Sunday, November 29, 2015

more drawer pulls: "give it a yank, hank"

Ralph from the Accidental Woodworker web log, plus my buddy Tom Waits in Niwot, CO both liked the curved pull from my last post which is valuable feedback, thank you. Tom also suggested trying to size these things a bit smaller and see how that fits ("20-30 percent. A jockey full of bourbon ought to still be able to find it...").

well i got fairly big mitts, so i'm given to larger grab bars and handles and usually the XL gloves in the hardware store. Still there's always room to try that out, even if the turkey needs immediate internal temperature reading and your thermometer is buried deep inside drawer number 2. what size handle does that mean?

Here are 3 tries: 3" 3,1/2" and 4" long.

It is surprising how different it is to hold on to one from the other. The smallest one might be just fine. I've attached these and others to various cupboards and drawers in the kitchen to see how they feel for us over the next few weeks.

The bigger one might be most appropriate for something like a pantry or laundry door. Too big for smaller drawers.

I also think how these things are finished will affect the feel a lot. I've just got 'em sanded to 120grit. but imagine if they had a lot of poly on them. Then there's the other idea of using a hard wood like maple, or mesquite. Also, have to consider painting these, which could be really cool little dollups of color on a natural wood panel finish...

Also tried afew of the blockier style as well, in various positions and pairs in cupboards and drawers.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

afternooner project: couple neo-schwarz saw benches from scraps

2 4' long 4x6 rough-cut pine timbers, plus several odd lengths of 2x4 pine were used to protect the outside of my hammer a3-31 planer/thicknesser on arrival months ago. i pulled the nails and random fasteners from these sticks and set them aside thinking this wood might be useful some day.
So with an afternoon spinning wheels, i decided to practice surface prepping these boards on teh planer, then busting out a few saw benches, ala I actually used two of his blog entries in this project which has to be a record for me. Went with the $5.87 design he posted here

I also used a technique to help scribe the bottom to the floor by turning the benches over and using a reference off a flat surface to define the height. Here it is

These came out to be about 18,1/2" high which is also a good shop stool height. bonus. Honestly i'm not sure how much hand sawing I plan on doing with these benches but they are going to be really handy while staging boards during various stages of their milling process. also a good height to post something like a cabinet when I need to apply finish, or hardware etc. Today I used them to brake down a pallet languishing next to our house using both a circ saw, and a pull saw. these were a perfect height for this sort of adventure.

in total, a productive way to spend a few spare hourse in an afternoon.

Friday, November 27, 2015

more drawer pulls

I ran the earlier designs from couple days ago by sarah, she liked and also suggested trying one that is symmetrical about the long axis. Good idea, especially if you want to arrange these things in a horizontal or vertical orientation along that long axis. here are a couple more tries, using the same basic radius cutting assy. for the band saw.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

making several dozen drawer pulls

With a kitchen and bathroom remodel, plus some other built-in work for the house, I wanted to come up with a drawer pull that I could make in batches with some help from my machines. at the same time, i wanted a pull that would not look too machine-made with right angles and square ends. I wanted it to be curved and be nice to reach for and easy to use. Drawer pulls are extremely difficult for me for some reason. Most of my attempts in the past have felt clunky, looked awkward. Hands are complicated, picky things!

Here's my latest attempt. These are PROTOTYPES made from 1x1" fir, 4" wide. I still need to figure out how to do the pilot holes and might have to make a separate jig to hold them in place:

This is based on a plan I did earlier this year for shop cabinet pulls, all done on a table saw and finished up with a few quick passes of sandpaper and then water-poly

I wanted to machine an overhanging lip because this felt really comfortable on the fingertips when met with my thumb. really easy to pull this without feeling awkward.'s very blocky for in the house, so off i went looking into machining wood using screaming router bits and holders. but that translates into lots of adrenaline and frightened shop cats.

I then recalled some youtube videos of folks making very nice circle cutting jigs using their band saws and the a-ha moment occurred. Why not try jigging up using the bandsaw as my cutting tool?

TO date, this has been the most complex jig i've done up, and it was very ad-hoc. what you see here is a 1/2" ply base, clamped to the bandsaw table, and a sled that rides on top, with a 3/8" oak dowel pivot point set back at 9". I have two stop blocks for the sled that go between the base, and the fence of the saw. Take one swipe with block #1, and then switch in block #2 and take another pass. this leaves the plan view curve with overhang. I will then rip the interior piece about 1/4" thinner than the overhang, and then glue the pieces back together.

You can see the other ones resting on the side to the left. I actually took this pic after the first cuts were made so that you can see how they would fit together after being glued up. not sure if this makes any sense.

antother thing in this pic is a little piece of wood with some 80 grit paper glued to it. very important! this is what i use to hold the piece down to the jig while i make the pass. it holds really well and i felt in total control when performing this operation.

I also wanted to do a second pass on the pieces once their glue had dried to have a gentle radius along the elevation view. I used a larger radius here on the saw, also i shimmed the place where the pieces sat so that there was a gentle outward taper.
Here, i'm trying them out on the old cabinets on our kitchen. no better way to test them out than to have them in place for us to get a feel for 'em, right?

I tried two pulls on the drawer, too. Since i'll be using mechanical slides for the new cabinets, i dont think it's necessary to have two pulls, and looks a bit cluttered actually.