Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Garden Gate Project - Part 14 - More finishing and gilding

Finishing can be really boring. The gate requires 7 coats of varnish all over and the application of which is very time consuming. Each coat needs 24 hours between drying and every other coat needs rubbing with 320 grit. Also the dilution of each coat gets less between coats until you end up with the varnish going on neat from the can.
I hadn't worked out a way of coating each side at the same time and the gate is too heavy to place onto painters pyramids or a simple bed of nails. So consequently 7 separate coats ends up taking 14 days to achieve. No pictures of paint drying I'm afraid.

In the meantime we have had guests over from foreign climes and we have been hosting for them. I did manage to get a little shop time last Sunday whilst they went to a Manchester United football game against Chelsea. I have absolutely no interest at all in football so had a few hours in the shop.

I decided to highlight the letters of the sign with black paint and gild the numbers with gold leaf.
The signs all had a base coat of shellac followed by a thin coat of spar varnish. When that had thoroughly dried I started to apply so black enamel paint. Unfortunately this paint was water based and would not take to the now varnished over letters! DOH!. Luckily I had some oil based exterior black gloss paint so carefully applied that paint instead.

Dunluce is the name of our house

Monday, 20 October 2014

Garden Gate Project - Part 13 - Finishing

All surfaces sanded to 180 grit, my makers mark branded on and then the first coat of Epithanes spar varnish. This is thinned to 50% using either mineral spirits (known as white spirit in the UK - this is not odourless in the UK) or Epithanes thinner. I used the latter as it is odourless and is the same price as white spirit.

Just another 6 coats to go! Gradually reducing the amount of thinners to get to full strength eventually.

Sanding complete

Not bad amber tint for first coat
It will get deeper with more coats

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Commercial Benches bench dog hole layout.

One of my friends on Woodtalk asked me about where to position dog holes. He had built a great bench and just needed some drilling details. My bench is a commercial bench made by Sjobergs here and is adequate for my use for now.
I don't use all of the dog holes but do tend to use quite a few of them at the left-hand end when using a hold-fast. I do find that having such a grid of holes is advantageous as I also use Bench Cookies with risers. The risers fit in a 3/4" hole and having the flexibility of so many hole is great.

Here are a few pictures of the bench dog layout from the lefthand end of the bench.

Longitudinal spacing

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Garden Gate Project - Part 12 - Glue up #2

I like the smell of epoxy in the morning.

After the glue had cured the pieces of wood that were protruding from the mortises were cut off.
Then using a combination of flush trim saw, various block panes and that DIY tool that never gets used in fine woodworking, the Black and Decker belt sander (!), the joints were all sanded flush. It really is the right tool for the job and I bought it many years ago to sand a table with it ending up on the shelf ever since. I have a new found fondness for a power tool.

Using a Japanese ryoba saw to saw off excess

Friday, 10 October 2014

Garden Gate Project - Part 11 - Glue up

The glue up is a multi stage procedure:

  • Top rail, mid rail and mullions sub assembly
  • Lower rail, stiles to the previous sub assembly making the carcase assembly
  • Vertical boards to gate carcase assembly
  • Diagonal supports.
The reason for approaching the glue up in this way is to stop panic when the glue is drying.
The mullions were generously coated with epoxy glue as were their corresponding mortises in the top and mid rails. They were inserted and the side stiles were attached without glue and everything squared up and clamped.

After leaving overnight to cure the stiles were removed and the first sub-assembly was complete.

The next evening and there was a little squeeze out to clean up. As a bench chisel will not now fit in I used a chisel plane.
Chisel plane - you never know when you'll need one.

Paring the glue with a bench chisel.

Then the panic sets in when you have to coat tenons with glue and poke glue into the mortise's. All the time you are aware of the glue setting up but with West Systems Epoxy you still have plenty of working time.
After all the tenons were inserted, the clamps added, the piece checked for squareness then the wedges are coated with glue and inserted. Insert them both in both tapping with a hammer.
In the meantime glue is dripping out from all orifices - don't worry about it you can clean it up tomorrow (or leave it in globular form on the floor!)
The important thing is that all the joints are fully coated adding to its longtime water resistance.

Clamps on and wedges inserted.
Wedges in

The next job after curing will be cutting off any excess and cleaning up the excessive squeeze-out. Then the boards and diagonal supports can be cut to length and glued in.

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Garden Gate Part 10 - More signs and preparation

As there were many more letters to be carved I decided to have a look at the Milescraft Signpro. Essentially this is a routing template comprising letters, numbers and some punctuation marks.
The set I have is the 1212 which has a full range of 2.1/2" high and 1.1/2" high characters. It also has 2 different diameter long series router cutters, various low profile clamps, universal router base and various accessories to enable the user to make long signs.

In use the template couldn't have been simpler to use but after routing some letters still needed some work with a chisel to clean up. Also some light sanding cleaning up the routed characters was needed.
The finished results were acceptable and saved a lot of time. I know I could have done it using Norm's manual method as mentioned in a previous post but I'm all for time saving measures.

I then had to route pockets in the oak cross rails to inset the signs into. The reason for this is the stock I used to make the signs was 3/4" thick and I only wanted the signs to protrude around  5/16" or so.

Cleaning up the end of the pocket
in the mid rail

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Barrel making part 1 - an old jointer

This cast iron jointer was on display at the Hennesey brandy factory in Cognac, France.
I think it is 8" wide but can't be too certain as I couldn't get too close. It may be 10" wide.

Originally driven by a line shaft
now powered by electric motor.