31 March 2013

#1 Microwave shelve

Seeing the steady projects flow of some, star video woodworker or mere mortal like Mathias Wandel,  Steve Ramsey,  l'gosseux de bois achieve,  I thought I could try to blog about projects.  Not weekly but monthly with some slack, say 8 to 12 considering the cold start we got this year 6 to 8 projects in a year. If I ever achieve a steady stream, I could count the incestuous workshop projects as only half a project.

So project #1 a wall shelve for my microwave.  To free up a window again, I made a hanging shelve.  Picking up my old heavyweight 4 in 1 (minus 1) microwave I had some doubts it will hold, but for now it's there.  The finish is a whitish tung oil.  It still needs a few layers but I am happy with the result,  it's wood, but the color is neutral enough to blend with the walls.

20 March 2013

Prepper GPS box

Today the sun crossed the equatorial plane to this side,  making it the first day of spring here.  Outside there is nothing to see apart clouds and some snowy rain.  A computer simulation moves the clouds away and shows  the equatorial grid, the sun ( positioned at 00:00h/ 0°0' by definition during the transition),  some planet buddies and our neighboring comet (0:36h/18°51').  The stars are from the constellation of the fishes. For the zodiac it is the ram nevertheless even if the ram constellation has walked away over the millennia.

Out of interest for past knowledge and usages,  I have just acquired a WWII bubble sextant Mk9A. The bubble part allows to work without a liquid horizon or a nearby puddle acting as a horizontal mirror.  The expected precision of this electronics free GPS is 1 nautical mile, going more likely to 5 when I do it.
On a woodworkers level the sextant has nothing to show, but it comes in a box.

The material used for the box is rather uncommon here. My first idea was that it is some sort of hardboard - masonite,  maybe tempered hardboard (hardboard that has been coated with a thin film of linseed oil and then baked wikipedia).

I saw it described as bakelite, but it is not like the bakelite handles of the sextant.    Looking at the profiles show something closer to a paper laminate, so it could be a phenolic laminate. There are also two cracks at the interior of the box due to an external impact, showing the material is maybe too brittle.

The material used is 3/16" and 4/16" boards.  With the curved surface cut to 2/16" at the interior. One of the faces is joint by a narrow 1/16" tongue and groove.  The whole nailed together without any visible glue.
But is it real woodworking?  As masonite,  where the binding agent is lignin, no additive needed,  it is a 100% wooden product.  Where as a kraft paper laminate,  it is based on a wood-free (lignin-free) cellulose paper plus phenol, it is probably not.

Talking of boxes, I discovered last week One Day Builds: Adam Savage Makes Something ... where Adam Savage of mythbuster fame display his box making and weathering expertise. In the end his box looked more real than my WWII veteran-shelf queen.
The sextant is going back in action soon I hope. Contrary to the exterior metal of the box the sextant is in excellent condition but: -The secondary mirror is stuck for now, maybe there is something with the link to the averaging computer or worse. -The bubble (diaphragm, bubble chamber, air chamber, mirrors, ....) seem to work but is still untested. -If I have two spare bulbs available, lighting still needs a careful startup.