Sunday, July 22, 2012

Who'd a thunk...

.... that such an ugly piece of wood....

....could turn into such a beautiful apple caddy.

I've been hoping to run across some walnut in my back woods lumber scavenging.  I finally did but it wasn't very big.  This piece does have some cool little knots.  I also left a bit of sap wood on it for contrast.

Stitched/splined wood vase

I"ve been scavenging the woods behind the house for old fallen logs I could turn.  I cut a piece of this off a fallen tree.  It appears to be oak.  After removing the bark I found it had a big crack. I thought it might be cool to add some splines (splines are walnut) and turn it anyway.  Well, I think it looked better in my head.  If anyone happens to find this thing attractive let me know, its all yours.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

DIY lathe tool

There's a guy I subscribe to on YouTube, Eddie Castelin, who has some great videos on wood turning.  He also sells lathe tools and cutters.  I ordered one of his bars and carbide cutters as they are about 1/3 the price of anywhere else.  The only gotcha is it doesn't have a handle.  You have to make your own, which is part of the fun I guess.

Here is the bar as it arrived.

Here is the handle.  It's a thin strip of cherry sandwiched between poplar.  The copper piece at the end is just a plumbing fitting.

Here is the assembled tool.

I like my version better.

Hope it's big enough.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Cherry neckace

I was able to sneak another project from the wood pile cherry log.  I love the twisted grain in this wood so I'm trying to use as much as possible.

Craftsman quality...err, junk

It seems the bunk bed build was a bit too hard on some of my lower quality tools.  Guess I'll have to head over to Harbor Freight (or Harbor Frank as Avery would say) to replace them with some disposable tools.

It started with my planer.  It was acting like it was running out of gas, however it's of course electric.  It turns out the switch was going bad.  See the fried black connector below.

The planer is now hard wired to bypass the switch.  When I plug it in, it takes off.  This piece of crap seems like a fire hazard so I'll have to keep an eye on it.  

The second item to bite it was my Skil random orbit sander.  Well, now it just orbits, there's nothing random about it.  The bearing in the picture below is completely seized up.  The sander just spins like an angle grinder... not good for fine finishing.

Next we move up to the kitchen.  When we built we spent some extra money on 'top quality' Krapmore appliances.  Our $900 microwave is now nothing more than a white noise generator.  It runs and spins food, but doesn't heat it.  We're now using our $35 Kroger microwave that will probably last long enough to go to college with Drew.  I'm starting to learn that everything built anymore is junk.  Even though it has a different name tag it's all from the low standard factory.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Bird house from garbage

The girls and I built a bird house from left over deck rail sleeves and a couple screws.

Here is the build crew.

The finished product.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Bunk bed with desk, shelves and drawers

While I was home alone I spent almost the entire time building a new bed for Afton.  I wanted it complete so I could surprise her when she got home.  I got the plans from and modified them a bit.  This was more work than I thought.  I worked a few full evenings then spent 2 straight 14 hour days in the shop.  I didn't get it quite done but it was enough to surprise her.

Afton loves the new bed (Avery and Drew do too).

The left side will get 5 drawers.

The desk will get 2 drawers too.

The ladder is temporary.  I'll make a nicer one later.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Home alone

I was home alone today and will be for the next 3 days.  The girls are in Chicago visiting friends and Drew is spending time at Mimi's.  While it doesn't take long to miss everyone, and gets boring fast, I am excited about some new house rules I'll be implementing for the next 3 days.

Toilet seats will stay up.

I will not put stuff away when I'm done with it.

Naps will be taken.

Candy land will not be played.

Doors to grown up only rooms will be left open.

Dinner will be easy with minimal cleanup.

I will not get kicked in the nuts during wrestling matches.

Candy dish

This candy dish, or whatever you want to call it, is made from walnut.  It's finished with a blend of boiled linseed oil and clear shellac.