Forest for the Trees (long - duh!)


Like bench tools, turning tools proliferate. For some reason, no one seems to have come up with a handle design that will prevent them from rolling off a bench (and onto the concrete floor - naturally landing on either the sharp edge or a critical corner) or hiding under a pile of shavings. To prevent their self destructive inclinations and out from under the rubble that suddenly appears on any flat surface 24 inches or more above the floor. one must come up with ways to corral them (or, god forbid, keep the bench top clean and uncluttered).
So. while visiting a Brtitish trained local woodturner, I was impressed with his tool holder - a plywood box with PVC "sleeves" for his turning tools. The tools were immediately accessible, critical edges and corners were protected and the whole thing nice and portable. Nice and simple right ? Six pieces of ply, some pvc and some holes to drill - what could be easier.
Well - 3/4" pvc pipe's OUTSIDE diameter is often in between readily available forstner bit sizes. But hey, a rat tail file or spindle sander can adjust undersized holes right? Simple!
BUT then the engineer in me kicks in. "What's the minimum size for the "Sleeves", and then the minimum size for the box, while keeping it stabile and with ALL the tools easily accessible?"
Seventeen tools to accomodate, requiring three different pvc pipe inside diameters so the tools don't bang around in their sleeves, and it would be nice if all the skews were together, the spindle gouges together, the bowl gouges together, the roughing gouges together ...
Problem solving - an engineer's mission in life (or at least one of the missions in life),
Two days, and twenty or so CAD layouts, later the parts are cut, holes drilled and sized for the pvc pipes - some glue, maybe shoot in some brads "to hold things together 'til the glue dries" ...
BUT WAIT! WHAT IF - you can seee it coming right? What if I lock miter all the edges? It'd look like a solid block of wood. If I pay attention to the grain pattern and fauxed some end grain . . .
Someone a while back asked if you could make a closed box using all lock mitered joints. So I worked out how it could be done and made one- witht 1/2" baltic birch ply - coincidentally, the same stuff I was using for this mini-project.
The jigs for holding the stock, along with a set up block for the lock miter bit I have were hanging on the shop wall behind the router table which has the JoinTech Cabinet Maker precision fence with zero clearance fence insert - the insert for the lock miter bit in the top drawer of the router table cabinet. Found my color coded diagram of what part needs to be cut how and it was off to the races. Six parts, four edges each for a total of 24 passes of the parts. I was already thinking "This would look really nice with a french polish of garnet shellac."
Diagram on the pullout shelf in the rouater table, five test cuts to get the set up just right (set up blocks with this bit aren't that great) and it was production time. A bunch of upright passes, a bunch of horizontal passes and it was dry fit time.
Only then did I begin to see the forest for the trees - twice!
FIRST FOREST
I'd tacked the top and bottom together to make sure the holes for the asymetric (naturally) layout would stay aligned I'd labled "TOP" and "BOTTOM' - lightly in pencil and even added witness lines on two edges. But when it came time to route the lock miter the forest bit me in te ass. Routed all four edges of the bottom - ON THE WRONG F*#@&%@*KING SIDE! (multiple forehead slaps).
SECOND FOREST
The "box" is 10 inches long, 6 inches wide and 10 1/2" tall. ALL the dimensions are critical with all lock mitered joints. Note: 10 long, 10 1/2 tall. Should have added "UP" to the upper edges of the sides. Probably should also have put "OUTSIDE-STUPID!" on ALL the parts as well.
DODGED THE TREES - WAS RUN OVER BY THE FOREST
So now I have a top that's 6 wide by 10 long and two sides that are 10 1/2 long and 10 inches tall - the "10 1/2" tall being critical - not good to have cutting edges hitting a concrete floor when placed back in the tool holder, which is why the 10 1/2 height is critical.
FORESTRY SOLUTIONS
I could cut new sides - I still have the saw fence setting and the miter saw stops where they were - I think.
or
I could shorten the height of the sides and add feet to the box to get back the missing half inch in height
or
: : :
When you're dodging the trees, don't let the forest sneak up on you and bite you in the ass.
charlie b
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Good ideas, been there, done that, and then did it again! ;-) Here's another easy idea: Put down carpet in your shop. Make sure it's a soft but short nap. Even better if you can find some scrap pad for it. It'll protect a lot more t han just the scary edges of things when they hit the floor, too. Well, not your shoes, but ... glass doesn't break so easy, it's nice on the feet, especially when it's cold, and deserves to have an old junk vacuum for cleanup. I carpeted mine several years ago and only have appreciation for wherevre the original idea came from. First I just taped scraps together and later on my sister got new carpeting so I added hers on top of the old stuff for a nice, 1 piece carpet; worked great. Don't glue it down though except maybe a little around the edges and doorway edges, so you can get it up if it ever floods or anything disastrous soaks it. Oh yeah, it makes falls just slightly softer too!
HTH,
Pop
SIDE! (multiple forehead : slaps). : : : SECOND FOREST : : The "box" is 10 inches long, 6 inches wide : and 10 1/2" tall. ALL the dimensions are : critical with all lock mitered joints. : Note: 10 long, 10 1/2 tall. : Should have added "UP" to the upper edges of : the sides. Probably should also have : put "OUTSIDE-STUPID!" on ALL the : parts as well. : : DODGED THE TREES - WAS RUN OVER BY THE FOREST : : So now I have a top that's 6 wide by 10 long : and two sides that are 10 1/2 long and : 10 inches tall - the "10 1/2" tall being : critical - not good to have cutting edges : hitting a concrete floor when placed back : in the tool holder, which is why the 10 1/2 : height is critical. : : FORESTRY SOLUTIONS : : I could cut new sides - I still have the : saw fence setting and the miter saw : stops where they were - I think. : : or : : I could shorten the height of the sides : and add feet to the box to get back the : missing half inch in height : : or : :: :: :: : : When you're dodging the trees, don't : let the forest sneak up on you and : bite you in the ass. : : charlie b
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charlie b wrote:

I'm glad I'm not the only one who has days like this.
You made my day Charlie!
Good piece...
-- Will R. Jewel Boxes and Wood Art http://woodwork.pmccl.com The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it. George Bernard Shaw
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charlie b wrote:

Charlie, It seems that almost every project I attempt brings some variation of your story with it. In fact, I feel most the clever and self-congratulatory after I've found some creative way to cope with such a mistake.
I mused to someone the other day that it's probably fortunate that my shop time is usually limited to a couple of hours here and there with plenty of time to think about it in between.
I seem to always be working on my project in the back of my mind. Sometimes, a flash of enlightenment springs out of nowhere when I thought my mind was somewhere else. These revelations sometimes save me from the agonies you so eloquently described. Other times, I blindly stumble right into them. Then I know it's time to turn off the lights and go back in the house. Given a little time, I can usually come up with some way to make it appear that I meant for it to be like that; or maybe come up with some more wood.
DonkeyHody "We should be careful to get out of an experience only the wisdom that is in it - and stop there; lest we be like the cat that sits down on a hot stove-lid. She will never sit down on a hot stove-lid again---and that is well; but also she will never sit down on a cold one anymore." - Mark Twain
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wrote:

LMAO.... been there done ...... well ya know. its a lot easier but not as pretty to simply square off the handles so as to keep em from rolling. and a large piece of sports floor at the lathe give some cushon for them edges when they do fall.
skeez
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