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Posts posted by Bombarde16

  1. (A zombie topic rises from the grave!)


    So, seven years later, I'm finally going to give this a shot. This is the wreckage of my girlfriend's 7' concolor fir. (long, grayish needles, smells like citrus) I've also got a 6' fraser fir that will come down later this week for a similar reckoning with the band saw.

    The goal is to process this into strips which I can then chop up for a segmented turning of some sort. Perhaps a sphere? Stickered and stacked in the basement. Now we wait to see how badly they're going to self-destruct. I'm betting I'll know within a month whether or not this was a stupid idea.

    • Like 2
  2. I need a set of roller cradles for an upcoming project. Similar to what you see in this picture.


    I have a quarter sheet of 1/2" MDF that I'm tired of tripping over.  And I've never tried Izzy Swan's table saw turning technique. Put all of this together and you have a level 5 shop cleanup in the making.

    Some people say that MDF stands for "medium density fiberboard". They are incorrect. It stands for "maximum dust flurry". I'm always amazed at how much I despise working with MDF...and my seemingly limitless capacity to forget how much I despise working with MDF.

    Loathesome materials aside, Izzy's technique works quite well. Even including the time to make a single use jig, this was almost as fast as doing this on the lathe and the consistency is all but foolproof.

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    • Haha 1
  3. People say it on the internet so it must be true, right? <_<

    The rumor is that softwoods (spruces, pines, firs, etc.) are, once dried, actually more stable than hardwoods. It's counter-intuitive, since most of us encounter softwoods as construction lumber which is carelessly milled and sold sopping wet. But, the rumor goes, if you treat a piece of SPF with the attention and love that woodworking entails (i.e. rip out the pith, stack it, let it dry, mill it square, etc.) it will reward you with greater stability through the seasons than its deciduous brethren.

    Myth or Truth? My instinct is that it's technically true...but that the supposed benefit is generally not enough to outweigh the extra hassle of salvaging usable stock from construction lumber, especially among a.) professionals for whom time is money and b.) beginners who may not fully understand the subtleties of drying and milling lumber. The exception to this would be the less common case of an advanced hobbyist who a.) isn't counting his hours as money and b.) who understands how to mill lumber and possibly c.) who has access to "free" scraps from a construction site or a dumpster.

    Thoughts? Does anyone have any practical experience with this?

  4. Realistically? Nah. The nuclear fireball in the sky laughs at your paste wax. Were it otherwise, people could use the stuff to save the color in woods such as padauk or purpleheart.

    Pictures of the finished cabinet?

  5. 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!

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  6. On 8/31/2019 at 11:30 AM, Gary Beasley said:

    What kind of paint was that? Waterbase acrylic? Would have been better to simply bag the rough turned blank until it was dry enough.

    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.

  7. 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.

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  8. 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.

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  9. 57 minutes ago, wtnhighlander said:

    I was going to toss in a link to Matthias Wandel's pipe organ project, but I think you already have the necessary technical knowledge to go past what he did. This is going to be interesting to follow along with!

    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:

    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.

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  10. 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.

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  11. 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.

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  12. 15 hours ago, Davie Jones said:

    If I could ask a petty question: where do you think the blame lies here?

    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.

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