Saturday, July 31, 2021

multimodal monitor tree V1 part ii

I have iterated on at least 3 different means of hanging my laptop on the monitor tree. Here is the latest arrangement in the prototype form. It still looks kind of like a jumble of wires here but it's very ad-hoc. essentially i've got my laptop sliding into interior groves of a box, with a lot of the wiring plus a supplemental cooling fan hidden underneath. I've learned that laptops are very tempermental with regard to heat dissipation, and bluetooth interference.

Here we see the what's happening inside. i've labeled cables in the photo. This is a new 120mm fan that i ordered off of amazon, i believe there's quite a market for these things for folks building their own console for gaming, etc. these fans are ratet around 30db, which is noticible but maybe tollerable...not sure. my main concern is that my bluetooth connections can be erratic. the keyboard works fine, trackpad works ok most of the time, but my mouse is neigh unusable. I'm not sure if there's too much interference with the wires here or what. So this laptop caddy is still a work-in-progress
Here's the laptop caddy that i made yesterday in sapele mahogany. very simple construction, machine cut lap joints and box joints on the sides.
I close today applying a coat of Danish oil to my shaft

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

multimodal monitor tree V1

This is a continuation of a monitor tree concept that i've been working on for some time now. With the pandemic, I mostly worked from home, and having a mobile base for my system really made life a lot easier, allowing me to bring my system to a couch, or the kitchen, or the desk, or...

I've spent a lot of time over the year trying different hoisting mechanisms for my monitor tree prototype, finally settling on block-n-tackle (we'll get to that a bit later). It's time to begin work on the next version of this piece, focusing on a bit nicer finish and using sapele. Here's where the tree stands today

The feet are just half-lapped together. The angle that they're joined at is not square, but 96deg sweep at the front. this minimizes the depth of the piece and reduces chances of bumping my feet when i'm seated at a desk.

Lap joint was pretty tight

The Post is built up from 1/2" thick resawn wood, with some "plugs" at the ends from some redwood offcuts i had. The feet will be carefully finger-joined to the base. Sorry i forgot to take a photo with the thing apart to show what it looks like, but it's hollow on the inside. This also allows the possibility of a chase where i could run the power cord.

Here I'm using blue painter's tape to assist in the layout of scribe lines. Pencil does not show up well on dark wood. The battens you see clamped to the side will provide a way to secure the feet while i scribe the cut lines exactly

I use a Hock marking knife for this

the first cuts for the finger joint are fairly challenging. Try not to worry and just let the saw do the work.

Once i had the defining cuts made, i made a few progressive diagonal cuts with my saw to remove as much waste as possible. Here, i'm standing on one of my sturdy saw horses (-:

The finger joints mated with the feet better than i thought they would be. There are some very small gaps but with so much glue surface area, i don't think i have to worry about it coming apart.

Sunday, September 6, 2020

handling an open-sweep hook knife blade from

Hoo Boy, a gorgeous hook knife blade arrived yesterday in the mail from robin wood et. al!
I take as little time as possible getting a handle glued up and didn't even think to show construction fotos, but imagine making a thin relief using a chisel and a router plane for the blade shank into 2 1/2" thick pieces of padouk wood (just because it's reasonably hard and there was anerrant piece of it in the shop.

Use some 5 minute 2part epoxy and a few clamps to produce this rough piece

this is how i like to make my knife handles. maybe a little shorter than the handle that Wood-Tools makes, but it's a little thicker in the middle, where you typically apply a lot of force as you "roll" the knife blade towards you during spoon cutting. it fits my meat hooks fairly well. wood handles rule.
I love this quote. Mary Kondo isn't saying anything new, folks!

Sunday, May 10, 2020

lil' lodi apple wood serving spoon

only had one afternoon this weekend to make this little serving spoon. punches above weight in capacity, but s stubby handle. would be useful in a family style meal where there's a bowl of rice everyone digs into. This one is still a little thick and will be cleaned up a bit once the wood dries
Dad sent me another parcel of Lodi Apple wood segments. we disucssed the best way to divide up the pruning for maximal yield
it arrived cut up perfectly as discussed
I decided to dive into the stubby section, seeing 3 short but wide spoons if i cut the thing into 1/3rds well enough. My Ryoba rip teeth cut through the green long grain like i was slicing rare steak.
This was a hand-tool only endeavor and not just to be a Luddite. a quick series of stop cuts like this can then be easily broken off with a chisel to make a flat underside for a reference surface while holding the blank down on my lap table
I then roughed out the profile on the top of the spoon. this is the bark-side facing part of the split. The spoon is gonna be wide and scoopable. not much of a handle, but that's ok
and here it is after roughing out. Now to let it rest a few days before cleaning it up. seems to dry quickly

Sunday, May 3, 2020

Serving Spoons in Laurel wood

Dad sent a section of laurel from the farm years ago. I had it sitting in the garage staring at me like the velveteen rabbit all this time, not sure what to do with it until this weekend.

Forgot to take a pic of the whole section, but here's one half after ripping. about 3" in dia.

I think my favorite part about making spoons is at this moment where the profile (crank) is roughed out and you get to sort of let the wood tell you what shape it should take
But carving the outside of the bowl into facets is pretty fun, too. a sharp knife leaves a waxy smooth surface that is hard to beat
There were a few knots that I did not anticipate. so not much heavy lifting duty for these, but i loved the way the wood responded to carving. the wind in the wood's grain led me to these chicane handles.

Monday, April 27, 2020

thyme is in full bloom, driving neighboring bees crazy

sunny weekend drove my neighbor's bees wild. my thyme plants are in bloom and it was a total rave in front of my house. them honeybees really know how to party.
worked through my last billet of black walnut that L. Gandsey gave to me from his offcut pile. I like this wood for kitchen utensils: it's pretty durable, food inert, and is also not so difficult to carve (or at least not as hard as maple!)
the day's work produced 2 eating size spoons for my armada.
with the remaining elm, i made another one of my spoochulas, but i got a little too deep in the basin here :-). i'll try scabbing on a piece of something to fix it.

Sunday, April 19, 2020

carving from a lodi tree that i grew up with

countless helpings of apple sauce and pies made by mom originate from this one Lodi tree planted almost 50 years ago on mom and dad's farm. Dad sent me a few lengths from a recent pruning to try out. these were smaller ones, meant to test the wood for carving, and justify sending more.

my findings? yes, please keep 'em coming

the shorter section had the heart off center, so it allowed me to make a spoon with a fairly large bowl. this could be a serving spoon of some sort. the green wood is pleasant to carve. it cuts cleanly and also with much more ease than if it were dry
The aggresively crooked piece was a bit more challenging, with a knot off to one side the grain was a bit unstable. I kept at it with my 2-hander hook knife since it allows for a lot of power to be applied into the cut.
i don't think i'll be able to use this for general cooking practices, but it is a fun shape to have and i'll keep it around
close up of the bowl with a knot imparting lots of swirly grain.
the smaller piece yielded a delightful little spoon whose bowl punches above weight. i like how this one is turning out and will let it dry out a bit before finishing it.