Thursday, March 28, 2019

Sharpening a chisel with the angle grinder - Quick and dirty hack

Tools and materials I propose:

Let’s assume you are in a job site and you are chiseling something. Suddenly you hit a nail and you ruin the sharp edge of your chisel.

You are in a job site, away from your desktop grinder or your sharpening stones. But fortunately, like in most cases you carry your angle grinder with you. This is how you can use it to fix your dull chisel fast and move on to your work. 

First check the direction your wheel is turning. You have to place the chisel on the right side of the wheel, so that the sparkles won’t fly on your face. 

Your angle grinder spins really fast. As a result it will increase the heat of your tool really fast. This can burn your tool and destroy it’s hardness. So have some water close to you and keep your metal cool by dipping it into the water often.

First of all hold your tool perpendicular to the wheel to flatten it’s front edge. Then angle your tool to match the bevel you want to create. Every now and then check your tool and try to adjust the way you are holding it so that you grind as straight as possible. 

Remember to keep your tool cool.

When the burr starts to form you are close enough. 

The metal cutting discs are pretty aggressive. So now you can add a sanding adapter on your grinder and add a sanding disc. You don’t need to move higher than 240 grit. Once you have a burr throughout the length of your cutting edge, stop the grinder, turn your chisel around and remove the burr by hand.

If you don’t have the adapter, you can place the sandpaper on a flat surface, add some water and repeat the whole process by hand. I used a piece of melamine, but you can use a ceramic tile, a piece of glass or plexiglass.

At this point your chisel should be sharp enough for you to move on to work. But if you wear a leather belt you can take things one step further. Add some oil on the back of the belt and strop your chisel for a couple of minutes. This can give you a razor sharp edge. 

I hope you found this tip useful. But that was it, see you soon with a new project video!

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, that at no cost to you, I get a small commission if you click through and make a purchase.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Making a wooden zoetrope with right angle gears - Animation toy

Special thanks for the inspiration and info to Mathias Wandel: Right angle gears video
I also wan to thank Peter Brown for his inspirational video.
Tools and materials I propose: Lathe

This is a classic vintage animation toy. I just made my version of it, out of bass wood and plywood. 

After making a rough but working prototype, it was time to make the final version of the project.

I set the fence of my table saw at the correct width and cut my plywood pieces to size. For the cross cuts I used my cross cut sled.

The gear box would be joined with half lap joints. I created them on my table saw. I set a stop block on my cross cut sled and did a series of passes to create the grooves. I sanded a little bit with a sanding block.

To make the gears I created templates based on Mathias Wandel’s gear generator. Mathias has also made many tutorials on making wooden gears so I followed his instructions quite a bit.

I added tape on the plywood and then glued the templates on the tape with spray adhesive. This would help me remove the templates easily, once I was done. At this point I marked the centers of the gears and removed most of the material on the bandsaw.

To cut the bevels of the gears I made a new base for my bandsaw that has 14 degrees angle. I cut half of the bevels. The blue lines of my templates. Then I flipped the base over and cut the mirrored bevels ( the red ones). I sanded with a popsicle stick which had sandpaper glued on it with double sided tape.

At this point I glued and nailed the gear box  sides together. Using a wet rag I wiped off the excess glue. 

I made a few holes with the drill. 

The gears are glued on 6mm dowels. 

Using a hole saw, I made some spacers. On the bandsaw I made relief cuts, so I can remove the spacers easily if I have to. The spacers are fixed in place with a screw. 

I added a spacer and two washers to each gear. At this point the gears worked nicely.

I made a handle which I shaped on my belt sander.

I filled the nail holes and sanded everything smooth with my random orbit sander.

Following Mathias advice I varnished everything so the gears wood work a bit smoother. I used clear water based varnish.

The top piece was made out of basswood. I had to glue two pieces together, so I first flattened them on the jointer - planer machine.

I then glued the pieces together. Once the glue was dry, I squared my stock on the jointer and table saw.

At this point I drew my guide lines and cut my grooves on the table saw. For the diagonal grooves I made a simple 45 degree jig so I could hold the piece on my cross cut sled.

This worked out and I mounted the piece on my lathe using a face plate. 

I shaped the top with the bowl gouge. I only used a flat chisel as a scraper to clear it’s bottom corners. 

During the assembly I added my wax and oil paste to all the meeting surfaces. Then I assembled all the parts together. 

The grooves were too large for the animation effect to happen so I made a paper insert for the top with smaller slots. Perhaps in future I will remake the top.

Then I added my animation inside the top and started playing.

This project was more difficult than I originally thought. But it worked out in the end. 

I hope you liked this one, because that was it. See you soon with a new project video. 

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, that at no cost to you, I get a small commission if you click through and make a purchase.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Making a resin and olive wood box on the lathe

Tools and materials I propose: Resin Lathe Wood turning tools set

I made a resin and olive scrap wood blank. I have also added a few drops of transparent yellow dye in the resin.

I cut one edge of the blank on the bandsaw and flattened it on a sanding block. I then hot glued the blank on my lathe. I just used a face plate and a wood block.

The round scraper does a really good job when it comes at resin turning. I made a finishing cut with a flat chisel and I used the parting tool, to cut a piece off.

To hollow the interior of the box, I first reduced the speed of the lathe at minimum. I then used forstner bits to remove most of the material. I finished hollowing with a spindle gouge.

I started sanding at 100 grit and moved through the grits. At 500 grit I started wet sanding with mineral oil.  At 1000 I added abrasive paste and used a paper towel to polish the piece.

I parted the piece off and buffed it on my polishing wheels.

At this point I realized I had an awful scratch in the interior of the box. I used a piece of leather, to remount the box on my chuck without scratching it. I then made a small side scraper from an old chisel. I did most of the shaping of the tool with the angle grinder. Next I sharpened it on my grinding station.

Then I gently cleaned the interior of the box and sanded it. 

This worked out nicely.

I then made a cap out of a scrap olive wood piece. I did most of the shaping with the spindle gouge and a skew chisel. Olive wood is pretty hard and dense, so it can be polished really nicely.

At some point I wanted to do a bit more polishing on the box. But the polishing wheel made it fly off of my hands. So I had a few more scratches to deal with.

I turned a spindle on which the box  fitted snuggly. Then I resanded and polished it.

Although the box still had some imperfections, I decided to stop here. Overall it came out nice.

It was a really interesting and challenging project. All the disasters happened during the build were a good chance for me to demonstrate a few interesting techniques.

Experimenting with wood and resin is something I really enjoy this period.

But that was it, see you soon with a new project video!

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, that at no cost to you, I get a small commission if you click through and make a purchase.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

How to remove bubbles from resin castings with the vacuum chamber

Tools and materials I propose:

Most people would recommend a pressure pot for degassing resin. But if you use a slow setting resin, the vacuum chamber can really work on achieving crystal clear castings.  

The vacuum chamber kit set up is just a stainless steel container and a vacuum pump. Basically the pump sucks the air from inside of the pot and creates vacuum conditions in it’s interior.

In order for the pump to reach high vacuum, it has to be filled with oil. This is a special oil created for high vacuum pumps.

In order for this process  to be successful, you have to use a low setting epoxy resin. In the video I used a resin that has 2 hours open time, 6-12 hours initial curing and 4-7 days final curing.

My resin also uses 100:60 mixing ratio. So I added Part A and Part B and mixed them really well for about 2 minutes. I also added a few drops of transparent red dye. 

I put the resin in the vacuum chamber and turn the vacuum on. Then I slowly close the air release valve. The vacuum starts to increase. The trapped air bubbles inside the resin, start to rise on the surface. Some people release the vacuum once the bubbles burst. I don’t think that’s necessary. Once the container is about to overflow I turn the pump off and slowly open the air release valve. 

I repeat that process a couple of times more. Each time the bubbles are less and less. Each vacuum session lasts for about 5 minutes, depending on the volume of resin I want to degas.

Once you compare the degassed casting with the non degassed one, the difference is pretty dramatic. Especially under different light situations the castings have tremendous differences.

So to me this definitely works with slow setting resins and can produce crystal clear castings!

I hope you’ll find this tutorial useful!

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, that at no cost to you, I get a small commission if you click through and make a purchase.