Monday, September 17, 2012

Small Writing Desk

Here is my completed version of the small writing desk.  I have to say even with me only working on this on Saturdays that this was one project that took me entirely too long to build!  It just goes to show you that when you cheat it comes back to bite you in the butt!

Early on during the construction of the case I thought I'd cheat & use my Festool Domino to knock it out. I had used it on other projects before & it allowed me to save alot of time.  However this was not one of those projects...

I have it admit it did work great while constructing the lower section but it proved to be a bit of a challenge on the top section.  (There was zero traditional mortise & tenon or dovetail joints used.)

So after I survived having the carcass completed I decided to have a bit of fun & continued to use the Domino for the construction of the drawers. (Apparently I was a glutton for punishment.)

And this is where the Domino & I started to part ways.

Using the Domino vs dovetailing the drawers was nothing but a challenge due to the drawer sizes, the fronts being 1/2 blinds, layout spaces of the domino, lumber thickness & anything else you can thing of.

If you look at the photo of the drawer above you will see that there is a very small amount of wood in between the domino & the drawer front.  This was a critical breaking (and cussing) point while assembling the drawers. (Lucky for me I had plenty of scrap!)

In the end it all worked out & no one was harmed during the construction of the piece.

However I do believe there is a lesson to learn with everything we do.  My key lesson for this project is: "Just because you can do something with a tool doesn't mean you should!"

I'm sure in the future I'll continue to use the Domino for case construction depending on the project & need.  But I'm sure I will think twice before using it to create drawers again!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Book-matching Veneer Tip

At work this week I have a someone come over & ask me about how I go about book-matching veneer.  So I gave him a tip/trick I had on how I do my layouts.
This tip is most beneficial when you have large sheets of sequenced veneer. (You get more options)  But since I did not have any in hand I pulled out this mini-pack to use for the demonstration.
Indexing: The first thing I do when I open up any pack (large or small) of sequenced veneer is grab a pencil and number the pieces in one of the corners.  

Since the manufacture has sequenced the veneer this numbering will help me keep the pieces in the order that they were cut from the log.  If you intend to do any book-matching with your veneer this will help you in the layout out by aiding you in getting the growth rings match more closely.  (I'll cover that in another post.)
Book-matching: When I start with a simple book-matching project I like to play around and see what pattern will look best for my project.  
Since most burl is brittle and I don’t want to damage the sheets by flipping them over trying to find a good match I simply grab a mirror.  This way I can position it anywhere on top of my piece of veneer without worrying about damaging it and I’m able to visually see immediately what the resulting match will be.

Once I find a match I like I use the mirror as a guide and grab a pencil to put a couple of registration marks on the veneer.  Then I  register the pieces, taping them together and cutting them to size to use with my project.
Quad Book-matching: But if I’m going for a really cool look on say a table top I’ll grab 2 mirrors and hold them at a 90 degree angle and can see visually see what that will look like.  
By doing this I’m able to move all over the piece (especially with large pieces of veneer) until I find the pattern that really pops!

Other Uses: Also by using two mirrors you can bring the angle in (under 90 degrees) and the same procedure will get  you an idea of how a radial book-match would look.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

How I Make Stringing (Rewrite)

Since I've switched this site over to I received an email from someone looking for my set up on how I make string pieces for my project.  This is rewrite of that post.

A few months ago Chuck Bender of Acanthus Workshop posted a video of how he makes his stringing

Well I tried that out and it worked like a charm. But then I needed more. (GuessI didn't make enough!) 
So I decided to take a few minutes this weekend to make some more. The only thing is while Chucks way works, it’s a bit to set up and I’ll admit I’m lazy!
So knowing I was going to make my stringing Sunday afternoon, I went out in the shop last night and built a quick jig to make the process easier.
This jig is really nothing more than a wide push stick that keeps my hands away from the blade and pushes the material.  Add to that an auxiliary fence so the string wont get caught in under my stock fence. 
So I set my fence up for a 1/16″ away from the blade and cut away using my jig.
Here’s a couple of photos of the jig in use.

And a video of how easy it is to use.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Another Use For A Festool Domino

I recently completed the construction phase of a Southern Lady's Desk project that was featured in Popular Woodworking Magazine back in November of 2011.

Since this piece was being built for me I decided to have a little fun with it.

So I broke out my Domino DF 5000 & used it not only to create the case construction of the project but also for for this:

Yep, all 10 drawers in this piece were domino'd vs being dovetailed together in the front. 

Once I have this piece finished I'll do a proper write up over it.  But for now I can tell you is that I won't be using the Domino like this again! (more to come)

Thursday, July 26, 2012

When 5 Legs Are Better Than 1!

Whenever I’m building a project that requires tapered legs I always mill an extra one.  The main reason for this is you never know what you might find with the grain once you have them tapered.

This allows me to choose the best 4 for my project to continue with & gives me an extra one to do any set up/test cuts on.

However on the latest project I was working on the need for an extra leg became glaringly clear right from the get-go.

Several years ago I was shown how to create tapered legs on the jointer & have never looked back. (See embedded video from Popular Woodworking with Glen Huey demonstrating this technique.) 

There is a big difference you need to remember.  Simply put when you taper two sides only you divide your taper by 2 & when you taper all four sides you have to divide that distance by 4.

Well I got "in the zone" & I completely forgot this when I started milling my four sided legs.  (I divided by 2.)

So the result was a completely worthless leg & a good laugh!

The photo below shows (from left to right) the first step in milling the leg wrong, the middle is how is should look & the one on the right is a completed leg before sanding.

Sunday, July 15, 2012