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    Central NC
  • Woodworking Interests
    Compound Scroll Saw, Cabinet making, Science Exhibits Design & Construction.
    Yes, I drive a replica "wood burner" train (see avatar), but it's got a forklift 4 cylinder engine in it.

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CharleyL's Achievements

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  1. When I lived in SE NY State I bought all of my hardwoods and exotics from M. L. Condon Lumber in White Plains, NY. I've been gone from NY for 35 years, so I hope they are still there. They had a large warehouse several counties to the North of White Plains and right near where I lived, so I could place a phone order with their White Plains office and they would put it on the next truck headed to their warehouse, for me to pick up the following day or sometimes even later that same day. They didn't do any selling at this warehouse, but getting my small orders delivered there quickly and with free shipping made it very convenient for me. I never had a quality problem with them. Every delivery was as good or better than I was expecting. I know they aren't very close to where you are located, but I would trust them to ship orders to me if I still lived in the Northeast, if you can arrange it with them. Charley
  2. I don't like construction lumber for making furniture either, but if you built it hollow using long 2 X 4's for only the top, front, and back, then short pieces to fill in the ends so the look would be the same, it would be a lot more stable. The suggestion to use 2 X 12s and rip them is a good idea, but discard the piece with the pith and the tight curved grain. Using narrower pieces rotated so that the grain is oriented vertical will improve stability too by simulating "quarter sawn" wood. Do you have an older family run style Lumber Yard in the area? Their construction lumber has likely been sitting bundled for longer, so it should be dryer and won't turn into a pretzel before you can get the table together. It will still be Fugly, but should hold together better. I would use biscuits, glue, and clamps and get the assembly completely together in one day. Then sand the rough places and add the legs the following day then have him pick it up that afternoon before it begins cracking and twisting Do not sign it, Collect your $275 and then and use a nebulizer (from the Men In Black movie) on him, so he doesn't remember where he got it, Charley
  3. If the table pictured above is what you are planning or you are planning on making something very similar, I would just cut the strips and glue them together to get as flat a surface as possible, and then use a random orbit sander to smooth the surface and level them out as much as possible. A large belt sander might do a better job if you have access to one, but I would avoid trying to use a hand held belt sander. Starting with "Void Free" plywood like Baltic Birch or Marine grade plywood that has no voids in it would produce better results too. The builder of that table did not do this and several voids are evident. Depending on how level your glued together pieces turn out I would start with a coarse grit disk on your random orbit sander and then go to finer grits as the top becomes smooth and level. Be careful to sand with the disk flat on the surface and keep it moving across the whole surface as evenly as possible. Charley.
  4. How are you cutting your miter joints? You should be figuring out how to get perfectly fitting joints so you don't have the problem that requires filling the gap.. I use a MiterSet jig to set my saw miter gauge when cutting miters on my table saw. I use drafting triangles to check the accuracy of my chop saw and get it set perfectly, or cut the desired angle on a piece of scrap using my table saw and the MiterSet jig and then use the cut piece to set my chop saw to the angle before making the cuts in my work. MiterSet makes two versions of the jig. The first one lets you set your saw miter gauge to any left or right angle to any position in 1/2 degree increments. Their second jig is for cutting segments to make a circle. You set the jig for the number of segments desired, and the jig sets your miter gauge to the angle required for making a circle with that number of segments. Both jigs are accurate to about 0.001 degrees, so there are no gaps to fill in my mitered joint assemblies. Charley
  5. In addition to this general rule of clamp spacing, for panel glue-up, you should be alternating the clamps so that every other clamp is on the opposite side of the panel. Get them all in place and snugged up so they don't fall off while additional clamps are being added on both sides of the panel, and when all are in place then apply the significant clamping pressure by tightening them up, I like to alternate this final tightening sequence to keep the pressure on the panel as even as possible, so I first do the clamps on each end, followed by the middle, then the in between clamps, etc.. With pipe clamps especially, putting all of the clamps on one side of the panel can cause the panel to bow as you increase the clamping pressure. If you alternate the clamps, the pipe portion of the clamps will help prevent this bowing problem. I use paste wax on my pipe and bar clamps to prevent the glue from sticking to them, making the clamps easy to clean up after their use. Charley
  6. If you want a harder wood than has already been suggested, white oak is a good choice for outdoor use too. I would go with stainless screws. Since you plan to have a gap between the boards you needn't worry much about shrinkage and expansion. Just attach the legs with screws driven up into the table top from underneath (build the table upside down so it's easier to drive the screws in). Instead of the long stretcher between the legs like in the first photo, I would go wit 45 degree braces under the table as well as under the bench seats like can be seen under the bench in photo 2. Charley
  7. I have a Wixey Digital Read Out on my Delta Unisaw with a Delta Unifence. I can set the fence to a position, make the cut, then move the fence to a second position and make another cut, then move the fence back to the first position and make a second cut at this position, and both the first cutpiece and this second cut piece will be within 0.003" of each other when measured with a digital caliper. Other than having the fence move to position automatically, I can't see where buying one of these would be of any benefit at all. It certainly isn't much effort for me to have to move my Unifence by hand. Charley
  8. If I wanted a hard wood bench this thick I would find a sawyer or saw mill and see what they had available. Some of these guys have kilns and could likely save you a lot of money over buying the same thing from lumber yards. I'm not a neander woodworker, so I never felt that I needed a bench this heavily built. I use power tools for most heavy woodworking, so I have never found the need for such a heavy bench. I have a Leigh FMT Pro for all of my mortise and tenon needs, so no need for heavy pounding and chopping. I have a Leigh D4R for cutting dovetails too. For me, the best work bench that I ever made was built from a commercial smooth faced solid core door about 2" thick. I trimmed off the hinge and door latch areas and mounted it on a heavy construction lumber frame. I think I had about $40 invested in making it, but this was about 35 years ago. I left it behind in my prior home, because it was too large and heavy for me to get out of the basement shop by myself. I was downsizing my shop in the move as well, so left it behind for the new homeowner. Not every woodworker needs a workbench with a 3 or 4" thick hardwood top or can even afford the cost of building one this heavy duty. Charley
  9. My comment about the hinge pin size was because I wanted a smaller hinge pin, but if you wanted larger, I suppose that you could do this. Unfortunately, the jig only allows for several different barrel spacings, and not different barrel diameters. The jig is designed to help you drill the hinge pin hole in the center of the hinge barrels only, and not designed to accept different hinge barrel diameters. The 1/8" diameter pin is fine for this barrel diameter, but I found it difficult to find the 1/8" brass rod, although 1/16 and 3/32" seemed to be readily available. I later found the 1/8" at a welding supply shop. @Midlife, I once worked for Adast, the printing press manufacturer in Adamov. I was their only North American Electrical Factory Service Rep for about 5 years and my territory was all of North America and the Caribbean. I was in your country several times to learn about the new press models. I wish I had been able to see more of the country while I was there, but did get to see a bit of Prague, Bruno, Blansko, Adamov, and Machoca. That job got me to see a lot of North America and the Caribbean as well. Charley
  10. You will have more problems due to humidity changes if not gluing soon after cutting the joinery. If you wait before gluing you may find that joints need touching up dimension wise when ready to glue them together. You might want to just rough the joinery, leaving the fine tuning for when you are ready to glue. Mortise & tenon joints will likely need the most fine tuning for proper fit. I have a temperature and humidity controlled shop, so I don't worry about this, but in your situation, I would likely do everything except the mortise and tenon work and make myself kind of a kit, to be finished and glued whenever the temperatures were better for gluing, or make the kit, and then do the mortise and tenon work just before bringing the kit inside to glue. Charley
  11. That is the worst possible place to store DVDs. The heat will ruin them, and you will be blamed for it, even if you manage to build exactly what they want. Talk them into storing their DVDs somewhere else. Records, CDs, and DVDs are all heat sensitive and it doesn't take much to destroy them. Charley
  12. I make a lot of boxes, and I use Titebond II Extend. most of the time when assembling the box corners. Many of the corner joints that I make are box joints, so I need the extra time for assembly. Most of my "better" boxes are full length mitered spline joints in solid wood with cross grain splines in the mitered corners, and I'm finding that it's much easier to glue these together with the TB II Extend as well. The photos below are of boxes that I made a couple of weeks ago from 1/2" Baltic Birch with 1/4" tops an bottoms. Who said "you can't cut good box joints in plywood". It works OK for me. These were built to hold some of my shop tools to keep all of the accessories and small parts together with the tool. Although they came out pretty good, they are just "Tool Boxes" and will remain in my shop. I can do better when making nice boxes, like jewelry and cosmetic boxes.. Charley
  13. Get a set of these. They will save you a lot of grief. The company has other pieces for round boxes, etc, should you need them. You can run low voltage cable,TV Coax, Phone Cables, Network cables, etc by cutting holes the size of a duplex outlet box, You don't need to use the box itself because there are metal frames that easily fasten into the cut hole, and special outlet plates with snap-in connectors, so you can configure the plate any way that you need it. This frame and special cover as well as the inserts are readily available from Lowes, Home Depot, and many of the electrical supply houses. My media room/living room is wired this way. Charley
  14. Save it !!. Because as soon as you throw it away, you will discover what it belongs to. DAMHIKT Charley
  15. Do you have a Unisaw with a pop-up splitter? There is a detent ball that holds the splitter in the up or down position that's about that size. If your pop-up splitter doesn't stay up, it is missing the ball and possibly the spring behind the ball. I doubt it will come out on it's own, but if you recently removed or replaced the splitter, it could have lost the ball, and possibly the spring too. Charley