Sunday, May 10, 2015

Progress in Paradise...

Progress in Paradise...  Still operating under the delusion that our friends were showing up today, yesterday I finished re-doing the electrical outlets and switches in the living areas upstairs.  I also repaired a couple of wall-hanging items that had originally been installed with screws-in-wallboard (don't do it, people!) and had since come loose.  Debbie decided this was a good moment to do something we'd already planned to do: buy higher quality fixtures for the bathroom.  She ordered it all on Amazon, and it will be here next Tuesday.  Something tells me I'll turn into a plumber on Wednesday :)

In the afternoon I was feeling lazy, so I went out to the barn and finished the cat-dish holder project I'd started a few days ago.  The finished article is in the photos below, sitting our our kitchen cabinet before we took it down to the cattery.  I made this entire thing from a single black walnut board, 50" long, 5 ½" wide, and ¾" thick.  The top I made by gluing four boards together, with a top layer that had grain at 90° from the bottom layer.  While this isn't the best thing aesthetically, it has the advantage of being almost warp-proof.  Since this is a water bowl, I figured the wood was practically guaranteed to get wet, so I'd better pay attention to that.  I also finished it with a penetrating oil finish, the better to protect the wood in the first place.  To get the hole in the middle for the water bowl, I mounted the square glued-up board onto my lathe with a big chuck, and used a parting tool to cut out the center.  That was amazingly easy!  The legs were a different sort of challenge.  You can't really tell from the photos, but they're made from two glued-together boards, this time with parallel grain.  I started with a glued up board 8" long, 5½" wide, and 1½" thick.  I sawed that down to four pieces, each 3¾" long, and 1½" square in cross-section.  I mounted those as spindles in the lathe, and turned them down to the shapes you see here.  One thing you can't see: the top of each leg has a ½" diameter tenon that fits into a ½" diameter hole I drilled into the bottom of the flat part to fix each leg.  I'm quite happy with the result.  Not bad for a starter project, from a single $11 Home Depot board!

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