The Woodshop Shed

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

May 2022
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Wild Cherry Gall Bowl

Furnished content.
(from Lumberjocks.com)


Wild Cherry Gall BowlWith decent temperatures and little rain finally gracing Michigan, I was able to truly get back to my woodworking roots. I started woodworking last June when I quit drinking. I found burls and galls while I was fly fishing, and I started grinding them into bowls. I worked exclusively in bowls until… probably my first clock.Obviously I got obsessed with clocks for awhile there, but now the winter is over. I'm not confined to the garage anymore. For obvious reasons, I can't run the grinder in the garage. Grinding out a bowl kicks up copious sawdust. The garage would be 20 times worse than it already is with sawdust if I did any extensive grinding.In any case, now that I can work in the backyard again, I'm back to bowls for a bit. Most of my burls and galls are pretty cut up from me finding clock faces in them. However, I had one gall that was untouched and looked perfectly suited to be a little bowl.So, I went to work. I used my grinder to grind out the declivity of the bowl. Then I used the grinder to go down through the layers of the gall that would be the outside of the bowl. Grinding until patterns began to emerge, I then switched over to 40 grit paper. After the 40, I went 80, 120, 180, and then 240 grit. It's finished in about 6 coats of wipe-on poly.So you can get an idea as to size, a soft ball would fit in this bowl just about perfectly.As it turns out, I wasn't working alone on this piece. Even though they didn't come out when I used a pruning saw to trim the ends, the ants swarmed as I made passes with the grinder. You can easily see evidence of ant tunnels on this bowl, but I really like the way that looks.It's funny. I thought all the ants were gone when I was finished grinding and sanding. But then, when I put on the poly, about another 100 ants swarmed out of the tunnels. I couldn't believe how many ants were in this thing. I must have picked up this piece dozens of times, but not once did I see an ant. Maybe they were still a little winter slow or something.In any case, it felt really good to get back to my bowls. I really like how this one turned out!



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posted at: 12:00am on 11-May-2022
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Blast from the Recent Past

Furnished content.
(from Lumberjocks.com)


Blast from the Recent PastThis is a project I made for my wife in 2012 before we were married. It's made with red oak. It's an unusual size to fit her stamp sets and to fit in a particular space where she was living at the time. All but one shelf is adjustable. That one serves to lock in the sides. The shelves are notched for the pins to prevent sliding. She's still using it.



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ScrewdriverMarking Tool swap

Furnished content.
(from Lumberjocks.com)


ScrewdriverMarking Tool swapHow do you make a screwdriver without a lathe, hmmm. seems there are a LOT of ways to work wood down to something close to a round shape. I tried many of them, and came up with the following.I started with several small billets of curly Maple, and Walnut. I never actually measured them, but I suppose they were near 1 1/2 x 2 and around 8 long. I decided on a largeish handle, and wanted a flat on at least 2 faces to stop rolling.I just took a pic of 2, but in all I started with 10, 5 of each wood. Several of them went to the burn pile. On thinking about that I should have shipped them to my recipient, he could have bandsawed a few pen blanks from each, but alas burning them was therapeutic, because I did have some frustrations.Next was which of the several methods to round my handle. I chose using a block plane, a pile of rasps, and files, and then finer to sanding.My original plan was to use the classic double ended screwdriver, and then I saw the not so classic, but very universal 1/4” chuck type head we all have on impact drivers. You can use any bit type in those, so max potential.I got pretty good at using the hand tools to make a pretty similar form, of a larger sized, gradually smoothed handle. Where I had my frustrations is I figured if I kept my Ferrule to approximately 1” diameter, so it wasn't crumbly on the end, then I DID need a metal ferrule to add some support. Being metal, it needed to be a pretty good fit.What I ended up with was a very non woodworking use of my slow speed grinder, 8” wheel, with a medium soft wheel. There was a learning curve, thus junk pieces were made. I wanted 2, one to send, one to keep. So after some failures I did get 2, and they were very tight fitting to the metal ferrules I used. As it turned out, one was on Walnut, and one on the curly Maple. Later my Wife looked at the screwdrivers, and the marking knives, and picked the 2 she liked best. Those went to my recipient, Wooden Dreams.My next challenge was drilling that darn hole right smack in the center of a non round piece. I used the drill press, but still it wasn't as easy as it sounds like it should be. I still had plenty of handle blanks, so I wouldn't have sent anything that didn't allow for a working screwdriver.Pics of the grinder, and the drilling don't exist, because both my hands were occupied, sorry.Next up was a very sharp knife/scalpel holder. If you don't have such a knife, I find them very much a necessity. Great for cleaning out that little chutz in a hand cut dovetail, without spending a lot of time paring, and many other chores around the shop, or the house. They actually use surgical scalpel blades, which all have a pretty uniform non cutting end, so almost anything you find will work.I like the shape/style I used here the best, but I do have other shapes. My Wife is constantly stealing mine, so I keep her stocked, so I can find mine. Taylor Tools sells kits with instructions to make the “pretty ones” evidently Lee Valley does too, as they have a directions sheet online, that is more in depth than the one at Tay Tools. Taylor tools sells parts, and has a link to directions on this page as well.I started with a few different sizes as I had never made a “pretty one” before.I usually just drill a hole for the little bolt to fit through after I route out a depression so the blade is locked into it's position. I find a 3/8” straight bit makes a nice path for all of the blades I have tried. You set your fence so it makes the bit centered on the wooden stick, and set the depth at the thickness of the blade. I use a push block to hold the stick down on the bit, and to keep my fangers from getting bit if the stick quits being there.This depression keeps the blade solid when the bolt is tightened. Pic below shows how I usually make mine with just one piece of wood, very easy, stable blade position, and for shop tools plenty finished for my needs. Sometimes for my Wife I'll round hers over on the corners.This shows a comparison between my normal shop knife, and the “pretty ones” that LV and Tay tools suggestThis is the one I sent Richard for the swap, it needs assembly, and some finish. I used Arm r Seal 3 coats, after it was dry I gave it a wax rubdown, so it felt pretty good in my hand, this wood is some White Oak I've had around for years. It came off a friends family farm, They took out a fencerow, and there was a lot of lumber. I got most of 3 trees, around 2600 bd/ft. I've been using that wood up for a long time. We worked a long week at it, had 2 bandmills out there, and a gang. It was hard work, but very much a good time.All ready to go. I put in some extra blades. It's best when they are still razor sharp.I'm still trying to decide if in the future I'll do Pretty over my old sticks. I had a lot of frustration at first. I went through a large pile of Purple Heart. I wanted this sharp knife to match the marking knife you'll see next, but on the nut side I started with a drilled hole, and “attempted” to very lightly strike, and then just to pare an octagon, so the nut fit well. That Purple stuff just wasn't up for playing that game. Seemed like any pressure down on those thin sides caused the wood to shatter, it didn't splinter, it shattered. Thus the Oak, it played nicely.So next was the marking knife. I used the ones from Taylor tools. They have Narex blades, supposedly in 3 thicknesses, but when I ordered, all they had was the thin ones. Which actually is OK. I have a slew of marking knives, and didn't have any thin ones. Now that I have one, I can see the use for them.Here are the 2 PH I made, that lasted getting formed, and the pins knocked in. Tay Tools also sells some with pre-made handles already built, so I added one to my collection. As you can see they are pretty short. When I am swinging around a sharp tool, I like to have enough grip on it to feel safe. This is going to my Wife, she likes itThis is one of the PH ready to squirt some epoxy in, and clamp it together. I am not coordinated enough to wipe epoxy on a side, and locate the pins, so I did a peek-a-bo application. Seems to have worked well.Both of the PH knives I made.Last I made a discovery I'll share. Probably like always I'm the last to know, but if you are doing finishing on any small sharp objects, one way to do it is to lay it down, and wait for one side to dry, and then wait for the other side to dry. x 3 or more coats, that is a PIA. OR, if you have some 2” foam panel, stab the sharp ends in, and finish the entire thing at once. It worked perfectly.My last piece was something i was making for myself, and figured I'd make 2, and send Richard one. It's a glue scraper on a stick. I believe I've seen it before on a dowel rod, but looking online all I saw was a post from Pop Woodworking, and they made a very nice sculpted handle. Keep in mind either on the end of a dowel, or like PWW made theirs you are setting a screw into end grain, and then applying force against it. It WILL wallow the screwhole out, and the works will fall out. All that makes one different from the other is how much you use it, but it's gonna happen.The cutters I had were for a Shellix head, for a 735 planer. ~~~~ about 1/2” x 1/2” square, so I used a 1/2” dowel, drilled a centered hole for a pilot, screwed in my screw. I added to my end a Shaker Mushroom knob after drilling a hole to fit the dowel. All of that stuff is imported if you buy at the Borg, so it's Metric, so there 1/2” is actually like plywood, it's undersized, so a 1/2” hole will be sloppy. So ~~~~ 13 mm or close will be snug enough. I'd rather the hole worked, so drill small, and sandpaper down the dowel if you need to. I glued it on, let it dry. Only because I was sending it out I finished it. In my shop they are unfinished. If you use them a lot they last ~~~~~ 1 year tops, After they wallow out, chop off the business end, and redrill, rescrew, and away you go.They have a lot of places they really save you a LOT of sanding, but inside a box, a drawer, and so many small hard to sand places they get right in, and get it done. I find Pushing works better than pulling, and also extends the life. Up to you if you make the slick looking PWW version is great if you like to whittle, and make things pretty. I'm more about using that time to make a jig, so simple stuff I usually do the easy route. BUT, put something on the end of that stick, cause sooner or later you'll change your grip, and be stabbing yourself in the palm, the endgrain doesn't feel so good, a nice soft cap is much better.Enjoy, hope you build some shop stuff. Quick easy projects you can finish quickly, and more fun than a barrel of Monkeys. Join one of the swaps, also fun.Thanks for reading along everyone, hope I didn't put you to sleep.



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Easy Storage Bench

Furnished content.
(from Popularwoodworking.com)


The inspiration for this “I Can Do That” storage bench was simple – I wanted it. Ever since I picked up a king-size bed at a liquidation sale, I wanted a matching bench to hold my shoes at the foot of the bed. After seeing many designs that were running anywhere from $250 to $400, I thought to myself “I can do that” – and with a sheet of plywood and some pocket screws, you can too.Source

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Inexpensive Shop Assistant

Furnished content.
(from Popularwoodworking.com)


Tool: Leg-Up Shop Now   Manufacturer: Gorilla Gripper MSRP: $54.90 Most of us know all too well the hassles of working with large sheets of plywood. You get home from the lumberyard, drag your sheet into your shop and lean …Source

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