be able to properly install it around a couple of the pulleys.

Edit: I still have the plans for a small water wheel.  Be cool to scale the plans up a bit, and have this on the outside of the shed, perhaps even with a water pump providing a stream to turn it.

Tormek Profiled Leather Honing Wheel

The Tormek Sharpening System is ideal for turning tools, but part of the sharpening process is dealing with the burr that forms in the concave flute of the tool.

Jamming the gouge into a piece of timber to break off the burr will work, but the Tormek Profiled Leather Honing Wheels do a better job.

Original Bowl Gouge tip

Here is the tip of my bowl gouge – it has had some sharpening recently, but hasn’t benefited from a really decent sharpening method.  It is a turning tool, so I’m still not going to worry about running it on the Japanese Waterstone, but still, first shaping it on the 220 stone, then redressing the stone to 1000 grit produced a nice surface.

Next, onto the standard leather honing wheel to get a decent finish, then finally a touchup on the new (for my T7) profile wheel to remove the burr and perfect the edge.

Profiled Leather Honing Wheels

There are 2 wheels – a larger diameter one (and I’m referring to the profile here, not the actual diameter of the leather wheel itself!) (6mm diameter), and a second that has been shaped to a V section.  You can get a 4mm diameter one if you typically need a narrower profile.

Leather Wheel Detail

Between these two, I can dress the inside of all my turning tools and carving knives and chisels.  I have oiled them up, then applied some honing compound.

Refined Edge

The outside edge of the bowl gouge – looking a lot nicer.  You can see one facet that I haven’t ground out – it isn’t affecting performance of the gouge (came from when I had a less ideal sharpening method), and I didn’t want to waste good steel to remove it – it will disappear over time as the tool is sharpened (and to a consistent angle because of the Tormek setting system).

Don’t mind the few bits of dust in the photo – I think they are from the new leather profile wheels that I’m still oiling in.

Next to receive the treatment will be my large roughing gouge.  Imagine a roughing gouge with this sort of edge.

Sharp? You better believe it!!

A Memory Box

Sometimes a memory box isn’t important just for what is inside, but the box itself – the materials it is made from have as much significance as the contents.  This is one of those boxes, and was one I made as a Christmas present this year for my Mother-in-Law.

A Box of Memory

The request for this box came about while my wife’s grandfather’s house was all being packed for the last time (he has recently moved into a nursing home).  Some furniture was not worth selling, and as it was about to be placed out for disposal, the thought by my MIL was whether I might be able to do something with the timber at least, to make a memory box.

The timber came from a piece of Rosenstein furniture, made from Queensland Mahogany.  There was no way that I could maintain the original finish, but that wasn’t specifically important – that it was made from this timber with family historical value was the key.

I took the panel, removed a length of beading detail, then thicknessed and drum sanded it down to a better thickness for the box.  The dovetails were created with the Gifkins Dovetail Jig.

Crocodile Leather Top

Another item found during the process was a bag of crocodile leather, left over from the 60’s, when my wife’s grandmother got a pair of leather boots made.  This was part of the left-over.

I took a piece and glued it to some Tasmanian Oak (so inside the box would still be worth viewing).

Edge Beading

To finish off the leather detail, I took some of the beading removed at the start of the process, ripped it down with the bandsaw, and used this smaller portion (approx 1/3 of the original beading width) to create this edge detail.

Wherever I used the original beading, I was particular in that the original finish was not changed at all, so the colouring of the original furniture is still represented in this reconsideration of the original item.

That crocodile leather is pretty awesome too, and that so much of this box carries that extra depth of meaning is significant, both for the recipient of the box, and for me as I was making it.

Underside of Lid

Keeping the lid simple, I rebated around the edge to create a lid that lifts off, rather than one that incorporates a hinge. (Wooden, handmade hinges is a project for the (near) future).  Here the contrast between the mahogany, and the Tassie Oak is quite noticeable.

Dovetail Detail

Around the top of the box (below the lid), I’ve attached the full width beading removed from the original furniture, mitred at the corners.  It was originally attached with small nails, and where that occurred I have left untouched – if it has a hole, so be it.  I used Titebond glue for both the dovetails, and the beading.

The finish is my old favourite – Tung Oil, and Ubeaut Traditional Wax

In the bottom of the box, and under the box, I’ve attached felt, and otherwise the box is a simple design.  Once again, the Gifkins Jig proves just how good it is at a simple full dovetail. (I have tried handcut dovetails, it can be done, but i didn’t find  it particularly rewarding, or satisfactory result-wise with my skill level – the darkside eludes me again) (Saw a T Shirt quote recently – Come over to the Darkside…..we have cookies!)

I still have a long way to go with my box designs, but for a long time I didn’t even dare try one at all.  A box is something that is often appreciated very closely, so if you don’t have really accurate joints (etc) it is pretty obvious to an even untrained eye.

Creating a box that not only will contain memories, but is made from them is a particularly rewarding exercise.

Croc Leather

Been given some interesting material for a project by the family. These pieces of crocodile leather (many years old now) were used by a past generation to make some leather boots, and the leftover has been kept all this time.

I’ve been asked if I might be able to incorporate it into few projects for family members, so that will be an interesting exercise. (The photo here isn’t great – taken on a mobile phone, but you get the idea).

The longest piece is about 2′ long, and up to about 8″ wide.  There are lots of interesting surface textures etc, so will be very interesting to see how it can be incorporated into some of the ideas I have.

Crocodile Leather

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