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Some small boxes and trays, 99% unplugged. Part 2 (Nov 2022)

1135 Views 8 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  EricFai
I started Part 1 about a month ago. In it, I started with: "My progress is always slow, but it is progress nonetheless". I should also add that it is quite erratic. In that post, I resawed the stock for the sides of my boxes and laminated the stock for the tops. I also got side-tracked resawing some apple wood (I still have more of that to do [Squirrel!]) and doing some planing on the legs of my long-running bench project. At the speed that I'm making that bench, it'll actually be vintage by the time I finish it. o_O I also had my semi-annual away trip (4 days) and some stump removal with the neighbour.

Around mid-month I got a new to me Veritas low-angle smoother that sidetracked me some more as I cleaned it up and used it on the new laminated panels. That caused me some problems, and my progress for the month stopped.
Wood Floor Flooring Hardwood Composite material

The new plane did a pretty good job of smoothing the faces of the laminations. Unfortunately, my sticking board/planing stop/jig/thingy worked against me on several fronts.
Hand tool Plane Wood Tool Shoulder plane

With my TBI, any motion or movement of the workpiece really messes with my brain and triggers some debilitating vertigo. 🤢 Damn. That means that I need to go to exceptional lengths to secure my workpieces and my jigs. In this case, the jig is prevented from moving longitudinally by clamping a board in the end vise. The board sits just proud of the benchtop and acts as a planing stop for my jig. The jig itself was held by two holdfasts. The shafts of the holdfasts go through my jig and then through the bench which provides two additional points to resist any rotation of the jig for when I apply lateral forces to my work and against the jig's fence. It worked well enough until it didn't.

I felt that one of the holdfasts was crowding my work, and that distracted me enough that I induced some tear-out and was then unable to correct it while keeping the two opposing faces flat and parallel.
Wood Rectangle Floor Composite material Flooring

So now I'm stopped while I determine how I'm going to fix this. I'm contemplating a bed/sled so that I can run this through the tailed lunchbox planer. I'm also trying to figure out a different way of securing my sticking board to the bench. Along with the possible solutions, I'm also trying to figure out how much time each would take and how those solutions would affect my progress. For example, making the planer sled would require clearing my bench, making the sled and setting up the planer. If the planer is set up, then I might as well do a few passes for the laminated benchtop panels while it is set up. My brain will balk at each change in process or activity, so each solution will affect my progress differently. And so it goes, on and on and...

When I need to get some focus or figure out how to progress in cases like this, my injured brain fights me at every step because there are just too many interconnected parts, pieces and considerations for it to keep track of. The aforementioned analysis paralysis certainly doesn't help things move along. To help me with this, I will have a friend or the Boss (SWMBO) sit in the recliner and listen as I try to explain what I am trying to do, what problems I'm encountering and what I'm going to do about them.
Table Wood Floor Flooring Chair

In a very bizarre twist of reality, describing everything out loud like this often gives me the answers that I need to proceed. I know what I know, even when I don't know that I know it, you know? 🤔 Talking to myself doesn't seem to have the same effect, possibly because I'm not paying enough attention. 😮 So my progress is sometimes dependent upon a visitor coming to my shop to listen to me blab for a while. 🤕 They don't need to understand; they just need to be there so that I can talk it out and get to the answer.

Sometimes I'll also spend some time doing a post like this, just to articulate what has me stopped. Once I've articulated it on screen (or out loud), it seems to make more sense to me and feels almost like an epiphany of sorts. As I type this, I'm seeing the picture of the Chief Inspector above and wondering if talking it out with her would do the same thing. ⚡ Doh! I'll need to give that a try...

Any side bets as to how long until I get these boxes finished? 2022? 2023? 2024?
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Since any progress is better than none, I have been working at doing whatever I can on whatever gets in my way. Life outside the shop has been interfering and slowing me down, but it hasn't stopped me.

I've pretty much convinced myself to make a sled for the planer. I started with flattening and taking the twist out of one side of a chunk of 2 x 10. That was X levels of challenging for me. The 2 x didn't sit flat because it was, surprise, twisted. 😮 That made it tricky to clamp solidly which then allowed the piece to move. All of this made it more difficult for me at every step.

Eventually, I got one side flat. I pulled out the tailed planer to get the second side flat and parallel. I couldn't fire up the noisy and dusty machine with the Boss and the Chief Inspector in the shop, so I distracted myself planing and prepping some hardwood chunks to go through the planer while it was set up.
Dog Table Wood Carnivore Outdoor furniture

These 3 x 4-ish pieces will be the legs on a workbench, so I need to make one side flat and straight (untwisted) and then make an adjacent side square and flat. Given how crude these pieces were when rough-cut, this is no easy task. I'm seriously considering getting a jointer to shorten the process to days versus weeks. In time...
Wood Gas Engineering Machine tool Machine

The pieces can be clamped in the end vise with the board protecting the bench from the planer also in there, but after planing a couple of pieces, that started working against me because I had trouble clamping the twisted lumber with the top surface somewhat level. That affected my perception and made it extremely difficult to visualize what I was trying to achieve. That made for lots and lots of breaks and very little progress.

Along the way, more planes were pulled out and the end of the bench got too crowded for comfort and was interfering with my progress.🤕

Here you can see some of that mess. I often use white chalk (in a chalk holder) to roughly mark what needs to be removed next. Here you can see a high point that I'm working on as I sneak up on removing the twist. Nasty, nasty boards.
Wood Automotive tire Bumper Automotive exterior Machine

As nasty as this wood is, I was having difficulty seeing the white chalk as I cleaned the crud off the surfaces of the rough lumber, so I pulled out the coloured sidewalk chalk for marking. If the grandbrats ain't going to use it, I will.
Table Wood Recreation Box Cosmetics

Not long after this, I moved the lunchbox planer so that I had more space for my tools. I hate feeling crowded when I work.
One side flat.
Wood Flooring Gas Hardwood Lumber

But still twisted.
Sewing machine Wood Creative arts Art Gas

I am gaining on it, but every distraction is slowing down my progress on the trays and boxes. Fortunately, I don't need to finish them this year.
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Another month has passed and I'm still fighting an uphill battle to get two sides of both of these legs flat and perpendicular... Between the low angle of the sun, a bout with whatever plague came through here a couple of weeks back, and general fatigue caused by both of these things, progress has been almost nonexistent. You can see the glare from the south-facing shop door windows this morning. That high contrast is most debilitating.
Wood Plant Table Houseplant Flooring

Despite that I think (hope) that I have the first one correct. I need to rest for a while before I can verify the perpendicular edge again and then both of those against the second leg. I know hat I need to do and I know how to do it, but the scrambled brain is making it extremely difficult to compare the two against each other. But I am starting to nudge towards progress, so progress should soon start to pick up for a while again.
Plane Wood Wood stain Hardwood Lumber
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Thanks, Eric, but it feels like I'm all but stopped. Here's a shot from the laneway from around noon today. The winter solstice is coming soon which means that the sun is pretty low in the sky.
Sky Street light Snow Tree Branch

When the sun is this bright and this low, it interferes with my TBI and I cannot even walk in a straight line with my eyes opened or closed. Yuck. The 40-foot walk to the shop can require several breaks for me to regain my balance. I haven't even been able to walk to the shop for the last 2 days, let alone try and work out how to proceed on the pieces that have me stopped.:confused:

I will be much happier when the solstice has passed and the sun starts getting higher in the sky.
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