Saturday, July 25, 2009

Big Leaf Box

Here we go, the start of my first project outside of school. This is a chunk of Big Leaf Maple left over &/or discarded ;) from my classmate of the twin cities, Craig. It's hard to get a sense of size from the photo but it's only about 8" wide by 22" long. This is to be a small simple box with a sliding lid. Something to kind of ease into work in a much different environment. I will also be needing to kind of stop and go with other things that still need to be brought up to "speed" about the shop.

The first major cuts. Re-sawing two lengths for the box sides. This kind of thing is about maxing out the little band saw. It doesn't cut as quick or clean as I have been used to but it will just take a bit more time and effort than before. I am a bit worried about doing little bridle joints with it though. With some lid/door frame joints so small that you can't get any tools in them to clean them up you need a very clean cut off the saw... It was suggested to me by the local sharpening service and blade supply that I try a steel cutting blade. Supposedly they say people are making the switch from carbide blades due to the price of the carbide blades. I haven't used it yet but I should soon and will report my findings.

The re-sawn pieces were set aside for a few days while I was working on a scraper plane and had to go to work. I took them down to just about final thickness and was almost ready to pour over the grain graphics and colors looking for the pieces that would come out.

But first a little mock-up. I hadn't really planed on doing one for this piece, but I was feeling a bit apprehensive about the size or making those "no turning back" cross-cuts. I just cut up some undesirable maple I had laying around, got them to thickness a only spent about a 1/2 hour playing with the length and height till I was satisfied.

The pieces have been cut still long and roughly "assembled" for reflection. I often "pause for reflection" in this work... don't know if it's a waste of time, a good way of working out problems in my head, a way to clear out the last process and focus on the next, or a way to let possibilities show themselves to me. Whatever the case it is part of how I have come to work.

Getting some use out of my 1" jointer plane, Xavier. Made of a Wenge cut-off from Robert's Vidar's Chair. Here I'm "shooting" the length to flaten the edge and bring the pieces to proper height.
Welp that is about all for now. Dovetails are to come!


Nick Brygidyr said...

About the bandsaw. i only use Bi-metal blades, they stay sharp almost as long as carbide and cost 1/10th of the cost. mine are 16 bucks a blade for my 18"er.

about the frame joints...i haven't cut them on the bandsaw yet, because im cheap and dont feel like buying another blade yet. but i think a 6-8 TPI blade would give a smooth enough cut, heck even 10 TPI would be great for joints

na.nelson said...

Yeah they sold me the bi-metal blade with I think 14 or 16 tpi as I told them I was looking for a joinery blade. $16! really mine was much more than that and only a 101" band >:/

Nick Brygidyr said...

hah well i only have 3 TPI on mine hah since i dont cut any joinery on the bandsaw, i just rip an re-saw off it and touch everything up with my planes.

i use the tablesaw for my frame joints, try and get a close fit right off the saw with a sharp rip blade.

man have you ever used beech? that cabinet im making cracked so much im pretty sure theres some CA glue than wood now =(

na.nelson said...

heh I don't have a rip blade for the TS, I don't even have a cross cut blade yet, just a combo.
I have not used any beech my self yet though I would like to. I hear it's quite nice to work with. What do you mean by cracking?

Nick Brygidyr said...

crack as in, oh hey lets re-saw this sucker in half...oh wow look at those checks and shakes open up the whole way through the board!
the wood works nicely, but its fucking unstable and pretty splintery, you have to have really watch it with this stuff as im learning...but its a nice color, nice and pinky.

i also heard that the european stuff is WAY better and not to even waste your time with the american stuff, oh well!

Nick Brygidyr said...

Somethign else i wanted to ask you that i might have in the are those cute lil bronze spokeshaves? do they chatter or are they actually worth it? i was thinking of either getting those...making some lil shaping planes of my own, or getting instrument planes for doing the lil details or working curved drawer fronts..

Jason2730 said...

Timely discussion Nick(s)...
I need to saw some slot tenons on my bandsaw and have been unimpressed with the finish of my 3-4 tpi blade. Will the finish of a 14-16 tpi improve that considerably? By the way, what is the width of your "joinery blade".

Nick Brygidyr said...

Oh yeah, more teeth=smooth cut BUT slower cut. less teeth=fast cut but super rough.

i'd use a 1/2" wide i guess.

na.nelson said...

Mr. Nick on the spoke shaves... a number of people ask me about those little guys. what I have to say is they DO make nice tools but not out of the box. The "irons" that they come with are pretty much worthless. I made a new set of irons from a large cheap file. I here that Hock actually makes irons for those little guys.
With the new irons you will probably have to open up the mouths on the straight bladed ones. This is most welcome as the fit with the original blades are gaping. The poor news is with the spoon bottom one. You just wont get a tight mouth on that one. As far as chatter, yes they can chatter just as any spokeshave or plane. but if you have set up these tools well, use them in the "right" situations, and develop a bit of a relationship with the tools you can get great results. But of course you cannot tell them to do something they just aren't meant for. I actually have been surprised at the use I've gotten out of them already.

Jason, Hey what's your story? I'm happy to see more craftspeople even if only digitally.
Anywho I actually just tried out that blade of mine yesterday just in some test cuts. The high tooth cut gives a much cleaner surface though yet it is much slower. But the Frames that I will be dealing with will be quit small. You wouldn't want to be resawning a load of veneer with it. The blade I got is only 1/2" wide. The bi-metal blades are fairly stiff and I have a small cheap band saw. I don't know that my saw could support a 3/4" bi-metal blade very well. The theory with wider blades is that they are stiffer and will therefore cut more true than a thin one also the width can act as a "guide" for the cut (yes the teeth are set a bit but not a whole lot on this blade)
Don't know that any of that is new information but to the point, yes, in my test cut I saw a significant improvement of cleanliness ;)

Jason2730 said...

I now realize it is somewhat silly but I didn't realize (or hadn't thought to look) for a wide high tpi blade for high quality cuts. I have a 3 tpi resaw blade (5/8") and a narrow 8 or 10 tpi blade for cutting tight curves (which I never use). I am ordering a new bimetal blade today (14 tpi, 1/2").

Anonymous said...

I love it ! Very creative ! That's actually really cool Thanks.