Sunday, April 21, 2013

A Different Way to Bend

"There's no room in here!"

Wayne Burby

The quote is from a great old guy I used to work with who was always griping at the mill that there wasn't any room.  He was a funny, sweet guy and honestly he was right; often times there wasn't enough room.  His saying has sorta turned into my own joke when I find myself tripping over stuff or looking for too long for things that I JUST PUT RIGHT THERE!!!

I recently went on a cleaning spree and tossed pieces of wood and took stuff to the salvation army in order to have a common area where all my patterns, papers and forms can go in a somewhat logical way. 

The picture above shows a bench I'm building for a client and while I have wanted to build this for awhile, the prospect of 14 bending forms and the subsequent 28 clamps was a bit much, but the book also had this board that had holes drilled in and pegs, sorta like my own little Plinko board. 

Here's a better shot below.  The turned and steamed pieces, Maple in this case, are threaded thru the pegs and thus held in the right bend for a few day in the kiln, then taken out done.  The best part is the they can be stacked two high, seven wide so I can do all 14 on this one 2x16x 20 piece!

And here's the first one steamed and bent.  The thin piece of wood prevent denting.  I finish turned the tenons top and bottom before steaming and while I seriously doubt the sizes to hold, it would sure be nice if they did.  I turn my tenons on the lathe but once they are bent I can't so I'd have to size them by hand.  Not a huge deal but much faster on the lathe.

Another thing I've recently tried and it works is doubling the slats for my rockers and then doubling them again between the clamps.  I used to do these one at a time, and man dragging those clamps around was a pain.  But now I can do four with just two clamps.  The Irwin clamp pulls the middle together, and the K-bodies finish the clamp and hold it in place.  So for one chair I went from seven forms and 14 clamps to 4 forms and 4 clamps. 

Sadly Wayne isn't around anymore, but I did laugh to myself thinking of Wayne and his comments about room.  I think he would approve.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Fast Logs

“Tell him yes. Even if you are dying of fear, even if you are sorry later, because whatever you do, you will be sorry all the rest of your life if you say no.” 
― Gabriel Garcí­a MárquezLove in the Time of Cholera

Hopefully my first and last post ever using my phone but I dropped and broke my laptop and got another one I hate so until I get a new one..guess I'm stuck with this. And I have have no idea how to turn off the underline.   At any rate, I picked up some gorgeous logs today.  They had a lot of logs in their yard today so I picked a good day.

As I said they had a lot of logs to chose from so I got a couple of really nice ones.  Just a few thoughts on what I look for.

I like watching Roy Underhill and he said something awhile back something  that I have been thinking about and I have determined he is right.   I used to buy fast growing ash logs with wide growth rings because they are simply easier to work with a drawknife, that is to say the lines are easier to see and follow.  I never really thought too much about it being stronger. The common folk lore is that slow growing trees are stronger.

Well, Roy's claim is dead on. Fast growing ring porous wood is stronger. The growth bands seen in a fast growing tree have much more solid wood and less honeycomb late a result there is more solid wood and less honey comb wood structure.  While slow growing wood with more rings per inch may be lighter, for a chair this is exactly what you don't want.   You want, and I only buy fast growing ash with wide growth rings.

Otherwise, see below.  This was also the result of too many chairs at once and pieces getting mixed up, but honestly the post broke with not much effort. Lesson learned. Two fast growing logs and label better.

Now if I could turn the underline off...