New view

The Different Grain Patterns of Mahogany

Seeing Stuart's pictures from his A Few Fun Tool Closeup Photo's Post, inspired me to take the DSLR into the shop to try and capture some of the really incredible grain finishing has brought out of the mahogany blocks.  Usually I just use my Canon SD1000 point and shoot camera into the shop; it takes pretty good snapshots without fiddling too much and is cheap enough that I don't care if something happens to it.

Read more »

Tools: DSLR

Tags: Canon, finishing

Materials: mahogany, tung oil

Notes from the Workshop: 20101116

Another two hours of work this morning and I've got all the mahogany blocks sanded to 220 grit.  I haven't even started on the bloodwood tracks yet!  

Sanding Station

To try and reduce the amount of dust I breathed and spread around my shop, I worked in front of one of my box fans pulling air through a furnace filter.  You wonder if this setup is effective?  Just look at the difference between the clean corners and the dust filled middle.

I'm kicking myself for not picking up that small Harbor Freight downdraft table when it was on clearance.  Now I'm seriously thinking about building one for a project.  It's just that when you're not sanding, you forget about how bad the dust gets until you have to sand another project. Read more »

Tags: 3M, filter, Norton, notes, sanding, Toolmonger

Materials: mahogany, sandpaper

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

Working with Mahogany

When I first picked up a blank of Honduran Mahogany, I noticed it was very light for its size. I wasn't thinking about its density or hardness when I choose it though, I liked it's rich tan color and straight grain.  I thought mahogany blocks would be a a good contrast to the bloodwood I was going to use for the tracks.  What I wasn't expecting was that it would be a challenge to work with.  The closest wood I can think of that it works like is aspen.  The wood is very consistent and straight grained; it holds crisp edges when machined, but it frizzes easily.  When sanded it produces a really fine dust that likes to clump together, plus it's very light and gets into the air.  I'd recommend air filtration and a dust mask; dust collection when using power tools would definitely help too. Read more »

Tools: scraper

Tags: sanding

Materials: aspen, 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