Category Archives: Uncategorized

I’m still here

I know it’s been a long time since I had a new post but it’s a long time since I’ve done any woodwork too. We moved house earlier in the year and all my free time has been spent working on getting it set up. Having a much bigger garden to tend to is adding to that but is also rewarding in it’s own way.

I’ve got photos of the shed being built and my workshop semi-set up to come as soon as I can


The times they are a’changin

You may have noticed that the blog has been quiet since October and there’s a reason for that. We have found a larger place to move to so have been busy with buying and selling and everything that entails.

The only thing that has been happening in the workshop lately is that I’ve started packing it up and dismantling anything that won’t fit in the new place. We’re going from two large single garages to an average sized double so I can’t just transplant the setup to the new place however there’s room for a decent sized shed there if I want it.

I’m taking photos as I pull it apart and it’s really quite interesting seeing the quality of my work change over time so will post them as soon as I can. Afterwards I’ll share the fun of setting up a new shop too.

You can never have too many clamps

This may not be entirely true, but the more woodwork you do the more clamps you’ll need. I ended up with every single quick-grip and small f-clamp I own on a project a while back, and could have used a few more.

The other day I happened to be in the right place at the right time and picked up a bunch of the new 300mm Crescent Connect clamps that had been heavily discounted.  My local hardware store had them on display for many months as a new item, then reduced to half price when they weren’t selling, then I happened to be there as they hit the discount bin and I managed to talk them down even further. They are good clamps, and were priced well even at full price so I’m not sure why more didn’t sell but I’m not complaining.

This is the second time I’ve been lucky enough to pick up a large number of quality clamps at a big discount, the first time was when my local store stopped stocking Bessey brand clamps and got rid of their entire inventory. I always regretted not buying more of those so grabbed as many as I could this time around.

I also ended up with some vouchers over Christmas so added more 150mm Irwin quick-grips to my collection. I’m reaching the stage where I’ll need to build more racks, but again, I’m not complaining about that either!



and the new additions




A Router Planing Jig

Sorry it’s been so long since my last post. A combination of a new job and lots of other things to do has eaten into both my woodworking and blogging time, but I’m going to try and add a few of the missed projects over the coming weeks.

A few months ago I built a jig I’ve been meaning to do for a long time – a router planing jig. Basically it’s a framework to allow you to use a router to plane a surface dead flat. It’s made up of two parks – a use shaped base that you put the wood to be planed into, and a sled that runs over the rails and contains the router. Because it’s on the rails the router always cuts parrallel to the base, letting you flatten warped pieces easily.

First I cut a bit of plywood to size. It’s only about 5mm thick, if I had to start over I’d make it thicker just to avoid any chance of it flexing


Then I cut two bits of hardwood to the same length as the ply. You want to use hardwood as a softwood like pine will wear too quickly with the sled running over it and this could leave you routing uneven depths.


Then I glued one to each side, to make a U-Shaped channel. Once the glue is dry, nail these on as well from underneath.


I cleaned up the sides with a block plane before sanding them as well


Then I made sure the sides were dead flat and level with each other, because the more accurate the base of the jig the more accurate the result when you use it to plane a workpiece



Now for some reason I don’t seem to have taken pictures of the sled being built, so here’s one from today showing the router mounted in the sled. I waxed the rails of the sled so I can slide the router side to side as well if I want to, which is great for when the wood being planed is almost as wide as the base so you need to be careful not to cut the base as well. All you need to do is put the wood to be planed into the sled, and then lower the router bit to the desired depth. If the wood being planed is too thin for the bit to reach, just put a piece of scrap underneath to raise it up. I usually use a piece of rubber drawer mat underneath whatever I’m planing to keep it from moving.


15,000 Visits

The blog hit the 15000 visit mark this week, even though I haven’t been giving you much new content to read for a while. I’d just like to say a quick thank you to everyone who has visited, commented and liked the blog. I really enjoy writing it and hope you find it helpful. Please feel free to post comments and suggestions on any of the projects shown, I’d love to hear from more of you.


What a Mess (Part 2)

I’ve been back in the workshop again, and started work on the messiest corner. This is what it looked like before I started


This is what it looks like after a couple of hours work. I started by pulling out all of the wood, sorting it and getting rid of some that wasn’t useful. Then I cleared the other shelves, put what I could away elsewhere and moved the wood to the lower shelves where the longer lengths sat better. I’ve still got to sort out the top but it’s better than it was and now my power tools are stored neatly and not just lying around.


I’m still here

Just a quick note to let you know I’m still around. The last couple of months have been very busy, with wedding planning, the actual wedding then a trip away afterwards. I’m back now and hoping to get some workshop time in the coming weeks so keep an eye open for updates.



Tool Racks : The Next Generation

I’ve managed to make a start on the custom tool racks I talked about last post. Most of my tools fit fine on normal pegboard hooks but there’s a few that don’t, like my small carving chisels.

I used a similar process to last time, though with a drill press in the workshop now it was a lot easier to get the holes drilled accurately and to the exact depth I needed.

I started with a scrap of pine left over from the drill press stand. I like the look of the racks with a slight 45 degree angle on the ends so did marked that up at the same time. To get the length I needed I just laid out the tools on top of the scrap and left a bit extra at either end.


Over to the trusty miter saw to cut it to length and I have the makings of the tool rack. Chamfer the edges at this point as it both looks better and will stop the later cuts splintering the edge.


I decided that the best way to proceed was to drill the L-hook holes first and make sure they fit and it would fit on the pegboard, that way if it didn’t I wouldn’t have wasted a heap of time.


My drill press has a very advanced table and fence as you can see (MDF and clamps!) but it did the job fine. I drilled the smaller hole to full depth first for the thread to go into, then the larger hole for the washer on the hooks to fit in. It would have been easier if I could find hooks without the washer part but I haven’t been able to so far.

Once this was done I screwed the hooks in and tested it on the pegboard, where it worked fine and held nice and firmly in place. Something I forgot to mention earlier is that you need a 45 degree chamfer on the back edge otherwise you won’t be able to tilt it back to put on the pegboard.


I then started drilling my holes with a Forstner bit to match the size of the chisel handles I wanted to store. A pair of caipers comes in very handy for matching the tool size to the drill bit size right about now.


Once the holes are drilled it looked line this. I could have left it like this but that would mean I needed clearance above the rack to take tools in and out.


Instead I marked out a channel to be cut out of the front of each hole so that I could lift the tools only a little then slide them the rest of the way out


I cut these out with a Japanese saw but any small saw would work. You could also use a jigsaw or scrollsaw, which I didn’t think about using until after I was finished.


Here’s the finished rack on the bench


and here it is on the wall filled with tools. It got a light sand and a coat of linseed oil to finish it off.


There’s a few more to do but this is the first and I’m very happy with the result. If you’d like to see the article that inspired the use of the L-hooks to hang in on the pegboard you can find it here

10,000 visits

The blog hit 10,000 visits overnight, and I just wanted to say thank you to all those who have read it and especially to those who have given me your feedback by way of comments. I didn’t expect it to go so well when I started it but it seems that you like it, which I’m very pleased about.

If you have any ideas for what else you’d like to see on it please let me know, if not I’ll just keep updating it with the happenings around the workshop and hope that you find it interesting.