Sunday, June 28, 2015

Revised Honey Do list

Yes, I am back home but have been busy catching up with old friends...

I finally got the joiner out of my car and into the garage. Which is giving me the impetus I needed to start clearing out the garage. Too much stuff, need the room.
Also the yard needs some attention, I'm told :-) Darn its raining right now, it will have to wait...

It look like an Aircraft Carrier :-)

Somewhere under there, there is an Unisaw...


I am still helping my friend Dave with his Ensuite bathroom renovation project. Finally started the floor tiling today, yesterday was tile cutting mostly.
We were hoping to finish the work before his wife came home, but it is looking very tight. Vanity and toilet should be back in service, but shower cannot be completed in our time left. Tiling and grouting just cannot be rushed.

Yesterday we figured out our layout and cut around the toilet

Today we layed the floor tiles. To be grouted tomorrow.
Ditra on the floor, cement boards and Kerdi membrane on the wall
 makes for a watertight installation. 

Then it is time to start gluing up boards for the bottom tool chest build.
And start at the garage make over... :-)

I also have more work downstairs in our basement, changing some ceiling tiles and light fixtures, putting up a clothes bar.

Oh, and my wife want to move up the laundry room from downstairs, which means I will finally have 220 V in the garage, bonus!  I would be able to resurrect my good old Rockwell Unisaw, Made in Canada!

The intended location is in the office where I am currently typing, that means it has to move elsewhere.

Space currently occupied by the office.
The wall cabinets will stay, everything else goes.

That location is against the garage wall, hence why, it would finally receive 220V. I would also switch back my bandsaw from 120V to 220V,


and perhaps  should switch the joiner motor to 220V (selectable).


That's a very conservatively rated at 3/4 HP motor, TEFC.

So that is what my revised Honey do list is shaping up to, I don't think I'll have much time to sneak in between for my shop projects. But you never know...

Bob, running thru plans and estimates for my laundry room move.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Our little side trip to Boston

Before my wife underwent surgery last month, she set herself as a goal to help recover, a trip to Boston to go see two performances.
One was the Blue man Group at Charles playhouse and the other Richard Thompson at the Wilbur theater.  Since we were going to be in the "neighborhood" I asked Ralph of the Accidental woodworker if he wanted to meet nearby.

This is our trip
If it wasn't for the ferry crossing from Yarmouth NS to Portland Me, I would have not wanted to drive around, with Heather so soon after her surgery.
This ferry crossing save us a lot of driving around, about 2 hours drive from home to the ferry, then about the same from Portland to Boston, well do-able.

Lining up to embark on the ferry, the Nova Star.

There was a group of Jeepster behind us (5 of them). 
All the drivers were wearing wind breakers saying in the back; 
Jeepster trip of 2015, from Florida to NS and back.

The life of a blogger at sea...
I know, its a rough life :-)

We stayed overnite in Portland ME then proceed to Boston on the next day.
I did not found driving in Boston too bad, I'm from Montreal Qc, I have seen crazier :-)
We picked an hotel in the theater district, the Marriott Courtyard in walking distances to our both venues.

Great hotel, perfect location.

First we went to see Blue Man group at the Charles playhouse theater. That was an excellent show. One that you could take the whole family and you will all enjoyed.

The Charles playhouse was just behind our hotel, and visible from our room.

 The next day we took a tour of the city with an hop on hop off trolley
That was a good way to see the sight and not having to worry about driving and parking in town. The car stayed in valet parking our whole sejour.

Our tour started a block from our hotel.
Statue of Edgar Allen Poe.

Fenway park, home of Boston's Red socks
  
This historic Fire Station is still in service. Being classified historic
they are not allowed to modify the doors. The Ladder 13 and Engine 33 fire trucks are specially designed to fit inside. This station was one of the first respondent to the Boston marathon bombing.

Crossing the line of the Boston marathon...in record time :-)

The Massachusetts state capitol.

Scene of the crime. Where the Boston tea party took place.
They have 2 replica of the ships involved, the third one is under construction.

Visited the USS Constitution, old Ironside.
She is currently in dry dock undergoing major restoration work.

They are using epoxy to stabilize the cracks. Ugly but effective, I have been using this method for years on outside porch beam structures etc.

Boston Bruin's garden, arch nemesis of my beloved Montreal Canadiens.
I had lots of fun with my Habs's watch :-)

Statue of Bobby Orr outside the garden.
He was one of my favorite players back in the day, 
even if he wore the wrong colours :-)

Then on our last nite in town it was time to go see Richard Thompson.
What a great concert that was, small intimate venue, in your face. Awesome trio of musician. Never heard of him before my wife bought the tickets, but he has been one of her longtime favorite artist, and she thought it may be our one and only chance to see him in North America. That was her goal to recover quickly to go see him. Im glad we did.

The Wilbur theatre, across the street from our hotel.

Sunday we went to the Longfellow Wayside inn to meet with Ralph of the Accidental woodworker and his lovely wife Diane. We encountered a nasty pot hole coming out of Boston, which ruined my passenger side tire. I had the tire replaced the next day, that unexpected expense put a dent in my tool budget :-(

The Wayside Inn, had a lovely lunch with Ralph and Diane, 
Great historic inn, great food, highly recommended.

Ralph and I hit it off on the first time, and had a great time exploring the furniture together.

It did not took him long to find the secret drawers in our room's writing desk :-)
There was a lot of notes left inside, we added our own.


Dovetail details on the drawers

Front rail joinery, half dovetail

More dovetail's drawers in our room.

Once we explored all the furniture in our room, we left our spouses and went on looking and touching at all the furniture pieces we could get our hands on.

Playing detectives, trying to spot the reproductions from the original. 


We had lots of fun together and discovered that we have a lot in common. Our spouses got along fine, so we decided to meet again, probably back home in NS.
Our spouses joked about leaving us downstairs in the woodworker kindergarden (my shop) while they go on do their thing, Ralph and I thought that was a great idea :-)

Back row L-R Bob and Ralph
Front row L-R Heather and Diane.

The next day, we explored the grounds around the inn 


then made it back to Portland to await our ferry crossing the following nite back to Yarmouth NS.

Went on a small tour of the city and stopped at Rockler of course :-)
When I'm in the States I try to shop mostly on things I do not see back home at LV.  Everything else is roughly the same price I pay at home.

Heh, look what I found dear, can we stop? :-)


Next thing we know, it was time to board our ferry back home

The ferry appeared from the fog

Our state room on the way back

Lovely view of the life boats, well at least it gives you a feeling of safety :-)
And it was a nite crossing anyway, depart at 2000 arriving in NS at 0800 local

On board we had the same entertainer we had going over, Richard Watson
Great musician, we really enjoyed his music.
Made it back home uneventfully, safe and sound.
Had a great time, made new friends, had some great meals, even managed to do some woodworking shopping...  

Bob, tired but happy


Monday, June 22, 2015

Specialty saws, cutting curves

Beside a good selection of handsaws and backsaws, there are a few more saws that you would find useful at your bench.

Cutting curves or irregular shapes
The Compass and Keyhole saw

Their names are pretty descriptive of their function.
The only noticeable difference between a proper Compass saw and its Keyhole brother is the width of the tapering blade. The keyhole being narrower.
There are also one of the most abused saws to be found out there...

Disston No 5

They both enable you to penetrate in a small hole and enlarge it as you go, due to the tapering width of the blade. That same tapering is what allows you to make curves. The wider the blade the longer the radius of the cut and vice versa.
You would think that the teeth should be pointing toward the handle to uses on the pull stroke to cut, since that put the narrow thin blade under tension.  But vintage ones have their teeth pointing toward the toe, no wonder many get butchered and bent out of shape... Go easy on it.

A similar, albeit larger version is sometimes to be found, it is called a "Table saw".
So called because it was used to cut the perimeter of the table top. Think ellipse shaped coffee table or round tables. Being larger curves, the blade is wider.

Not to be confused with the modern drywall saw, of which I go thru a few while using on cement boards... But it works in a similar fashion with the addition that its pointy nose let you punch thru to start the cut. Don't try that in wood, you will break your wrist :-)

A similar saw in construction but much smaller, is the Japanese carver saw. It works in the same fashion but has a much smaller tapering blade and of course, it has the infamous Japanese tooth geometry, which is designed to work on the pull. Much smarter!


Careful, its thin blade is still easily bent if you are not careful. I found mine very handy to have.

The pad saws
So called because they provide a place to put your broken blades to good uses :-)
OK I'm being facetious, but they have typically a hollow handle and you can adjust how much of its narrow blade is sticking out, and you can also reverse the blade. Being adjustable as such, you can greatly reduce the likelihood of bending the blade in uses. And if you break it, simply reshape the nose and let more blade out.

Typical English style pad saw


Disston Keystone No 5.
Its blade has a common screwdriver blade at the other end, 
making it an early multi purpose tool.


A similar modern design idea let you uses broken hacksaw blades, very useful in tight spot in plumbing work.



The Coping saws (think bandsaw)
So called because they are often used in trim carpentry to cope a moulding profile. But their small blade size makes them excellent at cutting irregular curves.
The good the bad and the ugly
This type of saw rely on the metal frame for its tension. The frame should be solid and have some give to be able to insert/replace the blade and have some external provision to further tighten the blade. Usually it is by twisting the handle in and out.
Most current hardware store variety are crap, because their frames are not rigid enough, too much give.

The older ones, like Disston and Millers Falls are pretty good, but suffer from the same weakness, there is no ability to lock the blade at preset angles. If you mainly use the blade straight up and down, not a problem, but when you cant the blade to be able to reach further in, it could slip on you. No deal breaker but be aware.
Throughout the years there has been numerous crazy ideas patented to solve that problem.
A good one, albeit a tad pricey, is without equal, the Knew concept design.

Millers Falls No 43.
Good solid frame, offers good tension

Blade turning mechanism has no provision to lock it, 
relying solely on the frame tension.

Disston No 10B. 
A beefy solid frame.

Has some means to hold blade at various angles. 
See the serrations like a lock washer?

The Fret saws (think scroll saw)
Similar in construction to the coping saw, except that the frame is much deeper and its frame should be lighter, or you will tired soon.
Some have rigid blade mounts, some are designed to rotate the blade at various angles.

The German Bonum fret saw. Light deep frame.

Fixed blade mechanism. 
The blade is tensioned solely by the tubular hollow frame.

Typically, such fret saws comes with a bird mouth platform.
It provides support for the cut. Once chew up, make a new one.

Again the best design so far, is the Knew concept one. Love that saw.

What I bought myself with my gift certificate 
from my WO & Sgt mess departure gift :-)

One of its secret revealed. 
A solid blade tension mechanism with a preset angles selection

The other secret to its success is of course its 
lightweight sturdy Aircraft Aluminum frame.
Yes the handle is blah! But you can buy an expensive exotic wood
 replacement handle... Work just the same! 

In dovetail work, you can uses either a coping,saw, a fret saw or a jeweler saw  to cut out most of the waste between the cuts of the dovetail saw. For the longest time, I eschew that method, but now uses it all the time. Hint; it saves wear and tear on your chisels :-)

Myself, I prefer using my fret saw (Knew concepts) because it uses a smaller blade, slide in the saw kerf left by my LN dovetail saw and because it has a great blade swivel mechanism that really work, I can go at long boards from both sides and reach pretty far. I have yet to be stumped by it.

One last thing, both coping and fret saws takes narrow blades. The coping blades have a through pin and the fret saws are pin less, being much narrower.
What do you do when you break your small narrow fret saw blades?
Depending how badly or not it became, you can used them in an adjustable jeweler saw frame. And yes, you can always put in a new unbroken blade in them :-)

Antique one

Modern Olson

Your choices of blades will vary depending on the material to be cut, but since they hold replaceable blades, all these saws would benefit greatly from using a good blade. My go to have long been Olson blades, but lately I tried Pegas blades. I'm also a fan of skip tooth (in my bandsaw, coping saw and fret saw)

German Eberle scroll blades

American Olson

Swiss Pegas

Bob, coping with his saws assortments