Saturday, March 30, 2024

Cutting Corners


When covering the boards for a case-bound book, whether using book-cloth or paper, one needs to mitre the corners to minimize the overlap bulk when it's all folded over and glued down. That mitre needs to be offset from the corner of the boards a bit so that the folds overlap and the boards don't show, and in theory that distance out from the corner is supposed to be 1½ times the thickness of the boards.

I generally use 2mm or 3mm grey board for this purpose.

I designed these cutting templates in Blender and printed them on my Ender 3 in PLA+, and they not only ensure that I'm cutting the right distance away, but also that I'm getting a perfect 45ยบ mitre.

In truth, the tolerances required aren't all that fine, and I could easily get away with just using the 4.5mm offset template (for 3mm board) for both board thicknesses, but it's not really any more trouble to make a separate template for each. So that's what I did.

Wednesday, March 13, 2024

Gate Post


This post used to hold our letter box, but it was too close to the driveway, and the box got clipped by incoming vehicles. So I shifted the letter box over to the other side of the tree a few years ago, but left the white post standing there since it's a useful visible indicator of when you're about to drive into a big tree.

Today I sawed the top off one of the fence posts I put in a little while ago, and turned the off-cut into a finial for our gate post. And here it is.

Friday, March 8, 2024

Etching Press Lockdowns


Until now, I've just secured my little etching press to its trolley with a pair of G-clamps. They worked fine, but they were ugly and intrusive.

I'd always intended to replace those with something a bit less ad-hoc, and today I finally got around to that. I turned a couple of knobs from a scrap of pink birch, set a nut in each, and put a couple of M8 bolts up through the trolley top and press carriage to secure everything.

The new shiny knobs are indicated in the photo by the big red arrows.

I'm pretty sure that just the two bolts will be quite adequate to keep everything in place, but I can always add more if need be.

Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Stretcher Bars


I made a set of stretcher bars out of some scrap 40x40 pine for a canvas 500x500mm, not because I have any particular painting in mind, but just to see how easy or hard it would be to make them. They're not hard.

They're not enormously expensive to buy, but they're far from free, and this gives me ultimate flexibility when it comes to size and profile.

I've learned one or two things in the process:

  • It would be a good idea to leave a bit of a horn on the tenon, to be sawn off after assembly.
  • Also, if I put a mortice at one end of each bar and a tenon at the other, they should (I think) be interchangeable. Though that's probably only worth while if I was making a whole bunch to be assembled later. For this one I did each bar with either mortices or tenons, to minimise the chances of getting myself lost.
The bars need to incline down on the front face towards the inner edge to keep them free of the canvas, and to help with that they have a thin raised bead running along the outer edge. That was easily made in one step on the table saw.

Saturday, March 2, 2024

Sanding on the lathe


I made this sanding bed to go with the wheel I re-did yesterday for my lathe. It seats pretty firmly against the ways of the lathe for the moment, but if it gets looser with wear I can easily hold it in place with a little g-clamp.

It's all perfectly square, both horizontally and vertically, which will be a boon when it comes to truing up frame mitres and what-not. Also, with the Jacobs chuck on a #2 morse, I could use it as a horizontal borer, with a bit of faffing about and packing and stuff.

Something I discovered in the making of this is that the ways of my lathe are not symmetrical — the near side splays out to its feet at 10 degrees, while the far side is only eight degrees. That was unexpected. That means that the sanding bed can only go on one way, though that's not really much of an issue.

The wheel was one I made a while ago to go on one of my faceplates. But bolting it and unbolting it again when I wanted the faceplate for something else got to be a bit of a pain.

So I bought a M30x3.5 nut and epoxied it into an inset on the back.

Inevitably it wasn't absolutely 100% square and true, so I had to strip off the old sanding surface, re-true the face, and then put some more sanding belt strips on.

I think it took me about an hour and a half to get a successful emplacement of the nut, and it's a little bit frustrating to think that it's a job that could have been done — and probably done better — in five minutes with a welder and a bit of steel plate. However, I don't own any welding equipment, nor do I have anywhere to store it if I did.

Friday, March 1, 2024

Turning Tool Rack


This morning I whipped up a little rack for my carbide turning tools, plus the centring drill I made the other day, and a couple of skews.

It's just 12mm plywood, but it will do the job and should last longer than I will.

The carbide scrapers are very easy to use, but they are not the greatest of tools for leaving a fine surface, and I pretty much use them only for rough shaping.

The majority of my tools — the ones I use, anyway — are hanging up beside the lathe.

They're very convenient there, but I've run out of hook space.

I've got a bunch of miscellaneous others stored in a drawer, but they are pretty junky and I seldom use them.