29
Mar 20

World’s Fastest Shop Tour

I mean, it’s a shed tour to me, but…

Been meaning to do this for a while. All those shop tours on Youtube, taking an hour to walk round a palacial shop with enough room to store between four and forty of my little shed and still get work done…. meh. I can do that in under two minutes ūüėÄ
And since we’re all locked down in Ireland thanks to COVID19 right now…


13
Oct 18

Still have ten…

So after weeks of not getting to the shed at all because of work and feeling pretty guilty for that, I finally got out there for a few hours today. The next step in the project is the sliding dovetails – the main desk surface shelf has been cut to the right angle, the sides are both shaped, the top shelf and middle shelf are both ready to have the angles cut but I want to get the sliding dovetail for the desk surface done first. And since I’ve been away and am now rusty, out with a bit of beech scrap to try to cut sliding dovetails in for practice.

On go the layout lines, out comes a scrap to run the router along to cut out the female part of the dovetail, I hog out the main part of the waste with a straight cutter and then cut the dovetail edges with the dovetail cutter I bought for this (it’s my only good router bit) I cut the female part out and then checked the board that I hadn’t yet cut the male part of the dovetail into and the whole board went into the female part leaving a gap.

Right. One of *those* days, is it?

Do the whole thing again, this time being extra careful on the cut lines, hog out the central waste as before, set up for the first cut of the dovetail edges, turned on the router, started running it along the fence and while taking hold of the router base, stuck my finger into the running router and caught the locking nut on the collet with the end of the finger. I think I missed the blade by about a centimeter, or as sane people measure it, way too fecking little.

Happily, nothing came off, bar perhaps a high pitched girly scream of panic, and I now have feeling back in the finger again, but I think it goes without saying that I downed tools at that point and went off for a few minutes to have a somewhat shaken cup of tea.

Have I mentioned lately that I dislike power tools somewhat and that routers scare the absolute living shit out of me?

Anyway, after a cup of tea and a change of shorts, I went back out and tried cutting the sliding dovetail by hand by cutting the male part of the dovetail first and marking it off against the edge of the board and then cut out the waste like it was a housing joint which I kindof can do, and then pared to the line for the dovetail – for the actual thing, yes, I’ll use the router, but I’m not touching that daemon-possessed finger eater for a day or two, okay?

Anyway, got the joint to work on the first go with the hand-cut approach, but obviously that includes the usual “doesn’t fit, pare the fecker” steps until it worked. So I think the design will probably have to be slightly adjusted to allow for blind panic and to hide the gap as much as possible by letting the shelves come out a bit to the sides to act as endcaps for the joint. I was seriously impressed with the strength of that joint against pulling out though, I thought it’d be a bit squidgier than it is. It’ll definitely do the job, assuming I cut it right.

And, obviously, don’t remove a finger or two in the process…


01
Sep 18

Short day’s shaping

Not much time in the shed today, but enough to make a start. First, new toys!

So some catches to help with the mod to the Dewalt extraction hood (I think I have everything I need for that now, I’ll get to it soon), an incredibly cheap handplane ($4.30 from Aliexpress delivered) which is more to play with and laugh at than to seriously try to use as a tool, and two interesting tape measures. Both of those are small (1m and 2m) which is handy for using in the shed, and I’ve just wanted to play with them for a while now ever since seeing them in action.

They’re a bit gimmicky and I’m not throwing away my stanley tape measures, but they’re fun to play with and that’s the point.

Anyway, that done, on to the sides. I wanted to get a start on these today. One’s developed some twist since I milled them. Not a huge amount, but noticeable – 3-4mm at the worst point. A lot of that twisted portion might be cut away so I don’t know if it’s something I need to get out of the board yet (or even if the shelf joinery will pull it back to straight). But I’m starting on the untwisted one and I’ll see how we go.

Marked up the cuts for the foot and the wall rest sections using the bevel, and the front curve by bending a long piece of dowel stock (didn’t have anything else that was long enough and thin enough to act as a batten). And then started making a reference edge from the back edge. The sides are long enough to make this awkward…

There’s barely enough room to do this. Really, there isn’t enough, but by being fiddly enough about it you can just about get away with it. Then, with the reference edge established, out with the bevel and the marking knife and time to mark off the final line to cut to for the feet and wall rest. First though, need to take off the last half-inch or so of board, give me another reference edge square to the back edge.

And cut off and then plane to flat.

This is where having an apprentice can help (incidentally, for anyone who was wondering, this is why I have a Record #03).

Once we’ve passed QA, it’s time to mark out the wall rest with the knife and bevel and then cut it (using a short batten to help guide the saw because the cut’s awkward due to the lack of space).

And then a few swipes with the #04 to clean up the cut surface when done. Do the same on the other end for the foot and now it’s time to check. I don’t have a five-foot-tall try square, so I’m just using the door frame of the shed.

So-so. There’s a gap at the wall rest.

Thing is, I’m pretty sure my door frame is as square as a rhombus, so I’ll check this with the bevel and might tune it slightly, but I don’t believe the door frame is a reference surface you’d trust too much ūüėÄ

Yup, bevel says the wall rest is slightly out. A few swipes with the #05 will sort that, but I’ll check against the actual wall it’s going up against before I do that.

Had to stop there, but tomorrow there’s a few more hours and the next step may be to cut the curved section at the top. Maybe. I’m not 100% certain if I want to do that yet, the parallel sides might make workholding easier. Have to think about that one…