Play Table Progress

Made some progress over the weekend on a small play table.  Still have the chair to make, but the hard part is done: starting!

Firstly, I prototyped the leg and a part of the chair back.

Play Table Prototype

Play Table Prototype

The back is curved, and was cut on the bandsaw.  First the top was done, then the front and back curves cut.  Came out better than I expected, so from here, I will make up a template so future chairs can be made with the same design.

The leg was a guess at the right height, and the pen marks on it are the susequent measurements I made when my model was available – from back of knee to floor, thickness of thigh etc.  Then added on some clearances, and allowance for growth, and the final height was arrived at.

I then made the top for the table.  Cut in MDF, because I want to paint it and anything else would be wasted under paint.

Laying out the corners

Laying out the corners

The top was sized, and then the corners rounded off.  This was done first on the bandsaw, and then finished with a pattern following bit on the router table.  Next, I wanted a channel all round so that it would catch minor spills, and potentially pens/crayons etc so they didn’t necessarily roll onto the floor.  It won’t stop either, but it will certainly help.

Routing the channel

Routing the channel

This was done by clamping the top to my only working surface in the shed (still) – my tablesaw, then the router with a cove bit and a fence to cut the channel.

Then it was back onto the router table to round over the edges.

Finished Top

Finished Top

The leg material was cut and dressed, then cut to length.  Mortise slots cut into the top, and into the skirting.  The skirting took a few passes on the router table to round over corners, add a bit of beading detail, and cut a slot at the back for clips to hold the top on.  The Mortise Pal certainly made cutting mortises easy, so was a good initiation for it!

Table base glueup

Table base glueup

Table base detail

Table base detail

Play table ready for painting

Play table ready for painting

So that in brief was how the table came together.  The chairs will be very similar, and will be the next project.

DNA Drying of Turning Blanks

Interesting article here on the use of denatured alcohol to dry roughed out turning blanks to minimise distortion and cracking.

An interesting concept that I intend to investigate further (one day!).  In the meantime, I’ve flagged the article here so I (and others) can find it.

Boils down to (very roughly), rough out your blank, then soak for a couple of hours or more, then wrap the outside in brown paper, including the rim, then allow to dry upside down.  The alcohol displaces the water in the blank, speeding the drying time.

Kid’s Blackboard

I made a blackboard a few years ago as part of a woodworking demonstration, and although it never got finished properly, it is still functional.  I dragged it out on the weekend as I was doing a bit more research for the upcoming toy-making course, and so let my resident expert tester have a go with it.

I still plan to make a new one, and actually finish it off this time with a shelf for holding chalk, a drink holder for the artist at work etc, but in the meantime, the current model seems a bit of a hit.

Blackboard

Blackboard

Nothing too complex in this design – corners are biscuit joined, a rebate cut in the back for the blackboard, and it is simply a sheet of MDF painted with blackboard paint that comes in a spray can.  In this case, I’m using a piece of rope tied between two eye hooks to keep the sides at the right distance which keeps it from falling down.

Weed Eater

I’m not much of a gardener, which is why this is a blog primarily about woodworking rather than about growing stuff, but we all have our “outdoor responsibilities”.

I actually do own 1 bit of Ryobi gear – an old weedeater.  Think they are called a whipper snipper in Oz, and are more collectively knows as line or string trimmers.

Anyway, they are a bit of a pain, even the bump feeders (where you bump the head on the ground while it is spinning quickly to feed more line out).  Loading new nylon is particularly tiresome.

Ryobi have recently been selling theirs with a new type of head called a “Pro Cut 2”  The principle is simple – a short piece of thick nylon (around 3mm) is fed through a hole in the head, where it is gripped by the mechanism, and off you go.  None of this taking the head apart etc anymore, just jamb a new bit in as necessary, and being a much heavier grade, this is also less frequent.

The head is now available separately, for all of about $30, so my weed eater is about to get “the upgrade”

Ryobi Pro Cut 2

Ryobi Pro Cut 2

Guess everything living in my back yard better watch out. (Not that there is too much there anyway!)

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