Shop cleaning…

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Shop cleaning...

Sometimes there’s nothing as satisfying as having a clean shop. Only took a few hours, but now the garage/shop is rearranged into something usable, sensible, and appropriate for actually making things. The trash pile is large (the garbage men won’t be happy tomorrow), and I still have to store the mower and gas cans in the shop area when I’m not working. But the power tools have a logical layout now, there’re room to move, and there’s clear benchtops.

Time to make some sawdust.

Ash box…

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Ash box...

Started this box for my son when he was about 3, as a sturdy rock box. He turns 14 this week. Yow.

As a rock box, I was more interested in resiliency that appearance; I was making a bench at the time, had a surplus of ash, so I planed some down. Mitered the sides, checked the fit with band clamps, then got distracted. The box has sat, in the band clamps, ever since. Planed some walnut a while ago for the top and bottom, summarily lost the pieces, and put it on the back burner again.

About a month ago I cleaned out the garage. The shop’s usable again. Decided I’d finish this box. Found some more walnut, but wasn’t really excited about it. One afternoon, napping, it occurred to me that the box should be entirely ash (I love ash), and I should find some figured ash for the top. Woke up (seriously) and found a 4×4 chunk of a bench leg that’s been sitting on the bench as long as the box had been. Resawed it, reverse diamond matched the pieces, and the top was born. Resawed a plank for the bottom, got after it this week, and today it’s finished.
My son has long since moved on from his child’s fascination with garden rocks. The box is destined to be filled with Hershey Kisses and Wint-O-Green Lifesavers, and will perch on my desk at work.

So, all ash, splined with ash, finished with lacquer. Knock another off the long-term project list.

Asanuma project camera – new plate, completed

Here ’tis:

Asanuma

I think the chrome trim ring ties the whole thing together.

Some views, up on the tripod:

Asanuma

Asanuma

Asanuma

I think the cherry back has aged wonderfully.

Last thing to do – a new strap to replace the broken old one. Need to find a leathersmith; the usual sources won’t get it on this one.

Asanuma project camera – finishing and installing the new base plate…

Continued from last night…

I stopped by Ace on the way home today and picked up three 1/4-20 screw-in threaded inserts. Why three? Well, they’re $0.50 each, and I always plan on messing up. Drove home and dug in.

I went with the plan to trim the outside edge of the roundel to fit the rebate on the camera. Tested it out on 1/8″ plywood first. After a few iterations, the fit was perfect.

Asanuma base plate redux...

Set up to cut the roundel. Put some carpet tape on the inside face, threaded it over the bit, and lowered it onto the backing board.

Asanuma base plate redux...

Then I lowered the spinning cutter onto the roundel.

Asanuma base plate redux...

LOOK CLOSELY AT THAT! Whatcha think is gonna happen when that cutter bears down through the unsupported edge? Yep – tear out the bejeebers of it. Rookie mistake, but salvageable, I think. But always cut things like this with the backside supported. Anyway, the walnut roundel now fits the camera.

Asanuma base plate redux...

Next, I drilled out the center pilot hole with a 3/8″ bit and threaded in the insert.

Asanuma base plate redux...

The insert projects into the path of the camera carriage, so I cut it flush with a Dremel.

Asanuma base plate redux...

Now to address those stupid screw holes. Truth be told, I’d planned on this being a practice shot, and didn’t give the screw holes much consideration. But it’s a keeper, so they need to be plugged. I drilled the holes out with an 1/8″ bit:

Asanuma base plate redux...

Then made some 1/8″ walnut dowels with a shop-made dowel plate.

Asanuma base plate redux...

(Essentially, you drill a hole the desired size in a piece of flattened 1/8″ steel. Trim some of the desired wood to a little large than the hole, and gently tap the wood through the hole with a small hammer. That’s it.)

The dowels get glued and tapped into the roundel

Asanuma base plate redux...

then cut flush when dried.

Asanuma base plate redux...

Asanuma base plate redux...

The plugs will always show, as they have exposed end grain and are a bit darker finished than face grain. But they look better than holes in the finished piece.

Three coats of sprayed lacquer and a spit coat of shellac on the inside face and it’s ready for installation. I put a drop of poly glue on the insert and installed it for good in the roundel. Titebond II for the camera install.

Asanuma base plate redux...

Asanuma base plate redux...

It’ll stay in clamps until tomorrow, when I’ll reinstall the chrome trim piece to finish it.

Asanuma project camera – roundel progress…

Made progress on the roundel last night. I’d like to say that I anticipated all contingencies and things went to plan, but much cursing and on-the-fly re-engineering ensued.

I had a piece of ~5/8″ walnut already milled. The interior diameter of the base hole was 5-13/16″; I split the difference and set the cutter. Started the cut, and realized the cutter was set for an exterior diameter (the cutter is tapered on one side and flat on the other – set the flat to the outside and it cuts a hole with the exterior edge of the cutter; set the flat on the inside, and it cuts a flat sided disk). Swapped the cutter, and started over on a new piece of the same board. Cut for a while, with much burning. Flipped the board and continued cutting. Progress was slow, my nose was filling with acrid walnut smoke, so I took it to the bandsaw and trimmed the excess outside the groove being cut. This necessitated screwing the blank to a backer board to keep my fingers away from the arm on the fly cutter as it spun around at 500 rpm. But the cutter no longer burned, and quickly sliced through the remaining material, leaving me with a perfect disk.

P1000468

Set the router up for a 3/16″ x 1/4″ rabbet and cut the rebate.

P1000469

The rest of the night was a matter of adjusting fit and planing the roundel thinner. I decided to router a little more after the roundel was too thin to leave on the bench (the screw holding the bearing in place on the bit would contact the benchtop), so I mounted the piece on a block of wood with double sided carpet tape. The final fit is a little loose in the camera base, but won’t affect the gluing – it’s the top portion of the plate where the glue surface lies.

P1000472

I realized somewhere in this process that I can remount the roundel and set the fly cutter to exactly the diameter of the existing rabbet in the camera bottom and fit the piece in perfectly, without altering the camera physically.

P1000465

So, that’s where I left off. A new wrinkle became apparent, though – the threaded insert is longer than the roundel is thick. I checked the penetration of the tripod screw by setting the roundel on the tripod, and the screw just peeks above the roundel. So, I’ll need to modify the threaded insert, or the camera bed will contact it and be limited in travel.

More tonight…

Asanuma project camera – rethinking the base…

I took an admiration photo of the Asanuma a few days ago:

Asanuma "4x5"

I’m excited about using it again, ready for a break from the 10×12. But whilst fondling it today, I became a little disheartened with the base plate which, to date, has worked flawlessly. I keep thinking of the Triple Victo rehab Sandeha did, and how wonderfully integrated his base design was. And I recalled a comment on an earlier post here by Paul – “A circle cutter on a drill press or using a small bit on a router (using the center hole/tripod mount as a pivot) would work as well.”

Well, I dug around:

Flycutter...

Okay, the cutter is blunt, and burned, but still cuts. I’ll grind it tonight, and hone it up to the 8000 grit finish stone. I’ll find some wood, don’t care what right now, and plane it to a usable thickness. I’ll make the roundel to fit the camera, and glue that puppy in. No turning back. The camera needs to shed some weight; retrofitting a new base will just do it.

Stay tuned…