29 January 2013

Temperature solutions...Part Deux-

The planned improvements to the heating arrangements in the 'shop have been far better than I reasonably hoped to expect, with the 'stat controlled rad constantly cutting in to keep in at around 10deg C...not super-toasty, but comfortable to work in....except....

...it's still not bloody hot enough to set glue!

I was in a bit of a rush yesterday evening (fatal for me) and needed to get a bit of veneering done for one of the drawers...top secret here, by the way, but all will revealed in the fullness of time, so I whacked the various layers into the AirPress bag, sealed it and turned on the pump.  To make doubly sure that it would bond I decided to leave it a mite longer...four hours instead of my normal two.

Around eightish, I sauntered out to the shop after tea, fully expecting the job to be nicely bonded, with the glue set and squeezing out the sides.

Fat chance...within 5 minutes of cleaning it up the whole thing had started to de-laminate and just peeled apart so I took a unilateral decision and it unceremoniously became bandsaw fodder.

So this morning I decided to do a proper job, as you do.  The 'shop was cleaned, tidied and vacuumed, the shelves were dusted and the tins re-arranged.  The veneers were re-sawn, taped, the substrate glued and the job placed into the bag, sealed ready for the 'switch on'

But in order not to have a repetition of last night's disastrous debacle, I needed some warmth...

Hot water bottle, heater of some sort or what?  I didn't have anything remotely convenient so what I did in the end was to sit our large stock-pot on the bag, pour a couple of kettles of boiling water into it and cover it with a thick duvet...

An hour later, job done...

20 January 2013

Temperature solutions...

The ongoing cold snap shows no sign of abating, not at least for the next week anyway, so I decided that something ought to be done to improve the rate of heat leakage from the 'shop.  To that end, the draughty opening window has been completely sealed with silicone...sounds a bit drastic, but it's due to be taken out soon and replaced with a double-glazed insert.

The door has also been sealed up with some 'P' section rubber sealant strip, so it now closes very tightly  and there are no gaps anywhere.  The main form of heating is a 1.5Kw oil-filled radiator set against one wall and this has been switched on using a plug-thermostat, which has been positioned some 2m away on an adjacent wall, with the dial on '1' which ought to correspond to roughly 10deg C.

I switched it on around three hours ago and noted a three degree rise just now so I'm hopeful that when I check the temp tomorrow morning, the magic figure will have been reached and as the 'shop is well insulated anyway there shouldn't be too much trouble in maintaining it.

Fingers crossed...

16 January 2013

Temperature Troubles...the Deux

It's still a mite cold, which to be fair, is to be expected at this time of year.  The BBC recorded a figure of -3degC at Boscombe Down early this morning, which isn't far from Wilton, but it's really still too nippy to venture outside to the 'shop for very long.

I did though, in a fit of eager anticipation coupled with more than a little frustration, switch on my small 1.5Kw oil-filed radiator (using an electronic plug-in timer) to start early this morning.  I had hoped that by around 10am it would have surpassed the magic 10decC (or 50degF) which is the bare minimum for comfortable working...and setting glue for that matter.

Checking the thermometer at 9am this morning though, revealed the glass reading about 1degC so it seemed to me very unlikely that it would achieve a further few degrees rise in temperature...it was summarily switched off and I retreated back to the house.

However, all is not lost, because being confined to the house for the last few days has enabled me to sort out a relatively simple design for the cabinet stand, bearing in mind that I didn't want anything too fancy that would detract from the quite attractive walnut panelling in the doors.

Having 'ummed' and 'ahhed' and got through what seems like reams of paper, I finally settled on a design, also bearing in mind that I only had a small quantity of decent, straight grained, air dried ash. Yesterday afternoon (at the warmest point of the day) I sallied forth and machined it to rough dimensions (within a mm) so that it ought to be fully conditioned when it's needed later on.

Having switched off the heat outside, it's time to switch on the Gaggia inside...

12 January 2013

Temperature Troubles


The last few days on this cabinet have been a bit slow, to say the least, mainly because all the constituent parts have been prepared, such as planing all the interior and exterior surfaces.  Two mm thick bandawn veneer really does mean that you can treat the surface as solid....

















...and take off quite a lot of material.  If you care to look more closely at the pic, you'll see that the end section is lying not on the bench, but on a piece of cushion flooring which gives a really good, soft (but not too squishy) protective surface.  What's even better is that if you'd care to go round your local carpet emporium, you can often pick up a gash piece(s) free and gratis...which is what I did and being a parsimonious sort of soul, that works for me!  

Inserts for the hinges have also been routed...














...so that those 6mm slots will have a bit of decent hard wood in them for the screws to bite into rather than some mushy MDF. 

























All internal surfaces have been lightly sanded down to 320g, masked off and given a couple of coats of my favourite matt Osmo Poly-X hardwax oil, followed by a good slathering of my equally favourite Alna teak wax, several tins of which I fortuitously bought just before I left college in 1979.

The separate drawer assembly has been put together, seen  here below at the 'dry-run' stage being cramped from both sides of the bench.  The reason for that happening is that I have a removable bench-well tray bottom...and if your bench hasn't got one, I'd suggest it's severely lacking!

















It's all come together quite nicely then, no major problems.  The completed dry assembly looks good, it's all polished, it all fits, hinge and door catch mortises have been cut, drawer assembly glued together, it's all good, so I'm ready for the big 'glue-up'...

















Except that the bloody temperature in the 'shop is reading...




















...6deg C or 42deg F, well below the 50deg F min.  As I intend to use Cascamite for the glue-up, it means that the job would have to stay in cramps for for the next month....

Hell's teeth and buggeration!

07 January 2013

The rock ain't big enough...


Shortly before Christmas, I ventured out into the 'shop to do a little more on this cabinet.  It was a nice, clear sunny morning...hadn't been raining (always a good sign) so I thought I'd get a bit done.

As you do.

Without really engaging any meaningfull plan, what I thought (ha!) I'd do is to sort out the spacings for the drawer dividers, so I merrily proceeded to measure the end(s) into three equal chunks, whereupon I then merrily proceeded to set up the router to make some slots at the designated points.

All good so far...three equal spaces.

It was only when I came to offer up the dividers onto the slots that I realized that something t'weren't bloody kosher!  In my airy-fairy state of mind (no doubt thinking about the forthcoming festivities) I'd completely forgotten to take into account the thickness of the dividers so that...

















...I now had two equal sections and one that was way too narrow.  That I was a little 'piqued' is somewhat of an understatement...rather like saying that you could turn a supertanker on a sixpence!

Bugger!

















The only way that I could get round the issue was to offset the slots in the dividers and you can see from the pic above that I had just...just enough material to get away with it.

Sometimes I really need to find a bigger rock to crawl under...