Sunday, July 7, 2024

Table extensions for a Barnsley Hayrake table

 10 years ago I made a Barnsley Hayrake table to a friend of mine. The table ended up looking a bit weird since the legs were to close to the ends and the sides, and they were also too large compared to the size of the tabletop, giving it a bit of a clumsy look. 

The problem back then was that I had first been given a size that the table should end up being, and I started constructing the lower part of the table according to that. When I was done with the legs and stretchers and all assembled, my friend suddenly called me and asked how small I could make the table..

She had forgotten to take into account that in order for a table to work, it is fairly important that there is sufficient room for someone to pull out a chair to sit in.

Anyway, about half a year ago, she called me and asked if I could make some extensions for the table. 
I was curious to see how it looked, and I loved the idea of having a chance to make it look a bit more harmonic.
I drove up to see her and took some measurements of the table. the top had shrunk a bit unevenly, so one side was 3/4" narrower than the other end. But all in all the table still looked great.
As luck would have it, I still had a bit of larch left in dimensions that could be used for the extensions.

In order to avoid having to make an extra leg or some swing type support, I chose to make a frame and panel type extension. That way it could be held by just a couple of long sliding sticks underneath the tabletop. Also this meant that the extensions could be removed and there wouldn't be anything to interfere with the knees of the people sitting at the ends of the basic table.

I didn't do any finishing, but she said that she planned on giving it some soap just like the rest of the table had been treated with. 

Trimming of tenons.

Proof to Brian Eve that I still use his old plane :-)

Barnsley Hayrake table with extensions.

Frame and two panels.

Marking up for the holding sticks.

Working on the underside.

All completed.

Saturday, July 6, 2024

Hammer block for children

 Looking at past pictures, I stumbled on these pictures from back in 2022.

The grand son of some of our friends really liked hammering. 
And I remember that when Gustav and Asger were small, they had a hammer block in the workshop that they could hammer nails into at their hearts desire.

So I made a similar hammer block to our friends to give to their grandson,

The top is around 10" x 10", and the height is maybe 20", It is made out of spruce, so it is soft. Furthermore the grain is oriented with the end grain facing upwards, so even the smallest child can manage to hammer in some nails. 

The entire thing is glued together, and due to the slanted legs it is really stable. In order to make it instantly usable, I supplied a small hammer and a box of various nails with the hammer block.

I branded our logo on the block and the box and burned the name of the grandson into the handle of the hammer.

Since it is not intended to be a piece of fine furniture, I didn't see any reason to go wild in sanding the thing. As far as I remember, it was roughly sanded with some grit 60, and the edges were chamfered. And that was that.

Back when Gustav and Asger used their block, I remember that they were so proud when they had hammered in a large nail, and I had to come and admire it all the time. When they had friends over, it was always a sure hit as well.

Monday, July 1, 2024

Chimney Cupboard

 Back in January 2023 I built a chimney cupboard again. Like last time (2017) I used the plans from Bob Rozaieski, as they were published in Popular Woodworking. I built the cabinet with the intention of having it on display to show potential customers what we could make for their tack rooms. 

The cabinet I built previously has been a great source of storage space in our own tack room, and I still like the look of it a lot. It is such a classic shape in my opinion.

All of our other products are made out of high grade pine, but since I didn't have a customer, I didn't want to spend more money than needed to get some really nice wood, so I made this one out of spruce boards. Admittedly I regretted it as soon as I had to stain it. Pine stains nice and evenly. Spruce doesn't..

I can't remember how long time it took me to build it, but it is a reasonably fast build. It might have been around 14 hours or so, I forgot to write it down at that point. Since it was intended to be for sale I wanted to make it as fast as I could, and while the cabinet can easily be made purely by hand tools, some operations like making dadoes for the shelves are fast if done using a router. Also the raised panels for the doors I usually make on the table saw. 
Another thing I normally do is to install the raised panels in a rabbet instead of in a groove. that way I can assemble the door frames first, then make a rabbet all along the inner edges and install the panels using some small strips of wood and some brads. 

I didn't sell the cabinet, so after at bit of time I decided that I might as well start putting it to good use. So I filled it with a lot of the remedies that I use for repairing stable rugs. 

The cabinet would probably look better if it was painted compared to stained and varnished, but it is easy to wipe over with a damp cloth when it is varnished, and if it was installed in a tack room that would be appreciated. 
I can't praise the cabinet highly enough regarding storage space based on footprint. There is just so much useful space inside the cabinet, and the simple yet elegant lines still makes it a favourite of mine. 

It is without a doubt one of the most rewarding builds that I can think of. It is easy to accommodate in a small space like a flat or a small shop, and it easy and fun to make. Most people that sees it like it instantly, just like a hanging Shaker cabinet appeals to most people. 

Flattening the back a bit

A No 8 that I bought from Brian Eve

Marking out for the face frame

Face frame mounted.

The divider is simply glued to the front of the shelf.

Ready for finishing

Plenty of storage space in here.

Roman numerals and our branded logo

Stained and varnished.

I didn't finish the inside.

Spruce doesn't stain very well..

Friday, June 28, 2024

Stuff our company makes

2 years ago, Gustav and I started a small company called Hest & Hus ApS.

Our primary plan was to buy and renovate a small house that is to be rented out. We are nearing the completion of the renovation, and it has been a thorough round with new electric wiring, new plumbing, insulation, new floors, new kitchen etc. 

But in addition to the house renovation, I have been able to actually make money in my workshop! 

The biggest customer group we have is horse people, and since a lot of the stuff associated with horses is quite expensive, it is worth to repair. 
In the shop I have 2 leather sewing machines. A Singer patcher and a Singer class 7 (saddlemakers sewing machine). The patcher is used for repairing stable rugs (horse blankets), and other small articles such as girths etc. Once in a while something will be made out of such heavy fabric or heavy leather that I use the Singer class 7 for the repair job. 

Repairing things appeals a lot to me, and there is a need for people who can do repairs on horse rugs at a reasonable price and within a reasonable time. It isn't the most exciting thing to do, but it is honest work and it generates a pretty steady income.

Once in a while I also get some jobs repairing saddles. It is mostly the girth straps that need to be replaced, and that on the other hand is a task that I find really interesting and challenging. It is almost completely handwork to do these repairs. On the odd occasion, I can use the class 7 to stitch something at the bottom of a saddle flap, but mostly hand sewing is needed.

We make something called "event inventory" (directly translated from the Danish stævneinventar). It is stuff that you can bring with you to a horse event and use it for holding your equipment like saddles, saddle blankets, headstalls and halters etc. 
We also make these things for tack rooms, where the customers decide on the size they want. Those things are all made out of pine that is stained and varnished. The saddle blanket holders and the headstall holders are made with leather straps that are used to fix the items to the front of a horses box in an event stable. 

Saddle blanket holders in the workshop.

Headstall holders and saddle blanket holders in an eventing stable.

Close up of a headstall holder.

Headstall holder. The wooden hooks are made with splines for strength.

Headstall holder with 4 hooks.

Headstall holder with 3 hooks (plus a curious horse)

Saddle holder for 3 saddles for a tack room.

Bit holder for a tack room

I bought an engraving machine to make name tags.

Logo on the bit plate.

Wednesday, June 26, 2024

Installing a new sawmill

 My old sawmill, which I installed in 2007 has always had a little bit of problems with the feed mechanism. I fixed it so that it was able to go in reverse something that it was unable to when I bought it, but the change of forward speed never worked really well. It was technically worn out, and I didn't want to invest the time in rebuilding it completely when it worked OK for my use.

About two years ago, my old friend Gert (who had sold me the sawmill) called me and told me that he had bought himself a Woodmizer, since he was getting a bit older he felt that he wanted something that could automatically wrestle the logs instead of having to do it manually on the circular sawmill. 

So he wanted to ask me if I wanted to buy his circular sawmill that he had bought back when he sold me the old one.

I immediately confirmed that I would love to buy it, and we agreed that I should find a time to come and test it and see it in action. 
That new saw was somewhat bigger than the old sawmill, and it has got a different feed mechanism that works flawless. 
My wife got diagnosed with breast cancer (she is all well now) so I told him that I couldn't come and get it as quickly as I had hoped for, but he was completely cool with that, and last autumn I found the time to go down and dismount the sawmill and transport it home. I think it took about 5 trips with the car and the boogie trailer, but I was able to get it all home on my own. Luckily the saw could be divided into manageable sections, and that was a huge bonus compared to my old sawmill.

The sawmill sat in the machinery shed for the winter and the spring, and at a point Asger our youngest son asked me if he should help me sell the old saw on Facebook marketplace. 
I doubted that anyone would want to buy it, but it wouldn't cost much energy to try and sell it. Within the first week, we had 4 potential buyers, and one of them even offered more than the asking price and was willing to come and get it fairly quickly. So suddenly the sawmill was dismantled and out of the barn.

After a weeks hard labour removing the old concrete pillars, we started mounting the new sawmill. Asger suggested that we painted it as soon as we installed it, since he reasoned that I would never get around to doing it later on. 
So I settled on a nice blue colour, and the entire thing received a coat.

The individual sections were moved into the barn and lined up, after which I dug out underneath the mounting frames and cast some concrete with threaded rod to hold it to the floor. The reason for digging out after moving it into the barn was so that I could use some pieces of pie as rollers to move the sections on the concrete floor, something which would have been much more difficult if there were a lot of holes in the floor.

The new sawmill utilizes the electric motor as a flywheel, and since I don't have enough amperage to run the electric motor (it needs 60 A fuses on a 400 V 3 phase grid), I am going to do the same as with the old sawmill which is to run it off the PTO of the tractor. 
I just need to make an adapter so I can mount a PTO spline shaft on the rear end of the electric motor where the cooling fan normally sits. This is something I still need to do.

 So the sawmill isn't fully operational at the moment, but it is close. So next time I get home I might be able to fix the spline shaft adapter, the extraction fan and join the two table parts. That's all that needs to be done for me to have a functioning sawmill again.

Beginning the installation, 3 section out of 5 are in the barn at this point.

The first 4 sections are assembled and roughly aligned.

The electric motor is installed and painted. The blade is a 40" blade, so it is a bit bigger than the blade of the old saw (36"). That coupled with a lower table means that there it much more of the blade above the table so I can split bigger logs now :-)

Thursday, March 17, 2022

Marine life

 Today just when lunch was over for my shift, someone came down to the messroom and said that there were a couple of whales really close by. So I took my cup of coffee, fetched a jacket and went up to see if it was possible to get a glimpse of them.

There were two humpback whales and a playful sealion maybe 25 yards away from the ship. 

I managed to get a picture and a decent video of one of the whales and the sealion sort of photobombed all the videos I tried to take. :-)

It is awe-inspiring to see such a huge animal so close by. And almost equally impressive to watch a sealion scoot around like a happy kid in a water park.

Humpback whale in the South Atlantic Ocean

Sunday, March 6, 2022

Drain grates

 During the hurricane we had last time I was on board, we lost a couple of drain grates. 

The drain grates help to keep large objects out of the drain pipes from the gutter on the main deck. Large objects could be stuff like an apple or an orange or a water bottle. If they would fall into a drain pipe it would take quite some job to get them free again, so it is much better for us to prevent the blocking from happening. 

The first time I was on board this ship, I made 4 drain grates, so I took upon myself to make a couple of replacements this time also. But instead of following the same procedure as last time, I decided to see if I could make them without soldering them together.

My idea was to make a brass pipe using rivets, and hammer one end so it would flare out. Then finally I would ad some pieces of copper pipe on top as the regular grate part.

I marked and cut a strip of brass sheet (1 mm / approx 3/64" thick). On one end I formed something like a rabbet, and then I bent the piece over a piece of pipe, so it ended up being round and of the correct outer diameter. 

Using a piece of bronze welding rod, I made some small rivets. I would have used ready made rivets if I had some, but making them yourself is also fast.

Holes were drilled in the ends of the brass strip, and the cylinder shape was riveted together.

Using a piece of sturdy pipe as an anvil, I started hammering along one of the ends of the cylinder. The idea is to thin and thereby stretch the material so it will eventually curve out. Machines exist that can help you with that, but it is not equipment that we have on board, so the trusty hammer was the choice.

After a couple of rounds of hammering, the brass hardens. to keep it from cracking and also to make it easier to continue the forming, I annealed it using an oxygen/acetylene torch. 

At a certain point the flared end almost naturally starts to bend over in a 90 degree angle to the cylinder, and that means that the forming is almost done. The only thing left is to use a flat anvil and level out the flared part.

My last design used two pieces of copper pipe bent to a 90 degree bend, and this design would also work very well with a riveted construction. So I found an old piece of copper pipe and made a couple of bends that were separated from the pipe using a pipe cutter. The ends of each bend were hammered flat and they were then riveted to the flared part of the cylinder.

The strange thing is that this way of making drain grates actually seemed faster than my previous design, and I hadn't expected that. My main reason for not soldering was actually that I wanted to see if I could use a bit less oxygen and acetylene. That was also accomplished, but the speed surprised me.

Brass plate with strip cut of (enough for two drain grates)

A riveted cylinder marked before starting the hammering.

Flared out end of the drain grate.

The two copper bends are riveted in place

Side view of the drain grate showing the rivets.

Drain grate in place in the drain pipe.