Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Storage Under the Stairs

This space under the stairs in my basement was starting to get very messy, and it was very poorly utilized, so I decided to make a custom shelf to use as much as I could from the space.

I used cheap 2x6 lumber which I cut to 1 1/2 " width with the table saw.  Having my finishing bench on wheels act as an outfeed table came very handy,

The shelves I made gluing 1x6 planks together.

This is how it looked in the end.  No fancy joints this was very quick and dirty, everything is just screwed together.

Home Made Knife

After I saw this video from John Heisz, I knew I had to make a knife.

First I drew the shape of the blade on a piece of plywood.  It's amazing that you never stop to think about how the shape of a knife blade looks like until you have to make one, then it's not so obvious.

This cut off serves as a template as well as to get a feel of the knife in my hand.  I decided I had to add more length to the handle.

I used a table saw blade that I don't use for this,

Cut it off with an angle grinder,

Then I used the grinder to grind the blade to start to sharpen it.  I dipped it in crushed ice every once in a while to try to keep it from losing its temper,

The handles are made of a scrap of walnut,

I glued it using construction adhesive,

Then I used the belt sander and a file to shape the handle.  I don't have a picture of the final product, but after this I added a coat of linseed oil and bee's wax, and sharpened the blade with diamond stones and a japanese water stone so it's razor sharp.  I also used wet dry sand paper to polish the blade and finally, i stropped it with a piece of leather rubbed with chromium oxide.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Station for Baby Monitor

I made this docking station for the baby monitor this evening in fifteen minutes,

It is an old iPhone in our kitchen connected showing the baby cam app at all times,

The docking station is super simple, just a few pieces of plywood glued together and a rubber band,

I put more holes in it than I decided would be necessary later,

This is how it looks from the bottom:

Plywood Docking Station for Nexus 7

This afternoon I made a russian birch plywood docking station for my Nexus 7 tablet.

(the photos aren't very good since I took them with very low light)

First I glued two pieces of plywood together for the back of the base,

For the front I used screws to make sure I can pull it out and change the cable if I need to one day,

One thing experience is teaching me is, if you don't need to glue it, then don't.

I glued and screwed everything together then cut everything flush on the table saw.  I made room for the mini usb connector by carving a space with a chisel, then used hot glue to fill the gaps.

It's important to do this with the device connected to make sure it all aligns right,  

not the prettiest thing but it does the job,

To make room for the cable I drilled a hole with the drill press,

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Surgical fix on an intricate piece of carved wood

Today my wife and I fixed this intricate South African table legs, which I think it's carved this way from a piece of very hard wood.  Unfortunately, because of this design, it's not very strong so one of the legs broke.

You can tell looking at the direction of the grain in the cut that this was a super weak part of the wood so it was bound to break.

I picked an old steel kick plate and cut a piece off of it.

With the dremel we carved a groove to house the steel reinforcement,

On the other side, because of the geometry, we could just use a regular screw, but making the hole had to be done carefully so we drilled first a smaller pilot hole and then used a larger drill bit,

We used epoxy to join the pieces,

Then let it cure, clamping things to make sure the legs didn't touch each other,

Once cured we ground off the metal to contour to the wood, sanded it, and applied a coat of danish oil. 

State of the shop, April 14

This weekend I have done another pass at organizing my shop.

The  scrap wood situation was getting out of control so I had to throw away a bunch of the scraps.  I also had accumulated too many large panels of wood so I built a new, shorter bench to replace the old one I had on saw horses, and that made some room for the panels next to it.  That bench is also on caster wheels so it can be moved around, and outside the shop, and can also double as an outfeed table for that table saw.

I need to build another cabinet on wheels as well to go under that bench so I can store a bunch of the finishing supplies like brushes, clothes, masks and so on.

Click to enlarge.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Kid's Desk

I made this desk today.  I used some awesome russian birch plywood I had been trying to find for a long time and I finally found at Crosscuts in Seattle.

I also tried a few new things in this project.  For example, I used a dado and rabbet joint as opposite to the simpler rabbet joint I have used for most other drawers.  I didn't like it that much, it's a bit harder to make because you need to be precise with the depth of the dado and I don't think it's any stronger than a normal rabbet joint.  As a matter of fact, because I also made a dado to fit the bottom of the drawer, it leaves a small square piece of wood at the intersection of both rabbets which is pretty odd.

I also used a router flush trim bit to trim the edges of the top, which i left a bit longer for this purpose.  That works really well.  I really like the look of the cross sections of this russian birch because they have so many layers.

I am finishing it with Danish oil and wipe on polyurethane, which is a type of finish I haven't tried before either.

This is how it looks like from the back.  I joined all the pieces with pine dowels and glue, no nails.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

The Planer Cabinet

The design of this planer cabinet is a combination of ideas I found from the internet, plus my own tweaks.

It is on wheels so it can be moved around my small shop.  The top is a melamine board, and the door is 3/4 inch plywood, both I rescued from someone that was going to throw them to the trash.  I cut the top to size and glued up some veneer on the sides.

The frame is made with defective 2x3 pieces that I got at a 70% discount at the home depot.  I planed them and jointed them and they ended up doing the job just fine.   I joined them with glue, drywall screws and rabbet joints, I think it will be more than strong enough.

This is the inside of the cabinet.  There's an opening no the left side which I covered with mesh so the air can escape, and on the right, a hole where the chips come in from the planer.  The idea is, once it fills up with chips, to scoop them out into my trash container.

This is the right side .

Making all these connections is always a bit of a pain.  I ended up using the 2.5" to 4" adapter that came with the planer, and to that I connected a 45 degree PVC fitting I bought at the home depot.  Then I 3D-printed an adapter (in blue) from that to the clear pipe.  I had to tweak adapter a tiny bit with tape to make for a very snug fit so the air from the planer wouldn't eventually push it out.

This is the piece that connects with the cabinet.  That part is also 3D printed.

This is how the 3D models looked like. 

I didn't take a picture of this but while doing this, I built myself a miter jig and also finished a spline jig I had already half built and used them to build a frame for the mesh for the air vent.  it looked pretty cool for an experiment: