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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Each year for the last three years the Wood Whisperer holds a special charity build. He gets corporate sponsors who are willing to donate $5.00 for each project photo sent in. In the past we have raised over $10,000 to fight cancer by doing this. This year's project is a child's easel. If anyone is interested in this worthy cause, you can read about the build, and the organizations involved at this link.

http://www.thewoodwhisperer.com/videos/woodworkers-fighting-cancer-2013-the-young-artists-easel/

A video is also available showing how Marc built his project and a lot more information on downloading the free plans and due date to turn in your photos.

Steve at WoodWorking for MereMortals has teamed up with Marc this year to get people involved. He shows how to build a simpler version of the project at his site.

http://www.woodworkingformeremortals.com/2013/11/make-childs-art-easel-help-fight-cancer.html

This is something I do every year and I want to invite everyone here to join me in helping this very worthy cause. All it will cost you is the price of materials, a day or two of build time between now and December 9th, and a picture of your finished project. In return you get the satisfaction of knowing that your wood working talents are helping to fight cancer, and a beautiful Christmas gift for a young child. Heck you don't even have to make the project exactly as shown in the plans for it to be counted! Anyone who has been on this forum for more than a couple of years knows me well enough to know I never follow someone elses plans. I always change things to make the project my own. :laughing:

Anyway, since I'm currently running a different build here in the forum ( http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f13/build-thread-raiders-coach-54632/ ), I've decided to bring you all along with me on this one while all work is on hold on my model coach. My hope is that enough interest will be generated to get a few of youse involved in helping in this cause.

Work began yesterday when I went to Lowes (HD still didn't have everything I'll need) to buy the materials. The plans say to use Oak, but me being a cheap skate, I'll be using Select Pine. Not the Knotty stuff, but the nice clear boards.







The nice man at Lowes cut the dry erase board in half for me. I'm still missing the threaded inserts, but I can gather those up at Ace Hardware when I need them.

Having gathered enough materials to start the project, I stickered the boards for the night. I then began today by checking to make sure my boards had not warped over night.



I then checked my miter saw to make sure the blade was at 90 degrees to the fence and adjusted as needed.



The observant reader may notice that I have removed the home made ZCI fence from the saw. I'll be using the stock fence for this because it is taller than the home made fence and I'll be cutting boards on edge rather than across the width of the board also at a different angle than I have done before.

I then measured the length for the legs on one of the boards.



With my length set, I made my first cut before setting up any stops. Then after I checked the cut board for the proper length, I extended the out rigger and adjusted the stop for the remaining legs to be cut.


Here I have the out rigger extended.


and this shows the stop in position to make all of the legs.



I then aligned the cutoffs in a stack, clamped them together and cut through all four pieces at once for the top and bottom cross braces.



Now I need to make an 18 degree cut in the bottom of each leg. So I adjusted the miter saw to 18 degrees, double checked the position using a protractor and cut each of the legs at 18 degrees on the bottom.



I had not moved the outrigger or the stop, so this became a simple matter of loading each board against the stop and making the cut. Piece of cake!

These angled edges are the main reason why I removed my home made fence and put the stock fence back on.

My stock is 3 1/2" wide. I want my legs to be 2-1/2 " wide. So I set up my table saw and ripped each piece to the correct width.



I used a magnetic feather board and my favorite home made push stick for this process.

Then I got down my panel sled and cut the white board to size.



I was able to get both the front and rear panels and maybe the tray bottoms from a single piece of 36X48 Dry Erase board.

The sun was rapidly dropping below the horizon and the temperature was falling even faster, so I decided to put the toys away and go inside.

Crazy weather around here today. Went to bed last night in the low 80's and woke up in the mid 60's. It really didn't warm up all day. In fact it got colder and we had 15-20 mph winds all day.

I know all you guys up in snow country are wishing you were here, but trust me, a drop of close to 20 degrees over night and a continuing drop in temps all day combined with some pretty strong winds and I was more than ready to head inside for the night.

Anyone who even thinks about coming here for the weather is insane! :laughing:

They say its going to warm up tomorrow. So we'll see what I get done.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Thanks for the pics and the CHARITY info.

Every year they pick a different cancer program as the recipient of the donated funds from the build. Cancer is one of those things that touches most families these days. I know it has touched mine twice. An Uncle died from colon cancer, and my wife got lucky with ovarian cancer. We caught it in time and she is healthy today,

So me doing this is really a no brainer.

Now if I can just get a few others inspired to get involved with this build, I'll be happy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
As often happens when the wife wants to go to the store to pick up "only one thing for tonight" it turns into an all day affair with no less than three stores involved before I can get to work on anything. How I wish she would drive herself like she did when we got married. :furious:


Anyway, I did manage to get one thing done and while I'm about to break a cardinal rule of wood working, its how I have decided to assemble this project.

I drilled out each of the cross braces to accept pocket screws.



I am also planning to use glue, so maybe I'm not totally breaking the rules. :laughing:

I bought that pocket hole jig many years ago for the sole purpose of figuring out the angle of the holes on a design contract I was hired to do where the client wanted pocket screws used. This is the first time I've ever used it in a project and I personally don't ever seeing myself using pocket screws enough to justify paying $100.00 for the fancy three holed jig.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Haven't forgotten about this build. Got rained out today and maybe into tomorrow. :furious: Such a simple build and the weather is going to stall it. Good thing its not due until the ninth of Dec.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Had a nice enough day today, so first thing out of the gate I aligned all of the leg pieces and clamped them together along with an extra piece to prevent tear out.



Next I installed a 1/8 round over bit in my trim router and rounded the top leading edge of all the legs.



Then using Titebond II glue and some 1-1/4 square drive self tapping wood screws, I assembled the two frames that will form the easel leaving 1-1/2" of leg above the frame rails.



While not the most valued joining method among wood workers I must tell you that pocket screws do make assembly much faster than other joints. Fifteen minutes into the assembly and both frames were squared, assembled and set aside for the glue to dry.



Of course now I have nothing to do for a couple of hours, so I took the wife out for lunch.

When we came home, I got set up to route the rabit into the frames for the dry erase and chalk boards Its apparent that the bit I want to use is too big to fit my router's base plate.



So I swapped the stock plate for one that I had made years ago when I was planning to build a stand alone router table.



There is a post over in the General discussion section asking the question what tool have you been holding onto for years hoping to find a use for. That aluminum router plate is mine. It lives way in the back of a shelf under a box of screws. I think this is really the first time I've ever used it in the years I've owned it.

Once I had the plate in place, I loaded a 3/8" rabiting bit and set it to make a 1/4" deep cut using my brass height bars.



Followed closely by routing the rabit all around the inside face of the frames.



Finally I checked the measurements of the openings in the frames and after determining that the radius of the corners was 5/8" I used a radius gauge to draw curved corners on each of my two panels and using the 1" belt- 5" disk sander,



I carefully shaped the panels to fit my rabits on both frames. Another builder may choose to square the corners of the rabits, but for me this method worked just as well and has the added benefit of being almost how they did it in the downloaded plans. They used a router and a special fence at a router table. I just sanded to a curved line.



Of course it was at this point that I hit a snag. Apparently someone used all my foam brushes and didn't tell me. So tomorrow I'll be heading off to get more so I can stain the frames before assembly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Just a quickie to let you all know that I'm still plugging away at this build. Its turning out to be more trouble than I thought it would.

Mostly its been the weather that has held me up on this one, and the next few days don't promise to be much better.

Either the weather or my lousey ability to paint.

Case in point, here is the paint I purchased to create my chalk board.



After spending over an hour in preparation and applying, I ended up with this mess!



The surface is terrible. Its not only streaked, its as rough as 80 grit sand paper! :censored:

I'll stop into HD after Thanksgiving and see if they have gotten the right material. If not I'm going to have to figure something out cause the December 9th deadline is approaching.
 

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I have built two very involve easel's. Grand kids, and they love them. I put large roll of paper on top, dry erase board on one side, chalk board on other, slit the top frame of dry erase side for paper to slip through. Two wheels on one set of legs so easy to move.

Looking good, and YES they can gobble up ones time.

Dale in Indy
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I know that this build is going slower than my usual snail's pace. Blame that on our crappy weather here with days in the low 60's and high winds that felt like things were much colder than normal. However, I got a couple more photos for you guys.

During the three hours of today's nice weather, I aligned the two frames and taped the hinges in place. Then using a center finding drill bit, I drilled pilot holes for the 12 #10x1/2 screws (6 per hinge).



Not wanting to strip the holes, I used a plain old hand driven manual #2 Phillips screw driver to drive the screws and create the "A" frame of the easel.



That is probably the only photo I'll ever post to this forum in which my constant companion plays such a pivotal role. Its there to give you fine folks something to use as a visual aid to judge the size of this project.

I only have this week to get this thing finished, so I'm going to have to get busy on it even if the weather doesn't want to play nicely.
 

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That's awesome that you're doing the charity build. I wanted to last year but didn't find out about it in time. So the rocking horse (or was that two years ago?) I made was too late to count toward the fund drive. This year? Well, I have no excuse for being so lame. Especially since my family, too, has been touched by cancer quite a bit.

Your easel is coming along nicely. Keep up the fine work. Do you know who you're giving the completed project to yet?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
That's awesome that you're doing the charity build. I wanted to last year but didn't find out about it in time. So the rocking horse (or was that two years ago?) I made was too late to count toward the fund drive. This year? Well, I have no excuse for being so lame. Especially since my family, too, has been touched by cancer quite a bit.

Your easel is coming along nicely. Keep up the fine work. Do you know who you're giving the completed project to yet?
Yes. I'm giving this year's completed project to a young lady who is a manager at a local restaurant that the wife and I have lunch at almost everyday. She always take good care of us whenever we go there and always refuses to accept a tip. Her son is almost 5 now so he is at the right age for it.

I was all set for last years build when I had that accident at the table saw that ended all of my plans for last year.

Besides this easel I have one other project planned for this year. Then I hope to make some pens on my new lathe. Those will be given away to family. Of course I'll need to figure out how to make them first. I guess I'll be spending a lot of time searching pen making over on U-Tube. :laughing:
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
The last couple of days of inactivity can be chalked up to my own need to rest. For some unknown reason I've not been sleeping well and by the time I wake up its too late to get much done.

Today I got a good start and so it began with cutting the waste boards from the legs at the same 18 degree angle as the bottoms of the legs and then setting up the router table with a 1/4" up spiral bit and routing grooves that were a tiny bit over 1/4" deep and just a hair under 1/4" up from the bottom edges.



I followed that by cutting two bottoms for the trays from some 1/4 plywood I had on hand.



Then using pocket screws and glue I assembled two trays.



Into one tray I buried a "T" nut into both sides using a 3/4" forstner bit and following up with a 21/64" hole through.



The other tray received just a 21/64" hole through in a matching location. These through holes and "T" nuts will become the swing and lock down points for the spreaders.

Lastly today I attached the trays to the frames, again using the glue and pocket screw method I've used throughout the rest of this build.

Here again you'll see my constant companion as a main player to show some scale.



Apparently the cane union has filed a complaint with the lighter union demanding more camera time.... :laughing:


Some of you may be wondering why I have not yet attached the writing surfaces. I'm planning to finish this using Danish oil with a white oak tint and follow that with my favorite children's finish, amber shellac. I do not want to have either surface marred by the finish, so my plan is to apply the finish and then attach the writing surfaces in the same way that we used to install panes of glass in wooden doors.

I'm open to any better ideas, but you had better make them fast. Monday is the deadline to have the photos in....
 

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Trays

Johnnie, Project is looking good. Sometimes we need that little extra sleep when it comes our way. 10-12 years ago I made an easel for my boys, for the tray I used plastic rain gutter material and the friction fit caps for the ends held in place with SS screws and washer, looked pretty neat and is still in use today.

Jerry
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
Johnnie, Project is looking good. Sometimes we need that little extra sleep when it comes our way. 10-12 years ago I made an easel for my boys, for the tray I used plastic rain gutter material and the friction fit caps for the ends held in place with SS screws and washer, looked pretty neat and is still in use today.

Jerry
Jerry

That sounds like a really great idea. I'll have to try that if I ever make another of these things.

Speaking of making this thing...


Today I started out by preparing two knobs by drilling 5/16" holes 1/2" deep in a pair of wooden balls.



Dowels will be glued into those holes to make a pair of pins that the spreaders can pivot on.



With two pins made, I spent most of the day just sanding and getting the frame ready to start finishing tomorrow.

One thing I did make though were the actual spreaders that will hold the frame legs apart and stable.

I cut some 3/4" thick red oak to length, then drilled holes in each end, then cut all the corners at 45 degrees, and finally added a 1/8" round over at the router table.

Using the pins I made, I dry fit the spreaders to the frame.



Tomorrow I'll glue a pair of 1/4-20 screws into two more wooden balls using a 2 part epoxy to make removable knobs. I also need to make the hanger for a roll of paper.

Meanwhile, this is where it is tonight.



Everyone wish me luck. With only 2-1/2 days left, I really need for everything to go smoothly this weekend.
 

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I'm wishing you luck! It looks like you're in the home stretch now so you shouldn't have any problems meeting the deadline. The weather looks good for the weekend. :smile:
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I was hoping to get things wrapped up today however, my air compressor had other ideas. Just as I was getting all set to spray some shellac the dang thing up and died! This forced me to change gears and brush on the finish, which in turn caused me to work much later than I normally would.

It looks pretty good though even if my brushing skills leave some room for improvement.



I'll let things dry over night and finish the assembly in the morning. That should still give me plenty of time to submit the photo by the deadline.
 
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