Monday, 31 January 2011

Oak Fire Surround III

First job this morning, was to make sure this little lot were fed and watered. With all the livestock we have, and a huge veg patch, me and all my siblings are pretty much self sufficient. It takes me about 1/2 hr in the morning, to do my share of the chores.

First job in the workshop was to mark then cut the top rail.

I was going to make a tapering jig to cut the side uprights, but in the end I just measured where I wanted the taper to be.

And then just free handed it through the rip saw, to within 1mm.

All I had to do was take a few shaving's off with my shooting plane, and it was job done.

It was then a case of laying out for the joinery, and letting the domino go to work. I did reduce the second domino, because I didn't want it blowing through the front. I measured it and it was only 2mm from doing just that, so good job I checked.

I normally use plain mdf for flat panels, but didn't have any in stock, so used the American ash faced mdf instead. This should give a better key than regular mdf, which I must admit I don't really trust for this application. I have no reason to think this as I've never had a problem before with it de-laminating, it just seems so smooth and waxy, and it does seem weak when its knocked with a shear tap from a hammer. So I might start using pine faced mr mdf, What do you guys think?

I'm just using some cauls, and a couple of thick platens for this panel, with plastic bags in between the platens and the veneered panel. It was about 9 degrees in my workshop today with the heating on, so I'm going to leave this panel in the press over night.


It was then onto the template routing for  my mantle supports, I use double sided tape to stick the template to the timber.

Then it's a matter of following the template with a bearing guided router cutter.

The grain runs horizontal to the Ogee detail, so I had to do the majority by climb cutting.

I then took the template off, and dropped the cutter as far as the router would travel, and used the previously routed edge to run against.

This left it a little over half done.

It was then a case of changing for a bottom bearing cutter, flipping the timber over, and climb cutting the rest.

I didn't want to just glue these together without some kind of joinery, so I used the domino again.

All clamped up.

I thought I would make a start on some of the mouldings and spindle work.

After its gone through it looks like this.

This is how it stood at the end of today, could resist a bit of a dry run. This is to my design, so I hope it's going to look good for the client.

Got to pick the turnings up tomorrow morning, and the new block and cutters are being delivered in the afternoon. Thanks for looking.

Sunday, 30 January 2011

Oak Fire Surround II

Made a start on gluing some of the component part's for this fire surround yesterday, the first of which is the 65mm thick Mantle. I am using the domino for this, as I don't think biscuit's penetrate deep enough for such a thick piece of timber. I'm using 8x50 dom's for this, with a row at the top and bottom for strength and good alignment. 

This joint is then glued using polyurethane, and my biggest and strongest T-bar cramp's.  

These two always keep a close eye on me when I'm gluing up.

I'm Making the Mantle over size because the ends are being moulded on the spindle, and the breakout can be cut away if the backing board fails. This is just a precaution and will not happen, hopefully.   

The next components that needed gluing were the fire surround uprights, I'm using rift sawn for this cut at 80mm in width, for stability, I have book-matched them for appearance and this has an added bonus of stability to.  These are going right next to a wood-burner so I'm trying to minimise timber movement as much as I can.

Another component glued up, I use alternative cramps for an even pressure, and I have also dominoed these joints also.  

Came out nice and flat, with no light showing through. I hope it stays like this in situ.

Next I made a mdf pattern for the curved bottom rail, and routed this to shape. If you look on the ends of this rail, you can see the small nib I have left for a cramping block, this end is very fragile, and the nib also prevents this from breaking(hopefully).

Here is an over view of how it will look when put together, this also helps me work out the size of the top rail. I have left the uprights over width at the moment, these will be tapered tomorrow on a jig I haven't as yet made.

Ordered the veneer at 12 o'clock on Friday, and it was delivered sometime on Saturday morning. I bought this from Nantwich Veneers, a very quick service I must say, and very well packaged.

First thing I do when I get a pack of veneer, is to mark the the sides so they are in sequence, I use a triangle for this to minimise mistakes.

As you can see the veneer is lovely(well in my eyes), and should blend with the oak well without a complete contrast between the two timbers(something I wanted two avoid).

I selected the first two leaves of veneer for flattening, for this I just wipe a fairly wet rag with clean water over both sides of veneer, lay on a plastic bag, then place a plastic bag between these two also, then use my state of the art platen press. 

I should be able to press and glue these panels up tomorrow, ready for assembly. Thanks for looking.

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Another Saw Mill

Spent some of the afternoon today, looking at another saw mill that is only 9 miles from my shop. We are sadly lacking sawmills/timber yards in Norfolk, so as soon as someone tells me about one that I haven't heard of(that's 20 mins down the road), I like to make some time to go and visit them.
    The name of this saw mill is Richardson's sawmill and it's run by two brothers called Kenny and Mervyn,  Kennys son Neil looked after me today, and showed me round. It is situated just outside North Walsham on the Bacton Rd, it's tucked away a bit and there is only one sign on the main road, but it's easy to find.

 I was recommended to go there by my new turner Johnny Taylor when I dropped off the split turnings, for the oak and madrone fire surround. First impressions were not good, the yard is basically a bog with about 3" of mud everywhere(so take some Wellington boots if it's been raining).
     However if you can get over this small problem, there is an Aladdin's cave of native air dried timber, Oak, Elm, Chestnut, Birch, Beech, Sycamore, Walnut, and Yew. Most of this timber is kept in shed's, but there is also some stored outside exposed to the elements. They also have a limited stock of turning blanks of native timber, and they will slab a log for you, for a fee of £4.50 a cubic foot. If you are buying timber for furniture, I would recommend taking a moisture metre with you, just to make sure your timber is at roughly 15%  for air dried.
   I can recommend them, but have an open mind to what you are buying with regard to moisture content. If you are prepared to buy the timber and let it acclimatise in your shop, you will have some nice timber. I didn't buy anything today, but will be going back soon to do so. Hope that's helpful.

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Oak Fire Surround

Received this order last week from the same clients I was doing some site work for. It needs to be done fairly quick, as I have had to take a week off  before starting another job. As with most things I make, a trip/call to the timber yard is my first port of call, after doing a Rod and a cutting list.

The timber yard/sawmill I am using today is Sotterly sawmill in Suffolk, it is run by Ben Sutton, and the mill is in full working order. Ben is a very friendly chap, and very helpful too. I normally use John Boddy's in Yorkshire, but because this is a job that needs doing asap I'm using a local yard for speed. I'm glad I made the two and a half hour round trip, as the timber is excellent, and there is lot's to chose from. I was directed around by Ben to some really choice timber, he has most of the common native timbers, Oak, Ash, Elm, Sycamore, Cherry, Chestnut, and Beech. He also kiln dry's most of this native stock. He stocks European timbers also, and had a very nice burr elm pack that I was very tempted to buy(I must resist), but sadly no job with that kind of timber coming up. I can highly recommend Sotterly Sawmill for good quality native timbers, I would give Ben a call to discuss your needs first, as he travels a lot in search of good timber, and might not be in himself. The yard is open from 8 till 1 then 2 till 3.30

As you can see his stock levels are very high, this is one lane of about forty to chose from, I could of looked around for most of the day, but need to get on with this fire surround.

That's 15 cuft back at the workshop, I decided to buy lot's extra(about twelve cube), as stock levels of three and two and a half inch are non-existent at the moment.

Slight problem when I got back, how do you lift this lot on your own, answer, brute strength and ignorance I'm afraid, nearly killed me too.

Mantle detail.

Gun barrel turning.

Here is some of the detail for the middle panel, not that clear from the drawing I'm afraid, but the triangular panel is to be a veneered panel with Golden Madrone as it's face.

It was time to start breaking this timber down into more manageable pieces, this first cut is for the split turning that I'm applying to the front. I would normally use my chainsaw for this, but found it in my dad's shed, and of course it's out of petrol.

The longest length of timber I can deal with in my shop is 12 ft, so these 14 footers have to be broken down thus,  it needed to be ripped from both sides, as these boards are 85mm thick, and then cross cut.
These two lengths of 30" are planned, square edged, then thicknessed.

At the top of the turning, the block is to be smaller than the bottom block. I set the planner with a depth of cut  of ten millimetres(my gauge reads about 11.5).

I then need to set the stop, which is just a board cramped to the out feed table.


Then it's just a matter of running this through slowly, my planer is an old cast sedgwick, and is easily up to the task.

This is how it looks after processing, there is a lot of breakout, but this will be turned away.

I then need to clean the mating surface's, ready for gluing. My turner is going to do this as I don't have the time, but the process is to glue them together with paper in-between, so they can be easily split after turning. That's it for today, I'm doing some more site work tomorrow, but will be back on this the day after, thank's for looking, if you feel like leaving a comment or two, feel free. 

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Rosewood and burr Walnut jewellery box II

I have managed to get half a day on this today, after finishing my site work early. I really need to get cracking with this box, as it was my wife's birthday yesterday(I did buy her another gift), and would like to surprise her.

Here is my 45 degree shooting board, made about 15yrs ago, and still spot on.

Close up on the 45 degree shooting board.

This is the result, a nice 45.

I am using quarter sawn oak grounds throughout, this panel will become the top.

Dry run of the sides and back.

Detail of the light coloured burr walnut interior.

Ready for the glue up, I have rebated(rabbeted) the bottom of the sides for a veneered panel, this will be covered on the external side with baize. I have mitred the top of the sides to receive the top. 

Glue up time, the cramps are there for thier weight really, as the masking tape does a very good job.

I didn't get a picture of the veneering of the top, but the veneer I selected is a very attractive burr of unknown timber, looks, feels, and smells like mahogany(I've never seen mahogany burr before however). But I'm puzzled as to what it is, any ideas? I really hope to cut the box in two next week, and make a start on the interior, reminds me I must order the hardware, Thanks for looking.