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Thread: Adventures in DIY

  1. #1231
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    Quote Originally Posted by Torsten View Post
    The canopy on my first pickup had side windows with three glass louvres that opened with a small crank. You can probably purchase these in RV supply shops. Both the rear window of the pickup and the front window of the canopy could be opened by sliding. But I don't recall driving with everything open for improved airflow.
    Ya, I probably overemphasized that part because it's what I expect other people not to have thought of (and there's also a bit of a sense of a feature just going to waste if it's always enclosed so it can't be used, along with the rear window's defroster ), but there's another reason to want the windows to be as big & open as possible, even if my truck's rear window weren't openable. In summer, it's easy to have too much insulation so it gets too hot even for sleeping, regardless of what the drive is like.

    * * *

    I also recently finished another project with my apartment, unrelated to the adventure with the sockets & lights, with a funny outcome. My apartment and the one above both open to an indoor stairwell, which has a front door to the outside, on which the doorknob was a problem. It kept coming loose in a way that made it possible for one of us to get "locked" out without locking anything. It could be tightened but would loosen again. I told the landlord it needed to be replaced and I could do it myself but just needed permission. He not only agreed but also offered to pay me if I sent him the receipt for the new knob and told him how long the work took. Then actually doing it turned out to be a more complicated issue. The old combo of doorknob & deadbolt all in one, which itself seems to have been a replacement, didn't fit the standard format that such things seem to all come in now. Once the knob was out and the cover panels were off, it turned out that the holes in the wood weren't the size, shape, & placement that modern knobs & locks presume you'll have. And there wasn't even a way to extract all of it without breaking the wood because it's thicker than the hole it would need to come out through. There were a couple of small holes through the wood on the inside where it looks like screws could have been broken off, so I presume those screws that I infer were once there would have been the starting point for taking it apart another step or two so it could come out. But there was also a separate second deadbolt above, in a hole that does conform to modern standards, so I put the new knob in that spot and disabled what was left of the old one that I couldn't extract, but displacing it deep enough into its strange cavity that it can't ever come out of. The two deadbolts that it the door had before (one built in with the knob and one separate above that) had not been used by us anyway, and I didn't even have keys or think the other guy upstairs did either. The new knob has no lock so there's no key for us to not have. If the landlord wants a keyed system, he can have it installed himself, and give us the keys this time. At least now, with our keyless doorknob in a strangely high position where only deadbolts would normally go and the strange partial corpse of the previous one still hanging loose inside the door, we can close it, keep the weather out of our stairwell, and not be at any risk of the door being stuck closed when we need to get in. And I got $40 for putting that new knob in its wrong-looking strangely high position which I believe the landlord doesn't care about at all. The knob was a $12 and it took 40 minutes to deal with the old parts and put in the new one, so apparently I was working for $42 per hour.

  2. #1232
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    Quote Originally Posted by Torsten View Post
    Oh, I was referring to the other way of using it that Rod mentions near the end of the video (~4:30) in the link. For really thin stock, he takes off all the levelers and uses the "slab" part of it as a lengthy platen.
    Oops. I haven't actually watched the video. I have the issue of ShopNotes (Vol. 23, Issue 137) in which the project appeared and I'd forgotten about it being usable as a platen.

    I've made it a wasteful practice to include a margin at each end to be removed later, but I don't like that! This time, to avoid the snipe on one end, I set up a gently sloped ramp on the outfeed side such that the board was level just as the last of it went past the knives. It was a makeshift solution that worked well for one end of the board. But I think a better engineered long infeed and outfeed is the solution.
    Agreed. I've long toyed with the idea of make a longer pair of feed tables with folding, adjustable legs.
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    Man is a tool-using animal. Nowhere do you find him without tools; without tools he is nothing, with tools he is all. ó Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881)

  3. #1233
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    The temperature was 1C in my garage this morning, so on went the gas heater, and I continued with the project started a couple of weeks ago. It's a bow table very similar in design to the one Brett built a few years ago and for which he sent me amazingly detailed plans.

    The dimensions will be slightly different at ~6" longer than the original design. The joinery will be much different because I don't have the skill/patience/tools to do what the plan specifies - here's hoping it won't wobble.

    This is the piece of cherry with one face partly leveled:


    Laminating some strips cut from it to make a panel:


    Jig to make tapered cuts of the legs:


    The present collection of components:
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  4. #1234
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    Finished assembling the bow table! And I have to thank Brett again for providing me the plans for the table he built some years ago which were the basis for this project.

    The joints are tight, despite the innards of my first ever mortise and tenon joints being quite rough. Nevertheless, they turned out square such that when I compared the diagonal distances between the bottoms of the legs, they differed by only 1/32" over about a 42" span. And it doesn't wobble. So I'm happy.

    I cheated on the curved front apron by planing it thin, making regularly spaced cuts across the back, and then fitting it into a channel routed into the bottom of the table top.

    Making the curved channel required three guide points be set on the router table and holding the piece against them as the bit cut the channel into the bottom:


    Final glue-up done in my office space as the garage is just too cold:


    And done:


    I haven't decided on the finish yet, but from my reading, I'm leaning to tung oil. Thoughts? I'll wait until it's warmer and ventilating the garage doesn't require I run the heater.
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  5. #1235
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    Adventures in DIY

    Nice!

    Quote Originally Posted by Torsten View Post
    And I have to thank Brett again for providing me the plans for the table he built some years ago which were the basis for this project.
    Youíre most welcome. Glad they were of use to you.

    I cheated on the curved front apron by planing it thin, making regularly spaced cuts across the back, and then fitting it into a channel routed into the bottom of the table top.
    Thatís not cheating. You just used another method.

    I haven't decided on the finish yet, but from my reading, I'm leaning to tung oil. Thoughts?
    Unless your specifically after an in-the-wood finish, you might consider a tung-based wiping varnish: a mixture of varnish, oil, and solvent. Waterlox is one such product or you can make your own. If youíre interested in further reading, I recommend the books by Bob Flexner.
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    Man is a tool-using animal. Nowhere do you find him without tools; without tools he is nothing, with tools he is all. ó Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881)

  6. #1236
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    Very nice result, Torsten.

    Finishing is my weakness with woodworking, so I have no useful recommendations.

  7. #1237
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    Thanks!

    An in-the-wood finish appeals to me, but I just watched a video about applying Waterlox to cherry and I loved what I saw. Decisions...

  8. #1238
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    And I decided to update my working devices, there was free money, and the need was brewing for a long time. First of all, I thought about buying a drill and an electric saw, this time I decided to buy tools from trusted brands. I like DeWalt more because I've heard a lot about this manufacturer as reliable. It remains only to try out the purchases because there is no free time for "handicraft" in the garage.

  9. #1239
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    My DeWalt radial arm saw is just about as old as I am, and though it's not my favourite tool, I use it often.

  10. #1240
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    Quote Originally Posted by Torsten View Post
    My DeWalt radial arm saw is just about as old as I am, and though it's not my favourite tool, I use it often.
    That means it's probably from before DeWalt was Black & Decker; and probably wasn't made in China. Neither of those is inherently a bad thing; just that the world has changed. The same factory that churns out DeWalt tools very likely churns them out for Harbor Freight as well.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  11. #1241
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    Quote Originally Posted by Torsten View Post
    My DeWalt radial arm saw is just about as old as I am, and though it's not my favourite tool, I use it often.
    I am a supporter of buying quality devices. You pay more once, but then you use it for years and not be fooled that you need to buy something else.

  12. #1242
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kay Burton View Post
    I am a supporter of buying quality devices. You pay more once, but then you use it for years and not be fooled that you need to buy something else.
    Ditto. This applies both for shop tools and cooking tools.
    At night the stars put on a show for free (Carole King)

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  13. #1243
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swift View Post
    Ditto. This applies both for shop tools and cooking tools.
    It seems to me that this is relevant for everything. Both for clothes and for household chemicals (high-quality detergents are consumed more slowly than cheap ones, and I work better). And you shouldn't skimp on the quality of the products. In general, it can be concluded that good cannot be cheap.

  14. #1244
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    I have a (very expensive) engraving machine here. It's a manual one with a pantograph. The idea is that you put tracing letters/symbols on a rail, trace them, and on the other end of the pantograph a cutter tool engraves your letters scaled into whichever object you wanted. I don't have any letters or symbols, though they can still be bought. What I thought was to 3D print the tracing shapes that I'd need. My small 3D printer could easily make those, and the tracing object doesn't have to be very hard material if you're not going to use it 1000 times.

    The thing is though, as it turns out I hardly ever need to engrave something. So I think it's better to try and sell the engraving machine (little demands for those these days) and get a CNC machine that can do engraving and other stuff that I do need regularly.

    That said, there is a charm to this fully mechanical/manual machine of days past. The principle is thousands of years old and it can easily give very professional results even with untrained operators. Very ingenious in its simplicity.
    With sufficient thrust, water towers fly just fine.

  15. #1245
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kay Burton View Post
    I am a supporter of buying quality devices. You pay more once, but then you use it for years and not be fooled that you need to buy something else.
    Quote Originally Posted by Swift View Post
    Ditto. This applies both for shop tools and cooking tools.
    On the other hand...
    Fein and Hilti make extremely high-quality tools. Also very expensive. Do I need that grade of tool? No, I do not. I don't even need a Makita or DeWalt. My Ryobi does everything I need. And other than the high-end Euro brands, they all come out of the same factories in China anyhow.
    I have a fair number of things from Harbor Freight. Would I buy from them for stuff I use every day for a living? No. But once a year for hurling pumpkins? Why not?
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  16. #1246
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicolas View Post
    ... The idea is that you put tracing letters/symbols on a rail, trace them, and on the other end of the pantograph a cutter tool engraves your letters scaled into whichever object you wanted.
    Oh wow, that brought back memories of hand drafting maps and using K&E Leroy lettering guides. They worked in a similar fashion. There was no pantograph function, but there was a way to set the tool so that it would write italics.

  17. #1247
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    We didn't have those when making manual technical drawings. We had two options: either going with your pen directly through a lettering guide, or writing "norm letters" by hand. We learned that at school.
    With sufficient thrust, water towers fly just fine.

  18. #1248
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    Apparently, outstanding minds still think alike. I've found letters set for exactly my model of engraving machine on Thingiverse, so I could 3D print the tracing letters if I'd ever need them. There's also original metal letters for sale second hand, but I don't want to dump too much money into the machine. I'd need a belt an cuttertool anyway. So far the sale has resulted in one lowball bid from a trader, impolite at that. I'd rather keep it for that money.
    With sufficient thrust, water towers fly just fine.

  19. #1249
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    Adventures in DIY

    The Current Unpleasantness has had me working from home for the past year and for a good while, it seemed to have sapped my motivation. But Iíve finally begun a new project: another pet urn box. This time for my Wifeís newfound half-sisterís pup, Keela.

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    Iím carrying forward the previous design of box-jointed maple but softened with a curved profile to the hinged lid, with the inclusion of a keepsake tray. Overall dimensions are 5Ē h x 8Ē l x 5-3/4Ē d.

    I had the curly maple on hand and picked up a small piece of lacewood for contrast. I spent my Saturday afternoon breaking the stock down and planing it to thickness. Work starts in earnest next session.
    Last edited by PetersCreek; 2021-Mar-18 at 01:42 AM. Reason: Oversize images
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    Man is a tool-using animal. Nowhere do you find him without tools; without tools he is nothing, with tools he is all. ó Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881)

  20. #1250
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    It looks very nice, but still makes me sad.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  21. #1251
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    It looks very nice, but still makes me sad.
    Indeed. And that baton link is some way to describe being sapped of motivation!

    I love the detailed rendition of this box, and am really interested to see how that sliver thin wedge on each top corner of the lid turns out.

    I bought a piece of lacewood in December 2019 that I'd originally thought I'd use in the recipe box I made that month, but couldn't decide how to incorporate it into the design. I like how you will use it in the lid and tray.

    I have a lot of other nice chunks of wood - oak, maple, cherry, mahogany - lying around waiting to be used in another small box project, but I want whatever I make to be purpose-built for someone with a particular need. Nothing identified to date...

    In other news, it was warm enough outside to put a coat of tung oil wiping varnish on the table today. It looks good, but I'll wait to see if I want to add more tomorrow.

  22. #1252
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    So, I got first COVID vaccine dose this morning, ran an errand at one of our facilities (since the vaccines were provided by the airport) and took the rest of the day off. I spent part of it in the shop getting the box joints cut.



    I made it extra tall, with the plan being to glue it up with the lid and bottom panels set in place. Then Iíll cut the curve in the top, cut the bottom foot contours, then saw the lid from the box proper. This allows for one glue-up, with the box and lid being perfectly matched to one another without fiddling.
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    Man is a tool-using animal. Nowhere do you find him without tools; without tools he is nothing, with tools he is all. ó Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881)

  23. #1253
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    Looks nice, Brett. I still haven't put my box joint jig to much use yet.

  24. #1254
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    Next project is a coffee table. We had been using the top and bottom (footer) of a stackable barrister bookshelf unit as a table but I decided to upgrade. Because I made the last project for the living room out of white oak (the air filtration unit/end table), this would be white oak as well. I did a test today to see if we liked the height of the drawer case by putting it on blocks of scrap wood and setting the top on its legs above it.

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    I'll notch the legs to fit around the case and them taper them. After that, it's just building the drawers and doing the detail work. The two drawers will open on opposite sides of the table.

  25. #1255
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    I'm going to put a work surface* in the new garage. Eventually. I've even bought materials!

    The plans are cooking in my head to the extent that they keep me awake at night. As of this morning, I had it all figured out. A few minutes later, it didn't work. Off to Plan F; A, B, C, D, and E having not quite worked out.

    But I've figured out one thing: I'm making sketches with pencil and paper. It's SO much easier than the computer.

    *Not a workbench. My wife doesn't want one there. So I'll paint it white, if I ever figure out how to build it.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  26. #1256
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    My workflow tends to be rough sketches on paper, then work it out in Sketchup to see if it would really work in a 3D world.

    My next project is repairing a wooden garden seat with really poor design (huge L shaped thing that had no support whatsoever in the corner, so guess what happens when it starts to rot).
    My next fun project will likely be creating modular tables so I can finally built my model train layout. There is still the little detail that I'd like to use as much available space as possible, but my wife isn't yet up to speed with just how much space even a small H0 layout demands. And the other little detail is that if I'd have my way, I would not be able to reach the windows anymore. Some more thinking and negotiation required.
    With sufficient thrust, water towers fly just fine.

  27. #1257
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    I'll roughly sketch out some initial design ideas on paper but beyond that, it's all Sketchup.

    I spent a few hours in the shop today cutting slots panels slots in the box side and milling the top and bottom panels.

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    The glue-up is next.
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    Man is a tool-using animal. Nowhere do you find him without tools; without tools he is nothing, with tools he is all. ó Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881)

  28. #1258
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    Quote Originally Posted by PetersCreek View Post
    I'll roughly sketch out some initial design ideas on paper but beyond that, it's all Sketchup.

    .
    I do find the evolution interesting. I was trained in orthogonal technical drawing and I still think like that. I use sketchup too but prefer to think in projections. Today any 3d view is expected, people just don’t read orthogonal views any more, it is like a lost language. The link to producing things has gone with it. Instead of thinking like a lathe and a milling machine, designers just generate shapes and the computer sorts it out, and the processes no longer need planes and axes.
    sicut vis videre esto
    When we realize that patterns don't exist in the universe, they are a template that we hold to the universe to make sense of it, it all makes a lot more sense.
    Originally Posted by Ken G

  29. #1259
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    Even in my very limited production line, I can just draw something in Sketchup and send it to the 3D printer. The only thing I look at in between is whether the computer makes any sense in its proposal of how to build it.

    I still have a manual lathe and mill (no CNC) for metal, so when I need metal objects I have to think very differently. Can I make it with my tools? That's two significant limitations.
    With sufficient thrust, water towers fly just fine.

  30. #1260
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicolas View Post
    My next project is repairing a wooden garden seat with really poor design (huge L shaped thing that had no support whatsoever in the corner, so guess what happens when it starts to rot).
    My next fun project will likely be creating modular tables so I can finally built my model train layout. There is still the little detail that I'd like to use as much available space as possible, but my wife isn't yet up to speed with just how much space even a small H0 layout demands. And the other little detail is that if I'd have my way, I would not be able to reach the windows anymore. Some more thinking and negotiation required.
    I posted this yesterday. To my own surprise, I have already finished the garden seat repair and I've cleared out the space where hopefully the train layout will arise. Next phase: measuring the space and starting to draw out some ideas of how to work with it. Preferably while maintaining some form of access to those windows.
    With sufficient thrust, water towers fly just fine.

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