Sunday, June 30, 2013

Time For A Change

Please note that I have decided to move my blog to Wordpress.  I have started the migration process, but it is likely to take a month or so before everything is up to snuff.  New posts will be placed on Wordpress, not here on Google Blogger.  Wildrosewoodcraft on Wordpress

WARNING!   Rant ahead!

Why?  It's because I'm tired of Google.  They used to be the new up and coming internet darling, with all kinds of new and cool things.  I'm an early user of gmail, chrome, google docs, picasa, google drive, and other things google.  But the Google I initially signed up for is gone.  They no longer listen to their users, they simply shove new GoogleCrap down the users throats.  So I'm leaving.

A good example is Google+, which I refer to as Google Minus.  Every time I try to do something, they try to force me to sign up for Google Minus.  At one point they did it without my permission, but I deleted the account.  I don't want Google Minus.  End of story.  Leave me alone.  Oh, wait, Google doesn't listen to users, so we only have one thing we can do:  Leave Google.

Another example is Picasa.  This used to be the best photo cloud site on the web, and a really nice simple photo editor on the desktop.  It also linked seamlessly with Blogger.  No longer.  Every time I try to to link Picasa photos to my Google blog, I get jammed into the "Join Google Minus" system.  Long story short, I can't post my Picasa web photos on my blog any longer.

Finally, every time I try to view a Youtube video, Google trys to force me to use my real name in public places.  No way, Google, it ain't happening.  I believe in privacy.  Google believes in mining their users for every scrap of private data that they can get their grubby little paws on, and using it to their advantage.

So rather than consolidating all my internet use around Google, which would let them mine my personal data continuously,  I will be taking the divide and conquer approach.  My new browser of choice will be Firefox.  Blog will be Wordpress.  I'll keep my gmail account for now, but that is also in danger of going.  I've already set up a Yahoo email address just in case.   Photos have been migrated to Flickr.  Google Drive will be dropped in favor of Dropbox.

See you on Wordpress!

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Benchtop Renewal

Since re-arranging my shop, I was having this.....nagging feeling.  Like something needed to be done, but I was purposely blocking it out.  You've all had that feeling before, haven't you?

Something finally gave way, and I owned up to my responsibility.  The benchtop needed to be flattened, now that I could get to all sides of the bench.  It actually wasn't in bad shape structurally.  There was no twist, but the front and back edges were definitely higher than the middle.  Cosmetically, it could definitely use some help.

I didn't take any before pics, as the camera was off-site, but here's an old one of one of the worn sections of the bench.

I started with the LV BU Jack with a toothed blade.  I know I'm supposed to use a #7 or #8, but this BU Jack paired with a toothed blade just seems purpose-made for this type of project.  Plus, I didn't need to make major changes, just do a touch-up.

Then smoothing with the LV BU Smoother.

And finally scraping with a card scraper.

Finished off with home brew BLO/Turpentine/Mineral Spirits.  Ready for another couple of years of abuse!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

I Must Be Bored

Why?  Because I'm not only doing spring cleaning, I'm doing spring re-arranging.  As if I don't have enough to do.  But I want to transition from my winter shop to my summer shop.  Here's my winter shop, crammed into the front of my garage, sharing space with two cars.  It's a nice little one-person workspace, but I can't do work on any large items in this space.  This is about a 10' x 15' space. 

Now granted, this is the pic I submitted for the "Messiest Shop Contest" on Woodnet.  So it looks a bit cluttered.  No, I didn't win, I was definitely in the "Lightweight" category. 

With the winter layout, I have limited access to my contractor table saw, planer and power jointer.  So I tend to use a lot of hand tools in the winter, along with the lathe and bandsaw.

Here's the new layout, with the truck in the driveway for the summer.



This exercise and new layout had some definite advantages, such as:

1) I can now work on both sides of my bench
2) Although the table saw, jointer and planer are not set up to run immediately, I can access them quickly
3) I cleaned some spots that hadn't been touched in multiple years
4) I found half a dozen tools that I had lost
5) I found tools I didn't know I had, and hadn't missed, which means I should sell them
6) The lathe is now right by the lathe tool rack
7) I have space to work on larger projects

So overall a worthwhile venture, although moving a 350 pound bench by yourself without wheels is a bit of a struggle.  But got 'er done, and the back is only a little sore.

Disston #4 Backsaw Cleanup

This little 125 year old backsaw was in sad need of some TLC.  Having said that, it was actually in pretty good shape and looked like all original equipment.  The discovery of this little gem is described here. The before shot:

And after a minimal cleanup.  I call this minimal because nothing new has been added; only rust, dirt, paint and old finish have been removed.  The saw shows well, but it still looks 125 years old.  That handle is just a classic shape, isn't it?

I removed the saw nuts, handle and back.  Normally I leave the back in place, but this one was seriously canted.

Then I lay down a length of particle board with melamine on one side.  This works way better than newspaper, cardboard, or garbage bags.  All of those get messy and fall apart after a while.  Then I carefully scrape as much rust off as I can, without digging in and scarring the metal.  I follow this with 400 grit wet/dry sandpaper in 3-in-1 oil.  You can use mineral spirits, windex or just about any other lubricant that you want to use.  On small blades I use 3-in-1.  I also usually start with 240 or 320 grit sandpaper, but I wanted to go slow on this one and look for an etch (no such luck, tho).

The sawnuts were cleaned with Brasso and a brass brush.  The handle was scraped with a card scraper, then rubbed with a 3M pad with alcohol to completely remove the old shellac finish, which looked pretty sad.  I finished the blade and the back with 600 grit and autosol rubbed with crumpled foil.  The handle got a coat of danish oil.

One last comment; this is the first backsaw I have done a total rehab on.  When I put the back on after cleaning, I inserted the blade in the back as far as it would go, see below.  This resulted in one of the holes for the sawnuts being completely covered, so I asked the Woodnet guys what was up.  Toby steered me in the right direction.  Apparently only about 1/8" of the blade extends into the back.  Once I fixed that, it was easy to finish up.