Saturday, August 24, 2013

August Meeting --- Here's the Scoop! (pun intended)

     The August meeting of the Sin City Woodworkers had 30 woodworkers in attendance.  There were a number of new faces and glad to see you and hear a little bit about you as we did our customary, round robin introductions.  The group continues to grow and have woodworkers of every sort attend, great way to learn about the many aspects of our chosen passion. 

     Jamie brought us to order (as best as we can be ordered!) and reminded us about the inaugural, Christmas Party challenge.  This is where you make whatever you'd like from a single, construction grade 2 x 4 x 8.  She's already been experimenting with her work and showed this wall shelf that is destined to get a tambour door made from the piece of 2x4 it's sitting on.

Yes, you're right Richard; we're going to have to step up our game.  That gross of toothpicks your were planning on isn't going to win the prize!  The contest will have us bringing in our projects anonymously  for the Christmas Party and then holding a vote to select the winner and runner up.  Richard suggested that we submit photos of them to Fine Woodworking Magazines' Readers Gallery which was approved by all.  How in the world Jamie finds time to build her sample is beyond me.  In addition to teaching and maintaining her school at Wooditis plus the busy schedule through UNLV she announced that CSN is now offering classes through her as well.  Doesn't leave much time for other things like eating and sleeping does it?
     Jamie also mentioned the article and interview the Review Journal did on me.  That is a humbling experience but pretty exciting to have a reporter and photographer show up at the house and do their thing.  I appreciate all of your positive comments.  Here's a LINK to the article if you're interested.  I know that they don't publish it in every issue of the View.
     If you're in the market for a power planer Eric brought in one to sell.  It's a Craftsman (Sears house brand) with 15" capacity.  Features include 2 speeds, 6 preset depths, and 110 volts.  A unique feature is that it has a fan driven, built in dust collection system.  At $375.00 it's a bargain.  I know Eric takes real good care of his tools so I'm sure this is no exception.  Why sell it, same reason most of us will sell a tool -- upgraded to something bigger or better at a good price!

Here we are, anxiously awaiting the feature presentation from Lupe.  During several of our previous meetings we had seen a stool/chair that she's been working on in the corner of the shop.  It was based on a DVD and plan that she obtained from Scott Morrison.  He's a woodworker from Montana that has developed his own work based on the designs of Sam Maloof.  Here's a LINK to his site for more information.  As woodworkers tend to do when given plans we modify them to suit our own taste and Lupe was no different when it came to building this chair.  One of the most noticeable changes she made was to eliminate the cheesy construction technique of screws, glue, and plugs.  You may notice my bias but let's leave that to Ikea and the Chinese crap!!  She could have used traditional mortise and tenon joinery but due to all of the angles involved in chair making chose to go with a Festool Dominoe instead.
     I'm sure you'll all agree that Lupe is a wonderful presenter, her enthusiasm and passion for working with the wood is obvious!  She refers to herself as a rookie but during her 2+ years at this craft she has definitily moved her way beyond that status.  She shared with us how she's learned and it's primarily through reading, video's, taking classes, and interacting with others during Jamie's open studio on Saturday's.  I've been privileged to teach her and Jamie and I would agree that she is an eager and willing student, look at this chair ---- is that the work of a rookie??

Here's the Scoop, seat that is
     The main emphasis of her demonstration was to show us how she created the scoop of this chair.  Traditionally you use tools such as an Adze, scoop, etc. so here is a LINK to a YouTube video I found on that.  I've never done that and after Lupe's demo doubt I ever will.  Lupe went a bit more modern and used a tool called a Holey Galahad which reduced her time to 3-4 hours to scoop out the seat you see above.  Here's a LINK  to it on Amazon.  Even that wasn't suitable so enter a new technique by Mario Rodriquez where he devised a jig and was able to do it on the tablesaw with lightning speed.  For her demonstration, even with her telling us how it's done, Lupe was able to scoop the seat in around 17 minutes!  This will be followed with sanding work she'll do with her beloved Festool Rotex Sander.  She's sold on the brand and although pricey that adage about getting what you pay for is true. 
     The process is fairly simple once you watch someone like her present it!  She gave us all a handout that fully describes the process so I'll keep my commentary to a minimum.  She begins the work with this full size template.  The plans and DVD from Scott came with full sized templates.  The completed stool at the top of this blog was constructed of 8/4 Cherry, the example she shared with us during her demonstration is made of Poplar.  She explained how using this jig set up on the table saw you're able to get a consistent depth plus a well defined, appropriately sized pommel.  I'm certain Richard and I weren't the only ones to have an "ah hah moment" when she used that word.  Watching gymnastics you've probably seen an apparatus called the Pommel Horse which is straddled so that must be the origin of that word --- and I thought it was named after Peter Pommel!

Blank template for the finished seat after the scooping technique.

Lupe, the self proclaimed "Grinder Queen of Wooditis"  She's holding the glued up blank that will become the seat in just a short amount of time.

This is the "sled" clamped on top of the table saw.  The width between the two supports is determined by the width of the seat.  On top of the seat blank she has screwed a guide block (piece with 2 dowels) used to control the cut.  The other purpose of the guide block is to determine the length of the pommel.

The saw blade is located underneath the guide piece which is located on top of the supports.  There are a series of holes in that guide piece that will determine the location of scooped portion of the seat.  This is the same general process as cutting your own cove molding on a tablesaw but much safer.  She will take an 1/8" at a time which was about 1/4 turn of the depth wheel.  The process is to raise the blade and pull the seat against the guide piece.  Look at the exploded view of this jig on page 37 of the handout she gave.  This guide piece is notched in the center and the dowels are captured in that area.  Once you travel to one side you rotate the blank and continue on to the other side.

Nope, that's not the Milky Way cascading down in the shop, that's how the flying sawdust was captured on film eh, memory card?

Traveling along the guide piece

Blank after one or two passes, you can see the definition and the pommel at the center.

Once the entire piece has been scooped out to it's desired depth (3/4" or so) the guide piece is moved one dowel at a time to widen the seat.  The depth of the cut remains the same because now she advances the width of the scoop an 1/8 of an inch or so every time she alternately moves the guide piece.

Setting the Depth

Making the Cuts

     As I mentioned, the complete seat was scooped out in less than 17 minutes or so and that included all of the instructions she gave.  Cutting the blank to match the required template plus sanding and working the pommel still remains.  This is a fantastic way to accomplish this task --- Thanks Lupe for sharing and showing it to us.

     Not sure if the general excitement level or the clouds of sawdust were to blame but our Show & Tell session became a little bit disjointed.  Here's a collection of what was brought in to share.

Ed's future Pepper-mill, this time from Appleply  architectural plywood 

JC's Sombrero inspired Birdhouse

Neal's large dog feeding tray from peeler logs, Aspen

Coasters from actual recycled pallets from JC

JC's turned Birdhouse with Bill's work in the back

Close up of Bills' Fabulous Machinery;  Everything Works

And to end it all, the sawdust has settled, the seats been scooped evenly on both sides so your cheeks will be aligned properly as you enjoy a beer from my home country!

See you next month, don't forget the 2 x 4 x 8 Challenge -- John

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