Mike Siemsen's blog

Sam Maloof, Woodworker, January 24, 1916 - May 21, 2009

No man is an island

No man is an island entire of itself; every man
is a piece of the continent, a part of the main;
if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe
is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as
well as any manner of thy friends or of thine
own were; any man's death diminishes me,
because I am involved in mankind.
And therefore never send to know for whom
the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.

John Donne

Good Housekeeping

Sorry, I am not talking about the magazine! This is safety week and woodworkers are putting out their safety tips.

3M PPS spray finishing system

I spray a lot of my finishes, stains, dyes, lacquer and shellac all go through guns in my makeshift spray booth. I use an inexpensive Harbor Freight HVLP conversion gun (item # 43430) which I was happy enough with until I was introduced to a new product at a Minnesota Woodworkers Guild Meeting. The PPS system made my old cup obsolete. My gun is still good to go with the addition of an adapter(#2) provided by John Zoia, the 3M rep.

Spoke Pointers and Hollow Augers

During the course of the Windsor chair class we needed to make some 11/16 round tenons on the bow for the back of the chair. We decided to tune up some hollow augers and give them a try. You start with a spoke pointer (also called a fore auger), a cone shaped device that shapes the end of a square piece of wood to a cone. This gives you a round place to start your hollow auger from. Then turning the auger the same way as you would a regular auger bit you make a round tenon. The cutter at the end of the auger works somewhat like a block plane on end grain. We tried out a couple of different ones we had on hand. I find these an interesting tool. At one time they were fairly common because every wheel had wooden spokes in it.

Windsor Chair Class, completing what we started

The next two weekends found us shaping seats and spindles, drilling holes in the seat and putting in legs, bows and spindles. Let it suffice to say there are many holes in a chair set at odd angles and not a square place to measure from! There are several tricks, some involving lasers and mirrors and others just good old eyeballing to get the job done. Once the parts were glued and wedged in place the chair became a ridgid, strong and beautiful structure. I must admit that I got so involved in making the chair that I forgot to photograph on the last weekend!

Windsor Chair Class

Our Windsor chair class got off to a good start this weekend. Spindles and stretchers have been turned for the base. We were able to rive out the bows clean them up and get them steam bent. We also split out the spindles for the backs and got a good start on shaping them. Next weekend we will shape the seats and assemble the base or „stool“. It has been a bit of work, but great fun, making piles of shavings. It will be neat to see maple, pine and oak join together to make a great chair.

Nicholson bench follow through

I installed a tray under the bench by attaching a ledger flush with the inside bottom of the stretchers. I laid boards across the stretchers leaving about a half of an inch for expansion. I tacked a strip in above the boards to hold them in. This will make it easy to remove the boards should the need arise which it may if I find the tray fills up with too much trash. I am thinking it will be handy for storing tools while on the road doing demos. The top was cupping up a bit. I installed a few screws that held a bit more than the pocket screws in the bearers and that pulled it back down. I screwed right down through the top.

Nicholson Bench, How Does It Work?

When I started out I had a laundry list of things I wanted this bench to do. It does not disappoint! The wooden vise works well and switches easily from left to right by unscrewing the screw and screwing it in to the other side. The bench is indeed stout and solid to work on and it is still not to heavy to lift into the van. The total cost was less than $150 so it was inexpensive and it looks like the picture! When Dean and I were first discussing the design we talked about gluing up the top and designing for wood movement. I decided to not glue the top planks together.

Nicholson Bench, Topping Off

After jointing the top of the side boards straight with a #8 plane we applied glue to the edge and about 6 inches in on the transverse bearers keeping glue well away from the openings for the planing stops. With the planing stops installed in the tops we set the tops in place using the planing stops to align themselves to their openings. We then clamped the top in place and installed screws through the transverse bearers. We cleaned up the shop and ate some lunch while the glue set for 2 1/2 hours.

Nicholson, closing in

Once we had all of the holes bored in the side boards we attached them to the legs with glue and screws. Then we fitted the vise nut and guide tube assembly to the bench using the planing stops as spacers. We also installed a block between the planing stops to aid as a guide and we installed the transverse bearers. We are now ready to chop the mortises for the guide bar in the side boards and the planing stops in the top.

Syndicate content