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Thread: Adventures in DIY

  1. #961
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    Quote Originally Posted by geonuc View Post
    Moving on with my Pakistani chest of drawers project while I await delivery of brass screws: making the legs. This required building a custom jig - cutting tapers on the table saw is not straight forward.
    I also made another one-off tapering jig to cut some angles for the ceiling fan mount. It made me think again that I need to make a more permanent jig and my Amazon list now has candidate parts in it.

    Did you taper all four faces of those legs?
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  2. #962
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    Quote Originally Posted by PetersCreek View Post
    I also made another one-off tapering jig to cut some angles for the ceiling fan mount. It made me think again that I need to make a more permanent jig and my Amazon list now has candidate parts in it.

    Did you taper all four faces of those legs?
    Yes, all four.

  3. #963
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    Quote Originally Posted by PetersCreek View Post
    And we have an operational ceiling fan...

    ...just in time for next summer.
    Looking good!

    Quote Originally Posted by geonuc View Post
    … Worked fine.
    As you once told me, "Whatever gets the job done."

    A few years ago I made a half round table where the four legs each had one long taper cut, and I'm wracking my brain to remember what the jig looked like. I did it on the table saw too, but I took no pictures of it. I don't think it was as solid as yours, and was probably dangerous... I was a newbie to the table saw .

  4. #964
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    The brass screws for my chest of drawer project came in, so I'm installing the brass strips. I have to be careful to not tighten them too much. Brass breaks easily. My procedure was to drill holes in the brass slightly bigger than the #6 screws, drill a countersink to allow the oval head screws to sit in nicely and then use my one centering drill bit to punch a hole in the mahogany to accept the screw. That works OK although I feel the drill bit is one size too large. The screw took little effort to drive in, which is OK as the brass piece is decorative and doesn't require much holding power. But I wanted a little more bite. So, for the next one, I made sure the drill only penetrated about an eighth inch into the wood, enough to center the screw. That didn't work at all. The mahogany is tough wood and I had to use too much force to drive the screw. And the screw really resisted gaining a bite in the wood to begin with. So for the next one, I did the centering drill an eighth inch as before but then switched to a smaller bit to complete the hole. That works about right. The only problem is that I have to be really careful to drive the small bit precisely in the center of the shallow hole or the screw will tend to shift the brass plate slightly. It's tedious. I should just wait and go buy a smaller centering bit.

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  5. #965
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    I like that those are slotted screws instead of Philips. I hate them in general, but they are much more period appropriate for your project.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  6. #966
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    I like that those are slotted screws instead of Philips. I hate them in general, but they are much more period appropriate for your project.
    Yes. I found some of the correct size at the local hardware store but they were philips. Definitely needed slotted, so I had to order them.

  7. #967
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    I finished the bottom section of my Pakistani chest of drawers project and it's immediately been pressed into service. I sized and sanded a piece of plywood to serve as the top to keep the cats from nesting in the top drawers. The mahogany is finished with just a couple of coats of Danish oil and is probably the weakest aspect of the project. I'm just not a good finisher.

    I've included a photo of the top section carcass, still a work in progress.

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  8. #968
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    Quote Originally Posted by geonuc View Post
    I finished the bottom section of my Pakistani chest of drawers project and it's immediately been pressed into service. I sized and sanded a piece of plywood to serve as the top to keep the cats from nesting in the top drawers. The mahogany is finished with just a couple of coats of Danish oil and is probably the weakest aspect of the project. I'm just not a good finisher.

    I've included a photo of the top section carcass, still a work in progress.

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    It looks very nice, I would be happy to have it in my house.

  9. #969
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    I can only dream of building something that nice.

    Speaking of cats and drawers, many years ago I went to open a drawer in my chest with all my clothes in it. It was already partially open, but wouldn't go further. I finally pulled out the one below and found a cat in it. She'd jumped into the slightly open one, gone over the back into the one below, and settled down for a nap. And was quite annoyed that I had disturbed her beauty sleep.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  10. #970
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    Nice work, geonuc. I look forward to seeing the top half completed.

    Meanwhile, it's noisy at my house today. I contracted the replacement of my roof, and the crew has returned this morning after a few days of wet weather to continue with it.

  11. #971
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    Continuing work on the top half of the chest of drawers, I've started making the drawer fronts for the middle section. Unlike the fronts for the bottom section and the side drawers of the top, the middle fronts are not frame & panel but rather a single solid piece of wood measuring 25 x 4 x 1/2 inches. The handles for these four drawers are smaller than the others so I had to make another template for the scroll saw work. These handles also have smaller screw holes so the #6 screws I bought for the larger handles will not fit. As I have sufficient extra #6 screws & nuts, I debated just enlarging the holes to accommodate but decided to order #4 screws & nuts instead.

    I like doing the scroll saw work. It's a bit delicate as some of the various bits on back side of the drawer handles come close to the edge of the handle face, requiring I cut out just so much wood but not any more. I don't have a fancy expensive scroll saw but the Shop Fox model I bought does the job. As with all power tools, I find it's important to have quality, sharp blades, especially since I'm cutting through a fairly thick piece of wood.

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  12. #972
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    Well, maybe I'm back to Plan A - enlarge the holes. I can't find the proper #4 screws.

  13. #973
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    #4? Heck, back in my Boeing days I had assemblies that used #2!

    Ok, more seriously. #4 is ridiculously small. 40 threads per inch if it was a machine screw, which yours aren't. But I really did have #2's attaching tiny microswitches. Before Boeing I worked for a Heavy Machinery company where we had customer contracts prohibiting anything smaller than 3/8. #4 is .112 inch, or about 2.8mm. I use a minimum of 5/16 on my catapults.

    And I am insanely jealous of the work you guys can do. I barely come up to the standard of "incompetent carpentry".
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  14. #974
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    #4? Heck, back in my Boeing days I had assemblies that used #2!

    Ok, more seriously. #4 is ridiculously small. 40 threads per inch if it was a machine screw, which yours aren't. But I really did have #2's attaching tiny microswitches. Before Boeing I worked for a Heavy Machinery company where we had customer contracts prohibiting anything smaller than 3/8. #4 is .112 inch, or about 2.8mm. I use a minimum of 5/16 on my catapults.

    And I am insanely jealous of the work you guys can do. I barely come up to the standard of "incompetent carpentry".
    ETA: These are the microswitches in question. Far more reliable than the next size up, in my experience.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  15. #975
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    #4? Heck, back in my Boeing days I had assemblies that used #2!

    Ok, more seriously. #4 is ridiculously small. 40 threads per inch if it was a machine screw, which yours aren't. But I really did have #2's attaching tiny microswitches. Before Boeing I worked for a Heavy Machinery company where we had customer contracts prohibiting anything smaller than 3/8. #4 is .112 inch, or about 2.8mm. I use a minimum of 5/16 on my catapults.

    And I am insanely jealous of the work you guys can do. I barely come up to the standard of "incompetent carpentry".
    Yeah, #4 is small, I know. I'd be happy to use #4-40 screws but I need them in brass and with a slotted oval head. The drawer handles come with #4 slotted brass wood screws but I don't trust them to hold.

  16. #976
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    And I am insanely jealous of the work you guys can do. I barely come up to the standard of "incompetent carpentry".
    And yet you manage to get pumpkins airborne quite nicely, I understand.

    Thanks for the compliment. But my efforts are pitiful when compared to the works created by true craftsmen/women. I keep making mistakes because I don't really know what I'm doing. With this chest of drawers, for example, I made the carcasses for the two sections years ago. The joinery is standard dado joints. I knew from the start that I didn't need to make them especially clean in appearance because the small brass plates cover the joints. Which is fine, but I didn't realize that I designed no good method for securing the middle support frames to the sides other than sliding into the dados. Well, over time, the sides bowed just a bit and when it came time to build the drawers, I found all the dimensions off by too much. Interior pieces started to not fit as nicely as when I built the carcass (which I had not glued together yet). So I spent some time installing screws at various strategic points on the inside using my pocket hole jig. But what about those bowed side panels? I couldn't just drive screws through the sides and I was hesitant to risk using the pocket hole jig from the inside in case the wood cracked. Well, I ended up deciding to drill screws from the outside anyway. But to make it look pretty, I drilled out 1/4" holes, drove the screws and then used my plug cutter to make mahogany plugs to fill the holes, hiding the screws. It looks OK.

    My point is, however, that a better craftsman would have used sliding dovetail joints instead of dados. I didn't think of it at the time.

  17. #977
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    The blower motor for my forced air gas furnace was not reliably starting. That meant that the firebox/heat exchanger would overheat and the whole thing would then shut down. A tap on the side of the furnace just after the blower was supposed to turn on would get it going. A call to two different furnace servicers gave two different possible reasons. Now, the builder of this house managed to stuff that furnace into a tight spot and everything about servicing it is five times more tedious because of the poor access, so I was motivated to first try a few things myself.

    Digging a little through on-line sources suggested a different possibility than either service outfit had mentioned. So for $10 I bought and replaced the motor's run capacitor, and I noticed immediately that the blower then came up to speed with an authority that was missing earlier. There hasn't been a problem since (it's been ~ 5 weeks now). Lacking a capacitance tester, I had only crudely tested the previous capacitor with an ohm and volt meter, and it gave signs of charging and discharging, but apparently these things are designed to self-heal internal shorts, which leads to a reduced capacitance over time, and while they still operate, they'll be out of spec.

    Anyway, I'm happy for now, having put off the replacement of the furnace for maybe another season.

  18. #978
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    Adventures in DIY

    Quote Originally Posted by Torsten View Post
    So for $10 I bought and replaced the motor's run capacitor, and I noticed immediately that the blower then came up to speed with an authority that was missing earlier. There hasn't been a problem since (it's been ~ 5 weeks now).
    Nice. Lacking a capacitance tester, I’ve found that just changing the start capacitor anyway is a reasonably cheap troubleshooting step.

    I finished a quick little project today. Way up-thread, I mentioned that I purposely didn’t build a whole lot of dividers into the magazine caddies I made, opting instead, to make organizer modules later that suit my and The Wife’s needs. Looking my wife’s caddy, I decide it was time to make her one. I hope she likes it. She doesn’t yet know that I’ve made it.

    She’s been keeping pens and a pair of reading glasses in a disposable plastic cup, so I decided to fancify that a bit. I decided to keep the design consistent with the caddy, which meant QSWO and box joints again. This gave me the opportunity to try out a new blade I picked during our recent trip to Washington: a Forrest Woodworker II, with a special #1 (ATB-R) grind. They even call it a box joint blade. Fantastic blade. Not only are grooves and dados clean with flat bottoms, sawn edges are practically glue ready without jointing.

    I resawed a 5/4 piece of oak left over from the caddy build and planed the planks down to 3/8” (9.5mm) and further planed a piece of one to 1/4” (6.4mm) for a pair of dividers. After cutting the sides to size, I cut dados for the dividers with the same blade using multiple passes to sneak up on a good fit. I then box jointed them, glued them up, and trimmed the box to its final height.



    I cut the bottom from 1/4” Baltic birch plywood and rather than square off the corners of the rabbet, I rounded the bottom to fit.



    For a touch of luxury, I lined one compartment with PSA velour flocking for her readers.



    Finish was three coats of spray shellac, followed by three coats of satin lacquer.
    Last edited by PetersCreek; 2019-Dec-07 at 11:31 PM.
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  19. #979
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    Quote Originally Posted by Torsten View Post
    The blower motor for my forced air gas furnace was not reliably starting. That meant that the firebox/heat exchanger would overheat and the whole thing would then shut down. A tap on the side of the furnace just after the blower was supposed to turn on would get it going. A call to two different furnace servicers gave two different possible reasons. Now, the builder of this house managed to stuff that furnace into a tight spot and everything about servicing it is five times more tedious because of the poor access, so I was motivated to first try a few things myself.

    Digging a little through on-line sources suggested a different possibility than either service outfit had mentioned. So for $10 I bought and replaced the motor's run capacitor, and I noticed immediately that the blower then came up to speed with an authority that was missing earlier. There hasn't been a problem since (it's been ~ 5 weeks now). Lacking a capacitance tester, I had only crudely tested the previous capacitor with an ohm and volt meter, and it gave signs of charging and discharging, but apparently these things are designed to self-heal internal shorts, which leads to a reduced capacitance over time, and while they still operate, they'll be out of spec.

    Anyway, I'm happy for now, having put off the replacement of the furnace for maybe another season.
    good idea, those caps age by drying out while the coils should be good for years. Many failures of older equipment are because of electrolytics drying out, especially if running warm.
    sicut vis videre esto
    When we realize that patterns don't exist in the universe, they are a template that we hold to the universe to make sense of it, it all makes a lot more sense.
    Originally Posted by Ken G

  20. #980
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    Quote Originally Posted by PetersCreek View Post
    I finished a quick little project today...
    I don't know why, but it took me a while grasp the small size of that box. Those dados are little more than slivers! Very nice, I'm sure she'll love it.

    Quote Originally Posted by profloater View Post
    good idea, those caps age by drying out while the coils should be good for years. Many failures of older equipment are because of electrolytics drying out, especially if running warm.
    I've only ever replaced capacitors once, at that was on the computer monitor that I still use. Several caps had swollen and failed due to corrosion and gas formation from faulty electrolyte (my monitor was a victim of the capacitor plague). So with that as my only prior experience, I didn't initially suspect this one to be failed as it didn't have any unusual outward appearance. I suppose at 21 years, it had a good run.

  21. #981
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    Quote Originally Posted by Torsten View Post
    I don't know why, but it took me a while grasp the small size of that box. Those dados are little more than slivers! Very nice, I'm sure she'll love it.
    Yep, the box joint cuts are a single kerf wide...about 3mm (1/8”). But it wasn’t so much the width that was a challenge. It was pushing and pulling the box joint jig across the saw for all the test and finish cuts. Every. Single. One. Push, pull, index the piece, lather, rinse, repeat. The dados into which the dividers fit are two kerfs wide.

    Another wrinkle in the build was routing the rabbet for the bottom, since it was done after the sides were milled and assembled. I had to cut some temporary filler strips that fit flush into the dados, so the router bit bearing had a continuous surface over which to ride. Otherwise, it would have dipped into the dados, resulting in a corresponding dip in the face of the rabbet. I cut them from surplus divider stock, fine tuned the depth with a block plane, and blue-taped them in place.
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  22. #982
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    My old powerhouse of a drill press recently often has issues starting. When you switch it on it will hum but often needs a hand push to start turning. Would this also be a matter of replacing the starter capacitor? Once it turns, it's as powerful as ever.
    With sufficient thrust, water towers fly just fine.

  23. #983
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    Work on my Pakistani chest of drawers had been progressing slowly but consistently, until yesterday when the router stopped working. Surgery suggests the switch is bad. I ordered a replacement but I may just jump the lead wires together and rely on the tables on-off switch until it arrives.

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  24. #984
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicolas View Post
    My old powerhouse of a drill press recently often has issues starting. When you switch it on it will hum but often needs a hand push to start turning. Would this also be a matter of replacing the starter capacitor? Once it turns, it's as powerful as ever.
    I think that's a good bet.

  25. #985
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    Quote Originally Posted by geonuc View Post
    Work on my Pakistani chest of drawers had been progressing slowly but consistently, until yesterday when the router stopped working. Surgery suggests the switch is bad. I ordered a replacement but I may just jump the lead wires together and rely on the tables on-off switch until it arrives.
    Back in the spring I had a different switch problem with my old Craftsman shop vac. I couldn't turn it off. The rocker switch had to be pushed with something tougher than my finger. I was super pleased to discover that the switch was really common and in stock at my local co-op.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nicolas View Post
    My old powerhouse of a drill press recently often has issues starting. When you switch it on it will hum but often needs a hand push to start turning. Would this also be a matter of replacing the starter capacitor? Once it turns, it's as powerful as ever.
    I agree with geonuc. That humming is apparently a common symptom when the start capacitor fails.

  26. #986
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    I did the surgery tonight. But before that, I looked up prices of starter caps. Or running caps, because apparently both systems exist and they are not the same. Anyway, as soon as the capacitance needed goes above 50uF, prices are no longer funny... So tonight I opened up the connector box on the drill press, to find a cap. It was labeled "motor starting capacitor" so that answered at least one question. It was also labeled with a whopping 200uF (it's quite the beast of an oldskool motor...) which made my heart sink when thinking about what the whole machine had cost me versus the price of that cap...

    But I also found loads and loads of sawdust inside the connector box. The bad news here is that someone used the machine for unintended purposes. Well, other than those unintended purposes I use it for. Luckily, the bearings and all still seem quite OK. The good news is that this hints at another possible cause for the bad starting. So I cleaned it all out, next inspected the capacitor's connectors. Very, very clean. Anyway, I reseated the connectors just to be sure. Tested the drill press, and now it starts immediately again. So, at least for the time being, problem solved. Without spending a cent.
    With sufficient thrust, water towers fly just fine.

  27. #987
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    Quote Originally Posted by Torsten View Post
    I don't know why, but it took me a while grasp the small size of that box. Those dados are little more than slivers! Very nice, I'm sure she'll love it.



    I've only ever replaced capacitors once, at that was on the computer monitor that I still use. Several caps had swollen and failed due to corrosion and gas formation from faulty electrolyte (my monitor was a victim of the capacitor plague). So with that as my only prior experience, I didn't initially suspect this one to be failed as it didn't have any unusual outward appearance. I suppose at 21 years, it had a good run.
    Indeed, correct sizing by the designer matters. Caps see 60 Hertz swings (the ripple current) and do heat up if the swing is too much. That can make them explode. If there is no cap, a simple two pole motor cannot decide how to start and will run in either direction if kick started. So another coil is added at an angle and fed by the cap circuit which delays the field and provides the kick start. Smaller motors use a simple shaded pole which uses a shorted turn at an angle to provide a directional kick start but that is wasteful of energy all the time and only suits small motors. As the electrolyte dries up the value of the cap falls dramatically, by thousands.
    sicut vis videre esto
    When we realize that patterns don't exist in the universe, they are a template that we hold to the universe to make sense of it, it all makes a lot more sense.
    Originally Posted by Ken G

  28. #988
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicolas View Post
    I did the surgery tonight. But before that, I looked up prices of starter caps. Or running caps, because apparently both systems exist and they are not the same. Anyway, as soon as the capacitance needed goes above 50uF, prices are no longer funny... So tonight I opened up the connector box on the drill press, to find a cap. It was labeled "motor starting capacitor" so that answered at least one question. It was also labeled with a whopping 200uF (it's quite the beast of an oldskool motor...) which made my heart sink when thinking about what the whole machine had cost me versus the price of that cap...

    But I also found loads and loads of sawdust inside the connector box. The bad news here is that someone used the machine for unintended purposes. Well, other than those unintended purposes I use it for. Luckily, the bearings and all still seem quite OK. The good news is that this hints at another possible cause for the bad starting. So I cleaned it all out, next inspected the capacitor's connectors. Very, very clean. Anyway, I reseated the connectors just to be sure. Tested the drill press, and now it starts immediately again. So, at least for the time being, problem solved. Without spending a cent.
    Can't argue with the outcome.

    I looked online at a few motor stater 200MFD capacitors. Nothing outrageous. Is yours something unusual?

  29. #989
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    Nothing unusual. My regular parts supplier turns out to offer only very expensive (dare I say overpriced) caps of those high values. Only I can find them very affordable (after which the price goes x3 with shipping... ). So if the cap still would need replacement in the future, I'd get it at one of the cheaper places.
    Last edited by Nicolas; 2019-Dec-10 at 09:49 AM.
    With sufficient thrust, water towers fly just fine.

  30. #990
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    At the suggestion of one of my daughters, this recipe box is a Christmas gift for her younger sister. It's maple, red oak and an unknown species of meranti that a neighbour gave me when he moved away. I started a week ago, and cut the recipe card groove in the lid this morning (15 degrees off vertical, plus the combination of kerf, depth, and card thickness results in a card held at about 30 degrees for convenient reading).

    I think I'll put on a clear satin finish. I'm a little concerned with how the oak will take the finish compared to the other species, so I have some reading to do. Suggestions welcomed!







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