Monday, May 28, 2012

Something new

Well, most of you know I am an old tool guy. Love big old machines and hand tools. Not one to get sucked into the newest, shiniest tool crap. I have watched a lot of Paul Marcel's stuff on his neat blog

He is really a nice guy. Honest to a fault. I like that in folks. I have heard all the talk about a domino and all the stuff you can do. Then , my buddy, Charles Neil got one. I wanted to see if he really liked it or if it was a bunch of hogwash. I waited for him to have a good chance to use it. He told me good things. Now Charles and I go way back and we both do the same thing, build custom furniture. I respect his opinion about tools. We tell each other horror stories about stuff we have bought over the years. Yes , we both have stuff sitting in corners or given away that turned out to be useless. Yep, slick marketing works.

Anyway, Charles really liked this domino . It really made me think. Plus I had some small tables to make where this might be useful. I did the best thing I could do. Talked it over with my wife. I count on her to bring me back to reality at times. I am a tool hog. Not as bad as I am about lumber, but real close. She looked at me and said, "I think you should get it". I trust her. So, I paid the money and got one. Now I do have the 6" sander from festool, so I know they do make top shelf stuff. But I am not sold on the 1400$ miter saw or some of the stuff they make. But I have to say, after trying this out, it is worth every penny. I have a lot to learn yet. I hate reading the manual, but I am doing it with this. Something about holding 900$ in your hand and not wanting to mess it up the first time you use.

I started with some basswood. I had no idea how this thing would pull like a biscuit cutter, or router. It cut like butter. I had the biggest cutter in it, a number 10. I am not into metric measurements. That will take me a bit. Wish they used imperial, but, I can learn. I read the book and read it again. After the basswood, I pulled out some black locust. I figure I might as well try the hardest stuff I have. If you don't know, black locust is a scrub tree that will cause sparks to come off your chainsaw as you cut it. Heavy and hard, it works great for exterior projects, if you can find it. The small tables I want to make will be done with black locust. Plus it glows under a black light. I know, another useless wood fact.

Anyway, I went at the black locust and tried it out on side grain, end grain and face grain. Cut smooth as could be. It floored me. I kept waiting for the tool to pull sideways. It did a little on the end grain, but not much. I will be using this a lot in the next few months. I know its not cheap. Neither was my sander. But, I have to say, this thing looks like a real winner. Special purpose, for sure. But it does what it is suppose to do and does it very well. Now I need to go watch more of Paul Marcel showing me how to use this thing. Can always learn more. Thanks for listening. I know this will not appeal to folks who use pallet wood for furniture. Then again, that's not me.

Friday, May 18, 2012

A few new things

I have a couple new things that will be going out this week. The solid flame birch desk is done with a light golden walnut dye as is the top and drawer on the other desk also. The birdseye maple small table can be used as a desk or a small dining table. It just has a clear finish on it. I really love the curl in the flame birch legs. Looking at them, they remind me of the old barber poles. The curl just wraps around the leg so nice. The tops on the 2 desks are 30" wide. Nice 3 board tops. The birdseye table was 27" wide. I usually try and build with the most I can get out of a set of boards. It much easier to do that then try and find enough to make what you think you need. The combination of the black and figured wood has always sold well. It looks very rich together. I use a black spray lacquer for that and then a couple clear coats over that. The pictures make the flame birch look red to me, but they are golden. Got a lot of things to do. Hope to put some more up soon.