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Two years ago I bought my older brothers motorcycle. The deal was that he could buy it back anytime he wanted to, and at the same price more or less.
He had an idea that he wanted to try a Honda Africa Twin instead of his Moto Guzzi. The Honda never really caught on, so he sold that after only riding it for about a month or so. I called him and reminded him that he could get his old bike back - so the bike went back to him again.
Now he has bought himself a Yamaha SR 500, and he seems to be pleased with it. He lives in a city, so an upright sitting position and a bike that is a bit shorter geared is better suited for his commuting than a 1978 Moto Guzzi Le Mans II (There is a Le Mans I fairing on it).
I on the other hand thrive with a bike that requires a crouched riding position, can do 50 mph in 1st gear and feel as stiff as a railroad sleeper to sit on.
So I have yet again bought it from him.
This time I am going to put in a new set of piston rings in it, because it spills out oil like crazy. It is a common thing for old Guzzis to do that since a lot of them were born without air filters, and instead they just had an open intake with a small mesh screen to sift out birds and stray cats etc.
Hopefully the weather cooperates, cause good motorcycle weather is also good weather for working on the small barn at the summer house.
The following motorbikes can also be found in the pictures (somewhat hidden):
Lambretta Li 150 series1, 1959
CZ 125, 1965
2 x JAWA 634 (350 cc), 1977 and 1978
Inside the chest, on the sloping part of the back, I have chiselled MMXVII, just like I normally do, but I felt like it could be interesting to paint some sort of decoration on the outside too that would show the world that this is my tool chest.
Brian Eve has got his Spanish bull painted, and that looks good, but if I made a bull it would be a shameless copy.
I like beavers because they are woodworking animals, but people might think that I was from Canada (which sadly I am not).
Termites are sort of woodworking creatures as well, but I don't like those.
I have wished for an exlibris stamp for my birthday, and my daughter Laura and I did a bit of brainstorming about that. I guess that brainstorming for my part is mostly keeping quiet, but we ended up combining two of my favourite things: Newfoundland dogs and gambrel roofs.
So I enlarged our stamp suggestion and used that as a decoration. Maybe someone will think that I actually live in Newfoundland in a house that has got a gambrel roof :-)
I am pretty good at sketching gambrel roofs, but I genuinely suck at drawing Newfoundland dogs. So In order to get by I taped the print out onto the lid. I then traced all the lines and the outline of the dog using an awl. I didn't poke through the paper, but the pressure is enough to leave a faint line in the painted surface. It is very similar to how I do when I mark out for the name signs for horses that I have made earlier.
The template was removed and I just had to colour inside the lines. This would most likely have been a bit easier with a smaller paint brush.
All in all, I find that the Dutch tool chest is an interesting and satisfying project to make. The project can be completed in a variety of ways, simple or difficult according to the abilities or the desires of the maker.
The reality was a bit different. The lid had warped, so I had to struggle to flatten it. A thing that really didn't help was the size of the lid. I could barely fit it on the workbench, and it scooted around because I couldn't place it in a single position that would enable me to plane the entire piece.
After a lot of time and cursing I decided that it was flat enough. The problem was that it wasn't the same thickness all around.
The top of the workbench is not flat, and I didn't see any point in continuing knowing that it would hardly get any better, so the lid just had to stay that way.
I marked up for some breadboard ends, and the first one didn't fit very tight. I fiddled some time without any obvious improvements, I mounted it hoping and expecting that the second end would turn out better.
At first the second end really did fit better, but the first dowel that I drove in burst out a huge chunk of wood from the backside. I guess the board is a bit punky.
The second dowel broke before getting through the board, but the third one came all the way thoguh as it should.
It bothered me that the second dowel never went all the way, so I decided to remove it and install e new one.
A drift pin, a hammer and a smart blow Took care of the problem with the dowel stealing all the attention, Instead the new attraction was the 6" long and 1.5" wide chunk that separated from the breadboard end. And somehow the dowel managed to stay put.
I squirted some glue in the crack and put a clamp on it. There was no point in trying to do anything abut it until the glue had set and I had cooled down.
Next I turned my attention to the carcase and did a bit of planing in a vague attempt to level the dovetails and the ends of the backboards.
Again the work was obstructed by lack of workholding, a not completely flat floor etc.
The back was the last thing I tried to plane. I decided from the start that I would only use the scrub iron on the back, because there had been enough misery already. The back ended OK, with clearly visible diagonal strokes from a scrub plane. At least it will show that it is handmade.
A set of skids were mounted under the bottom, and this part went without any hick-ups at all (very strange).
The glue on the lid had dried sufficiently to continue with that part.
I used a saw to cut the lid to the correct length and to remove the parts of the breadboard ends that extended a bit. Some planing actually made it look pretty good, almost level and fairly square.
So I decided to make a bull nose profile on all the edges.
A bull nose profile is hard to mess up, unless you make the rabbet too deep, so it will terminate at the same depth as the groove in the breadboard end. If you do that the result is clearly visible.
If you also ad a some grain blow out due to rabbeting cross grain you will know why there was even more cursing.
Finally I installed the hardware which didn't cause any real problems compared to the earlier difficulties I had experienced.
Another method that involves just a little bit more work is to insert some battens in sliding dovetails.
Now there is a plane that is designed for that specific purpose, but mine is at home, so I had to do it with my smoothing plane instead which means that my battens visually taper and don't cover the line up as they would have if I made them the other way.
Since this isn't a show surface it will be just fine.
A narrow board was divided to form two wedges. The surfaces were cleaned up with the plane. Each of the edges were planed at an angle, so the end of each wedge resembled had a trapezoidal shape.
I marked out where I wanted the pieces to go and clamped down the first wedge. Using itself as a guide, I sawed along its edge using my small dozuki. When I had reached my intended depth I loosened the clamp and shifted the wedge a bit to saw the other side of the dovetail dado.
Once the sawing was completed I removed the material with a chisel.
A router plane would have been the obvious choice, but the body of my small homemade one is so narrow that it would fall into the dado. And a chisel does the job fast and well enough in this case.
The wedge was marked out so I could saw off the lower part of the wedge, to enable the protruding end to grip behind the lower front lip. Finally the edges were chamfered with a chisel and the wedge installed.
The second wedge was negotiated in the same way.
A board was split and resawed and planed for making the locking pin. It was cut to length and a hole drilled in the upper part to give something for the fingers to grip when it has to be pulled out.
The bridge shaped piece that will hold the upper part of the fall front was a quick saw and chisel job.
Ralph asked about the shaving deflector for the Stanley No 50 combination plane (mine is actually a Record plane).
As you all know, taking pictures isn't my strongest side, but hopefully the pictures of the deflector mounted in the plane will give a bit of an idea on how it works.
The backside is sloped to match the blade.
The inside is sloped to that the lowest point of the deflector is positioned as far outwards as possible. This slope guides the shaving to the centre of the plane where it can escape without being jammed.
The shelf was cut to the correct length, and the parts were glued up. Oh yes, I made the rabbets for the shelf before I glued it up.
The lower front lip and the upper front each had a bead planed to soften the transition where each part will meet the fall front.
I mounted the parts a bit too long, and when the glue had dried I trimmed them to the correct length.
My Record combination plane has got a blade for making tongues, and I was really anxious to try it.
At first it was a complete and utter failure. I could at best take a shaving that was 7" long before the plane was blocked with shavings and I had to use a screwdriver to pry them out.
I stopped for the say and chatted a bit with Brian Eve instead. He asked about the plane and did the smart thing: He visited Patrick Leach's Blood and Gore page. I have visited that page numerous times, but I don't know why I didn't think of doing it this time.
It turns out that there is supposed to be a "shaving deflector" that has to be used while planing tongues. Patrick also states that these are very commonly lost.
A bit of Internet searching and I had found some close up pictures of what it should look like. Since it looks a bit complicated, I decided to fabricate one of my own design instead. I think it took me roughly 20 minutes work, and I had a shaving deflector ready for testing.
The deflector was installed and I sort of expected the plane to jam within 5" this time - so I started out with a very short stroke. No blocking.
I got cocky and tried to do a 10" stroke. Still no jamming, Actually it seemed to work as it should. Finally I tried taking a planing the whole length of the 25" board. Two fat shavings ejected perfectly from the plane! I could even take fairly heavy shavings, so in a very short time all the tongues were completed.
On those boards I made the grooves next, and followed with some side beads.
These boards were all installed as the back of the carcase. I used a dab ob glue in the middle of each board, and two nails. so in theory the middle of the narrow boards will be fixed by the glue, and the nails closer to the sides will allow for some wood movement.
The sides are a bit less than 8" wide, so I only had to glue on a 4" board to get the desired width for my panels.
I found a nice 1x4" pine board that I have glued to the old pallet sides.
For the lid I have decided to try and make it completely out of pine, since it will be the most visible part of the project, and the pine I have found seems to be a bit more stable than the fast grown spruce used for pallet sides.
I planed the panels for the sides, the bottom and the shelf and decided which panel should go where.
The planing was kind of hard, because the panels took up all the space on my work table. I just had enough room to start the plane about 1" before the blade would get in contact with the wood. I can suddenly remember why I make mostly smaller projects out here.
I cut the sides to the required shape with a 30 degrees slop on the top and square bottom. The bottom was made next, and before I started on the dovetails, I tried to determine where to put the shelf .
The official plans have a suggestion, but given that I don't follow them anyway, I decided that I might as well try to figure something out myself.
I took my 1" chisel (the biggest chisel I have with me on the ship, and placed it on the dies board. I added a bit of air above and below it, so I could have a similar tool sitting in the future tool holder, and still be able to close the lid. When I later compared the position of my shelf with the plans, it was almost identical.
A bit of work with a divider and the dovetails were stepped off. I made a small template that had a bold angle to it, I just eyeballed it, so I don't know what it is in degrees or in proportions.
But it would at least make the angles the same for all the dovetails.
As per my normal routine out here, I do the pins first, because it is easier for me to transfer the layout to the tail board with the work holding that is available to me.
The dovetails ended up being nice and tight. Now I just hope that the dados for the shelf will turn out OK too.
Often one of the questions is something like this:
Do you try new things or discover new trends sooner than your friends?
To which I always answer: "absolutely not"
This hasn't got a lot to do with woodworking, but it will mean that I can safely start building a Dutch tool chest now. A lot of the blogs that I read have already featured a DTC build, so I can in no way claim that I am a vanguard in this type of build which just suits me fine.
One of my favourite daydreams is to teach a small DTC class at home, it will probably be the boys who will have to attend it, but nevertheless I need to build one of those chests first to get the feel of it. It might also be that there is a little more interest in a build where you can see and touch an example of the end product.
There isn't a lot of hardware needed for a DTC. Technically you could get away with a couple of hinges and that is it.
Other pieces regularly involve a set of lifts and a hasp for a padlock.
I have a lot of chest lifts at home, and I was too cheap to purchase some locally here in Norway. So for this build I have settled for a set of strap hinges and a small hasp. Depending on the time frame and my mood, I might try to make a set of lifts myself, steel or perhaps some beckets.
The hinges and the hasp were zinc plated with a thin layer (electroplated). I decided that they looked a bit too shiny for my taste, and I decided to give them a bit of artificial age.
First the zinc was removed by immersing the pieces in a mixture of water and sulphuric acid.
Chemistry did its thing and in a short time the pieces were down to the bare metal.
My next plan was to give the pieces a brown colour. So I experimented by using chlorine on the hardware. A thin layer of rust appeared almost instantly. The problem was that every time I removed the pieces and rinsed them the rust disappeared too. I guess I should have been a bit more patient, but after a couple of hours I grew tired of that experiment and decided to think of another interesting way of adding age to the hardware.
I have used a propane torch earlier, with very fine results, but I wanted to see if there was a way that someone who didn't have access to such a tool could also do a satisfying job of adding a bit of age to some hardware.
During my time as an engineer on a high speed ferry, I did a lot of cooking during the winter months when the ship was laid up. A colleague of mine once wanted to show me how soup was coloured traditionally, namely by burning an onion either directly on the hot plate or in the pot that you would later use for the soup. The result was impressive, the stainless steel pot turned as black as coal, and the fire alarm went off. I think we ditched the soup, but the experiment had been fun.
On this ship we have an excellent extraction fan for the galley, so I turned it to maximum and placed the hardware directly on the stove.
After some time it started turning blue, and I then rubbed the surface with an onion. The steel immediately turned darker. About three sessions of rubbing gave me the colour that I was looking for. After the hardware had cooled down I rinsed it with some water to remove a few fine particles of burnt onion.
To avoid the pieces sliding around during the rubbing, I used a regular fork to hold them and also to turn and remove them from the heat when I was done.
It looks as there s a bit of blotching for a lack of a better word, but that is due to my first experiment with the chlorine, which left some parts of the metal very lightly pitted after the rust attacks. I guess that after giving the hardware a light coat of oil it will be much less visible.
It was my dad who sold his old one to Christopher Schwarz, so I once in a while like to read about all the different places this little bench has been built.
I just random clicked on the hits that looked interesting, and one of them was from a site that offered an instruction in building a copy. I had hoped that they perhaps had found some novel idea to make it even easier or more user friendly to build etc.
Instead it was a copy of the original article as it appeared in Popular Woodworking Magazine a couple of years back. As it happens I have brought that issue with me on board this time, cause I like to read my older issues every now and then, so I checked to make certain that I was not mistaken.
A vague attempt had been made to incorporate a water mark from the site, but it was so poorly done it couldn't fool anyone.
My Friend Brian Eve told me some time ago that he had encountered a similar thing, and he had contacted Megan Fitzpatrick of PWM, to let her know what he had found.
So I thought that I would do the same thing.
Megan replied and thanked for the information which made me glad that I took the "trouble" to write a couple of lines and add a link to where I had found the information.
I don't know what can be done about it, but I guess that FW publications have got some sort of lawyer that might be able to approach the people behind the website.
After all they are the holders of the copyright to the article, so offering it like that is actually a way of stealing from them.
Most people have the courtesy to inform if they try to follow the advice of someone who has made a book or an article about it and this piece of work is being used as a direct source of inspiration during the build.
But is is still interesting to see how that particular person goes about getting the job done.
What I don't like is a downright rip off like what I encountered today, where another persons work was just copied and offered in a shameless manner, like the owner of that site had the right to do so. I am fairly sure that the only reason someone would do that is to get traffic to their site, and that way earn some advertising money.
I am a bit angry with myself because I couldn't spot the bad site while looking at my search hits, and I hate to think of that I might have helped generate 1 more click on some jerks page full of illegal stolen content.
Guess I just had to blow out some steam..
She thought that it would be fun too, so we started discussing what we should build.
I suggested building a passive speaker for her Iphone, and she was a bit curious about what that was. After showing her some made out of wood we tried to search Youtube to see if there were other passive speakers - and get some more inspiration.
One speaker was made out of an old hunting horn, and it looked kind of cool. It would also go perfect with the bookcases due to all the brass hardware on those.
Luckily for Laura, I had once bought a hunting horn in Poland, back in 1988 - so that model was within reach.
We immediately headed into the shop and found a piece of elm and got going.
Laura took some photos during the build, so all the photos are courtesy of her.
The idea of a passive speaker is to make some sort of channel that the sound can travel through, and then end out in something that will amplify the sound. In our case the bell mouth of an old hunting horn.
I started by squaring up a thick piece of massive elm, and then split it horizontally.
A long slot was made using the mortising machine, and a through hole was made at the exact location of the speaker on the phone itself.
A large hole was drilled in the centre of the top board, and on the underside of this board, the large hole and the small speaker hole were connected with a channel, I think it was approx. 5/16" deep.
The two boards were then glued back together and while the glue dried we started working on the brass part.
Since the horn was soft soldered together, it took only a little heating with a propane torch to loosen the joint. After separating the bell mouth from the rest of the horn, I used a pipe cutter to cut of a length of the curved pipe that we would also use.
The curved piece was soldered back on in a 180 degrees twisted position, so the horn would end flowing in a bit of an S shape.
Some sort of disc or flared part was needed to be able to mount the brass part onto the wooden base.
I did't have any sheet brass lying around, and I thought about firing up the metal lathe and turn something. But I wanted to check if I had something stashed away first.
After a bit of searching, I found an old candle stand that I think was part of a mystery box I bought at an auction at some point. There were two holders for candles on it, and each one of them had a round "catch the molten paraffin before it reaches the table" thing. (I am sorry, but I don't know the correct English term for this part of a candle holder).
These drip catchers had some Art Nouveau ornamentation on the underside. And since we were going to solder them to the horn part upside down, this ornamentation would be visible once the speaker was done.
We drilled holes for three mounting screws and countersunk those. The centre hole was enlarged so the brass tube could slip on, and then I soldered it together.
The parts were washed and I lightly brushed the ornamented part with a brass brush to clean it up a bit.
Then we screwed the horn part onto the elm base and we were ready for the first test of the speaker.
I found some of the green felt that was left over from the travelling bookcase project, and it was glued to the underside of the base. Next morning when the glue had dried, I trimmed the surplus felt so it looked nice.
All in all this was a fairly quick project. I think it took a little less than 3 hours in total, including a bit of tea drinking during the process and searching for parts etc.
The sound quality isn't overly impressive, if you are testing it out on modern music. But for classical pieces such as "We'll meet again" with Vera Lynn, it is downright great.
Making projects with children is always high up on my favourite list, because they build memories as well as objects.
I sawed some 1/2" thick boards on the saw mill that I installed between the joists. These boards are only there to hold the insulation, so they won't carry a lot of weight.
The insulation was added (6"), and a plastic membrane was mounted on top. I am not quite sure that it is needed since there will not be much human activity in the barn to breathe out humidity, and besides it also shields the insulation a bit while I am working on the floor itself.
The floor boards are 1 3/4" thick and are joined by means of a loose tongue.
I have finally gotten around to using my Veritas BU jointer that I bought some years ago at a great price. I use it to joint the edges of the boards before I make the groove for the tongue.
The upper corner is planed off with two swipes of the block plane, so it is just a tiny bevel that will keep splintering to a minimum.
The groove is made with an electric router. A year ago I finally had it with my old router and forked out some real cash and got myself a more professional Makita router. That thing is so much better than the old one, it is easier to hold, it can actually retain the cutter in the desired position and it does a quick job of making a groove.
Due to the width of the boards I am installing them with nails through the top instead of using hidden nails or screws.
I would have liked to use headless nails like I used for the porch, but those are not available in 5.5" so that is why I am using regular nails. They look a bit crude, but it is a barn after all.
They are mounted 5/4" form the sides of each board, and if the board is very wide I also put a nail in the middle as well. To keep the heads aligned, I am using a piece of string to mark out the position.
Olav stopped by today and gave me a hand, and also took some pictures. So all the pictures of today are by the courtesy of Olav.
The three larger windows will be at the ground floor, and the two smaller windows will be for the attic. One in each gable.
For once this was a project that could benefit from my shaper. That thing is a beast when it comes to making large rabbets and long pieces of mouldings.
Traditionally frames are made with mouldings on the stiles and none on the rails. But I wanted to have mouldings all the way around.
I dovetailed the frames together, and in order for the moulding to flow around the corner I used a mitered dovetail for the outermost part of the frame.
The technique isn't terribly hard to learn or do, so it went together fairly well. My biggest challenges were that the stock was thick, but a bit of concentration during sawing helps a lot.
During the last couple of days I have been trying to make the window casements. There will be a total of 8 casements, so in order to make some progress, I am making it mainly as a power tool build.
The stock for the window casements are larch that I milled two years ago. It was originally intended to become a fence around the porch, but in the end we decided that a fence wasn't needed, so I could use them for this project instead.
I again used the shaper for making the rabbets and the mouldings. And this time I have tried to use it for making the bridle joints as well.
There is a special iron that is suitable for making tenons and the open mortises for the bridle joints. I have never used it before, because quite frankly it scares me a bit. The combination of the shaper and that blade is something that will eat a hand or an arm in an instant.
It is a interesting to note that when I have to make multiples, the machines are really fast despite the setting up can be a bit time consuming. A thing that is also interesting to note is the sometimes terrible amount of tear out left behind.
To be fair I think most of it can be traced to the wood. Larch is rather stiff, but it tears out easily.
The first window casement was assembled by means of drawbored dowels. The next one was just pegged after the glue had set. That route allowed me to put a clamp on the bridle joint which I think results in a better joint overall.
A project like this that requires a lot of pegs/dowels, is just what I have been longing for, because it gives me an opportunity to use my BLUM dowel plates. They are nothing short of impressive.
I tried to weigh the pros and cons of continuing or abandoning the project altogether. In the end I decided that instead of making a barrel for rum or brandy, I could make it for dog treats. Since they are not liquid, the barrel will work for that.
I had made a couple of ends/bottoms for the barrel out of spruce, and these were made into octagonals to fit the inside.
The hoops are made out of a piece of copper tube that was split down the middle using a hacksaw. After splitting , it was flattened on an anvil by means of a hammer. The hoop was riveted together using small pieces of copper wire from an old electrical cable as rivets.
Each hoop received a total of six rivets. five to hold the hoop together and one rivet for holding the eye that will allow the barrel to be attached to the collar of Bertha.
I had measured each hoop directly from the barrel, in such a way that it was a bit too small so I could rely on it to be stretched a bit and gain a good tight fit.
The hoop was first negotiated into place by tapping with a hammer on top of a piece of wood. Once it was level with the edge of the barrel, I switched to a drift wedge. A regular piece of flat bar would have worked equally well, but this was just at hand and had a perfect size for the job.
Normally I think the hoops are expected to stay put without any fixations, but I didn't want to take that risk with this project. I made four small rivets and attached each hoop with two of them.
Finally I sawed of the ends of the barrel down to the edge of the hoops and sanded the outside flush.
I didn't drill a hole for the dog treats yet, because I think a Forstner bit will be better than a regular metal drill bit like those we have out here. So I'll do that once I get home.
The barrel ended up being 6" high and 3 3/8" in diameter at the middle.
I spent some time to get them all a bit more uniform in thickness and then tried to reassemble the barrel.
It still wasn't as I wanted it. After some time fumbling with the hose clamps, it suddenly detonated between my hands.
None of the pieces were damaged, but I could see two staves that had significantly more of a bend than the rest of them. I decided that it was time to regroup the project by only using 8 staves instead of the original 10. This will mean that the volume of the barrel will be smaller, so I'll probably have to either make it a short walk with the dog, or just walk the dog myself without any company.
Regrouping meant that I had to alter the angle on the staves, but that was a quick job. I had a bit of a problem getting the barrel raised using the blue masking tape due to its unwillingness to stick to anything, so I upgraded to some duct tape.
I am fairly sure it isn't a traditional way of doing it, but it sure works great.
A hose clamp was mounted on each end, and the barrel looked OK.
I decided that I should make the barrel shorter due to its smaller diameter in order for it to look good.
I got the idea that if I kept the hose clamps on while I completed the work on the barrel, I could round and sand it also where the hoops would be attached. In the end I will saw off the part where the hose clamp has been.
The barrel was rounded and sanded. I measured the outside diameter of one end with a piece of copper wire, and used that to calculate the size of the corresponding bottom.
The oak has got a lot of cracks, so I was a bit uncertain if it would make an OK bottom. I sawed out a piece and marked a circle on it. Immediately after sawing the bottom out it broke in two.
Spruce might not be the classic choice for coopering, but on the other hand, a Newfoundland isn't a classic barrel bearing dog, so a swift decision was made to use spruce.
After filing the disc round, I used a chisel to chamfer the edges so it could eventually fit into the groove that I was going to make.
I tried to use my router plane instead of a croze, but it didn't work very well, so I guess I'll have to do a bit of tool making to proceed.
I haven't got any of those tools. But I have a lot of different tools and spare parts that can be used on board a ship. Some of those can often be used for other things.
Today I tried to use hose clamps for holding the barrel together before making the hoops.
Before I got to that part, I had made the last staves, and they were planed on the outside.
I planed the edges to an 18 degrees angle, so I would end up having 10 staves each with a total angle of 36 degrees.
This is where the challenges started.
At first I tried to hold the staves by hand inserting them in a ring that I had made from some old copper strands from an old electrical cable.
That didn't work.
The next attempt I tried to hold each stave in place using blue masking tape attached to the middle of the staves but with sufficient space between each so they could touch in the ends.
That wasn't a success.
Third attempt was to lay the staves closely together, so they touched at one end. Each stave was taped to its neighbour and finally put on an end and the last piece of tape held the stack together.
This seemed like the way to go.
I attached the copper wire ring, and made another one a bit smaller.
The assembly was rather flimsy, so I added another copper ring on the middle. That made it a bit more solid.
I found a couple of plastic cable tied and added those too. Then I removed the masking tape.
Getting the other end of the barrel closer together wasn't that easy. I was afraid to break the copper wire, and the cable ties weren't easy to tighten either.
That is when I decided to find some hose clamps.
At first I attached the hose clamps on the ends and tightened them up a bit. Then cam a larger model for the fat part of the barrel.
It started to look more like a barrel and less like a bunch of sticks held together with masking tape.
A thing that I noticed was that the individual staves didn't bend the same. I knew what the problem was, so there was no point in continuing with the hose clamps before I had fixed it.
The staves are not the same thickness.
I had gambled a bit that it probably wouldn't matter, but apparently it does matter.
Now I just have to find a way to make them a bit more uniform in thickness and then I can continue with the hose clamps.
On this pallet the two lower stretchers were made out of oak. The top of the pallet was some other type of hardwood that I haven't been able to identify yet.
Not surprisingly, I disassembled the pallet to save the wood.
The problem with the oak is that the nails had penetrated rather deeply into the wood.
There was something like 8" between the nail holes, so I tried to think of a small thing that could be made out of short pieces of oak.
There are of course many things that would fit in this category, but I decided that a small barrel similar to those depicted around the neck of a saint Bernard dog would be interesting to make.
Bertha will end up having the same size as a saint Bernard, so I see no reason why she shouldn't be able to have a small barrel of brandy fixed to her collar for taking a photo.
I have never tried my hands out on coopering, so this will be a journey into the unknown in that respect.
The diameter of the barrel will be such that I can make the ends from the oak as well, I am able to make a circular piece of 2.75"" in diameter. The barrel will be 7.25" in length and probably end up having a diameter on the middle of 3.75" That is if everything goes as planned.
I have read somewhere that if you split the wood for the staves, you can reduce the risk of the barrel starting to leak. This makes sense if you use some sort of ring porous wood. I think that oak is ring porous, so I am going to try to follow that advice.
After sawing my piece of oak into the lengths between the nail holes, I split the pieces using an axe.
After splitting I used my plane to flatten the individual staves a bit on the outside.
My first idea was to make them exactly the same thickness from the start, but I changed the approach and only flattened the outside and then I marked out the shape and used a hack saw to make the curved shape.
Once all the staves are done I'll try to plane them all to the same thickness.
So far I have experienced that splitting stock is not a guarantee for a flat piece of wood.
It might have something to do with the fact that the grain isn't the straightest on the wood that I have at hand.
Some of the staves that I had split also had cracks running the entire length down the middle, so far from all my staves could be used.
I am also beginning to suspect that there might be a reason for coopers to use special tools for their job, cause a regular smoothing plane with a scrub iron doesn't seem to be the most efficient tool so far for this project. (Not that such a thing has ever held me back)