Monday, 30 June 2014

Nexen - Corporate Gifting

A friend of mine was looking for a good corporate gift to give to the attendees at a conference.  She started describing what she was looking for and as I started to picture it in my head I mentioned that I thought I could do that.  It would actually be a pretty straightforward project, it just needed to be done 230 times.  Of course, that means jigs!!

The walnut boards were jointed, thicknesed, and ripped to width with a bevel all at once and then crosscut.   That created the blocks on which to work, they were then sanded and then the fun started.  

Each block was set into a jig which held it in place and at an angle so that the slot in the top would be leaned back by about 10 degrees. 

Slot Routing Jig in Action, Toggle Clamp to Hold the Work in Place

Half Way Done Routing the Slots
After routing the slots I added the rubber feet to the blocks and sprayed them with lacquer.  Also, I ordered some custom stamps from Infinity Stamps.  To get them I sent over a drawing for each of the stamps and they sent a proof of what the stamp would impress.  Once given the ok it took a few weeks to get them manufactured and shipped over.

Spread Out and Ready to Lacquer
A Few New Stamps Ready for Use
Due to the bevel on the front I couldn't hammer the stamp directly so I made a jig to try and align the stamp with the bevel on the blocks of wood.  I turned out to be a massive failure.  The pressure required to impress the wood was too great for the jig to hold secure.

A First Failed Attempt
Once I stopped and thought about it a little more I realized that there was a much simpler way.  I had received a patternmakers vise for my birthday and realized that this was an awesome opportunity to put it to use.  I rotated the vise to vertical and cut a block of wood to hold the beveled face horizontal and then pressed the stamps using the vise.  Much more consistent pressure and fewer dropped items hitting my feet. 
Second Times a Charm
Stamped and Ready for Packaging
The slots in the walnut bases are designed to hold a halved and polished ammonite, it was kind of exciting to unwrap so many fossils.  They are so beautiful.  It took 4 of us a short evening to wrap up all of the bases and ammonites in bubble wrap and box them up. 

A Selection of Ammonites Ready to Go

The Finished Product, One of 230

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Timber Frame Barn - Pemberton

For a while now I've been a member of the Timber Framers Guild; the guild has been active since 1985 and regularly holds conferences and such.  They also organize community building projects. 

I've wanted to participate in one of the big community builds ever since joining but many of the projects seemed to be in the Eastern and Southern States.  Then one day while perusing the guild website I found one in BC!  Pemberton lies just 20 minutes to the north of Whistler, well within acceptable driving distances for a Calgarian like myself.  

Artists Rendition of the Project
There were about 50 volunteer working on the barn for two weeks to cut all the joinery, assemble the bents and raise the frame.  We were split up into about eight work teams, and I worked primarily on the principal posts.  These posts were 12"x16"x25' and we figured they each weighed 1300 lbs, which is absolutely massive.  That is one of the fun things about working on a big project like this, the scale of everything involved impresses every day. 

For the most part I'm just going to let the captions of the photos tell the story here. 

The 16" Circular Saw is Always Fun to Use, a Good Workout Too, it Weighs 32 lbs.

Turning Forks used to Roll the Big Timbers

Drilling a Through Hole for the Steel Tie Rods

Beams for the Clear Span are 45' Long

Probably my Favorite Photo, Big Timber, a Big Saw, and Snow Dusted Mountains

A Set of Six Cross Beams Partway Through Production

Cleaning Up the Walls of a Mortise

Cleaning Bevels for the Support Blades

It took about a week before we were able to start assembling some of the parts and was well in to the next week before everything was cut and ready to assemble.  We had access to a 120 tonne crane to take care of the heavy lifting for the job. 

A Couple Bents Ready for Raising

One Bent in the Air Being Brought Into Place

The Finished Barn

The Finished Barn and Volunteer Crew

This was my first time working with the Timber Framers Guild on a project.  It was fun working on a project which is bigger than I could organize on my own and knowing that it is providing a space for the Pemberton community to live is satisfying as well.  I really enjoyed getting to know everyone and as it turns out my team lead lives only a block away from me so we'll be able to roast smokies and drink beer around the off-cut fire.  What a small world it is when you travel 11 hours from home to meet someone who lives right around the corner. 

If you're interested in seeing much much more about the project, the Timber Framers Guild also wrote a blog about the event and there are many photos and some videos of the raising. 

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Maloof Rocker - Continued - Again

The rockers for the chair are laminated from 10 layers which are 1/8" thick each.  This yields a rocker thickness of 1 1/4", the width of the rocker laminations is 1 1/2".  First the laminations are pressed against a form and let to cure.  When that is done an additional 7 layers are built up where the legs join to the rockers.  Once the rockers are completely laminated one of the edges is jointed and the rocker is thicknessed down to 1 1/4". 

Laminating the Rocker on the Form
Adding on the Extra Layers Where the Feet Join the Rocker

Jointing One Side of the Rocker
Thicknessing the Rocker
Thicknessed and Ready for Installation and Shaping

With the dimensions squared up at 1 1/4" a router with a 5/8" roundover bit is run over the edges so that the rockers are now a 1 1/4" diameter tube. This tube is lightly faired with sand paper and then installed using epoxy and dowels similar to how the front of the arm rests were installed. 

Rounding Over the Rockers
The Rocker Rounded and Ready for Installation

The location and angle to drill the dowel holes is done in two steps similar to the installation of the armrests.  The holes are then drilled on the drill press using a wooden screw clamp to provide extra support to the curved piece. 

Marking the Drilling Locations for the Dowels
Marking the Drilling Angle for the Dowels
Epoxying the Rockers in Place with Dowels
Once the holes in the rockers and legs are filled with epoxy a set of clamps is used and left overnight. 
I'm sorry that this project has taken so long to write up, it keeps getting interrupted.  My hope it to have one more post about the rocker and finish off the project.