Wednesday, June 25
Monday, June 23
Friday, June 20
Thursday, June 19
Marie and the Legal Beagle have given me permission to proceed with Kathleen's HD TV Tray Tables even though we have not yet received the check for the 2nd progress payment. I hate to delay the other orders too much, and even if Kathleen should skip the country on us we can always sell a set of cherry TV Tables. So, we forge ahead.
I start off by running the rough lumber through the surface planer to just skin off enough of the rough, "tanned" surface to see clearly what the coloring and graining is underneath. Then I take the skinned boards into the assembly room, which will for today serve as a staging area, and lean them up against the wall so they are all where I can see them. The templates then join us and I begin the process of selecting which boards will become which parts.
As I lay out the various parts on the boards, I chunk up the long lumber into billets using the chop saw for cross-cutting and the table saw for ripping. These billets are stacked on a rolling cart (on the left) along with the templates for each part.
That uses up most of the morning. The rest of the day is spent trimming and planing the billets to parts blank dimensions. By the end of the day all of the parts blanks are done and we are ready to begin forming parts... but we'll do that next time.
Wednesday, June 18
Tuesday, June 17
Friday, June 13
Wednesday, June 11
This morning Tim and I made quick work of mummifying the last bench and loading all three on his trailer so he was on his way several hours earlier than we had anticipated – a good thing too since it’s thunder storming here now, as it did yesterday. We were given a window of beautiful weather to load and send Tim & Kat over the mountains.
Unfortunately the storms have prevented me from opening up the lumber piles to extract the maple I need to build three cutting boards. So I decided to use this time to get caught up on my article writing and get some badly needed rest.
So, Long Rails has been updated and completed, and you may step through the rest of the article by clicking the NEXT link at the bottom of each page.
I’m going to do some cleaning up and putting away in here then, as soon as the rain lets up enough to get back to the house safely, I’m going to go take a nap!
Tuesday, June 10
Tim will be up here tomorrow afternoon to load and head out, and he expects to arrive at their destination Thursday afternoon. So… this one is about done.
Next up: more cutting boards.
Monday, June 9
This morning I applied the second coat of oil to the first bench and have been assembling the third bench while that dries. Its frame is completed and in clamps now, I have only to install the seat slats and plug the screw holes and do the finish sanding.
I will continue to alternate between assembling and finishing today. As soon as the first bench is dry enough that it will not act as a dust magnet I’ll roll it out and take the other bench in for its second coat. It takes about an hour and a half to oil and wipe one of these benches. Hopefully this evening I will be able to apply the first coat to the third bench.
This finish requires a minimum of 24 hours of cure time between coats, so I can not apply the second coat to the third bench until Tuesday evening, and the trio of English Garden benches should be ready to hit the road to Vermont Wednesday afternoon.
Once they are on their way, I am going to take a well deserved day off. I’ll use part of that to complete the construction article on these benches. Until then, I’m focusing on getting them completed.
Friday, June 6
Tim has been coming in a couple of times per day to at least keep me company and lend a hand when he can. Tim, a retired trucker will be making this delivery for me because he can get them there in one day where the truck line will take two, and by loading them onto his trailer, wrapped in plastic instead of having to build crates for them I can save another two days of production time. That’s 3 days saved… might be just enough to meet our revised deadline.
The mortising bit that I ordered – and paid extra to place as a RUSH order – finally showed up yesterday. It took a week to get here, then it doesn’t fit! So it’s going back. Fortunately I was NOT sitting around waiting on the bit, but came up with a way to use a 3/8” mortising chisel to cut the ¾” mortises; it just takes four times as many cuts to accomplish, and required rigging an adjustable jig to move the piece being mortised in and out from the fence exactly 3/8” when I was ready to make the second pass. That took a while, but it worked. Good thing too, since things worked out as they did.
At this point in time I have all the end frame joinery cut, the parts fitted and dry-assembled (no glue), the back assembly is fitted and dry-assembled, and the front rail/seat support assembly is fitted and dry assembled. All that remains in the construction phase is to mill out the seat slats, then knock everything apart again, sand to 100 grit and start gluing parts back together.
Once that’s all done we’ll move on to the finishing stage.
We have been snapping photos as we go along, but have not had time to format them and write the accompanying text. We’ve been concentrating on getting the woodworking done since this trio of benches needs to be *Unloading* in Vermont one week from now, and the finishing alone will take 3 days to accomplish. I’ll complete the construction diary as soon as I get some slack in the schedule.
So I’d better get back to work, got to go make seat slats!
Friday, May 30
Thursday, May 29
During this day I also got the last three long rails glued up, the last one is in clamps now.
See you next time! Gotta go now...
Tuesday, May 27
Gluing up of the arms short rails is complete, and I am working on sanding and gluing up the long rails as I am making the legs. More of the details will be added to the Step 5 page as I get it done.
I did run into a setback today: about ½ of the way through cutting the monster mortises in the legs my mortising chisel went up in smoke. I located one that will fit my machine and have ordered it, with expedited shipping, and hopefully it will arrive before I run out of time. While I’m waiting, I have other things I can be doing, so it’s not like we’re stalled out.
Monday, May 26
Saturday, May 24
I would glue up as many pieces as I have room and clamps for, then go back to sanding more sets and stacking them in the assembly room where I’m doing the glue-ups until the glue was set up enough to remove the clamps and do another round. I’ve got all the short parts sanded, on Monday I’ll sand the long-rails – that ought to be interesting!
See you then,
Friday, May 23
On a brighter note, we received a new piece of equipment today; a Performax 16-32 drum sander. This item has been on my wish list for some time, but this job, with the large amount of lamination work to be done was just the right incentive to pay out that investment capital.
The sander was scheduled to arrive yesterday (Wednesday), but the freight company in Knoxville messed up and it didn’t get it on the truck. When they called to tell me this and ask if delivering it on Thursday would be alright, I agreed but informed them that I had kept our pick-up truck that day to use in shuttling the crate from the hard road up to the workshop in case their truck was not able to turn into or get up our steep gravel driveway. I would not have the truck on Thursday. The dispatcher assured me they would get it delivered, even if the driver had to put it on a hand truck and wheel it in.
Apparently they thought better of that. When it arrived today, instead of being on a their 24 foot box truck that makes regular deliveries to this area, it was in a cargo van, all by its self. At 280 pounds we still had to cut the strapping holding the boxes to a pallet and off load them onto my dock individually, but at least he could get into the dock. All went well and the boxes are sitting in the shop awaiting unpacking and assembly.
Marie and I assembled and tuned the sander Thursday evening so that it would be ready to prep parts-pieces for lamination on Friday. It was after 10:30 PM when we were done, so I didn’t get this posted until Friday morning – I was too tired to type!
Friday will be spent surfacing the glue-joints of long rails and gluing the rail halves together. Almost every part for this piece of furniture is made up of two or three pieces of wood laminated together to form the thick timbers used in this heavy duty bench. Laminating all those parts will take a couple of weeks, but I will be cutting and assembling some parts as others are being laminated.
On Saturday I’ll put in an extra day and continue this process. Monday is supposed to be a holiday, but I’ll work that day as well because of the tight deadline we’re under. The Step 4 page of this project article will be re-posted as additions are made.
See you Monday!
Tuesday, May 20
Then I took some time to package up William’s cherry tray tables using one of our custom made boxes, lined with Styrofoam and padded out with shredded paper. I ran the final payment on his account and a shipping label -- and this order is on its way. Hope you enjoy them William!
The late afternoon was spent selecting lumber and roughing out parts blanks for the benches. This process will take several days because I'm building three of these benches all at once. I will update the Step 3 page as we get things done, but this is enough for one day.
Monday, May 19
It may be of some interest that the white oak we are using to build these benches came for the flooring of a century old barn that had to be torn down up in Parrottsville. This lumber formed the floor boards under the hay loft, so one side of these ancient boards is caked with decades of hay dust, the other has aged to an almost walnut brown color from never having seen the sun. Once the outer surfaces are planed off, they will be the color of white oak, but I find it interesting to know that lumber from a 100+ year old barn will soon be gracing the garden where James’ daughter will be getting married.
Once the lumber was all stacked inside the shop I looked over the templates for this project. The last time I made these benches, they were made about a foot shorter, so the templates for the long rails needed to be re-made and the lay-out for the back slat mortises redone.
More information about our templates is available HERE.
Wednesday, May 14
I spent the afternoon finish sanding, vacuuming and shooting the first coat of lacquer on William’s cherry tray tables and stand. I will not get the second coat on today as it is getting late and I have an appointment this evening.
The workshop will be closed tomorrow and Friday as Marie and I head off on our annual vacation. Da Girlz as well as Tim will be around, but they have their own things to look after.
See you Monday!
Tuesday, May 13
I spent a fair bit of the day today -- on and off as time permitted -- wrestling with problems resulting from people trying to use their Economic Stimulus Gift Certificates that were sent out last month to all active customers. Mostly the problems arose from inattentiveness and assuming things rather than reading the instructions. But they are all fixed now, and I've learned a new trick or two about this shopping cart software.
See you tomorrow!
Monday, May 12
I got the rails glued and clamped to William's Cherry Tray Table set. Those will sit overnight before I do any more.
I also sanded two pair of bag handles one for Patsy one for Jennifer. And shot Jennifer’s with lacquer. Patsy’s have gone on hold as she works out an issue.
So much for Monday,
Friday, May 9
Thursday, May 8
CLICK HERE to view all the details of today’s TV Tray activity.
Or you may Click Here to get details and pricing information for these tray tables.
Wednesday, May 7
Monday, May 5
Wednesday, April 30
Monday, April 28
Click Here for the details...
I had planned on getting the legs started this afetrnoon, but ended up needing to do some web site repair. Kathleen called to ask about having a set of these tray tables made for her in cherry and walnut, but she was having trouble understanding the pricing on the web site. When I went in to look I found the price for cherry has been twiddled with by some internet gremlin. I reset the price and that brought the cost of Kathleens tables back down to where they should be.
Durned ol' gremlins!
You may Click Here to get details and pricing information for this product.
Tomorrow Marie and I are celebrating a major wedding anniversary. I will be making a run to Morristown to get crate board for Warren's nanny rocker early in the morning, but then we will be heading out to celebrate for the day. So I'll be back on Wednesday.
Friday, April 25
Read the details …
Or you may Click Here to get details and pricing information for this product.
Have a great weekend!
Thursday, April 24
See you tomorrow!
Wednesday, April 23
Or you may Click Here to get details and pricing information for this product.
Tuesday, April 22
Friday, April 18
Thursday, April 17
Wednesday, April 16
Phillip’s oak Wall Hung Stopper Rack got finish sanded and lacquered. In the morning I’ll attach the loop hangers and package it up for shipment.
The rest of the day was spent working on the two Over Sink Cutting Boards. Today I milled out the strips of maple that will become two cutting boards.
CLICK HERE to view the full details of this days cutting board activities.
See you tomorrow!
Tuesday, April 15
I completed Karen’s two tier bottle stopper rack by installing the wooden pegs. Once they were all in I sanded the whole rack and shot it with two good coats of semi-gloss lacquer, scuffed between coats. This photo was taken right after scuffing. This order is now done and ready to be packed up and shipped once the lacquer hardens well and the silicone “feet” are applied. I’ve found that the feet tend to fall off in shipping if I apply them too soon. It appears that solvents evaporating out of the lacquer even after it’s dry to the touch soften the adhesive backing on the feet and cause them to come loose. By giving it a few hours extra the problem is completely averted.
I also milled out and assembled the parts for Phillip’s oak Wall Hung Stopper Rack and it is currently in clamps for the night. I’ll sand and finish it tomorrow.
See you tomorrow!
Monday, April 14
While waiting for each coat of lacquer to dry I used the time to mill out the parts for and assemble Karen’s two tier bottle stopper rack . Once the glue sets up good and hard I’ll lay-out and drill the holes for the wooden pegs that add a decorative touch as well as reinforcing the joints. There are no nails or screws in this piece. That will get done tomorrow.
Catherine’s bag handles were packaged up this morning and have been turned over to Willis, our UPS driver. They’re going to California, so they’ll take a few days to make the trip.
Hope you had a very pleasant day,
Thursday, April 10
These handles are getting a matte Antique Oil finish, se we sanded to 150 grit and will apply two coats of oil, scuff sanded with a very fine sanding sponge between coats. Here I have the first coat on and the handles are hanging on a special drying rack that prevents pressure marks in the finish as it cures. They will hang here until tomorrow morning when I will repeat the process. The second coat will not be cured before the UPS truck come through on Friday and UPS does not pick-up on Saturday so these will go out of here on Monday.
For the full story on how our Bag Handles are made, CLICK HERE
The afternoon session was spent finish sanding Warren’s Nanny Rocker.
CLICK HERE to view all the details of today’s Nanny Rocker activity.
CLICK HERE for details on purchasing a Nanny Rocker of your own.
Thanks for dropping in!