Sunday, April 21, 2013

This is the tailings elevator for a 1921 Advance Rumely Ideal theshing machine that is owned by the Manitowoc County Historical Society, Wisconsin.  This is a repair/repaint that I am doing.  Enough of the original paint was on it to use a utility knife to trace all the pinstripes and stenciling before stripping.  I'm using an alkyd enamel primer with two coats of solid stain and then 1-3 coats of spar varnish as a top coat.  Three coats are being applied where the decals (available from Maple/Hunter decals) will go to provide a smooth, bubble free surface.  Numerous repairs due to raccoon damage and an apparent accident had to be done to get it back into shape.  All new drive belts have been made and freeing up all the moving parts were part of the job.  This machine, which is the forerunner to the combine, could thresh up to 800 bushels of wheat in a  10 hour day (a modern combine can do that in 1 hour), requiring a minimun of a 5 person crew besides the tractor operator.  It is constucted of white oak for the frame rails, maple for the pitman arms and cyprus for the main body.  There will be about 200 hours of labor to complete this job and $500 worth of primer, stain, decals and belt splicing.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Using Epoxy

Epoxies are well known as excellent bonding agent.  But they can also be used as a clamp and a dent filler.  A 2 minute epoxy is a great way to hold odd pieces together that are hard to clamp.  Use it in tiny amounts with your primary adhesive in other spots as the quick drying epoxies typically do not have time to penetrate into wood fibers to make a strong bond.
  If you are finishing or re-finishing something and you have a dent (or a gouge that does not destroy the grain), you can fill it in with a clear epoxy after your first seal coat to level it off.  Sand with 220 grit and topcoat.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Introducing myself

I'm Bill Pauwels.  In the sunmmer of 2012, my wife and I started running our own company, Manitowoc Carpentry and Woodwork LLC.  Our website is if you'd like to learn more about the company.
Between the new business, ten years of interior carpentry construction at Burger Boat Company, the most recognized custom luxury yacht builder in North America, and nine years of experience installing high-end custom cabinets and casework, I have learned a lot and will try and share that information with you through my posts.  At Burger Boat Company, I advanced from a cabinetry/casework installer to the team leader/coordinator developing intricate knowledge of how things function and work together from hull construction to final finish work and delivery in multi-million dollar yachts. I continued to improve carpentry and cabinetry skills through projects such as modifying a pre-fabricated round staircase and creating unique areas and storage systems throughout the yachts.
Recently, my wife and I spent a good portion of our time raising funds and making repairs to a vintage Case farm tractor as well as numerous implements that have been sent to Chipole, Tanzania, Africa to be put into service at a nutrition school.  My hobby of antique farm equipment repair and demonstrating has led to many overhauled projects of all types of older machinery as well as my current position of president of Mid-Lakes Rustic Iron, the local antique farm machinery club.  I hope you enjoy reading my experiences and that the suggestions help you.  I would be happy if you left a comment.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

sanding blocks

sometimes a joint on a project needs to be touched up a little to make it perfect.  A piece of coarse sand paper adhered to a block of wood makes an excellent sanding block.  I used to buy rolled paper and use contact glue to stick it to the board.  Now, I find that using self adhesive paper that is used for floor sanding machines is much more economical and lasts much longer.  It comes in a variety of grits, is flat for easy storage and with the paper on back, the adhesive stays active for a long time.  Just use a utility knife to cut to size.

Monday, January 28, 2013

dust collection system for the small shop

When starting out on my own, I needed to convert my hobby shop into a money earning shop.  The shop vac/cyclone lid worked fine for the planer and joiner when used a little, but was a pain to switch over from machine to machine and was under powered.  I came across a bunch of free 4 inch PVC thin wall pipe.  I ran one drop to the joiner and planer area with individual blast gates, up to the ceiling, and dropped back down behind the chop saw.  It continues under the work bench and to the cyclone lid with a 30 gal can.  The hose then continues to a 1 1/2 hp Delta dust collector.  This way, 90 percent of the shavings go into the can for easy disposal.  There is a total 50 ft of pipe and 4 90 degree elbows.  I can now run a 11 inch pine board thru the planer with a 1/16 inch cut and it keeps up very well.  Wire for static electricity is a must.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Cabinet Finish

After using a popular water based polyurethane on my own kitchen cabinets 9 years ago, I would not recommend using this type of product on painted surfaces.  It has worn off around all the handles on the most frequently used cabinets and does not put up with a good scrubbing to get off fingerprints.  Since you cannot apply an oil based polyurethane over this, the only option is to feather sand the affected areas and recoat with a similar product.