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Thread: Best solutions needed

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Austin TX
    Posts
    405

    Best solutions needed

    I saw a neat lamp the other day and I'm in the process of making a similar one. The design is very simple but one portion of it is causing me mental grief. Picture the lamp as a tall rectangular structure broken into 5 flat square horizontal pieces and 16 vertical pieces. A flat piece is on the bottom as the base, four of the vertical pieces stand at the four corners of the flat piece. I was thinking of connecting the horizontal piece to the vertical pieces with small dowels running up into the end of the vertical pieces. The remainder of the lamp structure is repetition (another flat horizontal piece on the top of the first four vertical pieces. The next four vertical pieces on top of the second horizontal piece and so on ...). If I attach things as I've described, I need to bore very accurate holes in the ends of all the vertical pieces along with matching holes in the corners of the horizontal pieces. I've got a drill press, which may be the best solution, but mine is one of the older versions with no lasers to verify my exact position. I clamped a test piece to the drill press table and thought I had it centered and completely perpendicular to the table, but it was too far off from center and from the hole being perpendicular to the end.

    Can I get some comments as to each of your "best" or preferred course of action to handle this type work. The vertical pieces are about 3/4" x 3/4" x 12" and the dowel size I've got in my design is 1/4".

    Thanks in advance,
    Lee Laird
    Austin TX

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Alexandria, Virginia
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    1,071
    A quick reply, then off to work. This sounds like a job for a lathe Lee. Long accurate borings are a straight forward process. You might stop by the Austin Woodcraft store and see if anyone can give you a hand.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Sacramento, CA
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    1,367
    Personally, I'd skip trying to drill into the end and just make tenons on them. That way you can guarantee you're centered and have good square joinery. It'd be a little easier to glue up, too, since a good M&T joint is basically self-squaring.

    It's a good chance to practice if you have any interest in Mission style furniture
    Jason Beam
    Sacramento, CA

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Independence, Kentucky
    Posts
    1,354
    I second the tenon idea. You could easily get a 5/8" tenon on each end.That would be the way to go You can get more glue surface, and it will be stronger
    Chuck
    Last edited by Charles Hans; 07-15-2008 at 03:53 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    We now divide our time between southwest Florida and southwest Vermont.
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    137
    I've just gotten back into woodworking, and I'm not ready to try mortice and tenon joints yet. (I have no reason to think they wouldn't be fine). I did get myself a Dowelmax kit and used it on a couple of things, and it would be the tool I'd try in this case.

    Tony
    The optimist says the glass is half full.
    The pessimist says it's half empty.
    I say the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Austin TX
    Posts
    405
    Frank,

    I'd thought about possibly using the lathe but I'm kinda new to the lathe and wasn't sure how I'd accomplish it. I've got a decent four jaw chuck, but I'm not sure how to best hit dead center. I guess I could hold them in the chuck with the other end supported with a live center. Could I feed the drill bit in through the chuck? Since the piece is square and thin I didn't think it would work unsupported and the pieces used to keep items from flexing didn't seem like they would work. I'd be glad to hear any ideas. I'm sure I'm missing something. Thanks for your input.

    Charles / Jason,

    I hadn't even thought about using M/T. I'll certainly consider this option. I used them on a small table I made so it could work. Thanks.

    Tony,

    I'm not familiar with the Dowelmax kit. How does it work? Thanks,

    I appreciate everyone's input. Thanks again,

    I'll post some pics once I can make some holes.
    Lee Laird
    Austin TX

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Alexandria, Virginia
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    1,071
    Quote Originally Posted by Lee Laird View Post
    I'd thought about possibly using the lathe but I'm kinda new to the lathe and wasn't sure how I'd accomplish it. I've got a decent four jaw chuck, but I'm not sure how to best hit dead center. I guess I could hold them in the chuck with the other end supported with a live center. Could I feed the drill bit in through the chuck? Since the piece is square and thin I didn't think it would work unsupported and the pieces used to keep items from flexing didn't seem like they would work. I'd be glad to hear any ideas. I'm sure I'm missing something. Thanks for your input.
    My pleasure Lee. I just have a small lathe (Jet Variable-Speed Mini), but it has holes in the headstock and tailstock for vacuum and drilling applications. Depending on your lathe, you may be able to drill through the headstock, (as you described) and because your lathe will be unplugged for this task, (you aren't turning the wood, just holding it) you should be able to support the stock without too much difficulty, using blocks of wood, etc.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Austin TX
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    405
    Frank,

    I had my mind wrapped around the piece of wood spinning and feeding a drill bit into the end to make the hole. Now I understand what you were getting at. I've got a small Jet 1220 and a Talon chuck. What would you do to make sure the hole being drilled was centered and level? Also, most of my bits are standard length, so I'm not sure how I'd reach the wood.
    Lee Laird
    Austin TX

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    We now divide our time between southwest Florida and southwest Vermont.
    Posts
    137

    Dowelmax

    Quote Originally Posted by Lee Laird View Post
    Frank,

    I'd thought about possibly using the lathe but I'm kinda new to the lathe and wasn't sure how I'd accomplish it. I've got a decent four jaw chuck, but I'm not sure how to best hit dead center. I guess I could hold them in the chuck with the other end supported with a live center. Could I feed the drill bit in through the chuck? Since the piece is square and thin I didn't think it would work unsupported and the pieces used to keep items from flexing didn't seem like they would work. I'd be glad to hear any ideas. I'm sure I'm missing something. Thanks for your input.

    Charles / Jason,

    I hadn't even thought about using M/T. I'll certainly consider this option. I used them on a small table I made so it could work. Thanks.

    Tony,

    I'm not familiar with the Dowelmax kit. How does it work? Thanks,

    I appreciate everyone's input. Thanks again,

    I'll post some pics once I can make some holes.

    Lee: You can check out the Dowelmax at http://www.dowelmax.com. The site has a slideshow that shows some of the things you do with it.

    Tony
    The optimist says the glass is half full.
    The pessimist says it's half empty.
    I say the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Alexandria, Virginia
    Posts
    1,071
    Quote Originally Posted by Lee Laird View Post
    Frank,

    I had my mind wrapped around the piece of wood spinning and feeding a drill bit into the end to make the hole. Now I understand what you were getting at. I've got a small Jet 1220 and a Talon chuck. What would you do to make sure the hole being drilled was centered and level? Also, most of my bits are standard length, so I'm not sure how I'd reach the wood.
    In reviewing what Tony said about the Dowelmax (and other Self Centering Doweling Jigs) it now makes more sense to to me to keep your joints simple.

    One other point is that you will need to get your lamp cord to the lamp socket, but this may be accomplished by boring one of the vertical pieces or 'hiding' it in a channel built-up of additional wood in one corner.

    Your Jet JWL-1220 has a hollow tailstock which allows you to perform long hole boring for lamps and other vessels, but you will need to turn and support the vertical support 'leg'.

    I'm off to the paying job now, so I'll spend some time thinking about your lamp.

    Frank



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