Tales from the Notebook

The Sun Bear (Roubo Inspired Workbench) ep3 by DBL

The Sun Bear

(continuation of the retrofit)

Followers,

It has been quite a while since I have posted about The Sun Bear, a Roubo inspired workbench.   My obsession with it has kept me in the studio more than may be healthy in the last few months. Joking of course. The studio practice is a beautiful yet sometimes isolating, an unsaid reality...sometimes.   A project that started...I actually don't remember the birth of the Sun Bear...this is evidence of my neglect, of a beautiful time in my life, and the realization that I will present with this process of rebuilding.  A realization that becomes more solidified as I work on this beast.

*if you are familiar with the past post on this project please continue on.  if you wish to read these first click on these

post1

http://dbrp.blogspot.de/2011/07/sun-bear-my-roubo-workbench.html

 post 2

http://dbrp.blogspot.de/2012/11/the-sun-bear-jig-and-router_19.html

Looking back on my notes it is hard to pin point the birth to 2007,...possibly 2006 in thought.   I know I had it early in 2008.  A year full of fear, love, and memories that are now intimately connected to my art. Looking back on my notes I found that at times I failed to date my thoughts.  Also failed at writing more than I had wished. ..but that feeling forever never satisfied.    

Flipping through my thoughts I found a picture which explained the obvious haze.  Until now I see, that picture was dated 2002 a thought only to fruit in 2006. A picture of the moment I first saw a dream manifest in an institutional hallway of school.  Of course my attention at this time was divided among my divine idealistic muse (my Art Belief)  and this earthly dark angel in the picture.  While tracing back and reflecting on my work and my notes its hard not to re-examaine myself.  Only now a welcoming feeling.

My Bench reflects time spent adjusting and rebuilding self and ideals, simultaneously.  A map of growth.  A continually living being.  If you recall I last left the Sun Bear bottom flatten ready for the maple glue up. 

ok ok I know the pics I will show look posed but I actually work pretty organized now

I hope to catch the good light that sometimes happens in my shop

Tales from the Notebook

I had a few ideas of how to rebuild this fox joint that went awry.  I thought many over but finally settled on this method that includes a lot of intuition and impatience thrown in.  Experiencing still some immaturity.

Just like my Undergrad professor Fred Rose, I see myself as a wood explore.  I must remember each piece of wood came from a whole.  A living Whole.

trying to get out of  the habit of putting the plane on its side

 I chose to use reclaimed maple from a work table top which I acquired from the science department of CSULB, continuing the legacy of this Long Beach resident that once was this bench.  While I attended Cal State, the university decided to remodel and throw out lots of amazing specimens of the yester years of science.  Microbiology being their new emphasis.

 After ripping sticks 11 1/4  x 1 1/2  x 1 1/2, with my new table saw...*clears throat*...fuckin aye finally... I left some with the original table top varnish,   I dry fitted the pieces.  

Before I glued in the maple I glued in the walnut I decided to use to fill in the grooves I talked about in the previous post.  A quick second to spend sometime talking about which way to glue the maple...with the grain of the iron bark or against.  Since these woods most likely have different moisture content and rate of expansion.  I was torn on what to do.  I am not very versed in wood characteristics,  (doubt much exists on iron bark) I kinda just went with my best judgement.  Since the laminated piece will be spanning past the bench top both the top and lamented piece will expand and contract width wise individually with no real risk of tearing each other apart.  Wood expands longitudinally insignificant amounts so their should be little to no risk...at least fixable risk. 

Presently I have a limited amount of clamps.  Which added to this adhoc method to measure the structure of instability.  With the understand of what is the final failing point one can reel back and find the maximum efficiency.  Sounds a bit militant industrial now speaking it, but it is a method that I have come to used when dealing with unknown answers to hard art problems.  You can never have too many claps.  

My approach hinged on the limit of my clamps.  I think I glued 2-3 sticks at a time.  

I had a lil fun with minimal clamping.  Hopefully within tolerance.  

 You can see the old tenons of the fox joint of the third leg in the back left.

Once dried I leveled out the maple replacement.  Too be clear this is the bottom of the bench where the third leg belongs.   Some of the pieces are just free floating. I need to still reenforce these with dowels.  Nicely accenting it.  If you look closely at the picture above you can see by this time I cut off the old tenons of the fox joint on the leg.  I work on many things at once mostly if the projects require breaks.  The maple is now ready for the next layer of wood I decided to add... more on that later

 I will continue on the next post with the final glue up and problems dealing with an un-square object plus the start of the sliding dovetail I decided to go with for the retrofit of the fox joint.  until next time

deciphering the roots-

DBL

The Sun Bear (Jig and Router) ep2 by DBL



previous post: /dbrp/2011/07/sun-bear-my-roubo-workbench.html

My Fellow Americans and Terrestrials,

     Yes, last Tuesday I did not post a Tuesday post.  I have no excuse except fatigue.  I got home and just could not resist the warm soft nest in my room.  I owe you twice the words this Tuesday.  Until then I present to you the second stage of a long and over do project.  My Roubo inspired Workbench (The Sun Bear).

 -DBL
Jig and Router

     Originally I had intended to level out the area where the faulty fox joint mortises currently exist using only my able body and bench planes.  Well for sake of speed and a newer experience I decided to finally purchase my first Porter Cable 1 ½ hp router. 

     I had started to level the area using hand tools and left it at a good place for the router to do the rest of the dirty work, but still not be bog down by too much material removal.  Iron bark is dense and splintery and can wear down tools, but can also be machined pretty nicely.  Almost as nicely as its cousin the lemon scented eucalyptus. 
     One of the troubles I am dealing with in this project is the wind (pronounced whined) that exists in the top of the bench.  The pair of legs on the left side are pretty leveled.  The problem is at the other end.   A wind in a board is a twist in which each end of the board is at different axis. 
  
Full view of jig

New unused Porter Cable router

Battens
Anchored at the base of the legs

In retrospect this area should of had more battens

Hand worked unroutered

After the jig was built what was left to resolve was how to routering the middle of the area that was being removed.  Since the base of the router has a radius of 2 5/8 in.  I had to add a movable supporting sled in the middle of the jig.  As I worked closer to the center I readjusted the sled.

Support sled





When I had the majority of the area routed I decided to remove the jig and do the rest of the finesse work using hand tools.  Hopefully I have a good flat reference to finish flattening it with out too much grief.  




*A side note.  The grooves I have left on each side of the flatten area will help my squaring of the top.  To do this I will use my Jointer plane.  Some bench plane blade's do not extend to the edge of the body.  This groove will correct for the area that the edge of the jointer plane can not reach.  I will later fill this area with a contrasting wood or an exotic wood for a nice adhoc detail.
Scrub plane for the rest of the hogging out


After using the scrub plane
Rounded corners

Cleaned up area where the router missed
     That is the stage the Sun Bear remains.  Until the next time be safe and love what you do.  Oh speaking of.  When woodworking, using heavy equipment, power tools, sharp tools or when you just want to do something right listen to your body and mind and the spirit will follow.  When one of them is ready to quit, take a break.  Remember this is fun, not work.  I forget this often and this time I got a gentle reminder.  Just when I was about to quit, just when I felt myself rushing, I told myself "ok time to quit".  My mind did but my body followed through… sliced my hand with my recently 1000 grit sharpened paring chisel.  Luckily I was doing very light work, but the tool had a very keen edge. 
Mental/ Physical Fatigue + Sharp Tools = Two Stitches
            
*Here are some Tales from the NoteBook for your musing.

















Tuesday Night Post #42 by DBL



Strangers,

So I did not post last week.  I have no excuse but my own will not given.
I hope you enjoy this drawing from my sketchbook and some words for you to read.
-DBL

 *      *      *     *     *




Tales From the Sketchbook
In search for the structure that make my behaviors’ unfold
I search the pages of my own sketchbook
A book funded by the cult of the white box
A clean white page
A symbol of creation manifested into empty space
My rule as I have formatted
Create a destroying force that ends in a balance of form, concept, and beauty
Design is a result of the actions existed in between
Beauty is not a promise but it lives in the moment that is soon lost
A loose fitting composition
held together by its individual decisions
The action is driven by the need to fix
The fix is directed by the action beforehand
A promise is an experience
The result a map of every moment felt