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.