Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Feeling Good!

I am feeling really excited about the Glider being close to being put in service. I took it all apart again, and my son and I moved it from my garage into my basement shop where I plan to use it. There I completed all the wiring, and started putting it back together for keeps.

The fact that the sandblasting shop lost a number of pieces quickly became an issue. I had to custom order several items from Fastenal. Several pieces had damaged threads on them, so badly damaged that I had to take them to a machine shop to be rethreaded.  I am also awaiting a portion of the tabletop from a fellow in Massachusetts, the sandblasting shop managed to lose my original, luckily for me this kind fellow is giving me a spare that he has. Anyways, the upshot is that the project is mostly stalled for a week or so until I get these parts all in.

I just hope that the saw lives up to its billing, unlike the Parks Planer which I have never successfully dialed in!

However, I did solve THAT problem by picking up a good condition General 130 14" planer. It's from 1966 I believe, and a more precision tool than the Parks. It has a 3 phase motor on it, so I have a TECO VFD on order and as soon as it gets here I'll put the General into service and then it is goodbye Dewalt plastic piece of sh*t planer and goodbye to Parksie too. And hello to a bit of extra space! I'll miss Parksie though, my son and I put a lot of time and $$$ into it. We did learn a ton from the process though too.

 14" General 130 Planer

 12" Parks Planer (AKA Parksie)

Friday, September 24, 2010

Slowly Coming Together

The Glider re-assembly continues. I have spent a lot of time removing paint from machined ways, threads, etc, but I think/hope that it's getting close.

The tables are all cleaned and fitted, the ball bearings are in, the micrometer gauge, finger and clamp are fitted on the tabletop, and the arbor is (temporarily) attached. Last is the raising mechanism, then I want to go through the motor myself before I attach it.

Meanwhile, the kilning has gone slowly. Who knew that it would take time to 'dial in' a new dehumidifier?? I thought you bought them, plugged them in, and forgot about them! However, the present load is getting close to being ready to take out, maybe even this weekend.

I did get out and slab up some beech the other day, first slabbing of the fall season and also the first beech I have ever slabbed. It was a bit short, but tough and hard work. The wood has some nice spalting in it.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Hammond Glider Goes Back Together

I put a second load in my DH kiln. A mix of catalpa, elm, and Monterey cypress. Winter '09 was definitely the year of elm/catalpa! The dehumidifier died though, after four faithful years of hard service. I replaced it with a new one and things are dehumidifying away!

The Glider finally came back from the powder coating shop this week. It is very green! When I selected the colour at the shop, I swear it was a lot darker. Ah well, it's done now.

Stand on Wheels

Underside of Tabletop

Infeed Table of Jointer Makes a Fine Assembly Table!

I've started the reassembly, only to quickly discover that I did not document well the disassembly, so it's a bit of a challenge. Also, a couple pieces have gone astray, so I will need to replace them somehow. 

I am super happy with the media blasting, it took all the crap off and got right to the bare metal. It left an attractive texture on the bronze/aluminum pieces. Chrome did not fare so well but is still salvageable.

The jury is still out on the powder coating though. Clearly it saved me a ton of time, and I am happy with the finish. The shop did not do a good enough job of covering up threads, machined surfaces, etc. which means I will be spending some time removing paint from these areas. The areas they did mask, when they removed the mask, it tended to rip the coating and leave a very rough edge. I had to buy a pint of matched paint at a local paint shop for touching up these areas.

Lastly, it appears that log cutting season is here already, a full 5 weeks ahead of last season's start. I'll be down there tomorrow, hope to cut some beech and possibly alder. There is some oak, plenty of maple, and some PO Cedar down there ready to cut up over the next while. I will have to learn to be more picky this year, I really only have room for 20 new boards right now!

Thursday, September 2, 2010


A problem I frequently have is getting bogged down in multiple projects. I  have to constantly avoid the temptation to start a new project before the current one is finished, otherwise I find myself overwhelmed with a shop full of uncompleted projects.

This week has been a good lesson in that.

The current project is the Hammond Glider restoration. The unexpected arrival of the Morrison saw last week and the commensurate excitement for it almost threw a wrench into things. But when I realized that there is more work on the Morrison than I originally thought, I decided to leave it for now and stay focused on the Hammond.

The Hammond has a number of parts that need painting. I learned the hard way that trying to repaint something like this with spray cans of Rustoleum is an exercise in total frustration. And a false economy.

Powder coating is the way I have decided to go, and I have dropped off the parts at a local powder coating shop.  I am anxious to have the powder coating completed so I can commence reassembly.

For the yellow cedar-lined cabinet that I am planning, I continued to search for the 'ideal' piece of wood for the outside. As I pawed through my wood pile again and again, the realization slowly dawned that  perhaps I don't actually possess the piece of wood that I want for this cabinet! I understood then that I was approaching this process the wrong way. It should be more  with the with the selection of the wood influencing the design of the cabinet, rather than trying to force a certain design on a piece of wood.

This insight was tremendously liberating and reinvigorating, and actually increased the number of possible candidates for the outside. Of course, the shape and design of the cabinet will now be somewhat different depending on the wood I choose, its pattern, colour, texture, weight, etc. But that's all part of the journey.

Crabapple                                          Red oak
In any event, my intent right now is just to select the wood and cut it roughly to size. My hope is that it will dry more while I finsish up the Glider, then I'll be ready to focus on it!

Lastly, my first kiln load is now dry, it's down to around 8.5% MC. I am happy it only took two weeks. At this rate I should have three more loads done by the middle of October when the wet weather settles in for fall.

 Two Pieces of Catalpa in Kiln After Drying