bloodwood

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Notes from the Workshop: 20101207

I've found that blogging about my time in the workshop helps keep me focused on a project.  Documenting the process as you go slows you down, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing.  Slowing down makes you think more about each step, working it through in your head and figuring out how you're going to explain it.  Also years down the road when you wonder how you did something, you can come back to the blog.

It's still hard to stay with a project to the very end.  Often once you've figured out how to do something, it loses it's challenge and becomes busy work -- especially the sanding and finishing stage. Trying new techniques and products during this stage helps, but it's still no substitute for discipline.  I still find myself starting new projects before I finish the ones I'm working on.

Talking about new projects:

Domino Setter


I've been playing dominoes with my daughter lately, because they are using them in school to teach adding.  Although how my daughter's Dora Dominoes which only have pictures help in this respect is beyond me.  It's still a good game to learn because you need to plan ahead.  Once we get bored with the game, we like to set up the dominoes and knock them down, which is where my son starts getting interested in what we're doing.  Both my son and my daughter have a hard time setting up more than a few dominoes in a row before they accidentally knock them down, so I'm always the one setting them up.  I thought there had to be a quicker way. Read more »

Tools: table saw

Tags: dado, domino, notes, Rockler, toys

Materials: bloodwood, cumaru, red oak

Notes from the Workshop: 20101124

It's been a hectic week, with Thanksgiving coming and all, but I was able to sneak into the shop for a few hours Yesterday.

Sanding Hook

While sanding the mahogany blocks, I was holding the sandpaper in place with one hand while rubbing the block against the sand paper with the other hand.  I figured there had to be a better way.  So I built what I'm calling a sanding hook.   I can't believe that I'm the first to come up with this idea, but I haven't run into anything like it so far in my searches across the internet.  So I've been busy the last two days putting together an Instructable on how to build one.  I'll post a link here when I finish it. Read more »

Tools: sanding block

Tags: notes, photography, sanding

Materials: bloodwood

Notes From the Workshop: 20101109

End Grain Burn

Even though, the mahogany fuzzed quite a bit when machining, at least it didn't burn, that is until I tried routing the end grain.  Yeah you can burn just about any wood, but some woods are more prone than others.  Evidently end grain mahogany falls into the former category.  I ended up turning down the router speed to about 1/3 of full.   In the above picture, the block on the left was run though at full speed and the block on the right at the reduced speed.  There's still a bit of burn, but at least it's something that a light tough of sanding should take care of. Read more »

Tools: Handi-Clamp, router

Tags: burning, end grain, Irwin, notes

Materials: bloodwood, mahogany, tung oil

Notes from the Workshop: 20101103

Router Table Fence

When I went to route some channels in the mahogany blocks for my blocks and marbles project, I found that the channel was coming out crooked.  The culprit seemed to be the router fence; it had high spots that the block was hitting.  The high spots were around the locations I drilled through the fence for the adjustment bolts (I built this fence long before I knew what T-slots were).  I'm not sure if moisture got behind the laminate and swelled the MDF, or if the act of tightening the screw down too hard somehow pushed material away from the hole and it bulged the MDF. Read more »

Tools: router table, sanding block

Tags: links, notes, projects, RSS

Materials: bloodwood, mahogany

Notes from the Workshop: 20101027

RSS Feed

I really hate sites that put a teaser or even just a link in their RSS feed rather than the whole post, so you have to click though to the website.  I understand the reasoning, that they want to drive more people to their site so they get more hits, but I think there are better ways to drive people to your site like offering good content.

Imagine my horror as I looked at my feed and discovered I was doing it!  Oops.  So sorry to all of you who are following my site via RSS.  I have it fixed now. 

Block and Marbles

Read more »

Tools: table saw

Tags: notes, Rockler, RSS, toys

Materials: bloodwood, mahogany