Shed Visits

Went for a shed visit yesterday – it was really good getting a few hours of woodworking in again, especially with the current weather….

(aside: a week ago I was working flat-out getting the garden ready for Christmas visitors (other than Santa) in pouring rain, and this week it is over 40 degrees C ambient (meant to get to 43 degrees C today), which makes my shed reach 45 – 50 degrees 😦  Basically, that means no shed time for me)

Getting back to the point, the shed I visited is somewhat more insulated (a brick garage) than my tin box, so was actually usable in the conditions.

First thing was the obligatory shed tour, and it is always interesting having the clash of the familiar and unfamiliar.  Not explaining myself very well… what I mean is when you walk into a woodworking workshop, it has a familiar feel – there are machines that are common, but then they are not identical, and the layout and relationship between the machines is always different.  It is good in another way – it strips away some of that confidence that familiarity with a machine breeds, and reminds you just how important safe practices are.

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The first thing we decided to do was to refamiliarise ourselves with the Incra, and specifically to try making some dovetail joints.  The first couple really didn’t work well, so it was back to the books, and it just goes to show that forgetting/skipping steps is a really bad thing.  I’d forgotten just how critical bit height was, and had set it so the bit was higher than the material, but where that works for a box joint, it does nothing for a dovetail.  We got the height right, using the trick of cutting 2 dovetail slots, then flipping one board to rejoin them together.  Any error in bit height is immediately apparent.

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Once we had that sorted, the dovetail proceeded very easily.  Next time, we have to try one of the more complex joints!

The other thing we got to, was teaching me some of the basic techniques for turning a wood bowl.  Got a small one made, although with many errors, but at least it looked kind of like it should.

So an interesting day – its always good getting to share ideas and work on a project with someone else.  So often this is such an individual pursuit.

2 Responses

  1. It was a real pleasure sharing almost a full day amongst the toys.

  2. Absolutely – thanks for the invite! We will have to repeat the occasion in the near future, and keep expanding what we are learning about the Incra stuff (and I definitely need a bit more turning practice!)

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