MikeC

MikeC's bench

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well ok it's more like a fold up TV dinner table than a bench.  But actually I do have a bench but it's in a storage shed and it's such a jungle in there,  the last time I went in there I found a Japanese soldier that didn't know the war was over. 

 

No fiddle project yet, just trying out a new hand plane.

So just for fun and to practice a little in preparation for making a walking cane I tried using a hand plane to turn a piece of square stock into a cylinder. It came out almost as good as turning it on a lathe.   This piece of wood is only 17 inches long and soft pine.   Mostly I just wanted to make some sawdust and wood shavings and wanted to play around with two planes I just got, gift from my brother who is now into collecting hand saws instead of planes.  Short one is a Stanly no. 4 and the long one is a Record No. 06 made in England. 

 

I'm just starting this thread so I'll have a convenient place to blog once I get started making the Cane for Ernie. 

 

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So just sketching up some designs for the handle for this walking cane.  I like sort of a dip directly over the shaft.  That tends to position the hand so that weight bearing is straight down rather than offset from the shaft.   In all of these designs the pegbox will not be hollowed out but left solid for strength. 

 

Numbers 1 and 3 each have the scroll in front of the hand as you're holding the handle,  1 is upside down but the normal heel of the pegbox fits nicely between thumb and forefinger.   Number 3 has it right side up. 

 

Number 2 has just a rounded top so the scroll could be in front of or behind the hand but this one doesn't have the dip over the shaft. 

 

Number 4 would have the scroll behind the hand, the usual neck would be the handle with about three fingers length with the thumb index finger dip directly over the shaft.  

 

Number 5 would have the scroll immediately behind the hand and the pegbox would be the grip so the upper surface would have to be rounded off for comfort rather than the usual squared off top of the pegbox.  

 

Number 6, just another idea for a foward facing scroll this time with the usual box heel contour on top for comfort, sort of a variation of number 3.  

 

 

If anyone else has good design ideas feel free to post them.   :)  

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yeah a little fun with the design,  Pick one you like.   I didn't know if you had a preference of right side up or upside down scroll or in front of the hand or behind the hand.    Fiddlesurgeon (Steve) messaged me yesterday that he was about ready to cut the shaft.   

 

Thinking ahead to the finish,  I've been reading some of the varnish threads.  I would like to try adding some madder lake or maybe even a bit of cinnabar ala Strad.   The one batch of varnish I made turned out nice but might be even better with a pinch of some coloring matter.  

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Thanks Michael!   I was using a Strad Viotti template that I found online and sketched around it. 

 

 

 

  Good choice Ernie,  Number 5 and number 2 are very similar but number 5 has a more ergonomic contour. 

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The wood has arrived,  a generous donation from Fiddlesurgeon (Steve).   The shaft piece is more than big enough,  in fact I may just turn it into a baseball bat instead....  :D      I spent a few minutes smoothing and trueing up one of the edges.  The curl looks good in it.   The block for the handle is going to be a little tricky,  I put a template on it in various angles trying to find a best fit.   I may have to find something larger.    Phone died, after the battery charges I'll take a better pic of the block.   

 

 

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Finally some progress on the shaft of the walking stick.  Trimmed the excess off the sides on my brother's table saw and got it down to 1 1/8 inch square cross section.   I was going to make a V board but he already had a couple of them already made so I got those. They are too short so I'll have to join them together.  I'll plane the edges off and make it into a round shaft sometime this weekend.  Also acquired a few old tools including some spoke shaves but probably wont be using those.    

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two, two foot V boards screwed to the straightest 2x4 that I could find in Lowe's and clamped to the railing on the back deck for stability.  Winter in Georgia and it's shorts weather but don't let the green on the ground fool you, it's not grass, it's weeds.  

  First find the center of each end then draw a compass circle 1inch and another 1 1/8 inch on each end because I'm thinking of giving it some taper.   I marked a top and bottom but not certain which will end up as which since its pretty nice curl the whole length so it doesn't really matter.   Pictures show various stages of the planing and in the end it seems we have an octagon.   Tomorrow, weather permitting, it will become a sixteenagon.   :D.    Once the shaft is close to finished then sawing out the handle begins.  Still not too sure about this handle block but i'll give it a go.  

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What was I saying about short sleeve weather in December?    Polar vortex!   Nine degrees F. and inch deep ice in the pool.   It's all that global warming. 

 

Made a mockup of the handle in pine.  It didn't turn out too good but that's why you make a model in pine before cutting the good stuff. 

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while the drawings in post number 2 look good,  It's harder than it looks to design something that has the elegant lines of a peg box and scroll and also fits comfortably in the hand.  The fritz style cane handle invented by some German nobleman in the 1500s seems the most comfortable to grip so I'm trying to blend that shape into a peg box and came up with something that I think will work.   I'll make a rough model of it this weekend and post a pic. 

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I just looked through all the 'bench' threads,  there's some good looking stuff out there.   

 

The original block (first pic) isn't going to work for a handle, it would work if it didn't have that cut out and anyway there is an area where a tree limb once grew.  So I found some curly maple online (second and third pic)  and it's plenty big enough and wasn't too expensive.  On one side there is a streak of bark but that is small enough it won't be a problem.

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Why not just use two old scrolls from chinese fiddles, stick the neck flat together, then ream a tapered hole through both heels, fit an old pool cue into it, wedge the end, then apply some hot pine tar. 
 

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Why not just use two old scrolls from chinese fiddles, stick the neck flat together, then ream a tapered hole through both heels, fit an old pool cue into it, wedge the end, then apply some hot pine tar. 

 

That's a creative idea... the two scrolls together would be kind of heart shaped, but it's too close to valentines day to make one for my wife... LOL

 

Hope you can still put the "L" block to some good use.  Could make a whole range of home made peg shavers.  :)

 

I'll find some good use for it,  maybe make some of those Strad type squares that were pictured in another thread.  I also was thinking about a stand to hold my iphone upright on my desk. 

Or maybe a wood mouse cover

http://www.instructables.com/id/Wooden-mice-by-AlestRukov/?ALLSTEPS

Not sure if I could do that just by hand without cnc but maybe worth a try.

 

It's taking longer than I thought due to limited time available for working and the weather doesn't cooperate,  that's what happens when your main workshop is a screened in back porch in the winter.   :)  

 

I've been reading the recent threads on ground and orange varnish and have an idea of something I would like to try once it gets to that stage.  

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Considering the recent threads on orange varnish and grounds,   How about a varnish that creates it's own ground.  This is a varnish that was applied to bare white wood.   I scraped away some varnish, well more flaked than scraped.  and exposed bare wood.  But then realized it wasn't just wood.  The wood was a tan color and was glossy.  There is something in the wood from the varnish. 

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Put some varnish on a piece of white paper and see what happens.

 

If you see a leading edge moving beyond the central spot, it may indicate a more mobile component that entered the wood to creat the shiny look.

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After pretty much finalizing a design, the original L shaped block may work after all but it still has the funky grain so I may still use the clearer piece. I learned something making a mockup in soft pine. It's easy to cut but it tears and splits even easier!

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I cleaned up the L shaped block to see the grain in it and there's some crotch grain where a limb once grew and maybe that will look nice in the front part of the handle.  I'll cut a handle out of this piece and see if it works out ok. The penciled drawing on it is slightly oversize in the scroll area so I think it will fit.  By laying it out on this surface it's basically a quarter cut grain orientation.  The spot of pith at the bottom is small and should be eliminated in shaping that area.  There isn't much curl visible in this view but there is some on the side under the scroll so maybe it will show when finished.  Unfortunately most of the really good curl is in the short section where the clamps are. 

 

 

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Thinking ahead to the finish...  yes it really will be finished eventually.   Cooked some resin this morning.  about 20 minutes on the charcoal bbq grill

 

 

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Progress...  The bandsaw blade was jammed and I couldn't fix it so did this with the pictured hand tools the old fashioned way.  Probably not going to cut down into the throat since that could be a weak point on a handle like this.  Once finished I may use a sort of sylized incised cut to give the appearance of a throat.   Next step, begin cutting in the other dimension... 

 

In the final stage instead of cutting it to length I'm going to accelerate it to 0.95 C and let Lorentzian length contraction shorten it.    LOL geek humor. 

 

paper pattern spray glued to the wood obvoiusly and those are not blood stains on it, that's the ferrous sulfate pigment I was playing around with.  

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