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    • July 27, 2019 10:37 PM EDT
      • Post Falls, Idaho
         
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      Wood Working-Back in the shop

      Well it is nice to be back in the shop. I have been feeling really good. The shunt is working well, I have more energy than I have had in a long time. One of the benefits is getting back in the shop. For those that recall I cut down a black walnut tree in my bosses yard and had it milled into lumber. Here is one of the projects with that would. Simple design, but wanted to keep the live edge. Just a simple shelf for my hobby room. The live edge and pipe work will be a common theme. Not to shabby for what I was told wouldn't be worth more than firewood from some wood working snobs.

       

      So one of the reasons the snobs said it wouldn't be worth more than fire wood was the warping and twisting that comes with "yard" trees. Well they were right about that. This is a heavy limb. I am making this shelf and light fixture from this slab. It was a little over 8 feet long and I cut into two 4' pieces. The shelf is made from the one on the table the other half is behind it leaning up.

       

       

       

      I built the table and surfacing jig for my router. By screwing down the board so that there is an equal amount of space of the table at either end where it twists, it allows me to move the router back and forth the length of the board and make a flat surface, taking out the twist.

       

      After surfacing the first side you get a nice flat surface.

       

      But it chews up some wood. This slab started out two inches thick and ended up 7/8" thick once both sides were flat. In this next picture you cans see how much was taken off one side compared to the other.

       

      This is after one side is done, notice how much thinner the left side is than the right. Once both sides were done the board was nice and flat and true. I cut off a couple inches on the back and screwed it to the bottom. Tis gave the live edge on the front and the bottom back. A couple of coats of satin polyurethane and and then some furniture wax and a couple 1/2" black iron pipe brackets and I ended p with a simple but beautiful shelf.

       

       

      It is real rewarding to work a project that you have taken through the entire process of living tree to finished project. Not a lot of wood workers get to do that. Its no elaborate work of art but it is a beautiful piece of wood that was destine to be firewood. Stay tuned for the light fixture that will be next out of this particular slab.

       

       

       

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    • July 27, 2019 10:43 PM EDT
      • Pleasanton, CA
         
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      Nice!

    • July 27, 2019 11:49 PM EDT
      • Waverly, Alabama
         
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      Devon, there is great satisfaction in accomplishing a task that others said wasn't worth the time and effort just because they were not willing to put in the work.  Now, every time you look at that shelf, you will smile and and say "I made that!!".  Great work.  Anxious to see the finished product.

       

      I'm certainly glad you are finally feeling good and getting back in the shop.

      ____________________________________

       

    • July 28, 2019 5:32 AM EDT
      • Post Falls, Idaho
         
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      Dan,

       

      I have made a couple pieces now from this firewood tree. And I have some real pride in seeing them come together. I went on a wood working forum and the consensus was to use the tree to heat my shop. They said it just isnt worth the time, money, or effort to mess with "yard" trees. They have too many limbs and are under too much stress from pruning and an abundance of light. Where as forest trees grow straight and tall. Well that's true and if I lived where walnut was common I could see it. But I dont have that luxury. Then one guy gave me the confidence I needed. He said free wood is free wood and what money was spent milling it would be more than worth the price of seeing it through. He said I may not end up with enough big straight lumber to build a piece of furniture but he said i will have all sorts of good stuff for small projects. This turned out to be one such example.

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    • July 28, 2019 6:22 AM EDT
      • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
         
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      Experts.  I also get satisfaction when I do what what some expert told me I couldn't do.

       

      That's a right pretty shelf there Devon. Your kit-bashed display locomotive will look good sitting on it.

       

      I am glad you are feeling better.

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      and King Butt Modeler

    • July 28, 2019 7:46 AM EDT
      • Post Falls, Idaho
         
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      That's a good idea David. Since I have relegated it to shelf queen this is a worthy shelf for her. 

      This post was edited by Devon Sinsley at July 28, 2019 12:41 PM EDT
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    • July 28, 2019 9:58 AM EDT
      • East Brunswick, N J RRR#22
         
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      Nicely done. I had a friend who passed, and he would take it from tree, to the mill, to shop to cure, to finished project. It always amazes me how the finished product looks.

      There is certainly a piece of your soul in this finished slice of tree.

      ____________________________________

      "If I ever go looking for my heart's desire again, I won't look any further than my own backyard. Because if it isn't there, I never really lost it to begin with." - L. Frank Baum

    • July 28, 2019 12:23 PM EDT
      • Southern Oregon
         
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      Experts, I always listen to their opinion then make up my own mind.

      Someone once told  me that the definition of an ex-spurt is "a has been drip under pressure"

      Beautiful job on the shelf Devon!

    • July 28, 2019 9:11 PM EDT
      • Saint Johns, Florida
         
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      Very good work Dev. Glad you are feeling good again. Keep it up.

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    • July 28, 2019 9:14 PM EDT
      • Scottsdale, Arizona
         
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      Devon,

      Great work from a fellow woodworker and garden railroader.  I save all the lumber I can get free.  I have a lot of hard maple flooring that was left over on one of my projects.  The flooring company was going to through it in the trash, but I said put it in the back of my pickup instead.  I am still making thing from it 10 years later.  Black walnut is a beautiful wood.  I would have done the same.  I too have used the black pipe to make brackets for shelves.  I have used my planner to flatten warped wood before by using a wedge on the two side that needed it.  You use of a router is very ingenious.  I may have to steal your idea in the future.  Happy Railroading and am very happy you are feeling better.  Keep getting better and doing the things that keep you happy. 

    • July 29, 2019 11:40 AM EDT
      • Post Falls, Idaho
         
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      Colin Criswell said:

      Devon,

      Great work from a fellow woodworker and garden railroader.  I save all the lumber I can get free.  I have a lot of hard maple flooring that was left over on one of my projects.  The flooring company was going to through it in the trash, but I said put it in the back of my pickup instead.  I am still making thing from it 10 years later.  Black walnut is a beautiful wood.  I would have done the same.  I too have used the black pipe to make brackets for shelves.  I have used my planner to flatten warped wood before by using a wedge on the two side that needed it.  You use of a router is very ingenious.  I may have to steal your idea in the future.  Happy Railroading and am very happy you are feeling better.  Keep getting better and doing the things that keep you happy. 

      I have used the planner also. I used a piece of 1"MDF and the put my wood on it and wedged it so it stays flat to the bed. It works great and at the end of the day is probably easier than the router method. But I don't have a planner at my house it is at my dads shop and he lives an hour away. And the main reason for this table and router sled is for wider slabs. I want to get into working with bigger slabs and epoxy resin. This allows you to flatten slabs 30" wide and almost 6' long. Its an important part of getting slabs flat and then surfacing the slab after the resin is poured. So It is a good addition to my shop tools. Its not my design by any means. Its my take on a commercial flatten jig made by stone coat countertops. I just purchased a used router and a belt sander at an auction for $10 for the pair. I plan to dedicate one of my routers to this slab jig and a circle jig. And then I want to build a similar sled for the belt sander so I can use it as a thickness sander.

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    • July 29, 2019 3:57 PM EDT
      • Highland, Maryland
         
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      Just saw this Dev, and your shelf looks great!!  

      Really love your planer, I might try something like that on a big slice of walnut trunk I salvaged from last year's tree clearing.

    • July 29, 2019 7:28 PM EDT
      • Defending the State of Exile! ,
         
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      Huge fan of "yard trees" especially black walnut myself as it's beautiful wood that tells stories about it's growth. Had some BW slabs given to me (I know the "yard" that they came from along with the history) that I used when I redid my kitchen a few years ago (suspect 100+ yrs old for various reasons and BW can live 200+ yrs) . Ended up using cast iron victorian brackets under them and finished two of the four (spice shelves) with a food grade oil finish so I could wipe them down with oil along with the soapstone counters and sink.

       

      Shelf looks beautiful Dev.

       

      Nice Work!

    • July 29, 2019 9:18 PM EDT
      • Candlewood Valley, Connecticut
         
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      That's right purty!  Very interesting use of the router.

       

      Really glad to hear that you are feeling better and getting back into projects like this.

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    • July 30, 2019 7:13 PM EDT
      • Defending the State of Exile! ,
         
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      Jon Radder said:

       Very interesting use of the router.

      Yep !

    • July 30, 2019 11:41 PM EDT
      • Candlewood Valley, Connecticut
         
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      " Rooster " said:
      Jon Radder said:

       Very interesting use of the router.

      Yep !

      And just tonight on TV  I saw an antique Pin Router being used to mill a guitar body.  If you are not familiar with a pin router (I wasn't) it is a large work table with the router spindle above the table on an arm.  Very cool machine.

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    • July 31, 2019 11:13 AM EDT
      • Post Falls, Idaho
         
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      Pin routers are cool and I have considered making one. At least what I am thinking of as a pin router. They are the predecessor to a CNC router or a vertical milling machine. The ones I have seen made the router spindle is stationary and you move the work piece under it. The Shopsmith is a perfect platform for this. You can build more or less like a machinist vise that also very precise router cuts. Not only flattening guitar bodies but also cutting the cutout sections of the body for the hardware. Since I own the shopsmith now I have abandon the idea of making a pin router and just using the SS to do vertical milling.

       

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    • July 31, 2019 11:25 AM EDT
      • Post Falls, Idaho
         
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      As for interesting uses for a router I just learned of a new one. So I love making jigs and using tools in unconventional ways. Its kinda its own hobby. Hence the flattening sled. I have made all sorts of sleds and jigs for the table saw and what not. But one cool thing I just learned about and will copy is a jig for the router runs on a tool rest on the lathe. And you use it for the initial truing of a turning blank so that you save on the bearings and tools for your lathe. You can take very uneven out of balance stock chuck it into your lathe and then spin the lathe by hand as you move the router back and forth across the length. taking off a small amount of the high spots at a time. You repeat this until it is relatively round and balanced. Then you can proceed like normal.

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    • July 31, 2019 12:37 PM EDT
      • Easton , Massachusetts
         
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      Devon Sinsley said:

      As for interesting uses for a router I just learned of a new one. So I love making jigs and using tools in unconventional ways. Its kinda its own hobby. Hence the flattening sled. I have made all sorts of sleds and jigs for the table saw and what not. But one cool thing I just learned about and will copy is a jig for the router runs on a tool rest on the lathe. And you use it for the initial truing of a turning blank so that you save on the bearings and tools for your lathe. You can take very uneven out of balance stock chuck it into your lathe and then spin the lathe by hand as you move the router back and forth across the length. taking off a small amount of the high spots at a time. You repeat this until it is relatively round and balanced. Then you can proceed like normal.

      Is this the same setup you use to cut flues on round stock?

      Image result for cutting flutes in colums

      This post was edited by Sean McGillicuddy at July 31, 2019 12:39 PM EDT
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    • July 31, 2019 12:48 PM EDT
      • Post Falls, Idaho
         
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      Thats a lot fancier but basically the same thing. Never about using it to cut flutes but it would do it. Bonus.

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