Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Battleship Row

The Great White Fleet revisited

Delivered to the shipyard was a 2x4 and a maple limb

The 2x4 was planed...


measured, marked, shaped...

and sanded...

producing five hulls.

Now it was the maple limb's turn.

It was cut...


cut again...

and sanded.

The ships are starting to take shape.

The main guns were glued into the big turrets.

Pockets were drilled for the secondary guns.

A perfect fit for the battery.

Then came the assembly of the superstructure and masts.

Ready for priming and painting.

Ready for sale at the 42nd annual Boonesborough Days art and craft fair.

Monday, February 18, 2013

My own defense plant

Factory Tour!

I shut my unheated shop down for the winter but by February I start to get pretty antsy about getting back to "work" out there.

Here's a little tour of Victory Wood Working, my own defense plant ca. 1942

When I converted my underutilized garage into a woodshop I decided to give it a distinct look, to create some sort of pleasing environment.  Victory Wood Working was the result.

Its a nice well-lit space where everything fits and there's plenty of elbow room.  Machinery against two walls, work benches on the another and the table saw and jointer-planer in the middle.

Every plant tour starts at the time clock and here's mine.  Friend that visit the first time fill out a time card under the benevolent gaze of FDR.

The calendar is stopped at April of 1942.

This is "machinery row"  Each machine has its own locker for bits, blades, belts, adjustment tools, and accessories.

Pretend workers populate the factory.  This is the locker for Inez the scroll-saw operator.

And here is the locker of Vic, the lathe operator.  His tastes run to the risque.

Me, filling in for Vic

Art deco pedestals support some of the machinery, in this instance the mortiser.

The bulletin board features VWW employees currently in uniform fighting the Axis.

There's plenty of easily accessible storage, here for table saw blades...

and here,  for clamps, of which you can never have enough.

This locker has safety equipment and period posters admonishing workers to work safely.

The exterior of the tool-room has a first aid station as well as a magazine rack...

complete with catalogues and magazines from 1942.

VWW, you'll be happy to know, is an equal opportunity employer.

See the video here:

I can't wait until spring and many more projects out in the shop.

Okay everybody...

back to work!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Shop Season!


Finishing touches

With warm Spring breezes and longer days comes more opportunities to find myself out in the shop making cool things or thinking up cool things to make.

 This year's projects include illustrating and finishing last fall's five-board benches and making an additional nine more for a total of twenty.  The idea is to have a sale out of my driveway this summer.  I think that will be a fun experiment. and who knows? I might even sell some benches.

Bookends, with historic themes, are also on the agenda this season. More will be revealed as things progress.

This week I installed what I'm pretty sure will be my last machine, a little 1" x 36" Grizzly belt sander, perfect for detail work and smaller stuff.

I mounted it on a very sturdy wooden wall bracket, leveled it, hooked it up to the dust-collection system and turned it on.  Runs great, works perfect, makes no dust.  Boom!

Machinery row is now complete and the only thing that's missing from this picture...

is me!

I'll rectify that by this weekend.

Loving Spring, in the Cumberland Valley,



Saturday, March 17, 2012

Small House repairs


Historic Home Preservation

A friend asked me to fabricate some missing pieces for her 1930s folk-art bungalow.

This looked like the perfect project to both kick off the shop season and to distract me from my homework; a win-win as they say.

Originally assembled with tiny brads, many of the components of this house were loose or missing entirely.

Using scrap wood, I first fabricated the missing railing and post.  

Once assembled, as a component, it was glued and clamped into place.

This was followed by tackling the missing chimneys.  By ripping a small piece of stock, I matched the dimensions of the chimneys based upon the pattern left in the paint by the originals.  I cut the resulting pieces at a 20-degree angle to match the pitch of the roof (fine tuning done on my sanding wheel).  Chimney caps, modeled off the one larger, original chimney, were cut and then beveled on my sanding wheel.  Everything got glued and clamped into place.

Aside from these major components, two smaller issues were taken care of; the cutting and shaping of a missing piece of window frame,

and the replacement of a small piece of missing wood on the front wall.

Once primed and painted, this will be up to the standards of those cool kit homes sold by Sears in the1920s and 30s.

Ready for occupancy.

Happy shop season!