When Did ‘That’ Happen?

2008 came and went…apparently.  Did anyone see it?  I certainly blinked.

I’ve never been particularly big on New Year’s Resolutions – mainly because I always think of a few, and often they are the same from year to year as I never seem to keep them.  I doubt 2009 will be any different.

So of the ones that seem to reoccur from year to year, I rehash them again just in case I somehow manage to achieve any of them.

I still want to become a lot more competent with the Incra LS Positioner, and achieve a double dovetail joint with it.

Get back to somewhere in the vicinity of my fighting weight.

And finally, the one thing that seems to roll over from year to year to year.  I really want to get a book published (and hopefully one will lead to another). If you haven’t noticed, I’m not adverse to writing a word or two, and if I took all the words that make up this website so far, I’d have two 400 page tomes to my name.

Of all of these, the chances are that I may only achieve the 4th one.  No – I don’t know what that 4th one is yet, but I still think it is the most likely one to be achieved.

So thus draws the end of another year.

Happy New Year to all my occasional, and regular readers out there.  Keep an eye on this site – there is so much more to come!

Sinking one in the Corner Pocket(hole)

With the Pockethole Jig securely mounted with a large support area, it makes cutting the pocketholes in a table top very easy.

In this case, I wanted to join two pieces of particle board along a 45 degree cut to create the corner bench.

Ripping the benchtop

Ripping the benchtop

Firstly, I prepared the benchtop from an old work desk (amazing what gets thrown away these days) (Remember I did get the max score on the cheapskate woodworker quiz!).  The top was ripped to 400mm wide, for no particularly good reason, other than it looked about right.

Benchtop laid out

Benchtop laid out

I marked out the location of the pocketholes (this only has to be approximate – given it is on the underside and therefore won’t be seen).  I chose centres of 100mm, and had holes going from both sides of the mitre to maximise the joint strength (and obviously making sure that the screws were not going to run into each other!)

Ready to cut the Pockethole

Ready to cut the Pockethole

Now you can see why I wanted the extra capacity for the Pockethole Jig.  It is then a very simple, and quick operation to cut the required holes.

Cutting the Pocketholes

Cutting the Pocketholes

Here the holes are being cut.  The depth of the hole is regulated by the stop that was set earlier.  The ‘secret’ about the pockethole, is it creates this elliptical opening at an angle in the board which does not go full depth.  A pilot hole continues on another 8mm or so further guiding the screw.  The bottom of the main hole is flat, so it gives a good area for the head of the screw to press against.  I’ll go into more detail (photographic rather than continuing a lame description) in the near future.  Needless to say, it is very easy, and by planning the project with this joining method in mind, it is easy to locate the pocketholes out of sight.  If need-be, there are plugs the correct shape to fill the hole, and disguise it’s existance (or by using a contrasting coloured plug, to use it as a feature)  Personally, I just keep the pocketholes out of sight.

Benchtop Joined

Benchtop Joined

Here is the resulting (underside) of the benchtop, all joined with the Pockethole joint.  The screws used are the square headed Robertson screw (which actually predates the Phillips screw head by about 20 years).  They are particularly suited in this application being a full recess-drive type fastener, and as such stay properly located on the square drive (provided with the jig).  Phillips screws can also be used (so long as they have a flat bottom to the head, and ideally are ferrous so can stay located on a magnetised driver).  Of course the purists swear that the Robertson screw is the only one that should be used. (Seems strange using the term purist and Pockethole in the same sentence).

I attached the ‘legs’ for the bench in the same way.

The Commissioned Bench

The Commissioned Bench

The resulting bench, in location with the sanders ready to go.  I also decided that it would make a reasonable location for the also-homeless scrollsaw.  I’m feeling more organised by the minute.

Now that this corner is sorted (and there is plenty of storage capacity under this bench as you can see), the next task is going to be ripping the large rolling cabinet in half, and wall-mounting the resulting cupboards.  Given the size and weight of the cabinet (even empty, with shelves and doors removed), this will be an interesting task.

The Shin Bone is Connected to the Knee Bone….

Or in other words, it seems there isn’t one thing that can be done in the workshop without something else also needing to be completed first.

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing – I’ve said before that the workshop itself is just another tool, and like any tool, it needs maintaining, and fine tuning, and the fine tuning is never really finished in a living workshop.

After moving the dust extractor into the lower shed, I was then left with an empty corner (the one where the drill press used to reside), and a couple of tools that had become homeless (the two benchtop sanders).  Hmm.  Empty corner, homeless benchtop tools.  Now all I need is a corner bench.  And thus the day of interconnecting anatomy began.

One of the tools I have received very recently, is the latest addition to the Kreg family of Pockethole Jigs – the K4 from Carbatec, and this was as good a project to get it dusty as any.  There were a number of different ways I could join the top up, but given that it was 1 3/8″ particle board, glue isn’t a great option.  (I know it as 1 3/8″ because the Kreg is an imperial jig and so I wasn’t working or thinking in metric).

Screwing the top together was going to be an adequate joining method, and given we are not talking about fine furniture here, pocketholes were going to be an ideal method.

To build the bench, I needed to mount the Kreg Jig properly to handle the larger material sizes, and using some more of the 11/8″ particle board was the easiest solution to provide a decent working area.  Rather than mounting the jig on a board and then adding side support, I decided it would work better to recess the entire jig into the surface.

Using a Dado Set to cut the recess

Using a Dado Set to cut the recess

To achieve the recess, it was very apparent that this is exactly the sort of task that a dado blade excels at, and it was the final excuse that I needed to actually use a set for a real job.  I set up the Linbide 8″ set for this job, with a 20mm kerf (the review of the dado blades is almost ready fwiw).

Linbide Stacked Dado Set

Linbide Stacked Dado Set

As you can see from the earlier photo, I first cut either side of the recess that I needed, and then used the dado set to clear the waste away.  It certainly made short work of the task. (Insert removed for the photo)

Once the recess was created, I gave the board the final shape (and being a bit of scrap, there were some features that were already decided!), then mounted the Kreg Pockethole Jig through the 4 screw holes provided for that task.

Kreg Mounted

Kreg Mounted

With the Kreg Jig in place, and plenty of stock support, I was ready to begin to pockethole in earnest.

Jig Height

Jig Height

The height of the jig is based on the material thickness, and is easily adjusted by loosening the knurled brass knob seen.

The material clamp is easily set at the back to provide good support to the workpiece, and finally, the drill bit itself is readied.

Setting the Jig

Setting the Jig

There are a number of markings on the back of the jig, with a slot for the drill bit so the depth-stop can be accurately set.  The drill bit is unusual – it has a pilot hole cutter, as well as the full slot cutting component.  It is shaped such as to produce a square-bottomed hole, with a pilot hole centred at the bottom.

Kreg Dust Extractor

Kreg Dust Extractor

If desired, a dust collector (provided) can be fitted to the jig.

So that is about it for the jig – it is ready to go!

Why Rush?

I’ve been planning to get out to the shed all day today – so much to do, so little time. However, life can’t always be about woodwork, so I didn’t get out there until near dark (which is around 9pm here at the moment), so wanted to dive into a few jobs.

Rushing just wastes time. And timber.

After a few failed attempts to quickly knock off some of the list, I decided the only thing that I learned, is that there is no point rushing. If your mind isn’t on the task, or you are rushing to fit into a limited window, you’d be better off spending the time on something else, or at least just potter around, cleaning up or something.

Just don’t go near the timber store.

Developing the Prototype

The initial prototype worked out quite well, so I’ve started designing a range of vehicles. The drawings look rather childish, but they are actually part of a bit of a trial of some new IT technology.

The LiveScribe Smart Pen is a ball point pen with a microprocessor, and a camera. Without going right into the technology, it records what you actually draw on the page, and then transfers it to the computer.

Some quick designs

Some quick designs

I’ve then taken these and whipped them out on the bandsaw in pine.

Cut-out on Bandsaw

Cut-out on Bandsaw

Creating Windows

Creating Windows

Windows were then cut using a forstner bit.  The car bodies were then sanded using a combination of the linisher and spindle sander.

Next, I needed a bunch of wheels, and obviously the Carb-i-tool Wheel Cutter comes into its own.

Creating Wheels

Creating Wheels

In the past I’ve created wheels one-by-one as required, but when a bunch are needed, nothing beats a batch job.  All are cut on one side, then when the board is flipped over, the centre holes guide where to continue the cuts.  In pine I get a lot of tearout, so tried different timbers with a lot more success.  My first attempt with Vic Ash resulted in a significant grab and the age-old helicopter effect.  LDV would be proud.  My fingers weren’t so impressed.

Finished Wheels

Finished Wheels

The wheels are cut out, but they still have a central lip that needs removing.  This was done by mounting it on a piece of dowel as a temporary axle, then running the wheel against the disk sander (lightly).

Cars

Cars

Holes were cut for the axles into the car body (slightly oversized), and full width axles cut, and ends rounded.  The wheels were then glued to the axle.

After playing with these prototypes for a bit, I returned to the ‘shop, and drilled a couple of holes for headlights, and added a small rod of dowel to be the exhaust pipe.

Headlights and Police Lights

Headlights and Police Lights

For a police car, I added an extra couple of bits of dowel to be the police car’s flashing lights.

Prototypes

Prototypes

Here is a transporter, a bus, sportcar (2 exhaust pipes), police car and a city car.

Wooden Truck

Wooden Truck

A car transport truck. At the front of the trailer is quite an overhang, so the turning truck doesn’t impact on the trailer.

That’s about as far as I’ve gotten to date.  The next step is going to be to produce a high quality version, and in parallel to create some patterns of the design in MDF or similar.  Future vehicles will be produced by screwing the template onto the desired stock, rough-cutting it out on the bandsaw, then finishing the job on the router table with a pattern following bit. The screwholes will be planned to coincide with the locations of windows and/or axles.

Bah Humbug Award

Goes to the petrol industry, for putting up the cost of unleaded petrol between 15c and 19c per litre just for Christmas Day (then seemingly dropping the price again 8c or so by the evening).

Nothing to do with sheds, but I bet I’m not the only one sick and tired of the cr*p we get spoon fed.

And a Christmas Present

A set of (miniature) turning chisels

Hamlet Miniature Turning Chisels

(Posted from iPhone)

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