One hundred and eighty

This is what I spent my weekend making. It features dovetailed joinery, wooden hinges, and shaker-style panel doors.

For the full blow-by-blow, check out the next edition of ManSpace magazine.


The Unpack

It was not much of a start to be honest, it was only one box unpacked, but it is a start never-the-less.

The next challenge is certainly looming: just where to put everything!  Not that these are troublesome issues per say, solving them is part and parcel of getting the workshop into an ever improving functional condition.

The first box was the easiest – saving challenges for another day I suppose!  Reason it was the easiest?  Full of MagSwitch featherboards, fences and hooks.  Finding storage for them is pretty straightforward – find the nearest steel beam to where you’ll need to use the item, and lock it on.  If only all the tools were that easy!

Having plenty of floor area is not the only thing needed for a good shed – having storage is as important.  To save as much floor real estate as possible, I will be looking as much as possible to wall mounted cabinets – getting them up off the floor, and above any infeed and outfeed areas of the machines.

Something along these lines.  Especially the one with check-plate! Watch this space – it is a long journey!

K070038 K7165 51003

Tribute to James Krenov

, a YouTube published (and woodworker), is doing a series of video tributes to past woodworkers.  The one shared here (linked across from YouTube) is on James Krenov.  An interesting brief summary of one of the great woodworkers.


Definitely check out some of the other videos has published – there are some really interesting titles and subjects, looking back at early trends and developments.  It is done in a style that looks as vintage as the topic!


Got out to the shed for the first time in ages (been busy with work, family, and the TWC assembly manual), and even that was a small window.  Decided to tackle (at least start) a small project that I’ve been meaning to do for ages (since June 2008).

Triton Router Bit Cabinet

Getting my router bits into this cabinet.  It may not be the most efficient storage system, but I prefer the concept of each bit having its own holder so it can be lifted out and not roll around the bench until it is needed, and having the front edge of the holder cut with the actual bit to demonstrate its profile.

It is space-wasteful compared to some other storage methods, but hey – I’ve got space to spare (haven’t I?)

Back then I was intending to decommission the CMT 100 bit storage, but still sadly, I haven’t achieved it – perhaps now?

I started by taking some lengths of Tassie Oak (kiln dried) and ran them through the thicknesser to get them down to the thickness of the existing holders.  Although the thicknesser worked, it would have been better if the base was polished and lubricated – the cast iron is showing some (faint) signs of neglect throughout the shed.  Next, I ran the pieces through the tablesaw using the new Flai Ultimate blade, and was a bit surprised with the amount of burning I was getting…on both faces.  So I tried the next bit faster – still burning.  After a few cuts, it started cutting without issue, so I’m wondering if there was some preservative on the blade that was causing an initial problem.

But what was really rusty wasn’t the tools in the shed, but the tool I bought with me…….me.  Not that anything went wrong, or was unsafe, but I just felt rusty.  Need to get those cobwebs blown out with a good, long, successful session (or three) out there.

Laminates and Veneers

A few years ago when I was making my entertainment unit using pine veneered onto MDF (at the time it was what I could afford, and meant I didn’t have to do massive amounts of joinery to get the large panels I needed).  At that stage, the company I used (Australian Wood Panels) had an impressive array of veneered panels you could choose from – jarrah, blackwood, walnut, pine etc etc – about 10-15 different timbers.

It seems in recent times they are now primarily limited to raw MDF and ply (and melamine), and you have to order in the veneered panels (I’m talking about 1200×2400 veneers, not something you can do in the shed with a vacuum bag, or an iron!)

If anyone knows where a decent range of veneered panels on different cores can still be sourced, I’m sure there will be people interested in knowing.

Entertainment Unit

An old photo of the entertainment unit from years ago – at least 6 years ago, if not more.  The unit wasn’t completed in this photo – still had the doors to go (all raised panel for the 4 lower ones, and glass for the 2 display cabinets) (and I don’t think I ever took a photo of the unit completed).  It is now scattered around the house – the two side modules are still there, but the TV when upgraded to a plasma no longer fitted, so the central module is now in a different room, and the TV itself is now in the shed!  (Even the digital camera used is ancient – 0.3MP)

In the (old) shed, during the build

Boy, some of these photos go back!  Back to the old shed days when I still had plenty of room in it! Triton Workcentre there in the foreground, GMC lathe in the background.

Assembly and finishing

Back in the days before I had grass – the back yard was sand, and that’s my dingo asleep beside the blue rubbish bin.  As you can see from this photo, I finished as I went, so areas that were going to be hard to get a decent finish on after assembly were pre-done.  All finished with a jarrah stain and Ubeaut traditional wax. The sides, and shelves are pine veneered MDF, the fronts are solid pine (so I could rout detail into them, and for added strength for hinges etc.  I mush have done a pretty good job of the build as the cabinets are still going strong.

Splitting the Atom

Thought we might as well start the year with a bang 🙂

Ok, so I doubt any atoms got split, but the cabinet did get cleaved in twain.

Storage End

Storage End

Thought I had a better photo of the original cabinet than this.  I may do somewhere in the photo library….

Anyway, as I mentioned, I decided it would be much better if the cupboard was cut in two, and then wall mounted.  I don’t have a tablesaw with a blade large enough for the job, nor a bandsaw, and it was too large to cut the top and bottom on the saw.  I could have taken a chainsaw to it, but I wanted something left, and I hate hand held circular saws at the best of times.

So, with extra infeed and outfeed support, and the tablesaw fence set to the required distance (about 380mm) I ran the cuboard through the saw, rotated it 180 degrees, then through again, then flipped it over, rinsed and repeated.

Next, I took a jigsaw (probably the only use it will get all year) and cut through the top and bottom.

Splitting the Atom....uh....the Cabinet

Splitting the Atom....uh....the Cabinet

Once the centre section was free and extracted, I had 2 cabinets ready for hanging.

Removing Centre Divider

Removing Centre Divider

Finally, and a bit rushed, they were then mounted to the walls, the shelves put back in, and the doors rehung.

New Storage Cabinets

New Storage Cabinets

I might do a bit more of a cleanup of the job, will reevaluate it shortly, but as a first pass, think this is a much more usable design.  More storage planned!

I want to make a cabinet specifically for my HNT Gordon planes, Colen Clenton Square, and Chris Vesper tools, but will hopefully be making a cabinet that is more suited to the quality of the tools therein.

Update – It didn’t take me long to decide, but I was not happy with how cleanly the cupboard was split, so I ended up taking the whole thing off the wall again, and took it apart completely (it was held together with glue and screws), and ran every panel back through the tablesaw before reassembling and remounting.  I am much happier with the result, despite the extra work it took.

Minor Reorganisation

Still working on the shed layout, and there is still more to go.  It takes some time to optimise just how everything is going to work together, and my plans are still changing on a daily basis – each change suggests another.

Ages back, I spoke of the current iteration approaching Shed 2.0, but in fact it is actually 3.0 – I forgot to mention that I started out in a 3m x 3m shed, and in there I had a lathe, Triton WC2000 and Triton router table all set up!  No idea how I did it – I must have been a Tetris Master! (and a contortionist).

So that brings me back to the current Tetris game.  The space is so much bigger than the 3×3, but the problems have compounded at the same rate.  Now, I’m not starting down this line to say I need more – we all need more, but I do want to get the space working as well as I can.  So……

Tool Section

Tool Section

Looks messy, and it is to a certain extent with moving stuff around.

Most notable changes here – the ‘workbench’ in the right hand side is gone, and the sanders that were there have been moved into the left-hand corner.  The jointer/planer has now shuffled along to take up that space, and the drill press has crept out of its corner and back into a more central location.  If I want to use the jointer for longer boards, I can simply drop the drill press table down below the height of the jointer, and then will have a reasonable infeed and outfeed area.

Last night, this view changed again (temporarily) with an unexpected new arrival:

TruPro Dust Extractor

TruPro Dust Extractor

From Woodworking Warehouse

Very cool, 2HP, 60kg, 1 micron filtering through the catridge filter.  If you look in the background of the photos, you can see that it is SO needed.  The 1HP GMC I had for the fixed dust system was not cutting the mustard (as I expected), but I’ve been struggling with what to upgrade to, and that is now academic. WHEW.  Time to suck dust again 🙂

I was thinking of leaving it in this corner (looks good with the cartridge filter), and one of my reasons for moving the previous collector into the other shed was the microfine dust (and the reason I bought that air cleaner, which I cleaned the other day – has been doing a good job by the look of the filter!)  However, the other reason was the noise, and when I fired this puppy up last night, I immediately planned its relocation!  Not that it runs particularly noiser than any other dust extractor, but simply having a motor that is twice the size of the old one, and the significantly increased airflow means I’d rather it in a separate room (and my shed’s piping already is set up for that anyway).  Just have to work out a remote start for it, and I’ll be laughing. (Oh, after I solve my ongoing shed power issues that is: I know this motor is rated as 2HP, but it pulled enough current to trip my shed’s circuit breaker (and the shed is rather dark at midnight!!) Damn it! 🙂 )

Back to the shed re-sort.

Storage End

Storage End

This is the current view in the other direction, but it will be changing again real soon.

I’ve moved the large wooden cabinet (from an old issue of the (now ex) Triton Times) (Check out the 2002 issue for the plans)  This moved it out of the way of the thicknesser/planer infeed, and I’ll use that space for a small sharpening station.

The large rolling cabinet has had some additions onto its side, but I had a brainwave this morning, so this is also temporary.

Woodpecker Layout Tools

Woodpecker Layout Tools

This was a nice display of the Woodpeckers Layout tools (from Professional Woodworkers Supplies), but I’ve gone and come up with an alternate use of that now, so I’m going to have to move this display/storage.

As you can see from the earlier image, this large cabinet juts out into the shed a lot, and to be able to access both sides of the cabinet, I’ve had to have it side on to the wall, so I then end up loosing more wall space to allow for the door openings.  I kept thinking I should have it turned 90 degrees, and put stuff that can be stored long term in the back, which would mean rolling the cabinet out to access them.  Neither is a good option.

Enter the tablesaw.  My idea is – if I rip the cabinet in half, then it could become 2 side-by-side cupboards, and all my issues with it would be solved!  I love it when a plan comes together.

Why does everything I have to move weigh over 60kg?

%d bloggers like this: