Thursday, 30 June 2011

Shannon's Garden Shed update

  Shannon's garden shed has been progressing. I've been doing the cutting and she's been doing the hammering. So here are some pics to look at.

Still have to put up a beam and posts for the porch and get that steel roofing from my friend's place then hang two doors on the end and some batten strips too.


Wednesday, 29 June 2011

What day is it?

  Hi, it has been some time since my last post. I try to put something up every week but this month was impossible. We've had Prom, Graduation, bike racing every weekend, repairing the bike during the week, massage therapy (my nervous system is coming back to life since the surgery, wicked muscle spasms), and helping Shannon with her garden shed. Some days I spend resting, doctor's orders.

  While Shannon ties up the shop painting the recycled doors and windows for the shed I did find enough room to make some odd items. One is a rack for Alex's many sunglasses. It seems all bike racers need many pairs of sunglasses, just like rock stars.

This isn't all of them. Lady GaGa couldn't wear so many in  a week.

  This did give me a chance to steam bend some walnut. I made a plywood steam box this time. It works very well. Mating the two pieces at the top was challenging but it was successful. Short on stainless steel rod so I used some wooden dowel to fill in until I pick up some more steel rod.

  Drunk with the success of building the sunglasses stand I though I would make a holder for Shannon's Black Berry. This might allow it to be found without having to phone or text to it. Shhh.... wait I can hear it, over there, as she walks silently like a ninja ready to pounce on the Black Berry upon first sight. I'm sure she isn't the only one who has done this before.

  I had some large cotter pins I picked up at the recycle store. I don't know why I grabbed them at the time, and I still don't, but they gave me a crazy idea. So these pictures say it all.

Thanks for reading
Until next time

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Steam Box Testing

  I put together a steam box from 2" rigid insulation about 26 inches long and 5 x 5 on the inside. I just wanted to try things out so maybe it would be best to keep things small.

Box started to come apart after an hour.
  Well it worked pretty good, there was no waiting to reach 200 degrees. The box was pressurizing and needed more venting holes. I drilled quite a few then things seemed to be under control. The temperature went much higher in there than the temperature gauge would read. The box began to melt and swell on the inside (see below). The venting soon stopped that. I am going to try a plywood box next time and add insulation to the outside if it takes too long to bring the box to temperature.

Kinda looks like what Jonah saw before going into the whale eh?
   For generating steam I purchased a fabric steamer from Doug at the local Home Hardware. It holds about 2.2 litres of water and will steam for an hour before using all the water. The water reservoir can be removed for refilling during operation so there is no interruption to the steam. They no longer carry this model but the next one down (2 litre) should do just fine.

Steam is dangerous, use heavy gloves, long sleeves and keep your safety glasses on at the very least.
Conair brand fabric steamer.
   The steam box pressurizing caused the steamer to backup to the water reservoir. (The safety instructions warn of gurgling noise and steam backup so I was ready just in case) The water began spilling out and the jug began to heat up. I took immediate action to shut things down by cutting the power to the steam generator. Live steam is very dangerous. Take all safety precautions. I always do this outdoors next to my shop. More room around the setup the better. Remember the hottest steam is the that which is invisible. It only becomes visible as it cools.

  All in all the test was successful at making a 1 x 1 inch by 24 inch long piece of walnut pliable enough to bend around a form. I was not burned in the process, my largest concern.
  I need to work on a new more robust steam box and I am sure I will find some inefficiencies in my bending procedures next. Lee Valley sells a nice steam bending setup with a ratchet at there store. Strap and ratchet make a nice father's day gift.

  The weather is starting to heat up too. It was like 34 Celsius with the humid ex today, looking to be 41 tommorrow. Thankfully I was able to get some help cooling down.

Humidity is a real pain when woodworking. Everything swells, finish takes longer to dry, etc. Usually I shut things down during a heat wave but check out the gauges below. I was pushing it a little. Coat anyone?

Mr. Freeze's results in the shop.
Thanks for looking

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Shannon's Recycled Shed

  Well we put some walls up on the garden shed this weekend. Alex and her boyfriend didn't race their bikes this weekend so we had some helpers in the house, yahoo, or is that Woot. I'm cool, I know the lingo.... I'm up with that, Sick...... um, guess not.

  Shannon has been working hard so it was nice that the kids were able to help. That really pushed the schedule ahead. I'm not much help while recovering from the neck surgery. Shannon says that sometimes I wasn't all that much help before the surgery either. Huh. How do you like that?

Alex watching her Matt, while I take a well deserved break.

Hmm, lets see, 87 1/2 inches. What's that in metric?
   I have been the supervisor, also called a seagull in construction circles. That is because the supervisor appears on the horizon, swoops in, makes a lot of noise, craps on everything and takes off.

That's me supervising. This job is turning my hair gray.
No way Alex, that's my job, where's the union steward.

Time to put the trusses in place Matt. Good job. No, I said no water until your done.

Almost all of the material in this shed has been recycled. Trusses came from the neighbour, lumber is leftover from a forming company but the floor boards are new. We hope to cover the roof with steel roofing leftovers. We will get the roofing screws from the local ReStore run by Habitat for Humanity. The siding will be cedar from Jeff's mill left to weather to gray.

  It has been fun to watch Shannon hammer away on the blocking. She's doing a great job.

Shannon has been busy putting in the blocks to hang the siding on.
 thanks for reading
Ken and Shannon

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Bench and Bumble Bees

  Another cedar bench, same design as the previous one. I stained this one before varnishing. Here are some pictures.

 Some times nature seems to defy the laws of physics. How two tiny wings can make a bumble fly is unbelievable to me. I snapped a couple of shots of these busy bees as they worked in the garden.

Click for a larger image of the bumble bee.

Click to enlarge picture.
Thanks for looking