Jess and I went for a drive Saturday and I picked up some things to use in the shop. I bought pool cue for a dollar. I have three pool cues that I have found over the last year or so and I needed a fourth for an idea I had for a table, I am hoping to make a little end table with pool cue legs. I also grabbed this strange little end table for $5. The top is badly damaged, but I will be able to salvage the legs and the apron to re use with a mosaic top. The top of the table has a frame that will make a great mosaic frame, and there is a medallion on on side, that looks like it was added by a previous owner, and The top rotates. There is a mechanism underneath that allows the table to spin. I have seen a lot of game tables, in fact I have one that I have been trying to restore for ages now, but most of those have storage underneath, this has no storage. My guess is that it is either a game table or a puzzle table. I did a little research today to make sure I did not have something rare, I found an identical table that sold at auction for $25, so I think it’s safe to take this one apart. It does have a date stamp, it’s marked OCT 25 1954. The funny thing is I bought it on October 25, 2015.
I am on facebook! Last week Jess set up a business page for me so I can have a social media presence. It will be a great way for me to announce my show schedule as well as connect with people. I have been a bit of a Luddite when it comes to facebook but it’s good for business to be listed,and my mom and Jess have been adding links and curating it for me, so thanks for that.. I have a new banner. It’s been a big help at shows, it just makes the whole set up look more professional. I have had it for a few months now. It is made of outdoor vinyl , has a picture and has my information written in orange. It is really cool.
I used the scroll saw today to cut a mini guitar/ukelele out of some scrap pine. I think it will be a clock, or one side of a small shelf? I haven’t used the scroll saw in a few months and I wanted to practice my cuts. I will be cutting the half moon shape for the gout bench handle with the scroll saw and I wanted to see if the saw was up for a 1″ thick piece of wood. It twas a productive day, I made progress on the mosaic for the gout bench handle too. I am gluing up some squares into a checkerboard shape with a rectangle border. Once it is dry I will cut out the half moon shape, and attach it to the handle. Once the handle is done the gout bench just needs one more round of sanding, some oil and final assembly. I have more scrap wood, my mom connected me with another woodworker who had scrap to pass along. It’s nice to get a variety of scrap wood. It’s fun using wood from so many sources and it ensures that no two pieces will ever be quite the same, and I like that.
Just a few moments ago I received my Vermont sales tax collection id number. This means that I no longer am limited to selling my wares in stores and at shows that collect and remit the taxes for me. I can collect them and pay them myself. I still have to get transient numbers for MA, ME, NY and probably CT but this is a big step for me.
I had to redo the legs to the table I assembled yesterday. Even though it could hold the weight of two cats and is designed as a hall table, I decided to change the design in the hopes of giving it more stability. The legs for my very first-ever- table were made from a 4×4 cedar post. I used lag screws to attach the top. I left the screws visible and incorporated them into the design of the table. On the next table I used 1×2′s as legs and used a forstner bit to drill holes in the center of each leg. Then I inserted dowels in each post. I also placed dowels in the apron. The hard part for this design is making sure every dowel is lined up exactly. It makes for a very strong table. I have used this design with a few modifications for almost every table since. For the table I assembled yesterday I simply screwed the legs into the apron, hoping that the dowel connecting the short sides would support the load and provide stability. It did not work as well as I hoped, so I unscrewed the legs and drilled a 3/8″ hole in each leg. Then I dabbed the dowel with small amount of glue and lined it up to bottom of the table top. I used the glue mark as a guide to drill a hole in the top. I re-enforced the dowels with screws. There is still a wee bit of wiggle but it is much more stable and now I won’t be embarrassed to sign it. I also glued on two pieces of trim to the long edge of the table. I don’t have wire nails so I will have to wait until I pick some up before attaching the short side trim. I would just glue them but the distance is a smidge bigger than my biggest clamp. All that’s left to do is nail the trim, paint the trim, and apply a clear coat.
We have several dressers kicking around the workshop in various stages of disrepair. There is an old oak buffet with a secret compartment and very cool drawers that I tuned into a wood storage unit. I have an oak dresser that stands about 42 ” tall that I have plans to turn into a bench with storage. Finally, I have a maple color 5 drawer chest with broken drawers. I didn’t know what to do with it,selling it as a dresser wasn’t an option due to the drawer damage. So I decided to try to convert it into a jelly cabinet. First I took all the drawers out and ripped out the drawer rails and support braces. Then I sanded the top and treated it with denatured alcohol I did the same to the sides. When I was done I installed cleats on the inside and cut a shelf to fit and installed the shelf. Next I cut planks for a floor and installed them. I am going to paint it black and red. I have already taped off the edges on one side and painted the center panel black. I hope to get a second coat on tonight and then paint the other side tomorrow. Once the paint is done I will have to construct a door for the cabinet. I am not sure if I am going to have two doors or one. I was leaning towards two but in order to install two doors I will have to have a center post and that limits access to the shelves when the piece is in use. If I only have one door it will be large and opening it in small spaces may be a problem. Decision decisions. At the moment I am leaning towards doing one door with two small mosaic scrap wood panels framed by more scrap wood. I picked up these weird 9×9 square pieces of wood today. One has a dozen or so spirals burned/carved into it and the other has squiggly lines burned in. There are some nasty surface scratches but I think I could use those as the center for the two mosaic panels I will need for the door. Hopefully I can frame cut and dry fit the door on Monday or Tuesday. I am aiming to bring it into the store this week.
I would like to make a guitar some day. luthiery work takes years to master and there is a lot of precision involved. How many frets will the instrument have? Will it be electric or acoustic? Body shape? What kind of tone wood to use? Should you use a bolt on neck or a set neck? It’s complicated and a little overwhelming, so as a sort of warm up I have made a few guitar shaped things to practice the cuts. First I draw a guitar shape on graph paper. I use the body of an old Fender for my template. Then I transfer the drawing onto wood, mdf, plywood whatever. If it looks okay it’s time to cut. Sometimes I use a scroll saw, other times a jig saw, and even a reciprocating saw. Once the cut out is made you have to decide what to do with it. I have 3 pieces now, one is a a plywood cutout, covered in duct tape and made into a clock. I use an old circular saw blade as the clock face and a clock kit from the local hobby store. I also have a table. The table is small, maybe 16″ tall. I made it a year ago and brought it into the store last week. It’s plywood with oak legs. I did my very first ever edge band job on this table, and it was a pain. It is much easier to apply edge veneer to a straight surface. I like a challenge. I used a potato masher as a stencil to paint it and voila, an odd looking guitar table, $25.00 if anyone is looking for a small, unique inexpensive table. The last piece was suppose to be a clock too but I think it might just be an art piece. It was cut from MDF, sanded and then painted. My next guitar project is to try to make a large guitar coffee type table and a book shelf. While we are talking about guitars, I posted two more songs to 50/90 this weekend. You can hear them at my 50/90 page or on my music projects page.