Tuesday, May 2, 2017

I am hoping for nice weather.

Two years ago I bought my older brothers motorcycle. The deal was that he could buy it back anytime he wanted to, and at the same price more or less.

He had an idea that he wanted to try a Honda Africa Twin instead of his Moto Guzzi. The Honda never really caught on, so he sold that after only riding it for about a month or so. I called him and reminded him that he could get his old bike back - so the bike went back to him again.

Now he has bought himself a Yamaha SR 500, and he seems to be pleased with it. He lives in a city, so an upright sitting position and a bike that is a bit shorter geared is better suited for his commuting than a 1978 Moto Guzzi Le Mans II (There is a Le Mans I fairing on it).
I on the other hand thrive with a bike that requires a crouched riding position, can do 50 mph in 1st gear and feel as stiff as a railroad sleeper to sit on.
So I have yet again bought it from him.

This time I am going to put in a new set of piston rings in it, because it spills out oil like crazy. It is a common thing for old Guzzis to do that since a lot of them were born without air filters, and instead they just had an open intake with a small mesh screen to sift out birds and stray cats etc.

Hopefully the weather cooperates, cause good motorcycle weather is also good weather for working on the small barn at the summer house.

The following motorbikes can also be found in the pictures (somewhat hidden):
Lambretta Li 150 series1, 1959
CZ 125, 1965
2 x JAWA 634 (350 cc), 1977 and 1978

Moto Guzzi Le Mans II 1978

Dual ignition and open air intake.

Not ideal for city driving, but for small roads it is perfect.

Moto Guzzi V7 Sport 1973 (US model)

V7 Sport

Something this beautiful has to come from Italy.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Dutch tool chest build 6, painting and thoughts about the build.

There are some adventurous woodworkers out there who will make their own paint, I have tried that before with various success, but I felt that there was no need to stretch my luck anymore on this project. So I decided to go for the sure thing and find a bit of grey oil based paint.
A small DTC doesn't take much paint, so if you need to buy or mix paint yourself, a small portion wil get you a long way.

Inside the chest, on the sloping part of the back, I have chiselled MMXVII, just like I normally do, but I felt like it could be interesting to paint some sort of decoration on the outside too that would show the world that this is my tool chest.
Brian Eve has got his Spanish bull painted, and that looks good, but if I made a bull it would be a shameless copy.
I like beavers because they are woodworking animals, but people might think that I was from Canada (which sadly I am not).
Termites are sort of woodworking creatures as well, but I don't like those.

I have wished for an exlibris stamp for my birthday, and my daughter Laura and I did a bit of brainstorming about that. I guess that brainstorming for my part is mostly keeping quiet, but we ended up combining two of my favourite things: Newfoundland dogs and gambrel roofs.

So I enlarged our stamp suggestion and used that as a decoration. Maybe someone will think that I actually live in Newfoundland in a house that has got a gambrel roof :-)

I am pretty good at sketching gambrel roofs, but I genuinely suck at drawing Newfoundland dogs. So In order to get by I taped the print out onto the lid. I then traced all the lines and the outline of the dog using an awl. I didn't poke through the paper, but the pressure is enough to leave a faint line in the painted surface. It is very similar to how I do when I mark out for the name signs for horses that I have made earlier.
The template was removed and I just had to colour inside the lines. This would most likely have been a bit easier with a smaller paint brush.

All in all, I find that the Dutch tool chest is an interesting and satisfying project to make. The project can be completed in a variety of ways, simple or difficult according to the abilities or the desires of the maker.

For a simpler version,  the chest can be made with rabbets instead of dovetails for the side to bottom assembly, and the fall front and the lid can be made with regular battens nailed on instead of sliding dovetails and breadboard ends.
Similarly the project can be made more complex e.g. by using stopped dados or sliding dovetails for the shelf, and using breadboard ends on the fall front or perhaps use a frame and floating panel construction for the lid and the fall front. 

As I have demonstrated, the chest can be made out of reclaimed dumpster wood or pallet wood. Using this kind of wood can give some challenges in preparing the stock, but after all, it is a tool chest, and not a jewellery chest, so I can live with a less than perfect surface, as long as the chest is sturdy.

I have to accept the fact that the project was a bit too large for me to do out here. I mean physically too large. I had difficulties planing the lid and the sides due to their size, and that pestered me during most of the project.
Having completed this project, I now remember one of the reasons why I normally make smaller items out here.

I haven't added any handles to the chest, but I think I'll do that once I get home, and can use some of the handles I already have in my shop.

Painted and decorated Dutch tool chest

Newfoundland dog and gambrel roof

Scrub planed back.

Precision paint brush.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Dutch tool chest build 5, the lid and assembly.

I had glued up 4 boards to form the lid, so in my mind I just had to do a bit of smoothing, mount some breadboard ends and be done.
The reality was a bit different. The lid had warped, so I had to struggle to flatten it. A thing that really didn't help was the size of the lid. I could barely fit it on the workbench, and it scooted around because I couldn't place it in a single position that would enable me to plane the entire piece.

After a lot of time and cursing I decided that it was flat enough. The problem was that it wasn't the same thickness all around.
The top of the workbench is not flat, and I didn't see any point in continuing knowing that it would hardly get any better, so the lid just had to stay that way.

I marked up for some breadboard ends, and the first one didn't fit very tight. I fiddled some time without any obvious improvements, I mounted it hoping and expecting that the second end would turn out better.

At first the second end really did fit better, but the first dowel that I drove in burst out a huge chunk of wood from the backside. I guess the board is a bit punky.
The second dowel broke before getting through the board, but the third one came all the way thoguh as it should.
It bothered me that the second dowel never went all the way, so I decided to remove it and install e new one.
A drift pin, a hammer and a smart blow Took care of the problem with the dowel stealing all the attention, Instead the new attraction was the 6" long and 1.5" wide chunk that separated from the breadboard end. And somehow the dowel managed to stay put.
More cursing..

I squirted some glue in the crack and put a clamp on it. There was no point in trying to do anything abut it until the glue had set and I had cooled down.

Next I turned my attention to the carcase and did a bit of planing in a vague attempt to level the dovetails and the ends of the backboards.
Again the work was obstructed by lack of workholding, a not completely flat floor etc.
The back was the last thing I tried to plane. I decided from the start that I would only use the scrub iron on the back, because there had been enough misery already. The back ended OK, with clearly visible diagonal strokes from a scrub plane. At least it will show that it is handmade.

A set of skids were mounted under the bottom, and this part went without any hick-ups at all (very strange).

The glue on the lid had dried sufficiently to continue with that part.
I used a saw to cut the lid to the correct length and to remove the parts of the breadboard ends that extended a bit. Some planing actually made it look pretty good, almost level and fairly square.
So I decided to make a bull nose profile on all the edges.
A bull nose profile is hard to mess up, unless you make the rabbet too deep, so it will terminate at the same depth as the groove in the breadboard end. If you do that the result is clearly visible.
If you also ad a some grain blow out due to rabbeting cross grain you will know why there was even more cursing.

Finally I installed the hardware which didn't cause any real problems compared to the earlier difficulties I had experienced.

Assembled Dutch tool chest.

First blow out.

Second blow out. 

Chest partly opened.

Dutch tool chest opened.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Dutch tool chest build 4, fallfront and the shavings deflector.

The panel for the fall front need something to keep it straight, and also something to catch the lower lip of the carcase. It seems as the traditional way of doing this is to attach a couple of battens using nails.
Another method that involves just a little bit more work is to insert some battens in sliding dovetails.
Now there is a plane that is designed for that specific purpose, but mine is at home, so I had to do it with my smoothing plane instead which means that my battens visually taper and don't cover the line up as they would have if I made them the other way.
Since this isn't a show surface it will be just fine.

A narrow board was divided to form two wedges. The surfaces were cleaned up with the plane. Each of the edges were planed at an angle, so the end of each wedge resembled had a trapezoidal shape.

I marked out where I wanted the pieces to go and clamped down the first wedge. Using itself as a guide, I sawed along its edge using my small dozuki. When I had reached my intended depth I loosened the clamp and shifted the wedge a bit to saw the other side of the dovetail dado.
Once the sawing was completed I removed the material with a chisel.
A router plane would have been the obvious choice, but the body of my small homemade one is so narrow that it would fall into the dado. And a chisel does the job fast and well enough in this case.

The wedge was marked out so I could saw off the lower part of the wedge, to enable the protruding end to grip behind the lower front lip. Finally the edges were chamfered with a chisel and the wedge installed.
The second wedge was negotiated in the same way.

A board was split and resawed and planed for making the locking pin. It was cut to length and a hole drilled in the upper part to give something for the fingers to grip when it has to be pulled out.
The bridge shaped piece that will hold the upper part of the fall front was a quick saw and chisel job.

Ralph asked about the shaving deflector for the Stanley No 50 combination plane (mine is actually a Record plane).
As you all know, taking pictures isn't my strongest side, but hopefully the pictures of the deflector mounted in the plane will give a bit of an idea on how it works.
The backside is sloped to match the blade.
The inside is sloped to that the lowest point of the deflector is positioned as far outwards as possible. This slope guides the shaving to the centre of the plane where it can escape without being jammed.

The completed fall front.

Sawing the side of the sliding dovetail dado.

Resawing the locking pin.

Shaving deflector seen from the side of the plane.

Shaving deflector seen from the front.

Shaving deflector seen from the top of the plane.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Dutch tool chest build 3, tongues & grooves and assembly.

Having completed the dovetails, I made a dry test fit of them. While the sides and the bottom were assembled, I measured the length of the shelf.
The shelf was cut to the correct length, and the parts were glued up. Oh yes, I made the rabbets for the shelf before I glued it up.

The lower front lip and the upper front each had a bead planed to soften the transition where each part will meet the fall front.
I mounted the parts a bit too long, and when the glue had dried I trimmed them to the correct length.

My Record combination plane has got a blade for making tongues, and I was really anxious to try it.
At first it was a complete and utter failure. I could at best take a shaving that was 7" long before the plane was blocked with shavings and I had to use a screwdriver to pry them out.

I stopped for the say and chatted a bit with Brian Eve instead.  He asked about the plane and did the smart thing: He visited Patrick Leach's Blood and Gore page. I have visited that page numerous times, but I don't know why I didn't think of doing it this time.
It turns out that there is supposed to be a "shaving deflector" that has to be used while planing tongues. Patrick also states that these are very commonly lost.
A bit of Internet searching and I had found some close up pictures of what it should look like. Since it looks a bit complicated, I decided to fabricate one of my own design instead. I think it took me roughly 20 minutes work, and I had a shaving deflector ready for testing.
The deflector was installed and I sort of expected the plane to jam within 5" this time - so I started out with a very short stroke. No blocking.
I got cocky and tried to do a 10" stroke. Still no jamming, Actually it seemed to work as it should. Finally I tried taking a planing the whole length of the 25" board. Two fat shavings ejected perfectly from the plane! I could even take fairly heavy shavings, so in a very short time all the tongues were completed.

On those boards I made the grooves next, and followed with some side beads.
These boards were all installed as the back of the carcase. I used a dab ob glue in the middle of each board, and two nails. so in theory the middle of the narrow boards will be fixed by the glue, and the nails closer to the sides will allow for some wood movement.

Chest assembled with fall front set loose in its place.

After the glue up.

Trimming the ends of the lower lip and the upper front.

Record No 50 combination plane tonguing.

Homemade shaving deflector for Record No 50 or Stanley No 50

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Dutch tool chest build 2, stock preparation and dovetails.

There is a large dumpster filled with old pallets and boards used for packing materials just next to the ship, so rather unusual for me, I don't rely solely on palled sides for this build.
The sides are a bit less than 8" wide, so I only had to glue on a 4" board to get the desired width for my panels.
I found a nice 1x4" pine board that I have glued to the old pallet sides.

For the lid I have decided to try and make it completely out of pine, since it will be the most visible part of the project, and the pine I have found seems to be a bit more stable than the fast grown spruce used for pallet sides.

I planed the panels for the sides, the bottom and the shelf and decided which panel should go where.
The planing was kind of hard, because the panels took up all the space on my work table. I just had enough room to start the plane about 1" before the blade would get in contact with the wood. I can suddenly remember why I make mostly smaller projects out here.

I cut the sides to the required shape with a 30 degrees slop on the top and square bottom. The bottom was made next, and before I started on the dovetails, I tried to determine where to put the shelf .
The official plans have a suggestion, but given that I don't follow them anyway, I decided that I might as well try to figure something out myself.

I took my 1" chisel (the biggest chisel I have with me on the ship, and placed it on the side board. I added a bit of air above and below it, so I could have a similar tool sitting in the future tool holder, and still be able to close the lid. When I later compared the position of my shelf with the plans, it was almost identical.

A bit of work with a divider and the dovetails were stepped off. I made a small template that had a bold angle to it, I just eyeballed it, so I don't know what it is in degrees or in proportions.
But it would at least make the angles the same for all the dovetails.
As per my normal routine out here, I do the pins first, because it is easier for me to transfer the layout to the tail board with the work holding that is available to me.

The dovetails ended up being nice and tight. Now I just hope that the dados for the shelf will turn out OK too.

Stock before planing.

jointing the sides of all panels at the same time.

Laying out the position of the shelf using a chisel.


Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Dutch tool chest build 1, ageing hardware using an onion

I regularly participate in a panel for market research by answering a questionnaire online.
Often one of the questions is something like this:
Do you try new things or discover new trends sooner than your friends?
To which I always answer: "absolutely not"
This hasn't got a lot to do with woodworking, but it will mean that I can safely start building a Dutch tool chest now. A lot of the blogs that I read have already featured a DTC build, so I can in no way claim that I am a vanguard in this type of build which just suits me fine.

One of my favourite daydreams is to teach a small DTC class at home, it will probably be the boys who will have to attend it, but nevertheless I need to build one of those chests first to get the feel of it. It might also be that there is a little more interest in a build where you can see and touch an example of the end product.

There isn't a lot of hardware needed for a DTC. Technically you could get away with a couple of hinges and that is it.
Other pieces regularly involve a set of lifts and a hasp for a padlock.
I have a lot of chest lifts at home, and I was too cheap to purchase some locally here in Norway. So for this build I have settled for a set of strap hinges and a small hasp. Depending on the time frame and my mood, I might try to make a set of lifts myself, steel or perhaps some beckets.

The hinges and the hasp were zinc plated with a thin layer (electroplated). I decided that they looked a bit too shiny for my taste, and I decided to give them a bit of artificial age.

First the zinc was removed by immersing the pieces in a mixture of water and sulphuric acid.
Chemistry did its thing and in a short time the pieces were down to the bare metal.

My next plan was to give the  pieces a brown colour. So I experimented by using chlorine on the hardware. A thin layer of rust appeared almost instantly. The problem was that every time I removed the pieces and rinsed them the rust disappeared too. I guess I should have been a bit more patient, but after a couple of hours I grew tired of that experiment and decided to think of another interesting way of adding age to the hardware.

I have used a propane torch earlier, with very fine results, but I wanted to see if there was a way that someone who didn't have access to such a tool could also do a satisfying job of adding a bit of age to some hardware.
During my time as an engineer on a high speed ferry, I did a lot of cooking during the winter months when the ship was laid up. A colleague of mine once wanted to show me how soup was coloured traditionally, namely by burning an onion either directly on the hot plate or in the pot that you would later use for the soup. The result was impressive, the stainless steel pot turned as black as coal, and the fire alarm went off. I think we ditched the soup, but the experiment had been fun.

On this ship we have an excellent extraction fan for the galley, so I turned it to maximum and placed the hardware directly on the stove.
After some time it started turning blue, and I then rubbed the surface with an onion. The steel immediately turned darker. About three sessions of rubbing gave me the colour that I was looking for. After the hardware had cooled down I rinsed it with some water to remove a few fine particles of burnt onion.
To avoid the pieces sliding around during the rubbing, I used a regular fork to hold them and also to turn and remove them from the heat when I was done.

It looks as there s a bit of blotching for a lack of a better word, but that is due to my first experiment with the chlorine, which left some parts of the metal very lightly pitted after the rust attacks. I guess that after giving the hardware a light coat of oil it will be much less visible.

Onion coloured hardware.

After the first dip in the chlorine solution.

hardware in a chlorine solution.

Heating on the stove.

Blue colour means it is getting pretty warm.

First onion rubbing.