Alternative Methods Challenge- Machinist's Chest - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 57 Old 10-16-2011, 10:44 PM Thread Starter
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Alternative Methods Challenge- Machinist's Chest

As I mentioned in another post, I gathered together my woods for the machinist chest last night--at least what I have on hand so far. Today, I took the opportunity to use this project to justify buying a few new toys. I got a new 2 TPI resawing blade for my bandsaw, a set of calipers, and a couple of squares, which I've needed for a while. I considered getting some set-up blocks like Kenbo has shown in his posts because I think they really will help speed up set-up times but I decided I'll just grab some scrap aluminum from work and make a set of my own.

About 10 years ago I promised my sister I'd make a display/storage box for her collection of hand fans and this machinist chest is remarkably close to my original design. As such, I'm finally going to attempt to build this thing and call it my challenge entry. I will be making a couple of dimensional changes, wider and deeper, perhaps a shade taller, and some internal mechanism changes. I will also be changing the single front panel to two panels (one that opens upward and one that opens downward) since this won't be intended to be carried anywhere and I want the panels to be completely hidden when they're opened.

Here are the specifics: instead of 17 inches wide, my box will be approximately 22, and it will be about 12 inches deep rather than 8 inches. Per the challenge rules, I'll be using the same joinery throughout the box as the original plan, but I intend to make one more significant change to the design. Instead of drawer pull hardware, I will be putting an invisible mechanism that ties the drawers together such that you push one drawer in to push the one next to it (or above it for the wide drawers) out.

Here's a quick picture of my starting woods and some explanation. First, the woods are yellowheart and bloodwood. An excellent choice for nice buttery yellow and a fantastic accent color. My sister and I picked these woods out together, way back when.

As I said, I promised my sister I'd build this a long time ago; before I had a bandsaw suitable for resawing. As such, I used to rip thin strips on my tablesaw (approximately 1/8 and 3/8 inches thick) and then glue up panels. One of the panels can be seen on the right of the picture. These will be the basis of most of the drawers and several of the larger components as well, once they're glued up. The thicker boards on the bottom left of the picture will be resawn to build the side panels and a few of the rails for the rail & stile panels.

So, I'm officially started, before I even expected. Now let's see if I can actually come close to finishing by Christmas.
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post #2 of 57 Old 10-16-2011, 11:18 PM
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Go Frank!

Look forward to seeing this develop. I'm not familiar with these woods yet so that's an extra bonus.
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post #3 of 57 Old 10-17-2011, 12:42 AM Thread Starter
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Well, I just put the new blade in the bandsaw and tested it out by making a cut-out on my fence so that I can lower the blade guides closer to the table while still using the fence. Boy let me tell you, a new blade makes a huge difference in blade wobble and speed! Cleanest cuts I've made with this saw to date. I can't wait to do some resawing tomorrow.

Shopdad, they're both very nice woods and relatively easy to work. The yellowheart (also called Pau Amarello) is probably similar to oak in hardness though it may be a tad softer. The bloodwood is significantly harder but I really like working it. Makes for really clean lines but don't let your wife walk into the shop before you clean up... she'll think you cut yourself and you're bleeding to death. The sawdust on the floor really does look like pools of blood.

Hopefully I'll have some progress pics tomorrow.
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post #4 of 57 Old 10-17-2011, 01:27 AM
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Nice to see that you've not only started, but are modifying it to fit your needs and already have a home planned of the finished piece. Your choice of wood will look really nice together and also set it apart from all the dark colored machinist chests out there.

If Woodworking is so much fun why isn't it called WoodFUNNING?

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post #5 of 57 Old 10-17-2011, 06:51 AM
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Nice start, Frank! It will be interesting to see how those woods turn out as I have no experience with either of them. I must admit that I didn't understand anything of your concept for the drawer pulls, so that will be interesting to follow.
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post #6 of 57 Old 10-17-2011, 08:29 AM
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That's the spirit Frank. I was hoping that you would start soon. Either way, I will be following this thread closely and I'm looking forward to seeing your methods and your modifications.

There is a very fine line between a "hobby" and a "mental illness"
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post #7 of 57 Old 10-17-2011, 02:40 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Longknife View Post
Nice start, Frank! It will be interesting to see how those woods turn out as I have no experience with either of them. I must admit that I didn't understand anything of your concept for the drawer pulls, so that will be interesting to follow.
Longknife, basically the drawers will be on a "teeter-totter" as we call it here in the USA. Basically a fulcrum with pivot at the center nd two wedges at either end. The drawer backs will touch the wedges, so when one drawer is pushed in slightly, the fulcrum will pivot, pushing the other drawer out enough to open it. I'm hoping it works out as well as it seems to on paper. Pics soon, to show the concept.
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post #8 of 57 Old 10-17-2011, 03:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frankp View Post
Longknife, basically the drawers will be on a "teeter-totter" as we call it here in the USA. Basically a fulcrum with pivot at the center nd two wedges at either end. The drawer backs will touch the wedges, so when one drawer is pushed in slightly, the fulcrum will pivot, pushing the other drawer out enough to open it. I'm hoping it works out as well as it seems to on paper. Pics soon, to show the concept.
To qoute Sir Winston Churchill (when they explained the atomic bomb to him) "I'm still confused, but on a higher level".
Sounds really interesting though, can't wait to see how it works.
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post #9 of 57 Old 10-18-2011, 12:33 AM Thread Starter
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Didn't get as much done after work today as I had hoped. I did go out for a bike ride with the kids, though, and did some other chores around the house, so it wasn't a completely unproductive day. Here's what I've got so far:

First, I need to learn how to resaw, no question about it. I re-sawed the shorter of my two thick boards and had some obvious floating. I switched ends and tried again, same issue. So, when one has trouble re-sawing, the obvious solution isn't to fix the problem, it's continue as is and make do, right? Well, probably not, but that's what I did.

Once I got the cut made as best as I could, I used a chisel to separate the two halves of the board and then pulled out my planer. I don't have a lot of fancy tools, but I'm very pleased with this little craigslist purchase. It saves me a ton of time and a fair amount of sandpaper so I seem to be using it more and more.

After planing, the boards were about 3/8 inches thick, rather than 1/2 inch. No big deal so I'll use them as is. 1/2" would definitely be preferable for heavy weight tools, but since this is going to be for fans, I think the size will still be okay. In the meantime, I'm going to ask some of the experts here some pointers on what I might be doing wrong.

Just for grins, here are some pics.

The first is the obvious float in my resaw work. Second is the final cut alignment... not so good. The third is the other side, which was closer but still not quite right. After that is the chisel that finally got the two halves separated and then a shot on the planer. The next step for these pieces will be to rip them on the table saw followed by some routing. I forgot to take pics of the planed pieces but I'll get them tomorrow.
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post #10 of 57 Old 10-18-2011, 02:05 AM
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I dont resaw yet so I cant help you there, but I can tell you that I wish I would have thought about teeter drawers before I did mine...that is a great idea. I'll be watching and see how it works out, may build another...bigger too..

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post #11 of 57 Old 10-18-2011, 07:53 AM
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Looks like you haven't compensated your fence for the blade drift.
Here is a video on how to do that.


Another way is to use a pivot fence like the one I'm using.

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post #12 of 57 Old 10-18-2011, 08:15 AM
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Good progress so far Frank. Time spent with the children is far more important that this tool chest so I'd say that your priorities are right on. As far as the resaw, a couple of things that I would suggest are as follows:

Check to make sure that your thrust bearings are adjusted correctly. A large cause of drift is the twisting of the blade as it pushes too far of a distance to reach the thrust bearings. You can just place the bearings against the back of the blade and then back it off ever so slightly. You should have approximately the thickness of a dollar bill between the bearings and the back of the blade.

In the same manor, your guide bearings should be adjusted as well. (whether you use bearings or cool blocks doesn't matter, the setup is the same) You can use a dollar bill for their adjustment as well.

Another thing that you may want to consider, is a new blade. Depending on how much abuse this blade has seen, it may not be suitable for resaw. You want to look for a blade that is about 3 tpi.

One more little tip, is to grind off the sharp edge at the back of the blade. With the saw running, you can use a sharpening stone to gently round the back side of the blade. There is a video in my scrolling tips thread about this and how to do it. Although the video is for scroll saw blades, the process is the same.

Don't forget about proper tensioning as well.

I hope this helps and good look. Any questions? Feel free to ask.

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post #13 of 57 Old 10-18-2011, 10:56 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks Longknife and Kenbo. This is the very first cut with this blade other than notching my homemade fence so the blade should be good to go. It's a resaw blade, but not a fancy brand and I attribute all of this to my lack of experience rather than quality of the blade. I did spend a fair amount of time adjusting my guide bearings and thrust bearings but they were sparking so much while I was resawing that I backed them off slightly. I'll try rounding the back of the blade to see if it helps.

Longknife, I'm not sure how much help your fence would be as my cuts tend to float toward the fence, rather than away from it. I can't tell whether your pivot fence will work well with that issue or not.

I did discover, though, that the yellowheart is significantly harder than I remembered it being. At 1600 on the janka hardness scale, it's definitely harder than Oak (~1300-1360 janka scale). Taking the day off work today to get some more chores done so more to come tonight...
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post #14 of 57 Old 10-18-2011, 12:45 PM
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[QUOTE=frankp;253930]
Longknife, I'm not sure how much help your fence would be as my cuts tend to float toward the fence, rather than away from it. I can't tell whether your pivot fence will work well with that issue or not.
QUOTE]

You can have the pivot fence mounted on either the left or the right side of the blade, whatever suits you best. As far as for compensating for drift it doesn't matter. When using it the trick is to let the board ride against the fence and your focus should be to let the kerf follow the line you have drawn on the board. To do that you may have to slide the back end of the board to the left or the right.

I like this fence because I quite often shift my blade from resaw blade to narrow cut blade and I would have to compensate a regular fence for drift every time. The pivot fence eliminates that and it works great for me.
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post #15 of 57 Old 10-18-2011, 08:50 PM
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Frank, I've pretty much given up any resawing at my baby band saw. No matter how well adjusted I get the blade, the bearings and the blocks, the blade wanders. Also, if the top of the cut is perfect, the bottom will be wrong. Besides, I can only resaw a 3" board anyway with mine. Usually I do my resawing at the table saw. a couple of cuts usually produces separate boards, if not a hand saw finishes the job quickly. Then a couple of passes through the planner and I'm go to go.

Adapting the thickness to the end function is a great idea though. Nice work.

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post #16 of 57 Old 10-20-2011, 12:14 AM Thread Starter
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Alrighty, so I made a little progress today. Not as much as I'd hoped but I spent an hour or so building the carcass for a shoe storage box for our foyer and I had to make a new fence for my bandsaw. (Thank you very much Longknife!)

Today's progress went thus.... I built the new fence- forgot to take a picture but it's a pivot fence like Longknife posted. Not as pretty as his, but it turns out quite effective.

All I did today on the actual project was resaw the long board I had with much greater success than I had with the short one. It's still not perfect and I'm definitely burning wood as I cut but much better than the first attempt. This one was almost completely straight on top and bottom.

So here are the pictures: The first is the post-planing picture of the short resawn board. (This one is about 13 or 14 inches long.) The second picture is the sawn long board showing the cut line. The final one is the pre-planed long (approximately 22 inches long) resawn board. I'll get this planed tomorrow and it should be close to the actual 1/2 inch thickness the plans call for. This will be the back panel rails and stiles.

Also tomorrow I'll see if I can get all of these "wide" panels ripped to the correct widths for the rails and stiles.
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post #17 of 57 Old 10-20-2011, 12:26 AM
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Does your wife know you're using the living room couch as a photo studio for wood?

Apparently you have discovered the secret of getting a straight cut on a band saw... good on you.

If Woodworking is so much fun why isn't it called WoodFUNNING?

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post #18 of 57 Old 10-20-2011, 08:29 AM
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That's the spirit Frank. An hour in the shop is better than no time at all. The resaw looks good.

There is a very fine line between a "hobby" and a "mental illness"
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post #19 of 57 Old 10-20-2011, 08:43 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
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Does your wife know you're using the living room couch as a photo studio for wood?

Apparently you have discovered the secret of getting a straight cut on a band saw... good on you.
Yeah, it's the best background we have that I don't have to dig out of a closet. Everything else is "neutral" color and the colors end up getting washed out and are hard to see, especially on something like yellowheart. I do a lot of the chores in the house though, so I'm the one who has to deal with the mess I leave behind.

Yeah, straight cut, now I just have to figure out how to cut it at a pace that won't leave my garage full of smoke. I literally smelled like I had been sitting by a campfire all night after resawing that board. I think I'm going to look for some guideblocks for my saw too, instead of the bushings it has. Those things are noisy and throw a lot of sparks when the blade does make contact with them.
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post #20 of 57 Old 10-20-2011, 09:55 AM
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I have no experience of yellowheart and its properties but maybe the blade is getting pinched? You could try to put a wedge in the kerf at the end of the board and press it in a little as you go.
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