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Old 11-05-2009, 10:14 PM   #361
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Gulf Island Building.


Syd:

The email just came in notifying me of your post.

What a coincidence that you say such kind words on the day of my mum's passing.

She left us this afternoon, peacefully thank heavens.

I just happened to be on the computer letting our relatives all round the world know that she has gone.

We want you all to know that this was not unexpected, and while we are sad, we are also relieved that there will be no more suffering.

Thank you for your kind words.

Keith

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Old 11-05-2009, 10:30 PM   #362
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Gulf Island Building.


I am sorry..deeply.. for your loss. Yet all who loved her..were with her! Could now..what you build..be in some part..a sanctuary..because..you..do it? I appologize for my reverence! May peace and reverence be with you!
Syd
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Old 11-05-2009, 10:40 PM   #363
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Gulf Island Building.


Tears now are my "medium"..based on past times!
SQUID
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Old 11-05-2009, 11:21 PM   #364
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Gulf Island Building.


Syd:

Certainly no apologies needed for your reverence.

Let me assure you that my mum very much lives on in all that I do. She has always encouraged me to reach for that elusive thing just beyond the possible.

Keith
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Old 11-12-2009, 05:51 PM   #365
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Gulf Island Building.


Funny, just after I pass condolensces to you for your loss, my Father in law died on Tuesday evening from complications of Pneumonia..unexpected..so have gone to 'damage control' mode..and almost have everything in place for the "rellies', friends, service..etc. I was impressed how I could 'change gears", and keep stuff together!
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Old 11-12-2009, 09:47 PM   #366
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Gulf Island Building.


So now I am able to pass along my condolences to you and yours.

Whether or not the loss of a family member is expected or comes as a surprise does not make the loss any easier. Please accept our sincere condolences for your untimely loss.

As for our family, we will be holding a celebration of life on Sunday in remembrance of our mum.
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Old 12-25-2009, 10:19 PM   #367
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Gulf Island Building.


It has been a little while since I have posted, but for those of you who know why, I trust you will forgive me.
Anyway, my wife and I wanted to wish everyone the best of the season and to thank you all for your previous good wishes.
I should be back in a few minutes with my latest small project...kind of a Christmas/New Years present to myself. Yeah, I know it's a bit greedy, but sometimes you just have to pamper yourself a little.
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Old 12-25-2009, 10:27 PM   #368
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Gulf Island Building.


It's good to have you back Cocobolo. I hope you and your wife are having a wonderful Christmas day. And may 2010 be a much better year for you both.
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Old 12-25-2009, 10:32 PM   #369
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Gulf Island Building.


Wow...that was quick! But just to show you that we actually have something done on the house, here is a shot of the woodstove that finally got installed a few weeks ago.
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Old 12-25-2009, 11:48 PM   #370
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Gulf Island Building.


Many moons ago when I toiled in my shop at the boatyard, I managed to make myself a passably fair copy of a traditional English workbench. When I left the marina to move here, the bench remained in the shop.

It goes without saying that this is the one thing that every woodworker lusts after, and so it has come to pass that after all these years I promised myself that a new one was in order.

In fact, I think it must have been a couple of years since I got the twin screw vise hardware for the job, but just never quite seemed to have the time to get the darned thing done.

Several weeks ago I happened across the box with the vise goodies in it and decided the time had come. No more procrastinating...something I learned from my wife, I assure you.

Also on hand in my trusty woodworking library is a copy of a book rather aptly called "Workbenches", by Chris Schwartz, who at the time of writing this book was the editor of Popular Woodworking and Woodworking Magazine.

After giving the book a thorough read, rather than taking my usual approach of "I know just what I want", it turned out I didn't know what I want at all.

There is a bench Chris describes which was originally designed by a French fellow by the name of Ruobo. Features appear on this bench which make it exceptionally useful and easy to use. And no woodworking bench is worth a pinch if it isn't at least reasonably easy to use.

Since a workbench is really nothing more than a giant clamping device, it should do that job well and with versatility. The other attribute which comes to mind would be solidity. Nothing like a few hundred pounds of solid wood and metal to inspire a feeling of confidence.

To be perfectly honest, if I had not already had the twin screw vise hardware on hand, it is likely I would have chosen a different option after reading Chris's book. However, that's what I have, so that's what will get used.

In my usual haste (after delaying myself for two years or so) to get started, naturally I neglected to take photos from the beginning. So you will just have to take my word for the order in which things have been done thus far.

A brief description of the beast:
Length 7 feet. Width approximately 24" - depending on the number of pieces in the top glue-up. Height about 34". None of these dimensions are cast in stone, as everything I make is subject to change depending on which way the wind is blowing at any given time.

So, with the aforegoing apology made for the lack of early photos - the project started going together about a week ago - here we go.

The first items to get cut out and glued up were the legs. In fact, I cut all the stock to size for everything before I did any glueing at all.

After estimating the bench height, with help from Chris I hasten to add, I cut the legs to a length of 30 1/2", with an extra 2" for the tenon in the middle of each leg. As the top will be 3 1/2" thick, this provides the 34" height.

Each leg is 5" square and is glued up from 4 pieces of 1 1/4" x 5" stock.

In the book, Chris explained that he went to the local big box store and bought a car load of 2 x 12's and went from there. OK, if it's good enough for him...

The Ruobo in the book is 8 feet long, somewhat more than I either need or have room for, so I knocked a foot off the length. This meant that I would buy 14' long 2 x 12's, and get the kind man in the store to cut them in half for me so I can fit the 7' long pieces in the van. No problem.

Why would I not buy 8 footers? No thank you. You see, the shorter a 2 x 12 is, the more likely it is that it will be loaded with knots. When 2 x 12's are being cut - at least in the local mills - they try and use what is known as the "pipe", which is the bottom section of the tree. This is where the clearest and best wood comes from. The longer boards are cut from the pipe, and thus yield the best quality wood. The farther one goes up the tree, the knottier the wood.

So, buy long boards and cut them in half, you can thank me later.

Here is the first leg glued up, after the pieces were thicknessed to 1 1/4".

Those funny little marks are to show me where to cut the holes for the biscuits. Sorry, forgot to mention that the original bench didn't have biscuits, but I decided that it might be easier for me to use them in order to keep everything in line come glue up time.
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Old 12-25-2009, 11:54 PM   #371
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Gulf Island Building.


There is a bit more machining to do on the legs first, and one of the two mortises in each leg can be cut in advance. There will be stretchers at the lower part of each leg, requiring a mortise for each. This is the one which can be pre-cut prior to being glued.
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Old 12-25-2009, 11:56 PM   #372
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Gulf Island Building.


After the legs were glued, I stood them around the woodstove to cure, this is what happened to one of them.
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Old 12-25-2009, 11:58 PM   #373
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Gulf Island Building.


Following the glue job, the legs need to be planed. Make sure before doing that to remove as much of the glue squeeze-out as possible. It doesn't do the planer blades any good.
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Old 12-26-2009, 12:00 AM   #374
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Gulf Island Building.


..and here it is looking pretty good after the initial clean up.
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Old 12-26-2009, 12:03 AM   #375
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Gulf Island Building.


Incidentally, make certain that you mark every board that you have (after you decide where it is going) and every leg as well. i.e., left front, right front etc. Here is the right rear leg so marked.
It is sooo easy to get things mixed up when they are often upside down and backwards during the build.
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