Starting Toy Kitchen Build

With Christmas approaching just way too rapidly, it is well overdue for me to make a start on the two toy kitchens I promised to build for friends of my daughter.  We’ve had a few discussions on what they wanted, and it came down to three individual modules – a fridge, a sink and a stove/oven.  They also intend to fully paint the units (the kids are going to be 3), so the material of choice became MDF.


Breaking down MDF sheets

I priced some different sizes, and 2400×1200 sheets were 1/2 the price of the next cheapest.  Annoying there is such a price difference though.  It is easier to quickly break the sheets down into more manageable sizes using a circular saw, than to try to man-handle them through the tablesaw – bringing the saw to the material, rather than the other way around.  In the near future, the Torque Workcentre will definitely be the method of choice going forward.  Not that it is much different as a concept – a rail of some form controlling the circular saw through the cut.  In the case of the Torque Workcentre, it means a saw with a 1200mm crosscut capability.  In this case, I still have the loan of a Festool rail, which I have fixed to the board with a couple of Lidwig clamps.


Creating Original Side Template

Once I cut out the first side, and shaped it, it became the template for the rest of the sides.  After using a combination of the tablesaw and the bandsaw to produce the initial shape, I then held it in place using some of the MagSwitch featherboards so I could hit it with the drill-mounted Blowfly to smooth the curves out.


Pattern Copying

To then cut the rest of the sides, I used the first side as a template, and affixed it down temporarily using carpet tape.  I then ran around the outside of the pattern with a jigsaw, before moving onto the router table with a pattern copying bit to finish the job.  (A pattern copying bit is a straight cutter with a bearing)


A Temporary Pattern Copying Setup

Given the amount of MDF I was expecting to generate, I had the air filters running at full speed, and the 4″ dust collector hose placed at the optimum position to maximise the collection. (That is a Lidwig Claw holding the hose in position).


1st Kitchen Module

Using the Festool Domino and a bunch of 4mm x 20mm dominos, I then mocked together the first module to see how the design is progressing.  It doesn’t look much at the moment – adding tops and features (taps etc), as well as a door on the front will really improve the look.  I also want to break all the edges – MDF is rather sharp when cut, and rounding over the edges is the best option.

So obviously lots more to do, but at least it is a start.

Lidwig Claw

For those who have been waiting patiently for these to come in (and for those who didn’t in the past, but now want one), I can now reliably say that the Lidwig Claw is back in stock – contact to get your hands on some.

The extra ones that I was looking for, for use in various jobs around the shed (bandsaw blades, extension cords, temporary trunking runs etc) have arrived.  They are still $A8, so it is definitely an affordable proposition if you feel you need to have a few.  I might look at getting a few more for inside the house – such as storing the vacuum cleaner hose, more extension cords, Xmas lights…the list can go on and on.

Lidwig Claw

Lidwig Claw

For some examples of the claw in use around the shop, I have some photos here in an earlier post. (Of one in the old colour scheme fwiw)

To give an idea of scale – you can get the clamp around a 4″ (100mm) dust hose.  The real smarts in the design is in the lever mechanism below the hook – the heavier the load, the more the 2 sides of the claw are pulled together by a scissor action.  I think they are rated for about 30kg of cable, so it is rather unlikely that you’ll overload te clamp before managing to fill the claw completely!

Lidwig and MagSwitch

As seen in a couple of images in the preceeding video (and briefly in a recent post), the Lidwig cable clamp, and the MagSwitch Power Hook make for quite a functional duo.

I was looking around the ‘shop to see what uses I could put the Lidwig Cable Clamp (let’s call it the LCC to save RSI in my fingers!) and each time, I found myself using a MPH (you can guess that one) to complement it, allowing me to place the LCC where-ever I wanted.

It got to the point that I started wondering whether the 2 companies (both Australian) shouldn’t team up, and produce a combined product – a MagSwitchable Lidwig Cable Clamp (MSLCC)

Anyway, getting back to the photos.

Included in the set above – Bandsaw Blade Storage, Power Cable Storage, Pneumatic Hose Storage, Dust Extraction (4″) from TableSaw, Overhead, and Bandsaw, and finally, reversing the product’s concept, hanging a tool (in this case a work light) off a 4″ hose or pipe.

Episode 42 Lidwig Clamps

Episode 42 Lidwig Clamps

Australian designed clamps, with 100+kg pre-settable clamping pressure and one-handed operation. Made from either glass impregnated resin, or aluminium.

Odd Spot

Was in Bunnings yesterday buying some particle board for the backing of a noticeboard I’ve been asked to make for work (video is in the pipeline), and found the plans for a picnic table, normally priced at $9.95 (because that extra 5c makes all the difference!), but were being dumped for 50c.  Always worth having a quick look at the sales tables – all sorts of strange things in strange juxtapositions when they are thrown together on the tables!

Speaking of Bunnings, I will be doing another Triton demo evening at the Pakenham Bunnings next Wednesday fwiw.

Was playing around out in the shed just before, in particular finding different ways to use the Lidwig cable hanger after shooting a quick review video earlier today of the various Lidwig clamps.  It is always interesting how one idea leads to the next, and sometimes how a solution comes right out of left field.

To sum up the day, I finished the kid’s table for my 2 year old (just needs Mum to paint it), finished a aluminium-framed notice board for work, and shot 2 (or 3?) videos for Stu’s Shed TV, including the Lidwig Clamp review.  (I notice the Wood Whisperer now has a Wood Whisperer.TV page – wonder where he got that idea from 😉 )

So quite a successful day all told. Tomorrow will be interesting as well.  It is the last meeting ever of the Triton Woodworkers Club in Melbourne, so for me, that will be the end of a 6 year relationship.  I bought a few things during the club auction, including the storage cabinet, so that will certainly be put to use improving the storage in the shed.  Kind of nice to have small momentos like that too – gone, but not forgotten.  Always wished I could have gotten one of the bars out of the wardroom of one of the warships I sailed on, before they were sunk as dive sites.  Oh well.  Anyone for a drink 100′ down?  (I really have to dive my old ship one day). Must be late – getting nostalgic.

New products from MagSwitch & Lidwig

A bit more on the new products out there, and these have pretty much gone straight into use in the workshop – solutions to problems I have been working around without even realising it!

MagSwitch Jigs & Solutions

MagSwitch Jigs & Solutions

The first is more using the current items in different ways.  Working from left to right, I have my MagPowerBoard – a standard power board fitted to a piece of crapiata, with 2x 40mm holes cut with a forstner bit, and 2 MagJigs dropped in so I can position the powerboard wherever it is needed.  I’ve screwed them in, but that isn’t critical as they are perfectly capable of staying where they are when fixed in position.

The featherboard is there simply as a convenient storage position.  I have been reluctant to do this in the past, because the original instructions for the MagSwitches said to store them in the off position so as not to degrade their performance.  This is true, so over time they will loose their strength – about 5% loss in 100 years according to the latest from MagSwitch.  Think I can live with that!!!!  So now I’ve got all the hooks etc where I need them, rather than just being used for the job at the time.

So the next thing is on the right side of the table – a MagSquare which is simply holding all my Allen (Hex) keys I need for my Incra Jigs.

Directly under that, is a Gorilla Hook (MagHook) which is holding my pushstick and arbor spanner.  It is right next to the saw power switch, so can be grabbed easily.

Gorilla in the Room

Gorilla in the Room

The hook is substantial – with great holding strength, particularly in this orientation.  It is overkill for its current roll, but it might as well be there doing something I need, until I have another task to assign it.

Might be a very good idea for Triton owners (and others with thin steel tables), as if positioned near where the featherboards will be used, will give them a significant boost in holddown strength through the thin steel.

MagHook and Lidwig Hanger

MagHook and Lidwig Hanger

The last one is an awesome solution.  I have the smaller MagHook (the Power Hook from memory), clamped to the underside of the bandsaw table, and on that is a new “clamp” from Lidwig.  It was being sold as an extension cord hanger, but I’d say it is even better for bandsaw blades.  It is a very easy release (unlike my earlier solution from Bunnings), and given they are all of $8 or so, I will be getting another 3 or 4 I imagine for around the shop – 1 more for the other (Triton) bandsaw, then 2 for extension leads.  I think they are planning on bringing out a bigger one for pneumatic hoses, so will be after one of those as well.

I’ll take some more photos shortly so you can see just how easy they open and close.  Very cool.  My ‘shop feels more organised than ever!  One of the reasons I love the wood show – you see things that fit straight into the workshop brilliantly.

(And yes, my bandsaw blades need some TLC – they are still suffering the effects of the conditions of the old shed).  Met a bandsaw manufacturer at the show as well, so might have some more indepth articles looking into that side of things in the future as well.

Melbourne Woodshow Wrapup

Trying something new – polls are now available in my blogging software, so that’s very cool – will have some more interesting polls in future, but this is a good test one to get the ball rolling.

As to the show, I had a blast.  Feeling a little weary today, and my voice has gotten rather strange, but it was definitely fun!  It was also great getting to meet up with so many of the site’s readers – thanks for coming over to say hi.  I’m glad to hear people are still getting something out of this, and while you do, I’ll keep going 🙂

I got to play with a lot of cool toys (tools), and meet lots of people, both in the industry, and then a tonne of us who do what we do simply because we enjoy working with wood in our spare time (what is that anyway – having spare time seems a distant memory!)

So in no particular order, and with every chance of missing some out (I am pretty hazy today!) these are the sorts of things I got to play with at the show / industries (etc) I got to talk with:

Professional Woodworkers Supplies (obviously, seeing as I was demonstrating on the stand), but I did get to play with some Incra rules etc that I hadn’t had a chance to as yet.  That digital router height readout certainly looks interesting, and the simple upgrade for the drill press giving it a laser positioning is a must.  I could have used that just the other day with a forstner bit – working out where the centre of the hole was going to be.

MagSwitch (again obviously), and I’ll have a separate post about it, but I had arrive for Sat and Sun of the show the absolute latest products from MagSwitch, sent over to me directly from the States.  Had to give them back at the end though (but not before I took some photos for you)

Lidwig Clamps – some really interesting stuff there, and particularly a very easy cable hanger that is ideal for bandsaw blades.  I have one at home now, so will do a proper review soon (but will at least post some photos this week).  Am going to buy at least 3 more (and given they are only about $8, it isn’t going to break the bank!  Also have some of their clamps to try out, so that is also coming.

Actually, I have so much content to get through now, it will probably take till the next Melb Wood show to catch up, but I’m not complaining!

Festool, and I now have a Cooltainer (their esky Systainer) (thanks heaps to Ideal Tools!) to keep my drinks cold in the shed – perfect for what feels like is going to be a hot summer coming. Also got to play with a ProTools drill which was simply quality, and some incredible Festool forstner bits.

Brad’s Burls – we are working on a new Stu’s Shed feature called “Timber of-the-Month”, getting to look at the wide range of timbers out there, in both their raw and finished states and building a photo library here on Stu’s Shed to be a bit of a reference guide.  I’m very excited by this, as I really need to increase my knowledge of the range of timbers out there.  I also bought some pen blanks from them, and some Silky Oak planks that they had to quickly use to nail their bins shut for shipping down to the show.  I certainly wasn’t complaining!

Chris Vesper and his stunning hand-made tools – squares and marking knives particularly

SawStop / Gabbett Engineering – and I now have (as I mentioned) a couple of post-incident (aka- they met the sausage) blades for the shed wall.  I also got a video of one of the firings, so will get that into SS.TV as soon as I can.  Amazing stuff.

I’ve probably missed a whole heap (I certainly got to a lot more stands than the above list!), but that’s why I find the show great – so much to see, and talk about / find out about all in one space.

Melbourne Wood Show, Day 1

Great day at the show – had a blast!

Demoing went ok, need to work out how to draw more of a crowd.  At least tomorrow there is a bit more of interest in the MagSwitch stuff, as in a box right beside me at the moment, I have some of the absolute latest offerings that were air freighted across from the USA, and arrived today (too late to get to the show, but at least will have it there for Saturday and Sunday!)

What else?  I have a very nice, hand-made marking knife by Chris Vesper to use in my Measuring and Set-out demonstration (1100 – 1145 on the Professional Woodworkers Supplies stand).

Sawstop (Gabbetts) are doing 4 firings a day of their Sawstop mechanism, and I have one of the results, complete with embedded brake to hang on the shed wall – will take some photos in a day or two – bit weary tonight!

And a Lidwig clamp to help during some of the setups I am doing as well 🙂

Looking forward to another great day tomorrow – will take the video and try to get a bit of footage.

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