Thursday, January 27, 2022

2021 Review

OK, this post is a few weeks late.  Oh, well.

It always seems that I don't get enough done.  A perpetual New Year's resolution (if I were actually to make one) is to get more done.  So I thought I'd make myself feel better and review what projects I DID complete in 2021.  This is one way that this blog helps me.  I have a horrible memory and having these things in writing helps a lot.  Here goes.


Oak table for next to wife's desk

Cherry demilune table for the kitchen - a very challenging project

A rustic frame for the wife

Low plant stand for the balcony - oak

Twin shoe shelves from red alder - these have been a great addition

Coat and hat rack from red alder - also a nice addition to the house

Small Items and Gifts:

Roubo phone stands - always wanted to try this

"Palm tree" swim cap drying rack for the wife

Kleenex box from sapele for my sister

Tool Rehab or Making:

Cleaned up a new-to-me Stanley #2358A miter box and saw

Reshaped the sole and rehabbed the iron on a Sandusky Tool #92 1 1/8" round plane

Finally had success making a screw-box and wooden screws.
A lot of satisfaction from this one!

Investigated and finally figured out how to bore large holes with expansive bits

Made a small Moxon vise with homemade wooden screws

Other Projects:

An experiment in shaping with this pine, poplar and oak dovetailed box

In addition to the above, this year I played around a little bit with carving.  I doubt that I'll get seriously into carving, but it was fun.  It's good to know that I can add that to future projects.

A flower carving in red alder

So what will 2022 bring?  Currently I'm working on Richard Maguire's Danish stool (with woven seat).  I hope to get into more projects that use cord, rush or other natural materials for the seat.  And, in general, I hope to get into some more general chair making.  But we'll see what happens.

Saturday, January 15, 2022

Don't Panic!

Yesterday (11-Jan-22), I laid out and cut four mortises for a stool project I'm working on.  This morning, the moment I woke up, I realized I had done something wrong.  Funny how that can happen - I wasn't dreaming about it or even thinking about it.  All of the sudden I realized the mistake.  I'll admit that I was in a bit of a just-woke-up fog, but when my wife asked me if the error was recoverable, I said "no", thinking I'd have to remake the parts.

But I went for a long walk that morning and let it slosh around for a while in my head.  I wasn't really thinking about it during the walk.  But at some point I came up with a solution.

The mortise was supposed to be angled, like the sliding bevel,
but I made the end walls 90° like the combo square

The solution was to angle the end walls, going past my mortise end layout line
(note how the mortise goes beyond the right-most layout line)

On the opposite side, I want past the layout line on the other end of the mortise

The outer layout lines in the above pics show the extents of the rail that is to fit into the mortise.  If I kept to those lines, the end shoulders would have to be different. Fortunately I hadn't cut the tenons yet, and I still wanted the tenons to have equal shoulders.  The solution was to cut the tenon with equal edge shoulders (a little smaller than originally planned).  This resulted in the rail being about 1/16" higher on the part shown above than where I wanted it.  I just had to make sure to adjust the mortise and tenon on the other side the same way.

And here's the moral of the story.  We all make mistakes in our work.  Don't panic!  Step back, think about the problem, evaluate options.  A solution just might present itself.  It might force you to make small changes in your design, but ask yourself if that really matters.  It might not.

And by the way, this project has a lot of angles and I made another boo boo in these same mortises.  But I thought about it and came up with a solution that I believe won't affect the function of the joint.