Tuesday, November 29

The project Doug is currently working on is an enlarged version of a memorial candle stand for Smoky Mountain Home Health & Hospice. They hold a memorial service each December to commemorate all their patients who passed away that year. Family members are invited to come forward and light a candle for their loved one.

A few years ago we built them a rack that was based on the design used for the bottle stopper racks. But they have outgrown that and want a larger one. Using that same design will not work out well, so we decided to use a “step ladder” design instead. Rather than solid ends this one will have pivoting rear legs that fold in against a front leg/shelf support so it will transport and store more compactly.

The racks must be designed to hold these candles. The first design used shelves with raised lips along the front, back and ends to contain the candles by cradling the little “foot” on the bottom. Doug considered using a thicker, solid shelf and boring holes to accept the candle bases, but the bases are a strange size and we can not get a Forstner bit that is just right. He’d have to bore a larger hole that will be quite a sloppy fit. So we will stay with the original shelf design. This also gives SMHH&H the option, should they need fewer than the maximum number of candles, to space them out along the shelves.

Doug began by designing the front leg template. This will be stair-stepped to hold the shelves. He made it of 1/8” Baltic Birch Ply and covered it with masking tape so he can easily erase the lay-out lines since this is an on-the-fly design. Once he determined the depth the shelf supports need to be he used double-stick tape to affix a piece of scrap wood to the back of a lay-out triangle and used that to draw in the cut-outs.

When completed, the template is shaped just as the legs will be. He do not cut out the stair-stepping. This is a one-off project, so he’ll save time by taping the template to the leg blanks and cutting the template and legs all in one step.

Preparing the lumber came next by selecting and rough cutting the lumber into parts blanks. Then Doug used the jointer to smooth and flatten one face and one edge. The surface planer is used next to smooth the opposite face of each blank and make it parallel to the jointed face.

Work was interrupted for a few days prior to Thanksgiving because we volunteered to help the local Senior Center serve Thanksgiving dinners to 150 or so shut-ins who would otherwise not get a fancy meal on Thanksgiving. Our contribution included roasting four 20 pound turkeys, de-boning them and bagging the meat. Because Marie has a real job requiring her to be in town all day every weekday, this task fell primarily to Doug.  On Thanksgiving day we went in to help serve the food as well.

About that same time our big surface planer: a Grizzly G0453, began making an ugly noise. Doug checked it out and found the sound to be coming from the drive pulley. He disassembled that and found the key that locks the drive pulley to the drive shaft of the motor had grooves worn in the sides that were allowing the pulley to move just a little on the shaft. Not much, but enough to cause the hammering sound.

Doug searched every hardware store and a few machine shops to get a replacement key, but to no avail. Most had an SAE key that was similar: just a tiny bit smaller – but smaller is bad. It turns out this key stock is metric and no one around here carries metric key stock. We’ll have to order a replacement part from the manufacturer.

In the mean time Doug remembered that we have an old Delta 22-580 planer tucked away. This had been replaced by the Grizzly when we needed to step up to a 15” planer and we planned to sell the Delta, but never got around to it. So he pulled that out, put it on a stand and began using that to surface the stock. On the second day, that too began making an ugly noise. Doug tore that one down and found – the drive pulley was loose. What is this an epidemic? Fortunately, tightening the nut that holds the pulley on the driveshaft was all that was needed to fix this one and in an hour he was back in business.

The stock for shelves needed to be resawn so we didn’t waste so much wood. Doug got all this done before Thanksgiving. We took Friday off. Saturday was Doug's yard work day and he spent it gathering and grinding leaves to go in the compost piles. Sunday we don’t work. On Mondays he produces a weekly radio program, burns it to CD and mails it off to the radio station. But today, he’ll get back to this project. Time is growing short: they will be wanting this rack soon.

And that gets us all caught up to date.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Appropriate comments are welcome. All comments are reviewed before being posted. Spam messages (anything not a direct discussion of this message) and all profanity will be deleted. Don't waste your time or mine by posting trash here.