Saturday, July 19, 2008

Bed Side Table

This past April, our oldest daughter wanted us to upgrade our cell phone plan to include unlimited texting. It's not the most exciting gift in my opinion, but if that's what she wants that's what she gets.

I'm always looking for the next project opportunity, so I decided that I would also work on a small bed side table for her as well. I kept the design quite simple and clean. I used lumber a friend had given me. My friend had recovered the lumber from the landfill after a local flooring company had dropped off their "scraps". These scraps of Brazilian Cherry (also known as Jatoba) are all two inch wide one inch thick and eight feet long! Plenty good enough to complete my project.
I had considered attaching the table aprons to the legs in the same method as the bistro table, but instead decided to try mortise and tennon joinery. I think my first attempt with mortise and tennon joints went pretty well, the table does feel pretty solid.

Another first time technique used in this table are the tapered legs. I'm very happy I decided to taper the legs as it really removed some of the visual weight the table had initially. I completed the table by sanding it down to 400 grit and applying BLO (Boiled Linseed Oil) and paste wax. Considering a fourteen year old would be in possession of the table, I wanted to have a finish that could easily be updated. So far it seems to be holding up pretty well.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

A Glimpse into the Future

I've started working on a new segmented pen. There isn't much to look at right now, but I can give you an idea of what it will look like.

Prior to finishing my last segmented pen, I cut several hundred segments with 22.5 degree angles to create a few more pens with eight segment layers. Having these pieces of Maple, Walnut and Jatoba, I thought it would be a nice way to get a good visual of what some different designs could be. Kind of like a rough sketch in 3-D.

I didn’t want to get into gluing anything and commit myself to a design I didn’t fully like, so I carefully stacked my segments and let gravity hold everything together for me. I figured this method would let me quickly see, physically, what I thought I was seeing in my head. It would also be much less time intensive than gluing a full blank together to flesh out the complete idea. Each design I have put together is the full size of a Jr. Gent II cap.

After stacking a design and taking a couple pictures from different angles I took apart what I had done and designed another. It was after I had six or eight of these designs that I thought I would put together a blog series to show how these segmented pens would look from design to completed pen.

A couple of the designs I’ve come up with include all three species that I had prepped. This design I'm working on now is one I’ve been thinking about for a while. With the light color of the Maple separating the Walnut and Jatoba diamond patterns; it reminds me of an argyle sock.

Currently I have the first of three glue-up phases completed.