Monday, January 18, 2016

Necessity -- The Mother of Invention

Wow! Two blog posts in one day! That's pretty much a record. Should I go for three? Naw....that would necessarily require that more work get done in that cold, cold, shop. Just getting this far made my nose run and my fingers get numb, and it ain't even that cold outside! It's windy, though, and that makes for a pretty cold shop interior.

Anyway, after I got done routing the recess into the second lamp stand, it became pretty clear an idea I had for a shop jig just HAD to get worked on.

So, the photos I took of the lamp stand blank with recess routed out will just get posted my Facebook page.

The shop jig idea came about because I get really skittish when it comes to work pieces that aren't held down tightly while I'm sculpting, cutting, and grinding on them to get the shapes that'll make them the unique pieces they are.

So, here's the deal....the last stand I did was hard to do because it kept wanting to twist and turn. I finally clamped it into the long throat vise shown in the last blog post, and that kinda sorta worked pretty well. That's the thing, though --- pretty well just isn't good enough.

The issue was that the blank had to be loosened up and turned, loosened up and turned, loosened up and turned....well, you get the picture. Every time I was done with one groove or area, it required time....more time than I was willing to devote especially this time of year when it's so damn cold in that shop. Did I mention how cold it is in there? DAMN cold!

Time to come up with a better idea.

The hole through each piece is 1 1/4" in diameter. There's a whole bunch of leftover 1" pipe from other shop jig ideas I've had just waiting to be put to use for something else (multi-use, don'tcha know) and I have several sets of 1" pipe clamps that fit them.

The first idea I had was to try using both ends of the clamp to hold the piece steady, but that was very quickly discarded. That wouldn't allow for vertical work.

The next idea? Well, take a look at the photo below. All I need to do is to screw the flange down to the workbench, slip the piece over the end, and voila....instant whatever I decide to call this in the end!

Not so fast, Dude! You really don't want to screw down into the workbench, do you? Nope. Too restrictive. What if, Heaven forbid, I decide to change my mind, and to move it somewhere else to work on it? Mount it to a piece of 3/4" wood or plywood, and it's good to go.

Let's see how this works. So far, so good. The flange actually snugs up inside the hole and helps hold it more steady, but it still isn't steady enough to be as safe for grinding and shaping as it should be. Darn it!

But wait! Just one end of the pipe clamp, the end with the screw down, might just work. Okay, put it on, screw it down, a little more. Yup! This is definitely going to work!

Now, all I need to do is turn the base on the workbench instead of screwing things down into it, and we're off to the races....or should I say the floodgates are about to be opened? Well, maybe tomorrow....hands and fingers are too cold, and the nose is still dripping.