Wood Turning – Pet Urn

This is my first attempt at turning a wooden urn for my cat, Mr. Black, who passed away last year. I’ve never liked the plastic urn his ashes were returned to me in, so after some practice on other items, I decided to make a replacement.


The wood is from a freshly cut Mulberry tree from my brother-in-law’s backyard. The wood is very green and as such is easy to turn, but it is full of moisture. Here is the initial piece after all of the bark was removed and mounted on the lathe. Some turning was done at this point, just rough turning to get the whole log rounded so it’ll turn better when it’s balanced.



What I’m doing here is turning the lid on the right side of the log. I’ll finish shaping the lid and then part it off the piece. The solid end is the tenon that will fit inside the urn. In this configuration, the lid is pointing the same direction as the urn. Once it’s removed, it’ll be turned around to fit into the urn body.



Here is the lid in its final shape, all sanded and ready to be separated from the rest of the urn body.



Here I’m parting off the lid:



With the lid removed, it’s time to hollow out the urn body. After measuring the tenon size from the lid, that dimension is transferred to the body and now it’s just a process to hollow out all of the interior wood:


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Pen Turning – My First Attempts

I tried my hand at pen turning for the first time the other day, made the usual beginner mistakes: had several blow outs of blanks when they were caught by the gouge with too deep a cut. Once I mastered the light touch towards the end of the turning, I had much better results. From top to bottom we have Bamboo, Zebrawood, Curly Maple and Cocobolo, but my photography skills weren’t the best that day. All are Woodcraft’s Wall Street II pen kits.

First Pen Turnings

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Saw Refurbishment

Did a little digging around the antique mall and came across 4 older saw at very reasonable prices, all between $2-$7. They all need a little clean-up including an Evaporust bath, sanding any deep stains on the blades (maybe reveal any etchings?), repair/refinish the handles as needed and then it’s off to the sharpener. While they’re out to be sharpened, I need to re-organize the workbench, it looks awful as seen. More updates to come.

ImageHere are some of the saws after being cleaned up. The blades were all scraped with a razor blade to removed surface rust and gunk. Each was given a 24 hour bath of EvapoRust and finally I hand sanded the blades, progressing from 400 through 600 grit. I was unable to save the etch on the Disston but found a method I may try later to restore it as it is visible still on the saw. The Disstion is a D-20 skewback cut 10ppi crosscut. It is the top saw in the photo below. There is some pitting left on the blade but not enough to effect how it cuts. I still have to put the final coats on that handle and then re-assemble. All will then need to be re-sharpened. But now I have 4 nice users for a grand total of $19.


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John Deere Tractor Bunk Bed Build Along Project

I receive many frequent request for where I found the plans for this bed, so I’m including the link http://woodgears.ca/bed/bunk_bed/tractor.html

On the site, you’ll find a link to both his plans, a cutlist and a downloadable Sketchup model of the bed. I hope that helps everyone out.

The load of lumber is here and ready to go. We’ll start tomorrow afternoon.

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Here we’re beginning to cut the 4 side boards, 2 for each upper and lower bunk:

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20121205-210437.jpg These last 3 photos show 2 varieties of hand planes: the larger is a jack plane for smoothing long boards like these side boards and the smaller one with the red handle is a block plane, used for touch up of small areas after using the larger plane.

These small pieces are to hold the bed slats into place, 22 per bed, 44 total. 20121207-151520.jpg

Here are the slat holders being clamped while the glue holding them in place dries. 20121208-132129.jpg Here is one set of side rails with the slat holders in place and ready for the next sequence in the build: the end rails. 20121208-133401.jpg


Bottom bunk almost done

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All 4 corner post have been cut and are partially assembled. Once the glue dries, we’ll start the assembly by putting the top and bottom bunks to the corner post and standing the unit up.


Here we’re attaching the legs to the upper and lower bunks.

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And here it is standing up. I’ll point out that due to space limitations in my shop restricting how far back I can move to take a photo, that even though they look as if they’re splayed apart, the 4 corner posts are all standing straight, square and parallel to each other

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Safety rails are built and installed on the top bunk.


Working on the ladder/grill.

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The ladder/grill is complete. In the next day or so, I will make the cab and be all done with assembling the bed, and then it on to the sanding!


Test fit for pieces of the cab.


And we’re done with the main body!

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Here we’re using a large compass to outline the wheels. This particular one is the front wheel. I have to use a larger, handmade compass to lay out the larger rear wheel.


Here we are with the wheels attached, complete at last! After sanding, it’ll be disassembled for the trip to Collin’s house 🙂

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The truck being loaded for the trip to Collin’s house!

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Here it is after being reassembled and painted in its new home, Collin’s room!

IMG_1034And here is the look on his face the first time he saw the bed, priceless.


Here is Collin, along with sister Bella, trying out the new bed.

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Dresser Refinishing Project

This was right after we purchased at a local thrift shop

Prepping the top for striping the old finish

Totally stripped

This is one of the false feet from the front, which we do not like. We will place the false feet with a new stretcher across the front of the dresser.

The is the new foot stretcher. This is made from Ash and here it is freshly cut from the bandsaw

Here is the side after stain and shellac have been applied



Here is the new front stretcher after having been stained to match the rest of the dresser.


This is prep for the new veneer facing of the drawer front. The veneer is wetted with a special solution and then sandwiched between heavy, flat board with weight added. This will help insure they’re perfectly flat when applied to the drawer fronts.

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After the veneer panels were flattened, they were then glued into place on each of the drawer fronts. Here the top drawer front is being test fitted. The blue tape holds the 6 separate pieces together.


This is the drawer front after having the glue applied. There is a piece of plywood adding equal gluing pressure across the entire front from the clamps.


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