Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Shaker Style Toy Chest #1 Complete, Delivered, and Filled with Toys


Timber: Radiata Pine. 
Dimensions: 800x400x480mm. 
Glue: Titebond III
Joinery: Various, Dovetailed, Tongue & Groove, Stepped Panel and Frame.
Finish: Minwax Wipe on Poly Matte, Ubeaut Natural Wax.
Hardware: Zinc piano hinge (sourced from Bunnings), and variable resistance gas strut (sourced from Lee Valley.)

Installing the Hardware

We're on the final stages now. The hardware (metal parts) of this project include the hinges at the back and the stop which controls the opening and closing of the lid.

I'm using nickel plate piano hinges that run the entire length of the boxes. The 900mm hinges are cut to size with the jigsaw and metal cutting blade. The plow plane blade is set to the depth of half the hinge and run along box making a perfect groove.

On the underside of the lid the groove is stopped. This operation is not possible with a plow plane, and without a router plane, the ends of the stopped groove are made by multiple taps of a chisel.

With the two ends finished, there is room for the plow plane to finish the middle. The next step is careful drilling and installing the many screws.

The stops serve an important function of protecting fingers. I have three styles and are worthy of their own post... but here's a few photos.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Quilter's Ruler Rack

My mother's an avid quilter and she's been asking for a while for a way to store her quilting rulers. So this Christmas I finally got around to a simple rack out of Tasmanian Mrytle left over from the table project.


The piece took about an hour from start to finish. Machined on thicknesser. Hand cut to the octagon shape. Bevels marked and planed with the no 5 bailey. Sanded to 220. Two coats of tung oil (organoil.)

Monday, December 20, 2010

Another view at the busted dusty

Today I got a closer look at the busted dusty. 

The case is split at the top. It'll be tricky to fit it without taking the whole thing about apart and refolding it. I'll need to either bend the fold back up and pop it into place, or refold the entire section. I'll seal the inside with silicone or epoxy.

The impeller was simply held in with a single bolt, so was removed easily. There are two blades affected. The steel is painted and about 5mm thick. I tried to bend it by hand without a budge. Unfortunately the blade is studded on so I won't be able to remove it. (I thought it was simply bolted). A bit of heat may be helpful.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Church Project

On a Sunday night you'll find me at St. Philip's Prebyterian Church (aka. St. Phils, or Surfside.) The church is in the process of moving to a new location. As part of the move I offered to make some new furniture. At this stage it looks to be up to three pieces, a lectern for preaching, a companion piece (to hold lap top, tissues, water, notes), and a small communion table.

The lectern is essentially a tilted table to hold an open A4 folder (~30cm x 45cm) at an appropriate hight for the preacher to read. Other bonuses include a microphone socket, a light, electrical connections for lap top etc, storage for water and books. Suggestions from the pastor includes 'keep it simple', 'adjustable height', and 'rustic and natural edge'.

A Selection of Lecterns from Google Images
At this stage the most likely design is a simple single column adjustable height lectern with a single XLR cable within the column for a gooseneck microphone on the table. 

Shed Upgrade: Industrial Fan

The shed can be a hot and dusty place. For climate control I've been using a $15 domestic fan... which was limited to say the least. Today I set up a new 30" industrial fan that was on sale at Gasweld. It should serve to cool the hot days and send the dust out the back.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Finishing Time

I've nearly completed two projects ready in time for christmas. One box is for my nieces (aged 1 and 3) and the other my daughter (aged 9 months.)


Currently they have a layer of thin de-waxed shellac as a sanding sealer. I debated for ages on what finish to you. I thought of paint or even chaulk board paint and let them cover it. But then decided on a stain to show off the grain and joinery. 

Keen to try something new, I bought some Feast Watson liming solultion with a cedar stain to make the pieces a subtle pink. However, I mixed up half the solution and it wasn't so subtle.

Hmmm. I could ignore the stain and just continue with the wipe on poly. Or just go ahead. In the past I've always used old baltic stain on pine with good results.

Any thoughts?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Lids


The solid pine lids for the two boxes is complete and ready for finishing. Two boards were matched for grain and rub glued together with titebond III. The pieces then cut to size with the circ saw and guide. The edges were than rabbetted first using the LN rabbet block plane and a offcut as a guide and then the LV plow plane. (The reason for this was the plow plane which lacks a knicker caused significant tear out when used across the grain, the plow plane was used to finished due to a faster action and depth stop.) The groove was cut quickly and easily with the plow plan. The middle 4" is glued with titebond three (to allow expansion). A LN hand saw was then used to trim the edges. The corners are curved with a saw and rasp. The edges a 1/8" CMT round over bit in a bosch trim router. The pieces are ready to final sanding.

Monday, December 13, 2010

A Clang and the Dusty Died

Today my dusty died.

I was working on the toy chests for christmas. I was cutting the curve on the base moulding with a jigsaw when I heard a clang, followed by a change in pitch of the dust extractor hum. My 3 week old dust extractor.

I cut the power and walked over to explore.

The impellar case was split... a ding in the curve... and some paint missing. 

I found this block of wood. A little big for a dust extractor... about 20cm long. (Tells you it's got some power.) I had the 4" flex hose sitting on my project next the jigsaw. It was doing a good job. Something moved and the hose fell to the ground... I didn't think much of it and kept cutting. I didn't think it would find an offcut below me.

I removed the hose mounting to explore inside. A single blade has been bent near flat.

So dusty is out of action for a while. Need a proper repair on this one.

Any tips on fixing it would be more than appreciated.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Base Molding: Part 2

Time has been a little tight but we still should be completed for Christmas. Fingers cross. After shaping the round over I joined the base moulding together. One box received more dovetails, the other a simple mitre.  

The mitres are surprisingly ok considering they are handcut without a guide or good layout. The main gaps annoyingly are related to slippage during gluing rather than poor cutting. Next time I will use dowel or screws to align everything.

The four sides were glued to the case and the mitres/doevetails fitted around that. 

I used my sketch up design printed 1:1 to layout the curves. I used woodglue to glue the paper to some MDF. Then used the MDF as a layout guide. The cuts were made with a jigsaw.

To go: finish the lid, sand the curves, round over all the edges, sand everything, lime, stain, varnish.... 12 days, 11 of which will be at work...

Friday, December 10, 2010

A solid base for the christmas boxes

There are several ways to form the base of a chest. The simplest option is a piece of sheet good such as plywood... but at the love of wood we prefer solid timber. The problem with solid timber is that it expands and contracts as the humidity changes. Any design needs to take this into consideration or come a humid season your box will fall apart!

There are several options to use solid timber. A useful and recent article in Fine Woodworking nicely explained using solid timber in a frame and panel method. 

Another method is to use 3-4" strips in a tongue and groove or slip matched fashion. This is the technique I used for the shelf on the roubo bench.

The bases for the Christmas Boxes are made by a single piece of radiata pine held captive (free of glue but floating constrained) in a groove around the case. After cutting to size, tongue and groove were formed with the small plow plane.

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