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Everything posted by Bombarde16

  1. I opened the mailbox this morning to find a recall notice from "Chang Type" stating that my little Porter-Cable saw (model PCX362010) has been recalled. Of the hundreds of thousands of units sold in North America, some have had trouble with motors overheating. I purchased mine in 2016 ('15?) as a stopgap while living in temporary quarters. I made thousands of cuts with it and it did everything I asked of it. That last part, I suppose, is key: What did I ask of it? I never asked it to do anything that it couldn't handle...OK, maybe I did push the bounds of sanity once or twice by bevel ripping a 12' long 2x12, but I knew full well I was being an idiot to do that. I made dozens of projects with this saw and even packed it on the road for some jobsite work out of state. Without this saw, I wouldn't have been able to make everything I needed to get my basement shop online to the point of welcoming my big, new Grizzly last year. Make no mistake, it's an abysmal piece of crap. The fence never truly grabbed firm and I got in the habit of clamping a block of wood against the backside so it wouldn't scoot away from the blade while ripping. I made three different sleds for it and held a ceremonial trashing of the worthless stock miter gauge. For all that, I wore out a dozen or more blades and the motor never gave me any grief, always starting up with a bone-jarring bang and then screaming its little head off. Once I got my basement shop operational, I bodgered up some cleats for this saw and hung it in the garage. I pulled it down and dragged it out into the driveway to make one or two cuts last year, just to break down some MDF that I didn't want to cut indoors. It's nice to have a cheap, secondary saw and I may yet treat myself to another. But when the recall notice arrived, I figured I could say goodbye and be quite happy with the run it gave me. I photographed my signature next to the requisite three cuts in the wiring and uploaded it all to the official website as directed. And now we wait for a refund check which (fingers crossed) will be a little more than half of what I paid for it. I'll keep the folding stand and maybe turn it into a folding table. The power cord can certainly be repurposed. All in all, I'm satisfied. This saw was insanely practical, it helped me grow as a woodworker, and it even put a smile on my face as I went about rendering it nonfunctional. Fare thee well, little PCX362010!
  2. Correct. Leftover interior house paint from gawdonlyknowswhat. Drying a rough piece in bags can be a tricky endeavor. Plastic bags (obviously) don't allow any moisture to escape. Within a week or two, your blank with be covered in rank, sticky mold and will smell awful. Paper bags do allow moisture to escape, yet somewhat slower than if the blank was just out in the open air. I tried paper bags a few years ago and sometimes it worked...sometimes it didn't. Sometimes even the paper bag held in so much moisture that it started to grow mold itself. In the abstract, painting the surface is preferred because it plugs up the pores (slowing the transit of moisture) but doesn't leave mold anywhere dark and damp to work its moldy awfulness. In this case, however, nothing would have saved this blank. (Except perhaps a vacuum kiln?) As one other poster mentioned, redbud is just a wild and wonky wood. Lesson learned.
  3. Well, that went well. Ah, the carnage. I doubt that even Frank Howarth could salvage this thing.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Elegant work. The church is fortunate to have found you.
  8. P.S. The other tool in my shop that finds frequent use in such situations?
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. (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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. So. Much. Red. Some of the shavings coming off this wood looked like bacon.
  19. You know that feeling: Driving along and you spot some discarded logs on the side of the road and then your friends roll their eyes as you pull over to look through the pile and then they pretend not to know you as you open the hatchback? Yup, in this case, I found what I'm guessing is box elder. In fairness, I've pulled some dried blanks from the pile and pushed them across the finish line as gifts over the past several months. That said, I have neither the space nor the time in the shop for a round of rough bowl blanking. That said, I couldn't just leave them there and it's going to be a long night.
  20. I'd question even how much of a recovery staining will bring at this point. Blotchiness, we will recall, is the same thing as figure, just in an unattractive pattern. Sanding at this point would only enhance the fact that parts of the wood have slurped up a triple helping of pigment whereas other parts have taken very little. You'd have to sand quite deeply to get past the blotches at this point. In essence, you've taken the first step toward popping the grain. I'd call it a lesson learned and go to top coat. Once the floor reflects light evenly, it'll be less of an issue. Meanwhile, can someone go on CafePress and start ordering up t-shirts that say "Minwax doesn't make wood beautiful"?
  21. Browsing images for ideas on coffee tables, I came across this "Antique Guatemalan Wooden Coffee Table with Turned Legs" on a site called 1stdibs. I'm still in shock. Yes, it's listing for $2,730 plus $465 for "white glove" shipping to the ConUS. OK, it's a nice coffee table. But three thousand dollars? Scrolling down, the importer/seller trying to work this sale has been doing this for years, so clearly people are buying it. All I want to know is, can we do a better job of pairing ConUS people willing to plunk down four figures for a coffee table with craftsman who could make something like this locally.
  22. As RichardA pointed out, you're pulling conditioned air from inside the house and blasting it out into mother nature. I don't run the DC 8 hours a day, so it hasn't been an issue for me. Reviewing my heating and cooling bills for the past year, I couldn't tell any difference from the year prior when I was working in the garage. Your mileage may vary, but it was the right call for me: Venting outside has the advantage of putting less resistance on the system. i.e. My smaller, cheaper Harbor Freight impeller is punching above its weight since it doesn't have to push air through a small filter on the back end.
  23. I'm not in the boonies and I also exhaust my basement shop outdoors. I cobbled together a stack with a Harbor Freight 2HP plus an Oneida cyclone body, everything else came from the scrap pile. The ceiling height is a mere 7' 6". The exhaust goes out through a window well. After a year and a half of hobbyist use, there's a noticeable layer of fine dust on the side of the house nearest the exhaust and this yields to a quick swish with the garden hose. Everything else gets shoveled out of the square bin below. I was out the door for 600-700 USD and a few afternoons of fabrication.
  24. It's hard, but it certainly cuts well enough when wet. My error was thinking that I could save some wear on the saw by splitting it. Epic fail.