Friday, November 5, 2010

The Nicked Finger is Moving

The Nicked Finger Blog is moving over to Wordpress.  To keep up with the goings on please resubscribe over at

Monday, September 6, 2010

They call it labor day for a reason...

I finished the kitchen cabinets on schedule and my brother and sister-in-law came up this weekend and attacked the project with gusto...

First the sheet rock came down, and then most of the wall studs came out.

Then the carpet and the kitchen floor had to be cut back to the subfloor level so cabinets could sit down where they needed to be.

Once the final dimensions were figured out, the end post to support the overhead beam went in place (the beam was pocket screwed into the ceiling joists).

At the end of the first day, the beam was all done, and the cabinets were sitting in place.

At the end of the second day the cabinets were permanently set (the were screwed together and pocked screwed into the floor), and the temporary counter top was installed.

And finally around 1:00pm today (day three) the three massive drawers were installed (they were built on day 2), and the sliding trash bin was also installed.

Everybody is now tired, including Reba the Wonder Dog, and Grace the cat.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

It's Time for a Cabinet Meeting

The great cabinet build started in earnest on Thursday.  Before any cabinets got built, however, I had to wait for a little help to show up to cut the full sheets of plywood down.  While waiting I gave the shop a pretty good cleaning and even managed to organize my sheet good pile.

I even manged to measure and label all of the partial sheets with their size, including thickness.

With the layout of my shop, cleaning up this space was very important in order to have a clear path for feeding the plywood over my table saw.

As it turned out, after much initial frustration of not getting consistent sized cuts off my table saw, I found my rip fence was loose when locked down and was moving as much as 1/8" during the cut of the big sheets.  Once I figured what was happening and snugged the fence adjustment down, I ended up with my cuts being a full 3/8" narrower than I had planed.  It's not the end of the world though as long as they are all ripped to the same exact size.

Using the tablesaw, bandsaw, and mitre saw, my wife and I (she came home early to help) got all the pieces cut, assembly line style, for all 4 cabinets.

Here is the first:

This will be the only cabinet with an exposed end and will eventually hold the trash can for the kitchen.

When we stopped working that night we had the first cabinet's twin also done:

The second cabinet will have one door and a sliding shelf.  These cabinets are both 15" wide.

Saturday we went into my wife's office and painted all the walls to freshen the place up, but I did get out into the shop around 4:00 and put together the last cabinet in the row (skipping the 3rd cabinet because it is the biggest at 36" wide and I was working by myself).

This cabinet will up with two doors opening into a 28 1/2" space with one or two sliding shelves (I'm thinking about putting a "false bottom" shelf in for easy access.

That just leaves the last big cabinet that is going to have 3 drawers in it (a 12" deep, a 9" deep, and a 6" deep).  Right now it is sitting in parts waiting it's turn (maybe tomorrow).

As with any new project, the opportunity presents itself to add a new tool to the arsenal, and surprisingly enough my wife grabbed this little gem off the shelf at the Big Blue Box Store and threw it in the cart while I was getting some more pocket screws.

As funny as it sound, I think I might prefer the Multi-Mark to my regular adjustable square (I'm not big fan of the way a regular square tightens down I guess).  I just wish this came with a12" ruler instead of the 6".

That's all for now.

Monday, August 23, 2010

One Project Down, Another Project Ready To Go

Finally finished the face frames on the built-in bookcases, and they are now done except for painting (and my lovely wife is going to take care of that).

Here is the "finished" product that still needs some "finish".

Now on to new and (gasp) even bigger things.  We are going to take a wall out of the Kitchen and open it up to the dining room, and where the wall was, we're going to put in a new set of Cabinets with a built in breakfast bar.  The run of cabinets is going to be 8' long.

We started out with a hand sketch:

I then took this to Sketchup and rendered some views:

Did I mention I have to have these cabinets done by Friday?  No?  Thank goodness for the Kreg Pocket Hole Jig!  I really just need to get the cabinet(s) into this stage shown below.  I'm going to build in 4 pieces and bring them into the house one at a time.

Maybe I will be able to post a quick update each day this week to show progress.

Friday, August 13, 2010

A journey of a 1000 books begins with a single shelf...sort of.

It has been unusually hot and humid here for the past few weeks with a couple breaks in the weather recently.  The small air conditioner in my shop does an admirable job of keeping things bearable, but only if I give it a 2 hour head start to get things under control.  This means really no work on the really hot days after I get home from my day job.

I have been working, slowly, on a new set of built in bookshelves in our home office.  I had some nice simple plans in one of the many books I have collected over the years.

The plan has a 2 sets of shelves on the left side of the door and one set on the right (the door not being in the middle of the wall).  Construction starts with a 2x4 frame for each side.

I screwed the top and bottom plates directly into the ceiling joists and sub-floor accordingly.  The vertical pieces were secured using 2 1/2" pocket screws.  I used my Kreg Mini to make all the holes and cut a spacer to help make sure they were in the proper position.

Next 1/2" plywood was installed on the 2 exposed ends (near the door) and to make the bottom shelf and the top "cap" of each unit. Also we painted the wall behind the shelves a deep chocolate brown.

Next, 1/2" plywood was run up the insides of the units at set lengths and 3/4" plywood was installed horizontally across to make the shelves.

Finally (so far) some 3/4" poplar was cut and installed to begin the face frame.

Hopefully on Sunday I will be able to cut and install the rest of the face frame across all the shelves, then the whole this is going to be painted white.

Sorry the photo's aren't so great, but the room is not big enough to get far enough away from the shelves to get the whole thing in frame....

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Don't put my heart on a shelf ... or in a box

All has been pretty quite on the blogging front for the last few weeks.  I've been working on a little project for my wife's birthday (I won't say which birthday) and she is one of the few people who read my blog so I had to keep mum about what I was really doing.

So without further ado, my first bandsaw type box ... happy birthday honey.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

My Review of Work Sharp 3000

Originally submitted at Woodcraft

You can monitor stock removal from above with the Work Sharp's "see-through" wheel while a large port provides access from underneath.

Easy Perfect Edge ... given time.

By The Nicked Finger from Loudon, NH on 7/13/2010


4out of 5

Pros: Lightweight, Easy to use

Cons: Slower than Expected

Best Uses: At Home, Gifts, Contract Jobs

Describe Yourself: Avid Do-It-Yourselfer

Primary use: Personal

This tool works wonders on putting a sharp edge on things. However if you are going to change the PRIMARY BEVEL angle on anything, it's gonna take a little while.


Friday, May 28, 2010

Plane and Simple

A few months back a member of my extended family (on my wife's side) decided to sell their house and move south.  In the basement of the house was a collection of old tools from a grandfather who had passed away, and I bought the whole kitten-caboodle for $100.00 (see This Post from January).

Well, hidden in that lot was a little filthy dirty block plane that I didn't really pay much attention to.  However I recently bought a set of dremel cleaning bits and decided to clean up some of this older stuff.

After really looking at this for first time I noted some unusual things about this block plane.  It has a lateral adjuster for the blade, the blade depth wheel is oriented horizontally:

And little tiny knob up front has some kind of adjuster I have never seen on a plane before:

I disassembled the plane, blew the dust out, and took every piece of the plane to my drill press that has a brass wire cleaning wheel installed in it right this second (I got it at the Big Blue store for $0.70).  After about 15 minutes I had everything de-gunked and pretty much rust free.

Imagine my surprise when I got enough gunk off of the cap iron to see the engraving stating this was a vintage Stanley Sweet Heart block plane.  I'm not sure exactly what the model is, I am pretty sure it is not a #102.

I'm also pretty sure it still works.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Going, going, gone....

Sunday I went to my first auction.  My wife spied an article in the local paper about an estate auction being held nearby and part of the estate was a wood working shop!

The auctions started at 10:00, and I didn't get there until nearly 9:45, so I didn't have as much chance to walk around and scope things out as I would have liked.

I got a little electric sharpener (by craftsman) for $10.00.  This will be good enough to hollow grind a set of junkie bench chisels, but I don't want to use it on my good chisels or my plane blades.

I got a set of clamp edge guides for $30.  Two 4', One 3' and Two 2'

I also got a 3/4 HP single stage dust collector (woodtek) for $40, and a 1 HP single stage dust collector (relaint) for $45.00.

I got outbid on a 6"x4" craftsman disk / belt sander, several different types of clamps, and 2 different oscillating spindle sanders.

Now I just need some hose fittings for the Dust collection (I'm going to put the 3/4 HP on my Bandsaw full time and move the 1HP around as I need it) and I'll be in business.

Monday, May 3, 2010

The 2 hour project

After working 1/2 a day on Saturday, I cam home and installing the top the Bedroom Built in.  One more step in finishing this and its a big one.  Now everything looks finished (except for the handles, and the big gouge I took out of the wall installing the top) and adding the two bookcases to each end are just "add ons".

House chores ate up the morning on Sunday, but I did get out the shop in the afternoon.  Due to a set of missing car keys I was left to work with whatever I had on hand in the shop and I remembered something the LOML had asked me for, and I had a piece of poplar handy that looked like it would fit the bill.  Two hours later the project was completed:
This is a wall mount magazine rack for the bathroom (seems someone is tired of my reading materials congregating on the back of the toilet).

Should be able to get this stained and installed by the weekend (which is good, cause it's time get the Camper ready for our trip to Dover for the NASCAR race).  I even managed to use my new Bandsaw to shape the scooped cut-outs.

Friday, April 16, 2010

New Tool - Part 2 - The Tax Return

At the end of last year I was kind of hoping that our tax return would be enough to let me buy a new big ticket tool for my workshop (I define "big ticket" as over $200.00).  I knew I wanted to that tool to be a bandsaw, the question was really WHICH bandsaw to get.

I googled, I did searches on You Tube, I visited manufacturers websites, I posted questions in woodworking forums.  I created a comparison chart of 15 different band saws from 10 different manufacturers, comparing resaw capacity, table size, horsepower, price, etc...

Imagine my surprise when after all my research I ended up concluding that the Sears Craftsman 14" bandsaw (for me) was going to be the best bang for the buck.

The bandsaw, in the box, weighs in at 223lbs.  Its a good 30 feet, uphill, over soft ground, from where I can park my truck to the front door of my shop... ugh.  I did finally get it in the shop, get it up on a table (which was really the hardest part), and then spent about 4 hours over 3 nights putting it together.

And because my lovely wife lets me do this crazy woodworking thing that I love so much, I just had to make something for her: