Mar 16, 2015

McIntosh and Co. Cabinetmakers Day 3 and 4

For my third and forth days working for McIntosh and Co. Cabinetmakers I was assigned tasks such as drum sanding 4 sides of maple sticks for cabinet nosings. After that task I had to fine sand both sides with a 150 grit using their down-draft sanding table. Below the table is a funnel that draws air with a mechanical dust collector down through the slats in the table top.

At this stage we were gluing nosings onto shelves that were to be painted, this step is time consuming but important never the less. That maple that I "time saved" or drum sanded earlier were then cut to a very precise lengths and glued to an MDO shelf. Medium Density Overlay is an engineered product that is manufactured from the wood fiber residuals of softwood and hardwoods. Then glued and placed under high heat and pressure. Its a perfect surface for paint with a flawless finish surface. It is also the same material stop signs are composed of.
In this photo, its hard to see whats what but the clamps are holding what was glued together but so you get adequate pressure and no marks on the finish nosing you use a clamping caul. A Caul is a piece of wood sometimes with an intentional crown in it that is used as a clamping buffer. Having a caul with a camber or crown provides additional pressure squeezing your glue up together.    

Before and After pictures of dato'ed shelf nosings

Now we are onto Thurday.....

Lastly, I did some shaping. This take was simple. We ran some test pieces through and then once we had the look and profile we ran it all through. Then broke the edges by hand.
With the chisel in that photo I was assigned the task of cleaning door panels that had glue squeeze out in the areas that couldn't be sanded. As well as remove and wood that was not removed during the shaping process that obstructed the uniformity in the thumbnail profile of the doors. I also broke all the edges very lightly to make for better painted surface. Paint does not stand up well to a sharp surface so is always good to lightly break edges when painting 

Mar 13, 2015

Building Concepts Course CMCC Week 21- First BENT Wall Erected

 Time honored timber frames..

This week on our second timber frame we worked quickly. The pictures jump around but our result can be seen in the video. We cut connecting girders which are the timber that connect the two BENT walls together. We also managed to get one wall fit with knee braces and assembled. That process is tricky but it went together pretty well in the end.

These are corner posts having the tenons cut on the tops of them. 

The picture to the left of a mortise cut into a connecting girders. These will cap the tenons coming up from the corner posts which lap the top bent plate on the bent wall. So the aim was to not drive the mortise all the way through so before cutting the lap joint onto to the end, I cut my mortise out and did not plunge all the way out the other side. Then cut the lap and what your left with is what the end of the tenon will rest in when its in a vertical, assembled position.

Following that my partner cut the two knee braces for the wall and we collectively cut the mortises for those and began the assembly.

Very good results!

Mar 8, 2015

McIntosh and Co. Cabinetmakers Day 1 and 2

I was given a fortunate opportunity to work for a Cabinetmaker, McIntosh and Co. Cabinetmakers formerly known as McIntosh and Tuttle Cabinetmakers of Lewiston, ME. 

Central Maine Community Colleges Building and Construction program will, this fall, require you to pursue an externship to gain credits necessary to complete the BCT Associates Degree. The externship can take place with any company that is seeking to bridge a connection to CMCC and the company must also is capable of taking on a part time employee for a period of time during the semester. 

I chose to do this one because it was turned down by another student and I am seeking to learn as much as possible in the short 2 years I will be in this program. For the remaining semester I will be full-filling a number of hours with Todd and his crew at McIntosh and Co. doing odd shop duties as well as shadowing a couple of the master carpenter/ cabinetmakers he employs.   

 On my first day, I had a few tasks. One was cleaning when my other tasks were satisfied and the other was helping who ever asked me for a hand.
  Joey, the foreman at McIntosh and Co., asked me to assist him in feeding the face frames and doors he built through the large sander that he referred to as the "time saver."

Joey also gave me the run down on all the machinery which I have noticed in every shop means "bad story time." A good way to get someone  to use something safely is to tell them the possibly result of not using it safely.

Next I was asked to chop and box up all the scrap around the shop.

I took no photos, but I also vacuumed half the shop. 

In the photo above I was asked to "catch" wood  from the planer for Joey who fed the wood. That large stack would be tedious to plain alone.  

 I was then given the duty of cutting down this maple bead molding from 1 1/4" to 13/16ths." All 320 lineal feet. They had leftover they planned on using for a future project but what it was sized at was too wide so I ripped it down on a table saw, then added up of the lineal footage for cataloging.
Finally at the end of my second day, I re organized and cataloged all the misc. trim pieces and decorative moldings they have, bundled them together and wrote on the plastic holding them together the lineal footage. 

Building Concepts Course CMCC Week 20- Second Timber Frame Underway

Second Timber Frame Shed under construction...

This week a classmate and myself have began construction on an identical timber frame shed like the one built previously, only this one is 6'x 8' and the other one was 8' x 12'. All the same joinery, mortises and lumber sizes, its just a smaller overall dimension.

 Step 1- Square one end of your first "stick" or                   timber

The very first step in timber framing is selection the timbers that are the worst and the best ahead of time. The worst should go in places like a floor system where they are least visible. The best should be corner posts and top girders. Those members, top girder and corner posts, heavily impact the formation of the rafters and are also most visible. After you have organized and labeled timber designations, then you can begin cutting up some wood. Starting with the floor system. The corners are jointed with "half laps." These are illustrated best by photograph. Simply put, two pieces lap over each end of two timbers equally and they are perpendicular is direction.  

                                                                                                                                                                      In this photo I have chosen to cut off the "check" in the wood on the right side of the timber. Being selective about what to remove and what to take can sometimes make life much easier. But before totally removing the wood I want to mortise out my hole with the Makita Chain Mortiser, see the video.

Step 2- Waxing those joints

Before any time passes between cutting and final assembly, all half laps, joints, and mortises should be sealed with some sort of wax. In this case we are using the product made a Heritage Natural Finishes that is made specifically for end grain cuts. The wax seals the water in preventing more drying and checking of the lumber while it stay in a heat conditioned environment.  

 Step 3- Cutting joist notches

Pre-scribe your mortise with a chisel or skill saw and then use a forsner bit on a right angle drill to take out more to start then use your chisel to clean it all out. 

 Step 4- Assembly. Then Clamp it                         together, square it and level it

This step involves possible corrections being make, but follow those minor corrections you need to level the corners and square the diagonals and be sure there are equal lengths and widths.

  Step 5- Sheath it


Mar 1, 2015

Tree Spirits Winery: Curley Maple Bar Top Refinish

I was asked to refinish this curley maple bar top at Tree Spirits Winery in Oakland, ME by someone has has confidently been a repeat customer of mine. The old finish was a high gloss polyurethane oil base. I used the same finish, 4 light coats with lots of prep work before hand and light sanding between coats.

Step 1: Remove old Varnish 

I belt sanded with 80 grid to remove the old poly, then 120 grit when I got down to wood. 

Step 2: Hand Sand until respectably smooth

After belt sanding with the 120, I moved to hand sanding some of the heavier belt marks with 120. Then with 220 course grit, I smoothed out the table the long way so any scars would go with the grain. Next was was 320 course grit to remove scars from the 220. Finally and quickly just to over kill the smoothness I used 400 on the wood.  

Step 3: First Coat of Poly Applied

Step 4: Second Coat

             After each step I would sand with a 320 foam pad to get hairs off surface.

                    Step 5: Third Coat

                    Step 6: Final Coat 

                   Once this one is dry I will lightly go over it with 600 to make it smooth to the touch.

That was easy!

Building Concepts Course CMCC Week 19- Timber Frame Completed!

 It has been a long time coming. But our last week on our large timber frame has come. After hours of chiseling, drilling, notching, mortising, and assembling we have a very sturdy shed! This shed will be disassembled and has been sold already to a faculty member at CMCC.

Our final week was spent making purlins and cosmetic repairs. A Purlin is an longitudinal, horizontal, structural member in a roof framing system.

After we completed those five members in the roof we adjusted the overall width of the roof and then began sanding areas we scuffed with boots and chamfered all the interior edges of the timbers. A Chamfer is a detail applied with a router where you cut off the edge or corner of your wood.

Chamfer Style


Rough Edge

The Lamination Technique

This series photos illustrates a good technique that was exercised as a resort toward fixing a member of our timber frame that was cut poorly. This only works when the member, in this case it was our collar tie, is half blind meaning that what you see for a joint from one side does not reflect exactly how its joined. That is the best way I can describe half blind. So we ripped on the table saw the "bad cut" visual side of our collier ties away from the structure portion and laminated an acceptably cut new visual onto our structural.   

The result of the lamination (the horizontal member)

Miscellaneous Perspective Photographs