Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Fine Woodworking # 1

So like me, most have probably a number of favorite woodworking magazines. With the advent of computers and the WWW, how we consume this kind of information has changed, some magazines have not survived, others have made the switch to online quite well. At my age, I guess I would be classed as "old school" and a paper copy is still my preferred media. I have close to complete collections of "Fine Woodworking", "Wood", "Canadian Workshop", and the "Woodsmith" and "Shop Notes" magazines. Less complete collections of many others.

Metalworking home shop magazines are less abundant. My collection of "Model Engineers Workshop" is close to complete, less so is my collection of "Model Engineer" and "The Home Shop Machinist".

Older magazines like PM, PS and others covered a wide variety of subject matter, such as woodworking, metalworking, electronics and other diy home shop subjects. Seldom were they devoted to one discipline. Britain had a few exceptions such as "Woodworker" which like "Model Engineer" has been around forever.

With the advent of the 70's the North American market changed "Fine Woodworking" was one of the first, with a focus on high end woodworking. Over the next few decades they were followed by many more, covering many specific interests such as turning, carving, home shops, etc.

In the early days tool and machine manufacturers published much of this kind of instructive material, "Delta" comes to mind. With the growth of the magazine industry this activity pretty much stopped, and manufacturers started promoting their wares in the expanding magazine industry instead.

So hopefully I am not boring you here. I thought some here might be interested in seeing the first copy of "Fine Woodworking" published back in 1975. It is not rare on the internet, I have come across it a few times. If you have not found it yet, here is a nice clean copy for your enjoyment.

To download click Fine Woodworking # 1. 2.8 MB - pdf

The article "The Renwick Multiples" featured a number of examples of some of the modern work being done around the country. There must have been alot of interest in a featured high end library step because in the next issue, FW # 2, the editors ran an article on it's construction.

The step, made of laminated Oak and Rosewood, sold for $450. Mr Edward Livingston, the builder, says it took 40 hours of work to complete. When you subtract the cost of materials and workshop and equipment overhead, he probably made around $8 an hour, not much for such a beautiful piece, even by 1975 standards.

Monday, January 28, 2019

Fine-Tune Your Bandsaw

If you have a workshop you probably have a bandsaw, (if you don't, sell your table saw and buy a bandsaw, ha, ha, I'm joking). I have read arguments that puts the bandsaw ahead of all other machines when equipping a workshop and depending on the type of work you do, some of the most accurate cuts required are made on the bandsaw, in addition if you have a steady free hand it gets much more use than the table saw, mine does.

Keeping your bandsaw well tuned up will insure trouble free cutting and longer blade and guide life. Here is one of the better articles on tuning up your bandsaw that I have found. The article was in the 1997 May/June Fine Woodworking magazine and is well worth a read.

Interior Warmer Hack

So that killer cold continues, and taking a break from feeding my wood stove and reading, I figured I could do a couple of posts. Off and on for the last two weeks or so we have been breaking low temp. records that have stood for 100 years ( if my name was "Trump" I'd be saying "see no global warming" lol). A couple of mornings ago the temp. hit -46 and -52 with the wind chill. For the first time, my truck wouldn't start. I plugged the block heater in and set up my hacked interior warmer under the engine. It started within an hour.

I have never been crazy about interior warmers, back in 1981 I got an interior warmer from my dad, I don't know how long he had had it. It needed a mounting bracket and it spent most of its time in storage. 12 years ago I came across it and decided to mount it in a portable and adjustable stand. It has come in quite handy over the years. It comes in handy as a small space heater in the outdoor equipment shed, which is insulated, and the adjustable heater allows me to direct the heat where I want it, I often use it to warm up my yard tractor on these very cold days, and as it happens it fits nicely under my truck engine as well.

Here is the heater mounted in a stand of my own design and construction.

The heater tilt is adjustable, here in it's middle range. After many years of use it could use a new cord and some paint touch ups but otherwise good for another 40 years.

Here it is tilted up for use in warming things like engine oil pans.

Here is the stand I built with the heater removed. I had a large piece of light and shallow U channel. After careful measurements, I marked it out and cut it on my import metal bandsaw. I then drilled two 1/4" heater mounting holes, 4, 5/16" holes for the rubber feet, and two 3/8' holes for the adjustment locking knob. Next I did the bending and a paint job. That was it, ready to mount the heater. 

Sunday, January 27, 2019

12" Thickness Sander

Planers and drum sanders are expensive, if the work you do does not justify such an expense, a homebuilt drum sander might be the answer. There are lots of plans around the web for drum sanders, some are very advanced with powered feed beds and planer type thickness adjustments, most are much simpler but often need some finesse for a better look.

"WOOD" magazine published a plan back in the 80's that fits both of these characteristics. It is relatively simple to construct and looks great. It will handle a 12" width but this can be easily increased. For purchases you will need a motor, two pillow block bearings, a shaft, and a switch. Yes, thats it, except for the wood and fasteners of course, The listed sources may still be available.

Say "Thank you WOOD magazine" and enjoy.

Two Toy Electric Motors

So here are a couple of interesting projects for the novice home hobbyist. Both projects come from the "Junior Mechanics Handbook", which I have previously posted from.

The projects, two toy electric motors, are not ment to do practical work. They are interesting projects that teach and look great working as display units. Construction is not too difficult and will provide lots of enjoyment to the novice, learning electrical theory and  construction methods. Don't forget to expand to max. before saving, for best resolution.

Saturday, January 26, 2019

The Home Craftsman's Practical Workshop Guide

Here is an older book on workshop tips and tricks, that you will not find anywhere on line, I have checked. It was published back in 1948 by "The Home Craftsman Magazine". In the tradition of PM and PS magazines, it published a nice small book on tips and tricks for the hobby workshop, taken from it's magazines.

I found this one many years ago, tucked away in a dusty corner of "The Highway Bookshop", once a very popular and hugely stocked used book shop up here. It took a while to scan it and clean it up with my limited software, it's not perfect but quite usable.

To download "Practical Workshop Guide" go to my Books - Free Downloads page. # 79 - 16.7 MB - pdf

Monday, January 21, 2019

Two Model IC Engines

So here are a couple of advanced projects for the hobby machine shop. So some of the most popular activity for the smaller equipment, hobby machine shop, is model engine building. I have a large collection of plan files for steam, hot air, and internal combustion, IC engines.

I have posted many small tool plans from the book "Metal Projects" Book 3 by John R. Walker before, here are plans for a small two stroke engine and a more advanced 4 cycle engine. The two stroke can be machined from the solid or you can try casting the crankcase block.

When it comes to hobby machine shops, producing small working engines like this, is pure adrenaline.

To download this 13 page file click Two Model IC Engines. 2.1 MB - pdf.

19 Shop Helper Plans

So it has been a while since I posted wood shop ideas. Looking through my woodworking folder files I came across a nice collection of workshop aids and jigs published by "WOOD" magazine. Couldn't find the publication date, I found the file back in 2009, but I think most of the plans came from the late 80's early 90's "WOOD" magazine. A nice collection of useful ideas here.

To download this 22 page collection click 19 Great Projects For The Shop. 3.55 MB - pdf


So if you follow football, there is only one word for the game between the Patriots and the Chiefs yesterday "WOW". Haven't seen a game that exciting in a long time.

Coach Belichick analyzed the opposition well. "Destroy their defense and keep Mahomes off the field", worked well for the first half but watch out for the second half, here comes Mahomes, ha, ha. Best last quarter in resent memory, ended in a tie.

The Patriots won the coin toss for the overtime, and Brady put on a clinic on how to march down the field for a touch down and the win.

Gronkowski was outstanding, Belichick had him doing double duty to confuse the coverage, you never new if he was going to be blocking to open up a laneway or receiving from his tight-end position.

In the end lots of old time experience won out, but now that Mahomes has his first year under his belt, watchout, here come the Chiefs.

The Saints got robbed, the Rams will be playing the Patriots in the Superbowl.

                       What, we won again? LOL                              Gronk, are you a blocker or a reciever? ha, ha.

So the second "WOW" today was that awesome "Super Blood Wolf Moon" we got last night. A full moon in January is a Wolf moon and the total eclipse of the moon gives it that orange reddish color. It was -40 degrees last night so I wasn't going to stand out in a snow bank, the pictures were taken at a angle through less than spotless  window glass, so they are not that great.

Friday, January 18, 2019

Teardrop Trailers

I have mentioned teardrop trailers in a couple of posts before. Their seems to have been some interest but I didn't go beyond talking about the custom fenders I would like for mine, if/when I build one.

Back in the 50's and 60's many of the popular diy magazines published many plans for these attractive little trailers. I think I have most of them in my files along with plans for many modern versions and loads of pictures.

If I am still here when/if I build one I will post much more on this, but for now I put together a 36 page pdf of pictures of mostly my favorite little design. This small teardrop does not require bottom or side materials longer than 8', so lacking any joints, you are insured of a tight seal against the elements. I also included some build pictures to peak your interest.

To download this 36 page pdf click Teardrop Trailer Photos. 2.4 MB - pdf 

Way "COOL" cruising arrangement. 

Hot little sleepers need flames ha, ha.

Yet Another Odds And Ends

So this is 2019, one more year and I will be officially an "Old Man" ha, ha, ha. I have been enjoying the freedom to do what I want, when I want for 9 years now, hopefully lots more, lol.

So it's been a long break from posting here. We have been under the so called "Polar Vortex" for almost a week now (don't worry Toronto it's coming your way ha, ha) with temps in the -30's and wind chills in the -40's. We have had our share of snow as well. My well head is not usually buried till the end of January, a little early this year.

So in addition to enjoying holiday food and drink, I have been catching up on lots of reading in front of the fire. Here are a few of the titles I have enjoyed, I believe most are available free on the Internet Archive, "The Human Instinct" by Kenneth R. Miller, "How Democracies Die" by Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt, "The First Three Minutes" by Steven Weinberg, "The Rise Of Homo Sapiens - The Evolution Of Modern Thinking" by Frederick L. Coolidge and Thomas Wynn, and finally "A Hedonist Manifesto - The Power To Exist" by modern French philosopher Michel Onfray. Joseph McClellan translated the volume from the French and in his introduction included this rant from one of Christopher Hitchens many books. Print one of these off, and the next time a Jehova's Witness comes to the door hand him one of these, lol.
Thats a touchy subject, so enough of that. I mentioned in a previous post that it would be nice to build a couple of small cabins down by the creek on my property. Here is a very nice small plan for a one room log cabin with loft sleeping arrangements. It is small enough that a small wood stove or fireplace would keep it comfortable summer or winter and if you have any building experience, this would be a quick construction. If you can get a small supply of straight 10" or 12" pine the longest being 18', your good to go. Even this old fart can still play with a log that size. If you have a larger property or a small piece of nature somewhere, this might be just the cosy little getaway for you.

I mentioned reading but I can't forget some of the great football going on with the NFL playoffs. Every once in a while new young blood shows it's face and you can't help but go "Wow I like his style" It often ends up less than you had expected, Newton and Wilson come to mind. I am looking forward to a very exciting game between the Patriots and the Chiefs this weekend. It's to bad they are in the same Conference. This match up between old blood and new blood would have made for one exciting superbowl. Not to take anything away from who ever moves on between the Saints and Rams.

Brady, 41 years old, overflowing with records.  VS  Mahomes, 23 years old, can he deliver the proof?