Plugging away…

So first things first, take the clamps off and see if the hide glue cured…

Not too bad, lots of squeezeout in places but I can deal with that.

Well, bugger. I thought I had that better aligned than that and there’s no real way to fix it now. Feck.

Clean up the squeezeout and smooth the surfaces. Mostly the #04 with a few pieces done by card scraper. Not too bad. Broke the sharp edges as well.

Couldn’t get all the edges with the #04 though, so various other tools made an appearance. And then leveled the legs so it didn’t rock. I don’t like MDF for, well, anything, but it is nice to have a flat surface for this sort of thing and I don’t have room for a granite slab so I do keep a piece or two of MDF handy for this task.

Not bad, but now I have to plug those gaps at the top rear corner where the dovetails used to be. Should be simple, cut a block of wood to fit oversize, glue it in, let the glue set, cut it flush with the flush-cut saw and then some chisel work and some sanding…

…looks okay to me!

Okay, that now goes to rest for a little while so I can figure out the door, decoration, finishing and so on. I’ll have to give it another smoothing or sanding pass before finishing, but when you see it in the flesh it looks far more even than it does in the photos, and it’s smooth to the fingertips.

But first…

Glued up the carcass of the toolbox, and cut the mangled rebates off the old sides – they’ll make good material for handles or the top parts.

While the glue dries, it’s time to make pegs from some small offcuts of walnut that have reasonably straight grain. These are left over from making the sidecar cot from a while ago…

Smashy smashy!

It’s always the last one….

Still, I can use those. The short one I’ll use for a test hole, I haven’t used the brace on beech before now.

Drills reasonably well, but lots more dust than shavings off the bit than I’d see in something like oak. Takes a lot more effort to get through. I’m pretty sure that bit’s sharp as well, it definitely wanted a bite out of my fingertips. Now to flushcut and then plane down to see how well it looks…

That’s quite nice actually. Good fit too.

And with the glue dried, plane down the edges until we’re all level and not rocking (again, the MDF sheet’s handy as a reference surface here. I really want to flatten my benchtop but there just isn’t room to do so in the shed).

Some marking out and drilling of holes…

And in go the pegs and the glue. I’ll let it set up then trim off the pegs and they’ll go on to make more pegs later on.

And I glued up a panel for the base. Gotta love sprung joints. I’ll plane up and cut to size tomorrow. And lastly, a quick test of finishes – on the left, danish oil; on the right, crimson guitar’s royal blue stain (just because). I must find out if boss lady wants her locker any particular colour…

That blue is seriously intense while wet, it’s mucking up the camera’s colour balance even against a white background.

 

Locker progress

So with the bandsaw down, my plans for the box are on hold and I moved back to the locker. I started off by planing the roughcut pieces I was going to use to get them flat and smooth, then I cut the dovetails for the main carcass, and of course, that means sharpening time 😀

And marking up time…

And sawing time…

No, I didn’t do all the sawing with the fretsaw, I just used that to get the bulk of the waste out. Then it was chopping and paring time.

Incidentally, that chisel mallet is a nice find from lidl. I’d say I spotted it, but credit for that goes to Calum…

Different faces of different colour-coded hardness from white (hardest) to black to red to yellow to blue (softest), so you can have one hammer with one face for thwacking the chisel and the other face for beating the joint together or apart without either losing energy on the former or marring the work on the latter. Not bad for €14. I mean, it’s not better than the sculptors mallets for carving, but it holds its own against the deadblow hammer, at least in beech. Maybe in a harder wood it wouldn’t manage it, but we’ll see. I don’t have to give up one for the other 😀 That case has to go though, it’s daft.

It won’t make the dovetails less gappy for you though… alas.
Then this evening I chopped the housing joints for the shelf in the locker.

I know I’m using more chisels than I need, but I don’t care, I love the japanese one for the vertical chopping and hate it for the angled chopping, so I swap back and forth. It’s still remarkably fast, especially on a shallow housing like this. Knife the first line, chop down, chop in, brush off the chips, repeat till you’re at depth, bring in the piece of wood to be fitted and tap it up to the new wall of the joint and nick the other side with the knife, then scribe that line with the straight edge and repeat the entire process until both knife walls are at depth and there’s a ridge of waste between them, then pare most of that out with the chisel and refine it with the router plane until it’s all nice and smooth on the inside of the joint. Then pound the shelf home with the mallet to check for fit, and then do the other side…

It’s gappy on the dovetails, but the housing joints are fine (that small gap on the left there is something I’ll fettle out, there’s too much width on the shelf yet by about a half-mm or so).

One more housing joint to do and that’ll be the carcass roughed out. Then I have to decide how to attach the back panel and figure out the door (that shelf and the bottom of the locker will have to be recessed for it on the front slightly, but should I rabbet the back to fit the back panel and avoid nails? And I have to figure out the legs as well…

Bandjaxed

So it’s a bank holiday weekend and I was looking forward to lots of time in the shed, but on friday a nice lady held me down and shoved a screwdriver and a pair of pliers in my mouth so I wasn’t really up to much woodworking on the Saturday, but at least the extraction didn’t cause too much pain after the fact so today I decided to hit the shed and get on with some stuff, and I thought I’d start with some resawing.

The fence they ship the Titan bandsaw with is ridiculously awful, so this is what I normally use – just a length of extruded aluminum that normally serves as a straightedge when planing. I must see about getting a wider box section for this job though, the underside of the table has ribs so it’s not so easy to find a flat spot to get the clamps on without tipping the fence over when you clamp. But after some faffing about I got it all set and started to feed in the beech, and getting pretty good results (This is 75mm wide material, the upper limit for the machine).

Nice straight clean cuts, minimal saw fuzz, no wandering or blade drift, I was happy with that. Then on the last board…

Just literally ground to a halt mid-cut. Motor’s still spinning, but the blade’s not moving. I was sure I’d overheated the little motor or something so I turned everything off and let it sit for a half-hour and then tried again, but to the same result – the blade would move allright, but the minute it hit the wood, it stalled out and stopped while the motor kept spinning. So I opened up the lower box and sure enough…

Note, the belt hadn’t snapped, I cut it out of the bandsaw to save time, the problem is that the teeth are all stripped off the inside of the belt (note the melted fuzz on the remaining third of the teeth, and there were a lot of completely stripped off teeth on the bottom of the lower bandsaw cabinet). It’s a 124XL037 belt in case this ever happens to you, and like the bearings, these belts are industrial lego. If you don’t need them fast, you can get a box of ten from aliexpress for $16; if you need them tomorrow, Radionics will ship you two for the same price in a day or so. So I’ll be sorted before the end of the week, but it’s still a bit of a pain in the fundament.

Still though, got most of the boards done.

That bottom one is 100mm wide, it wasn’t getting resawn, it’s to be thicknessed. And the remaining board I was mostly through so I finished resawing it by hand.

Yeah, still not my favorite part of this hobby. But beech turns out to be nice to saw.

Then laid out the parts for the next project…

Bit of a glue-up panel for the back…

That’ll be ready tomorrow and then I can continue planing the parts. Then the outside frame gets dovetailed, the inner shelf and bottom get housing joints, I’ll rebate the panel into the frame at the back and thickness the door and that’ll be that.

Yeah, so only another six months 😀

And then maybe some stringing for decoration… or some carving… 😀

I also got some walnut pieces rough-cut from an offcut from the sidecar cot to be used in the experimental box. I’m just not looking forward to resawing that to a usable thickness and I hate thicknessing walnut by scrub plane, it feels like such a waste. Oh well. Frame saw time maybe.

A busy weekend…

…and almost none of it spent in the shed, but for once that wasn’t a bad thing 🙂

(I know this might be confusing if you’re reading this outside Ireland, but check the international news, we wound up in it almost everywhere). Herself was canvassing and leafletting and doing her part for this for the last few weeks, and we were all a bit on edge throughout because the No campaign were being violent and abusive and just plain nasty in an attempt to drive down turnout for the vote, but in the end people remembered thirty-five years of suffering and overwhelmingly voted yes. After which, to be frank, we were all a bit weepy and wiped out. Herself went in to Dublin Castle for the official announcement, and I went off with Junior to the grandparents to decompress and grill some hamburgers, and we all went home and crashed that evening with a plan to not even move the next day if we didn’t have to.

But I figured the shed might help me unwind a little so…

First things first, grind a camber onto the new scrub plane…

I’m always convinced this stage is going to ignite six litres of shellac and finishes so I’m not hugely fond of it but needs must…

Then on to the stones to fine tune the bevel and hone it.

Well, that worked…

And a slightly less aggressive camber than Sid’s. So, Sid gets relegated to the toolbox for the foreseeable; he may be dug out again if I ever need to thickness a lot of pine or something like that, but he tended to bite me as much as he’d bite the wood, so I’d rather stick with the new plane, it lets me bleed less on the work which will hopefully improve the final finish of pieces. Happily, I didn’t have to do anything to the mouth, so the guilt of mangling an old but perfectly fine Record #04 wasn’t triggered.

In its new home.

And now my wall is almost 100% record (bar the two stanley block planes and the preston spokeshaves). Which is odd because I didn’t start out looking to make a collection, but I seem to have wound up with one anyway.

Oh well. Time to actually use the sodding things now. I have some rough cut pieces still ready to start in on…

But I’m not actually touching those today, I wanted to get a feel for what beech is like to work so I’m prepping some pieces for a simple box first from the offcut left over from doing those rough cuts.

Ripped the offcut in half and planed to matching width.

Then flattened one side and thicknessed with the new scrub plane. Honestly, this is not my favourite part of this hobby.

And it generates a lot of mess…

But I got the pieces thicknessed and flattened on both sides, and shot the ends square and then cut out 8″ and 5″ lengths for the sides of the box.

…and I don’t like the proportions. Hm. I wanted to use the rippled sycamore for the lid here, so I think I’ll let it dictate the proportions; that should shrink the width by a solid inch here which I think might work. It’ll be a japanese style tool box thing when its done, if a little bit fancier than those normally get made because I want to use pegs instead of nails and try to make it pretty. We’ll see if it works 😀

I’ll probably just futz with the proportions stuff and maybe cut the housing joints here tomorrow, and then I want to get on with the resawing and prep work on the pile of rough cuts for the box, it’s for a present and I’d like to get a start on it. And I’m seriously thinking about taking this Friday off as it’s the June bank holiday weekend and a four day weekend right now sounds almost scandalously luxurious…

Pottering about

Last project finished, next one not properly started yet (just have the rough cuts done) and another in mind but not off the notepad yet. So now’s the time to work on the shed itself…

That’s the dust collection for the shed (it’s collapsed because the vacuum hose got clogged with shavings and the shop vac managed to pull enough air out of the barrel for atmospheric pressure to crush it). It’s a bit… big. For the shed at least. So a while back, I got a smaller drum.

And it’s been sitting there since I bought it, getting in the way, because I was trying to get other stuff done. So…

Out with the old…

And mark out and measure for the minicyclone seperator in the lid of the new drum, cut out the large hole with, of all things, the lie-nielsen radius cutter I was using for stringing on the last project, and then drill the holes for the attachment screw and fit it. In the end I didn’t use the sealer though, I’m not sure if it’s needed just yet.

It’s a wee bit smaller 😀
May need to re-jig how it’s held upright because unlike the older drum, this one has no side handles to thread with bungees.

Much smaller and neater. I didn’t use the sealer yet – I was mucking about with a safety valve to stop it getting crushed like its predecessor, but discovered that even with the 10mm hole in the lid wide open I was still getting suction on the main hose, and if I blocked that main hose, the 10mm hole wasn’t enough to stop the vacuum trying to collapse the drum. May need to rethink that a bit – it could just be that the smaller size results in far more rigidity and I don’t need it. Or I may need it later due to wear and tear. We’ll see.

Either way, more room!

And more clamps! There were a few 3″ clamps going for a fiver per pair on ebay so I grabbed them. They’re getting some PTFE lubricant here. At some point I really ought to take off the old paint and repaint all of these but I like the old record blue and I’m not sure I want to go into learning how to stove enamel stuff in the same oven we cook dinner in…

(Oh and the calculator is because I can’t multiply by 1.618 in my head)

And this is the next project after the next one; it’s not off the notepad yet but I was looking at how beech and walnut look beside the rippled sycamore that I want to use in it, trying to figure out colour contrasts so things look matched rather than looking garish, but also letting me keep mucking about with stringing.

I do have one shed task left though, and that’s to grind a camber in the new scrub plane blade. It won’t be anywhere near as severe as Sid’s camber, that was something like a 4″ camber, this will be about 7″ or so. I’ll get to that next, and then I’ll get back to the locker.

Ah for feck’s sakes…

I only just finished digging that sodding thing out!

*sigh*

And I’ve not been getting much done in there thanks to subzero temperatures and public transport making the work commute into anything up to a six-hour-a-day nightmare (yes, a foot of snow won’t slow down Canada, but Canada spends more on their snow clearing hardware and people than we spend on Varadkar’s Strategic Communications Spin Unit…). Mostly I’ve been putting together new tools for some things I’d like to try, namely stringing and carved arcading. So for the stringing, I already have the dead fancy radius cutter from lie nielson (probably the most bling tool I own), and a small perspex scrap to give it a pivot point when working on some of the usual designs:

But I haven’t got a straight line cutter because I figured I should be able to make one, they’re basically a marking gauge, see the lie nielson one:

Fancy, but basically just a marking gauge. So I ordered a spare blade from the lie nielson cutter to skip the whole metalworking bit because hell, learn one thing at a time. Then I laminated two scraps of white oak, cut and squared a stem from another scrap and chopped a mortice (and a rabbit on the base). Some test fitting, adding the blade in a little recess and…

Mind you, it doesn’t work. The mortice isn’t good enough so the beam isn’t at right angles to the fence, so the blade gets dragged along while skewed so you don’t get a nice thin cut line, you get a wider scratched mess. I think I’ll take out the beam, add a brass strip inlaid on it for a bearing surface and use the brass thumbscrews I have here as a lock. And I’ll remake the fence from a single thickness scrap piece of something; it’s too thick to cut a mortice accurately through (at least for me). Some guide blocks when morticing will probably help too. It’s not hard, but it does take a mite more care than I used on the first try.

Also, I’ll need to cut strips off the veneer to make the stringing, and I was finding my marking knife wasn’t up to it and neither was my heavier stanley boxcutter, both would be fine for a few inches and then wander off the line following the grain. So I got this:

Think pizza cutter. But with a tungsten carbide blade. It’s normally used for cutting cloth for quilting. Doesn’t get dragged off to either side by the grain as much as a normal knife that’s embedded in the grain would because with the wheel, the cutting surface is constantly coming out of the wood so the material hasn’t as solid a grip on the blade (which is precisely why we use these for pizzas and the like). Tested it already and it works like a charm. My veneer on the other hand, is too thin; I need to source better material, which I’ve had some pointers on from the UK forum.

And for cleaning out the stringing lines before gluing in the stringing, a dental pick is a pretty decent tool and dirt cheap on ebay. You get the oddest looks in the office when it’s delivered, mind you…

….but the looks you get when you order the syringes for putting glue in the stringing grooves surpass anything I’ve seen so far 😀

I also had to restock on glue and got a bunch of liquid hide glue in a sale on ebay so that should be all the glue I need for the next year or three (it’ll go off before I get through all of it I’m guessing). So I think I’m set right now for everything but the veneer for stringing; I’ll sort that out while I fix the straight line cutter and then start experimenting.

Meanwhile, Peter Follansbee did a nice blog writing up how he does carved arcading; I’d like to give this a go myself, it looks like fun:

It’s just damn pretty in walnut. And it looks terribly complex when finished, but like a lot of this period’s carving, it’s all geometric and done by leveraging the characteristics of tools rather than being some kind of sculpture that relies on twenty years of experience (which would be harder to try).

I do need to get one or two gouges that are larger than what I currently have so I got a nice three-quarter-inch one for a few euro off ebay again:

And between that and one that was a present from an old friend, had a go at the basic core elements to see if it was even possible (here in an oak scrap rather than walnut):

It’s somewhat easier than the v-tool work that I’ve been practicing (and not getting hugely better at, though having better sharpening kit is making a difference):

Something else to get back to, when I dig the shed out again…. this whole thing of letting the north pole melt and turning off the north atlantic current and ruining the climate is playing absolute hell with my shed time…

It’s not even for the birds!

Offset shoulders

Started off with a quick check of something for Ralph who’d had a minor mishap over on Accidental Woodworker with his #044.

Ouch. Cast part weakness strikes again 🙁

For Ralph, my #044’s rods are square to the fence to within 0.05mm (my thinnest feeler gauge):

And square to the skate to the same tolerance:

And there are gaps around the rod in the fence holes. It’s hard to gauge how much by because my feeler gauges are flat and don’t cope with tight radii well, but it looks somewhere around 0.1mm.

There is a discernible line around the rod in the plane body, but no discernible gap and I can’t get even the tip of the 0.05mm feeler gauge in there.

Incidentally, I normally have the fence rods a few inches proud of the body of the plane like that because its spot on the wall sees it stay in place using both the rods and the secondary fence on the plane:

Hope that helps Ralph.

That done, I set out and marked off the lid frame parts and ripped them out with the bandsaw. It’s not that I don’t like ripsawing, it’s that it’s awkward in a confined space and for rough cuts there’s no great advantage to it. When I have floorspace enough for a sawbench, that may change. For now, a few awkward noisy moments at the bandsaw — and I do mean awkward because it means standing in an 8″x8″ square in the corner between the sander behind me, the vice to the left of me and the dust collection and power cord in front of me, feeding the work through the blade. It’s not quite dangerous, but it’s not my idea of fun either.

That done, out with the plane and clean up and true up the edges and that’s the frame parts set – I’ll crosscut to size later.

First, a quick check of my lid idea; sit the lid on a quarter-inch spacer, butt a frame part against it and take a peek at what will be the cross-section of the lid (sortof) to be sure it’s not horrible.

Eh, it’ll do I think. On to the tenons…

…with just a quick stop to go to the post office and pick up a few new toys 🙂

Some new punches for the whole 17th Century New England carving idea, and a pair of gouges that were going cheap for the same plan; and some brusso hardware that was going for a bit under quarter price. Shame Rutlands didn’t have more of those to be honest, I tried to get more but that was the last one in stock.

Mental note – when knocking punches into a thin piece of material for your reference block, don’t hit the damn thing too hard…

Oh well. On to the tenons…

Started with the long rails at the back and with the shoulder lines. Nothing special here, just come in by an inch, nick it, then use the square to mark off the shoulder line all around the piece. Then the cheek lines get set by taking the chisel I chopped the mortice with and setting the mortice gauge width with it:

Pretty standard stuff, and you’d think that you’d just line the gauge up with the inside of the groove and away you’d go…

Problem is, that doesn’t work because my mortice isn’t the same width as the groove, which is my fault; I assumed that if you have a three-eighths iron and a three-eighths chisel, they’d be the same size. Welcome to one of the quirky features of old imperial-measurements tools – there’s no guarantee that an inch chisel is an inch wide because with old chisels widths were kindof a best-effort sort of thing. When people in the last three countries in the world to not use metric (and the few others who are officially metric but use imperial overwhelmingly in common usage, like the UK) start saying stuff like “who can remember 25.4mm? 1 inch is so much easier to remember! Who makes a 25.4mm chisel?” they’re sortof forgetting that nobody ever used to make a 1 inch chisel either. They’d make almost-an-inch chisels and nobody cared (or cares now) because you set the gauges with the chisel and most of the time nobody cared if the chisel was 1 inch or 1.032 inches because you cut pieces to fit other pieces and so long as they did, the exact size of the groove or mortice didn’t matter. The only time it really causes a problem is things like this where you build things assuming that something called a 1-inch chisel is the same width as something else called a 1-inch iron and it isn’t.

So when I found my morticing chisel wasn’t the same width as the groove, I nudged the mortice up against the wall of the groove away from the face to reduce the chance of something blowing out while chopping the mortice. So now that I’m cutting the tenon, I need to shove the tenon over a bit so that the groove on the rail lines up with the groove on the stile so the panel can fit, like so:

This is obviously not ideal. Next time I build one of these, I’ll pick an iron that matches the chisel and I’ll position the groove a bit more conservatively even if that means cutting the joints and then planing the stiles and rails down to final size after the stressful bits of grooving and morticing are done. But that’s next time. This time, I marked off the cheeks and then sawed them in the vice as normal and moved on to cutting the shoulders.

First use of the japanese saw bench hook in anger (and it works well). The shoulders are cut using something Richard Maguire was talking about in his latest video series and on his blog; the face shoulder is cut right on the line, but the non-face shoulder is cut on the wrong side of the line deliberately:

This is a bit cack-handed and it’s offset too much at the back (but that doesn’t matter hugely). If done right, you’d saw the face shoulder on one side of the line and the back shoulder on the other side of the line with maybe a kerf or two of a difference between the shoulders. You get an asymmetric tenon as a result:

And now when you drive the joint home, the back side does not close up at all:

But the face side – and this is the point of this – is very tight and clean:

And because there are four of these joints in a square, when it’s all assembled and drawbored, all the joints are in tension and so they resist racking as a whole as well. Now I’ve not done a great job here (though all but one of my joints tonight fitted off the saw, which was nice), but even so I’ve got nice lines on the face sides with less effort than normal, so this technique’s a pretty useful one.

Back frame done…

And front frame done and by this point it’s 2300h so I knock off for the evening. Looking at the frames together to get an idea of what the final size will be was encouraging.

They match up well enough.

You can tell that the original sizes for rails have changed quite a bit because I had to remake them. I am wondering if that will affect the sides…

Some fettling may be required. Hm. I do have some room for that but not a huge amount. Also, I know it looks too tall and spindly but that’s because the horns (those bits marked X) haven’t been removed yet and won’t be till near the end (they strengthen the piece during construction).

Even after removing the horns on the legs, I’ll still have quite a bit of material to play with to get the overall proportions fettled.

Some of those joints are pretty decent – even the back shoulder gap is quite small if you don’t go overboard on the offset and you still get the tight face joint as a result.

However, if you do go a bit cack-handed…

Yeah, not so good. Structurally fine, but messy as a messy thing. Not entirely sure how to handle this. I might have to make a frame to go on top of the box itself to mask that off (and the lid would then hinge off that frame). Kindof like edge banding does for plywood. Not sure. I’ll see later.

First though, I have to finish the tenons tomorrow by doing the side rails.

And then there are a few more jobs…

TDL:

  • Rip out lid frame parts
  • Groove lid frame parts
  • Cut lid frame M&T joints and drill for drawboring
  • Measure out lid panel size
  • Groove lid panel
  • Shape lid panel
  • Cut box tenons and drill M&T joints for drawboring
  • Groove bottom box rails for floorboards
  • Crosscut floorboards to width
  • Plane away inside corner on stiles
  • Cut edge floorboards to fit around stiles
  • Possibly build face frame for the top of the chest
  • Assembly
  • Hinges
  • Finishing

 

Nocturne

Nocturne because all day today I was Chopin’, see?

Yeah, well. It was funny in my head.

Anyway, today was mortice day.

That’s my normal way of cutting mortices. The piece is over (or close to) the vice leg (which is thicker than the other workbench legs for just this kind of reason), rather than held in the vice because that way you don’t have to crank on the vice until the steel creaks so your piece doesn’t slip while you’re wailing on it. The holdfast method is just better, faster, and causes less hassle. The clamp and other pieces of wood only come out when the mortice is close enough to the edge that I worry about blowout; and really I’d like to get one of those traditional dual screw woodworking clamps to use instead.

The idea would be to clamp around the piece so the clamp’s on either side of the mortice and then holdfast down either the piece or the clamp. Bit more convenient. But I haven’t found one for sane money yet. Oh well, no rush, the current approach I’m using works fine. Four three-eighths mortices per leg, just under three-quarters of an inch deep and inevitably there’ll be some breakthrough between the bases of pairs of mortices but that’s okay (the tenons will have chamfered ends and I can cut them a hair short if needed), so sixteen shallowish mortices but close to the edge of the pieces, so you can’t just wallop away without thinking.

Also, I’m loving the morticing chisels. They’re almost overkill on mortices this small but they’re so much easier to keep from twisting and so much more controllable.

Anyway, it took me just over two hours in three sessions today to get it all done.

And no blowout, no accidental through-mortices, everything’s fine. And I remembered to leave the horns on the stiles this time to prevent blowing out at the top of the pieces, so yay.

Tomorrow, I start on cutting haunched tenons, and if I get enough done I might drill the drawboring holes and start on making pegs.

I didn’t get to the lid parts today. I might mark out and rip those out tomorrow first, use the bandsaw over lunch when it won’t bother anyone.

TDL:

  • Rip out lid frame parts
  • Groove lid frame parts
  • Cut lid frame M&T joints and drill for drawboring
  • Measure out lid panel size
  • Groove lid panel
  • Shape lid panel
  • Cut box tenons and drill M&T joints for drawboring
  • Groove bottom box rails for floorboards
  • Crosscut floorboards to width
  • Plane away inside corner on stiles
  • Cut edge floorboards to fit around stiles
  • Assembly
  • Hinges
  • Finishing

Back to work…

So back to work today. Checked the thermometer in the shed before leaving the house around 0715 or so…

And given the ice on the decking outside the shed, I doubt that was the low point either. Must remember to put another layer of paste wax on the planes this week to prevent surface blooms of rust.

I figured it’d be warmer by the time I got home but by 2000h…

Hmmm. Uninsulated shed in the middle of winter. Such fun. Oh well, new toys!

Some trammel points and a new 3″ square from Proops (turns out, if you have a 4″ square, you shouldn’t drop it or you’ll have a 4″ not-square…).

And I wanted to see what all the fuss over Japanese chisels was about so I bought a fairly cheap second-hand one (came to about €15 delivered). 8mm, just over the quarter-inch size, nice balance to it, lots of surface rust though. Some sandpaper and some time on the diamond stones later…

It’s a nice little chisel, takes a nice edge (eventually, it does seem to be much harder steel). I don’t see much of a hollow on the back but I guess that’s fixable somehow. Really does feel well balanced in the hand, they always looked a bit awkward to me but when you’re using them it’s a whole other deal. Won’t know how good it is for a while, obviously, but so far so good.

Then some mucking about with the #080 scraper plane on the chest rails (it works!) and I started in on the grooving of the rails…

That oak has pretty grain, but it’s a pain to work with. Scrapers, scraper plane, tight-set #04 skewed with the cap iron clamped down a gnat’s whisker from the cutting edge, all the tricks needed here. Should have the rails done in a day or three, depending on work schedules, get some more practice in on the carving for the panels, and start cutting the mortices and tenons this weekend. Need to prep some more material as well for the lid. Going to do that in a frame-and-raised-panel style, but I’m not sure if the center panel should be oak or something else for contrast.

New toy…

So my old power drill died. Or more accurately, its batteries. Six hours charging, twenty minutes of charge held with no load, or one 3.5mm hole in inch-thick poplar. That’s NiCad for you, just not great for occasional use. And last time this happened, it worked out cheaper to buy a new drill and use its batteries, which was exceptionally irritating. So I figured enough; I’ll get a new drill and move up to the new lithium ion batteries and maybe down in size to the newer smaller drills. I don’t use my drill that often, and when I do it’s for quick small holes or driving screws faster than the cordless screwdriver does – which basically means jigs and mounting stuff on the shed walls. So for stuff like that, the new 10.8v and 12v sized drills seem way more suited:

That’s the Bosch PS32, their brushless 10.8/12v drill. Except they’re pricey, and just before I bit the bullet, I came across a sale in Woodies where the larger 18v Bosch was on sale for €100, which was half what most places charge and frankly so low that I delayed for ages trying to figure out what was wrong with it. But in the end, even though it’s not exactly what I wanted, the price was too good, so I gave up looking for a better PS32 price and bought the GSB today.

And it’s not bad. Solidly built, well balanced, and while it has a larger collet size than the old PSR, it’s physically smaller (and lighter, if only by 40g when the batteries are in):

Plus, moving up a grade (from green to blue 😀 ). Which is nice.

 

Now, to actually use the sodding thing…

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