Thursday, October 28, 2010

Bench Plane Madness - Phase 3

I had actually sat down yesterday evening to write this post, but I had to bury poor Mr. Leon who peacefully passed away from old age sometime during the day. Mr. Leon was a little rat friend that kept me company the first year I bought my house in Abilene. He was a 'righteous dude' that was content with his lot in life, living in his little cage in the bedroom, so much so that he wouldn't venture out those few times I forgot to close the door prior to going to work. Originally known as just Leon, he got rather large and graduated to 'Mr.' when he spent some time with my friend's daughters. Josie sat quietly beside the hole as I buried Leon, like she was saying goodbye to her house buddy. He lived about two and a half years and will be remembered fondly.

Other than burying little friends, I've been woodworking! That's what I do....that's how I roll.

Monday saw another week of turning at HOW, where I picked up a random log of what is believed to be olive and had planned to a few bottle stoppers, but the wood spoke to me and wanted to be a spurtle, which is a pot stirring stick. Turning surprises me because unlike the other woodworking I have been doing, which is full of planning and design,allowing me to see the end product in my mind; turning is exactly what that isn't. Oh, I normally have a general idea of what I am going to turn when I put a piece on the lathe, but rarely is that what happens. As I turn, I let the wood's grain talk to me and projects end up having a mind of their own (Actually, I blame this mostly on tear out and my ability to leave the lathe while stabbing the tools into the turning stock repeatedly.)

So far, I've turned: a spurtle, a snowman bottle stopper (needs to be finished), a pine mallet turned for practice in anticipation of turning one from cherry acquired last week, a little bat, a vampire stake, and an ornamental honey dipper (not originally ment to be a ornament, I made it as a joke, but I can stick with it being an 'ornament')/

I also completed a set of winding sticks yesterday that were part of an assignment in Shannon Rodger's Hand Tool School. We have permission to blog about our projects so you can expect to see a blog post on that soon.

Before starting another project post however, let's finish this it is....

Bench Plane Shelf  - Phase 3

Glue-up and Finishing

Before putting actual glue to wood, I did a little light sanding to get rid of the grime left behind by the router plane. Yuck.

I glued up the longer shelves to the frame using my two new parallel clamps (and a little improvising...I need more clamps). If you look hard at the picture, you'll notice the bottom most shelve is backwards. I don't know what I was thinking at the time, but I had it right originally, turned it around and took the picture. After sitting in my chair admiring my work for about 5 minutes, I realized my mistake and took it apart again and fixed it. (I forgot about that until I saw it on the picture. hehe)

I glued up the shorter shelves.
Then trimmed and glued the face frame for the upper shelves.
I cut the face frames for the lower shelves too short, so I had the pull the board stretcher out and get some new stock dimensioned (aka. trip to the BORG).
Then I trimmed and glued the ne wface frames on, using my little blue clamps.
My plan was to finish it almost the same way I finished the moulding plane shelf.
I added a sealer coat consisting of 1/2 part dewaxed shellac and 1/2 part denatured alcohol, then a coat of golden oak stain, and finally just one coat of wipe on poly (instead of the two I put on the moulding plane shelf). I found the two coats to be a little too glossy, one coat was perfect.
After the finish, I stapled some Velcro straps to the bottom shelf, because I wont be able to route them when the shelf is installed. I also added some padding to the shelves with some spray adhesive.
I decided to use some cut off brads to help me figure out the locations for the drill holes in RV. (I'm sure I've seen this technique somewhere.) The brads allowed me to drill pilot holes in the back of the bench seat.
I attached the shelves to the RV with some counter sunk screws drilled from the other side of the bench seat.
Finished! Only thing left is to route more strap where they are needed and I can do that later when the planes are on it, as long as it's before I relocate the house. I did a great job! YAY, ME!
Next project....Mesquite Chisel Handles? maybe.


  1. I love it! This is the best RV I've ever seen!

    Nice job Dan!

  2. PS - Sorry to hear about Mr. Leon. We lost Gerald to kidney disease this year and I can't believe how much I miss that cat.

  3. Wow! Thanks again, Dan!

    I'm planning to slowly convert the RV into a mobile workshop that I can drive on location and do a little restoration and building work.

    Which gives me an excuse to replace the carpet with some heated doug fir flooring and replace the couch with a permanent workbench.

    I'm sure I can convince LOML to buy off on the flooring, but I'm sure I'll get veto'd on the workbench. lol

    (Thank's for your condolences. Leon was awesome, but I've learned to get used to the pet rats passing away. I adopted 6 girls in the Spring of 2009, which were destined to become homeless when they were released into the field. I took them in and gave them a home. The poor things have been passing away too quickly to spend a lot of time mourning. It's not funny, but oddly enough, they are all buried in different regions of the US. They were happy and spoiled while they were alive, to me...that's what counts.



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