Building woodworking and metalworking projects in the home shop, including patternmaking, casting and smithing.You'll also find plans and information articles and a sprinkling of woodland property and nature pictures.
So mowing 7-8 acres can be a chore. If I change out the tractor seat for the one below and install a mini beer cooler on the back of the seat, I think I can learn to enjoy mowing the lawn. If I install that 142 hp motor under the hood, I'll never want to do anything else.
LOL not really. Some may not appreciate my brand of humor, but hey life can be a bitch without a good laugh once in a while.
A couple of more days and I should get this Cavalier behind me.
So I have been expecting visitors the last few days, this evening they showed up. Looks like the sow and her cub from last year liked the grass here and came back for more. Visited the local land fill this morning, they just started showing up there too. Timmins and Sudbury have had problems for a month already.
I couldn't get very close for these two pictures, the sow was keeping a close eye out, glancing around often. As soon as she sensed my presence, she dashed for that rock outcrop, the cub trying hard to keep up.
So I got a couple of hours in on the Cavalier, slow day today, ha ha. I am now a little over half done. Here are a few pictures.
The first picture is the huge piece of back end plastic pulled off, the front piece is even larger. Living inside the foam and plastic is the steal bumpers. they are not very thick to begin with, even thinner with all the rust. The front not so bad, the rear (rustier one) was ready to fall off, one of the bolts that attach it to the unibody just pulled out, a second one sheared off when I put the wrench to it. I may find some use for the steal bumpers yet but I would have preferred extruded aluminum.
Heres the small mountain of plastic, rubber, and foam accumulating in a corner of the shop, and I still have all the plastic and foam on the doors and interior to do. The seating is still like new, even the drivers seat with my fat butt sitting in it for close to 300,000 km. I may find some use for them yet.
It,s not all headed to the land fill and scrap yard. Pack rat that I am, here are a few items I have convinced myself that I can put to use in future projects. We keep dreaming, lol.
So I can be a bit of a night owl sometimes. Didn't get much done today, but the beauty of the new well lit shop is that I can get another 3 or 4 hours in tonight. "A wrench screams at midnight" lol.
So, slow getting going today, figured a post would at least keep me active. " Step-By-Step Knifemaking" by David Boye has become a bit of a classic "must" for the novice pursuing the art of knifemaking. Everything is covered in this fine volume from setting up shop to etching designs into the steel. It may still be available as publisher remainders or in the used market. I had two a hardcover and a paperback. In a culling of my bookshelves to make more room, the paperback made it's way into the used market.
Below is a picture of the cover and an example of the many knife designs that Mr. Boye has produced. Many of these designs are covered in his step-by-step instructions.
In, setting up shop, is a basic but interesting article on motors and electrical requirements for setting up the small shop. Some of his comparisons rang a bell with me. Relating amps to the flow of water in a pipe and volts to the pressure pushing that water, helps to clarify, and is an analogy I was taught early on, obviously it stuck.
So it's basic, a little different, but interesting light reading on the subject.
If your new here click to expand, click again for best view.
So I got the Cavalier into the ventilated shop this morning and got a start at dismantling it. I hate unibodies. I dismantled one back in the 80's, it was made shortly after unibodies were introduced and there was still a lot of extruded aluminum on them, like the bumpers. Now a days aside from the engine assembly, axles and wheel assemblies, most of what is snapped or bolted to that unibody is plastic (mountains of it), foam, and rubber. The few metal panels are thin as paper. I have driven a body on frame truck since I started driving. I got the Cavalier to save on gas, for a 100 mile return commute to work, that I did for 10 years. I'll hopefully never have to drive a unibody again. Ha ha. Don't get me wrong the unibody is actually designed to be safer in minor crashes. The unibody is designed to crumple in a step by step, more controlled fashion. My beef with the low end models, is that they are to much like the disposable society we have become. Difficult to repair with poor quality parts, after ten years up here with the salt on the road in the winter and rough roads everywhere, they are usually done.
Here's a couple of pictures. It's going to take a while to get this all stripped down.
I think it was on "The Big Bang Theory" that someone said "Your degree of white trash is measured by how many junked cars are in your yard." Ha, ha. I guess I am back to zero again. lol.
So I got out this morning to clean up that downed spruce in "Sawmill Dreams". Cleaned up the saw, new bar and chain and we're ready to go.
There is a large poplar by the lane way near my power line I have been keeping an eye on. Looking up today 15-20 feet from the top I saw streaks of red sap running down the tree from holes in the trunk. The bugs and the woodpeckers going after them, were greatly weakening the trunk in that area. The next good wind storm is likely to snap the top off onto my power line, so down it comes.
Fresh woodpecker hole, going after the bugs.
Chances are a good wind storm would have snapped it off right here. Definitely weakened by the bugs and woodpeckers.
This pine was dead and dried out. I bumped it a few times with the tractor bucket when I did the cut and fill landscaping in this area 3 years ago. I had hoped it would survive, but no, so down it comes.
This is that spruce in the "Sawmill Dreams" post, delimbed and cut into 3-8 ft. lengths and a 18 ft. top.
All loaded up, haven't worked this hard in over 6 months, I'll feel it tomorrow. Working the springs on the old truck too, at 23 years old though, it just keeps on going. A very cold winter a decade ago, I froze the rad. and fried the bearings on it, half way to work one night. I traded the motor in on a rebuild and thats about the only problem I have ever had with it, and that was my fault, ha ha.
So getting to hot to stay out here, I'll finish cleaning up the limbs later when it cools down. It looks like climate change for us up here, means "weather extremes", we just went through a darn cold winter, now the forecast for this summer is blistering hot.
So here is the third file I made up from those early (1905 - 1930) PM Shop Notes volumes. This file is not as large (41 pages) as the other two. Pickings were slim after pulling all the Romig plans for the other file. Never the less, some of these are more interesting than practical today, but thats an opinion,some may find many of them worth challenging, like the tool box below.
So as mentioned before their is enough content on this site now, that someone looking for projects to build, should have no trouble finding something of interest here.
There is a lot of work I need to do around the place and get my hands dirty on, and I want to fit in a few good road trips this summer, so I will be posting a lot less.
First on the list is dismantling my old Cavalier. It runs fine but the suspension and body have seen better days. I could repair and resell, but used Cavaliers, 15 years old, aren't worth much. I offered it to family for "FREE" but nobody bit. Ha ha. I guess I can use some parts for my sawmill build. The motor still runs great, not sure what I will use that for yet. Hows a 142 HP lawnmower sound? lol, lol not really.
So here are a couple of nice plans from the 1987 Popular Science Supplement. The first is a finger joint cutting machine. There are many nice plans out there for finger joint cutting jigs. Most use the table saw to do the work with various blades, blade stacks, or dado stacks. Some are more complicated than they have to be and do not have much adjustment to compensate for things like, blades that run less than true.
If you have a bit of floor space and like to use finger joints for lots of joinery, this dedicated little machine might be for you. A 1/2 hp or larger motor, a ball bearing spindle available at most hardware stores, and a good quality 6" dado stack are the main parts needed. The rest can all be easily shop built. There is lots of adjustment, so once you have set up a snug fit, you can quickly start to produce stacks of finger jointed boards. As the author alludes to their are other applications this can be used for.
My feeling is that safety was a consideration in the design, the blade lives below the table, it is raised into the work with a simple foot pedal feed, and returns below the table, when the pedal is released. Additional guarding on the underside would insure nothing wanders near the blade from the underside.
The second project is a uncomplicated router table by R.J De Cristoforo. The table has nice built in storage and guards for the different functions, the top is solid looking. What more do you need? Some plans offer more in eye appeal but function no better for their intended purpose. A characteristic of R J's designs, I find, often omit unnecessary additions that don't contribute to tool function.
During the early 1920's Joe V. Romig was one of the most prolific authors of plans and articles for the home diy'er, His plans and articles were published in both Popular Mechanics and Popular Science.
This 69 page file covers the majority of his work. I left some of it out, like a 8" jointer, the 2 knife square head is considered unsafe today, and a table saw, with limited adjustment (Joe was not a woodworker). I also left out some industrial sized cranes and farm equipment that were to far off topic here.
A few of his plans incorporate concrete for mass, a method developed during the first world war to get around material shortages. Since then their has been a bit of a revival with a few sites using this method to build mass in machine tools and avoid cast iron.
So I hope some will enjoy this collection of plans. Many of them are still very practical for the small hobby shop.
So as promised here is a 71 page collection of short plans and ideas from the pre 1930 PM Shop Notes. The 26 previous Shop Notes volumes (1905 - 1930) are widely distributed around the web and at least one company, Algrove Publishing, has reprinted them. For this reason I did only the post 1930 uploads in my previous posts. For those who have not accessed these volumes but have some interest in what might be in them, here is a collection of short (less than 1 page) but more outstanding plans and ideas in these volumes. There are 2 more files coming with larger projects including one devoted to J. V. Romig and his plans.