Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Making a Shop Apron - 1

For something new and different, I've decided to make a shop apron.

The Frau has complained that I always decided to do woodworking while wearing my best clothes. I don't know why, but I've always avoided wearing a shop apron. I guess I'm just too cheap to buy a nice one, and the cheap ones tend to be a distraction.

Unlike this project...

I've never done very much sewing before, and didn't quite know how to go about it, so I did some googling, and came across a post from a sewing blog. It's good to have a place to start. The other place I looked was the shop apron page on Texas Heritage Woodworks site. Jason seems to be making the best shop aprons out there at the moment.

This project seems to be a good one for someone who has never sewn before. It's not too complicated, and has enough hems to make you want to never do another one again.

A sewing machine would make this project very quick and easy, except for the fact that I am using #8 duck canvas (18 oz.) requiring a heavy-duty sewing machine, and I don't have one.

I do have a Speedy Stitcher. I haven't ever really used it, so I suppose it's a great time to learn.
Working on making some hems with the Speedy Stitcher.
I made some measurements on my body, and then cut a piece of fabric based on the size of the material I had on hand. I free-handed the cutouts for the armpits with a pencil, folded the canvas in half and cut the same shape out on both sides.

Next is about two days worth of sewing hems. A professional seamstress I am not.
After a while, I could finally sort of do it straight.
I am certain that if I did more of this kind of work, a stitching mule would be a big help. This project should be a little rough, but I expect the apron to work just fine.
Finished with the hems!
Next I will sew on some straps I got off of a spare hunk of veg-tan leather. I wanted to see what would happen if I soaked the straps in boiled linseed oil, and so far they look good.
Straps soaked in BLO.
Hopefully this project won't take too much more time. And, hopefully it will be as functional as I am hoping. If not, I guess I can make another one.

But I hope I don't.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

An Easy New Panel Gauge - In English AND Spanish!

I am going to try an experiment with this blog post, and post it in both English and Spanish, which I am learning due to the fact that I now live in Spain. Apologies to you Spanish speakers for butchering your language. Hopefully, this will help me learn, and I would appreciate some feedback. ¡Viva el Tooleráble!

Voy a probar un experimento con este mensaje, y escribo en inglés y español, que estoy aprendiendo porque vivo en España. Te pido disculpas por matar tu idioma. Con suerte, esto me ayudará a aprender, y agradecería algunos comentarios. ¡Viva el Tooleráble!

I built a panel gauge about three years ago that I am very proud of. It only has two problems: one, it has a Chinese style blade that works great, but the mechanism I built to hold it in place is a little finicky, and the tiny ebony wedge I made to hold the blade in place is rolling around in the dust on my shop floor somewhere. The second problem is it is still in Munich with my old shop, and I am in Spain.

Construí un calibrador de panel hace unos tres años que estoy muy orgulloso. Sólo tiene dos problemas: uno, tiene una hoja de estilo chino que functiona muy bien, pero el mechanismo que he construido para manterlo en su lugar es un poco fino, y la pequeña cuña de ébano que hice para sostener la hoja en su lugar está rodando en el polvo en el piso de mi taller en alguna parte. El segunda problema es que todavía está en Múnich con mi antiguo taller, y estoy en España.

@haandkraft on Instagram posted a picture of a vintage panel gauge, and I really liked the design. It has an unusually wide beam which appealed to me.

@haandkraft en Instagram publicó una imagen de un calibrador de panel antiguo, y me gustó mucho el diseño. Tiene un astil anormalmente ancho que me atrajo.

I took a look around, found some suitable scrap, and started building.

Miré a mi alredador, encontré algunos desechos de madera, y comencé a construir.

I found a very nice pear scrap that used to be the leg of a safari chair I made a while back. There was a clear piece at the top that would suit.

 Encontré un desecho de pera muy agredable que solía ser la pierna de una silla de safari que hace un tiempo. Había una pieza clara en la parte superior que se adapte.
Pear scrap. Marking the first cross cut.
I decided not to hurry this cut, as I wanted to use this straight from the saw. It's not perfect, but it required no cleaning up as I intend to bevel an angle on this later. I didn't do that at this point because I wasn't sure exactly how it would all turn out.

Decidí no apurar este corte, ya que quería usar esto directamente de la sierra. No es perfecto, pero no requiere limpieza, ya que pretendo biselar un ángulo en esto más tarde. No hice eso en este punto porque no estaba seguro exactamente cómo resultaría todo.
My cross cutting is getting better.
I marked out the next crosscut which would determine the length of the stock. I didn't make the cut yet, because the extra length of the chair leg would assist me in chopping the mortise.

Marqué el próximo corte que determina la longitud de la culata. Ya no hace el corte, porque la longitud extra de la pierna de una silla ayuda a cortar la mortaja.
Mark out stock length.
I don't have a 1/2" mortise chisel here. In fact, I only have three chisels, which suits me quite well. I decided to use this 1/2" chisel to chop the mortise. I will then lay out the mortise using the dimensions straight from this chisel.

No tengo aqui un 13mm formón de mortaja. Tengo solo tres formónes, que me queda muy bien. Decidí usar este 13mm formón para cortar la mortaja. A continuación establacer la mortaja con las dimensiones directamente desde el formón.
It looks like it is about 1/3 of the width of the stock.

Then it was just a matter of marking the length of the mortise. I chose a length just a little narrower than the width of the stick I had on hand to use for the beam.

Entonces sólo era cuestión de marcando la longitud de la mortaja. Elegí un longitud apenas un poco más estracha que la anchura del astil.
It just so happens, that I had a scrap of sycamore left over from the last Danish Chair Building Extravaganza that was just about right. Jonas milled the wood that eventually became this stick. He got the log from a tree that was in his Dad's front yard. In fact, here is an old picture of Jonas on his Moto Guzi with the sycamore tree that this stick came from in the background.

Tuve un desecho del sicomoro sobra desde el Danés Silla Construyendo Gran Espectáculo que estaba justo a la derecha. Jonas molió la madera que se convirtío en este palo. Él consiguió el registro de un árbol que estaba en el jardín de su papá. De hecho, aquí hay una vieja foto de Jonas en su Moto Guzi con el árbol de sicómoro en el fondo.
Jonas, his bike, his brother's old girlfriend, and the sycamore tree.
Here is the setup I use to plane this stick to the proper dimensions. I do not have a workbench, but I do have these two sawhorses. Planing this way while seated is actually quite comfortable.

Aquí esta la organización uso cepillar esta paloa la dimensión correcta. No tengo un banco de trabajo, pero tengo dos caballetes para serrar. Cepillado de esta manera mientras está sentado es bastante cómodo.
Planing setup.
It looks a bit ridiculous to plane with a giant #8 sized bench plane on this tiny bench, but it works.

Parece ridículo para cepillar con un cepillo grande, un #8 cepillo en este banco pequeño, pero funciona.
The reason I went to shaping the beam instead of chopping the mortise is I did not want to make all that racket on a Sunday evening. The next day, under cover of the neighbor's construction crew doing renovations, I whacked away.

Amoldé el astil mejor cortando la mortaja porque no quiero hacer el ruido en un domingo por la noche. El lunes, mientras los vecinos renovaba, yo corté ruidoso.
I did this just like any other mortise.
Using this delicate chisel was no problem. I just had to avoid prying out the chips like I normally would. As long as I chopped straight down and then pulled straight out, I could do a million mortises with this chisel.

El uso de este formón frágil fue no problema. Solo tuve que evitar curar las fichas como lo haría normalmente. Mientras yo cortara hacia abajo y luego tirara hacia afuera, podría hacer un millón de las mortajas con este formón.
Just don't pry.

See? It worked!

Without too much fuss, I was able to slide the beam into the stock. I should note that the mortise does not have to be a piston fit. In fact a tiny bit of slop allows the beam to move freely back and forth.

Sin demasiados problemas, pude deslizar el astil en la culata. La mortaja no tiene que ser un ajuste de pistón. Un poco de imprecisión puede el astil para moverse libremente hacia adelante y hacia atrás.
The beam fit to the stock.
Now I need a wedge. I thought about using a scrap of ebony that I brought along for another purpose, but decided that I should use a less expensive piece of wood just in case this whole project fails. Luckily, I found the perfect wood in a tip across the street while dumpster diving. Oak!

Aqui necesito una cuña. Pensé en usar un desecho del ébano que traje aquí, pero decidi usar una pieza de madera más barata. Por suerte, encontré la madera perfecta en el basurero al otro lado de la calle mientras dumpster buceo. ¡Roble!
Former bits from oak parquet flooring. Perfect wedge stock.
I printed a scan of the wedge from my previous panel gauge and taped it to my wedge stock. It was just a matter of sawing out the shape and refining it with a chisel and a rasp.

Imprimí un escaneo de la cuña desde mi calibrador de panel anterior y lo pegué en la madera de la cuña. Serré la forma y la refinando con una formón y una escofina.
Future wedge.
Double sided sticky tape wasn't ideal, but it is what I had.
There are probably neater ways to do this. I decided to just chip away with my small chisel to excavate the mortise for the wedge. I just marked out how far up on each side I wanted to go, and came in from each side.

Hay probablemente maneras más limpias de hacer esto. Decidí cortar con mi formón pequeña excavar la mortaja para la cuña. Marqué cada lado, y corté desde cada lado.
Making room for the wedge.
With some fiddling, it was ready in no time.

Con un poco de jugueteo, estaba listo en muy poco tiempo.

A less artsy shot.
Then it was a matter of cross cutting the waste from the safari leg off.

Entonces corté el desperdicio desde la pierna de la silla de safari.
I thought about a few different ways to make a pin. I first wanted to harden a nail, but I don't have a torch here. It was recommended to me to use a screw, as they are already hardened.

Pensé en algunas maneras diferentes de hacer un alfiler. Quise endurecer un clavo, pero no tengo un soplete aquí. Se me recomendó usar un tornillo. Ya están endurecidos.
A screw!
I drove the screw into a piece of scrap so I could hold it while shaping the point on my diamond grinding plate.

Conduje el tornillo en un desecho de madera así que podría sostenerlo mientras moldeando el punto en mi placa de molienda de diamante.
I rounded the tip the best I could, then flattened one half on the edge of the plate. After I had the rough shape, it was just a matter of going through the stones until I was satisfied.

Redondeé la punta, entonces aplané media la punta en el borde de la placa. Después tuve la forma áspera, Fue por las piedras hasta que quedé satisfecho.
Shaping a flat on one side.

I think it turned out OK.

Es muy bien.

Close up of the point.

I marked a point in the center of the end of the beam, and drilled a pilot hole.

Marqué un punto en el centro del extremo de la astil, y perforé un agujero piloto.

Starting the hole with an awl.
Then it was just a matter of inserting the screw until the tip poked out and was oriented right.

Puse el tornillo  hasta que la punta salió y se orientó correctamente.
Actually, this is oriented 180 degrees backwards.
Once I am happy with everything on this cutter, I will saw off the end of this screw. In the meantime, if it needs to be backed out to be adjusted, the screw head will come in handy.

Una vez que esté feliz con todo en este cortador, voy a ver fuera del final de este tornillo. Mientras tanto, si necesita ser retrocedido para ser ajustado, la cabeza del tornillo vendrá en práctico.

Making a test mark.
It works great. The stability of the wider beam makes a difference. The pin makes a nice crisp line.

Funciona muy bien. La estabilidad del haz más ancho hace la diferencia. El pin hace una línea nítida.

The line is deep, and one-sided.
I finished it by burnishing some beeswax on it with a pollisoir.

Puse el acobado en él puliendo un poco de cera de abejas en él con un pollisoir.
I am happy with how this turned out, and look forward to making another!

Estoy feliz con cómo resultó esto, y esperamos hacer otro!

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Experiment: Making My Own Cold Bleached Linseed Oil

I was always happy with standard boiled linseed oil (BLO). It's got a lot of great things going for it: it's widely available at any hardware store, it looks great as a finish on it's own, it can be combined with other things to make different finishes, it makes a great wipe-on finish, etc.

My only beef with it for a long time is the smell.

It turns out that BLO isn't boiled at all. Nowadays, raw linseed oil (which works as a finish, but takes weeks to dry making it unhandy) is mass produced by adding metallic chemical drying agents such as manganese and cobalt which through the magic of chemistry makes the linseed oil dry relatively quickly.

A quick internet search produced a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for some BLO, which includes this:

Effects of Overexposure:
Inhalation:  Vapors may cause irritation of the respiratory tract.
Skin:  Prolonged or repeated skin contact may cause irritation or dermatitis.
Eyes:  Contact with eyes may cause burning and tearing.
Ingestion:  Ingestion of large amounts may cause gastrointestinal irritation.
Chronic:  Not Available.

Overall, it looks pretty safe. But not totally. I wouldn't drink it.

Then, I was ruined by Dictum. They sell a Swedish cold-bleached linseed oil.
Linseed oil from Dictum. Also, some great smelling turpentine balsam, and some natural tung oil from Denmark.
This stuff is great. No chemicals, it smells great, and it works fantastic! After a little bit of research, I think I know how this was made, and I am going to try to replicate it in my apartment.

What could go wrong?

The first thing I found was this great YouTube video by Joe Besch:
His website led me to a page on Tad Spurgeon's website. Mr. Spurgeion's passion is oil painting, and shares on his site how oil paints made by the old masters were made from linseed oil.

I figure if this is good enough for the old masters, it should also work for woodworking.

Enough blah-blah. Let's get to work:

First, instead of pressing my own flax seed, I ordered a liter of pure, quality raw linseed oil from El Barco, a local paint shop in Valencia.
Raw linseed oil.
Once it arrived, I went for a walk down to the beach. Joe Besch's video shows him adding sand, salt and marble dust to his mixture, but after reading Tad Spurgeon's notes, I am convinced that plain sea water and some sand from the beach should work great. These additives, from what I can figure, are to help purify the final oil similar to running water through a sand filter purifies the water.

I'm not sure, and if you would like to try it, I'm sure you'll have success using only tap water.
Believe it or not, you can buy sea water at a local grocer for 3.99/liter!
It was a bit stormy, but my trek was successful.
beach sand and seawater. And who-knows-what.
There was some dreck in the water, so I filtered it out with a paper towel.
Filtering the sea water.
Then I washed the sand by filling the jar with tap water, fixing the lid and shaking like crazy. I dumped the water out and repeated until I didn't feel like doing that any more.
The clean sand.
Likely, I used way too much sand. I think much less would have worked just as good. Once I dumped the liter of linseed oil into my two liter jar over the sand, I figured it was too late to take some out and we'll just have to see how it goes.
Next I dumped in my raw linseed oil.
Then, I topped off the jar with sea water. I would have liked a 50-50 mix of oil and water, but this is where we are. I think it should do something.
Oil on top, the water sank below it, and the sand is on the bottom.
Next I shook the jar like crazy until everything was mixed.
After the mixture was shaken. Not stirred.
Over the next couple of hours, I shook it up again. Joe Besch suggests three times.

Then, let it sit in the sun.
After an hour or so, you can start to see everything separating nicely.
After an hour.
And the last photo is where we are this morning, after about ten hours of rest.

If you are wondering what you are looking at, you can clearly see everything settling in layers. The bottom is the sand, and the little black bubble looking things above that is actually clear water. It is heavier than the oil so it sinks to the bottom.

The yellow band is a layer of fat we've just rendered out of the raw linseed oil. I suspect this is the stuff that prevents raw linseed oil from drying quickly.

The brown layer on top is the good stuff.
The next morning.
No earlier than tonight, and likely tomorrow, I'll extract the top layer using a baking syringe that I bought for the purpose. The idea is to get the pure stuff off the top without any of the unwanted stuff below.

I'll follow Joe Besch's advice and do this process again with my refined oil. I imagine after a couple times of this, I should get some pretty nice quality stuff.

The last step is to let it rest in the sun for some weeks or months, and the yellow color will evaporate away.

For my purposes, it probably doesn't need to be crystal clear, but it will be fun to see how far I can take this.

There is likely to be quite a bit less than one liter of oil after this process, but what I have should be good.

I'm not sure if this will be worth it, but it is fun to see if it will work.

Keep an eye on this blog in the future, I plan to post on the results of this experiment over time.