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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Quilting Frame

My wife is so proud of me. I actually planned a little ahead for Christmas this year. She (and her father) are notorious for having Christmas presents bought for at least one year prior to giving them. I came of with the idea in the middle of this summer to make her a Quilting Frame, and was lucky enough to come across some cheap wood to build it with. I was walking through my local Home Depot and saw that they had a FABULOUS sale on their Douglas Fir Clear lumber. I learned later that they were no longer going to be carrying that particular species of wood, so they were trying to get rid of their inventory. Score for me!

I went ahead and purchased a few pieces and started looking online at some different types of Quilting Frames to get some ideas. I drew up a few rough plans and worked out some dimentions over a few weeks in July. Most of the parts of the frame were completed by August/September, I just had a few small details to finish prior to Christmas, which gave me plenty of time. Currently the height of the frame is approx 4 Ft, so I'm going to be drilling some more holes down the legs so that the frame can be lowered to a more comfortable level for sitting and quilting. At the current height it is great for standing only.

Christmas Is Over and Projects Were Completed In Time

WHEW!!!! That was quite an ordeal to get all of my projects comeplted in time, but I made it. I was able to complete the quilting frame for my wife. I made some puzzles for my nephiews, and I made some pen-pencil sets for my co-worker to give to her family for Christmas Presents. I'll have some picutres posted of some of these along with some details and ramblings (sorry I don't have picutres of the puzzles yet, I'll have to get some taken and post them later.)

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Projects in the Works

I'm feeling more and more every day how few days we have left 'till Christmas. I have almost completed all 5 pen/pencil sets for a co-worker. A couple of puzzles are in the works and also close to being completed (just need to cut them out and glue down the borders to the backer boards). I also have just a couple very minor details to finish for my Wife's gift. If there is time I do have a couple of other items I'm going to try to make (spinning tops for the kid).
The blank of Cebil wood I had issues with a couple of weeks ago, I've decided to try something different with. As soon as it is completed I'll post a picture for your viewing pleasure. I showed the idea of what I was going to do to another co-worker, and she said "I was just looking at one of those in the store the other day!" I told her not to buy it from the store, I'll make it and she can buy it from me.
It is kind of funny because most all of the people I work with are working on their MBA's and keep giving me advise on starting a business and how to run/market it and all of the things I'm making. I keep telling them that for now it is a hobby and I sell mainly just to feed my hunger for the hobby. If the occasion arises down the road, I may start a small business, but for now, just a hobby.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Drill Your Pilot Holes!!

I attempted to turn a block of "Cebil" wood that I purchased from Woodcraft. I cut the corners off at the bandsaw so that I could turn the block round more quickly. I debated inside my head for a short time if I should use a glue-block or screw it directly onto my faceplate. I decided screw my blank directly onto my faceplate, and also decided to just drive the screws into the blank without drilling pilot holes.
A BAD idea for a couple of reasons: First, the screws did not secure the faceplate completely to the face of the block of wood. Second, the screws I used must have been really cheap because two of the heads broke off while trying to drive them into the block. So . . . with only two screws only somewhat holding my block of wood onto my faceplate, I decided to mount the wood onto my lathe and give it a whirl. Not thinking of myself as a complete idiot, I started my lathe at the slowest speed possible and stood out of the line of fire, just in case.
With no wood flying across the shop, I decided to turn up the speed (a little) and start making some chips fly. After a couple of minutes (the block not even completely round yet) I decided to stop the lathe as it seemed as thought the block was not spinning true anymore. I was correct in my thinking. Due to the roughing out process of trying to get the blank round, the screws were holding the blank a little less secure and it was starting to wobble. I tried to tighten the screws (remember only two of them were actually holding the blank) but they just would not pull the blank securely into the faceplate. At that point I decided to stop before I caused myself any serious injury.

A couple lessons learned:
1- If you have a little thought in your head that says "hey. . you should probably drill some pilot holes for that . . . " take the time and do it!!
2- Don't buy screws from Wal-mart, their heads come off!!
3- If you don't feel 110% confident that your blank is secure, DON'T TURN IT!

What I'm grateful for:
1- My Family
2- My Faith
3- Not having a piece of wood fly into my face! :)

Monday, November 15, 2010

New Temporary Shop

I've been living with my inlaws for a few weeks now and this weekend I was finally able to start working in the space my father-in-law had given me to use my lathe. The space he has given me is great and will work perfectly for me this short time we are planning on living there. He has a few extra tools up there that he told me that I could use also. He has a band-saw, small miter saw, and a drill press. They are all old used tools that he was able to get at great deals, and they all work quite well.

On Saturday I was able to spend a little time actually turning some pens a friend at work has ordered from me for her family Christmas gifts. They turned out quite nice (pics to be added soon). I have a new pen finish that I'm using and it seems to work really well. It is called HUT Crystal Coat and I bought it from Woodcraft. I'm quite pleased with the results. It leaves a nice shine on the pens, and it only takes a couple of drops on a clean, dry cloth.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Christmas is comming all too fast!!

Wow, October is almost over and Christmas is just around the corner. Normally I do not like to think about Christmas until after Thanksgiving (especially when it comes to Christmas Music, and that rule stands), but this year I have a number of projects in the works which I will be giving and/or selling to people as Christmas gifts. I have a co-worker who has ordered a few Pen/Pencil sets from me, so I have to get those started soon (just waiting for all the parts I ordered to arrive so that I can get them started). I also am making some gifts for family which will take some time. I'm hoping this weekend to get a really good start on many of these projects. . . We'll see how that goes. (luckily I have one major project almost finished, but it is a surprise so I will make no more mention of it for now).

Friday, October 8, 2010

2011 Calendar

I had mentioned below in a previous post that I was planning on submitting a pen picture into a contest to get it onto a calendar. . . well. . . that did not happen. However with my El Grande Pen (pictured below), I was able to submit a picture for a chance to make it into the calendar and I believe it was just chosed as one of the pictures to make it into the 2011 calendar from I'm really excited!! There are some other submissions to the contest of other types of turned projects which are absolutely amazing! I can't wait to see the full calendar!!!

Amendment 12/6/10
> Sadly I found out today that my picture was NOT accepted into the calander. It was just accepted into the contest. I misunderstood. I did get to look at the calander though, and the pictures that were chosen were of some AMAZING turnings. Maybe next year . . .

Saturday, September 25, 2010

El Grande Pen with Bloodwood

I had a chance to spend a little time in the shop today (baby was sleeping!) and I made this pen. It is a great pen that writes REALLY well. There is a lady at work that is looking for some Christmas presents to share with her friends and families this year and this is the type of pen that she decided to purchase for herself. I've not yet decided on what type of wood to use on her pen yet. This is my 'prototype' for this pen style as it is the first one I have made of this type. Not bad for a prototype.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

FINALLY . . . A Changing Table

So it has been a LOOOOONG time since I have posted anything. Mostly because my time working on things has been primarily devoted to making this changing table. It is my first "real" woodworking project, and I think that overall it turned out quite good! I hand turned each of the spindles along the rail. I was planning on making doors for the little section below, but I'm not sure that will happen any time soon (if at all). This was a fun project and am glad to have it finished so that the next kid can use it (it was supposed to be made in time that this kid could, but he is a little to big now).