Going Big!

You have all heard the saying, go big or go home? Well, we are going Big. In the shop now is a 24” American No. 5 planer. This machine started out life in a saw mill in Walla Walla Washington, spent a lot of its life in Tum-a-Lum Lumber Company here in Pendleton Oregon and for the last 8 or 10 years it has been taking up space in a garage back in Walla Walla. When it became available a family member of the old mill purchased it as part of the history of the mill (yes I’ll look up the name of the mill). With no space to set it up it was not used and they decided it needed to go. Not wanting it to just be scraped they put out word with the Old Woodworking Machinery forum and that led to me. The price? Free! Yes you read that right, Free.

Now the issue is, this is not a small tool. It is 3 feet tall, 4 feet wide and 5 feet long with a total weight listed at 2,700 pounds. Yep, well over a ton! Not something we are going to pick up and put on a trailer. Add to that, not long after we found out about this, the transfer case went out of the pickup and it was a 5 week process to get it back on the road again.

Lucky for us, the friend who we had fix the pickup also had a skid steer that would lift it, and then was working on an ever bigger skid steer we were able to use. Borrowing a pallet jack from another friend we were able to pull the planner out of the garage to the edge of the street, pick it up with the skid steer and load it on the trailer. All in less than 45 minutes!

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For a total of less than 5 hours we now have this beauty sitting in our shop! Now to find new blades and an electric motor in the 7.5 to 10 HP range to make it usable. Know of one? Let us know!

On a different note, we are now in the process of building stock for next year’s markets and shows. A stack of bread troughs, and burl bowls are in the works, Boards are gluing for larger Oregon cut outs, and with the toys for the kids drive nearly over we again have shop space!

 

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The last show

Well, the last show of the season is behind us! The Christmas Bazaar in Enterprise was part of the motivation to get us doing the farmer’s markets this last summer and we are happy to have attended it again this year.

Now the planning starts for next year. Do we attend more farmers’ markets next year? If so, which ones? Do we work hard to get our high end market developed and try to get into some of the art shows in Oregon and nearby states?

How much inventory do we for next year? Which of those items do we work on first, what supplies do we need to make things happen. We know that the air compressor, the one that just died after 30+ years, will need replaced. After that we will see how it goes.

We know that there are more boards to be glued together to make the Oregon cutouts, more metal to be cut for use on those, as well as chalk board. More logs to be found and turned into slabs/ lumber. Well you get the idea, not the time to slow down, although there is certainly less push to get things done in the next few days.

Are there any items you would like to see on the Galloway Artisans table that we have not already made? Now it the time to get items added to the list!

It’s Bazaar season!

The phrase, “Tis the season” means Christmas to most people, and that works with us as well, with a slight modification. We call it Bazaar Season!

We have attended one already and I’m headed out the door shortly to get set up for another in about an hour. (Nov.-16, 17)This one will be a Friday afternoon, Saturday event in La Grande, the “big town” near where we grew up. Put on by the Art Center East, they recruited me while we were at the La Grande Farmer’s Market. How do you turn down someone when they invite you to a juried event? It’s held in the old library building so I have been in there many times over the years, but this will be the first time trying to sell our product there, wish us luck! If you are local, come down and see us!

Our next bazaar will be in A Wallowa County Christmas in Enterprise where we were last year as well. We are even setting up in the same space as last year so people will know where to find us this year. Look for us there on Nov 30th and Dec 1st. There are several bazaars in Wallowa county that weekend and they local bus company drives to La Grande and brings several loads of customers to attend them. It’s amazing to go from a few customers browsing the tables to 50 or 60 coming through the door at one time!

Please think about attending either of these events and let your friends know as well. It’s always great to support local artists and craftsman.

Teaching is learning

I know it’s a cliche’ but there is something about teaching others to do woodworking that makes you stop and really think about what you are doing, how you are doing it, and if there is another way to get the same job done.

With the making of the Toys I have had 2 and sometimes 3 other people in the shop working on various aspects of the toys. This means that not only do I need to make sure they know how to use the tools they are running, I need to be at least a couple steps ahead of everyone so that when they get done with one aspect of the job, there is another one for them to move to and keep working.

When it’s just me doing the work it’s easy to move from one step to the next, but add in more people and there are multiple steps going at one time, on two or three toys at once. There are holes that need drilled in all of the projects, but it takes some planning to make sure the same size holes are ready to be drilled in all of them so that it saves setting up the drill press over and over again.

I wish I could say I have that perfected, but I don’t. I’m gaining, and it gets better all the time, but I’m not there yet.

The other factor is that the “shop” was actually set up as a garage and does not have enough electrical circuits. If we try to run too many tools in too many places then none of us are getting anything done!

While sometimes frustrating, teaching others to do wood work and seeing the look of accomplishment on their faces when they get done with a project is fantastic. It will be even better when all the parts start being assembled and the toys start to pile up, and up, and Up! From experience I know that 50 doll cradles makes an impressive statement about all the work you have done.

Look for more photos next week as we start to get finished items together.

 

It’s the season!

It’s that season again, yep, Toy season!

Again this year Galloway Artisans is teaming with the Northwest Trail Riders Association (NWTRA)to make wooden toys to give to local kids in need.

Every year I tell everyone we need to start sooner, not wait until the last minute. Well, we did start earlier this year, by at least a month! We would have been two months early except this town all but shuts down for the Pendleton Round-up and the lumber we ordered didn’t make it the week before all that started.

The boards are now stored in the NWTRA trailer in our driveway and with the help of Buck and Lynnette McEntire we now have 114 cradle ends cut out and ready to be ran through the router for finial shaping. Over the next few days we will keep working on those and start cutting the rockers, ends and dowels that make up the whole.

After that we have block wagons, block trucks, bull dozers, and hundreds of little cars to get cut out, drilled and assembled.

Any and all are welcome to come help if they would like, it’s a great cause, Kids!

                     Cut off parts soon to be cars.           Cradle ends. 

Reorganization

At some point you just have to bite the bullet and admit that what you have is not working and put out the time and effort to make the changes so it does work. That’s the point we were at with the shop here at Galloway Artisans.

When we moved in thank goodness we had plenty of help. The down side to that is lots of hands moving lots of stuff quickly means that things were put in place rather haphazardly and we never took the time then to put them in better locations.

Add in almost 3 years of time and lumber accumulation to that mix and it was getting to be so that as person could barely move in the shop and forget getting some things out of cupboards that were behind stacks of drying lumber. The main lumber storage room looked like a bomb had went off and everything was mixed together.

A few hours of labor, ok, a couple Days of labor, and we now have lumber racks on 3 walls. The window that the previous owner had covered over is now removed and the studs in the wall replaced so that it’s a wall again, not just a boarded up window. Insulation added in that spot and it’s going to be much warmer in that room this winter.

We still need to get the sheet goods back in there, but the movable storage rack needs to come into the main shop space first, which means cleaning out some of the lumber that goes on the racks in the lumber storage room, adding the sheeting to the walls so it’s no longer just stud walls, etc… That’s well underway and we hope to be back in working order by the end of next weekend (baring the day jobs getting in the way of course).

There is already an increase in open floor space and some items that we were going to sell are now out where we can take photos and get them listed. Anyone reading this in the market for a good Western, double cinch saddle, a radial arm saw, or a shaper, they will all be on the market soon.

Tool Addition

Once again, in our effort to move forward with Galloway Artisans we have added another tool to the shop.

This is a 26 inch band saw that will allow us to cut the bigger blocks of wood into bowl blanks for either the lathe or to become bread troughs/ fruit bowls. With a cutting height of 11 inches I can cut the bigger pieces with more precision than I could before when I was limited to the chainsaw.

Built in the 1920s or 30s this saw has a 2 HP motor to run it and takes blades that are 13 foot 6 inches long. It was set up for re-sawing boards in its last home in Athol Washington.

Getting it unloaded was interesting until I was informed a friend just down the road had a small John Deere tractor. A quick visit later and he had the saw out of the pickup and sitting in front of the shop door! Lynn and I were able to get it off the pallet and into the shop with some grunting and a full ¼” of clearance between the top of the saw and the door frame.

While not 100% yet, it has been used with great results so far, but new blades are in the works that will make it far better. Look for photos of the results and perhaps a video of it running here soon. For now, here are a couple photos of the saw and one of the display showing the types of bowls we will be cutting with it in the near future.

Art show focus

We just attended the “Art in the High Desert” in Bend last weekend. It’s rated number 10 in the nation for this type of show. For years we have been looking at doing high end shows to better display our upper end products. The burl bowls, Lynn’s drawings on rock, the combination pieces like the burl bowl on the scale, the Balanced Bowl piece, etc…. We are thinking that might be the show we use to break the ice and get into that level of work.

It will require we have more items completed and we are looking at upgrading our display booth. Both in the use of museum type displays instead of folding plastic tables and in a higher quality, sturdier, pop up tent to protect our work from the weather and to stand up to the elements better.

Since most of the art shows are held on grassy spaces rather than pavement, different levels to deal with, and softer ground that legs might sink into, etc… The time given to set up is given in hours though, not the 30-45 minutes we are given for set up at the farmer’s markets.

So, that means we are not only working on finally finishing up those high end projects that have been in the works for years now, but also finding and building better display system and hanging options. We will keep you posted as things progress and if you have ideas to share, please let us know.

Check out some of the items/ artists that were at Bend here: http://www.artinthehighdesert.com/

Sander Home

Thanks to the help of my lovely bride we now have the sander home and staged next to the shop doors waiting for space to be made so we can put it to use.

Getting things moved was a lot easier than we anticipated so far. Making room for it will be the hardest part of the process. Plugged it in after we got home (no power at the old shop where it was) and the motor works just fine. We even discovered that it has a reversible motor on it so it can be used to sand in both directions. Always a good thing when changing grits to let you see when you have gotten all the lines out from the previous grits.

Look for progress reports as we get this sander in place over the next few weeks.

More tools!

The funny thing about doing wood work and selling it at local events is that the locals soon know you will be there and start thinking about wood working, history, and what can be done.

So it was recently in La Grande when an elderly woman approached us and asks if we would be interested in some wood working tools and glass that she and her late husband had used in their door and window company in a nearby local town.

Well sure, but we would need to look at it first and see what it was, how it might work in our business, etc… that leads to the next weekend when a neighbor of hers stopped by our booth to inquire if we were the people she had talked to the weekend before. Yes, we were and yes I could meet him later in the afternoon to take a look at what she had in her shop.

The first thing I see when I come in the door is a stroke sander. For those that don’t know (see photo below) this is basically a super long belt sander that was designed to smooth doors and window sashes. It will sand 3 foot wide and 6 foot long with ease! What does that do for us? It allows us to sand all those great slabs we have so we can make them into tables or other products.

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The other tool left in the shop is an antique swing saw, the saw that predates the radial arm saw and the powered miter saw. This is a precision saw that was designed to make the angle cuts for door and window frames so they fit together perfectly the first time.

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Along with those are 3 wood storage racks and who knows how many pains/ sheets of glass that we can use to top the tables… the price, too low to mention here, but let’s just say it was a great deal because she wants to see the equipment be put to use, not hauled to the metal scrap yard!

The hardest part of all this, getting them out of that shop and finding room in my own shop for them… but we have a couple months to make that happen. Whew.