Saturday, October 06, 2007

All in a Week's Work

Last week I worked on four projects.  The first was fine-tuning the calibration of our new moulder, about which I've written in earlier posts and about which I'll surely write more in the future.  The others were actual woodworking projects, which was nice since I feel like tweaking the moulder has been taking me away from actually making stuff.  

This decrepit old column base came in at the tail end of the week before last.  The customer wanted two new ones just like it.  For some mysterious reason, the customer wanted these out of poplar, which will rot very quickly out in the elements.  Maybe they enjoy paying a ton of money to have parts of their house replaced and plan to have more column bases made in 2009.  

Here's one of the reproduction bases I made.  Each one is comprised of two layers, one for the bullnose and a second for the cove.  First I built splined hexagons of the proper thickness. I decided to make complete circles because they'd be stronger (and thus safer) when it came time to cut profiles on the shaper.   I then established the circumference of each circle with a router compass, and sawed off the waste on the band saw.  After flush-trimming to the initial routed circumference, I passed off the blanks to our brilliant shaper man who cut the profiles.    Then all that was left was to glue the bullnose circle to the cove circle and cut the flat across the back which will presumably sit against an exterior wall.

This week I also made the box columns below out of 5/4" fir.  Making box columns is a giant snore, and they usually don't land on my bench, but this order included one that was L-shaped in cross-section, which you can see sitting on top of the pile.

On Thursday and Friday I worked on reproducing this rotten foundation louver.  Usually we make new custom louvers out of PVC, but this particular customer thankfully wanted them out of fir.  I didn't take a picture of the backside, but it's a little odd.  I'll take appropriate photos of the reproductions and explain in a future post.

Before I sign off for the day, I'd like to draw your attention to the new link I've posted on the right-hand side of this page.  It's an incredible resource about Stanley and Bedrock planes.  Check it out if you ever need any info about the hand planes in your collection.  


clayb said...

You know, if they prime it well enough, poplar ought to hold up I think. The old houses in the little town we moved back from in Tennessee had poplar all over the place- siding, ext. trim etc....

The Wood Mechanic said...

That's reassuring. I don't like making stuff that isn't going to last. Almost all of the exterior stuff we do at the shop is fir, which is said to be more rot resistant. I wonder if it really is...I've never thought to question it until right now. Sounds like material for a future post.

clayb said...

hrm, I agree, why is fir so much better?

clayb said...

OMG that Stanley plane guy's site is AWESOME!