Monday, April 1, 2019

Wine Flight*

I expect that sometime today, the news media will broadcast on all channels "April Fools!  Ha-Ha, had you believing in Russian Collusion.  Nanny, Nanny, Boo-Boo." as an attempt  to explain and excuse their reporting over the last few years.

/End Political Rant.

Last week, I announced the arrival of MBD and SIL's new Family Member. Right after Talulah's arrival, SIL got a call from the Divinity School he's "attending" in Dallas working on a Doctorate.  He actually completes the coursework from home (Moscow on the Colorado) and goes up there occasionally for tests, conferences etc.  But, he got a call that his presence was requested and required on Thursday.

Being that MBD is the bread winner at this point, SIL is chief Dog Sitter.  Well....

An "Awwww" right here is ok guys, don't hold back.

In exchange for Dog Sitting responsibility, Mrs J astutely negotiated for the presence of MBD and SIL at Rancho Juvat for the weekend.

Cue Yul Brynner!



Talulah is a sweet dog with an enthusiastic puppy's view on life (and very sharp teeth and claws).  Somebody last week commented asking what her nickname was going to be.  I voted for Tally.  Didn't even make the "Sweet 16".  No....

Source
Don't ask me.  It just seemed natural.

A couple of weeks ago, my Winemaker friends asked if I could help them out.  Seems his Hard Drive couldn't be found.

Silly Computer!  It's right there in its slot.  Give it a spin and do that voodoo that you do so well. (Apologies to Harvey Korman.)

Well....Maybe not.  Ordered up a new hard drive, told him he really needed to consider a new computer (it's 10 years old.  In computer years that's way older than me.  Heck.  it's even older than Sarge.  Now THAT'S old!).  Went over there and installed it, re-installed Windows and all his software.  Found out that the last time he'd backed up his data was 2016.  Listened to him cry, patted him on the back and said "now, now,  you don't need a backup, until you need a back up, then you need it bad.)  That seemed to make it all better.

Or not.

But, while updating and installing, and updating and installing....(repeat as often as you feel necessary to describe a "really long time"), we were talking about retirement and stuff.  I mentioned woodworking and he asked me if I might be able to make him some of these.


The board, not the glasses (much less the wine).

Seems he's about to release a Chocolate Port, as well as a Madeira to go along with his regular Port and his Orange Muscat.  While I am not a sweet wine guy, I do enjoy an occasional sip of Port (picked that up from my Aussie Artillery Classmate at CGSC).  And, one of the (Many) benefits of having a winemaker as a friend is tasting the wine as it is being made.  The Madeira is phenomenal as is the Chocolate Port.  He used real chocolate nibs.  Beyond that and although he insists it's chemistry, it's all black magic to me.  I just enjoy the results.

So, back to the wine board.  He wants to use them for a side by side tasting of his dessert wine selection.  I said, "Sure. No Problem."

Then he said "Feel Free to get Creative."

"Oh, Lord, Now he want's Fancy!"

So, I got to work.  Pondered it a bit and realized that while the above looks ok, it would be difficult to serve with it without considerable potential for spillage.  The handle is the same dimension as the paddle, meaning your fingers have to let it go as you set it down.  No Bueno!

Had to figure out a way around that.  Also, what kind of wood do I want to use.

Rummaged around the Woodshop and found a piece of Paduak (Puh-Duke') and a piece of Marblewood I'd seen in the wood store in San Antonio and bought for "something special". I also found  pieces of Cherry and Curly Maple  left over from a prior project.

I then consulted with my color advisor, Mrs J, as to which woods would look best together.  Using that information, I did a little figuring on lengths, widths and depths and figured I could get 10 trays out of them.

After jointing them (ripping them lengthwise to approximate width and smoothing the sides) we went to the initial glue up.

The red is Padauk. the lighter wood is Marblewood.
Initial glueup was  three sets of boards with the marblewood in the middle of two cuts of Paduak and two sets of boards with Curly Maple sandwiched in Cherry. Once in the clamps, I called it a day.

The next day, I planed the boards to a uniform thickness of 5/8".  Once that was finished, I spent the rest of the day cleaning sawdust out of the shop.  Note to self, when this planer gives up the ghost, strongly consider dust collection on its replacement.

Glue dry, I cut the boards in half width wise and then trimmed the ends to final length



Sanded out the planer snipe (line across the top photo) and sent these pictures to the Winemaker for approval.

He liked them.

No comes the part in the project where no screwups are allowed as there's no recovery other than to start over.  I set the table saw to 45o and cut the handles off each end.  I then turned the middle part that was left and cut another 45o slice that ended as close as I could at the first cut.  This left the grain intact on the top side, so it looked like there was no cut at all.

I could then slide the two handles (angled cut down) under the middle part (angled cut up), so the handle was canted out at 45o.  But first I routed a 1/4" deep rounded finger grip in the bottom of the handle pieces (X 20).

Next step was to drill the recesses for the wine glass bases to fit into.  Using a 2" Forstner bit, I set the depth stop to 3/8" and drilled away.  At this point, I learned that Cherry and or Curly Maple are very dense wood.  The six Padauk trays (24 holes) took about 30 minutes to drill.  The 4 remaining (16 holes) took about an hour and a half.  (And a replacement bit.)

So far, so good.  No mistakes, I think.

Now it's time for final glue up. I had thought ahead and numbered each handle with the board number and A or B, with corresponding numbers on the center piece so I didn't have to try and match them up from 20 pieces.  Spread the glue on the first two handles and slide them into place. And voila'.


Because the gluing at a 45o angle was a touch tricky, I could only do one at a time.  I found out that my practice tray I'd made from leftover oak worked really well as a jig to hold the handles in place as they dried.  (Yes, Beans, I used wax paper in between the jig and the tray to keep them from sticking together.)

Took me about 4 days to get all through this step.  In between, I was sanding.

Remember the exercise we had earlier where I had you repeating "updating and installing" as many times as you felt necessary.  Multiply that number by 10 and say "and sanding".

Finally, Saturday, the glue is all dried, the parts are all sanded to a very fine grit.  I've cleaned the sawdust out of my nose, ears, hair...And we're finally ready for that moment.

We're going to apply the finish!

Folks, if you've never worked with wood, this point is what brings woodworkers back.  The finish makes the wood pop and brings out it's beauty.
Before
After
Before
After
Just one more step to the finished product.


Cutting out the cork fillers for the glass receptacles. X 40

A little bit of glue, x 40 and the project is complete.


Life after retiring, so far, has been pretty rewarding.
And that's just for the Hard Drive.
* A side by side tasting of different wines is called a "Flight".  What? You were expecting an aviation story?  Maybe next week!

42 comments:

  1. Egads.... shades of ninth-grade shop class....woodworking project....the cutting, joining, and sanding(ya, lots) then staining. Your project looks very, very good there juvat. Stains can certainly make or break can't they? Your friend has a cool medium of payment also.

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    1. I never took shop in school, don't know why. My paternal Grandfather had a shop in his basement. I'd go down there and mess around every time we'd visit. I guess that's where it all started. It's been off and on ever since. Finally, have the time to take it a bit more seriously.

      Yep, the finish really is an enjoyable part of the project for me. Thanks.

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  2. Really nice work. Good thinking on the handle design.

    Gluing the handles. I have used the biscuit joiner successfully for my very rare angled glueup projects.
    Did you opt for a water resistant glue? I'm thinking these might get carelessly wiped with a wet bar rag.

    My wife and I have said that our finishing is the weakest part of our woodworking, and we would like to learn how to do better at that.

    Planer lament. Changing the blades, then using the planer to find a staple stub in the end of a board.

    And using cork for the project is perfect.

    Good post, and I could not find anything to wine about.

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    1. I did forget to mention that a carbide Forstner bit might be worth having.

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    2. I believe there is a bit of a Titebond III bottle visible in one photo, so the water resistant question is answered.
      I supposed you could have used pocket screws to attach the handles, but then the pockets would need to be plugged.

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    3. Good eye! Titebond III it is. Pondered a lot about how to make that joint work. I don't have a biscuit joiner, but thought about a spline, but wasn't real sure how to accurately make the two cuts, so just went with a lot of glue. I pulled pretty hard on the mockup to see if I could break it off and couldn't, so I think this will work.

      Thanks. I've got (had) a box full of things to wine with. Had a bottle with dinner last night. Tempranillo is a great grape for Texas and my Friend does a good job with it.

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    4. I bought the Porter Cable Biscuit a long time ago because there weren't a bunch of lower cost alternatives.

      If had to replace it, I would check the Ryobi corded biscuit joiner out at Home Depot, and then buy it from Direct Tools.
      https://www.homedepot.com/p/RYOBI-6-Amp-AC-Biscuit-Joiner-Kit-with-Dust-Collector-and-Bag-JM83K/301289961
      https://www.directtoolsoutlet.com/products/power-tools/woodworking/biscuit-joiners
      Yep, a tool company that will deliver one's "must have tool" right to your door in a plain brown cardboard box.

      Other than being a satisfied customer, I have no other connection with the tool company.

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    5. Good Info, thanks John. I'll check it out.

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  3. Very well done. I'm glad you aren't wasting your time in retirement. The sanding and the finish are the two parts I least like of any wood project. Simple sanding sealer can make a project shine, and that's my goto finish... Well, that and tung oil.

    I'm a mix between a framer and a finish carpenter. I cut too close to be a good framer yet I over build things and make them too heavy. Those trays look light and airy. And using the prototype as a jig is genius. Jigs and fixtures are an art by themselves...

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    1. Thanks. Sanding is a necessary evil, but definitely not my favorite part. I really like the first hit of the finish going on. Brought Mrs J and MBD out to see that moment. They were awed.

      Tung Oil was one of the options. We applied it and Boiled Linseed Oil to the off cuts (I also used the off cuts to hold the pieces as they dried) and with Mrs J's recommendation went with the BLO option. The Tung oil just was a shade darker than we wanted on the Padauk. We wanted a wine-ish color.

      I was already a couple of glue ups in before I thought of the prototype as a jig. That made the "fixing" a lot easier.

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  4. Man! Those came out beautifully!

    Nice work juvat, nice post.

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    1. Thanks, I'm pretty happy with them. Taking them over this afternoon.

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  5. Like how the burl popped on staining. Reminds me of work my maternal grandfather, a master machinist and tool & die maker, used to do.

    /
    L.J.

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    1. Yeah, the Curly Maple doesn't show much until you apply the finish. I'd used some of that board on a prior project so knew what it looked like. Mrs J initially didn't want me to use it as it was a yellowish color and she didn't think it looked good against the Cherry. She acknowledged (in this one instance only) that maybe I was right. Every win streak begins with one.

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  6. You must have a pretty decent drill press, what with driving a 2" Forstner. I am thinking of upgrading to a 12" drill press, sometime this year.

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    1. It's a fairly inexpensive Skil Drill Press. I just took it really slow and with shallow cuts and frequent ins and outs. Other than the table saw, it's probably my most used tool.

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  7. One of my favorite possessions is a cutting board my middle son made in a shop class. I do admire fine woodworks.

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    1. Cutting boards are fun to make, useful, and appreciated as gifts. I'm pretty much out of people to give them to now though.

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  8. Excellent!
    It’s nice to have the shop space and the tools,
    My brother in law does some woodworking, but now is into throwing pottery.
    I know how to spell my name.

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    1. Shop space.....I have a shop, space though...I've really got to spend some time and figure out the right arrangement. I've got a workbench, but I use the table saw as my work bench. Got to get things organized. That's probably going to be my next project.

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  9. Sawdust from pPine and other cheap wood is annoying but mostly harmless. Sawdust from oak, maple, cherry and all the exotic hardwoods, because it is finer, is many much more dangerous for your lungs, and a flash hazard in confined spaces. Highly encourage you to either work outside or GET THE DUST COLLECTOR (like a shopsmith dust collector, which is on wheels) or PUT IN THE DUST COLLECTION SYSTEM.

    Black lung type diseases are just not 'coal miner' issues. You wouldn't fly a fighter jet without a functioning ejector seat and parachute and g-suit, right?

    Now that the mandatory safety scream is over, wow, nice work. Reminds me of a tray I made for serving wife and me at SCA buffets way back when, but in pine, and not as nice. Very envious of your finish work.

    Do you have a disk/belt sander? Would make rounding edges and corners real easy.

    And I double agree on carbide Forstner bit. The more expensive the better, unfortunately.

    As to cutting out cork circles, friend of mine used to use a sharpened piece of pipe to cut circles out, for making padded arrow tips. Did you free cut or did you have some snazzy razor compass dohickey?

    And as to wax paper, well, uh, having managed to glue wax paper on several projects, I don't quite trust it. I like baker's parchment paper (silicon paper) but even that has stuck to some stuff. My gluing skills are lacking. A lot.

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    1. I do have and use a relatively expensive dust mask, pretty religiously. I have a air filter running continuously while in project or cleanup modes. I also have a shop-vac with hose that fits into the dust ports of most of my tools. Works pretty well on all but the table saw. Outside or Doors open is pretty much always the case as my shop is only 12' x 16'. Ripping a sheet of plywood is strictly tailgate of the truck and a couple of saw horses.

      I hear ya on the Black Lung Disease.

      I use the wax paper to keep the piece from gluing to the work bench or the table saw, depending on which I'm using as my assembly area at the time. The wax paper sands right off with my belt sander which I use for the rough sanding. I follow up with a palm sander and or random orbit sander depending on project size (Palm Sander here) and then by hand with the 220 grit prior to applying finish.

      I've learned that if you can't see glue in the joints, you didn't use enough. Although having seen it, I use a wet rag to wipe it off.

      I used a razor compass dohickey $7.95 on Amazon. Worked like a champ!

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    2. Some are rather toxic, too. Not quite so slow as Black Lung. Which, BTW, the very Indo-European mummies of the Tarim basin all showed signs of. Wood fires in enclosed spaces with only the most primitive of smoke holes or (later) chimneys, plus the fine dust of the region, pretty much guaranteed lung problems. I use a full face mask, mostly because if the dust is bad enough to worry about inhaling it (and it almost always is with power tools), then I definitely need goggles, too. Goggles suck. The full face respirator like this is less effort to put on than respirator plus goggles, it is also more resistant to fogging in Texas summer. At least for me. YMMV. But if I'm working with lacquer or enamel and have no choice but a relatively closed environment (garage) to prevent wind-blown crap, then the top-grade chemical filters available do the trick. I suppose it would also be effective against CS or CN gas, but that wasn't my concern. If I'm that big of a worry to TPTB (an honorably discharged USAF vet with no criminal record), then we've slid so far down the rabbit hole that it hardly matters. But that full face mask respirator is a good deal even just running a band saw on Coco Bolo. Or soap stone.

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    3. Umm, no criminal record and no criminal inclinations, either, I should add. Unless the .gov takes a major excursion from American norms. Then ... I don't know. Depends upon the excursion. April 19, 1775 was too far for enough people that we ended up a separate country rather than a Dominion commonwealth (which shows that Great Britain learned a lot about how to handle its other colonies from the somewhat painful American example, since no others rebelled, with the possible exception of Rhodesia).

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    4. Larry,
      See my reply below to Suz about fogging. That's what I dislike, and I will definitely look into that full face respiratior, Thanks.

      Yeah, CS or CN proof is probably overkill, but you never know.

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    5. As to your latter, I hear ya, brother!

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  10. Those are REALLY nice! You could easily sell them like hot cakes and given the time it takes to do it right you could probably earn about 12 cents an hour! But...the satisfaction...PRICELESS!!

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    1. Thanks. 12 cents an hour? Man! I'd be rich! I could retire...oh wait.

      That was good for a chuckle, Thanks again.

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  11. You do mighty fine wood work. I showed your photos to my wife, who is a wine drinker, and she thought that your flight carriers are very pretty. She said that the ones she is familiar with, the holes are drilled completely through so that the glass rests on the bowl, not the base. That would work much better for me with my shaky hands.

    Thanks for the post.
    Paul L. Quandt

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    1. Yeah, I've seen those also. Typically with a larger hole in the middle so it fits over the neck of the wine bottle. Or a place to put your thumb through and use it to hold cheese and crackers as well as a wine glass. Hmmm...Maybe next project, thanks PLQ!

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  12. Purty! And I think you're minimizing the actual amount of work you put into those, much less the amount of time to come up with the design. :-)

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    1. Caught me. Haven't been commenting much over the last couple of weeks because of this. Thanks.

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  13. Good to see you're keeping yourself busy in retirement. If that Nimitz Museum got an F-4 or F-15, you'd have something to do in your off time!

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    1. The Nimitz is still an option. Haven't made any decisions one way or the other yet.

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  14. Could you use any space at the Nimitz for a shop expansion? Might help you decide ..

    Also, if the Nimitz has any projects, you might broaden your horizons on different types of shop work - do they have any on going restoration projects?

    Nice work on the flight carriers - there is something very satisfying about creating something with your own hands and watching a finished project emerge ... my shop classes were in Junior High School. And both shop teachers (wood and metal) had the most feared paddles in the place, back when corporal punishment was a routine (and IMHO beneficial) part of school for 7th-9th graders just getting the full effect of their pubescent hormones. I still have the lamps I made - pretty crude for the first one, but the second one, made from a wooden duck decoy, stripped of all paint and stained and poly'd, is sitting about two feet from me on my desk.

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    1. They do have a lot of restoration projects going on. Primarily ground vehicles (tanks, APC's, Jeeps etc). They actually use them in Parades in the local area as well as in their regularly scheduled (I think monthly) Marine invasion re-enactment (which includes flamethrowers, actually shooting flames.) I've been seriously thinking about it for quite a while. There's a retired Army LTC that was in charge of the fact checking when the Museum expanded a while back, he was the first person we met when we moved here and have been friends since. I'll probably give him a call and see what he thinks.

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  15. Cute pup! Getting on Grammy's good side I see.

    Very nice flight carriers! Yes, install the dust collectors ASAP...isn't Father's Day coming up? Maybe a present suggestion to the appropriate gift shopper? Because Lungs and Eyeballs are important body parts...just saying. So is hearing protection!!!
    Hubbie has quite the system in his woodshop, and it really helps keep the dust down. Besides then you can empty the bins into the garden, or, if your case, the stables...or make a bunch of lighter thingys. (words escape me tonight)

    We had to cut down a curly maple a few years ago due to tornado damage. That is very pretty wood, especially once a finish is applied. There are still some blanks down in the basement which were pulled out of the firewood line-up. I have a maple and cherry cutting board. Can't have too many cutting boards...big ones, little ones, middle size ones...
    My job is as sander as I am just the slave labor. I don't mind doing it. I learned not to slather on the glue not only to not waste it, but too much slopped over affects how the finish goes on unless it is sanded off. I don't mind sanding, but I don't want to do it ALL day.

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    1. Thank you, Ma'am! I don't mind the sanding, really, although it does get pretty tedious. So I sand a while, go do a chore of something, go sand...Rinse and repeat as needed. I get (really, really, get)the "ALL day" part.

      As I mentioned to Beans, I am extremely religious about hearing protection (Flight line taught me that) and pretty religious about the dust mask (usually it's my glasses fogging up when it's hot and humid that causes me to take it off). I am looking at an "official" dust collection instead of my shop-vac Cyclone hobble together, if for nothing else, more efficient use of space.
      I do use the sawdust for Fire Starters for our fire place and put out a couple at the guest house for the fire pit. Cardboard Egg Crate, filled with sawdust, drizzle melted wax over the sawdust. Let cool, slice on the band saw, works like a champ.

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  16. Absolutely beautiful! Well done sir!

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    1. Thank you, Ma'am, I appreciate it. My Winemaker friends liked them a lot also. We delivered them this morning.

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Just be polite... that's all I ask. (For Buck)