Thursday, 25 August 2011

Small Toolbox

My second project, a small toolbox / bench tool organiser.

This little project started as an excuse for me to try my hand at mortise & tenon joints and finger (box) joints. Again it's made from scraps of Pine I had laying around.

While it's pretty small, it serves to keep all my most frequently used things such as squares, tape measure, marking knife & gauges, bradawl and chisels close to hand. Its also big enough to hold my bench backsaws.

All in all I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out in terms of the joints. My one niggle is the glue line along the bottom. I am using Titebond polyurethane expanding foam glue which is a nightmare to use and impossible to get off your hands (even with nail varnish remover). I guess I should have put a proper (glue-less) base on the box using grooves instead of getting lazy and simply glueing and screwing on a bottom panel.

Oh well... It served as a good learning experience and the box will be handy.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

My New New Tools

Just a quick post while I'm waiting for some glue to dry...

While making my small bedside table I quickly came to realise that I was spending most of my time making my inaccurate cuts to length correct by planing the end grain with a block plane. My old steel backed backsaw is slightly bent, almost blunt and in need of a sharpen, not to mention a slightly loose handle. This combined with my natural inability to saw straight meant a lot of wasted time, especially as I was 'leaving the marking lines and then some' just incase the cut went wrong.

Now don't get me wrong, I know I could spend some time sharpening the saw etc but what better excuse than to splurge on some shiny new toys?

I have to say a big 'thankyou' to my girlfriend for my late Birthday presents...

My new 'bling bling' Lie Nielson 14ppi Crosscut Carcass Saw & 15ppi Thin Plate Rip Dovetail Saw has made cutting to size a breeze. I can choose to 'split the line' or leave it intact with a very minimal of effort and maintain a square cut. Yes they are pricey and probably way overkill for my beginning needs, but the smile I get just from picking them up makes them worth it!

I was a little worried when I first used the new saws as they seemed to jump out of the cut and generally not seem to behave, but soon learnt not to force the cut and relax both my grip and pressure letting the weight of the saw and the sharpness of the teeth do the work. The result an almost perfect square cut 99% of the time.

The nice shiny plates also allow me to mark a straight perpendicular line on the non-waste side of the cut and the reflection in the saw plate aids as a guide to keep the blade straight and plumb. In short these saws are teaching me how to saw accurately and correctly.

They look stunning as well!...

Friday, 19 August 2011

My New Old Tools

Recently my girlfriend's mum invited me to look through her shed for any tools that might be of use in my new woodworking hobby. A lot of the tools I found were suffering from rust and have not been used (or even touched) for around 18 years.

Here are a few of the tools I am either in the process of cleaning up or have cleaned up and pressed back into service once again.
  • Roll of 12 Auger bits
  • Ridgway Large Expanding Bit Set 3/8" - 3"
  • Large Yankee Push Screwdriver
  • Small Ratchet Screwdriver
  • Marking Gauge
  • Small Hammer
  • Stanley 102 Block Plane
  • Rapier Spokeshave
  • 2 x Egg Beater Drills (One Stanley the other a Millers Falls?)
  • Spinney Bailey No#4 Bench Plane - I may set this up as a 'Scrub Plane'
  • 2 x Sureform (Straight & Curved) Planes
  • Wooden (Shoulder?) Plane.
There were also three 'Warranted Superior' Panel saws which I counted as: 5tpi, 8tpi & 10tpi all filed rip. I de-rusted the blades, sanded and oiled the wooden handles and have sent them off along with my own 10tpi panel saw for re-sharpening and should get them back next week.

I have requested the 5tpi to be filed rip, the 8tpi to be filed crosscut and the other two 10tpi saws rip and crosscut. At some point in the near future, I would like get the required saw files and tools and be responsible for sharpening my own saws.

Cleaning, de-rusting, oiling, servicing and sharpening all these tools is helping me better understand how they work and what's required to keep them functioning properly - all the more important in the hand tool world.

It's certainly a steep learning curve!

Thursday, 18 August 2011

My New 'Workshop'

At last I have a 'workshop' to play in! ...

After finally getting the spare room decorated, I have now 'moved my tools in' and made some wood shavings. Tool storage is pretty basic at the moment but I hope to either build a tool chest or wall cabinet at some point.

As you can see from the photo below, the new bench is a nice size for such a small room and fits my needs fine as a beginning wood worker.
As expected, the bench does try to 'run away from me' when planing heavily but it's not to bad if I butt it against one of the walls and my tools are sharp. It's also too high for planing, although the perfect height for cutting, etc, so I might shorten the legs a little in time to get more weight down over the plane. We'll see it's early days...

Aside from a bench hook and generally playing around with scraps of wood, this small 'bedside table' is the first thing I have ever made out of wood in my life! All done using hand tools only and no electricity aside from the room lights!

It's made using Half Lap joints from scrap wood (really soft Pine) thrown away by the next door neighbour and an old bed headboard, (which I think is African Mahogany) for the top. It took me 3 days to build it (including stripping heavy varnish from the Mahogany) and I have already learn't so much in those three days.

As a logical learning progression, I thought I would start with simple 'Half Lap' joints and then progress on to Mortise & Tennons, Finger Joints and finally Dovetails.

I have some Mahogony offcuts from my boat, bought some pieces of cheap Pine from the timber yard and stock piled some old wood that was destined to be thrown away, so expect some more small projects soon.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Happy Birthday To Me

Happy Birthday to me ... !!!
As a birthday treat to myself I have purchased a few more goodies from Axminster tools.
So what are we looking at here:
and lastly just out of shot a Japanese Marking knife.

Unfortunately, the room I will be setting up as a workshop isn't ready and has to be decorated first (sometime next week), so until then I have been sharpening tools and messing about with offcuts of wood etc.

The DMT Stones and Veritas honing guide are amazing and I can sharpen chisels and plane blades to razor sharpness very quickly. The 2 3/8" No#6 Plane Blade is a bit awkward to sharpen on the 2" wide stones but I managed fine.

More soon ...