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Archives for September 2010

18…Let’s Build a Jewelry Box…Part 1

“Don’t let the fear of the time it will take to accomplish something stand in the way of your doing it.”
…Earl Nightingale

This episode is part of the Let’s Build Series

Woodworking Tips and Techniques:

1.) Slicing wood veneer on the Band Saw.
2.) Laminating veneers.
3.) How to veneer using a Vacuum Press.

Woodworking tools for this episode include the band saw, table saw, and the vacuum press.

As woodworkers we seek to challenge ourselves as a way to improve our craft. Sometimes we take on a fine woodworking project to learn new techniques of the wood craft. As a result, this requires us to hone our current woodworking skills and also forces us to broaden our range of skills. One way to test ones performance is to work with a minimum amount of material to see if the project can be completed with accuracy and efficiency. This was the goal of creating a jewelry box with beautifully grained premium curly Koa . Our challenge in this how to article and video series is to build a decorative jewelry box of koa wood veneer. We will be using a vacuum press to laminate the veneers.

In the Hawaiian language Koa means brave, bold, fearless, or a warrior. This is the mindset we adopt for our woodworking project as we choose to work with confidence and efficiency. We will draw upon all of our skills and experience developed over our time practicing our woodcraft and we now focus on mastering the techniques required for this project at hand. Are you game? Let’s begin!

The Band Saw…slicing wood veneer.

We are going to cut veneer to a thickness of 3/32. First of all, in order to make this happen we will need to account for band saw “drift.”

How do we determine band saw drift?
We will take a straight and flat piece of scrap wood about 2” wide x 20″ long and scribe a straight line along its length. We will set the regular band saw fence aside and then we’ll free hand the cut along the line. After about 12″ – 16″ of cutting we now have a good idea of the angle of drift. Next, we keep the board in place and use a bevel square to reference the drift angle. Then we’ll align the band saw fence to the newly found drift angle by using the bevel square while also allowing a 3/32″ clearance between the fence and the band saw blade. Now, we will want to test the setup for accuracy. To do so we just take another piece of scrap (to replicate our good stock) and run it through the band saw. When we have a straight and parallel section of wood veneer sliced at 3/32″ we are ready to proceed. We need to take our time and be patient because the setup is worth it. With accuracy comes our reward in the form of confidence and efficiency.

Why not use the original band saw fence for slicing wood veneer?
There is a better way. Notice that the workshop made band saw fence in the woodworking video is tall to accommodate for wide veneers. The tall fence allows the us to push the stock forward while assuring the material is pressed against the fence. On the other hand, the wide base of the fence allows us an area to adequately clamp the fence to the band saw table. Note:The fence must be 90 degrees to the base. (Building an accurate shopmade, made band saw fence for ripping wood veneer is one of the good small wood projects for those new to woodworking as it can easily be constructed with scrap materials such as MDF or plywood. Keep in mind…The material selected must be flat and straight.)

What if I don’t have any push sticks?
If we want to play in the Big Leagues we will need the necessary skills, equipment, and attitude. We want to always work safely!
We make a variety of push sticks and we keep them handy. Keep our hands and fingers clear of the band saw blade.

Laminating Veneers
Woodworking tips….
Preparation makes a difference. We want to allow enough space on our woodworking bench for gluing our veneers to the 1/4″ MDF cores. In this case we will use yellow glue. We will need veneer tape to join the veneers on both sides of the MDF core. (As you can see in the woodworking video a scrap block was used to spread the glue as well as an acid brush.) Also, we will need some blue tape to fasten the veneer packets once they are glued. Remember, we will need to work fast due to the glue’s setup time. So, we need to stay focused and get the veneer packets into the vacuum press asap. Note: On the day of gluing the veneers it was over 100 degrees so we had to work quickly and efficiently.

Using a Vacuum Press.
We want to allow plenty of space for the vacuum bag. We also want to have a platen prepared to cover our veneers packets as well. In the video we cut a particle board platen to the overall size of our veneer packets. (To protect the bag from potential tears we round over the corners of the platen.) Once the packets and platen are in place in the vacuum press bag then it is just a matter of sealing the vacuum bag with the provided clamps and turning on the vacuum pump.

Watch the woodworking video…Let’s Build a Jewelry Box…Part 2

The Apprentice and The Journeyman University

Koa Wood for a Woodworking Project

For this new woodworking project we have created the challenge for ourselves to build a jewelry box using a limited amount of material on hand. The Koa wood for this woodworking plan was purchased on the Hawaiian island of Kauai three years ago while on vacation. Since the wonderfully grained exotic wood is in limited supply we have saved it for the building of fine woodworking projects. This is the remaining material. So, in order to complete the wooden box we will need to focus on accuracy from start to finish while practicing a variety of woodworking techniques. We will need to keep our workshop skills honed to make it happen. Join me as we learn how to make koa wood veneers to build a decorative jewelry box.

Slicing Koa wood veneers on the Band Saw

Recommended Video…Let’s Build a Jewelry Box…Part 1

Woodworking Tips and Techniques include:
Slicing wood veneer on the Band Saw.
Laminating veneers and using a Vacuum Press.
Cutting 45 degree miters using a Flat Board Miter Sled for the Table Saw.
Cutting miters using the Dedicated Miter Sled for the Table Saw.
Using a Sacrificial Fence and Dado Blades to cut rabbets on the Table Saw.
A Glue-up Technique simplified by using tape.
Wood Turning on the Wood Lathe.
Creating a Wedged Tenon Joint.

The Apprentice and The Journeyman University

Remembering James Krenov

On September 9, 2009 James Krenov left us. However, he left us with a lot as we pay tribute. It will take a lot to replace this woodworker because after all when one hears James Krenov name mentioned one immediately thinks of fine woodworking, wooden planes, and woodworking books. Woodworkers respect this special craftsman and teacher who was passionate about building a cabinet as well as his other wood projects.

Perhaps in the case of James and the void that is left due to his passing we need to think in terms of his influence on so many other woodworkers, cabinetmakers, and furniture makers. It could be that the total aggregate of those he influenced will be the measure of this man. If indeed this is the case then it could be said that James’ work still continues today. How fortunate we are that he lived during our lifetimes.

“It’s not that I had a message that was outstanding or unique or anything like that. I just expressed the feelings that a great number of people had … ‘Live the life that you want to live. Don’t be unhappy in your work.'” …James Krenov

For another woodworking video of this master craftsman visit James Krenov…Legendary Woodworker 1920-2009.

The Apprentice and The Journeyman University

Segmented Woodturning…Fruit Bowl…part 2

Segmented Woodturning…Fruit Bowl

This is segmented woodturning episode – part 2.
Be sure to watch the how to woodturning video: Wood Turning…a Segmented Fruit Bowl…part 1.

Segmented woodturning - Fruit bowl This sequel continues our study to learn of one of the great woodworking crafts, segmented woodturning. In this woodworking video our focus shifts to learn how to woodturn the segmented fruit bowl. We will also be sanding and finishing the fruit bowl that contains 24 segments of which there are 12 staves of light walnut and 12 vertical spacers of dark walnut. Beautiful ribboned mahogany wood is used for the base.


Segmented woodturning - Fruit bowl - Taping and gluing the jointsAfter the yellow glue has set-up it is time to remove the masking tape and packing tape from the segmented bowl. (In a fine woodworking project like this it is imperative that all of the wood joints are tight and free of gaps.) It is now time to start turning wood. We begin by mounting the bowl and leveling the bottom of the wall section . Taking the diamond parting tool we will create an interior mortise that will accept the tenon of the mahogany base.


Segmented woodturning - Fruit bowl - Mortising the baseNext we will determine the base size.To do this we will measure the outside diameter and the mortise diameter of the bowls sidewalls. From here we will rough cut the base at the band saw allowing for a slightly larger diameter.

After the base is cut on the bandsaw we will mount the base on the wood lathe so that we can turn the tenon to fit the mortise. Again, the diamond parting tool is used to cut the tenon and a dial caliper will gauge the tenon length needed.

Segmented Woodturning - Clamping the Fruit bowlWith the base mounted on the woodturning lathe we will take the segmented assembly and fit the mortise and tenon together. When we have a good fit we will then proceed with the glue-up of the two parts of our segmented woodturning.

After the glue-up dries and the bowl structure is complete it is time for turning wood and shaping the bowl. The segmented woodturning video reveals a spindle gouge with a fingernail grind for much of the interior and exterior wood turning. Other lathe gouges used for this sequence of wood turning include the following: A roughing gouge is used to remove the waste from the base exterior. Also, you will notice round and straight scraper gouges used on occasions as well.

Segmented Woodturning - Fruit bowl on the wood latheAfter the wood turner is finished turning the fruit bowl he will then switch to sandpaper to remove any marks left by the gouge. The wood turner changes to a finer sandpaper grit as he proceeds. Typically, he will take sandpaper sheets and tear then into quarters. He will then tri-fold a quarter sheet and sand with that as the wooden bowl spins on the lathe. This fruit bowl was sanded to 220 grit sandpaper and then burnished with the wood shavings. To prepare the wood project for finishing the bowl was then wiped with a micro-fiber towel to remove any remaining dust. Our segmented woodturning is now ready for applying the protective finish.

The wood finish for the segmented fruit bowl started with an application of SealCoat and finished with three coats of satin Arm-R-Seal. This produced a nice and natural wood finish for the segmented woodturning.

Recommendations for beginning woodworkers: View the segmented woodturning video a multiple times to get a better feel for the procedures. Pay close attention to the different lathe chucks being used at various times to hold the wood. Notice the gouges being used and how they are being used. Be patient and take your time. Always practice safety around the wood lathe. Consider taking a wood turning class to become familiar with this woodcraft.

Enjoy more woodturning videos and woodturning projects!

Wood Lathe Accessories

Oneway Talon Chuck System

Oneway Live Center

Wolverine Vari-Grind Attachment

Oneway Wolverine Grinding Jig

Mini Jumbo Jaws for ONEWAY Talon Chuck

Sorby Standard Turning Tool Set, 6 Pieces

The Apprentice and The Journeyman University


Segmented Wood Turning – Fruit Bowl…part 1

Segmented Wood Turning

Setting the blade angle on the 10 inch compound miter saw blade - Segmented Wood Turning on a wood lathe

Segmented wood turning is an interesting and unique facet of the woodworking craft as you will see in part 1 of this woodworking video tutorial. We are back in the woodworking shop creating a custom wood project. Here, we learn how to woodturn a segmented fruit bowl. The wood we are using in this segmented wood turning is light walnut for the staves, dark walnut for the vertical spacers, and ribboned mahogany for the base. The segmented wood turning technique we are using for this wood project involves the use of 12 wood staves that we will cut on the 10 inch compound miter saw and also the 12 vertical spacers we will cut with a small fine toothed dovetail saw. In this woodworking tutorial we will focus on the accurate set-up of the of the compound miter saw using a Wixey digital angle gauge and a digital protractor. Once the saw is correctly set we will cut the wood staves. From there we will concentrate on fitting and gluing all segments together by using yellow glue and masking tape.

“A rule of thumb for a warrior is that he makes his decisions so carefully that nothing that may happen as a result of them can surprise him, much less drain his power.”
Carlos Castaneda…Peruvian born American anthropologist and author. (1925-1998)

Note: To ensure precision cutting of the stave segments a 10 inch Forrest Chopmaster saw blade was used on the compound miter saw.

A Staved segment for segmented wood turning on a wood lathe

Precision cutting of the wood staves is made possible by accurately adjusting the miter saw blade with a digital angle gauge. Accuracy is a must for segmented wood turning and shop accessories such as the angle gauge and a digital protractor are essential.

This episode is part of the Let’s Build Series

Click to learn more about Segmented Woodturning

Learn more about the Wood Lathe and Segmented Wood Turning!
Wood Turning articles, Tutorials, and Segmented Wood Turning videos!


The Apprentice and The Journeyman University

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