13
Jun 18

Almost there…

So I was a bit sneaky this morning and went to the shed for ten minutes before heading off to work. I’d prepped the part for the end cap on the toolbox last night but because I’d clamped up the base I couldn’t glue it on without risking either it or the base shifting when clamping. So this morning I went out, took off the clamps from the base, made sure I had clean gluing surfaces and glued up the end cap and clamped it. And of course, as you’re in a hurry, everything gets irksome and fiddly.

Why on earth did it choose this morning to lose it’s head? ūüėÄ

But I got it clamped in the end.

Then off I went to work and later this evening…

Sawed the end cap flush with the flushcut saw, planed the base flush (with lots of chamfering to prevent spelching – not sure how you’d fix that at this stage) and then started cleaning up squeezeout.

Y’know, I thought those plastic razor blade things would be a total gimmick, but for stuff like this they’re actually quite useful. I did still have to do some careful chisel work but the bulk of the removal was very straightforward using this and the best part of the plastic blades is that you really have to abuse them to nick the piece so you don’t have to be quite so careful as you do with a chisel.

All nice and clean. I do still have to pass over the sides with a last smoothing plane pass and probably some sandpaper, but that’s for later.

Next up, glueing the first stop on the lid after trimming it carefully to length. I’ve shaped the inner edge of that stop so it’s a little less abrupt.

This is all going to make more sense when it’s done.

Also, I gave the inside of the box a quick swipe with some danish oil – it’ll be easier to do it now when I have access. The other end cap will go on tomorrow and after that it’ll be harder to not have any missed bits inside, so I’ve done the one inner coat I was planning on now. Should make it easier.

And done for the day. Material for the other endcap prepped in the background, but I still need to find material for the key – it and the lid will be distinctive and everything else will be beech or the walnut pegs. It doesn’t look too bad so far.

Speaking of finish, time to check how those purple stains dried…

Interesting. The neat stain is definitely too dark, as is the light purple over dark blue; and the lightest purple just looks like the wood’s grubby, but the higher concentration of the stain doesn’t look too bad. Needs to be even more concentrated but I think we have a good possible there. I won’t get back to the locker till next week though, but it gives the joinery and the wood for the door time to rest and move if they’re going to. And gives me time to think about decoration. What happens if you cut very white stringing into a stained wood I wonder…?


09
Jun 18

Belting up

A few hours in the shed today that felt productive (it’s a false positive; it was just that a few end stages happened at the same time). Started off with the final fettling of the carcass for the locker and then smoothed all the interior surfaces and rounded the corners I won’t be able to readily reach after glueup.

20 minutes with #04 and card scraper and we’re ready to glue up.

Prepped an mdf surface to assemble on…

Final dry run…

Okay, looks good, knock it apart and start the glue-up.

Mise en place is as important in woodworking as it is in the kitchen…

And that’s the carcass glued up and left to cure (the back’s not glued on yet).

Then it was time to fix the bandsaw. I got some 120XL037 belts from RS (they didn’t have 124XL037, but the motor’s on an adjustable mount so I should be able to get away with it…)

Found there’s a tool I could use…

Circlips are a bit of a pain without the appropriate pliers. Bit fiddly. But managed not to break it which was good.

Then found these on the floor with all the sawdust and the teeth from the last belt. Took me a minute to recognise the lower thrust bearing from the bandsaw…

Must have come off during the resawing. That’s not exactly reassuring. Remounted them, and added it to the list of things to check.

Fitted the belt, put the wheel back on and tensioned the belt and locked the motor in place, put the blade back on and tensioned that and got everything all set up, then ripped down about five feet of beech from 150mm wide to half that (I’m planning on making a few small boxes and things with that), planed edges on all of the ripped sections (1×1′, 2×2′) so I could resaw them (hence the 73mm width, it’s the max for the saw), set up the fence for one board to resaw it to 1/4″ and 3/4″ pieces and resawed that down to size. The japanese toolbox idea I was playing with needed to have new edge pieces cut. I had tried to cut housing joints by saw and, well…

Yeah, don’t do that. Left a massive gap I couldn’t have hidden. I’ll probably slice off the bits with the joints and use the center section for the lid components or the handles.

First, cut new housing joints on the new pieces (after planing, of course). Usual procedure – knifewall, chop down, pare to wall, chop, pare, chop, pare until we’re to depth, then mark off the other side off the piece to fit, and repeat.

Went faster than before; I’m getting used to working in beech (and enjoying it). And I might have figured out how to do a reasonable housing joint.

And it wasn’t too late, so I cut the joints on the far side as well.

Right. I’ll fettle it tomorrow (just to get the reference faces all coplanar) and glue it up, then maybe drill for the dowel pins (won’t use nails on this one), and make some pegs for them from some walnut scraps I have handy that are too short for any other use.

Definitely enough material there for the lid and handle pieces.

Last job for the evening, glue on the back panel for the locker.

Fiddly but not too bad, it was so fettled that I really could have let the glue hold it in place. But if you have the clamps, might as well cinch it up (the C-clamps aren’t actually tightened down very much at all here, just snugged up to hold the back panel in while the f-clamps get tightened to get the edges in contact).

It’s not looking¬†terrible, even if I’m saying so myself. Still need to level the legs, but that’ll do for later on. And I still haven’t the door sorted out yet, I’m thinking about how to decorate the piece of beech I have planed and set aside for the job.

 

I mean, what’s the point of practicing stringing if you don’t do any? ūüėÄ

 

Also, how the hell do you finish beech so it looks good?
To the forums!

 


06
Jun 18

Splitting rabbets

So, another housing joint to chop…

Giving the new chisel mallet a workout. So far, it’s working very well. Chopped the housing joints as per yesterday (had to take a pause to take the #08 to the edges in the vice, I’d missed a small bow in the edge so I wanted to correct that before marking out for the new joint).

All grand. Did a test assembly and everything fitted and was square. Excellent. Then thought about the back and decided to rebate it in, but with a stopped rebate (the client ūüėÄ doesn’t want the back to extend all the way to the ground), so marked out for that and got out the #778 and suddenly realised that on one side (and of course, the side I’m starting on), the #778 is the wrong handedness. Bugger. So off with the fence and the rods and we attack it from the other side, treating the #778 like an old wooden rebate plane. Which is a pretty hairy routine – tilt it over on the inboard side, run the point of the blade along the knife line to dig its own reference edge, then drop the outboard side gradually to work down to a shallow but level rebate and then plane to depth… except that the stopped rebate bit means the plane isn’t of use for the last two or three inches. Bugger. Well, you can chop a rebate with a chisel…

Bloody complicated rabbit this. Starting to question the wisdom of the idea. And then on almost the last chisel chop getting the wall of the rebate vertical, the inevitable happened…

Well, feck.

Short crack, too thin for PVA or hide glue, don’t want to split it off and glue it back on, so… low viscosity superglue, your time has come! Held it gently open, and dropped in thin superglue until I could see it running all down through the crack and then clamp the crack shut and set aside overnight.

James Wright did a long series of tests on wood glue recently and CA glue (superglue) very surprisingly blew most of the competition away in several categories from strength to filling ability to shearing force and so on, so maybe this will work.

If not, I’ll break it off completely and reglue it with PVA and accept the surface defect, but hopefully it won’t come to that…