Saturday, January 14, 2017

Small Box with Houndstooth Dovetails

Now that I have several projects under my belt, I have many scrap pieces from many different species of wood.  This box that I just completed was an experiment into how to maximize efficiency in my shop.  They might be scrap pieces of wood; however, the quality is exquisite, the only limiting factor to them is size, which makes them perfect for small projects such as this.  I am working out the best strategy for bringing these into production.

They are great jobs for the downtime in the shop in between commissions, or if I'm waiting on finish to dry or wood to season.  They help me get every dollar out of the wood I buy, and keep bringing in revenue when I'm not involved in a commission. They also make great gifts, which in this case, it was.

I joined the sides with houndstooth dovetails, which are my personal favorite when it comes to the process and end result of a dovetail.  It really adds even more character to the dovetails, and with contrasting woods, such as maple against mahogany, provides a striking visual.

I also inlaid a strip of mahogany into the ends of the lid, to keep it from warping, and to continue with the theme of the mahogany on maple contrast.  The lid is hinged with pins driven through a hole drilled into the corner of the box and the ends of the lid, which minimizes expenses even further due to the lack of hardware.  

I also tested out a technique that was new to me – flocking.  This is lining the inside of the box with a colorful suede-like coating.  I chose blue on this one, but I imagine I will be adding green, black, burgundy, orange, and violet once these go into production.  

I branded the underside of the lid with my branding iron that my Grandparents gave me for Christmas.  What a thoughtful gift! I love the design they chose, and I have labeled all of my furniture with it.  I will most likely label the underside of the bottom of the boxes that I put on the market, for a more tasteful appearance.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Laguna 14 Twelve Bandsaw

In the past, I have used only hand tools to make the furniture I have completed, and do most of the rough milling at the shop in my school on their machines, but I am at a loss when I do not have access to the shop.  I have just brought in a great addition to my shop recently, with the Laguna 14 Twelve bandsaw.  I have it equipped with a .5" blade most of the time, but I have a .75" blade for resawing wide boards like this:

I also realized after resawing several boards that the fence came out of square from the factory, and I had never corrected it.  Solving that issue was very simple, all I had to do was adjust one of two set screws until the fence was properly plumb.

Here's the fence before it was corrected.
It is out of square by up to one sixteenth of an inch

Adjusting the set screw

Perfectly plumb!
This bandsaw has a resaw capacity of twelve inches, and it powers through the hardest woods with ease.  The setup and installation was fairly straightforward, and the time it took to fine tune the finicky adjustments such as table squareness and drift adjustment were well worth it because every cut that comes off the saw is straight, square, and parallel.  This machine is a great addition to my shop, and an enormous time saver, because now I have the ability to make repeated rip cuts quickly and accurately, resaw wide boards, and cut curves for cabriole legs and such.  All of this will save time and energy, meaning that I can complete projects faster, and move on to the next task sooner. Overall, this was a great investment.  Now I just have to find the right tablesaw...

Asian Inspired Shelf – Update

It has been a very busy few weeks, and unfortunately I have not been able to make any posts lately. Also, I had to be as efficient as possible getting the shelf finished, and I was unable to photograph and film the processes I used to build it.  Most importantly, I finished the shelf and sent it off to my uncle. Here are some photos he sent me of the shelf after we hung it on the wall, and he adorned it with all of the art he wanted to display on it:

He also wanted some platforms for potted plants made out of the extra lumber I had from the walnut board.  I had enough to make two different sizes, and we left them with the bark on, and the edges and ends rough sawn. It appears that they are serving him well too.