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Bob Blarney

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  1. Several of my tools were purchased on Craigslist, and I recommend that you research the tool before going to look. Know how it operates, and see if there are particular problems in using or breakdowns. Find out if parts are available. Never pay more than 50-66% of original price unless it is pristine. Look at the seller's place - are other things in order?
  2. Here you can see how I've clamped a piece of binding, using strips of bicycle inner tube to clamp and support the binding strip as I've been bending it. This keeps it from fracturing on the outside surface. You can also cut rubber bands of various widths from bicycle inner tubes for other clamping needs.
  3. I needed to bend some granadilla, a very hard rosewood, to make bindings for a very small guitar. And so I came up with this mini steamer that I thought you might be interested in seeing. It works.
  4. "MagEyes anybody use them ? Which ones and Y" I had to do a doubletake to get the meaning of the title. Was sent from a phone?
  5. The name of the excellent coping/fret saw is Knew Concepts, https://www.knewconcepts.com/Coping-saws.php
  6. I've got two, but one will be donated to an artists' organization if I don't soon incorporate the mechanism into a larger bench. I work on many types of objects, and the variable height makes things easier. I've found it's easiest to locate the workpiece at elbow height. One is based upon a salvaged veterinary operating table. The top had broken mounts, and so I put a top with clamps on it. What makes it special is that it has a pedal-operated hydraulic jack that can lift the top about 12", and the column and inclination mechanism allows it to rotate 360 degrees and incline from 0 to 85 degrees. It can lift probably 400-500 lbs, which is more than I could ever lift and place on its top. The other one is one that I bought today for $200. The top is 24 x 52 inches, and the height is variable from 26 to 42 inches. The lower drawer is 39 x 16 x 1.5 inches, and the upper is 39x8x1.5, and they're on ballbearing slides. The base is powder-coated steel. I will make a cabinet with additional drawers that will be mounted on the base, probably resting on the crossbeam and attached to the columns. This will add more storage space and mass to the bench.
  7. The enemies of any cutting process are slippage and vibration. With power tools there's also the phenomenon of harmonic vibration, which does not appear when using hand tools. Perhaps you're using the wrong hand saw. Try a jeweler's saw (or you coping saw), with a variety of blades, and use it with a birdsmouth attached firmly to a solid bench. If that goes ok, then look into a buying a high-end coping/fret saw - the brand name of a premier saw escapes me at the moment - (New Saw Concepts?). There is also a very specialized saw for marquetry & veneer work, a chevalet Here's a few pics of a birdsmouth. http://blog.oldwolfworkshop.com/2015/05/coping-saw-appliance.html
  8. As mentioned above, always keep the fire extinguisher near the exit door. Never let a fire get between you and the door. if there is any doubt about being able to quench it leave immediately. As for the phone, well, I got rid of regular house phones a decade or so ago (a damned nuisance that I didn't want to pay for), and I always keep my cellphone in my pocket. If you do call 911, don't forget to say the address because that info may not be available to the operator.
  9. Your lathe is a versatile tool. Here I'm polishing and washing 50 small parts. The pill vial is held in the pen-blank jaws, with a dead-center rod to give it a small offset for tumbling the parts. My lathe is powered by a variable speed DC motor that I scavenged from a bedroom clothes rack (aka an exercise treadmill). It gives speed from ~20-4000 RPM with a simple modification of the controller board, and is reversible too (use a chuck that locks on the spindle!) Washer.mp4
  10. Yep, a lot of people sell pens now. But it was more than a fad - many people made the rent when times were hard after the Mortgage Meltdown that destroyed the economy in late 2007. But for me, I never kept an inventory - that was too expensive. It was about working with someone person-to-person in an artist/craftsman way to make a pen that they really liked and used. It was a matter of engaging them in the process, and I've run into people who wave their pens at me that were turned years ago. It was fun, and sometimes I still do it. All that said, I'd say that learning one craft always aids in learning another. The experience of handling tools with one's hands sharpens the imagination.
  11. great work on the knives. I know what you mean about lathework and turning pens. I made one once to avoid watching the news when I got home from work. I took it work and showed someone, and soon people were calling me to turn pens. Well, it got a little embarrassing because I wasn't there to sell pens, but when someone offers $50-150 for an hour or two of relaxing work then why not? It also paid for some shop improvements.
  12. Mahogany bends nicely, as do some rose woods. I wonder if English walnut is substantially different; I haven't particularly noticed any interlocked grain. I've bent American black walnut into curves, but never so tightly coiled, without any problems. It may be how the wood is sawn or if it's riven.
  13. Guitarbuilders work with woods in this range of thicknesses, and very few of them still use hot water because it raises the grain and takes some time to dry out. But if you wish to use hot water, the addition of fabric softener (e.g.Downey) can act as a plasticizer, but it may impart an oder that will take some time to disperse. Try this on scrap first. Instead most luthiers bend wood dry or lightly misted and then wrapped in aluminum foil, and use a heating blanket on a mould, or bend dry wood freehand on a heated pipe. There are commercial electric benders, or some builders place an electric BBQ starter inside the pipe, or the heating element from a hotwater heater. The range of heat needed is ~250-375F in a mould, sometimes to 400-500F on pipe. By the way, wood bends in compression, but not in expansion, and so a strap (thin spring steel or stainless steel) on the outer side of a curve helps to prevent greenstick fractures. Maybe a 1/2"-3/4" tape measure could be used as a strap - use your judgement. https://www.stewmac.com/Luthier_Tools/Tools_by_Job/Tools_for_Bending_Sides/Bending_Iron.html
  14. I have one in my travel toolbox, and sometimes I have other occasions to use, e.g. in a tight space.

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