Sunday, November 18, 2018

Gifts From Santa's Workshop

So enjoying Sunday football today, took a few minutes out to get this file up. The first plan is the child's rocking horse revisited. Every child loves a rocking horse, this design by Paul and Marya Butler is different from the usual fair. It is very solidly built and has over-sized rockers for safety and stability. It incorporates some carved elements in the head assembly for that customized look and the manila rope for the mane and tail is a nice solution.

The construction and finish will stand up to outdoor use and still look great indoors. Two children can ride this tough horsey at the same time, for an enjoyable experience.

The plan was posted in Popular Science's 1989 Yearbook.

The second plan today is a great little revolving jib crane designed and built by John Capotosto and posted in Popular Science's 1985 Yearbook. I would have loved playing with one of these when I was a kid, lifting Lego blocks or Meccano parts into place. Standard toy wheels are used throughout. They are readily available from many sources, but of course you can make your own too.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Pipe Carrier And Static Balancer

The first project plan here is also from "Arc Welding Projects" Volume III. This one is a pipe carrier, but not just a pipe carrier. This is another one I will be looking to build in the new year. I will be widening out the distance between the wheels. Why? Making it wider will allow me to use it for pulling heavy logs out of the woods, as well as moving pipe and steel sections out of storage, to the workshop area.

I have seen more complicated ones that couldn't do what this one will do.

The second project is a 1 page plan for a nice static balancer. My apologies I can't remember where I got it from, I found it printed off in one of my project binders. The plan is sized for balancing dirt bike wheels, so it may have come from one of the many motorcycle sites out there. It is sized for bike wheels, but of course you can balance anything that will fit inside the frame.

The plan is only one page but it is very complete, with full instructions. Dave Gingery built a smaller one in one of the Workshop Series books, but this is nicer and probably easier.

12-Ton Shop Press

Here is a nice clean 12-Ton Shop Press welding plan, from The James F. Lincoln Welding Foundation's "Arc Welding Projects" Volume III.

I currently have a smaller bench mounted 10 ton shop press. It is handy for smaller work and gets used often for bending, straightening, and pressing jobs. I have had occasions when a larger press would have come in handy. The plan has always been to build a larger 20 ton floor mounted press. To that end I acquired two 20 ton jacks, long time ago when the price was right. One for the press, and a second one for back-up.

Now that the steel I need is sitting in storage, I am looking at building the 20 toner in the coming year. The plan will be very close to the 12 ton plan below. I like this plan, it is overbuilt for 12 tons and I will beef it up again, for the 20 toner.

If your interested, there is nice complete step-by-step build instructions here, for building this tough looking little guy.

Friday, November 16, 2018

"A Book Of Country Things" Part 2

So light snow all day today. Boy those Canada Geese that spent a couple of days on my property, on their early flight south, are smarter than we give them credit for. They were three weeks early and winter is at least three weeks early this year. We skipped fall all together, lol.

So it looks like a few people enjoyed the short trip to a simpler time that I posted yesterday. I will post one more chapter of this great little book. Reading Walter Needham's recounting of his relationship with his Grandpa you can't help but feel the warm an respectful relationship they had with each other.

In chapter 7 we visit Grandpa's workshop. His shop was overflowing with tools, and not a single power tool to be found, ha, ha. He had a tool for everything, and they were all hand made by him. The blades and other steel parts came from the local blacksmith. There isn't much we do now with power tools that he couldn't do then, just slower and more labor intensive.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

"A Book Of Country Things"

So I have been catching up on some of my reading. Browsing my shelves the other day I came across a small book that had interested me a long time ago, in a used book store, my interest was revived and I had to read it.

"A Book Of Country Things" is an entertaining recounting of a grandson's experiences with his Grandpa, L. L. Bond. Grandpa was born in 1833 in Vermont, grew up in a log cabin, served in the Civil War, and over the course of a rural lifetime, learned many of the skills we all consider "lost arts" nowadays. The grandson's (Walter Needham) recounting of growing up with his Grandpa is a detailed and entertaining explanation of many of the practiced arts necessary  to maintain a homestead in rural Vermont in the late 1800's.

When I think of heroes, I think of people like Willie in the "Working Knowledge" post or "Grandpa". They are not afraid of work, they are a wealth of knowledge, acquired over a lifetime of getting their hands dirty, doing the actual work, They usually have a good sense of humor that is genuine and not a cover-up for meanness or cruelty. And they don't constantly feed you BS because they don't want to share what they have learned, (they are generous).

I am sure this view point doesn't jive with many nowadays, many of todays heroes are fictitious creations that have little bearing on real life.

So if you want to take 5 minutes to read an interesting chapter about another time, I am posting chapter 6 below. The chapter discusses the harvesting and use of different wood to produce the necessities of life in pioneer America, from pine for making pipes to cherry for making clocks.

I will post chapter 7 tomorrow or the next day. It deals with "Grandpa's" tools and shop. 

The book was printed by the Stephen Greene Press in 1965 and went through 10 printings by 1986, it is a timeless reminiscence of a less complicated time.

Expand to read comfortably. If you would like to print it off, choose landscape on your print options. If you are viewing on your mobile, I am sorry, this is probably not the best format.

To those who found this article early, I have corrected the double page with the correct page.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

How To Make A Metal-Bending Machine # 10

So from Intermediate Technology Publications comes another of their Workshop Equipment titles. This one "How To Make A Metal-Bending Machine # 10" is the last of the paper copies I have. Like the other two, it cleaned up nice and is complete.

The first half of the manual shows you how to build the bender. The second half of the manual shows you how to build a steel wheel for a agricultural cart. Now your probably thinking "What is wrong with this "Bozo"? What am I going to do with an ox cart?" ha, ha, lol . If you go to this link, you can see what an artistic collector of old steel wheels does with his.

But of course you can bend up countless other shapes, for many different projects, with this bender.

To download this manual go to my Books - Free Downloads page. # 66 - 3 MB - pdf 

Scratch Beader

Here is a quick little plan for a scratch beader. Classic colonial furniture likes moldings, There are many different molding shapes available for modern routers and shapers. If you like old tools or like to make them, you may even have a selection of molding planes. When you come across a shape that you can't match, there is always the scratch beader, It is a relatively simple tool to make and if you have access to some tool steel, the scraper blades can be shaped to your requirements. Rude Osolnik touched on this in the Acorn Bed post, for fluting turnings.

A scratch beader is more labor intensive and your moldings will not be as perfect as the product from a router or shaper, but they will be much closer reproductions of the originals.

This article comes from John Nelson's book "Colonial Classics You Can Build Today", published by Stackpole Books in 1986.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Lowboy Desk

Imagine this, you have just purchased a brand new state of the art, cutting edge, computer, now imagine it sitting on the classic, curvy, hunk of beautiful Mahogany you see below. Classic old meets cutting edge new, awesome. I don't know why the name denotes male, it is clearly female, lol.

There is no beating around the bush here, this is clearly an advanced project. The hand cut dovetails and curvy cabriole legs, make it so. You can get away with lock joints in place of the dovetails but you can't get away without the cabriole legs, they are the essence of the piece.

Couldn't find who did the reproduction but David Donnelly wrote the article and did the photography, I assume he did the reproduction too. He states that the cabriole legs are not hard to do, but even so you will need to have a good working method on your band saw, and be able to do some close shaping work with hand tools, to get four matching legs.

Don't let the advanced nature of this project put anyone off, you will never do advanced work, if you never try it. If your working up to this level go slow, don't put time limits on yourself. You can go fast when you have mastered the techniques. The reward is a truly beautiful piece.

With many of these classic pieces part of the look is the appealing hardware. In Canada your best bet for the Chippendale drawer pulls is Lee Valley Tools, see the links page.

At 10 pages, the instructions are very complete. If you build, read carefully and take note of the tips.

So we got 6" of  snow out there and lots of drifts. I guess I will be pulling out the shovels tomorrow and start with winter chores. It's been a fun weekend though, hope someone got some useful inspiration, from some of these posts.

Pedestal Table

At first glance most would class this pedestal table as an advanced project, it is more in the middle range of difficulty. There are many plans for this classic style pedestal table, some are more difficult than others, involving things like steam bending of the apron. Nick Engler does a great job of simplifying this design. The kerfed apron simplifies things and is probably a better solution. My manufactured pedestal table has a steam bent apron that no longer lines up very well.

So here is the plan for a classic that you will be proud of, no mater what your skill level. You will need a 10" or larger swing lathe to turn the pedestal. In a pinch there are jigs that can be built to turn it, utilizing your router, but that would be a different post. The table slides are available at many hardware stores and through woodworking supply outlets.