Thursday, April 24, 2014

Typewriter (or Laptop) Stand Part 1

While I'm working out the spool covers for the typewriter, I've also been working on a stand for it.

This will be a single column pedestal stand, following the line of the back-saving bedroom bookstands I made for my wife and I.  Originally they were cat stands with carpet on top, but our cats studiously ignored them.  These were both intended to be prototypes, but have worked so well I've left them as they are.

As with most things I started with a mockup of the typewriter stand, putting the typewriter on folding table and shimming it to the right working height with different thicknesses of books.

Two 3/4" thick planks of oak, cut to length, would make the column, with tenons on one end of each to go into a base.  I ripped one down the middle.

With the other plank I used a Record plough plane to cut a 3/4" groove down the middle of each side.  I did this in two passes, using a 3/8" cutter.

When the grooves were cut I flattened the bottom of the groove with a router plane.

Now the first piece of the halved plank is gluing in one side of the ploughed plank.

To be continued.

Brass Typewriter Spool Covers Part 3

The brass knobs arrived from Lee Valley Tools and look beautiful.  This is what I hoped the spool covers would look like when the disks I turned on the lathe were fitted with the knobs:

Unfortunately the base of each knob is not thick enough to be drilled through safely with a 1/4" HSS drill bit needed to fit the spool spindles of the typewriter:

Plan B involves using 9/32" brass tubing and a brass washer to make a new base for each knob, and cutting the top off the knob and fitting it to the top of the tubing, so I'll see how that goes.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Brass Typewriter Spool Covers Part 2

The reason for the brass spool covers is the original Remington design.  In the diagram from the Operating Manual below you can see that spool covers, numbers 6 and 26, are elegant.  I want to make covers that are similar, but in brass.

Each spool has a 1/4" post in the middle that the knob of the spool cover fits.

There's a good picture of what theNoiseless 7 looks like at this link:

I think you would agree the original spool covers look good.

I'm guessing that the 1/2" by 1/2" small brass knobs from Lee Valley will fit if I drill them to 1/4", but it could be that they are smaller in diameter at the waist.  In that case I have a backup plan.  With 9/32nd brass tubing ( internal diameter 1/4" ), and washers drilled out to fit the tube, I can make up knobs to fit from scratch.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Brass Typewriter Spool Covers

I recently bought a Remington Noiseless 7 typewriter.  "Why?" you may ask?  Because I miss typewriters, and this is a beauty, and because my wife, Christine, just bought an IBM Selectric II, her favorite machine.  I learned to type on a heavy Underwood in my dad's workshop in the 1960s, but the Remington is much lighter and elegant, and it's fun to use.  I'm also hoping to resume my output of articles.

Already there's a need for two typewriter stands and covers, and I'm thinking about designs for those. But ahead of that, there's a few things that need more immediate attention.  Originally the Remington was issued with two spool covers.  This machine has a a couple of plastic discs held on with bits of 1/4 " plastic tubing.

I bought some 2" wide 18 gauge brass strip from Ace Hardware to make brass replacements.  Two 1/2" by 1/2" brass knobs are on their way from Lee Valley Tools.

In the pictures below you'll see how two squares of brass can be changed into two spool covers, with a block of wood, some 1/2" screws, and a small lathe. More to follow.

Two x 2" squares of brass being screwed to block of wood (tenon cheek offcut):

Lathe wheel screwed to the back of the wood block:

Lathe wheel screwed onto boss:

Cutting a coupleof disks:

...and here are the cover disks:

Thursday, August 29, 2013

A quick and easy Board Jack

This is a gadget you can probably build in less than half an hour, if you have spare 2 by lumber and a pipe clamp in your workshop.  See:

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Bed made quickly

All change - we have an old friend coming to stay this week.  Previous visitors have slept on the inflatable bed in the spare room, but this visitor has a tricky knee and would find the bed awkward.

Just time to build a bed base and assemble it.  We inflated the bed to get the dimensions - 80" by 62".

Everything is 2 by dimensional lumber, originally in 8 foot lengths.  The headboard and footboard are 2 by 12s, the side rails are 2 by 8s, and the cross rails and ledgers are 2 by 4s.

Off cuts of the 2 by 4 cross rails make the side ledgers - two to a side with a gap in the middle.

Side rails are connected to the head and foot boards with surface mounted bed rail brackets from Rockler.  2 by 4 ledgers are screwed to the side rails with 1/8" ply spacers behind, gapped at 11 1/2" on center from each end to half way along.  Those gaps are made to take 6 sawhorse brackets (also from Rockler) with 1/8" play either side.

The brackets don't need to be screwed into place - just hook them over the 2 by 4 s.

The spacing of both the 2 by 4s and their spacers down from the top of the rail is 1 3/4", and they are about 1/2" short of the rail brackets at each end.

Head and footboard ledgers are made from the last two 2 by 4 offcuts, plus an odd bit of 2 by 4 I had spare.  The screws in the rail bracket in the left of the picture below had to be loosened to get it to fit, then tightened.  To make life easier I screwed the odd bit of 2 by 4 nearest this bracket so it could be removed to get at the bracket screws.  You'll see a fixit block on the right end of the ledger, and there are two more underneath it.  These make it easier to screw the ledger back in place after the bracket is secure.

The headboard and footboard have a foot at each end.  These are pieces of 2 by 4, roughly 10" long, each held in place with a lag screw through the middle of the foot and washers, one under the screw head, one between the two pieces of wood.

These feet turn so they are at right angles to the boards to keep them upright while the rail connectors are fiddled into place.  Once they've done their job you can kick them straight in line with the board, so they don't get in your way.

The sawhorse brackets drop in their slots and the cross rail 2 by 4s drop into them.

Finally a set of five 1 by 12 utility shelving planks are cut 1/4" short of the side length (so they don't bind) and dropped onto the cross rails and ledgers.

A furniture blanket goes on top and is tucked under the side planks.  The inflatable mattress bed goes on top, and hey presto, you have a bed with a decent height.  Even if the mattress deflated overnight, there is enough height for someone to get out of bed without too much trouble.

I will return to the mini bench soon, I promise.

Monday, April 29, 2013

More info on the mini bench

As you can see from the pictures, what started as a useful benchtop addition, now has its own portable, knock-down base.

 The models on top are of the main bench I use and a prototype of the mini bench on a base. From this all the other parts have developed to a point where you could make this and use it in an apartment, small shed, or as a site bench for joinery.