Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Inca 150 table saw

I added an INCA 150 table saw to the family of INCA machines I currently own.  I now have the INCA 150, the 259 table saw with mortiser, the 510 and 420 jointers and the 34o band saw.  

I added link belt in place of the regular v belt and I cleaned the saw up a bit as it was in pieces. The arbor had a bit of a wobble, but there was some debris and an almost paper thin shim that was causing all the problem.  I had decided to have a new arbor made after having a CAD drawing of the part done at an aerospace firm in LA owned by a relative, but lucky me I saved the cost. And now have a great saw for doing small model work.  I may do some tenon work with it now that included in the box of goodies I received with the saw was the missing piece I had from the 259 saw ( they just interchange the top part with the table grooved part on the tenon cutter).  I do have an awful lot of shoji to make and have spent all my downtime getting my INCA's all tuned up and now I have the barn in the prior post that has to come down. 
I also bought a 5/8 saw blade from Sac Machinery a former customer and made a shim for the blade to accept the 15 mm arbor that the INCA has.   
Included was a molding cutter and a bunch of other gadgets.  I have been able to figure out what a lot of them are by referencing the inca machinery handbook that I found off of Amazon, but as it is out of print you have to go through one of the book dealers that Amazon works with.  Well I just checked and it looks like there are none at this time but keep looking it is not a bad book at all.  
Hit me with an email if you have one of these and if you have any tips tricks or just good knowledge for this saw.

Monday, October 27, 2008

redwood kitchen shoji

I finished a shoji for the kitchen window today.  I found some synskin  at Tap plastics that replaces shoji paper in areas that could get wet.  Wanting to just add a bit of privacy to the kitchen from the neighbors house I just went with a single sash shoji.  I used old growth redwood from a large tank (the pieces initially were 3" thick) I used the clearest and darkest for the stiles and rails ( the outer frame) of the screen.  I then cut numerous kumiko ( the cross pieces) from various boards I had at 1/2 and 3/4 inches thick.
I bunched together all kumiko made from the same piece and used painters tape to keep them together for future use.  
After choosing the bundle that would waste the least amount of wood I cut them to size roughly 1/2 longer than the inner dimension of the frame.  The 1/2 is the 1/4" that the kumiko will be mortised into the frame.
After choosing the weave of the kumiko, marking and cutting the half laps with my Ryoba saw on the kumiko a rough test fit can be made and any adjustments made.  Mortises then are cut on the rails and stiles by japanese chisel to take the kumiko tenon in. 
Just before you assemble the finished frame, cut notches for wedges in the tenons which will be used to keep the whole frame together- look ma no glue!  By not using glue here you can go back and fix a broken piece and just by chiseling out the wedge your up and running.  
Not to mention that it is just so cool to have something joined seemingly so primitively work so well and not have to clean up a huge mess of glue.

Now to add the paper, well fiberglass paper in this case.  I used a glue that Tap plastics recommended for joining material.  I am not too happy with how the glue went on to the frame though ( clumpy)  so I will look for a different product to try out.  It seems to bind ok, but the final drying time is 3 days.  It seems some people just staple the screen paper on the frame, but while I might try to use the staple as a way to add a holding point I could not think of trying to make a nice screen, and then stapling it together...
The paper was pretty easy to cut and I was able to sizeand cut it with my japanese knife

Saturday, October 11, 2008


Off topic, but I received my absentee ballot  today.  I removed it from my mailbox, opened the envelope, filled out the ballot then sealed, signed and stamped the ballot envelope.

I'll be placing the ballot in the mail at the post office shortly.  I cannot think of a more important time to vote than in today's world.  Whatever your beliefs and party affiliation, hopefully you will take and do your part in these next few weeks.  Then when the vote are in impress upon the newly elected to follow the will of the people.

It is a beautiful day in California even though the world is unsure.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Bringing out the clear Fir in the kitchen with a planer and saw.

After removing all the paint from all the trim in one bedroom and spending an eternity to accomplish that task I switched gears a bit.  After removing all the paint on one window's trim, I still had one window left.
I decided to act like the trim was damaged on the surface and was too much to salvage.  So I decided I would flip the boards over.  Now the plan was to use a wire wheel on a hand held tool to remove excess paint and working carefully I was able to do this to an extent.  It is very important to remove any over paint drips on the now new side and on all edges.
When this is done you can take a table saw and cut the very ends off.  In addition now you can rip both sides and remove any leftover paint etc.  You will now have boards that are a bit smaller than you started with, but this is usually not a problem.  After I did this I used my trusty belsaw planer/molder placing the painted surface down and planed a new clear clean surface off the fir trim.  Old Growth fir sure looks Sweet.  It is a shame so much of this wood is hiding under layers of paint in almost every house one can find it in.   And since I plan on Using American Clay on my walls in a month or so, it makes NO difference at all that the wood is a bit smaller than when it started its life out nearly a hundred years ago.
As I have in the past on projects I will use bioshield on the surface of the non painted surface of the fir to keep dirt and moisture out.  This may have to be repeated every few years, but it is really not much work for the joy that wood grain gives. 
The Photo shows the original painted (Copper penny color- every piece of trim in this house had this color UGH!!) upper panel that goes above the window frame.  On the right of that is the lower piece that goes below the window frame .
As this process is easy with the side pieces it is NOT with the ledge of the window.  Since in the sash type window this piece has a few levels to it it could be difficult to plane and cut so go old school on this piece, use solvents ( I use Soygel) or heat guns etc.  
Ill get through the rest of the kitchen in the month of Sept if my bad knee lets me.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Redwood Flooring

I laid some redwood flooring in my hallway.  As this was really supposed to be more of a blog about the house I return to that purpose again and I am sure to meander away just as quickly.  I just have my hands in too much I guess...

Anyhow last year it seems I posted about this big old pile of redwood in Woodland Ca an old farming town off Interstate 5.  Next to a 16000 acre ranch I sifted for days on end looking to find anything to salvage.  Because the structure had long fallen there is little siding that can be claimed for lengthy pieces.  But I did find a decent amount of pieces anyhow.  I planed some boards and actually looked for imperfections in them as I have always liked those old New England floors that have missing knots, scrapes, and cracks.  I kept the flooring thick 3/4" as  floor the in the hallway is a bit crooked.  So after laying down some plywood over the red fir sub-floor, I ran the boards under the floor trim that I had cut first with a circular saw then chiseled out. Or I just used a japanese hand saw to remove the material.  I know that redwood is NOT the greatest choice for flooring, but pine is common and really as this stuff is old growth redwood it is pretty tough at times.  In addition my bungalow is built of redwood and red fir so it make sense in the mix of things and when I get to planing a large number of boards I'll finally get my front porch done with a great redwood frontage.  It is just so strange at how that being from a tree 1500 or so years old gives such a deep dark mix of colors.  At first glance you may think you are looking at Walnut, but the grain is so very tight that at close inspection you realize it is not so.
I have to do some more window work on the sashes today.  I usually break the glass, but the hardware store at 1710 broadway 95818 is a great source and a small happy hardware store.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Japanese tool box.

All reclaimed old growth redwood from a woodland barn went into the making of this box. Although the japanese rarely used nails in their joinery work it was very common for them to butt joint and nail a toolbox together.  Odd it is!
I based this box off of  Toshio Odate's plans in his book Japanese Woodworking Tools, which can be found on my Shelfari bookshelf at the side of the blog.

The top slides open and only from one end.  This one is a gift, but the other one that has no top yet is for my Japanese tools that I carry with me.  Just nails and wood.  Simple and quick....

Make a Shoji

Almost no power tools were used on this shoji and absolutely no sand paper.  
Initial rough milling done by table saw and planer.  All other work, chisels, Ryoba saw and Japanese hand plane bought at Hida Tool in oakland. The "finish" is done by using a Japanese smoothing plane which burnishes the wood and no finish is applied.  You can get shoji items from here as well.  
I spent a few evenings over the last month working with Jay Van Arsdale in Oakland at Laney College.  The plan was to learn how to make shoji screens, get to know more about them and understand the different ways to mount them.  Shoji is the common way to cover windows for privacy in Japan while letting in light.  In the US there has been quite an interest in them for their beauty, clean lines and amazing amount of ways they can be used in the home.  Want one that slides on a rail? Can do.  Swing open like a cabinet? No problem.  Open like a sash window?  Yep!  You get the idea.  While some of these applications are not traditional Japan, Arsdale tends to fall back on the simple, "since we are not in Japan..."

The picture is of my first Shoji, small but done to go through the motions of constructing a screen and I have a little window at a friends where it will find its home.  The screen is mortise and tenon with a haunch ( a small nub that keeps the joint from twisting and allows for a small through tenon) for the frame, half lap joints for the kumiko ( the lattice like interior pieces). Once you have done the fitting of the kumiko, it is final assembly time.  In the tenon you saw kerfs to allow for wedges which will pull the structure tight and lock it into place with NO glue.
Remember that heavy handed Americans break things.  And having a frame that after removing a wedge with a chisel you can replace a piece and reassemble is a huge plus.  Once the frame is together you can add the glue for the shoji paper and after it dries you are ready for installation.

In the event you want to make a shoji, Jay's book can be linked to below in my bookshelf.   
It is a great source of information and and endless source of ideas.

INCA Jointer Table Saw and Band Saw

I ended up buying a 410 inca 8 inch jointer, a 259 table saw with mortiser, and the 310 bandsaw.  The model numbers it seems were given to them by their American distributor and do not match the model numbers on the plate.  For a great source of info try the Yahoo Inca woodworking group 

The tools were in Portland and after securing that the owner would not sell them while I found a pick up to drive to Portland ( over a 1100 mile round trip) I was off .  After driving all afternoon I was able to pick them up when the owner drove a 100 miles to meet me that evening!

As I am still recovering from surgery I have done little work with the tools and have spent most of my time with hand tools.  I will say though that it is a pleasure to work with these tools.  The Inca 259 table saw is small yes, but cuts like butter and as most of what I am working on in the near future ( shoji screens, and small red wood items) is reasonably small and almost always old growth redwood.  Although I am doing mortise and tenon work on the shoji's I doubt Ill be using the mortiser.  However I have seen that people use the drill attachment with a sanding pad and the mortiser and that seems interesting...

As for the Inca 310 band saw I like it, but I had some trouble with the blade adjustment initially.  I need a wider blade to do some re-sawing with as well, but I am happy with the accuracy and size of this little band saw.

As for the Inca 410 Jointer, I already have a 510, but the thought of maybe just using the 510 as a finish jointer made me buy the 410.  I again am happy with this little Inca brute.  The cuts are so nice and clean, and I have to say having a small tool light etc that Ill be able to throw in my 1959 pick up in the future after its restoration will be a great thing.  It may not be for everyone due to its size.  I think if Jim Krenov was able to use a similar jointer, most anyone could do just fine by one.  This jointer also came with the planer attachment, but I may just post it for sale as I now, have two Incas and two Belsaw planer molders.

The picture is of the INCA's after I unloaded them in the back yard.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Barn wood entrance table

One of the pieces of barn wood that I recovered from the old barn in Woodland just had a good look just as is.  I slopped a bit of linseed oil on it to give the top some "wetness" so it would not just crack, chip, or crumble when I chiseled on the piece.   I had found that wood that has been sitting for over 30-50 years in a big pile had become very dry.  The cells in the wood just do not cut right and it compresses really easily.  In one way the rough look will lend to my usual errors of the mortise and tenon, I tend to leave gaps in odd spots, but in another the weathered barn wood look has an appeal.  One thing is for certain: One can always mill this wood further if looking for the refined look, but you cannot go back to the weathered look very easily.

I cut the mortise and tenon late in the evening ( really early in the morning).  I used a rough center line through the whole piece and worked off of that since the sides are not even by any account.  I decided that since the "legs" were rough stock as well ( weathered, nail holes, and bug eaten) I'd put a shoulder on the tenon and decided to go with a 1Sun ( japanese measure - about an inch) double square tenon which allowed me the use of my 1Sun chisel.  It is usually a good idea to mill you stock to a specific size chisel to ease in the hand work that will follow.  

The table needs a lower piece to pull it all together but after a rough fit I have left it this way for a few days at least until I can get back to the project.  I plan to place wedges in each tenon and either flush cut it or just leave a nub sticking out.  

Friday, April 25, 2008

less than a week.

O.K I am super busy trying to get as much as I can done before I have knee surgery.  I have been planing boards as much as possible and making a tool box.  I am still in a search to find a good set of chisels as well.  I have made a sharpening table out of a 4x4 and a 1/2" piece of redwood set in a slot ( just so the material has something to hold it).  I also am using a similar set up with a 3" redwood slab that is 12" wide.  It allows me a good surface to set on a couple of 6x6's and I can just sit in the living room.
I also still have to get the barn ready for demolition - not sure if I made that update, but it is classic  bureaucracy.

Until next time. 

Thursday, April 17, 2008

getting back

I've been away for a bit.  Making a fence and fixing tractors and just not being around to get enough done.  I 'll be home for the next few weeks then it is Operation time.....Hopefully the knee will be better after and I can get back to riding my bike again.  Lately I put new blades in my Planer, milled a bunch of redwood and have just about gotten my plans for a new porch railing as well as gate and fence, done. 
The porch will have a slight Japanese theme ( although it will work with the Craftsman style O.K) with a sage kama joint holding the porch rails together.
The picture at right is a David Fay work, but this is the similar joint.  Check out David's work it is great stuff.
I have ti finish a bench that has been on the back burner while I have not been home.  It too will use a similar joint to hold a cross beam out of redwood to the legs which are from the same piece as the top.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Cope at the Independent

I Ended up in S.F. a day early and saw Citizen Cope.  Forgot my wallet, but looked old enough to get in the show.  Anyhow as Cope has such a strong set of tunes it was great times for all there.
It was hard to watch Cope at times only as there was a lady who danced in front of me that had such a bad sense of rhythm that it was shocking.  At first I thought the lady just was joking, then I assumed she might be mentally challenged.  WRONG.  Wow I wish the Iphone had video...
Cope does get a little bummed that people never seem to know when he wants them to take over for him and sing a line, but it seems to happen a lot so I guess he is getting used to it.

Cope has that good rock star look and enough presence to keep people interested while he just stands and lightly plays his guitar.

By going to the show I was able to get to a new venue that  have yet to experience.  The Independent is a nice small venue that has a " private " upstairs area that allows you to not feel like a sardine on the floor.  Good for people who are midgets like me.  Tonight is the Bob show and it should be a very good time....

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Whew.....BOB to the rescue!

Just spent a HUGE amount of time discussing the U.S. economy, gold, Mexico and the surf, derivatives, and just what the F is going on worldwide and what we should brace ourselves for.........

On a better note we also talked about Bob Schneider.   Genius, who just wants everyone to have a good time.  So go buy some Bob and stimulate the economy!!!.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

INCA 510 Jointer/Planer

I have just become a member of the INCA family.  I've been looking for an INCA for a while and after missing a few and after arranging to pick one up nearly a 1000 miles away, one popped up pretty close to home.  I spent a bit of time in the evening getting to know this new machine.  Although now I have effectively 3 planers, I'll most likely sell one soon and only use the INCA as a jointer.  I left a dollar just to show how small these units are.  
The 510 has a 10" jointer blade.  HUGE compared to the size if the machine.  The INCA is all aluminum and although parts are very scarce you can get some at eagle tools.  Also there is an INCA site in France, Inca machines.  Not much information, but it seems they might be making the 510 again which true model number is 343.190 and they have a manual to download.
There is a German company ( I think) that has parts BUT will not ship to the US.  Dobeli Holz 
The great thing about these tools is the serious craftsmanship.  I, for a long time now, have given up on owning junk.  I have nice japanese chisels, saws, custom guitars, amplifiers, and the list goes on.  This tool, like all great things BEGS, you to use it.  I also found a helpful INCA book as well on Amazon
When I finally have my barn completed, I'll have a nice small area for a shop.  No doubt this tool will be a centerpiece.  Now I'll have to get a table saw and band saw.......I'll keep you posted.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Farmall cub

Spent Sunday with my father working on a tractor.  A 1954 Farmall cub with a loader.  The day started with my father and I and finished with my brother and I installing a sickle mower unit.
After putting an Ebay found PTO on the Farmall, the attempt was made to add a sickle mower. Now since I am not very good at the mechanical things I get heckled a lot from my father while I am working.  Anyhow,  the PTO went in fine ( it leaks though now), and the sickle seemed to go on all right.  However after giving the tractor a go, and seeing the sickle work ( Christ is this thing dangerous) we found that there are some points where the tractor pully is rubbing.  After many attempts at reworking the sickle we put the tractor to bed to try again next weekend.
Photo is for reference, mine is a bit more weathered.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Day two vegas and Im thinking wood shop.

Day two in Vegas.  I have have a delay and have some time so I am at the Hida tool site looking at hand planes to buy.
I do have a couple already, but need a scraper plane.  I have scoured the daikudojo site for information too.  It is a pretty nice resource for all the japanese tools and such.  I found a nice link to a museum in japan for hand tools.  Takenaka Carpentry Tools Museum has some nice photos and a bit of history, although I suppose one needs a better knowledge of the Japanese language to really get the most from the site.
I bought a few items from Hida weeks ago and am happy with what I have received and they go WAY above in the quality of shipping.  It is nice to have that for sure.  

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Now I am in Vegas.

I'm in Las Vegas NV.  I decided with my uncle to come to a conference at the last moment, making the plane reservation by noon yesterday.  It is 70 degrees, just about what I left in Sacramento today.  I am happy with the room at the Hilton as I sit on the 26th floor.  This is the view just to the left in the photo, but the view to the east is just homes until you reach the mountains to the east.   Wide open for miles.  I've never been at this height in a hotel before.  
It has been more than 15 years since I last stood on the strip.  Although I am not a gambler, I do like to get away.  And with a couch in front of a big LCD, I will get some nice relaxation in before I get to the convention tomorrow.
Now I have to go get my package from the front desk and get some grub.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

whole lotta sorting

I have been back to the barn pile that I have gone through over the last months.  I finally found the ground in the middle of the pile.  There were two doors stacked upon another.  Too bad I have gotten here so late as much of the wood has rotted or warped excessively due to the weight of the barn itself.  While there are hinges on the doors I found too a rolling door roller bracket, which is actually very similar to the one I have on my own barn.  There is still much to get through with the hope that there is still some good wood left.  I hope to get 1/2" of thickness out of some of the 1" siding, but since there is twisting checking and rot, ill see what I can maximize.  Although I would rather keep the siding at its current width, it is rather impossible so I may even cut it in much smaller widths, trying for a minimum 4".  I would likely use this wood for my new porch, and flooring.  
Take a look at the pile in the photo......a big mess.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The front porch /gate project

I have finally closed in on a rough idea to replace my porch railing.  In learning to make a new mortise joint and seeing an example used on a gate.  I am almost finished with the initial drawing mock ups.  I have some 30 year old deck redwood 2x6 lumber that is in a pile in back that will begin to be milled in the next few weeks.  I hope to get this out of the way before  knee surgery happens in the next month.  I still will be able to work on the gate/ railing while I am down, but I sure think that it is going to be difficult.  Here is a pile of old decking redwood in the photo at the side.

Japanese chisels

I have continued to find old chisels and import them from japan through the magic of Ebay shopping.  It is an odd thing that I can buy and chisel and have it shipped from Japan in this economy and get it cheaper than I can ship across state lines.  Anyhow I had been told that i would find chisels I like more than others and stones to sharpen more than others.  This is very true.  I have learned that I have bought many chisels that had not been taken care of for a long time and were in need of serious rough stone sharpening.  This has made me much better at sharpening though and patient too.  This is a typical sharpening session.  I watch a movie as I do this.

I tape my finger tips with athletic tape ( the white stuff) and I then can be a little less liable to lose some skin as I may rub skin on the stone.
I have been using 2000 grit and a 8000 grit stone.  Keeping the stones flat on a 180 grit we dry paper placed on a large chunk of granite I have.  A safety glass piece will do just as good, is cheap and mobile as well.  

PINERWORKS and the barn

I met with Matt Piner and his associate of Pinerworks in Sacramento, Tuesday to review the barn structure and to see just how to proceed.  They agree the barn is in sad shape.  Matt refers to it as a post and beam barn with very few beams...  Anyhow we have agreed that the critical elements are the exterior structure for historical and overall look.  The interior we have some leeway as to how to proceed to shore up and strengthen the structure with concrete piers and added posts and beams.  Most of these old buildings are getting torn down and used as a source for old growth redwood.  This is great if the structure cannot be saved.  But I firmly believe that the most environmental and correct overall choice is a rescue and return to its former purpose.  
Matt is on board for the most simple method of rescue, which is most cost effective and will do the necessary job.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Japanese joinery

I tend to get geeked at times. I am super geeked on japanese woodworking. My feelings tend to be fanatical about music, but I have gone way back in the time machine and have begun to work with wood again. Chris Owen, would surely be pleased.

I spent my high school hidden in the wood shop at Nevada Union, making the required projects( and sucking) I moved on to advanced wood shop and progressed enough to build a guitar with the help of luthier Ken Donnell and then a double neck in the new class guitar making, the only one in the U.S.!!!!!! Anyhow I would run off to LA as soon as I left high school then I met Mike Tobias and worked on a trial basis for a week sanding basses for him. I sucked at sanding and it probably did not help that I really needed glasses.   The shop was supposed to have increased in size, but the landlord did not clear out the space.  Due to this ( and likely the hope Mike could find someone else in the next months) I was told that there was not enough room for me at Tobias Yet.  After Mike called again, I started as a polisher ( trained part of the day then the guy training me just quit)  then went to woodwork, as I had experience in this department and was not too scared of wood machines.  Tobias' machines were all smaller than any I had ever used anyhow. Although I loved the work, I made more money elsewhere ultimately this is why i left.   Mike did ask if I wanted to go to Nashville when they were going to move there.  Life sure would have been different if I had gone.

Until now I had not worked with wood in a long long time.  Now taking a class in Oakland at Laney College with Jay Van Arsdale on Japanese woodworking,  I am both amazed and thrilled that I am trying this great art.

Ill write more about Japanese joinery as surely this will influence my future house projects.


The plumbing had been great.

When I bought the house it had old plumbing. I replaced nearly all of it. I ran out of money and patience and have a TON of copper under the house. I should never have said, I need water every evening. I should have just went to my girlfriends to shower. Anyhow, all except a bit was replaced and now I have an issue with the sink drain... Ugh, I knew this would happen though. So I started the assessment and gathering of my ABS to go in and out of the house often to fix this six feet of pipe.

As I looked under the house I saw the tub drain was not done right so ill have a future fun project to come. Maybe i'll just cut the floor out, rip out the wall and be able to get close instead of crawling and trying to find a way to solder a fitting in some odd space.

If I had a nickel for every project I am involved in right now, i'd at least have a dollar.


barn update.

The city left me a note about my accessory building in the back. To sum it up quickly I read, " tear it down or build it. You have three days to reply".

That will get you moving. First though is that the structure is a barn, nothing less. Second I have always wanted to fix my barn.
Lately I had been harvesting barn wood from Woodland. I love old houses barns cars and now Japanese tools. Anyhow, a few calls to the city and I have a jump on preservation. There just are not too many barns sitting in Sacramento these days. Especially near Land Park Curtis park.

I am sure that a neighbor called to say hey that structure looks old. Make em tear it down. Typical. If i had been more made of money there is no doubt that I would have fixed that structure after I bought the place. There is almost no roof. Four years ago the roof was covered in ivy. It held the roof on. I got rid of it cause I thought it was tearing the structure apart. It likely was BUT it also was keeping the rain out. So up went plastic, then tarp, then another tarp. The weather was bad this year and tarps kept tearing ( I admit after looking at how to put a tarp on for a hurricane I failed miserably) so I let it go. I tore my knee then a few days later was in a car accident. Talk about slow any home projects down to a crawl.

Well the barn looks like it is getting a push.

Lets see how far we get this time.