Wednesday, January 27, 2010

3, 2, 1, .... 0 Clearance

I've had a zero clearance insert sitting around my shop forever (a few years anyway) that I never go installed into my table saw.  While working on the raised drawer fronts it became quickly apparent that I was going to have to do SOMETHING to keep the short end of the small drawers from falling into the blade opening of my standard insert while they were being cut, so I finally bit the bullet and figured out how to get the inset put in:

Of course now I'm kicking myself for not doing this earlier (like when I was doing the simple kitchen cabinet).  I'm going to have to find a couple more of these so I can make one for my Dado Set.

The drawer fronts are coming along.  I'm doing them in sets of three.... the first night I put the 1st coat on one set of three.  Last night I put a first coat on the 2nd set of 3 and the 2nd coat on the first set of three.

One coat:

Two Coats:

The built in face frame got 3 coats, so I have one more to go on the first set of three.  Here is a "naked" board next to one with 2 coats:

So tonight, the 3rd set will get the 1st coat, the 2nd set will get the 2nd coat and the 1st set will get the 3rd right?  Thankfully there are only 4 sets of 3 drawers each.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Raised Panel Drawer Fronts

FINALLY, I'm starting to work on the next stage of the built in project.  Spent several hours in the shop Sunday (no football for me) making up panels for the drawer fronts and cutting them down to final size.

All the drawers are 25 5/8" wide, the top row is 8" tall, middle row 11 1/8", and bottom row 15 5/8".  4 Drawer per row.  They are going to get attached here:

So I took all the blanks, and cut a 1/16 groove 2" in from all 4 sides on the front.  Then I set the table saw to a 7 degree tilt and "raised" the front of each drawer:

All in all, so far, things have gone pretty well, I've got 8 of the panels sanded down and have just the 4 big ones left.  Hopefully tonight I can get some stain on them and we can start to worry about picking hardware out for the handles.

Monday, January 11, 2010

"Do you want to build me something?"

I don't really remember what I was doing when my wife uttered those words to me, not that it really mattered, whatever is was it was dropped like a bad habbit and I followed after her to see what she wanted.

"I want a box with shelf to go here in between these two windows so I can get some of this stuff off the kitchen counter."

Out came the tape measure (there is one in the kitchen for just such an emergency).  We looked and discussed overall dimensions and off the workshop I went, a happy little woodworker....

Ugh...I live in Norther New England and it was a not so pleasant 20 degrees out in the shop that early afternoon.  I fired up the old woodstove, loaded it up good and came back and  hour later ... now it was 40 degrees.  At lease I could do some work without my hands hurting.

Cabinet grade plywood ... check!  Kreg Pocket Hole Jig ... check!  Iron On Edge Banding ... check! 1/4" Plywood for the back panel ... check! (OMG, I might not have to go to Home Depot or Lowes to do this!)

Three hours later (and the shop now at 65 degrees) the wipe on varnish was dry enough to bring the piece into the house.

I certainly wasn't super complicated, but it was a fun build, it looks pretty nice, and it was what she-who-must-be-pleased wanted.

I hope to hang it tonight.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

I'm not normally a fan of old tools...

That's right, I generally prefer the newer shiny tools.  I like fighting with that clear plastic vacuum packaging that is nearly impossible to open.  I like holding the instruction manual and thinking "how hard can this really be.....?"

Recently, however, I had an offer from an extended family member to purchase a large lot of tools that were in her basement (she had just sold her house is moving south).  I went over and looked everything over and walked away $100.00 poorer, but loaded down with a bunch of old tools.

Included in the lot was a bunch (probably 20 or more) of files (of which I really had none), a pipe cutter (didn't have one of those either), for some strange reason 6 or 7 glass cutters, a centering punch (got one of those for Christmas a few days earlier but having a spare is fine), a very cool hand drill set-up with 30 or 40 bits ranging all the way up to 3/4" of an inch.  2 hand planes (one craftsman and one with no brand I could determine), and a few specialty planes that I'm really happy about:

There was Stanley #71 Router Plane (used to smooth out the bottom of dado's and grooves).  The Internet says this plane goes for $32 - $72 dollars on e-bay.

There was also a Stanley No. 378 Rabbet Plane (used for - you guessed it - cleaning up Rabbets).  The Internet says this plane goes for $60 - $150 dollars on e-bay.

And while these are both pretty dirty right now, they look to be in fine shape and once I clean them up, check the blades for sharpness, They will be nearly good as new.

So once you add in the nail punches, old screw drivers, "egg-beater" drills, chalk line and chalk, marking crayons, carcass saw, large hunk of paraffin wax, and other .... stuff, I think I ended up with a pretty good deal (did I mention the 3 1/2' long bow saw with the extra blade?).

Monday, January 4, 2010

Shop Funiture - Maybe the most fun thing to build

Shop Furniture creates no pressure on the builder, you can try new stuff if you want.  You can build for you the way you think it should be.

I designed this to fit my little router table because the router table USED to live on top of the wood stove, but that became impracticle when the snow started to fly.

The top is about 40" long and 18" wide.  I inset a Kreg clamp plate in the center so I can slide the clamp in if I need it.

The "middle" shelf is also mounted on drawer slides for easy access of whatever lives in there (I think my dovetail jig will live here permanently).

It looks like I have enough room to put one more pull out shelf on top with 4" of clearance. It will make a good place to store all my router bits.

I need to make a couple doors to close this up (keep the dust of everthing inside).  I also have some wiping varnish left over from the Vanity that can give this a quick coat of.