Sunday, February 22, 2015

Frame Loom

My wife and daughter have gotten excited about yarn and weaving over the last few years.... Yep, you can already see where this is headed.  :-)

Their interest started about the time we went to Silver Dollar City a few years back (brother in-law calls it "Take Your Dollar City") where the gals saw someone making shawls on a triangle loom. Naturally they wanted one. After studying it a bit, I decided I could make one for about a quarter of the asking price. I don't consider myself to be a tight-wad, just being frugal. Anyhow, I ended up making a 6ft triangle loom and later a 7ft triangle loom. I'll post photos and some of the shawls made on them in a future post.

Back to the subject at hand.... Their interest seems to have shifted a bit from the triangle shawls to more traditional weaving lately, so I get the task of building a Frame Loom.  

If I'm not working from a pre-made plan, I first make a quick sketch and adjust it as necessary to make sure we both have the same idea in mind. Saves a lot of time and frustration since guys and gals seem to communicate on different levels (but I digress).
In this case, I mostly wanted to verify the dimensions and make sure square corners were OK instead of the normal mitered corners used in picture frames. I plan to use pocket hole joinery for this project as shown later.

The frame is made from a single 1x3x72 board (pine in this case).

Laying out the cut pieces, checking fit, and marking which side will be the face.

Using the Kreg Pocket Hole jig to cut the pocket holes. It's a great tool that's perfect for lots of woodworking applications.

Keeping the frame square and aligned while screwing in the screws (course thread works fine for pine).

She wanted a spring to hold the "warp" (weaving term for strings running the length of the frame). So, I found a screen door spring at my favorite "box store" and cut it to size.

Back side of completed project.

Front of completed project.

Tools Used:   miter saw, Kreg pocket hole jig, cordless driver, square, clamps.
Total Cost:   approximately $10.  (about $7 for board and $3 for the spring... already had screws and jig)

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Nesting Basket Trio

I've made several sets of these baskets over the last few years and have found that they make excellent gifts. Thus, I always try to have a couple on hand for when a gift giving situation arises.

The "Nesting Basket Trio" pattern comes from Scroll Saw Magazine's Creating Wooden Boxes on the Scroll Saw book. Their instructions are good so I won't try to duplicate all that here.  Instead, I'll share my experience with cutting these baskets and try to point out some less obvious details that make the project turn out better. 

There are several ways to attach a pattern to the wood with varying success. I have found that spray adhesive works well if is not applied too thick. oops!

The patterns are for three separate bowls. Note: the various rings for each basket comes from all three patterns. Thus, you have to cut out three baskets at a time. The article says that the project can be completed in a day.  Hmm.  Maybe so for the advanced woodworker, but not me. Your mileage may vary.

The baskets turn out beautifully when cut from Red Oak. I haven't tried other hard woods yet, but soft woods (pine) tend to break during the cutting and sanding processes.
I pencil in the cut angles in the center of the pattern since the lines indicating the corresponding cut angles for each ring are removed with the first cut. After I complete a cut, I cross off the corresponding angle in the center of the pattern.

Here, I'm adjusting the scroll saw table top to the next angle indicated in the pattern.

I mark the bottom edge of each ring immediately after cutting it so I can keep track of it later since some of the rings are very similar in size.

I found that a bench sander (if used G-E-N-T-L-Y) can fix the troublesome problems shown above. The first happens when the blade reaches the end of the cut and leaves a small burr. The burn mark in the lower picture is caused by the blade moving too slowly through the wood. In this case the blade was too dull. (Expect to use at least one blade per pattern when using a hard wood).

Here's the same piece after removing burn marks.

All three baskets cut out. Ready to sand and assemble.

Using a sanding wheel on the drill press for the first round of sanding. Be careful to not sand too long in one spot and make the wall of the ring too thin.

Hand sanding with fine grit sandpaper for the final round.

OK - sanding finished, now ready to assemble a basket!
I start by pouring a blob of glue in one of these nifty glue trays I got at WoodCraft. (Yes, my wife wanted one too). They're made of silicone and dried glue easily pops right out of them.

I place the largest basket ring (A1 in this photo) upside down on the bench. I then use a Q-Tip to dab a small amount of glue on the places where the next ring will attach (about half way between each "hill" and "valley").
I align the next ring (A2 in this photo) and set it in place. I then take another Q-Tip and wipe away excess glue.

I repeat the process for the remaining rings and base. I then set a light weight on it and let the glue dry completely.
Assembled basket.

If a finish is desired, apply a food safe butcher block finish lightly by rubbing it on with a rag. Sand between coats.

Tools Used:   Scroll Saw, Drill press with sanding flap wheel
Total Cost:     (1x12x24 Red Oak board, spray adhesive, saw bkades... already had sanding wheel, sand paper, glue and Q-Tips)

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Pen and Marker Holder from Downspout

Welcome to Ornery Dave's Shop!  Today my wife got a bee in her bonnet and decided she needed a storage solution for her rather impressive collection of pens, markers and pencils.  So, off to the local hardware and home improvement store I went.

I bought this 10 foot piece of plastic downspout. It cost about $8.50 and is enough to make 20 compartments in our pen holder. I actually ended up using two because 20 was not enough.  Oy.

First I marked the piece at 5.5", because that is how big she said she wanted them.  You could make them shorter if you don't have long markers such as Copic or Spectrum Noir, but that was about the right length for what she needed.

Then I marked the rest of the pipe at 5.5" intervals with a sharpie. (Note: if you don't get the marks in the right spots and end up with ink on your pieces where you don't want it, just wipe clean with a bit of cotton dipped in rubbing alcohol.)

After I cut the first one, I decided to put some painter's tape where I was going to cut to help keep the plastic from chipping.  It didn't really help and was a mess to clean up afterwards, so you can skip that step. :)

I had to re-mark all the marks on top of the tape. (another reason to skip that step)

Once I had it ready to cut, I set up my miter saw.

I put the first mark under the blade with the saw off,

and set a clamp at the end of the piece to act as a stop for future cuts.  This makes it easy to cut every piece exactly the same length.

Here is the first cut.

Here they are after I cut the whole piece. They are quite messy as the plastic bits are so filled with static.

Use a shop vac to clean them up, inside and out.

It left a BIG mess on the saw, too!

This is what I mean about chipping.  The secret to success is to cut v-e-r-y  s-l-o-w-l-y.  If you don't have a miter saw, you could cut them by hand with a coping saw or hacksaw, by setting up a miter box with a stop.

Once everything was thoroughly clean, she added washi tape (decorative masking tape) to one end. She wrapped it all the way around leaving 1/2 the width of the tape above the edge.Then she folded it over the cut edges to keep it from snagging or cutting fingers, because the cut edge is rather sharp.

To glue the pieces together, you could use any glue that works on plastic.  Below are three options. We decided against the contact cement because of the health hazards. It is pretty toxic and needs to be used in a well ventilated area. But it is really cold here right now, so we chose a different glue.

Liquid Fusion is what we chose, and it works really well on plastic.

Just squeeze some out onto the side of one piece

and stack another piece on top of it, aligning it so the sides are directly on top of each other. You might get a better bond if you allowed the ridges in the plastic to settle into each other but we chose to make the stacks straight.

We didn't press or clamp, just let it set for awhile undisturbed.

Keep gluing the sides together in a stack until you have it as high as you want it.

Here is a picture of the completed holder.  Each of the stacks is free standing, but if you wanted to make it more permanent you could glue the stacks together in between. We put small binder clips on the top cells at the back to hold it all together. We discussed adding a back to it as well, but decided to leave it open.

Once we finished with that project, we had several pieces of downspout leftover, so we cut them in different sizes to make a matching tool caddy for scissors, paint brushes and other tools.

These pieces were glued with the same glue as the pen holders, and we used small binder clips to hold it all in place while the glue dried.
The lengths of these cells are: the two tall ones in the middle are 5.5", three around the sides 4" and the smallest one is 2".

The spinning tray is from Amazon, here is a link to it. I hope you enjoyed my first little tutorial. I have lots of projects for the home and garden coming up. Thanks for reading!

Tools Used:   miter saw, vaccum
Total Cost:    $17  (2 pieces of downspout @ $8.50... Already had glue and decorative tape)