Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Lumber Yards

December 25, 2021 Leave a comment

Glancing at the sign I attempted to determine what lay inside. Perhaps the typeface would provide a clue as to the quality of service? Instead I could only see the words Dakota Hardwoods nothing more nothing less, pulling into a parking space I glanced around for the entrance and spotted a smaller sign with the word office and an arrow pointing to a glass door. No bars on the door first impressions….

There are many blogs and articles about purchasing lumber and it’s interesting seeing how different companies and countries provide the service. Relocation to a new town or state always brings me a little trepidation, will they let me sort through the lumber, will they have the thickness I desire, will I have to deal with the grumpy know it all clerk?

Since I began making furniture this will be the 5th state that I’ve sought a new vendor and the last couple of moves the internet makes finding options easier. Here in the San Antonio area I asked the local woodworkers guild for recommendations and wow what mixed results! I’m sure that is the most common question asked on the guild site (perhaps someone who knows how could add a link that gives the options) and I also recognize that everyone is looking for a different set of services. in my case I wanted to sort through my own lumber and in particular wanted 5/4 material. After some calls and a couple of false starts I ended up at Dakota Hardwoods. It was a good experience; however they certainly use a system that I’ve not seen before.

There are the lumberyards that let you sort through stacks of lumber, there some that make you take what is there, lumber may be vertical some horizontal and at the best places someone stands over your shoulder. At Dakota, I checked in at the office they wrote out roughly what I was seeking, 5/5 Walnut and Cherry and 8/4 for the legs. Backing my truck up to the loading dock I handed my request to the forklift operator. He then drove off appearing with a stack of lumber that I picked through and loaded into my truck, he then noted the sizes and drove off to get the next size. Again I sorted through the stack, he noted my choices and went off to find the next stack. Very different from what I had done before but if was efficient and the selection was good.

30 minutes later I had lumber selected, loaded and paid for and was on my way back to the shop.

Categories: Uncategorized

Box Making – Installing a shelf

September 1, 2021 Leave a comment

The box design has a shelf approximately 1/3 of the way up from the bottom. The shelf is installed with blind rabbets so all of the work must be done prior to glue up. There are many ways to make rabbits and after some thought I decided to use my router plane and a chisel to provide a stop for the blind end of the rabbet.

The shelf is wider than the boards that I have on hand so I did a quick glue up and planed it down to 1/2 inch. It’s been some time since I used the router plane and it is definitely one of the most useful specialty planes that I own. This one happens to be a Veritas since I had a very difficult time finding a used plane when I first began using hand tools. Needless to say I have been very happy with it. Since the rabbit was in a couple of inches from the edge I cut across the board with my marking knife and then used an edge guide. You can see a corner of the guide at the bottom of the plane in the photograph above.

It only took a few minutes to cut each rabbit and square up the blind end with a chisel.

Categories: Uncategorized

Box Making – Bottom

August 25, 2021 Leave a comment

The sides of the box completed, I begin to look at the bottom design. the previous boxes that I completed had a bottom glued to it, simple and looked great but since this box will actually be turned on its side, it needed something different. Insetting the bottom into a groove will make the best use of space and provide a great look.

There are several ways to inset the bottom, I used my plough plane and set it to make a groove just inside the edge.

A couple of the rabbits ended in a dovetail so I had to use a chisel and router plane for these rabbits.

The actual bottom also was trimmed around the edges to fit but I did not get a photograph. on to the next step.

Categories: Uncategorized

Woodworking and Gardening

August 15, 2021 Leave a comment

We all have multiple hobbies and quite often there are subtle links that tell a story of our personalities. Clearly in my case there is a very reasonable link between woodworking and white water kayaking. We all have those two base hobbies. Another likely hobby that we share is gardening. Since moving to Texas a couple of years ago we bounced between aprtments and renal homes until finally moving into a home of our own. While in those other properties I never had the chance to get a garden growing. This year I managed to get some basic vegetables. Unfortunately the tomato plants have struggled and not been overly productive. I attribute this to a lack of nutients and will be proceeding to a local farm to pick up some manure. In the mean time one of the easiest ways to improve soil is to add compost and since we all love woodworking and grass cutting we have some of the basic ingredients. Add some of the boxes and waste paper from our many incoming tools and we have the makings of some fine soil.

I placed a layer of grass clippings, followed by a layer of wood chips, then some scrap paper and a few shovelfulls of dirt. Next a little water and repeat for several layers.

After it is built I will turn it every coupe of days and occasionally add moisture. Hopefully I will turn these two waste products into more productive soil.

Categories: Uncategorized

Humidity in the shop

July 17, 2021 Leave a comment

A couple of weeks ago I noticed on my weatherstation that the humidty outside was 97%, definately on the high side of comfortable and certainly high enough to begin having an effect on everyday life. I am very fortunate to have a shop that is climate controlled and living in TX it gives me the ability to woodwork comfortably year round. Most of my shop furniture however was built much further North often in cold dry winters. I’m see the impact of the lower humidity and have made several adjustments.

My tool cabinet which has hung on the wall for many years needed extensive changes to the doors to enable them to close. Seems like I just did work on it but a couple weeks of high humidity and the plane had to come out and make some changes. Next it was of to the drawers on my small tool chest. I had not been able to close the lower drawer for a couple of weeks so I planed the top of the drawer and got it closed.

The last piece was the movable portion of the tail vise. Although I could use it it was very tight and I actually had to drive it out with a rubber hammer. a few swipes of the plane and all is good.

Categories: Uncategorized

Roubo Crubber and Weldwood

June 20, 2021 Leave a comment

Several months ago I installed the Crubber on my benchcrafted Vise. Carefully taping off the area I sprayed it with adhesive and stuck it in place. Two days later I peeled it off and started again! After a little research I realized that I need something stronger than contact adhesive and browsing my local Home Depot came across Weld Wood Contact Cement. Truth be know I was not looking for contact cement rather a paint brush and this little can was out of place and caught my eye.

Clearly a message from above and I purchased it and used it to reapply the Crubber.

After a few weeks it’s still there and working well. IF it fails I’ll let everyone know…..

Categories: Uncategorized

Plane Aid

May 21, 2021 Leave a comment

Looking through the local San Antonio Woodworking Guild posts I noticed someone asking for a little help to bring a Plane back to life. The planes didn’t look too bad and I’ve been unable to settle into a project, so i stepped out of my comfort zone and offered to take a look. A few hours later and they were on my bench.

Looking through the planes there are two #5s, a corrugated #4, an unknown brand of Block Plane and a small plane. None of them are in terrible shape and only need a little TLC with the exception of one of the Totes. First job is to disassemble so I can go after the rust.

Getting the dirt and grime off took a few minutes with paper towels, a screw driver to scrape and a little WD-40. Next I took an oil drain pan and lined it with a garbage bag and used rust remover to take the rust off.

Categories: Uncategorized

Hanging Tool Cabinet Details

May 6, 2021 Leave a comment

Late 2016 early 2017 my cherry tool cabinet was put to work. There were several parts of the project incomplete and over the last few weeks I took time to make a few changes.

When I mounted the cabinet after moving the shop I noticed that one of the doors would not remain closed. The problem was that I never completed the installation! So 4 years later I ordered some magnets and installed them on the top of the doors.

When installing the shelves I did not account for the thickness of the chisel socks that I used to protect my tools from rust. This was always a problems for the doors. Moving the shelf stop up 1/2 an inch and adding some runners on the shelf to properly support each plane solved the problem and made storage much more secure. It took approximately an hour to complete the project. One project always leads to another and Since the doors wouldn’t open on their own I was forced to add the knobs that have been lying in the cabinet corner.

Next step was adding some chisel racks. I like the idea of having tools easily accessible so after a few measurements, screw drivers and chisels are neatly stored.

It’s really nice to have doors that remain shut and planes held carefully in place, perhaps I should finish projects more often!

Categories: Uncategorized

Firewood to Lumber

February 27, 2021 1 comment

A coworker shared some firewood with me a couple months back; while unloading it I noted that several of the pieces were very heavy. The wood appeared to be oak, but I wasn’t sure and after setting up my bandsaw the opportunity to take a peak arrived.

My first step was to build a sled that along with a couple of wedges would hold it upright and allow me to create one flat edge. As you can see the sled is nothing fancy, a few pieces of plywood screwed and glued together.

Setting up for the first cut I noticed that the piece had several cracks running vertically. I guessed that this may be indicating that it happened to be qtr sawn so that is how I placed it onto the sled for the first cut. As the bandsaw sliced away the rough surfaces, underneath was a beautiful piece of oak with some very nice medullary rays.

Cutting the wood into 3/4” thick pieces I was left with a several nice boards that will make a beautiful box. I think I may give it to my firewood suppler. You never know what is hidden away under the bark and rough exterior.

Categories: Uncategorized

New Shop-Still Unpacking

October 11, 2020 Leave a comment

Glacial progress continues and perhaps in a few weeks the clutter will be down to a pile of lumber and a couple of boxes. There are certainly several tools that will hit the local San Antonio market. One in particular a 6 inch jointer has been boxed for a couple of years.

Currently I’m working through the Anarchist Tool Chest and Small Tool Chest, cleaning up, sharpening and removing all of the antirust coatings that I used to store the tools. Looks like this may take me a couple of weeks.

Since moving I dont have a working vise so one of the first orders of business will be the completion of the workbench. Ive found the lumber for the vise and sliding deadman, if only I could find the plans…..

Categories: Uncategorized