Sunday, February 19, 2017

February Pretending to be Spring

This is great! Unseasonably warm weather - mid 50s - over the weekend is encouraging. My 2017 building season began with a good cleaning of the Boat Cave and getting things ready to resume boat work.

In the meantime, work on the Morris chair has progressed to the point of discussing cushions with a local upholsterer, picking out fabric and sanding prior to the glue up.
The arms of the Morris chair have thru-tenons. Learning how to cut those (and the associated mortises) inspired me to learn more about chisels and sharpening shop tools. This time I am taking it seriously...

I've also been experimenting with end-grain cutting boards. So far, so good (this is the glue-up of the blank to be sliced into end-grain)..
While the warmer weather won't hold (this is Michigan after all), I will do what I can and look forward to getting back to boat work full-time. A late spring launch is still on the calendar.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Too Cold for Boat Work

Single-digit temperatures have kept me out of the Boat Cave this week.

Instead, I began a woodworking project I've had on the list for a long time: a pair of Morris Chairs for our reading room.

We decided we wanted Stickley bow-arm style chairs. There are several ways to create a bow-arm. Cut the bow out of thick stock; laminate the bow using 1/4" stock; steam-bending the bow; and gluing up a bow shaped-blank using smaller blocks cut at angles and then sanding the final bow. Based on the success I had bending various pieces for Gardens, I decided to steam bend the bow shape into the arms.

When I bent the carlins and gunwales for Gardens, I used 4" poly-tubing as the steaming chamber and that worked well. I went shopping for 8" poly-tubing (the arm blanks are 1" x 6" x 42") and found rolls of it ranging in length from 725' to 2100' and ranging in price from $70 to $230. Since I only need about 20' of tubing these choices seemed a bit over the top.

I considered PVC pipe… except the materials (4' of 8" PVC pipe and two end caps) priced out at $105, and that seemed too steep, too. (Plus, schedule 40 PVC pipe is not recommended for temperatures above 140F - not good for steaming.)

When I priced plywood to build a small steam box the total came to about $24. I should have started with the plywood box… The box is built and the arms will be bent this week.

Warmer temperatures are in the forecast so I'll get back to Gardens soon.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

New Year's Day 2017

Yes, New Year's Day… a traditional time for thinking ahead and making wishful lists of 'things-to-do" in the new year. I've made my share of resolutions over the years - some very specific and some overly broad. I've had some success but more often than not, those good intentions are forgotten by February.

So, this year, I'm not declaring any resolutions. I plan to get on with the task at hand: Completing, launching and sailing Gardens!

Happy New Year!