Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Christmas Update and the Belated WIA Post

Christmas Update

Well, this year with a number of projects going on in the shop (I wonder if they ever get done) and some new floors being installed in the house, I need some quick but classy gifts for friends and family.  Enter the Drunken Woodworker to the rescue.  He sells on number of completed boxes and display items on his website, as well as, plans for making some of them.  I really liked his wine bottle and glass display rack and purchased the template for a reasonable $3 (cheap at twice the price).  It was exactly what I needed.  And within a couple of days I had five Christmas presents done and ready to wrap. OK – add three more days for oil/varnish finish.

Completed wine bottle and glass display rack ready for finish; done in African mahogany and maple.

Finished and ready to wrap

Belated WIA Post

Once again this past October I went to Woodworking in America sponsored by Popular Woodworking.  This is my fourth time to attend WIA, and as always, it’s the woodworking community event of the year.  While there are always great classes, and the marketplace can’t be beat, it’s the comradely of old friends and meeting new ones that brings me back year after year.  This year all the Wood Talk guys finally all met up in person.  Marc, Matt and Shannon are not only great woodworkers and ww media types; they are also very approachable and friendly to all…well not so much for Matt J  This year I did spend a fair amount of time with the Modern Woodworkers Association guys (Tom, Dyami, Chris A., and Sean).  I have known most of them for a few years now and they are a great bunch of guys and cigar aficionados (a little inside baseball).  I also got to meet back up with Ian, Arron, Chris L., Wilbur and Nik; and meet some new friends in David, Robert, Mark, Brian and Mike M. (apologies if a missed anyone).

Anyway, as I’m sure you have read a number of posts on benefits and fun of attending WIA.  Here are my helpful pro-tips for attending the event next year.
  • Register early for the discount and book your hotel room
  • Where to Stay?  Either stay at the Embassy Suites or know someone who will.  Why? Manager’s Reception (i.e., free beer).  Oh…and free breakfast too with an omelet bar.  If you plan on sharing a room with a buddy, the Embassy suites is also the best suited for such an arrangement.
  • Visit the marketplace often.   Make sure and save up for the event, because even if you have a very well equipment shop, you will find something you just gotta have.
  • Keep an ear to the ground for the best classes. There is always an instructor or two that steals the show.  You want to make sure you don’t miss their classes.
  • Don’t be shy.  You know why you’re here…to eat, sleep and drink woodworking
  • Go out to the local watering holes and meet new friends in the evenings
  • Hydrate (see 5 above)
  • Participate in the Hand Tool Olympics.  Even if you’re not a hand tool guy there are experts to help you out.  And nothing‘s better than one-on-one instruction.
  • Come back again next year

Below are a few pics of WIA13

I did find the "Shop Monkey"

MWA recording live at WIA

Hand Tool Olympics: Aaron winning...need I say more

What I bought this year...yes, that includes the router table

Friday, November 8, 2013

How to fix a cup in a glued up panel – or how I wasted a week…

So where I last left off; I had returned from WIA to find that my Top for the EMC I had glued up before I left now how a 3/16” cup in it.  My first thought was I need to rip it apart and re-glue it.  Fortunately I made a design change and actually needed to reduce the tops thickness by 1/8” or so.  So then I thought why not take it a cabinet shop with a wider drum sander than I have to thickness it and sand the cup out.  But I was then worried that the feed rollers would just press the cup out as it sanded and I would just be left with a thinner top that still had the cup.  So off to my books and the internet for some “old fashion remedies”… 

The first solution I found was to wet the convex side and let it dry under weights.

No Luck

The second solution was to wet the concave side and let dry stickered. (sorry no pics)  Some Luck – after three rounds of this I was able to reduce the cup by a 1/16”.  In fact, while the top was wet, it actually cupped in the opposite direction but then it dried with pretty much the original cup still in it.

The Third solution was to use a heat gun on the convex side to shrink the fibers and reduce the cup. 

No Luck

The fourth solution was to cut kerfs in the underside and epoxy a long strip in the kerf. I then let it cure while clamped to a flat service.

No Luck – It did dry flat, but then cupped as soon as the clamps where removed.

The correct solution -  rip it, thickness it and re-glue it.  

Results – prefect.

So, while wasting a week dealing with this I did learn (one more time) that there are no easy solutions and you’re first thought is sometimes the best one.

Thanks for stopping by,


Thursday, October 24, 2013

I'm Back!

Ok, so I've been absent for year.  Give me a break and I’ll try to be better this year.  I just got back from the “Woodworking in America” conference in beautiful downtown Covington, Kentucky.  And it inspired me to both revitalize this blog and stretch my wwing abilities.  First off, it was a great conference.  It’s always great to reunite with old friends and make new ones.  The one big takeaway for me was a class I attended by Silas Koph on marquetry.  It is defiantly something I am going to explore in the next few months/years.  For more on the conference please see my blog roll.  There are a number of great posts on WIA13 that really capture the event better than I ever could.

So, what have being doing the past year?  Well, I did build the Bob Lang boxes for Christmas presents.  Next up, was some shop improvements, namely the sharpening station and helical head upgrade for my Jet Jointer/Planner.  Below are a few pics of some of the things I've been doing.

 My on-going project for the past few months is a new entertainment/media center (EMC).  This is based on the G&G Thorsen House side-board.  This project ended up taking the place (and wood) of the Corner China Cabinet project.  Below are the SketchUp plan I came up with and the base as it is now.

The EMC is designed around my Outlaw Audio 200 watt by 7 channel amplifier.  This beast is big and heavy (approx. 100 lbs.).  I completely pre-finished all the base components prior to glue-up.  Currently, I am working on the top and the magnetically secured back panels.  The top is giving some issues at the moment.  When I returned from WIA I found that it had decided to cup by about 3/32”.  I am trying a number of solutions to correct it.  I’ll go over my results and final outcome in the next post.

Thanks for stopping by,