Sunday, January 25, 2015

Lamp Going Together

It is strange how you spend forever cutting and sizing and fitting pieces, then all of a sudden in one day it looks like you have taken a huge step, when really it is just the culmination of everything you have done up to that point.

I finally got all four sets of slats finished and fitted together.

Then with only a couple hours more work fitting and fussing, I got them assembled into the lamp for a test fit. I was very happy to get everything together to this point!
Then I continued to work like a demon on the cap ring's four pieces, getting them sized and several mortices roughed out. Next up will be to clean out the mortices and do up the corresponding tenons.

I feel like this is one of the most productive days I have ever had on this project.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Milling and some Lamp Progress

Almost finished the vertical slats for the lamp. One more notch to cut on each stick, then the bridle joint on the last end.  These last notches should be easy as the table saw is all set, and the bridle joint should be easy as the shaper is set up for them. Hope I am not jinxing myself!

Cutting the notches has been a bit fussy, I have been trying to get the spacing to within .001". The Hammond Glider sliding saw works pretty well for this kind of precision work. I can dial it in to .0078", then I use feeler gauges to set it exactly. It is pretty reproduceable too.

I'm hopeful that I will get these last remaining cuts on the vertical slats finished in a couple of hours. I imagine there will be quite a bit of fussing to get the horizontal and vertical slats to fit together, and then to get the slat assemblies to fit into the top and bottom tie rings and the posts.

For this project I have been following the design of Chris Hall over at Craftsmanship in Wood, formerly The Carpentry Way. There was a great write up about him recently in Woodworker's Journal and the first picture in the article is his version of the lamp I am building, his is made of cocobolo!

Have also done some milling the past couple of weeks.

First milling of 2015 was some so-so Port Orford cedar, some nice cherry and some really good oak.

The oak had a lovely brown colour to it, I think it will be fantastic once it has dried. The grain was also reasonably tight for an urban log.

Got out on a Sunday to a buddy's place and millled up some timbers for him to use as a mantle. Also went out to my usual beach milling spot a couple days later and got some cherry that turned out to be pretty crappy, and a 42" wide cottonwood round just for fun.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Put aside the slab table again to focus on the shoji lamp. I now have all 89(!) pieces for the lamp cut out, and all but a few hand planed to dimension. That was a lot of very tedious hand planing!

Next up will be the joinery on the vertical grid slats, to join them to the lamp at the top and bottom, as well as their connections to the horizontal slats. It is quite delicate work and most of it will be on the shaper. I made a couple spare vertical slat blanks just in case something bad happens!

After that will be the last tricky piece of joinery, a ring on the top that holds everything together. However, it will not be as tricky as the base, so I can safely say that I have the most difficult part of this project behind me.

The last major part will then be the screens themselves, then a simple handle and lastly the electical wiring for a small light bulb.

In terms of effort, I'd guess that I am about 75-80% done.

Meanwhile, I just noticed that this happened to my saw blade. It's a Forrest Woodworker I, they customize the blades to fit into Hammond Glider saw. It still seems to be cutting OK, but I guess I will be ordering a new one soon!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Good progress on the oak table. The damage caused by the rain when I was working on it outside the other day turned out to look worse than it was. It cleaned up easily with some fine sandpaper. I got 5 coats of enduro-var applied to both sides of the tabletop. Really liking the enduro-var's lack of smell and fast drying time. Even though it is water based I didn't have any trouble with bubbles forming in it, as is common with other water based finishes.

On the lamp I managed to finish up the 28 horizontal grid pieces, plus a few spares. Each has a bridle joint at each end plus three notches where they intersect with the vertical pieces.

On the lamp, they will look like this:

At that point I turned my attention to the vertical grid pieces. These had been sitting around for over a year, and I was dismayed to see that I had only made up 9 rather than the 12 that the lamp will require. So three more will have to be made up.

The lamp will have a paper screen (actually 4 paper screens, one on each side) but the screens will not be applied directly to the back of the grid. Rather, each screen will be a separate assembly that will slide down grooves in the posts and fit in behind the grid. Each screen assembly is effectively another grid with the horizontal pieces 'hiding' behind the horizontal pieces of the main grid. So twice as much work! I got started on the pieces for the screen assemblies.