Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Scrappy Hearts Coffee Table

Click for details: Scrappy Hearts Coffee Table

Timber: Radiata Pine and Tasmanian Oak.
Finish: Feast Watson – Baltic Pine Stain + Satinproof + Find Buffing Oil
Glue: Aquahere PVA
Design: Modified from
Scrappy Hearts Table Runner

Tasmanian Blackwood Bedside Tables

Click for details: Tasmanian Blackwood Bedside Tables

Timber: Tasmanian Blackwood (with sapwood feature), Huon Pine
Finish: Organoil Hard Burnishing Oil
Glue: Titebond II
Design: Original

Monday, February 22, 2010

The Shelf

Other than a little sanding and finishing the shelf is complete. Made of 18mm blackbutt and inset into a rabbet through the long stretchers/rails.

The tongue and groove joinery was not fun. It would be an easy operation on tablesaw, or router table... Not so easy with a circ saw and a router (especially when the router fence decided to drift randomly.) Ideally, I would prefer to use rabbet planes for this, or fixed machinery failing that. We got there in the end, with tight joints, but I wouldn't do it again with my current toolset.

Also, note the gap in between the front stretchers... stay tuned for further info on the sliding leg vice.

Figures: 1650mmx520mm. 18mm thick. 110mm wide panels. 42mm inset. 15mm rabbet.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Eucalyptus Pilularis - Coastal Blackbutt

The timber for the WorkBench Project is 'Coastal Blackbutt'. A timber that grows locally up and down the east coast, particularly where I used to live. It's correct name is 'Eucalyptus Pilularis' however after a bush fire it maintains a black colouration to it's lower half; hence 'blackbutt'.

It is a largely straight grained timber. Pale to golden brown in colour. Commonly available in 350-400mm widths upto 3m length. Sale prices vary around $2-5 a board foot makes it very reasonable. I have seen a few large boardroom tables made of highly figured blackbutt (fiddleback and burl). It's nice to use timbers that are local.

It's use in furniture is limited by high levels of gum veins, checking and constant need of re-sharpening tools. It is popular for flooring and some structural work.

Woodworking Forums

Woodworking Australia's Woodworking Forums is a very active online community of woodworkers. A great place for inspiration, to ask a question and to show off what's on your bench.

I've got a thread for the Work Bench running on the forums and is now up to nearly 7000 views.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Wood Turners of the Hunter Expo

The local wood turners group's expo is on this weekend. I was there within 2 hours of opening, and the place of packed. The expo runs in conjunction with the Craft Expo (eg. Gumnut Gear).

As you would expect a smaller show than the Sydney one, however, still worth checking. Mal from Boutique Timbers not surprising had even more lovely slabs (particularly huon and cedar.)

Overall, one and a half thumbs up.

Lower the Shelf - Increase the Storage

Traditional roubo design allows for a shelf to be attached flush with the lower stretchers. This was often done with a support screwed to the inside. As a variation of this I've lowered the shelf 60mm within a rabbet. The panels will be tongue and grooved together for stability.

A work in progress...

Bench Re-Design - Draft no. 6

It was over a year ago when I first pondered building a new workbench. 12 months later the design as been undergone 6 major re-draftings, the cost quadrupled and the schedule tripled.

This latest (and final) version features a 2.5m x 0.6m x 0.1m top, 3 vices (wagon, leg and sliding leg), and bolted endcaps.

Complete sketchup plans at google warehouse.

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