Monday, August 28, 2006

Quick on the Drawer.....

Another long weekend over. Where did it go?
Gardening, that's the answer........ ;(
O.k., so I did manage to scrape a little workshop time. The tool chest is coming along well. Five out of twelve drawer are complete and fitted. Each needs a little fitting and fettling to ensure a nice fit and action and twelve drawers is a lot. I didn't really think about that when designing it. But it looks good and that's what counts. The sides are joined to the fronts with sliding dovetails. The front is rebated for the drawer bottom which is also the drawer runners. The sides and back sit on the bottom, the whole thing is glued up and voila. Light, pretty and strong. Just a bit fiddly ;)
Need to get the drawers finished before I think about making the top and bottom mouldings. And then the "frenching" in of the tools will begin.
With the UK Workshop Big Bash approaching (OMG, only two weeks left!!!) I was hoping to clean the workshop up a bit. Maybe sharpen a few tools, you know. Instead I turfed the front lawn. So at least it will look nice when you turn up, even if the 'shop is a state ;)
Squeezed in a little planemaking when the Missus wasn't looking. I seem to be "clicking" now and I'm banging through planes at an almost impressive rate. Don't think I'll be giving up the day job, though;)
Have a good week,

Monday, August 21, 2006

MD cough, cough, F

So MDF. Yes it's flat, cheap and doesn't move. But why does it fill your workshop with a fine evil dust that leaves no surface untouched? Regardless of the lengths you go to with extraction?
Yes, you've guessed it, I've had the pleasure of using MDF again. It seemed like such a good idea at the time.....;)
The tool chest is coming on great guns-drawer runners made up and fitted, drawer components all machined up and even got the vacuum bag out and veneered the drawer fronts in some fancy veneer. Some sliding dovetails to do and this project will be coming together well.It will be nice to have somewhere to put the hand tools safely. My lovely new workshop is getting badly cluttered so this is a much needed project.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Interview with the Woodbutcher

Tool chest is coming along. I finished the dovetailed rails, top and bottom. And cut the rebates for the back (thank you #78). So it is slowly coming together. My daughter is out for the day on Saturday so a day of workshop fun is on the horizon. Might even make progress on the shop stool.........or not ;)
I was asked to do an interview for the splendid "Lumberjocks" site. It is Here , but I warn you, there are pictures of me so wear your safety glasses.
Have a good week,

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Risky Business

Made some more progress with the new tool chest project. Finished fitting the floating panels in the ends and decided to add some beads to liven the design up a little. Out comes the #66...
Came out well but was left with a deeper understanding of the "workmanship of risk" thing ;)
I could of put a beading bit in the router, buzz buzz and all done. Probably no fear of tear out and a perfect result almost guaranteed. But by using a scratch stock it only takes one slip and you can ruin a component. You certainly get your technique down quick ;)
Has it made any difference to the result? Don't know, but I certainly will feel a little prouder of my work every time I see those beads.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Lots of Shavings

Spent some time making the panels for the tool chest. Ripped some walnut down on the bandsaw before the daughter went to bed so I could make some shavings after dark. And what fun that was! Have a look.....
Using just hand tools to flatten and then thickness the four panels was an enjoyable process, especially as it went so smoothly. Sharp irons make life a lot easier, too. It is surprising just how accurate you can thickness stock (although I'm sure I could hear the De-Walt sniggering to itself in the background)
My drummer phoned in ill today so no band rehearsal this week-guess that means more shop time?? ;)
Though you might want to see the drill press cabinet I've been putting together. I've made it with mainly scraps and left-overs so it hasn't really cost anything. But it is very handy for the metal work-beats getting filings stuck to your bench! And somewhere to put the fan (an essential shop accessory!)
Have a good week,

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Always Finish A Project Before Starting Another

(Or "Philly Needs Shooting")
A busy weekend painting and putting together garden furniture has mostly kept me away from my workshop. Well, I keep venturing in there but they keep dragging me back out ;)
Built a drawer for the drill press/grinding staion. With full extension runners and being 7 1/2 inch deep, I certainly have made a lot of clutter disappear. Very useful-I'll make one more drawer for good measure.
Meant to have another go at laminating the back for the shop stool. But that would of meant making a former to fit in the vacuum bag (Hey, I have one so why not use it!) and I could'nt face a third session on this component. So spent some quality time breaking down the piece of box wood into strips. Just in case they come in handy, you know. And then spent some time restoring a side bead to working order. And then, and yeah I know I'm naughty, broke down some walnut to make the tool chest I've been meaning to start. I need somewhere to keep the hand tools (the old tool racks that hung on the wall are no more) and I made plans for this whilst on holiday in June. The rails and stile for the end panels are made up, M+T's cut and just the panels to make. Having completed plans makes a project somewhat easier, huh?
So I plan to finish the stool sometime this month. Or face Alf's laughter at the UK Workshop Big Bash in early Spetember........ ;)

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Wooden Treasure

Update time-I gave in and laminated the hoop back for the stool. Am I happy now? No....
There are a couple of areas where the laminates haven't been pressed together tight enough whilst the glue set. Darn. Come the weekend I think I'll have another go. Or burn the thing ;)
Happened to be working near my favorite sawmill today. Came away with some little treasures. A smashing 2 inch board of quartersawn English oak, a very pretty (and I don't know how no-one had snapped it up before me) board of ripple sycamore and some more beech (labelled "2nd" quality due to some streaks of colour. quartered again) I don't really need more timber but they were just too nice to leave. And to top it off, some boxwood. Might just come in handy for the planemaking.
Another hard week at work has meant little time for wood related fun but the weekend is looming.