Bombarde16

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About Bombarde16

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  • Birthday 07/02/1975

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    Pennsylvania, USA
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    Lutherie...some day

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  1. Jigs, jigs, jigs. Now that I've created a perfectly sealed and airtight box, it's time to cut a bunch of holes in it. This is an adjustable jig for routing the pallet slots in the lower table.
  2. Best intentions and all that. I wanted to get a time lapse of gluing on the top skin but forgot to set the camera rolling. Use your imagination: A generous bead of glue all around the frame of the grid plus on top of every single bar in the grid. Then lay another sheet exactly in place on top without dragging it around. Then pile it with all the remaining fiberboard in the shop to weigh it down flat. The end result looks something like this. From the bottom: One sheet of MDF underneath just as a flat, clean surface. Then the lower table of the chest. Then the sides of the grid. Then the upper table of the chest. Then every piece of heaviness I could lay my hands on. "Flat and airtight" are more important than "neat and pretty" at this stage. There's drips and squeezeout galore on the inside...things to be revealed later when we start cutting holes in this thing.
  3. The s'mores pile takes any pieces of solid wood down to 4-6" in length. Everything else goes into cans for the regular trash pickup.
  4. Elegant work. The church is fortunate to have found you.
  5. P.S. The other tool in my shop that finds frequent use in such situations?
  6. Sure, you can go straight to the bandsaw with firewood. If you have a jointer and can create a flat surface beforehand, that's even better. But I've taken plenty of wonky logs to the bandsaw. They wobble and it's kind of scary. Spend some time orienting your first cut so that the downward force of the blade is more or less supported by the table as much as possible. Then, once you've made your first cut, orient that against the table for your second cut. It gets easier as you approach your final shape. To get an initial straight line, I'll often stretch a string down the length of the log and follow that.
  7. Sure, there's nothing wrong with tipping the hat to several precedents out there. Specifically: Matthias Wandel documents a very early build. It was fun to see that he reached some of the same conclusions I reached about certain aspects of pipe construction. Matthias also followed this up years later with a repair video for the instrument. Raphi Giangiulio built a significantly more involved instrument with copious documentation and then proceeded to build three more instruments on his own before eventually taking a job with one of the finest organ builders in the western hemisphere, Paul Fritts & Company. Adding to this, there are two standout firms that build small organs with entirely wooden pipes: Klop Orgels Bennett & Giuttari Beyond that, wood organ pipes are somewhat of an outlier. They have their place in professional work; but building wooden organ pipes has always been an expensive proposition compared to making pipes of metal. Historically, much of the work of organ building focused on metal, to the extent that much of the cabinetry would even have been done by separate artisans or guilds. Building an organ exclusively with wooden pipes borders on the absurd, since the increase in labor costs and physical bulk doesn't come with much of a payout in musical benefit. That said, I know how to work with wood and I like the way my shop functions now. I also receive young visitors from time to time, so having a workspace that's constantly contaminated by lead alloys would be bad. For what I need to do, it makes more sense to stay with this rather than ramping up to work in metals.
  8. The brain of any pipe organ is called the wind chest and that is the next component on the list. This is the beginning of a "slider chest". Yes, I'm using MDF and masonite. Some of the worst organ builders in the trade make their chests out of such stuff. (Some of the greats use it, too.) As I said above, this is a homely first step to get some techniques down before I make my next instruments with the good quality Baltic Birch. For all that, though, it's stable, smooth, dead flat, readily available, and it takes glue beautifully. And now I remember why I can't stand having MDF in my shop. As I said, learning experiences.
  9. The church parish house recently went through a massive HVAC renovation. Demo for that job involved tearing through a large pile of built in cabinetry and thereby liberated a massive pile of utility grade pine. Several layers of paint covered over a homely collection of knots, nails, and corrugated metal bridging doohickeys. I couldn't bring myself to see it condemned to the landfill, so here we are turning it into the frame of this instrument. As sketched, the instrument has four vertical posts, seven long transverse beams, and six short bits to connect the posts. I've glued these up as glorified glu-lams and, after several hours and about a hundred gallons of sawdust, we have what looks like this. I know this instrument will get disassembled and moved around, so the long transverses will poke through the upright posts with through mortises and wedged tenons.
  10. Sometimes, the best way to make a dream happen is to make it happen. In my day job, I play the pipe organ. Building an actual pipe organ is a recurring fantasy for many organists and I'm no exception. For most, it never goes beyond self-indulgent and frequently silly little thought experiments. In my case, I've been dipping my feet in the pool here and there, volunteering for every organ builder who'll tolerate me in the shop or on a jobsite. I've been Sketchupping things for years and figure it's time to start making sawdust. Most recently, I did this. This thread will document the construction of a small organ known as a "voicing jack". These are used in the shop to prepare freshly-made pipes for eventual installation in an "actual" organ. I'm looking forward to this for a few reasons: It's halfway between a musical instrument and a shop project, which lowers the bar a little. Sure, I'm still going give it my best try. But, over the years, I've sat at and poked fun at plenty of instruments bearing the title "opus 1"...Surely my own opus 1 will be no different despite all of my best efforts. Building a voicing jack therefore gives me the liberty to revel in the fact that this will be a homely affair of warts and learning experiences. Since it's going to live in the shop, I can build it as a bare frame, focusing on the mechanical internals without the need to build pretty cabinetry on the outside. I can also use this as a project to hoover up all of the mismatched scraps of wood that I've been hoarding. Once it's done, there's a few research projects (nerdy mathematical and historical stuff involving pipe dimensions) that I'd like to tackle. And, finally, this voicing jack will be an invaluable tool should the day arrive that I build a musical instrument worthy of sharing with the outside world.
  11. I stacked the deck in my favor by ripping a small kerf down to the middle of the pith. It's a modified version of a Japanese technique called sewari, literally, the "dividing of the spine". The wood cracks because the rings want to contract into a PacMan shape, so let's give them one big "starter" crack in an area which will eventually be turned away. That's the theory, at least. Worst case scenario, we have a piece of artisanal firewood for next year.
  12. (Documented here if only to create a thread that will be resurrected once this is dry.) A friend lost a redbud tree in his backyard. I had a clear morning so I gave him a hand chopping it to bits and feeding it into the chipper. Like most ornamentals, the trunk was a gnarled, twisted mess and useless for flat stock. So, I indulged myself with shorter lengths for bowl blanks. Got them home, gave them a hard look, and figured that only one was even worth getting up onto the lathe for a rough turning. The others had bark inclusions that looked likely to blow apart at speed. Some day, I'll make a proper circle cutting jig. For now, I nip the corners to produce an octagon. This is enough to start working on making chips. Sopping wet, the heartwood has a yellowey greeney color to it. Kind of like poplar, but with a lot more variety. Swirls, streaks, etc. The rim has a rot pocket (lower right in this photo) that I expect will be turned away once dry. The bark inclusions will probably need to be stabilized, but that's a next year problem. Fun tip: Typically after crosscutting, one runs a chainsaw right down the middle of a log to produce two halves, each of which becomes a bowl blank. In this case, I knew that only one side of the log was worth keeping. So I left a bit of pith on the keeper side. As the blank dries, the sides pull in, leaving a hump at what was the center of the tree. That always gets turned away, so one may as well leave a bit of pith and conserve some height for the blank. The blank finished out at about 12" diameter and 5" high. I took the remaining chunks and bandsawed them for flat stock. Maybe I'll be able to use those for a segmented rim. With that, it all gets a slobbering of paint. Labelled and put aside to await what it will become.
  13. The blame lies in decades of prejudice that "finishing" wood involves adding a pigmented stain. Your contractor didn't know any better because he'd never had reason to give it any more thought than this. (Perhaps he will on future jobs? Perhaps he'll take his payment and be happy to see this job in the rearview mirror? We wish him well in the wars to come...) You certainly didn't know any better, either, but now you do. The lesson for the future is simple: MAKE SAMPLES! On a large job such as this, I would even start finishing samples while laying the floor. It builds natural breaks into the work (i.e. lay boards until you need a rest, then finish some samples for fifteen minutes or so, then back to the nailer) and, by the time the floor is done, you'll know exactly what to do and, more importantly, what not to do. As for your floor, the photos don't rise to the level of "disaster". It's not what you expected, but it's not grounds for dragging in a sander or tossing up a hail Mary with yet more pigment. Clear coat it, move on with life, and be happy.
  14. Two chunks of trunk yielded four halves. Turned two into bowl blanks but looked at the remaining two and a.) didn't like the shape and b.) realized that I have more important work elsewhere. So I punted by slicing the remaining two halves into flat stock. Assuming I don't misplace these in the shorts pile, I can make segmented rims for these bowls using wood from the same tree. Potential works of grace and beauty? Artisanal firewood? Check back in 2020 for the exciting conclusion.