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.







Writing Table

Woodworking Sunday, so I will try to get some table designs up today, progressively from an easy table to a advanced classic.

Nick Engler has designed and built many of the woodworking designs I have posted lately. Back in the 80's and 90's Nick was a very prolific designer and builder of woodworking related material. He was the founder of "Hands On!" magazine as well as publishing many books, articles and a newspaper column for woodworkers. He is co-owner of "Bookworks Inc." which produces how-to-books and for years has produced the Projects Yearbook for Popular Science Books.

So today is no different, the first two projects today were designed and built by Nick Engler. As always with project books, build them for yourself or as gifts but reproduction for sale or profit is forbidden.

So the first project today is a writing desk, but not just a writing desk. It is a relatively easy project to build, the gently curved legs give it a touch of class with a slightly oriental flavor. You can make it smaller for a child's room, it's a writing desk, a computer desk, and it will look good in just about every room in the house, scale it up or down according to your needs.








Saturday, November 10, 2018

A Forged Bear For My Future Gates

So when I first built this place I installed a couple of wood gates at the entrance, hung on two 8' X 8" drill pipes sunk into and filled with concrete. They served there purpose of keeping scroungers off the build site, while I was still living off site. Shortly after I moved in I left them unlocked one day, a strong wind blew up and pulled them off their hinges. Rather than reinstall them I brought them up to the house and installed them as a wind break and snow fence alongside the turn around area.



So as you can see in the picture above the posts are still there, waiting for a new set of gates. The plan is two bend up two large, shaped frames to which will be attached verticals every 6 or 8". Adornment will be in the form of forged wildlife shapes common to this area, attached to the verticals and peaking around corners. A nice idea but I am not getting any younger.

So below is a nice step-by-step plan for forging up a bears head, perfect for my gate idea, I have a number of other plans for forging other animal shapes. Mark Aspery is the author, a blacksmithing instructor, he forged this bear head while attending an instruction class at a school in North Carolina.








An Easy Guillotine Tool

Guillotine tools are very useful helpers for the smith who works alone. A good one will cut your time in shaping and cut-off operations depending on your selection of dies. Dies are easy to make, so it's a simple matter to have a good selection on hand to suit the type of work you are doing.

I have seen many ideas for making guillotines around the web over the years, some are more complicated to make than others. Many have probably seen the one I am posting today before, it has made it's rounds on the web. It is one of the easiest I have seen to build, a few workshop scraps and some welding is all you need. A small price for the huge help this tool can be.

The plan was originally published in ABANA's "Hammer's Blow" newsletter. I got this copy from the "Saltfork Craftsman" newsletter of August 2005.







Atmospheric Forge & Heat Treat Oven

So I spent yesterday morning running errands and settling in for winter. I was almost home when the blizzard started, It blew hard all night and is supposed to continue all day today. Nothing else to do but cook up some tasty treats (winter's coming on, like the bears, a little insulation will help, lol) , fire up the wood stove, and settle in in front of the computer, for the week end. Life is good ha, ha.


Near the top of my build list is a forge, soon I hope. I have lots of plans for forges, and some ideas of my own. One plan that I have always found attractive was published by David J. Gingery Publishing back in the 90's. It was built and the manual written up by William T. Goodman and Robert W. Holmee. It has a very nice appearance but I would make some changes to the shape and refractory of the firing chamber. The refractory in the plan is a little thin in my opinion and there are more efficient materials that can be used today.

It took me a while to find this book, I think I eventually found it on a torrent site. The scan is not great (I cleaned up the two pages below), but it is complete. So if you would like a proven plan for a nice and very convenient forge or just want some good ideas for building one, this should do it.

To download go to my Books - Free Downloads page. # 65 - 4 MB - pdf




Friday, November 9, 2018

Air-Operated Arbor Press

So here is a second design problem from " Machine Design Drawing Room Problems". This design problem was relatively short, 7 pages, so it is posted complete here. Nothing new about an arbor press but it is interesting to see the design steps that go into producing a marketable product.






Machine Design Drawing Room Problems

Here is an older but still interesting book for the machine designer. " Machine Design Drawing Room Problems" by C.D. Albert, was first published in 1923 by John Wiley & Sons. This third edition was published in 1947.

In addition to a good number of specific design problems of various pieces of equipment, the text also covers engineering materials used, and without getting to deeply into the math, outlines the calculations necessary to build machines that will stand up to the required specifications.

To stay with the topic of the previous post, I am posting here part of a design problem titled "Combination Punch And Shear". This chapter is 32 pages so I will just post part of it here, the pictures, and the punch and shear tooling. If someone would like to see the whole design problem, message me, and I will post a pdf of the complete chapter.

Machines like this are not built any more, the modern hydraulic ironworker does similar work in a smaller package. It is still amazing the amount of power that can be achieved from a heavy flywheel, powering a simple eccentric, through a large speed reduction.







Wednesday, November 7, 2018

How To Make A Hand-Operated Holepunch

So as mentioned before I will be uploading a few more "Workshop Equipment" series titles, published by Intermediate Technology Publications.

Today you can download "# 7 How To Make A Hand-Operated Holepunch". As I mentioned before I have taken a bit of time to assemble this file, and you will not find a cleaner version of this title on the internet.

I would consider this project one of the more advanced in the 10 volume series. If you have not done a lot of metalworking before, it is important to go slow and verify your work continually before welding up your assemblies. The finished hole punch will be a great time saver for anyone who requires a lot of holes in sheet metal. It will punch holes up to 25mm or 31/32" in 16 guage  material.

Probably the hardest part of the project will be, making up accurate punch dies. Above 9/32 to 31/32, lacking a suitable supplier, you will have to make your own. Instructions are in the manual.

For holes 9/32 or smaller a cheap alternative is to adapt the punch dies from a hand hole punch, done easily enough.This inexpensive set cost only $34, 10 years ago. It works, but it is a slow process. Installing the dies in your new holepunch would greatly speed things up.


So If you would like to download this nice plan manual, go to my Books - Free Downloads page. # 64 - 4.4 MB - pdf.