Thursday, August 26, 2010

Router lift and heads in progress

I've spent the past few weeks building a router lift. Many years ago, I bought this Bosch plunge router. It has a big powerful motor, 1/2” collet, varible speed, and a soft start and I thought it was big improvement over my little craftsman router. Except it weighed a ton and when I mounted it in my router table, it was really a pain to adjust the height of the bit. I’m not sure that router lifts had been invented back then. But I ran across Matthias Wandel’s website and his wooden geared router lift . Since I had no money for a nice metal lift or room for a separate router table, I decided to redo the side table on my saw and try this one out. A few parts, some scrap wood, and a few days work and voila! It works really well, locks solidly in place, and allows me to use my existing fence and the miter slots on my saw. It raises the bits enough that it makes bit changes quite easy, actually easier than it was with the plunge rails on it. I still need to make my sacrifice fences to attach to my regular fence, but I am excited that this tool will be a lot more convenient than it originally was. I was really surprised at how fast it works.

Here's a few heads I've been working on, but haven't decided what they are going to be. I started them just carving for fun, so they may end up as scrap or they may work into something. I kinda like the bald guy and am thinking about a tall, bent top hat. Maybe he is a grave digger? The pointy ear guy may turn into a Christmas elf or a leprechaun. Kinda has a young Leonard Nimoy look to him? The guy with the hat was started as a sailor (planned on adding a pipe). Suggestions, ideas, and comments always welcome!


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Award winning carver?

Technically, I guess I could call myself that since ........(drumroll),,,,,,,I got 5th place in the LumberJocks Summer Woodworking contest! I entered my snake staff in the contest which had the theme of "Fluidity".


Fluidity – "Like grasses swaying in a summer breeze, the fluid motion is visible in the solid form of the wood." Create a woodworking project that portrays fluidity and/or movement, Be sure to describe your inspiration and vision - the interpretation is as important as the finished product.

The voting is by members rather than judged and I would have loved to win some of the higher prizes of gift certificates to different tool suppliers! There were 77 total entries and mine was picked fifth, which amazes me when you look at some of the beautiful entries that got fewer votes than mine. ( ) No money for me, but I get a cool mug and some work holders.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

"Still Running Against the Wind"

Here is a cane I just completed.I seem to be inspired by a lot of different songs lately. I have been wanting to carve a cane with a girls face and her hair as part of the handle for some time. One of the problems I have when carving on the end of a handle like this is that it is usually end grain. I prefer to have my grain running length-wise in the handle for strength and I like to add a spacer with the grain running vertically for the same reason. So I have been thinking about carving the face from a separate piece and inlaying it into the end. This is my first attempt, and I used basswood for the face and walnut for the handle and spacer. I turned the spacer a little thinner and taller than I normally do, trying for a feeling of delicacy. The handle and spacer are attached with epoxy and 1/4" threaded rod to the Bradford pear shaft with the bark on. I wood burned details for the hair using a pyrographic pen and finished with satin poly and a coat of wax. I still haven't carved a female face quite like I want it.....but practice makes perfect! Thanks for looking