Sunday, July 23, 2017

Books - Woodworking - Metalworking

Still with the basics, here are two more great little books for novices starting out with woodworking and metalworking hobbies.

The first one is "Wood-Working For Amateur Craftsman" it was published by Popular Mechanics press and is one of the clearest explanations of the basics of good woodworking practice that I have come across. Proper use of the handsaw, planes, squaring procedures, labeling, and marking out the work are all clearly covered, with lots of good illustrations. You are then led through the building of 6 simple to more complex projects. The emphasis in the building is on the proper procedures of working the wood with basic hand tools, more so, than the projects themselves. No power tools here but I think it is still a good thing to learn how to work wood with hand tools, before advancing to power tools. And of course some of the best craftsman out there avoid power tools like the plague. Very good basic knowledge.


The second book "First Lessons In Metalwork" is not as exciting as some I have seen but it is a nice clean older copy with good basic information. A good part of the book deals with smithing work and covers the working and composition of different metals, cast iron, wrought iron, and steel. there is a chapter on heat treatment and touches on drilling, sawing, filing, and soldering. It,s older but the smithing information is timeless.


Both books can be downloaded on the Books - Free Downloads page.

Friday, July 21, 2017

The Inexpensive Basics For the Novice Blacksmith.

To get started with some free downloads for various workshop interests, here is a great little book and a picture and idea compilation for the novice smithing enthusiast who does not have a lot of money to get started with this hobby.

The first one is a book published by Intermediate Technology Publications, "Basic Blacksmithing With Local Materials". This book was intended for the advancement of these trades in developing nations where materials and funds for these activities can be a challenge. The book is clearly written and illustrated with step by step methods for making your own tools and the different operations involved in shaping metal. There is good information on the use of salvaged metals and there properties. The goat skin bellows and hearth forge probably will not be of much interest, but the next compilation has some inexpensive ideas for these. And yes all the work demonstrated is done on a RR anvil.



The next file, "Scrounging Metal And Survival Blacksmithing" is a compilation of  pictures and ideas gathered and assembled from around the web. Some of the pictures are more entertainment than useful. It was many years ago so I can.t remember where I downloaded it from, and the file gives no indication of its source either. In any case it covers some inexpensive forges and sources of materials, the back half has lots of good info on basic metal shaping and forge work.


These two files contain all the basic information a novice would need to get started, inexpensively. both of these files can be downloaded on the free download page at this link. Books - Free downloads

Herons On The Lawn

The two big herons where back on the lawn this morning. I managed to get a few pictures, they are taken through smugged window glass and resized, so the clarity isn't the greatest, but enough to see what a heron is all about. Here are some pictures.





After they left, one left a gift on the lawn, a big 12" long feather. A very special evolution , a strong hollow stem (can anyone say straw) and unique fletching make for an almost weightless material. It's easy to see why older cultures came up with so many uses( quill pens, arrow fletching, decoration etc.) for this unique material.


Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Popular Mechanics Shop Notes Highlights 1948

In the 1948 Popular Mechanics issues you will find a couple of nice articles, one on carbide tool use and one on making strong cabinet joints with dowels. There are plans for a larger cement mixer, a nice pipe fitting drill press, two power belt/disk sanders, lots of accessory plans for around the machine and woodworking shops, and for something different a very solid looking 4 wheel bandsaw.

As mentioned before these files could be much larger, but I try to include only the the clearest most useful or interesting plans for todays shop hobbyist. Now granted it is my opinion in their selection and others may disagree, for those wishing to explore these old magazines further, haven't checked lately, but they were all available on "Google Books".

Here's the link for the 1948 highlights.


Monday, July 17, 2017

Porch Siding Installed

So I got the siding installed this afternoon. Turned out very well, the line-up to the house siding was bang on. I couldn't match the color of the J mold since the siding was all custom order back when I built the house, but I am happy with the slight contrast of this J mold.

The project is complete except for a coat of stain. Turned out very solid, a little overbuilt but I like overbuilt, all 4 X 4's would have been sufficient but the 6 X 6's for the main supports give the design a beefy look and long life. The eave extensions are a little larger than is normal for a structure this size but they keep the inside dryer, save for wind driven rain, and keep the foundation dryer. Here's some pictures.




I thoroughly enjoyed this project, even the sore muscles from the roofing,  had given it 3 weeks so I got a week to spare. I will post an up-date when I get the stain applied to the exposed wood.


Sunday, July 16, 2017

Ready For Siding And Stain

Got a late start today siding will have to wait till tomorrow. So I completed the sheathing inside and out with 3/8" exterior grade plywood. I installed a 2 X 6" treated railing all around. I have lots of double 4 vinyl siding  that I pulled off the garage/workshop when I added the firewood and materials storage shed, so I will be using that for the exterior siding below the railing. Above the railing and the interior I have a gallon of Rez redwood solid stain that should be a nice accent. If I decide to add screen panels and/or winter wind break panels later, then I will also add a screen/storm door for now it will remain open. Here are todays pictures.






Saturday, July 15, 2017

Rail Framing Complete

Well I wanted to complete the framing and sheathing today but the dark clouds rolled in and its drizzling out there now. I did get the framing complete and if the rain doesn't last maybe a little sheathing work later. When the finished railing goes on it will be 42" high which is just right for my height. Now that I have a good idea of the enclosed size (outside dimensions are 8' X 12') I find it a comfortable size lots of room for a barbecue and 2 or 3 nice rustic benches, my resin will be banned to the 8' X 12' patio where the weather wont effect it to much. Here's the framing pictures.




Framing Tip

Break time, thought I'd upload this tip before I forget. When making up stud walls the ends of the top and bottom plates often tend to split specially if your using spiral coated nails. A little tip I have been using for a long time is to drive the nails in at opposing angles so they cut across the grain. You will get less splitting and better holding power. I have disassembled frames in the past and cursed the holding power of the angled nails whereas nails driven straight in usually come apart with a couple swipes of the hammer.


Friday, July 14, 2017

Fascia And Porch Ceiling Installed

Nice day for working outside sunny not to hot. I applied the fascia this morning and tied it in to the house fascia. Two different manufacturers so the ribbing doesn't exactly line up but looks ok.

I applied the porch ceiling in the afternoon. Used 3/8" exterior grade plywood, not the greatest finish but still better than OSB which doesn't hold up to well when exposed to the weather. A couple of coats of stain will improve the look greatly. Here are some pictures.





So I will start with the railing wall tomorrow, hopefully finish ready for stain Sunday.


Thursday, July 13, 2017

Soffit Installed

Still nursing some sore muscles from yesterday, didn't work to hard today. Installed the soffit on the eaves and closed up the end roof slopes. I am not insulating the porch or closing it up, so no need for vented soffit, I went with 3/8" exterior grade plywood well supported on all edges. It will get painted or if it looks ok, a coat of redwood stain which I have lots of, later. The fascia boards will be brown aluminum to match and tie in to the house. Here are a few pictures.



So I will install the fascia tomorrow and sheath the interior roof. If all goes well I will build the closed in railing over the weekend. I considered an open railing with spindles but then I thought that I may want to install screen panels in the summer or plexiglass panels in winter to cut the wind, so closed below the railing will provide more future options.



Popular Mechanics Shop Notes Highlights 1947

Woke up this morning a couple of big brown Herons on my lawn. I have had Canada Geese overnight on there fly south, but never seen Herons before (thought they were Storks at first). They kept there distance from the house and I couldn't get a decent picture, I really have to do something about that.

Just one file today, lots of good stuff in the 1947 issues and it is a larger file. There is a great article on ball bearings, a number of plans for small sheet metal brakes, a great two part article on power tool short cuts, a nice power filing machine, and a super plan for a 10" tilting arbor saw, which I am sure provided inspiration for many of the shop built saws being built today.

The criticism to these old plans is often that "they are old", but if you look around the web you will find that many of the plans out there are similar or updated versions of these plans, weather deliberate or totally coincidental the ideas all started in these old magazines.

Popular Mechanics stopped running the "Shop Notes" title in 1960 but continued to run similar articles, under different titles. I will continue to highlight these articles till 1975-76. I have files into the 2000's but after the 70's the concentration shifted more to colonial furniture projects and these are all available in there popular year books and DIY encyclopedias which can be found in any used book market.

Here is the link for 1947.


I am a little sore today, roofing exercises different muscles than you normally use. If I get any work done this afternoon I'll post some pictures this evening.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Porch Roofing Complete

Well the weather was a roofers dream today, the sun didn't pop out even once but didn't get a drop of rain either, and there was a cool breeze blowing. Completed the roofing shingles. The shingles are Dakota 25 year with double adhesion strips. I managed a 5" overlap at the house joint, my house shingles are starting to curl on the windy edges and will need to be done in another 2 or 3 years, I'll give it a better overlap then. The eaves got a drip edge and roofing felt underlay. So the job went smoothly, the only casualty was a blister on one knee, some pads would have helped lol. Here are a couple of pictures.



It can rain now, most of the work left is under the roof.

Home Training In Cabinet Work # 28, 29 And 30

In this set of articles a number of interesting plans for around the house. This completes the articles in this series. Stickley published a number of other article series in the Craftsman magazine, including some on sheet metal tinwork for around the house. I may upload more in the future if there is interest for them.

In # 28 there is plans for a stool, arm chair and table in a solid unique design. Here's the link.

In # 29 find plans for a wall cabinet, folding card table and a blast from the long past a phonograph and record stand. Here's the link.

And in the last of the series are plans for a nice table/desk, a screen and a bookcase/cupboard. Here's the link.


If anyone is interested in Stickley designs and "The Craftsman" magazine and would like to see more plan type articles, message me and I will try to put together a few more files to upload in the future.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Roof Framed and Decked

So went at it hard this morning and completed the roof framing. Went smoothly, my miter saw made quick work of the rafter angles. Installed the roof decking this afternoon, No skimping here, I went with 5/8" T&G exterior grade plywood. All was surprisingly square, Cut one sheet in half for the offset and the rest all fit tightly into place without any adjustments. Here are some pictures.







Got to run into town for some trim tomorrow, so I'll do the shingles Wednesday.