Saturday, July 25, 2015

The Planing Dead


So, back to the Dead Scrub Plane.

It turns out, the first two replacement soles were the only VISIBLE sole repairs. There were more sole repairs when I removed the split sole. For this one, I just cut off the protruding nails and filed them smooth. 


I then Glued in some maple. Should've scavenged a plane body I have (I took it's blade, the blade wasn't a matching blade; it was too small to fit properly), but Maple looks nice.


On one side, there is red paint, dappled with white specks and scratched in places. Some nails are visible.


On the other side, there is no paint, just that lovely patina from wood being greased up year after year. If the plane had this patina everywhere, I wouldn't do the next step. 

Yep, I sanded it all off. Could've hand scraped it, but my harbor freight file went dull a long time ago. 

After roughing out a wedge, I tested it out. It works, the blade on this is nice. Kind of hard to use on the ground, though. I'll have to look for some spare Danish oil, the plane seems dull at the moment.


After that, I made the trough to heat treat the draw knife in. Will probably deepen it, as it is there will be one inch of water above the knife. 







Friday, July 24, 2015

Got the forge working!

So, the box bellows completely failed...

A review of my mistakes:

One gap, and the whole thing pretty much flops. The valves were the hardest, on one side they worked perfectly, on the other side they didn't close. Ended up using tape, which worked well.

I probably had so many holes due to the fact I used recycled construction plywood and pallet wood.

It generated air, but not enough.

I think this is because my bellows were 10" by 10" by 20"...Whereas other bellows are 23" by 11" by 43".

Size matters.

Anyways, I was able to get iron to red heat using an old iron pipe and a Coleman foot bellows.

Maybe I should make foot bellows?

The only problem with the above set up, is A. I didn't check to see if the pipe was galvanized, I will have to look into how to tell if it is. B. It made a very small and concentrated heat source. Extremely hot, though. I will need to drill holes into the side, and cap the pipe, in order to make a wider heat source for heat treatment.

To end with, here's the results of my labor: A roughed-in drawknife.


Tuesday, July 21, 2015

katasage ari joint finished, finally

Well, I'm definitely late to the party...



So, forgot to take picture's of the tenon. My angle for the dovetail was 30 degrees, anyhow, if that helps. 

My original mortise layout is above...Made a square, found the center, then used a compass to extend the line, and find all my marks for the mortise. I dislike mathematics, but I like the compass...Nothing is better than getting compass questions on a geometry test.



It was halfway through the mortise, and at 11:35 PM, that I realized I messed up the mortise and had to start over.

                                                 By 12:10, I was assembling the joint...

Things are much easier after I learn from my mistakes...The thing is, I gotta make the mistakes first.



One side...


And the other. 


It came out OK...Gaps, the wedge doesn't fit perfectly. 

However, it is a really strong joint. Can definitely see myself using this in a future project. 

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Got the wood ready


Right, so here's my 'anvil' so far: 

A giant log. Buried two feet of it underground, and started working on chiseling a recess to mount the sledge hammer in. It'll be a while before it's perfect. 


Worked on re-designing the forge a little bit. Decided to do major work on the bellows to turn them into fuigo; Ran out of strong, thick dowels, so I had to hand plane a piece of oak to fit. Right now, the bellows are the ugliest thing; forgive me for not having a photo of them yet. 



This is aimed at Jason: I found this big old log, and I was thinking, would a hollowed log work as a quenching bucket? I'm only going to be doing small things, plane blades and chisels, the occasional draw knife. 



Decided to try the kiln method of charcoal making, and I while splitting scrap pine, I got this. This nicely illustrates what I call the 'river' effect in wood: A branch/knot is a rock in the river, and as such, the grain flows around it, with some small eddies. 

Long story short, the kiln didn't work. Mainly because the smoke and heat went to the left instead of through the pyrolisis chamber. I think I'll stick to the half-burning method for now.

                                     

                          Got some OSB for the library; Hopefully it will turn out nicely, I already have the ends done so far.


Worked on the scrub plane more today. Here's one of the many bolts in the body. 


I flattened the sole, but as soon as I adjust the iron: 


The front part lifts out. It was attached with a single nail, and keeps moving around.
I guess I'll need to make a new plane for the blade, or at least make a new sole. 

A lot of soles in this world need repair.



so, here's the maple for the katasage ari joint, all split and planed up. 

I'm really behind in the Project Mayhem joints...

And now Sebastian is going to add MATH!?

I'm supposed to be on break from school! 






Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Well, the bellows failed...





I managed to get a fire roaring, much easier with dry charcoal. The only thing is, the bellows didn't work at all...Just a small puff. Fanning with newspaper worked better. Still didn't get the file I was trying to forge into a drawknife into a red heat...

Will have to convert my bellows into a box bellows. Shouldn't be too hard. It's a very good thing I used screws and not wedged joinery...Well, I did use wedged tenons for the handles. I just couldn't resist.

                                                               I am definitely sticking with charcoal. Very little smoke, very easy to control. It'll probably very nice in the winter, if I remember where the forge is under the snow...Assuming we get deep snow again, that is. This winter was weird with how cold and snowy it got.



I started rehabing an old scrub plane blade...The body is completely pathetic. The sole's been attached with nails, and when that sole gave out, the smoother became a scrub. The body has some nasty splits that were fixed with a massive bolt.

I'm going to try to flatten the sole, and see how it works: Scrub's don't need to be fine tuned pieces of art, and the plane must have worked well if it was fixed so often. This plane blade actually seems to be nice so far. Need a lot of grinding to be able to see the lamination, but it's get a nice shallow curve, and there's still some of the hollow that you see on old irons. 

I've always wondered about the different laminations. On Western irons, the laminations seem to be very precise. Uniform piece of steel, no upturned points or anything, just a straight line... On Japanese tools, the lamination seems to have more character. The line isn't straight; there's upturned points, little waves, on occasion there's parts where the soft iron dips to the cutting edge. 

Maybe it marks a difference between the two cultures. Each tool seems to be an individual piece of art and function in the Japanese tradition. The smith seems to focus on just the one chisel, then when that chisel is finished, he works on the next chisel. 

All the Western irons I have seen, with the exception of one or two chisels (like the Corn Cob gouge), seem to be more factory made. The irons all look the same, down to the stamp. Pre-industrial tools were probably more artistic, although European guilds also had a nasty habit of stifling innovation and individualism...

 Viking  tools were probably more artistic and individual. I do know they used charcoal, and their swords had amazing steel and workmanship. Sadly, their sword making methods were lost. Probably too busy discovering continents and pillaging to write down how to make swords. 

I sometimes think how modern Japanese tools are; the ryoba dates to around 1800, if I remember. Kanna are also fairly recent, at first Japan used push planes from China. 

Wonder if there will ever be a big innovation in hand tools again... Hopefully. Modern day blade-smiths are doing beautiful work. 





So, apart from clearing maple logs, attempting to forge, and going off on strange tangents, I had time to put some spray lacquer on these two pyrography pictures. The first one is a modified pattern, I made it as a gift. 


This one is a nice picture of a house, also to be a gift. 

The more pyrography I do, the better I get at it...Speaking of which, I should catch up on my calligraphy practice. Along with tuba practice. And tin whistle practice...

I need more days in this summer! 



Monday, July 13, 2015

Canoe Carrier #2



Right, so here's my hole for the sashi-sen (Did I write that correctly? Probably not!). I really did no thinking, just went with what my soul told me to do. I did know it was supposed to be tapered, and roughly shaped like a parallelogram. 




So, I went at it with more split pine, and hammered it in. This side, I used oak for the dovetail...

It got me thinking. Is pine a bad choice for the tapered key? Pine compresses really easily, that may be good or bad...

The joint is still loose. The key did tighten it up, just not as tight as a set of dovetails or the...hold on... sumitome hozo sashi. I feel like if I wasn't so lazy, and had flattened the hickory instead of working from it's riven state, the joint would've been much tighter. 


anyways, I cut the key flush then left the dovetail portruding from the tenon. I just wanted a quick and dirty canoe carrier before more rain comes. 





And here it is in action! They came out nicely: I wanted plain, rustic carriers.  Probably will have to slather some polyurethane on them, at least on the bottom: The humidity around here rots exposed wood in weeks.



I got my 75mm feather edge file today: For some reason, one side is completely smooth from what I can tell...no teeth or anything. Surprisingly, it cuts extremely fast: I cut two rip teeth in four passes in scrap steel, the same steel I cut the profiles of my saw files in. My 100mm file didn't cut so well. I really want to get some nice thin O1 or W1 steel and make my own dozuki, or a really fine toothed kataba now. 




 One of the twin maples got a haircut today. The maple will be too wet to make into charcoal, I think; I have half a tub of charcoal, anyhow. A big thing is I realized the pipe to my forge is too narrow, at 3/4". I am thinking of making a 2" nozzle of mud mixed with ash to make the pipe wider as it enters the forge.

First, I have to clear the wood; my dad thinks we may need to rent a chain saw. Some branches are easily two feet thick. Couldn't do any forging today, we had to move the firepit and the forge to trim the tree. I did get a nice 2" thick maple slice that I will use to sit on when forging. I'm just going to push a sledgehammer head into the ground for now, until I get a nice railroad track. I'm still wondering whether I should mount the track vertical for the most weight, or mount it horizontally for the most surface area.




Oh, and if this post wasn't long enough...

Project Mayhem #4

This one I can see my self using...A nice hidden tenon. It was either this or this one:

It seems like the bottom one may be easier...But then again, there is no room for error. Make the wedges too long, and the joint won't sit too flush. Make the wedges too short, the tenon is wiggling slightly.

Think the top one will do nicely. Challenging yourself is what this is all about, isn't it?

                                            First things first, gotta make a mini-free library.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Canoe Carrier #1 done


So, I ended up going using the same joint for both sides of the piece. This time, I went Japanese style and held the piece of timber with my foot, with a REAL thick piece of hickory as my 'low horse'.

I'm actually surprised how effective these methods are. Definitely seem perfectly suited for pull saws. 

I also found it funny: the same way I was holding the wood is very similar to one of my exercises for my knee. Multi-tasking! 

The second time came out a little better, only since the other half of the board was really twisted due to knots that I didn't flatten it at all. This made it so the tenon was loose and gappy. Again, it'll be outside, holding a canoe; It'll also dry over the years (Hopefully!), and shrink around the joint. Not too concerned.

If it was an actual piece of furniture, I would throw the wood into the compost pile, or find other uses for it. 


The H didn't seem sturdy enough by itself, so I added dowels at an angle (don't know what degree, just drilled the holes by eye) to help. 


One carrier done, now for the other side. Which, this time, will be a good old tenon, no DoveTenons. 

And a pile of pallets to the left, ready to take apart and use in charcoal making, or a possible toolbox if they're good enough. 

Does anyone know of a bike trailer for a canoe? I've been looking at kayaks, since I've seen those pulled by bikes, but a canoe is more stable and this one can carry three people.









Thursday, July 9, 2015

First try at the Nameless Joint

Right, so Project Mayhem joint #3:

_______________

This joint was suggested by Jason, at this post:

http://mypeculiarnature.blogspot.com/2015/07/project-mayhem-japanese-joinery-3i-don.html

sadly, no one knows the name, as of yet.

I'm going to call it a dovetenon for now.


My first move was to cut the tenon. 



I then made the rebate (I hate that word, it's spelled like re-bait, but pronounced like rabbit!) 



To make the separate dovetail key, I split a piece of 2by4. Really old 2by4 from my grandma's house, they took down a lot of nice old wood when doing a renovation. Kept as much of the 2by4s as possible: As you can see, the grain is nice and straight, free of knots, allowing me to split it almost perfectly to size. 



I cut the dovetail bit, and did a test fit of the key. 


I then made the layout for the mortises; since I ended up using green hickory wood, I split the wood into 1/4s, and only flattened two faces; since I couldn't flatten the faces entirely (I would've ended up with a MUCH smaller piece of wood), I used a center line. 


 

And there's the mortise cut! Working green wood is much easier than if it was dry: Dry hickory is harder than maple. As it is now, even the shavings feel like they were underwater. The wood is easy to chop through, but splinters easily. The grain reminded me of half-moon ice cream: chocolate and vanilla, side by side. 




It turns out, I was freaking out about the dovetail for nothing: It turned out to be as easy as paring at an angle. However...it didn't turn out as a tight fit. The nice thing about this green wood, the wood will shrink as it dries, meaning the joint should be tight in the future. 



Here's the finished joint. Looks like a regular tenoned joint, except for...


This. Now, I need to make the shachi-sen. 

I didn't make it yet, as I still need to make another tenon on the other side of this board. Yep, I'm using this joint in a project. I think it'll be strong enough to hold a canoe off the ground. 

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Charcoal making...I guess?



So, welcome to the Suburban Charcoal Making Method.
Make a fire, get it roaring, then cram as much wood as possible, and put a lid on it. 


I think it's working, that's not smoke, that's mainly steam.

Five to ten minutes later, the neighbor had me stop it since the steam/smoke was annoying him... Recently, he chopped down half of the trees blocking our yard from his, since they were showing signs of disease. Still not used to having someone able to see whatever we're doing in the yard. May have to move the fire pit as a consequence. 

Bonus points if anyone sees my 'tongs' in the background. Hint, their wooden. 

May put a damper on blacksmithing. But, eh, that's life in the suburbs. It's a good thing my neighbor was understanding. 



Managed to get some charcoal out of it, however. A lot of half-cooked pieces, though. Looking into a propane forge...maybe I should just stick with woodworking. 


After that, decided to set to work making nice boards out of this. Hoping to make a hickory joined chest, with stiles and panels, to use as a tool chest or blanket chest, depending on the weight. This board will be stiles: Half of it doesn't have that nice brown color, half of it does. 

It's going to be a long time...Tomorrow I'm hoping to pick up the timber for Project Mayhem. Found a reason for the lumber, too: Need to elevate the family canoe. I really hope the next joint will be a furniture joint...

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

This is just plain awesome.

Right, this is a blog about woodworking.

And stuff like that.

But I just had to share this first: GIANT ROBOT DUEL! YA BABY!

Americans made a giant robot and decided to challenge, you guessed it, Japan: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XVJTGLL2SnI. I have to get one of those flag capes.

And Japan has accepted it, with some trash talk, also requesting there be hand to hand (claw to claw?) combat: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7u8mheM2Hrg.

I think America is going to win...Our women's soccer team, after all, did just beat Japan in the Women's World Cup.

Alright, tongue in cheek commentary finished, back to your regularly scheduled woodworking. 



Right, so I readied a commission for delivery today:  a table made from pallet wood, hoping to get maybe 10, 15 USD for it. My dad's friend wanted a cheap, rustic table to put a TV on for his deck. 


I have no idea what went wrong with the camera...The table looks like it's glowing.





After that, I started dismantling a pallet...Only to have it start storming. So i went in the shed to finally work on a set of dovetails. I've only done one tail before.

Needless to say, I was surprised that this fit right off the saw, and not too many gaps. I think I need to work on layout...I did these Frank Klausz style, tails-first. Didn't use my bow saw, though: That thing is way too massive to use on work in my vise. I just used my $10 woodcraft crosscut kataba. 

Speaking of katabas, I really want to try making one...I knew I was weird because when I was little, I always wondered how saws were made. 

Gabe was right, I am learning more from Project Mayhem than anything else I have done. 

Now to find wood for the latest joint.