Sunday, April 26, 2015

Mending a saw blade

After breaking the saw blade for the mulesaw, I tried using one of the other blades that I have.
Two blades have a different tooth configuration, and it became obvious, that this configuration is not perfect for wide hardwood trunks.
I decided that I might as well try to see if I could repair the blade, since I don't know where I can buy a new one. And if the repair job didn't work out, It would be sort of a Life of Brian thing: You come from nothing and you're going back to nothing - what have you lost? Nothing. (Except a bit of time and a few welding electrodes).

At first I straightened out the broken pieces since they were a bit bowed on the ends.

Next I ground the broken edges to prepare a groove when they were fixed in their correct position.

To make sure the blade was properly aligned, I clamped the pieces to a piece of wood with a straight piece along the back of the blade.

I found my old portable electrode welding machine (ESAB Caddy) and some welding electrodes.
My go to electrodes for this type of repair job is ESAB OK 53.05 There might be some more correct types out there, but I always have some of the aforementioned electrodes on hand, as they are really versatile.

The welding could have looked better, but welding thin steel with an electrode welder is not easy. At least not when you have an electrode of 2.5 mm in diameter which is better suited for thicker material.

After welding the blade I used an angle grinder to clean up and level things out on the blade.

I tested the blade, and it went OK for about 8", then it snapped again, but I could see that my welding wasn't very good at that spot, so I just welded it again, and then it held.

So all in all the project was a success.

The blade on the workbench.

Broken edges ground to form a groove.

Holding the blade in position.

Welding complete.

Welding ground with an angle grinder.

The mounting system of the blade.

Blade inset in the tightening/holding device on the saw frame.

A whitebeam plank sawed with the mended blade.
Saw is shown to give and idea of the size of the plank.

Friday, April 17, 2015

I managed to break a saw blade.

Yesterday I was working with the mulesaw, trying to finish the sawing of the sycamore trunk.
At some point I must have gotten a bit too eager, because suddenly I heard a loud snap followed by some clonk noises.
I immediately stopped the feed mechanism and rushed back to stop the electric motor powering the sawing mechanism.

After the flywheel had come to a halt, I could inspect the damage: The blade was broken into two pieces.

I found another blade with a different tooth pattern and finished the trunk.
The new tooth pattern works, but the surface has got a lot of texture as opposed to the old pattern that left a very smooth surface.
I guess part of the problem is that 40" is a bit too large for the saw after all.
The stroke of the saw is not so large that it can get rid of all the sawdust from the centre of the trunk, so the blade tends to bind. Unless I make a very aggressive set on the blade, but that in turn gives a less than perfect surface.

I have made most of the slabs 2.25" thick, so even with some planing, it should be possible to make a stout table.

After clearing up most of the sawdust, I stacked the slabs in the barn, so they can air dry slowly.
It is the first time I have sawed a complete trunk and stacked it this way. I think it looks fine which is goof, as it will need approximately 2 years of drying time. This is based on the rule of thumb that one year will dry approximately 1" of thickness.

Asger showing the broken blade.



The stack, broken blade in front.

Asger posing with the broken saw blade on top of the stack.

Motorheads!


Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Proper Pre Planning

I got inspired by a blog post by Ralph the accidental woodworker.

This time I hadn't planned my time on board very well regarding woodworking.

OK, a fact is that I had the flu when I joined the ship, so doing the daily job drained most of my
energy - leaving none for exercising or woodworking.
I did manage to make a few small projects, but looking back I think I should have prepared myself better.

So to get ahead of the game I have been doing a bit of thinking the last couple of days. One of my thoughts have been that I just can't continue making small chests and cabinets. I like making them, but I need to challenge myself by making something else once in a while. Plus I'll scare people away from this blog if they only see me doing the same old stuff over and over again.

So here is a short list of my ideas for future projects that could be made on board (in no particular order):

Restoring chisels.
I have a bunch of old chisels that could need a new handle, and either turning a handle or making an octagonal handle would definitely be possible on board as would general cleaning and initial sharpening of the chisel. I would need to bring a bit of suitable wood for the handles and also the chisels, but that is no problem.

Making a back saw.
Leif Hanson of Norsewoodsmith has made an excellent series describing how to make a back saw.
This step by step tutorial is so clearly written and illustrated, that it makes it look easy and possible to make your own back saw.
It could be fun to try, and I could make a saw with a very small handle aimed for my sons to use. I would need to bring a piece of steel for the saw blade, and some wood for a handle. The back could either be made from a short piece of angle bar or I could try to find a small piece of brass plate that I could bring along.

Restoring moulding planes.
A couple of years ago I purchased a bunch of old moulding planes. I have tried one of them since, but frankly they could all do with a little cleaning and a lot of sharpening. This is one of the things; I never manage to convince myself to spend time at while I am home.

Restoring wooden plow planes or moving fillisters.
I have somehow managed to acquire a couple of those as well, and like the case is for the moulding planes, these could use a bit of TLC.

Make a tool roll for some of my extra auger drills or chisels.
This would see a return of me sewing canvas. Something I have never blogged about.
Theoretically I could also sew the roll in leather. This type of project has the advantage of being something similar to the sign carving projects. I.e they can be done in the engine control room.

Make an explanatory working model of an engine.
One of my old dreams have been to make a model that can be used to explain how a steam engine works. This would require some turning and a lot of fiddling, but it could end up being a cool thing. I would probably have to bring some hardwood with me for this project.

Make a small Bombay chest.
OK this is not my idea, it was suggested by Brian Eve, and I can see that there would clearly be some challenges in making one. It would require me to either use a jig saw for the curved parts, or bring a frame saw.
The curved sides would probably benefit from me bringing a compass plane too.

Make a model ship or boat.
This would require me to bring a lot of thin strips of wood and a coping saw. Making the strips at home on the table saw or the band saw would be so much easier than ripping them from a piece of pallet wood and then planing them flat.
I think it could be kind of fun to make a 1:5 model of a rowing boat. This could very well be made from the drawings of a boat that I would like to make in full size.

No matter what project I eventually choose, at least I know that I have done a part of the pre planning. Thus I should theoretically have prevented a "less than adequate performance" (you need to check the actual meaning of the seven P's on Ralph's blog).

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Carved name sign for Bernie

I found a piece of wood from an old pilot ladder that was broken, and since the name of the horse is of an appropriate length, the piece of wood was just the right size.

At first I ripped the plank to the desired width, then it was re sawed to a thickness of around 5/8"

I flattened the stock with my plane and squared the edges.

As usual, I taped on a print out of the name to be carved, and I also taped on two logos for the Danish Warmblood horse.

Transferring the outline of the letters to the wood is done by following the outline with a hobby knife. Just a bit more pressure than what is needed to cut through the paper results in a thin line on the wood that I use while carving.

The carving was done in my normal way i.e. with a hobby knife. For the rounded parts of the B and the R, I used a small scalpel like carving tool intended for carving linoleum. It was a bit easier for me to make the rounding look nice with the smaller tool.

The logos were also carved by means of the small scalpel.

When I get home, I plan on painting the name sign. It will be red background with white letters and white logos.


The carved name sign.

The broken step from a pilot ladder.

Layout of the name sign.



Sunday, March 22, 2015

Cover for a lapping plate

Despite my plans of starting a name sign for the horse, I quickly changed direction to make a useful object for the ship's workshop.

A little more than a year ago, we purchased a lapping plate for the engine workshop of the ship. So far it has been sitting under the lathe, covered with grease and wrapped in plastic. But we have been trying to rearrange the workshop a bit to make it easier to clean, and we then decided that it looked like crap having a plastic foil wrapped lapping plate standing in an disorderly fashion.

The 2nd engineer asked if I could perhaps make some sort of wooden lid for it. I decided it was a worthwhile project and started it.

The sensible thing would have been to take a couple of boards and a piece of plywood, or even more sensible, make some boards out of plywood and screw the cover together with a plywood top.

But being sensible is not one of my virtues, so I decided for a dovetailed cover with 3 inset floating panels made out of solid wood.

At first I had considered 4 floating panels but I decided that it was maybe overstepping the line.

I found a piece of wood and started by ripping it to my desired width. Next was re-sawing of 24". That would be enough for the sides of the cover.

The boards were planed plat and I also planed a groove for the floating panels.
I crosscut the boards to the desired length and laid out the dovetails by eyeballing.
Dovetailing was a walk in the park given that I have brought some E.A. Berg chisels with me to replace the Crown chisels that I was fed up with.

Next I made two intermediate stiles for the lid, and planed some grooves in those as well.

3 thin panels were re-sawed and flattened afterwards. I made a broad chamfer again eyeballing the progress. Part of the challenge was to see if I could build something with out going too fuzzy over details.

Finally I made a dry assembly and called it a day.

Today I glued up the cover and after the glue had dried, I cleaned up the corners and the edges with the plane.

I can honestly say that it is the first dovetailed lapping plate cover I have seen so far in my career at sea. And I actually think it looks OK.


The wood used (surfaced 1.5 x 4" spruce).

Grooved sides before cutting to length.

Re-sawing stock for the floating panels.


The lapping plate (8x12")

The finished cover.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Yet another name sign for a horse.

We have had the newest horse for almost three quarter of a year now, and I have to admit that I have never taken the time to make a decent name sign for him. He too deserves a nice sign to hang outside his box in the stable, so visitors can see that he is a cherished member of our family on line with the other horses.

I will use my standard method of a hobby knife aided by my cheap linoleum cutting gouges.
His full name is Forum's Bernie, but I'll just make a sign saying Bernie.

He is not a pure bred horse, but something called: Danish Warmblood. It is a breeding federation where all kinds of horses and breeds are accepted, as long as they are warm blooded horses. So you can mix other warmblooded horses that you might like, and get the foal listed in this register. The main idea is to make a ride-able horse with fine qualities in various situations (as far as I have understood)

As far as I remember, some of his pedigree is Hannoveran and Trakehner, but there is also some Danish Warmblood in the lines too.
It is a very popular breed of horses in Denmark, and they are doing all right in various International competitions, with dressage as the main focus as far as I have been able to tell.

Danish Warmblood has got their own logo which is pretty simple to carve. It is a crown with a wavy line beneath it.

All I have to do now is to pull myself together and start the project by finding a suitable piece of wood and plane it flat. Well, maybe tomorrow will be the starting day for that.




Logo of Danish Warmblood horses

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Has anyone thought about building a boat, or perhaps done it?

Like the title says, Have you ever considered building a boat, or perhaps even done so?

I have often thought about making a small rowing boat. Maybe like a dinghy that used to be hung at the rear of a larger vessel in the davits. Nothing large, actually an 8 or 10 feet boat is kind of what I had in mind.

I don't like sailing much though (I get enough sailing from my work), but building a boat has always had a strange attraction. I like the looks of traditional small boats, and I think that it will be a challenge to build one. The problem would be what I should do with it once I eventually finished it?

If I start a project like that, it deserves to get full attention, so I couldn't just rush it to end up with a boat shaped object.
Off course there are the usual obstacles like other projects that would be fun to make, some horses and a dog that needs to be tended to etc.
But that shouldn't stop anyone from dreaming about future projects.

The "dream boat" will be made out of larch on an oak frame.
Probably planked, but I have also been tempted at times to dream about making one with a smooth outside, all the boards are pressed together edge to edge, and tarred fibres are pressed in between.
In Danish this building method is called "kravel" I don't know the English term for that.