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Thread: Adventures in DIY

  1. #1351
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    ^ Actually Trebuchet, I had been wondering. Keep us posted!

    If I complete the house projects that I've started before the year is out, I'll have achieved something.

    I finished spackling and re-mudding the wall along the stairs and the upstairs landing/hall ages ago and have been waiting for my favorite local paint store to get its paint machine serviced so that they can mix the same colour I used on the adjoining downstairs wall six years ago. I'm patient about that because I've used the time to
    1. eliminate the creaks in the stairs (which made me want to have words with the builder),
    2. paint one of the four bedrooms,
    3. apply new protectant to the vinyl siding on the south and west walls after thoroughly scrubbing them,
    4. removing 32 2'x2' concrete pavers and the tree roots that had encroached from the empty lot next door causing them to shift in the last few years; leveling and reinstalling,
    5. re-building two small decorative Allen Block walls that had shifted for the same reason,
    6. re-laying a row of Holland brick pavers along the driveway where the ground had settled. I think that was because last year I killed off an ant colony that had undermined it. Sheesh, they move a lot of dirt.

    This outdoor stuff is actually not much maintenance effort given that I laid those pavers and built the walls 19 years ago. My body felt it each day and I slept very well after each day's work.

    And today I started prep work on a ~2200 Holland block sidewalk to my back yard and deck, something I'd been thinking about for years but just couldn't get myself started...

    It is odd: Last year, for reasons I don't understand but I think had to do with the pandemic, I could not get motivated to do house projects. I was more interested in getting away from here on trips I felt were safe to do. I think the only significant DIY or crafty thing I did was finish that floatplane model.

  2. #1352
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    Glad you survived the stepladder, Trebuchet.

    That's quite a to-do list, Torsten

  3. #1353
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kay Burton View Post
    Well, I think it's not so easy to find a universal tool that can work in different directions. I believe that if my hobby develops further, I will need to buy other devices.

    It's great that your relatives really liked the box. She's really made with high quality and soul. The photo shows that you really did your best.
    Kay Burton : please check your private messages.
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    Man is a tool-using animal. Nowhere do you find him without tools; without tools he is nothing, with tools he is all. — Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881)

  4. #1354
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    It having been several days since I did anything on The Garage Project, I resolved to do a bit more painting today. But first I set some goals:
    1. Don't get so dang tired as I did the last time.
    2. Don't make a mess.
    3. In conjunction with number 1, stop early enough that I have enough energy to clean the tools.
    4. In conjunction with number 3, remember to turn off the outdoor faucet so my wife doesn't here the weird noise it makes with pressure against a mostly closed line downstream.
    5. Get at least one coat on anything that didn't get it before.
    6. Get a second coat on the rest.

    Nearly all accomplished. Now I've painted about 15% of the garage so the rest looks like I should do it too. Damn. But at least I can complete this project over it.
    Thing that really bugs me: While in college, I spent most summers painting people's houses, inside and out. All day, five days a week. Now I've spent an hour painting two days in the past week and I'm beat. I'm tired of being old. But so far, it still beats the alternative.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  5. #1355
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    I need to countersink 6mm holes in alumin(i)um. It's metric, so I'll use a 12.4mm countersink bit.

    My question is though, what's the best approach -on a drill press- to make sure the countersunk part is nicely centered on the 6mm hole? Clamp the workpiece and exchange the 6mm drill for the countersink bit without touching anything else? Or have the workpiece loose and let the countersink bit find its own way in the hole? I've seen the latter done in steel nicely, but I'm not sure aluminium isn't too soft to push itself into center.
    With sufficient thrust, water towers fly just fine.

  6. #1356
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicolas View Post
    I need to countersink 6mm holes in alumin(i)um. It's metric, so I'll use a 12.4mm countersink bit.

    My question is though, what's the best approach -on a drill press- to make sure the countersunk part is nicely centered on the 6mm hole? Clamp the workpiece and exchange the 6mm drill for the countersink bit without touching anything else? Or have the workpiece loose and let the countersink bit find its own way in the hole? I've seen the latter done in steel nicely, but I'm not sure aluminium isn't too soft to push itself into center.
    Couldn't you lower the bit with the machine turned off while jiggling the piece until both cutting edges are in contact with the sides of the hole, and then clamp the piece?

  7. #1357
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    I've seen a very similar technique used: machine off, lower bit, turn it counterclockwise by hand, clamp workpiece. I might try that. Then again, if I just don't touch anything while I replace the drill bit for the countersunk bit, it should also be centered.

    I hope I can clamp the workpieces, as some of them are large.
    With sufficient thrust, water towers fly just fine.

  8. #1358
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    Quote Originally Posted by Torsten View Post
    Couldn't you lower the bit with the machine turned off while jiggling the piece until both cutting edges are in contact with the sides of the hole, and then clamp the piece?
    That's pretty much what I've done. But then again, IANAM.
    Also, the bit in my drill press is pretty much stationary in the verticle axis. You have to raise the table. [/nitpick]
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  9. #1359
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    The garage project continues. Very slowly. But hey, I've got the rest of my life!
    The first major advancement came in the middle of the night before last. I mentioned above that the cordless drill battery died and I had lost the spare. We were having company yesterday and I woke up thinking about cleaning that should be done first. Hmm, where's the little cordless vac. Oh. THAT's where the other battery is! I should probably charge it.
    Today, I just wasn't feeling it. But we've got doctor appointments the next two days; tomorrow for the kitties and Wednesday for my wife. So I got into the paint and finished up the project-affected bit of wall and touched up some damaged/dirty spots in the house; it being the same paint. Of course, I missed one or two. I'll wait a while to catch them so I can find more.
    Meanwhile, more projects are cooking. I need to do something about our closet and the broom closet. We were going to have pros do those but, you know, covid.
    And of course, now that I painted 15% of the garage, the rest looks like crappe. Drywalled and taped, but no further. We had about 3 gallons of paint left by the builders. Now down to 2.5. It wouldn't do for the rest, and there's stuff all over the walls.
    Normally at this time of year I'd be starting catapult work. But, you know, covid.
    It's not out of the question that there could be a Pumpkin Pitch at the end of September. Unlikely, but not impossible. But the trailer-mounted machine is sitting in the old garage fully assembled from 2019. It'll do in a pinch. It'll still be lame, but I could be there.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  10. #1360
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicolas View Post
    I've seen a very similar technique used: machine off, lower bit, turn it counterclockwise by hand, clamp workpiece. I might try that. Then again, if I just don't touch anything while I replace the drill bit for the countersunk bit, it should also be centered.

    I hope I can clamp the workpieces, as some of them are large.
    I just realized I misunderstood your first post, that is, that the holes are not yet drilled. In that case, I cannot imagine a better approach than simply replacing the drill bit with the countersink bit while ensuring the piece remains clamped in place the whole time.

  11. #1361
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    ...
    Today, I just wasn't feeling it. ...
    I get that. For me it's more the thought of preparing than the actual painting that keeps me from starting. But I learned that using high quality paint that covers in one coat can be very satisfying.

  12. #1362
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    Today I've started on benchwork for my model railroad-to-be. I'll have to make the same bench unit 10 times. That is a lot of work. Today I've cut most of the wood. Not yet the feet, as their length depends on a choice I've yet to make. To speed things up when cutting the same length 20 times, I've made a setup with fixed endstop for the wood and fixed miter saw. I don't have a dedicated workbench or feed table for this. My wife didn't see me temporarily nailing the miter saw onto the garden lounge so that never happened . I've also drilled all the big holes that will be used to guide wiring through the ribs under the table.

    As I'll be screwing into 18mm thick pine, I think it's safest to predrill all screwholes to avoid the wood from splitting. That will take a while. But it allows me to postpone drilling the extremely precise holes for my turntable project (I've abandoned the previous wooden attempt, but the new design will require very precise holes in thick aluminium).
    With sufficient thrust, water towers fly just fine.

  13. #1363
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    Back in my model railroading days, how high to put the benchwork was a matter of some contention. Some said comfortable standing height, some said you should be able to sit down and operate. The latter is probably better for allowing children to watch.
    Regarding the turntable project, this is your inspiration, right?
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  14. #1364
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    Regarding the turntable project, this is your inspiration, right?
    Wow, about $7,000 for the arm and another $7,000 for the cartridge. I fully expect there is little if any advantage over arms and cartridges costing a fraction of that. Like those useless ultrathick audio cables.

    "The problem with quotes on the Internet is that it is hard to verify their authenticity." — Abraham Lincoln

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  15. #1365
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    Back in my model railroading days, how high to put the benchwork was a matter of some contention. Some said comfortable standing height, some said you should be able to sit down and operate. The latter is probably better for allowing children to watch.
    Regarding the turntable project, this is your inspiration, right?
    You'll need some patience to see my concept, but at least in one aspect -and I don't even mean cost- it tries to be the opposite of that kind of turntable.

    My layout height is limited by the roof shape of the room it is located in, and its window height. But the exact height will be determined by storage cabinets I'll put underneath them.
    With sufficient thrust, water towers fly just fine.

  16. #1366
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    Sounds interesting. In my opinion, this could be a really interesting solution. Do you still have a lot to do or are you just starting to implement your plan?

  17. #1367
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    Reposted for Kay Burton:

    Quote Originally Posted by PetersCreek View Post
    Kay Burton : please check your private messages.
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    Man is a tool-using animal. Nowhere do you find him without tools; without tools he is nothing, with tools he is all. — Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881)

  18. #1368
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    Regarding the turntable project, this is your inspiration, right?
    Yes, wow.

  19. #1369
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    Quote Originally Posted by geonuc View Post
    Yes, wow.
    And that's how the pros finish wood.

  20. #1370
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kay Burton View Post
    Sounds interesting. In my opinion, this could be a really interesting solution. Do you still have a lot to do or are you just starting to implement your plan?
    I still need a large delivery of parts, expected in june. And then I need to do the actual building, which on one hand is not a lot of work, but on the other hand the work that needs to be done needs to be very precise and clean, so it might take a while.
    With sufficient thrust, water towers fly just fine.

  21. #1371
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    Speaking of the turntable project. Okoumé wood. I want it dark, high contrast grain, warm in color. High gloss preferably. What's the best treatment to achieve this?

    I've checked my collection. I've got:

    -some undetermined waxes
    -two varnishes. One almost colorless, one light oak. The first one is water based, the second one I assume oil based as you clean it with white spirit instead of water.
    -some stains.
    -a whole load of oils: teak, bankirai, "furniture oil", undetermined oil, linseed oil
    -"wood protector". Stain?

    Are there combination that certainly don't work? eg which combinations -and order- of wax, oil, stain, varnish are possible? Once I know that, I can start experimenting on leftovers.
    Last edited by Nicolas; 2021-May-12 at 10:13 PM.
    With sufficient thrust, water towers fly just fine.

  22. #1372
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    Wood? Hem-Fir. Which is Western Hemlock sold for the price of Fir. Better than that I do not do. Looks? That's why the FSM gave us paint.
    Speaking of which, the wall behind the garage project looks good enough that I'll see about putting the shelves back up tomorrow. And then look for the white paint for the bench stuff.
    Oh, and speaking of white paint, our garage doors are too narrow. So I need to see if I can scrub some white from the door opening off the bumper of my wife's car....
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  23. #1373
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    I gave it a bit more thought and research. The end result should be maintenance free, so oils and waxes are not optimal. A varnish is a better choice. But I still want the color and contrast. So stain first, varnish over.

    I tried my oils anyway, but the result wasn't as popping as I'd hoped for.

    I've tried two stains. One is a bit darker and accentuates the "pores" of the wood. The other is a bit lighter/orange, doesn't accentuate the pores but accentuates the larger grain a lot more. So I prefer the "orange" stain.

    When the stain has dried, I'll try the two varnishes on the test pieces. Contrary to what I thought, it may be better to use a water based varnish on solvent based stain, as it avoids smearing around the stain again. So I'll wait at least 24 hours (the hardest part ) and apply a first layer of varnish tomorrow.
    With sufficient thrust, water towers fly just fine.

  24. #1374
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    I'll have to admit that I'm completely at sea when it comes to finishing wood.

  25. #1375
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicolas View Post
    I gave it a bit more thought and research. The end result should be maintenance free, so oils and waxes are not optimal. A varnish is a better choice. But I still want the color and contrast. So stain first, varnish over.
    How 'bout a Danish oil wiping varnish over stain? It contains oil (BLO or tung, usually), varnish, and solvent. Or are you looking for a high-build finish?

    I tried my oils anyway, but the result wasn't as popping as I'd hoped for.

    I've tried two stains. One is a bit darker and accentuates the "pores" of the wood. The other is a bit lighter/orange, doesn't accentuate the pores but accentuates the larger grain a lot more. So I prefer the "orange" stain.
    For the best of both worlds, you might consider using a grain filler, tinted to the dark side, followed by the stain you favor. If the wood is figured, you could use a darker dye, sand it back (but not completely) and follow up with another tint. Here's a how-to article.

    Contrary to what I thought, it may be better to use a water based varnish on solvent based stain, as it avoids smearing around the stain again. So I'll wait at least 24 hours (the hardest part ) and apply a first layer of varnish tomorrow.
    The conventional wisdom is, solvent-base (or oil base) can go over water-base but not the other way around, due to adhesion concerns. Some people buck the convention with few issues but I'm more conservative with my finishing efforts.

    To prevent one coat of solvent-base finish from reactivating and smearing a previous coat, you can lay down an intermediate coat or two of clear, dewaxed shellac. It's widely considered a near universal primer. Since its solvent is alcohol, it isn't reactivated by water or petroleum-derived solvents.

    The most readily available (and ready-to-use) shellac in US hardwares stores and home centers is Zinsser Bulls Eye. Most of their shellac products are not dewaxed, however. SealCoat is dewaxed though (says so on the label) as is their clear shellac in the spray can only. The canned, ready-to-brush-on varieties are not dewaxed. I usually use the rattle can for convenience. It dries quickly and sands easily.
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  26. #1376
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    Thanks for the input! I'll experiment with what I've got laying around first before buying new stuff. I'm curious what the current tests will look like after varnisch.
    With sufficient thrust, water towers fly just fine.

  27. #1377
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    I'm looking for the next DIY project. Maybe the 12 inch wood telescope tube I built thirty years ago that was supposed to be the start of a Dobsonian. Instead, it's been a household curiosity. Thing is, if I build the telescope, I'm not sure I have a place to put it.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  28. #1378
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    My garage project is proceding apace. Err, a(t a snail's)pace. At last report, I'd decided to paint the affected wall. That's done, masking tape stripped off the shelf rails, shelves back up, and partially populated.
    Today's effort was to take all the stuff off the five 2x6's which will be the worktop and have been sitting on sawhorses. Then move the wood to the floor, move the horses, put down a drop cloth, put the horses back on the drop cloth, put another drop cloth over the horses, and put the wood back on the horses. Then to figure out how to arrange the pieces of wood so the best side of each was up and arrange them to fit together best, with the best pieces toward the front. And how to best arrange the twisty one and the bowed one.
    They are now upside-down on the horses and tomorrow's project will probably be to screw them together with some 2x4's on the bottom. The latter will be spaced to interface with the leg assemblies. And then start painting things white.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  29. #1379
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    That sounds like quite a large job, Treb. But as long as there's progress, you'll get there.

    Water based varnish rolled onto the stain worked perfectly in my experiment. 3 rolled layers (so still very thin) seems OK. It doesn't give that high gloss massive layer of varnish, it just protects the wood and stain while keeping the texture of the wood.
    With sufficient thrust, water towers fly just fine.

  30. #1380
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    Quote Originally Posted by geonuc View Post
    I'm looking for the next DIY project. Maybe the 12 inch wood telescope tube I built thirty years ago that was supposed to be the start of a Dobsonian. Instead, it's been a household curiosity. Thing is, if I build the telescope, I'm not sure I have a place to put it.
    Did you obtain the glass for it when you started?

    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    My garage project is proceding apace. Err, a(t a snail's)pace.
    Hey, that's like my painting project. The store finally had their machine repaired and was able to mix the colour I wanted. In the meantime I'd made some progress on the sidewalk by removing sod and subsoil from along the house and moving it to a "sinkhole" that formed in the backyard years ago after the loosely placed fill had been saturated for a long time, so two birds with one stone.

    But, painting this stairwell and landing! There are so many corners to paint with a brush before I can start with the roller. For the highest part of it I have set up a stand on the stairs to support my stepladder, and even then I can barely reach the ceiling. I see that the person who first finished this part of the house was also challenged by it. The taping to prevent the ceiling-texturing compound from getting on the walls was less than perfect, and cutting into that line is especially tedious. There's also a split oak post where the bannister meets the wall, and I didn't want to try removing it, so taping its complex shape was a fun job.

    Before I paint the main parts of the walls, I have to decide on the flooring and the associated nosings for the stairs. I've retained the existing treads because they're solid. They were manufactured with a rounded nose meant to be covered by carpet, so I'll have to remove that on each tread, but I don't yet know how much to remove, and don't want to be doing a lot of touch up painting where the new ones will meet the wall. I have an angle grinder I can use for cutting them off, but I need to make a clean 90 degree face relative to the tread surface, so I'll try to obtain a guide for that or make one myself.

    It's a good thing I'm not in a hurry. Ah well, I've waited six years to get going on this, why rush it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nicolas View Post
    Water based varnish rolled onto the stain worked perfectly in my experiment. 3 rolled layers (so still very thin) seems OK. It doesn't give that high gloss massive layer of varnish, it just protects the wood and stain while keeping the texture of the wood.
    Nice to have a satisfactory result in the first experiment!

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