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Everything posted by jHop

  1. explains one reason why I haven't been in the shop for a year... (the second degree I'm working on is the other.)
  2. I love thought experiments. I spend hours trying to figure something out, and then turn around and someone shows me a photo of exactly what it was I was trying to over-engineer, and it's a ridiculously simple thing. As I see it, though, you're trying to do three things simultaneously. And two of those things use other tools to accomplish that task. While I appreciate the time savings you're attempting to create by improving cut efficiency and eliminating repetitive tasks, sometimes that "safety cushion" comes back to save your butt. Usually when you least expect it. If you aren't getting square cuts off the saw, then adjust the saw. Or the technique. Don't add complexity to something to compensate. (An example: Matthias Wandel's pantorouter. It does simplify the routing of Mortises. And look how much went into materials to create a precisely accurate tool. Or, you could put two blocks on either side, and use a hand-held router. It's your decision, though: time spent building/tuning up front versus time spent doing the task on the back.) As an example, I first saw these (or something very similar) in a video about blacksmithing in Africa. They didn't have access to the same things we do in the States, so they had to use what they already had available to make bellows. (Essential in blacksmithing, bellows direct air into the bottom of the forge, so the heat can get hot enough to actually forge. You can't rely on the air to just trickle down from the top, as the fire will consume it before it gets deep enough.) Most blacksmiths in First World areas would acquire a different blower, either electric or even "antique" hand crank. Since they didn't have access to the internet (especially as this was 20 years ago), they made something on their own. This would be a great example of a thought experiment that works out. Particularly given that the example I saw didn't require effort to maintain the air flow: you just stopped the bellows arm and pinned it in place, while the water from the pump (or stream, don't remember which) continued to try to force it down. Sometimes, you have to be creative.... sometimes you don't.
  3. And I was just contemplating asking if I should get a scroll saw or a small 10" bandsaw.... (Not that I'm asking you to send this to me.) There's quite a few places that would appreciate a saw like that. Not on a regular basis, unfortunately. You could also look into maker spaces and see if they want to buy it cheap (I wouldn't charge them more than $100, especially with the missing part). Or look into community workshops that might need additional tools. Lower prices sales or outright donations might get you onto favorable lists with them, which you can turn into helpers for larger lumber acquisition or shop space when needed.
  4. I've worked at retailers that use something like this in the back room. (Nowhere near as nice, though. Nicely done.) And some doctors' offices do this, too. Some are on tracks from the bottom, which is simpler to build (wheels and a guide rail attached to a bookshelf), but the weight becomes an issue and you can only go so high before it jams or tips. Do you have any wheels on the bottom of the cabinets as well, or is it all supported at the top?
  5. I just caught an article yesterday talking about "contemporary" in the form of dance. The jist of the article was that people don't really know what contemporary means any more. While that's nice and confusing, the short end of what that means for anybody outside the design house is "contemporary" is a marketing term that's slapped onto anything to get people to buy it. As for places for inspiration, you could go through museums or art galleries, or check out funeral homes (they usually have some form of furniture in a display area like the lobby or the director's office, not the gathering chambers - you can sneak a peak if you make an appointment to discuss prepaid plans for a family member. I've had a couple recent tragedies hit the family, so my views have skewed that direction temporarily.) Get a couple of catalogues online; Sharper Image, LL Bean, and Land's End tend to put some display pieces out under their products that are in a variety of styles. Go (semi)pro, and take a look at retailers' websites, like Ashley Furniture or Arhaus. Or, just do a random Google search for "comfy chair" and see what comes up. Checking the background of those photos also helps. Sure, there's a lot of padded stuff on the furniture, but you're not looking to buy: you're looking for inspiration. And that can come from anywhere.
  6. Honestly, I would say "no, don't get it." Not because of the joke about having bells and whistles on the lathe, and learning to run before you walk. More because you are not interested in pens, and a lathe like this is not the longest bed in the world. Sure, you could get a bed extension for it, and that would solve some of the length issues, but what you've listed (tool handles, spindles, bowls) is a wider variety of turning and no one lathe is designed for all of them. (Don't get me wrong: they all handle these. But they're all designed for one facet of turning over the rest.) The best option to look for is one that handles all the primary needs, and right now, it appears that your biggest hiccup will be in the bowl category. Not knowing how large a bowl you want to turn will affect things. My experience with bowl turning has not been pretty, but I've been out of the shop for a year now, and am really rusty. I have a lathe smaller than this one, and have attempted something along the lines of a candy dish (as I have about a 6-8" swing), but it didn't turn out satisfactorily. (Should have waited for the glue to cure.) Tool handles have such a wide range of meanings, though. When you say tool handles, which tools did you have in mind? Mallets? Chisels? Turning tools? Mallets, for example, only need about 12 inches of bed length, while a turning tool could go as much as 36 inches. (Depends on the size of the tool, your body position, the size of the lathe, etc.) While I don't see many 36" long tools, I have seen a few. Take a look at the PopWood Turning series with Tim Yoder. The current episodes are free, and there's a lot of good stuff in there. His turning shop is (if I remember correctly) about 12 by 12, and he's got a full-size lathe in there... May be more than you need, but he'll walk you through a lot of his reasons for the stuff he does. (Although he probably doesn't mention the fumes from the CA glue all that often...) I started with the Tulip Planter episode, and that might be a good place. Given the age of it, I don't know if it's still available for free. (Something about PopWood and subscriptions.) (As much as I think this is the wrong lathe for you, I do like that indexing feature. Don't have that on my lathe, and I'd like to play with it. The easy-to-change belt speed is nice: mine is behind the headstock, requiring me to reach over and behind - lighting is tricky.) Or take a class at Woodcraft. Sure, most of them will be in the pen category, but you'll get hands-on experience with speeds, tools, sharpening (which will happen at least once per project), and lathe selection. Plus, you'll get to pick the brains of your classmates, and find out what they want out of the lathe. And the instructor will have a lot of good info, too.
  7. Make an "antique" box from it? Lined with another wood in thin strips, nobody will ever know it was a problem.
  8. Check with Traincollectors.org, Model Railroader (if they don't want them, they can at least quote you a rate on the ad), collector's weekly (dot com), and maybe the Golden Spike museum. If nothing else, they can point you in better directions.
  9. My dad used to be a real estate agent. I went with him a couple of times to show houses to clients. Each time, he would direct clients to houses that fit the bill of what they were looking for. If they wanted an area to put in a shop, that would go on the list. Not having to sink $5,000 into a basement build after sinking $200,000 into a house purchase would also go on the list. Of all the houses he showed, none had an unfinished basement section. Doesn't mean there weren't some out there, just means I never saw one. My brother in law purchased a house (prior to being transferred to Georgia) that had a workshop room in the basement. The benches stayed (wrap-around heavy construction grade lumber) and had minimal outlets. He was excited by it because he didn't do a lot of wood working. (And if he wanted to do any, he just had to run to the neighbor's house, which had a stand alone shop in the back yard. Joe offered. Several times.) My suggestion? 1: talk to a real estate agent. 2: move out your tools, except for one or two to stage the room. 3: consider hiring a staging crew for the rest of the house, as well. 4: At least put up a coat of paint and clean the dust/webs out of the corners. It doesn't matter what you have the room set at right now; what matters is that a prospective buyer can see what options the room has for their needs, and thinks the place is a match. (Besides, most home owners put up a new coat of paint shortly after purchasing, changing the colors you just put up to hide the repairs you had to do to sell the place. Besides purchasing it, making the new place feel like "theirs" is the most important thing home buyers do. Oh, and making you finish off the basement as a condition of closing is a little harsh. Just my opinion, but I hope you got to include some of the expense as a closing cost.)
  10. @ Brendan: I'm not saying it's bad. I'm saying it's not a "magic pill." I looked into them when I was looking for a solution for my shop. For the variety of things I do, I needed more from it.
  11. I've heard recently that this is an underpowered shop vac. works great for one or two tools, but can't be hooked up like a regular dust collector. Just so you don't walk in expecting more out of it. I'd second the Dust Deputy, or any of the similar products they or others offer. For a smaller shop, you are better off with a "mobile DC station": dragging the vacuum system you use from site to site. (My shop is similar: I have under 100 square feet, so I can leave a smaller vac in one place and simply stretch the cord another couple of inches.) There's a lot of options out there if you wanted to make a cyclonic separator. Rather than confuse or dive in too deep, I recommend getting the kit and moving on. As for buckets... You could buy the bucket from Oneida when you get the Dust Deputy. You could buy a bucket from Lowe's or Home Depot. (Or Harbor Freight... they occasionally have them.) Or, look for food grade buckets. I've picked up a couple drywall buckets, a couple paint buckets (surplus paint store), and a couple icing buckets. (From cake decorators.) The used buckets that you have to clean out you can probably pick up for free... contractors, specialty shops, etc., may be willing to have them get out of their shop/trash for no cost.
  12. Want to thank everybody who helped out on this. Ended the class and got good marks on the project. During post-class (and post-graduation) research into this project, realized I was charging almost double for a replica of something that is available from the original manufacturer... so some parts will need to be rewritten. I"m not giving up, just trying to find a better way. (And one that will continue to let me eat.) But thank you again for all your input. Wouldn't have been able to accomplish as much as I did without you guys.
  13. One thing I've been considering is mixing a basic table with a downdraft sanding table. Even just the smaller squares that get set on top of the table/bench would work a lot right now... Lot of new neighbors, and kids, that don't appreciate some of the dust. (Doesn't seem to bother the geese, though. Unfortunately.)
  14. jHop

    Shop Size

    If you're building will be square, I'd suggest splitting the floor into three main zones: storage and prep by the front door, main work and big tools by the back (near the fire extinguishers and med kits), and a finishing room (or at least the hanging curtains a la hospital ERs) along the side and exiting the front door again. If you don't put the doors to the finishing area wide enough to get the parts/ finished pieces in or out, you get yelled at for constantly cluttering the space.... er... I mean... Work doesn't get completed. (Yeah, that's what I meant...) I've been in a garage shop, I've been in a basement shop, and I've been outdoors. Being able to work year round is a blessing! Insulate and climate regulate (not the same as climate control). Light. Lots of options on light. Shade. (Because natural light is great until it's at the wrong angle when you're in "the zone," and don't want to stop just because you can't see any more, or the colors are starting to wash out.) Small counter space (large enough for beverages, not large enough for tools). Critter control. (Don't ask, but trust me on this.) Fire pit. (Some scraps just beg for a smoker, others just beg to be put out of misery.) Photography area. Nothing fancy, just a cleared out space with a good backdrop or wall you can take a few photos of completed and finished projects. Space for projects to rest while the glue dries. (I've got two in the living room. Not a great option; trust me.) One footed access to a sink. (Just in case.) Keep the medical supplies by it, as well as an eye wash station. Tunes. Because watching finish dry is better when Jimmy Buffet/Lincoln Park/Reba/John Williams/The Cure is playing. Cardstock invitations to your grand opening. (Because we all want to drop by eventually. Some may even congratulate you on this new play space!)
  15. I'm fortunate that I'm in driving range of several HD's (where I won't go to anymore), Lowes', a Woodcraft, a Rockler I can't find or deal with, a Menards, as well as local lumber yards and construction supply companies. I'm unfortunate that they all expect me to pay for stuff there, and don't have the gas money or budget to drive there and purchase items. Oh well... Anybody wanna buy a kid so I can get more tools? (j/k) They don't work but expect to be fed regularly. (So you know they won't mess with your tools.)
  16. I use this exact dye on leather projects. There is a couple of finishes you can use, but PB already said the preferred one. Yes, this stuff will fade, which is why most of the time leather does not get a sealant finish. Leather has more of a moisture issue than wood, but it's willing to accept oils as a substitute. Most of the time, I've just left the leather alone after dying it, unless I want a particular place to remain a specific color. I did have an instance in jr. high where I painted a tool box with one rattle can, and the next day grabbed a different can of a different color (because someone else was using the first one). That's when I had my crinkle issue: the upper coat wasn't the same as the lower coat. (Latex/Enamel. Lesson learned.) Hope that's not your issue...
  17. There was an article in the paper about this show. One of the contestants is local. I'll see what I can find out.
  18. The Rockler near me was a corporate store (at least, the one I shopped at, anyway.) When they sold a franchise to a local guy, they had to close the store down. I've had nothing but problems since then. So, I've patronized the local Woodcraft. While I do worry about their ability to stay in business because I worry about places I enjoy going remaining open, their customer service, their friendly nature, their patience, and their classroom projects should keep them open for a while. Locally, there's not a lot of private retail for their kind of niche, although there are lumber centers and dealers around. It's more the rest of what they offer that I appreciate. I, too, was concerned when I got that email. But I've never seen that stuff on the floor or shelves while at my local franchise. I get the impression the franchise owners have the right to not carry some items. (Kind of like McDonald's: at participating restaurants.) As for corporate stores, I'd imagine there aren't really that many. I seem to remember reading once that they only had two or three.... but I could be mistaken.
  19. The only reason I don't like to throw a good square in right away is that it's important to learn why your cuts don't line up right. You can't do that if you're looking for square. It seems counterintuitive, but just using the table saw and the tape measure to make a footstool (for example), you learn a whole lot, and have found areas that you need to address. Best part of a footstool project is that you can get one board from the Big Box lumber store (Home Depot, Lowes, Menards, whatever) and make two cuts: one at 90 degrees to cut off the top, and one at some angle between 0 and 15 on the indicator on your table saw. A little geometry, and you have two legs at matching angles (if you flip the second leg over). When you test the two pieces together, that's where the square will come in very handy... and that's when your own personal lightbulb should start to go off. As for speed squares... well, you gets what you pays for. I've got two from Harbor Freight that are very speedy, but not very square. (Both were gifts to me, so I can't complain, but ...) If you really want to spend the money on a square or engineering square that you'll probably use the rest of your life, look into Starret squares. (Full disclosure: I do own stock in them, and they are not cheap.) But you don't have to spend the big bucks to get a good tool. Use the verification method wtnhighlander gave you to test your square (not just the speed square) before you buy it. I'd suggest a good combination square as well as a tape measure be the next two purchases you make. Then, get some form of marking knife. Be it a box cutter, a purpose made marking knife, a pocket knife, whatever. Be consistent with it during your projects, through to completion. The next tool purchase I would suggest is a drill or sander. But that is entirely up to you, and not essential. (Who knows? Maybe you'll want a stapler so you can put cushions on that stepstool you made.)
  20. I don't wipe my cookies nearly that often.... and I still only see ads for power tools, wood flooring, and a pipe marking wall chart. (?)
  21. Sorry, should have been more specific. By planning, I mean knowing what the project is, not necessarily what the dimensions of it will be. For example, I've got 14 projects for this year. I know one will take me two months worth of time, and because it's a bigger project (mobile kitchen cart with a butcher block counter top) I need to have access to the outdoors to build it. (I have an outdoor shop, so smaller projects can get done in a day or three. This will involve glue ups, flattening, multiple sub assemblies, and many space-consuming steps that cannot be completed indoors for me.) I don't have the dimensions worked up yet, but I know I'll be doing that in May/June. In January, though, I'll be working with 1/4" plywood to make a piggy bank, something I can do on the dining room table. (Carefully, though, because the family would kill me if I cut through the table.)
  22. I get a different issue. Hasn't affected things, just a visual item. When I submit a comment (or start a new thread... doesn't happen often), I show the reply as a Guest once it's attached to the thread. Once I go back to the thread listing, it shows up that I was the last person to comment. Haven't refreshed the page, as I'm not that egocentric to demand to see my smiling image when I post, but I thought I'd bring it up. Do want to state that this issue has no effect on functionality. I post from a laptop running Chrome. (Too many issues with other systems/software/platforms. Could be my Chrome settings; have had a lot of problems with those lately.)
  23. I don't have the space for horizontal, so I store mine vertically in the corner. You have the space to do both; maybe it would work for you? Personally, I'd store some horizontally over the TV, and some vertically around the electrical. I have been warned to clear space around my electrical just in case. I'm thinking it's more because the unit still has fuses instead of circuit breakers, but I still worry. I'd leave some space above and beside the electrical panel, if you do store it there. Mostly so you can still reach it if you need to, but also so it doesn't fall and knock anything loose.
  24. I can occasionally find it on sale around $98... usually when the local Woodcraft is having the Forrest demo guys come in.
  25. So, I've started planning out my projects for the site I'm trying to get together. Nowhere near as good as what you guys have accomplished, so don't feel any pressure. I'm targeting more the crafter/ college/ "what's a tool?" crowd. (I've spoken briefly about it, but that's not the point of this post.) I realized I'm going to be busier than I had thought, since I've got a target of a post every other week, with a video and/or photo montage of the building process included. So, rather than flit from project to project and not be done on time, I figured I'd plan for a couple of projects. I started by looking at what I've already committed myself to, and some needs in the household. (I'm sure this is a common theme.) Before I realized it, I had more projects listed than there were months in the year. I'm just curious, though, how far out do you plan your projects? I know not all of us have production schedules (or jobs) that allow us to create furniture in a rapid production manner. I'm curious to see, though, who plans and how far out. I'm not asking you to elaborate on the projects unless you want to, and there is no size restriction to the project you have planned. (I'm not including home repairs in this list, by the way. Home improvements - defined as something that did not exist before you made it - are included: my list includes a bookshelf for the laundry area.) But how often and how far out do you plan your projects?