Wednesday, February 24, 2010

A good day in the shop

A Portmanteau in pine poplar and plywood.

Yesterday was not such a good day, but today...

I was up and out in the shop by 8:00 a.m. as I had a project that I wanted to do.  For some time I've wanted a shop trolley, a cart, to move production pieces from one machine to another.  There's nice carts out there but generally they're made of some sort of petroleum product and cost a lot of money.  Also they're just carts.  I wanted something with some versatility.  So with some poplar and particle board I got busy on what began as a very chilly morning at Victory Wood Working.

This is the frame for the top portion, glued, clamped, and screwed and cut to exactly the space between the arms of my table saw.  hmmmm...

The table saw is the most often used machine in my shop, however when cutting really long or wide pieces of dimensional lumber or big panels there's often not enough table surface to support the stock that I'm trying to cut.

The second rule of woodworking is that you can't have too many clamps.  This is the top portion of the trolley with the lower surface in place and the supports glued and clamped that will accommodate the flush top panel.  I have a plan in my head.

A counter-sink is a handy tool to use with your drill.  Drilling and countersinking screwsholes will look much nicer and a drilled and countersunk hole, even so near the end of the work, won't split on you.

As the glued-up top portion dried I built the bottom portion.  I mounted the casters into two-by-sixes, both for the bulk of wood to support the caster screws as well as for the added weight at the very bottom of the trolley, which will make it very stable.

Looking very gnome-like, Im connecting the top and bottom portions of the trolley by clamping, glueing, and screwing the legs into place.

And viola! as my beloved French people say.  Rolled into place quite snugly between the rip-fence arms of my table saw this trolley surface, perfectly flush, provides a mobile but very stable two-by-two foot extension for my saw.  It can be used on either side and also to the rear of the saw to support stock being sawed (sawn?).  Note the grasping handles milled into the sides.  That top lifts off to reveal...

The parts trolley.  A clean spacious, and lipped surface, handy for transporting production pieces to various machine stations throughout the shop.

Another satisfying, safe, fun, and productive day at Victory Wood Working.  Have I mentioned how glad I am to have built this wonderful shop?

Making the chips fly,


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Space Age Living

Secrets of Single Living - Revealed!

Living alone means you're never in someone else's way.

When is a doorway more than a doorway?

In my study I don't have a desk, but I do have a flat file.  Using the table saw I made a nice shelf which fits quite securely atop one of the half-extended flat file drawers.  The shelf is slotted underneath to fit the top edges of the drawer runners, nice and snug and secure...

just like me.  With the morning sun coming through the window at my back and the library close by I have a nice little nook for writing papers and studying.

Now, if I could just figure out a way to write this history paper using power tools.


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Return to Varikino

The second big snowstorm in less than a week has Maryland and the whole mid Atlantic region at a snow-bound standstill.  This is the most snow since the Pleistocene in this region.

When I looked out this morning Lara's Theme from Doctor Zhivago immediately started playing in my head.  And as I stepped out on to the sun porch I was met with my own version of the snow palace at Verikino.

We had around 28 inches last week and another 18-20 predicted for this, what is currently and officially termed a blizzard, which afflicts us now.  As long as the power stays on everything should be okay.

Snow had sifted through the cracks out in my wood shop providing a light dusting of snow to go along with the usual light coating of sawdust.

Back to those wintry scenes from that David Lean epic, like Yuri, I was reluctant to wander too far out into the woods lest I meet up with...


If this were the road to Yuryatin, by the looks of my truck...

it'll be quite some time before I'm able to visit Lara.

What a snow storm.

What a movie.

Friday, February 5, 2010

The Guns of Monocacy

Victory Wood Working just milled out a job for the bookstore at Monocacy National Battlefield; a rifle rack for the wooden dummy-rifles that parents do so like to buy.

The design was very simple with just three parts; bottom disc, top disc, and supporting column, all pine or poplar.  To keep the rifles from falling out I did some simple engineering and fancy cutting with my scroll saw on that top disc.

The poplar column is screwed to the base, which has had slots routed out of it to accommodate the rifle stocks.

Final assembly and the application of some Danish oil and this product is ready to go to the loading dock.

Have I mentioned how much I enjoy this new shop of mine?


Thursday, February 4, 2010


My favorite library...

is also my favorite room in my house.

Happy reading!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

54mm Burnside Bridge

Here's a little project that took about three hours, top to bottom.

Using table saw, scroll saw, band saw, belt sander and spindle sander I milled out the three main parts of the bridge.

With the new wood lathe I turned the bridge abutments.  

Glued, clamped and painted, the result is a bridge in search of a creek to span.