Saturday, April 27, 2013

Early Sources Of Inspiration...

The end of this week has been filled with non-woodworking efforts related to my employment, so my shop has been silent nearly all week. Instead of the normal post about what I am doing in the shop I thought I would post a few links to several of the sites that provided inspiration to me as I was getting started. Below is a list of the sites in no particular order. I hope next week's post will be a little nosier.

These are just a few of the sites that provided the fuel to my fire and I greatly appreciate all the effort each of these contributors has provided. I realize a lot of the links are so commonly known that most people will already be aware, but I am hopeful someone may stumble across at least one they were not.

Hope everyone has a great week with lots of shop time.

Until my next post:


Monday, April 22, 2013

Plywood Shelf & Sump Pump Installation

Well this week has been filled to the brim with woodworking nirvana and back breaking labor. On the woodworking front I was able to assemble the Plywood Shelf I discussed in the last post. On the back breaking labor side of things I have, with the help of a friend (THANKS JOEY!!!), installed a sump pump in our garage. This installation has really needed to happen since I was a youngster, but never became high enough priority. Now with the pump installed it may be possible to slowly migrate the woodshed from the basement to the larger garage. As usual all the pictures are at the end of post, enjoy (I hope)!!!

Regarding the plywood shelf build, I have put the one and only coat of BLO on the shelves and will finish it out with two coats of poly. For all intended purposes the shelves came out functionally perfect. In comparison to personal expectations they didn't come out quite as accurately or error free as I would have liked. As I stated in the previous post this was my first time using a router to create dados and actually the first time I've created dados period, so I suppose I shouldn't be too surprised with the outcome.

I really wished I could figure out why my projects seem to lack the precision that I am expecting. Early on I in my efforts I recognized that I tend to rush things. Sometimes I would make a cut before I was 100% sure or make a cut based on a single measurement. Now I am "TRYING" to force myself to measure, measure again and then repeat the measurement just to be sure. When I am "TRYING" something, or figuring something out, for the first time I "TRY" to make myself either physically test the process or think all the way through the processes at least two or three times before going live. I "TRY" to think of all potential failure paths, possible mental and physical obstacles to success and I "TRY" to make sure I clearly think about what is a successful outcome to the process/problem.

Recently (honestly currently) I was "TRYING" to blame a lot of my precision issues on the quality and quantity of my tools. I can't get this curve because I don't have this bandsaw blade. I can't get accurate tenons because I don't have a shoulder plane. I can't "TRY" that technique because I don't have a double beveled case hardened giraffe-necked two-handed wizzywhatsit. I can't "TRY" that because my table saw is accurate enough. Now I am "TRYING" to force myself to push through these limitations. I "TRY" to adjusted my thought processes when I find myself "TRYING" to use the tooling rationale as an excuse. I just tell myself to quit the quitting and "TRY" the "TRYING". If I fail I just chalk it up to practice makes perfect, next challenge please.

Simply stated, I am "TRYING" to make a significant effort to avoid "STUPID", which seems to dog me on a much too regular basis. 

Who knows maybe one day or one project somewhere in the future it'll all come together and I won't wonder anymore. I'll just look back at all the memories, sawdust, splinters, band-aids, scrap lumber, blazing fire pits and occasional successes and think how much enjoyment I've gotten out of all this "TRYING"!!! Now excuse me I've got another crazy idea I want to "TRY"!!!

Until my next post:


±40 Gallon Poly Drum With 1/2" Holes In Bottom 2/3 Wrapped In Landscape Fabric
Low Corner Of Driveway Just Inside Garage (Water Has Gotten About 2' Deep Before)
Hand Dug 20-25' Ditch 12-18" Deep - ±8' Through +4" Asphalt
Right Side View
Front View
Left Side View

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Live Edge Table Progress & Plywood Shelf Design

This weekend has been and will continue to be rather hectic, so this post will be short on the verbiage and more picturecentric. Hope that you enjoy it none the less.

OK, so I've continued slowly working on the Live Edge Table. At this point, as you'll see in the photos below, the overall form is complete. I finished the stretcher and mortises and currently have the table dry fitted. I am less than proud of my joinery, but chalk most of the errors up to the learning process. The biggest issue is sloppiness and plenty of it. The biggest cause for the errors, aside from inexperience, is quality chisels and honestly the patience to keep my crappy ones sharpened. The old 1970's Stanley's I have from my father hold an edge about as well as a historical re-enactment holds my 12 year old son's attention. Hopefully one of my next significant acquisitions will be a decent set of chisels. I've been ogling a set or two from Tools For Working Wood. From this point the project turns into to a shaping and sanding and shaping and sanding project. As noted in my previous post about the project, all the edges on the legs will be rounded over and blended into the top of the table. You'll notice in the photos that I've played with curves in the stretcher and it will also receive the rounding and shaping treatment. In the end I'll have to use some epoxy to compensate for some of the looser joints. I plan on shimming as much as possible and then use the epoxy for gap filling. I will post a future update as the project wraps up.

In other news... I am trying to finish my miter saw station that I posted about a few weeks ago. While it is fully functional as a miter station, I never completed the shelving behind the fence or installed the t-track on the fence. Well below you'll see a couple of Sketch-Up images that show the general design. I haven't shown the edge banding, but I do intend to use 1/8" Red Oak strips on all the exposed plywood edges. The first image it is the final completed station, minus the t-track. The substructure, miter extension table and fence are already completed. The second image depicts the shelving and bin storage unit design that remains to be constructed. This will be my first project using my new Bosch Router and the first time I've used dados as the primary joinery. I've made an exact wide dado jig for the router, so hopefully a couple of practice runs and I'll be ready to go live. Unfortunately there isn't a local source for quality plywood, so Lowe's Birch 3/4" will have to suffice. I figure its a shop fixture, so good practice anyway. Again, I'll post an update as I get this one rolling too.

Until my next post:


Thursday, April 4, 2013

Don't You Just Love Birthdays...

Well the last week of March is always a good time of year, as far as I am concerned. I think most people feel similarly during the week of their birthdays. This year was no exception, as I was blessed with well wishes and gifts from many of the special people in my life. Thanks to everyone for making it a great day!!!

The one item I received that kind of sticks out to me (not meaning to lessen my appreciation for ANY of the others) is my new Bosch 1617 EVSPK Router Kit. The router kit includes the 2-1/4 HP variable speed soft start router, the fixed base, the plunge base, a 1/4" collet and a 1/2" collet. Additionally, I was able to purchase a single 1/2" straight pattern bit and the complete dust collection shroud kit, which includes a fix based collection shroud, a plunge base collection shroud and the edge cutting collection shroud. All the dust collection accessories will not arrive until next week, so my patience will be tested. The only items I will need to acquire to round out the entire setup is the centering bit/guide and the guide bushing set. I built a quick and dirty  exact width dado jig early this week. After I play with this preliminary version of the jig I will create a second generation version using better materials for accuracy and durability, but for now this particle board version will suffice. Eventually I will start on a custom router table and fence similar to the New Yankee Workshop version. There are a couple of modifications I think I will make, but for the most part I'll stick to the plans.

The router is one of those items I have been putting off buying due to budget issues for some time, so I am very grateful to receive such a wonderful gift. While I will be keeping my father's old B&D router for sentimental reasons most likely it's use in the shop will be extremely limited. Maybe I'll set it up for round overs and/or chamfers? Any suggestions? This is like a 4 or 4.5 amp B&D Deluxe Router from the late 70's or early 80's, so it is neither powerful or "Deluxe" by comparison with today's router options.

After I complete a couple of the items on 
shelf of misfit projects I think I am going back to basics  to focus on some general cabinetry projects. Not that plywood cabinets are simplistic or easy to build, but more because I have never really taken the time to try to build any basic cabinet carcasses. The projects I have in mind are both shop built and household in nature. For the shop I am looking at several base cabinets, a router table and a couple of wall mounted shelving units. In the house it will be two bathroom cabinets for above the commodes, three different areas that need shelving and one kitchen wall cabinet. Nearly all of this will be primarily  plywood with some hardwood face framing. My one regret is the lack of a quality plywood provider in the immediate area. The bulk of these projects will have to be sourced from the local hardware company (Citizen's - Ace Hardware) or the big box (Lowe's) so material selection will definitely be a concern. If my world is perfect I would like to finish all these projects by the end of the year, so I better get busy!!! Not to mention painting the house and repairing eaves and soffits. Oh boy!!!

Below are a few pictures. I will provide a brief review of the router in a future post. For now suffice to say it is the greatest router ever and there is absolutely nothing wrong with it!!! But don't think I am naive enough to actually think these are not biased preconceived notions generated out of the sheer excitement and jubilation of receiving a TOOL for my birthday. When the review hits the site it will be based on the facts after using the tool for a couple projects and experiencing both the pros and the cons of its operation. For now, I'll enjoy the blind ECSTASY!!!

Until my next post: