Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Rock Band Saw

So the band saw nightmare was ongoing after all. Just when I thought I had it all tuned up, things got ugly again. I bought new blades and new tires but things didn't go so well. ANYHOW I spent several more hours retuning it and setting up yet AGAIN and I think I have it now. The problem seems to lie with the riser block shifting. We'll see how long this latest tune up lasts. I would REALLY like to move on to working on something ELSE in the shop. I haven't even had a chance to get my new planes out of the protective wrapping yet.

The painting is finally DONE. Well for a while anyway. I won't say I am 100% happy with it but I am happy enough to leave it alone for a while. The walls and ceiling in this house are very strange. They do weird things to paint. I am very happy with the colours we chose for a change. Usually I dislike them once I get them on but this time the colours look very nice. Good old Pratt and Lambert. Gotta love em.

The next project will be the closet makeovers. I'll actually get to use all my new woodworking tools on something. There are 4 closets, 1 utility storage room and the laundry room that are on the project board. I think I will start with the smallest closet first. Now if I could just figure out how to use Google Sketch Up.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Wood Show Shopping

I am about to get a divorce. Today was the 21st Annual London Woodworking Show and I decided to make a day of it. It started with a trip to all the local wood working tool stores. Only moments after I entered the first store I was struck with shopping mania. Originally I wanted to buy a couple of woodworking planes. Maybe 3 at most, just a basic starter set. The Veritas and Lie Nielson planes are WAY out of my price range, and probably overkill for a novice. Busy Bee Tools carries a line called Groz planes. Now these planes don't get very high reviews from most woodworkers. It seems they need a little fine tuning before they can actually be used. But I have to say they are very reasonably priced and when they are on sale they are downright CHEAP!

So I bought SIX of them. My collection now consists of a Jointer, #4 Smooth, #5 Jack, Standard Block, Low Angle Block, and a Small Block plane that I had to buy becuase it was only $4.98 as a "Special Promotion". For the cost of a single Veritas plane I have an entire set. And I am actually looking forward to "tuning" them as it will be a tremendous learning experience. From the videos and instructions I have seen online it's not all that complicated. If the blades turn out to be crap I can always replace them with the more expensive Hock's or Veritas blades.

From there the mood was set and I was off to Lee Valley with a list of items the spouse actually wanted. Granted the list was small and under $100.00 dollars, but of course while I was there I thought it a good idea to pick up some Japanese Water Stones to sharpen my new planes.

Then, because it was on the way to the wood show, I stopped at Federated Tool and bought some Diamond Sharpening plates and a trunnion for my band saw table. Yes there was ONE MORE glitch with the band saw when I discovered that one of the table trunnions was broken. Fortunately I found an inexpensive replacement.

Finally I was on my way to the wood show. I found a band saw blade dealer right inside the front door and bought a new 5/8" x 3 TPI resaw blade and a 3/8" x 6 TPI general purpose blade. I also got some new urethane tires and some saw lubricant. Unfortunately they had sold out of bearings, and I didn't find any at the other vendors.

I managed to find a 1/2" shank x 2" straight router bit at another vendor. I have been wanting one of these to do jointing on the router table. All was going well but the spending alarms were going off in my head. But at the Freud display they had the switch I need for my Oak Park router table so I picked that up as well. Unfortunately I got a late start and missed the routing and table saw seminars.

The credit card was starting to feel a bit soggy so I figured I better get the HELL out of there. It was a $500.00 day but I had such fun and am so excited about my new purchases. I figure the spouse probably won't get me anything for Valentines day, so I should be allowed to treat myself right?

Did I mention I am going to be getting a divorce?

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Band Saw Blues

The new band saw has been a nightmare. It would take volumes to relate all the things I have gone through in the last week to TRY to get it running properly. Lets just say that sparks and flying blades and band saw tires are NOT supposed to happen. But they did, usually all at once.

I had to walk away from it several times to keep from screaming. But taking five every now and then paid off as I finally figured out what the HELL was wrong with it. It seems the extension kit on the neck must have shifted when we moved it and the whole thing was so out of alignment that it could not possibly work.

It took a lot of tweaking and testing but I actually have it running top notch now. Of course I have to replace the blade and the bearings and the tires. Once I do that it will be a BRAND NEW saw!

The computer repair business threw me a new curve today. I got a client computer that just needed a "small" tune up. Well I spent a couple of hours cleaning it up all the while fighting video problems. When I finally gave up and decided to replace the video card, I open the computer and what do I find? FIVE BLOWN CAPS on the motherboard! .

How in the hell is this thing still working at all??? To top it off I find out the fan in the power supply is not running. This is truly a MIRACLE computer. My advice to the client?

Oh and to top it all off I am STILL painting.
It's mostly fresh paint now and not "repainting" although there is one wall I want to change the colour of already. I am REALLY sick of painting.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

More Shop Toys!

I found a new toy for the shop. It's a 14" bandsaw with a riser kit that will allow me to cut or resaw wood up to 12" thick! SWEET! It was a deal I found on Kijiji, and though it's used and needs a little TLC it's going to be prefect for my projects. You can just imagine how happy the spouse was about this purchase.

I need to reinforce the base of the saw as it wobbles something awful. The top blade guard is missing and I will need to fabricate one at work probably as I don't have any sheet metal handy around here. I don't think I would want that 104" blade to let go without a guard on it. That would NOT be pretty. I also need to shim out the bottom wheel a bit. And of course I need to buy a new blade and new bearings. This is ALMOST as bad as building computers!

The weather has been really uncooperative for shop work. The temperatures drop into the -20's C and the shop is unusable. My little Black and Decker 1500W heater does a pretty good job most days but once it gets past -10 things get ugly.

The spouse's idea to paint the upstairs is putting a serious handicap on my shop time too. The "idea" it seems is that I do all the actual work. This is not a small house. Hopefully I will be finished by spring and the weather will allow me out in the shop.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Steeler Nation

I just watched the XLIII Superbowl and what can I say but congrats Pittsburgh! It certainly was a tremendous edge-of-your-seat game and even though I was rooting for the underdog Cardinals, the Steelers certainly deserved the win.

We had our traditional just-the-two-of us Superbowl party. We cook ridiculous amounts of football food, we eat, I have a couple of cocktails, spew out commentary like I've been calling plays since third grade, high five each other no matter which team makes a great play, and then clean up and go to bed. It's a great tradition.

I am starting another week of interior painting. The last two weeks of painting have been a wash. The Home Depot Behr PREMIUM paint we used absolutely SUCKS! DO NOT buy this paint. I am now about to repaint the entire upstairs with tried and trusted Pratt and Lambert Red Seal paint. The reason we didn't use this in the first place was that we had to drive 45 miles to get it, which is what we ended up having to do anyway. I will never make THAT mistake again. So I have seen very little of the shop or my computer for the last couple of weeks and will likely see less of it for the next couple.

The endless joys of home ownership.