Saturday, March 31, 2007

LumberJocks Challenge

As with many things on the internet, when two of the LumberJocks challenged each other in public it snowballed and suddenly this challenge between friends has become a challenge for all the LumberJocks, and anyone who wants to be a LumberJock.

The challenge is to build an interpretation of the Greene & Greene Thorsen side table. The table was featured in a recent issue of Popular Woodworking magazine, so naturally the magazine is now involved as well.

So my dilemma at the moment is whether to jump in. I'd like to, I have a pretty good idea about what I'd do with it.

The problem is time. I need to finish the foot stools, finish the wall cabinet, finish the night light, and a bunch of other things. Not to mention work. And spring is finally here which means it's almost time for some kayaking, and softball season looms large on the horizon.

The finished table has to be posted in my LJ projects by May 31st. Don't know if I can make that deadline....

I need to decide soon, so that I can acquire or find the necessary lumber, start the rough out, etc, etc, etc.

Decisions, decisions...

Class Night - Snowflake's Nightlight

Picture(s) to come...

So the new session of the adult ed class I frequently take started on Thursday. Luckily the lumber stock there is in good shape (there have been whole semesters when there has been little or no wood) and I was able to find the stock I needed.

The nightlight I'm working on is one I've built before (both of my younger nephews have auntie made nightlights). It's not an original design, but one from Woodsmith magazine. Although I'm not a great fan of cats I really love the cat fishing cutout that was featured in the magazine (and in the picture here). The other feature that I love is that the nightlight is designed to have a total of 4 light panels, and storage for the ones not in use is included.

D's, the first one I made, has the 4 panels which are part of the plan - the cat, a halloween scene, a Christmas tree, and a moon and stars. N's has the cat, the moon, the Christmas tree (I think) and a custom panel with the Yankees logo (his folks are die-hard Yankee fans).

The plan is to give Snowflake the cat, the moon and 2 custom panels. Just in case Snowman or Sunshine happen upon this I'm not going to reveal the details, yet.

Which brings me back to Thursday night. After selecting my stock (walnut), I trimmed it to manageable size on the radial arm saw. Then it was off to the jointer, and planer to create some nice square boards. The insert panels are 1/4" thick and planing a 4/4" board down to that is just, well wrong - way too much waste. So after taming the board it was off to the tablesaw to split it (mostly) in two. Then it was off to the bandsaw to complete the cut. [Before those of you who are woodworkers start ranting - the shop does have a good sized bandsaw, but no fence so the instructor recommended method is to do as much as possible on the tablesaw before completing the cut on the bandsaw.]

Once the board was two boards I headed to the planer to smooth them out. A little work on the miter saw and I had 8 panels ready (two become part of the case, the others are just extras).

With a little work on the tablesaw and mitersaw the night ended with the stock ready for the sides (need to cut multiple rabbets/dadoes before cutting the sides), the top and bottom, and the panels.

Next steps - a little glue up (top and bottom), rabbets and dadoes, assembly and panel cutting.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Wall Cabinet - Trim and Glue Up

With a couple of hours in the shop tonight, I was able to trim and sand the plugs I used to fill the miss-cut shelf pin holes in one side of the Wall Cabinet. Once that was done attention was turned to unclamping the door I glued up Sunday night. After removing the clamps it was time to remove the blue tape I'd used to keep the glue from going where it didn't belong. When I did that I discovered that I had put some of the tape in the wrong spot. That tape is now an integral part of the joint, and if you look very carefully there is a thin blue line in the joint part of the joint between the rails and stiles of the door frame. Oh well, someday I'll learn....

Sunday, March 25, 2007


I have a number of projects that have been started but not finished. I'm trying now to reduce the backlog, so a couple of weeks ago I pulled out the pieces for a wall cabinet I started a couple of years ago (yes years).

The cabinet is 22 inches tall and about 18 wide. The pieces pictured here are the sides. Today I glued up one of the doors (I would have done the other but I don't own the right combination of clamps for that.) Then I turned to the case. After cleaning up the back, I set out to cut the shelf pin holes with the handy dandy jig I own. At which point I should have turned my brain on.

The jig has two sets of holes - one for cabinets with inset doors, and one for cabinets with face frames. I decided that the inner set was too far in, and the outer set was too far out. So I used a piece of scrap to move the jig a little closer to the front edge. It was only after I had drilled most of the holes at that distance that I remembered that the doors will be inset. And the holes I had just drilled were too close to the spot where the doors will be. As it turns out the inner holes were the ones that I should have used in the first place. So I redrilled the holes. Then I pulled out my plug cutters and cut a dozen plugs to fill the miscut holes.

The good news is the holes will be on the inside of the cabinet and won't be obvious.

Oh and the other good news is that I got to spend a really productive afternoon in the shop.

Ready for Finish

The stools are now ready for finish.

I spent a little time sanding yesterday, but otherwise didn't work on them this weekend.

It is not an optical allusion - they are in fact slightly different sizes. That's a result of the lumber I had and at least one cutting error. Once they aren't sitting side by side no one will ever know, except of course all of you and I know you won't tell. Right?