The Woodshop Shed

adventures in woodworking and home maintenance, from my shop in an oversized backyard shed

November 2021
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Oak blasting

Furnished content.
(from Lumberjocks.com)


Oak blasting Still a work in progress. White Oak, turned and sandblasted with glass beadsC & C welcomeRon



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posted at: 12:00am on 29-Nov-2021
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Spalted Bowl #19

Furnished content.
(from Lumberjocks.com)


Spalted Bowl #197 1/4” x 2 5/8”
Friction PolishRan out of room on the bottom (went too deep inside) and couldn't shape the outside like I would have liked… Still not too bad.



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Rocker Restoration

Furnished content.
(from Lumberjocks.com)


Rocker RestorationA colleague asked if I would be willing to try to restore a 70yr old kid's rocking chair that belonged to his wife and now they want to give it to their grandkid. The rocker was in good shape overall, but one of the spindles was missing, a runner was broken right where it meets the leg, and the finish on the seat was worn.I've done tons of tool restorations as well as junk furniture from goodwill, but this was for someone else and it had deep, person meaning to them. Therefore, some practice runs were in order.The runner: I first made a template for the new runner using a 1/4” piece of masonite. The shape is based on the intact runner. Once I was satisfied with the template, I did a dry run using a piece of plywood, roughing it out on the band saw, then trimming it flush on the router. I also drilled the holes for the legs using a brace and auger bit. (I use a brace – the original cordless drill! – whenever possible because the holes needed to be carefully drilled and a brace gives me way more control than any power drill.)Not bad for a first attempt.One learning for me was that plywood was an okay choice to shape the runner, but a lousy choice for testing the fit onto the legs. The holes for the legs needed to be 5/8” and the width of the runner is 13/16”. This means there isn't much wood left on either side of the leg when inserted into the runner. The plywood tended to bulge, so I couldn't get a sense of how well-fitted the legs were.I used cedar on my second attempt. This worked out much better.The cedar also allowed me to work out the exact shape of the runner. The top part is curved, left-to-right and the bottom of the old runner was flattening from years of wear. I needed to figure out how to match the wear pattern of the old runner so that the rocker would sit level. This was done with a combination of hand planing and sanding. I also used a contour gauge to the the curve of the top and a bevel gauge to match the angle of the wear on the bottom of the runner.The original runner was made from beech, so I used European beech to make the final version of the runner. The color isn't a perfect match, but I would address that with the finish.The spindle: As with the runner, I did a practice spindle using an old broom handle before doing the real thing. The spindles are not a uniform diameter, but rather they were tapered from 1/2” to 1/4” from bottom to top. In addition, I don't have a lathe or access to one, so I shaped the spindle completely with rasps, spokeshaves, a hand plane, and sandpaper. (Yes. I was experimenting with these different tools to get the shape.)This approach was slow, but it didn't end up being too hard and it worked out. Here is the chair with the practice pieces.The real spindle was made from a square piece of the same European beech as the runner.Here's the dry fit before finishing.The finish: Again, first was color matching on a test piece of European beech and the original runner.I'll note that I did not glue the spindle or runner until AFTER I completed the new finish. Color matching is not my forte, so if I messed up royally, I could easily remake the parts and make another attempt at color matching.The old finish was completely removed, mostly by hand. (I hate sanding!)The finish layers were1) amber-tinted shellac as a sealing layer
2) one coat of golden oak stain (only on the European beech pieces)
3) two coats of Gunstock stain
4) six coats of french polish using the same amber shellac diluted with denatured alcohol
5) Paste wax applied with 0000 steel wool, then excess wiped off with microfiber cloth.It's done and ready to send to my colleague's grandkid to be used for another generation!



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posted at: 12:00am on 29-Nov-2021
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