Making necessary (mostly) things on the cheap.

Making using and buying tools

Monday, April 30, 2012

Cigar Box Guitar build 99% done

Cigar Box Guitar build

This is pretty much  done I use  bolts for the nut and bridge, I will add  hardwood nut and bridge to this in the next week or so and finish the finish, it has a relly good tone.

Monday, April 23, 2012

CBG 1st build day,,,,,3

Still working on my Cigar Box guitar build, mostly carving shaping and sanding the neck I may have used every tool I have on this at some point.. I started by decidong what the shape of the headstock would be and drew the outline cut to the line with a dovetail saw and finished it hith a chisel. I just used  rasp and a chisel on the long portions of rht neck and finished it with one of those black and Decker Mouse sanders, It took some time.

 I have spent more time on the neck than anything else at this point . I broke down and drilled a hole in the base of the neck and glued in a 5\16 pice of all thread I will use that to bolt the meck to the body, rather than glueing , I have some concerns about the expansion and contraction issue but you have to make decisions. this way I can make adjustments later as I am sure I will have to.

If all goes as expected (it rarely does) then I should glue up the case tomorrow, ad the bridges and the nut and see if it works, i will let you know

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Cigar Box Guitar Build

OK , yeah I know I am supposed to be finishing the side table, I am , I am it called multi tasking geez. Any way If you have never heard of cigar box guitars ( I had not) you have to check them out they are the coolest thing EVER, yep that cool. The Red Dog guitars site is really cool the videos are of excellent quality check them out here , no really check it out take the 2 min trust me.See Red Dog here  .
Also for those of you who are interested check out Cigar box nation its a really cool site that has really cool video as well as every resource for CBG's.CBG Nation .

OK 2 videos toady because I forgot to show you the poplar , that will be the front and back of the guitar, It loos really awesome check them both out . This is my first CBG build I made my one box as of now, when I find a cigar box of an appropriate size I will do another, as well as a dulcimer more later on that .

i love the sound of these guitars the raw bluesy tone just strikes a cord with me , thanks for looking

Monday, April 16, 2012

Then there were two (side table build)

Left & Right Sides
This morning, I completed the last of the little bitty mortises for the right side of the side table. I now have two sides, ain't I cool. I put them together just to look at them, ;). So now I have to do the front and back and have still to make the drawer and finish the top and bottom shelf. So hopefully in a few days I will have the fit completed and can start the glue up. I have made a lot of mistakes ,but learned a lot in the process ( more on that another time) Here are a few pictures I messed with the light trying to make things visible.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Found A Dresser at the dumpster

I live in an apartment, town housey thing. Any way one of the perks is digging through stuff people throw away when they move, simple minds ,easily amused , yeah ,yeah I know. Its a 3 drawer chest or dresser , could have been part of a china cabinet as well, but its gonna be a dresser now.  This is well built for a store piece it has some nice brass locks mortised in as well as dovetailed drawers , not to mention its actual wood, cherry i think. The design has some issues and it was pretty much pulled apart at the front and some of the drawer supports had come lose as well, oh and a leg had fallen off, but I found it. I am going to glue it up and a few supports for the frame polish it up and the DW will use it in the bed room. Have to get some new hardware as at some point someone removed the , probably nice brass hardware and put some hinky crap on it. Have to see if I can find a key for the drawers.

The pics are not very good, took them with my laptop, as someone borrowed the batteries from my camera, I cant find them to recharge. Anyway here it is I will update with better pics when I am done with it.

Free, priceless

Ellis Side Table side complete almost

Some friends asked I post a few pictures of one of my current projects, my version of a Harvey Ellis craftsman side table. I couldn't find a plan for this , or one I liked, so I based my design from several pictures I found online. I based the dimensions roughly from one example, the rest is my take on it. When complete the table top will be 12 in wide by about 23 1/2 long and 23 in in height. There are 14 mortise and tennon joints on each side. The aprons front and back will also be mortised and tenons into the sides and there will be a drawer on the top front that will be through dovetailed in the back and half blind in the front. All of this is a first for me I have never cut these joints before and it has really been a learning experience for me. A couple of things All of this work has been done with only hand tools and traditional woodworking methods, no electrons were killed in the making of this table. The wood itself except for the 2 pieces for the table top and bottom shelf are made form recycled lumber The leg's top and bottom shelf are yellow pine everything else is recovered maple. I had to plane and true each and every piece as the all of the lumber is rough stock. I have been working on this for about three weeks, usually only and hour or so each day and a little more on weekends, sometimes. I cut six leg's for this table for example to get four that satisfied me, I have made mistakes errors and blunders aplenty during the process and at each point had to figure out how to correct it or replace the part.

A few things I have learned from this:
1. Make your design as complete as you possibly can to work out all the bugs before you begin.
2. Correct Layout Prevents Heartache (trust me I know) Layout layout layout.
3.Doing it right the first time is SO much faster than fixing it once you have screwed it up ( Really trust me on this).
4. You will screw it up ( guess how I know)
5. You will have to fix it,(yep bummer see 3)
6. Take breaks when you need to, don't push yourself ( if you don't, see 3,4,5)
7. Clearly mark all parts pieces for orientation, face, and location on the project so you don't mix them up or cut the wrong price ( i had a beautiful piece of maple for a drawer front that I mixed up with pieces I was ripping into one inch widths for the sides, guess what , Yep and they were the wrong length, so I couldn't even use them Grrrrr).
8. Technique in sawing, planing, must be practiced, practiced,practiced,practiced,practiced........
9. Be consistent, in layout and execution do the same thing the same way (unless of course it doesn't work then see 5).
10. Remember to have fun.

Now at long last here are the pictures, Thanks for looking 

Monday, April 9, 2012

Hand Cut Dovetails 1875 style

Robbie Pedersen is a master cabinet maker, who has a refreshingly direct technique and is a bit of a character. Robby has been handcrafting quality 19th-century-style heirloom furniture for more than 15 years. After graduating from Iowa State University with a Bachelor of Science in education and history, Robby worked for 10 years as the cabinetmaker at Living History Farms, a historical museum in Urbandale, Iowa. He also studied under a modern master cabinetmaker in Kansas City. Robby has written over 30 articles for Better Homes and Garden's Wood magazine as a special interest writer. He now integrates his background in education with knowledge and research on immigrants who settled in the United States in the 18th and 19th centuries, blending them all into each piece of furniture he creates. His website information location and class information can be found here
I found his method very helpful.
Enjoy the video TV
The Original Video Is also at Woodsmith magazine, I have no connection with either .

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Almost Right the first time

So, I have all the Tennons now cut for one side of my table, I think I have made most, if not all the mistakes possible. I thought it was square, I thought I cut to the line, sort of. About halfway through I read somewhere that many people make the mortises first and fit the tenons to them, I kinda wish I had done that but live and learn , I hope anyway. I was watching Roy Underhills show on the UNC website a while back, and somewhere in this process I remembered Peter Follansbee saying to angle the cuts toward the face to keep the aprons tight on a piece, they were doing the joint stool. So what do I do in a momentary lapse of reason I" oh so slightly" angle the cut , but AWAY from the face I realized this only later when I was comparing the two pieces . So, it of course took me more time to fix the mistake than it did to make. Funny how many fewer problems we have when we do it right the first time.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Using a Handplane Video

Here is a brief video of me using an inexpensive Companion brand hand-plane. i bought this hand-plane off of eBay for 9.99 with free shipping, it was barley used and in excellent condition. Companion planes were and off brand sold by Sears and Roebuck between 1933 and 1941, they were less expensive than the Craftsman brand sold at the time. This is an excellent plane and works well after I have fetteled the plane and removed some very few spots of surface rust. As you can see I am no expert but I do get the job done. The piece is going to be a table leg for my version of a Harvey Ellis side table.You do not have to spend a fortune on tools despite what some people seem to think, Wish me luck and enjoy

Friday, April 6, 2012

Workbench Design

I am in the planning stages of building a new workbench, I am combining several different designs and have elements of the Nicholson, the Roubio and a torsion bench design from The American Woodworker.

I plan to have a tail and shoulder vise . And have been sketching the designs out and planing how to this without spending very much money. I plan to use a bunch of found lumber for most of the bench and will build the two vises myself .

I did this in Paint so Its not to scale or anything, I expect it will be about 6 ft long and around 3 1/2 feet wide.
I hope to post some actual plans here pretty soon, that is If I ever figure out how to use sketchup I may just scan in the drawings. I like to work on paper when I actually make a plan, the computer I use to just test out proportions and ideas.

Please comment with any suggestions you have.

Have a blessed Easter

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Things to Come And notes of the day

Hello, There is more to come in time. I plan some posts as soon as I can make the time to have the video or at least picture to go along with it so bear with me.

Today I watched some videos , thier was one in particular that stood out form a guy in Iowa teaching a through dovetale class. He baciacally jut eyeballed the layout and said he dident want them to look like they were made by a machine. A good point I though, akthough I have to admit that no one , unless vision impared would confuse my dovetails with something machine made. Do machines leave gaps? Nevermind, anyway I did pick up soe grat tips form this guy, I will dig up his links and add them later.
It was more the spirit of the thing his, attitude to make a thing for itself or the joy of making it rather than the need to emulate the robotic repitions of a machine.

Micro woodworking he called , you guys with yore calipers. Made me think about what I want to do and how I want to do it.

Looking at workbenches, I still have the little beast I made about two years ago its about four feet long and made out of old pallet beams and some cheap 2x4's but i have done a few projects on it . It used to sit under a trap on the patio of our one bedroom apartment .

The rage over the Rubio benches is crazy , people spending more on a bench  that I make in a month. I have a bench to build things , I dont make things to make a ridicolus bench, if i sopend that kind os money then it going to be on wood for furniture for my home for my family. But suit yourself.