Thursday, June 25, 2009

Last Minute Door Update

Cutting Tenons

I was just dumping my digital camera getting ready for summer vacation and realised I had some pics of the tenons being sawn for the door project. I'm using my 14" Rip saw and my 12" carcass both by Lie Nielsen. Here is some of the progress.

To begin a nice deep scribe line with my favourite marking gauge establishes the tenons width; in this case they're all 5/8" thick, 3" deep and the rails being cut here are just under 7" wide. The Quarter Sawn White Oak is hard and unforgiving so make sure you have sharp tools when working this kind of wood. I'll go back and forth over the pieces to get these lines as deep as the small cutter on the gauge will allow. The base lines are all established with my engineers square off of one reference edge and then one reference surface.

I begin each cut with a small kerf at the far side of the piece and then slowly establish the straight line across the piece using the back heel of my saw plate. I can bear down and get a nice deep kerf established with this method of using the heel of the saw where the teeth remain the sharpest. Once the kerf is adequate I begin the sawing; I saw down until my back saw just about bottoms out and then I'll rotate the work piece in my tail vise and continue on from this opposite side.

You'll notice in the video below I'll use my Ryoba to finish off the cut to the required depth. From here I get out my miter hook and another bench hook to support the Oak and cross cut to the shoulder line. Again I'll slowly begin the kerf using the heel of my saw plate and work my way down into the cut. Finish sawing with the work piece back in the tail vise and the Japanese pull saw to complete.

I'll do all of the rails and moulions for the entire door before I mark the pieces to saw the haunches in the tenons. In the shot above you can see the first haunches are cut in the small moulion. It's one slow step at a time in the Unplugged Woodshop. Enjoy the process and try to split these lay out lines. The video below will show the always, I was spinning some vinyl...Neil Young's, 'After the Gold Rush' one of his best and still one of my favourites. To get a good idea of the time line to complete this one cut you may notice by the end of the job the record needed to be turned over! Ahh the joys of vinyl. Cheers!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Taking a Break

Home to the Island...Cape Breton

Over an ocean and over a sea
Beyond these great waters, oh what do I see?
I see the great mountains
Climb from the coastline
The hills of Cape Breton, this new home of mine
Oh they come from the countries all over the world
To hack at the forest, to plow the land down
Fishermen, farmers and sailors all come
To clear for the future this pioneer ground
We are an island, a rock in a stream
We are a people as proud as there's been
In soft summer breeze or in wild winter winds
The home of our hearts, Cape Breton

These words are taken from Kenzie MacNeils 'The Island'

Well it's been a busy few weeks around here and I'm getting through the door build. I have all of the mortise and tenons cut with the panels and mouldings to go. My original plan was to finish the door over the next week or two and then head East to Cape Breton for a much needed summer vacation. My client has informed me that they're doing some major basement renovations on their home and won't really be needing the door for at least the next two months so he suggested I leave when ever I can and finish the door when I return at the end of August. So with that, I'm putting the build on hold and heading back home to Cape Breton this weekend.
The photo above is looking down from the highlands towards Cheticamp, a small Acadian village a short drive from our home. We actually do all of our grocery shopping here and some of the spalted Maple I used in one of my book projects came from this area.
It's been a great year, the 13 projects I made, six which make up my book that'll be launched in November. Made by Hand, Furniture Projects from the Unplugged Woodshop for those that didn't know already. I've actually been doing alot of re-shoots and re-writes trying to make it as good as I can throughout this past month. I'm really looking forward to getting it out there and getting some feedback on the projects. Each book will included a free DVD titled 'A Beginners Guide to Hand Tool Essentials'
The book, as I understand it will be available in hardcover through most online book stores such as Amazon and the like. If you're interested I'll be offering some pre-orders here in the late summer/early fall, these will all be signed copies and include the DVD as well as a bonus music CD I recorded awhile back. It will also have a bonus project section offered only to pre-order customers. It's basically an extra chapter with a new design that didn't make it into the original text of the book. I'll keep you posted on the details.
As for the next few weeks I won't be blogging as often, being in a rural setting doing all of those summer time things we do up here as Canadians; fishing and swimming, hiking and drinking beer... it'll be rough getting to a computer to write! (not from all of the beer but from the lack of a high speed internet connection out there)
So with that I wanted to say thanks for all of the support and comments everyone has been leaving over the course of the winter book project and now into the spring and summer seasons. The door project will be completed when I get back for those who were interested in following the process. I'll keep you posted on the summer time festivities and will hopefully be announcing some other cool news and projects for the fall.
It'll be a buzz getting back home to the old boat shop full of my power tools...after the 'hand tool only' year I've had I'll probably go all power-tool-crazy and start making lots of dust and noise! I know I have an angle grinder and brand new carving disk back home that's never been used...maybe some sculpted seats in a slab of heavy Maple...something for around the camp fire perhaps? I'm also looking forward to seeing my timber frame all stacked and waiting to be worked on some more. I have quite a pile of maple and beech that should be pretty dry. This will get rough milled while I'm out there and make the trip back here to the city for future projects come the fall.
Like I said I'll do my best to keep everyone up to date on my projects-so with that, have a great summer and happy shavings.
Cheers and thanks again!