Saturday, September 30, 2006

Knobs and Inlay

After a hectic week it was good to take it a bit easy today. Spent some time in the workshop but, as I was rather tired, didn't do too much. Tired PLUS tools EQUALS mistakes, raised blood pressure and accidents. Did a couple of jobs to keep my hand in, though ;)
The tool chest-remember that? Well, I've been making excuses over the handles for the drawers (a Philly stumbling block!). After making a few on the lathe I then bought some brass knobs to try. Nope, back to the lathe. Broke out some Rosewood I've been hoarding and started making the final versions. Gonna be o.k. I think-what do you think so far? The rosewood really is a pleasure to work and the smell is fantastic. Sigh.....

After that I started to glue in the inlay on the chest top. A real nice touch, I can see me using inlay a lot in the future! Almost looks like I know what I'm doing.
Enjoy the weekend,

Monday, September 25, 2006

Suck and Blow

Managed to do some serious testing of the cyclone on the weekend. Good news.....Bads news.......
First-it works! It works very well. With my able assistant Waka, we fed about a cubic foot of assorted chipping, shaving and fine dust into the inlet. Check the bin and we have lots-check the newly fitted clear sack on the extractor? A very small amount of very fine dust, probably a teaspoonful;) A success!
To take advantage of the cyclone you really need to duct out the workshop with piework and blast gates. And maybe build a lean-to outside the workshop to hold the cyclone and extractor (after all, you need about 2 square meters of floor space). After much measuring and planning, I'm just not ready to "commit" to a final position for each machine (I just keep re-arranging stuff!) And the Missus is not happy about me building little workshop extensions.......;)
So, there you go. A design that works, is pretty easy to build and costs very little. If you require the plans just give me a shout.
I also made some more moulding for the tool chest-got to use my moulding planes again. What fun little planes-have you noticed how certain tools are a joy to use?? I then used biscuits to join them to the top. Biscuit jointer, MDF and shop vac blaring. Not quite so joyful as the planes....;)
I have some fancy inlay I plan to fit to the top-my first time, so wish me luck.
Have a good week

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Tah Dah!

So here we are-a nice picture of the finished replacement saw handles. They look alright and feel great (the small rip tenon is a fave-cuts great!!)
I forgot how much I hate sanding curvy stuff. The walnut was a pain (surprise!), the maple a lot easier.
Mike, I have even more respect for your skills. To do this every day you deserve some kind of award! Respect!!
I plan to finish off the tool chest this weekend. Which probably puts the kiss of death on that idea ;)
We'll see...


Just a quick one for Nick W, a tease really.
Here's a picture of my "mini-cyclone", all ready for a weekend of testing and tweaking.
I'll report back soon.....

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

And Another......

Spurred on by the success of the walnut handle here's another in maple. I found the maple a lot easier to work (the walnut was a bit soft in places making it difficult to get it clean and sharp). I cut the slot last night and mortised out for the back-might experiment with a little stain before applying the finish. Or not, I'll see how much time I get ;)
Tested the cyclone yesterday-it works!!! Need to sort out hook-up of hoses and sort any leaks and it will be time for a proper go. I'm intrigued!
Mrs P entered the workshop, stage left. "What are you doing now??" "It's a replacement handle for a saw" replies Philly. "And what the hell is that huge cone thing??". "It's a cyclone dust extractor" says a slightly nervous Philly. "Great to see you're working on important things that need to be done" says Mrs P, with sarky, venom filled voice. Thankfully she then retreated from the workshop (exit stage left) and I returned to the current task-and ignoring my "To-Do" list.
And the moral of this story?
If you complete tasks on the "To-Do" list then more will magically appear. To prevent this make sure you mostly work on trivial projects and "essential" shop items ;)
cheers, Philly

Monday, September 18, 2006

Dust Sucks.

Spent some more time shaping and sanding the new saw handle-it looks and FEELS a lot better. Some final sanding and I'll get a finish on it. I also have a larger tenon saw waiting stage left for the same treatment. Thanks to Alf for posting the "Sawcollectors Anonymous" stuff-great/terrible reading ;)
I'm also working on a cyclone dust collector-there has been a lot of discussion on the UK Workshop forum recently and I happened upon a set of plans. I'm about 85% of the way through the build so will report back on it's, A: usefulness, or B: its time wasting abilities ;) As my machinery is now in its (kinda) final positions have been toying with the idea of ducting in the dust extraction instead of wheeling it from machine to machine. Or just not using it.........;)
Waka came by the shop yesterday to borrow the band saw. I was shocked he still hasn't bought the Festool one ;)
Have a good week,

Friday, September 15, 2006

Get A Handle On It....

Just about recovered from the "Big Bash". It was such a great day plans are already being made for next years. Had a very physical week at work (not quite what I was expecting) so I'm glad it's Friday.
Picked up a nice little Tyzack tenon saw yesterday. Brass back, straight as a die, nasty handle. So last night while cleaning it up, Bingo! I'll make a new handle. Thanks to Mike W for his step by step photo's, it made life a lot easier. Another hour or so and it should be done.
Spent most of my workshop time this week (when not doing chores for the Missus to keep her sweet) cleaning up the workshop. It looks really good out there now, and a hell of a lot bigger than last weekend ;)
Need to turn up the knobs for my tool chest and then I can think about a stand for it. What do you lot think-a stand or a mobile base/lower chest?

Monday, September 11, 2006

The Big Bash (and how I survived)

It's all over! And what a day it was......
The UK Workshop Big Bash turned out to be quite an event. Imagine thirty slightly crazed wood-heads squeezed into your workshop. Yeah, it was fun!!!!!
First, though, a confession. Friday night a few members wanted to go out for a curry. Sadly, this then led to the local pub. When they threw us out certain (un-named) members then retired to the workshop with a Mr Jack Daniels until 3am.......I was a little "rattled" Satirday morning. So apologies if I looked a mess and was wondering around a bit dazed. ;)
But it was a great day-to actually put faces to names, chat freely (no typing involved!!!) and get your hands on some tools was a truly enjoyable experience. I can tell this is going to be at least an annual event.
Dave L has kindly posted some pictures here.
So a big thank you to all that could come along, especially our guest demonstrators who did a marvelous job. Alf, Chas and Tony-I salute you!
Now I have to go. I have some more jobs to do for the Missus. The "making up" process might be taking a long time ;)

Friday, September 08, 2006

Nearly There!!!

Well Folks, the day of reckoning is almost here. I hope to pop by the Yandles Woodworking show lunchtime then it's race back home time to prepare for tomorrows "UK Workshop Big Bash".
Original response was a little, uh, muted. That has transformed into slight "woodworkers madness" and I have woodies preparing to travel from all over the country. Even Cornwall ;)
The tool chest is very nearly complete. The fitting out of the drawers is going to take some time and I've been turning handle shapes to see which is the favorite.
I'll report back tomorrow night with a report.
Wish me luck,

Monday, September 04, 2006

Crazy Weekend

Ouch-Where did the weekend go?
Yup, another crazy weekend. And no, that doesn't mean I was out partying...;)
With the UK Workshop Big Bash only a few days away this was my last real chance to have a clean up of the workshop. I borrowed a van from work to remove the unsightliest items (the heavy downpours of rain really helped when loading!) spent a while vacuuming up shavings, dust and small animals and generally doing "good stuff". Then I thought I'd do a little woodwork. Back to square one.........;)
The tool chest. All twelve drawers are now done, I veneered a board for the top (just some solid walnut to trim and mould the edges) and I've started fitting out the drawers to hold the tools. Made a new face for the router table fence and a few other "tuits" and felt a lot happier.
The Big Bash is going to be a full house-looks like around 30 tool heads will be arriving. Going to need a few more t-shirts. And food. And I may need to hire security to search everyone when they leave.....;)
Have a good week