Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Antique chip-carved tray

This is a copy of an antique chip-carved tray. I'm guessing the original is well over 100 years old. I carved it out of pear wood. Each one of the tiny squares in the border takes 30 separate cuts. It took at least 25 hours to carve the bottom, not counting drawing the pattern on the wood and putting the piece together.

The tray measures 2" x 1-1/4" That is large enough for it to carry a teapot, 2 cups and saucers and sugar & creamer. However.... when not in use it would look fine displayed as a piece of art, perhaps on a shelf or mantle.

This piece is available on my website
By the way it the first piece created with wood thicknessed on my new sander :)

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Thickness sander

I made it all by myself!

It became painfully obvious that I was going to need a way to get really thin boards for my miniature accessories. My planer, even with the auxiliary table to raise the bed and do thinner work was not adequate.
I knew I needed a thickness sander. I have been wanting to build one for about 25 years now, ever since I saw plans in one of my woodworking books. The time was not right back then but it is now!! I searched the internet for plans, copied a bunch and settled on this one. The exploded view scared the crap out of me and the instructions were like reading Japanese at first. But I stuck with it, and soon everything made sense. Well...sorta....

Here is the frame constructed and in the clamps.

I added 2 casters to the back figuring I'd not have room for a permanent home for him and he's be getting wheeled about. 
I've got the table in place with the elevation control and the drum assembly with the pillow block bearings. I had to cut 18 plywood discs for the drum. 

Here I've got the motor wired and installed. I was so scared!! Was it going to work or explode???  I cut a cord off a power strip that died to use for the power cord. The wires in the motor come coded but they assume you know what the numbers mean and what goes where.Well after phone calls to Harbor Freight and some internet research I learned that black was hot, and turns out, the numbers are kinda standard! So I figured out how to wire it, BUT, not only did the switch on the motor not work (typical) but I needed to mount a switch on the tool. I've mounted switches before, not rocket science, but this motor had all those coded wires and I didn't know what went where... Enter dear friend Catherine who found a schematic online and BINGO there was the answer! That's why I surmised that the code  numbers were standard. The first time I flipped the switch I was literally shaking ...success!

I've got the switch mounted, the drum trued up and wrapped in velcro then sandpaper. (not fun)
Here's a close up of the dust shield.
Well there you have it, a home made thickness sander.....finally!!!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Carved pipe box

This is a copy of a 1700's pipe box. It is chip-carved from cherry and has two compartments for holding tobacco. Tiny knobs I turned from brass. 

The pipes are hand carved from African black wood, pear and brass.

They come in light or dark stain and are available on my website: