Throwing In The Towel

As much as I hate to do it, I have to admit that I am not enjoying this drum restore. I convinced myself that I was in it to see the drums in good shape, but I don't think that's true. Yesterday was my first day of buffing out the finish.

It just wasn't right. Some parts were perfect but it wasn't universal. I had small runs, orange peel and other imperfections that really showed after going to the buffing wheel. I took a deep breath and gave it one more try.

I pulled out the sand paper and sanded down the drum yet again bringing it back to smooth 220 grit feel. I resprayed the lacquer and within 3 minutes I'd already spotted a run. It was too much for me. I got mad and kicked my very well constructed work bench. This stopped my in my tracks as my toe felt like I broke it.

So much for cool and collected. I have no desire to fill myself with angst in the shop. That is not why I go out there. So I'm posting them up on craigslist and removing the temptation of getting mired in a restore down the road.

More Pens.. Oh My

Left to right: Maple & Mopani, Red & White Oak, Walnut, Maple & Lignum Vitae, B&W Ebony, Lignum Vitae

Bowl Pratice

Gluing up pieces to make bowls. Still trying to get my technique down before shelling out money for large bowl blanks...

Still having a hard time getting a good cut on my bowl gouge. Boy, this is a lot harder than I thought!

Pen Post

Here are a few more pens...

From left to right:
Maple & Blackwood, Marblewood, Walnut, Yellowheart & Maple, Purpleheart.

Gorilla Glue

Okay... just tried some last week. I've been having some issues with my pen tubes staying put in the blanks. After a post on IAP and about a 10 thousand different opinions, I decided to try a tube of Gorilla glue.

I applied glue to the tube, applied water to the hole and set it aide for 24 hours. I have yet to turn it, but, 'HELLO FOAM' My work bench looks like a root beer float explosion. Looks like I may need to rethink how much glue is needed.

Honestly if this doesn't hold the tube in the blank, I will be blown away!

Spraying Lacquer

Spent most of Sunday spraying black lacquer on my drums. Somethings I've learned.

  • No matter how hard I try, runs will happen

  • Warm lacquer sprays better than cold lacquer.

  • Black lacquer shows all your mistakes.

  • Buffing works and is pretty good exercise!

  • Over sanding means re-spraying. Think before you push too hard.

  • This is going to take a lot longer than I though

  • Tool Handles

    This was my first tool handle that I ever made.

    It's mahogany on cheap Harbor Freight roundnose scraper. Seems like casting pearls before swine, but I just picked one at random...

    I've made dozens of tool handles since, but haven't taken picture of any others. Mostly out of walnut for my set of files, knobs, knockout tools, and anything else I want to feel better in my hand. I'd much rather use a lathe turned handle than a store bought one.

    In addition I now make a smaller ferrule and like using a brass fitting instead of a length of pipe.

    The Table Saw

    Too funny not to post!

    "Our Table Saw Cake Knife is the perfect accessory for your kitchen tool belt. It's big and toothy so you can slice and dice your lettuce without discoloring it and show that cake that you really mean business! Aren't you feeling handy already?"

    Spray Station

    I finally broke down and built a spray station in the garage. It's nothing complex, just a simple half hexagon, but should allow me to spray my drums and other small projects I may have in the future. Additionally it breaks down pretty easy.

    I started with 1x2 lumber, and cut 6 pieces 24" long. I then mitered all the ends @ 22.5 degrees. That gives me a perfect hexagon shape layout.

    I assembled two sets of three segments with pocket screw joinery and then added 3/4" x 20" vertical members. Those were also joined with pocket screws. build time was about an hour and a half with riping, cross-cutting and joining. After that I simply draped a plastic drop cloth over it.

    Next I added a lazy susan with a 22" circle cut out of particle board at the band saw.

    Now I've got a simple spray station that I can setup on the end of my outfeed table and take down in a minute or two. Hopefully it will increase results on the drums.

    Ice Cream Scoop

    A very simple turning. But a fun result!

    California Walnut, loaded with voids! I filled it with CA, then just did a CA finish. Because it's easier for me than lacquer and I can take the turning off the lathe and start using it!


    Just as the title implies... I turned a Harry Potter style wand as a gift for my wife. She is a huge Harry Potter fan and I thought to gift would be a fun gag.

    She regularly cast hexes on me.

    Birch and Black Palm with a CA finish for durability.

    As I have a princess crazy 4 year old in the house, I decided it would be unwise not to give her a wand of her own.

    Birch colored with marker. CA finish as well.

    Madrone BudVase

    Better picture as promised. Though, the color is a bit off. It's actually more orange in person. Oh well, at least you can make out the details better. One of these days I'll get my photography down... Probably not soon though!

    Drum Update

    Okay... This is going to be a lot harder than I thought.

    The years of paint alone is going to be a FREAKING nightmare to remove. I had a stripper on the surface of the small tom for about 5 hours with no signs of peeling...

    Additionally I've never sprayed lacquer. I think I'm in for a pretty steep learning curve here.

    Madrone Vase

    I just completed a new bud vase this last weekend. I really need to pull out the photo tent and get a good picture of it. I really like it!

    12 inches high, about 2 inches around and loaded with awesome cracks. I soaked it in CA and even did a CA finish that is just perfect! Might be one of my favorite pieces to date.

    Vintage Gretsch Drums

    With the Unisaw restore finally behind me and no free tables to be found on my local Craigslist, I decided to take down my old drum kit from the garage shelves.

    Back 15 years ago when my waistline was smaller and my paycheck was much much smaller, I bought a broken down set from my drum teacher for $100. He was very excited about it, and told me "Its a Gretsch" This meant nothing to me, as I was junior in high school.

    Dave told me, "If you take your time and restore it, she'll be cherry."

    Cherry? Who says that. So it's been with me, through 6 jobs, 4 houses and 2 kids. Sitting in the garage gathering dust and generally being demoralized. I've never set it up, because it's always been in pieces. Additionally, from all the holes in the shells, it appears to have been on a battle field at some point.

    It's was at some point a 4 part Gretsch set from the mid 1960s. I know that, as I've located a sandwich baggie with three round badges in it. Looks like I've got a 20" bass, 16" floor tom, 14" small tom and a snare shell.

    So enter my next project. Restoring a vintage set. I plan on being concerned mainly with preserving value, but not at the expensive of ugly. I want something beautiful, that sounds nice even it is not exactly perfect. We'll see where that lands me.

    I have the tools and then time, and I'm ready for a new experience. So.. here are some now shots. Hopefully there will be some improvement in the near future.