Process, series, sequence wrong.

The previous post is out of sequence, as this is the first step, except ... maybe ... well ... going to the lumber yard. And prior to that, someone needs to order a frame ...

Above photo is crosscutting a board. Shorter pieces are easier to mill and flatten with minimal loss of material. Since I only need half of the board I can either cut one short, but wide piece into two narrow pieces, or I can cut one long, narrow piece into two shorter pieces ...

The board is clamped to the bench, with a support stand at the end of the piece being cut off, and me holding the board as it's sawed. 

This board is being marked with a chalk line before cutting it in two, as I only need half the board. However, after snapping the chalk line ( the yellow and black device sitting on the bottom of the board is a chalk line, a spool of line in a compartment full of powdered chalk, with a hook on the end of the line. The line is unreeled, pulled taut, then picked up and snapped against the board, leaving a long, straight line.) I decided that there was to much "bend" in the board, and am going to cut it in half crosswise.If I was cutting it length wise, the next step would be to set up the work support equal to the band saw height, then rip the board in half with the bandsaw.


Process, start to finish. #1. of a series.

Rough board on Jointer/Planer

Almost all of the lumber I use is "rough", as it comes from the saw mill. It is kiln dried, though it may have initially dried outside in the air. ( For those interested in a more detailed course in wood working, and all of it's sub-trades, I recommend "Encyclopedia of Furniture Making", by Ernest Joyce. Very comprehensive, even though it was first published in 1970, revised, 1987)

In the above photo, the marks from the saw mill's circular blade are quite visible. Below, a board showing marks from a band saw blade.

I prefer rough, lumber as I can control flatness and dimension. The tool that the board is on is a combination Jointer/Planer. First, the board is examined to find the best face to start. If there is a bow, I want to joint the ends first. With a slight twist, usually one side is a little flatter, and will be jointed first. If a board is very bad, bad board, I will cut it into smaller pieces, so I can flatten one side.  Once one side is flat, the board will be run through the Thickness Planer, using the flat face as reference, so that both sides are parallel. With rough lumber, say 6/4 stock as in the above photos, final dimension should be around 1 1/4 inches thick, from a rough thickness of 1 1/2 inches, roughly. When done with the jointing and planing to thickness, I then choose the best edge, and joint it flat, prior to ripping the board into sticks on the table saw.

I was going to add some information about the machine I'm using, but, again, it isn't about the tools; it's about what you do with the tools you have. Good tools can make one more efficient, and even good tools can be modified to be more efficient. In the above photos, bottom center, a wooden "box" is visible, part of a much improved dust collection system. What came with the machine was unduly involved, including needing to remove one of the tables. Even good machines can have some design flaws. I routinely modify tools for efficiency, or to make them more compatible with how I work.

It's been a while.

Forest Floor Flowers

  Spring appears to be here, though, of course there are freeze warnings for Monday night, Tuesday morning.

Trees are leafing out, and lots of flowers. I got busy, and took a vacation from posting, and also from blogs in general. I am working on a few posts detailing how I make a frame from start to finish ... but ...




A corner of a recent frame, aluminium leaf,  over gessoed basswood, hand carved.

I talk about tools, but in a general way.  If you follow photography, there is an almost obsessive interest in the tools, and the qualities inherent in the different brands, and the minutia of lenses and bodies, flashes and LED lights over fluorescent lights, ad infinitum. I'm not immune to the fascination, though I tend to study, buy, and then get on with learning and using the tools, and losing any interest in the research aspects, the obsessing over which is better, which is going to produce masterpieces, and oh, if only I had this or that, then the work would sing. PFUI!

It's not the tools ... oh, they help, they can make you more efficient, they could even raise you a level, if you were ready to be raised. No, it's still the one using the tool that is most important. If you can, do the research, buy the best tools you can afford, because you will spend less time fighting them, but then, use them, and don't waste time on what could have been, or what might be down the road. In a nod to "It's a MMMM World", Terry Thomas, it would probably be better to have an infantile fascination with mammary's, then to obsess over tools.

I have spoken. 8-)


More Chicago

Dog Beach

The Bean, with flying Sea Rat
(On top of the Bean)

U.S. Grant statue, Lincoln Park

The Art Institute of Chicago


Happy Birthday, Chicago!

The Bean, Millennium Park

Flying Sea Rats, Bridge, Chicago River

Animal Bridge, 63rd. and Lake Shore Drive

Animal Bridge

Seeds, 44th. and Halstead

Cultural Center, formerly Chicago Public Library

Skyline from North Avenue Beach

O'Hare Airport


More on safety ...

An image of the fence on my table saw, with the assembly for holding the various hold downs. Wood faces have been added to the original fence, so that either side of the fence may be used. The bar for the spring hold downs has been added by drilling and tapping, and then adding a set screw to prevent the bar from moving.

This image shows a closer view of the spring hold downs. There is a large amount of adjustment available, ranging from position, to amount of pressure applied to the stock by the springs. The only problem with them is that with all of the variables, they can be time consuming to set properly.

Devices aside, and I've alluded to it in the previous post, one also needs to apply some thought. Someone coming into the studio before an unusual run, would see me slouched into my work bench, dreamily staring at the saw, day dreaming and loafing. No, no, because I'm actually very hard at work, thinking through the actual cuts, all of the cuts, and all of the sequences. Get the a,b,c, wrong and there isn't enough support for the next cut. If I were a better bidness man, this wouldn't be a problem, but no, I seem to revel in pushing the limits of what I can do with the tools that I have, with not much thought to profit. Make the tools do what is needed, fix the ghastly blunders, and keep going ... on.

The current economic downturn has been ...  difficult, financially, but the quality, the creativity of the work has been at a very high level. Very high. It has been a nice revelation, that doing what is needed to survive might bruise and hurt, but it is DOABLE, it can be done, and the art, the craft, that is there, regardless of what I'm doing. It's surviving, thriving actually. It has been an affirmation of my true belief, that art, and artists, true artists, can work in anything, any medium, and produce great work. Illustrate a story, design a rug, build a brick wall ...  whatever. At a point in time when I should have been contemplating retirement, I, due to the vagaries of life am raising a teen and a preteen, have wiped out what retirement funds I have, but ... retirement has never had any charms for me. Heck, I'm just getting good at what I do, I can't quit now. And, I really can't see myself as another fat, gray, pony tailed old fart riding around on a too noisy Harley. Hey, that's what I did in my gloriously misspent youth.

Well, it's a good thing that this is my blog; as that last paragraph ... well ... probably my most personal post ... that last bit ...


Safety Devices

My table saw with some safety devices. The yellow and orange wheels are known as "Board Buddies". The colors indicate the direction in which the wheels will roll. The yellow ones mounted on the fence, with the blade to the left of the fence, turn only in a clockwise direction. The wood would feed from the right to the left in the photo. They are spring loaded, holding the work both down and against the fence. The orange wheels turn in a counter clockwise direction, for use with the blade to the right of the fence. The reason for the one directional turn is to prevent the wood from kicking back. The saw is European, and has a European style blade guard. Upper left of the photo, the little box dangling from the black knob holds another safety device; earplugs, which I use almost always, whenever I turn a tool on.

This photo shows some spring hold downs, which I use when the stock is too big for the "Board Buddies", or the operation requires more"hold". Originally, the spring hold downs were for my shaper, but I use a power feeder there.

In this photo, these are some of the "push" sticks I use for narrow stock, or thin sheets of plywood, sometimes with other hold downs or with out, just using the sticks to control the material. The ply bases on the two at the left are "sacrificial", in order to get the stock completely through the blade.

And, last, but certainly not the least important device ...



Raccoon tracks, in the mud of warm wet days. There are more raccoons in NYC than in the rest of the state. Scary.

My name: Janulis, Lithuanian, Ellis Island version of Janolonis,  Bronislaus is eastern European, and, gahh, probably Russian; though Google says Polish; damn Ruskies, though it's from the Litvok side; the better side, unless you're the non Litvok parent. 8-) I'm named after an uncle who died as an infant. There are variations: Bronislaw, and the feminine, Bronislava, or Bronislawa.

Soon, back to regular programming, about frames, art and the making of such.


Rantings from the Right

A nice picture of Violet, AKA Little Bit, and Big Fin, AKA Big Fin.

Recently, a State Representative, from Fort Wayne, sent a letter railing against the Girl Scouts of America to his fellow legislators. He connected them to Planned Parenthood, and a letter sent to Indiana lawmakers from Rep. Bob Morris (R-Fort Wayne), which explained why he would not support a resolution honoring the 100th anniversary of the Girl Scouts. In the letter, Morris accuses the Girl Scouts of "encouraging sex," being a "tactical arm of Planned Parenthood" and listing only "feminists, lesbians and Communists" as role models. 

Well, Fort Wayneites, it seems "Mad Anthony Wayne" is still the guiding spirit of your fair town. Be proud! He did send an apology letter; basically saying he was still right, but should have been gentler in his diatribe.

Sheeesh! Follow that with the Federal Judge in Montana, who seems mystified that the nasty, vulgar, misogynistic, and raciest joke about the President of the United States, he was forwarding to his pals would be offensive to a lot of people  ...  good grief. Alternative universes, indeed. You know folks, you keep letting these maroons into office, pretty soon you're going to get one with an itchy finger ... ohh ... ohh ...  too late, already happened. Nevermind.

And, if I were a republican, I'd be embarrassed to admit it, considering some of the rantings coming from the "main stream" candidates. When did outright lying become standard for political debate? I'm not talking "normal political prevarication", no, no, this is whoppers of such grandiose hyperbole, as to really question what universe I am in. (Quietly, I blame it all on that paragon of lying, gaseous, demagogic, egotistic fear mongers, Rush. Political savant?  No, No , strictly entertainment, if your tastes run to lions and Christians.)

Well, I rant, therefore I am ... Me. Have a nice day!