Nov 16

Lost focus…

Problem with knowing you have N slats to get prepped is that that’s a nice countdown type task, just doing the same thing over and over with a nice number ticking away. Then it hits zero and unless you’re prepped, you have no idea what you’re doing next. Which is where last night’s shed time went. I tried out the new arno burnisher I got for the card scraper (Chris Schwartz was right, get one) and put away some new small c-clamps at least temporarily, I played with the new lens for the camera (just a basic kit lens doing 18-55mm because if you’re in a six foot deep shed taking photos of a five foot wide bench, a 40mm prime lens is just not helpful).

But all I did on the crib was prep one board I had set aside for the frame, plane it to smooth (not square) and rip it in half to give me two 2-and-a-bit inch wide rough blanks. 

The ryoba shot through this stuff like it was on rails. Walnut’s expensive, but it just does everything so cleanly compared to something like pine. And now I have three blanks to make two steambent frame pieces. But after that I ran out of to-do list, which is one of the more irritating and weird annoyances. So I took stock of all the walnut I have left to prep a cutlist, and I played some more with the camera.

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Same lens, varying from 55mm (the close-up) to 18mm (the wideangle shot). That bench still needs a lot more tidying and that wall needs a lot more holders.


Could stand a box or two for storage of finishes and the like too. Hmmm.


And the clamps and the grinder need homes. Lots of shed-related tasks that need a little thought and sketching and a bit of work.

I did get an hour or so to play with Sketchup and take my notes from my notebook and put them into that to get a more formal picture of what the design should look like (I find this is handy because it’s sort of like a rehersal build – you spot small things like off-by-an-inch measurements that cause things to get in the way of other things, you can visualise the finer details more easily when you have an accurate structure to put them in and it gives a fast way to see the design from several angles just by right-clicking and dragging the mouse about.

sidecarcrib2 sidecarcrib1


Nov 16

Slats done…


Amazing how a deadline focuses the mind, eh Sammy?

Got through the last few slats this evening, planed them to thickness and then gauged a line and planed them to width. So now I have 18 30″ long slats and 8 31″ long slats (the extra inch is just how the board came out in the rough cut, I’ll trim them all to length when fitting them). And I spent a little while last night going over cutlist plans for the frame – I want to try using Sketchup to block out the design a bit more formally, it helped quite a bit with the bench. But the next few tasks are to get more frame stock cut and planed and sized. The panels around the drawer and the drawer itself should be relatively fast compared to the slats (I hope) and the drawer base faster still as it’s repurposed T&G stock so it’ll just be cutting the boards to length, planing away the existing T&G, rethicknessing it and then recutting a new T&G (I won’t glue up the base so that the wood can move more readily, the drawer will keep it corralled).

And then this weekend, building the steaming jig and if the 2″ wide strapping arrives, I might even try using the jig (if it doesn’t, I’ll wait till next weekend and spend the time on other jobs).


Nov 16

Six weeks and counting…

Realised in the last few days that the delivery date for the cot (hehe, see what I did there?) is six weeks away. Yikes. Need to finish off the stock prepping more quickly. So tonight I got the last three laths and resawed them down to slats using the Tyzack saw to start the cut and taking over with the ryoba after the first six inches or so. This seemed to work quite well and a lot faster than the last few resawing jobs.


I am wondering how I’m going to do the panels in the drawer box at the bottom though. I don’t mind thicknessing them down by a quarter-inch or so (with a scrub plane that’s about three minutes of work), and I suppose the weight at the base will add to stability which is a plus. Some thought required. Meanwhile, on with prepping the slat blanks. Out with the thicknessing jig and got one down to thickness after a quick stropping of the jack and smoother plane blades (the new higher angle on the smoother plane works brilliantly on the ash, I’m seriously thinking about adding a back bevel to it just to increase the angle even more now).

img_9797aOnly got through one slat though, and had to plane a good three mm off the edge so there’s ample room on all of these to get them down to size. I think I’ll get all 8 readily from these (I’m counting that as improving 😀 ). That gives me a total of 27 slats, so I’ll do 13 to a side and have one spare. I should have these all finished by Friday, and I plan to get the steaming jig built over the weekend as well as run the power cable out to the shed, and then next week it’ll be prepping frame and panel pieces and the following weekend I can do some steambending. That gives me four more weeks and a few days to get the joinery, assembly, fitting and finishing all done. It’s doable, but I’m going to have to start mucking about with finish testing soon as well or I’ll wind up messing up at the far end.

Nothing like a nice relaxing hobby to take your mind off work deadlines 😀