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A second toolbox

Another project from a couple of months ago that I haven’t written about until now.

I had a lot of fun building the long toolbox from a few posts ago, it’s the first time I’d build anything since moving. I decided I could have made it slightly differently though so had another go at it.

I decided I wanted it to be shorted, and to have a drawer underneath for a couple of hand planes and some chisels.

The timber that was left was a bit more warped than the other lot but I just wanted to use whatever I had left so it ended up a bit messy looking.

Once it was puttied and sanded back it looked better but I decided that a clear finish wasn’t the best way to go given all the patching

We still had some undercoat leftover from the renovations so I gave it a couple of coats. I used a trick I read about where you put vasoline where you want it to look worn

I’d originally planned to do a full height drawer but didn’t have enough of the right timber so settled for one with about 5mm clearance at the top. I pre-drilled the nail holes and then glued it up, and drove the nails in to clamp it.

Here it is with the drawer fitted and some handles and latches added. It will need some paint but it’s good enough for now. The only problem is the weight, once loaded up it’s pretty heavy!

It got used heavily when finishing the renovations though and held up really well. Simple design, rough joinery but it does what it’s meant to do!


Workshop Tetris

You know Tetris, that game with the falling blocks? If you don’t put them into neat rows they just keep filling the screen? That’s how my workshop has felt lately.

As frequent readers know, I downsized from a shared garage to a decent size garden shed, and I tried to cram everything from one into the other.  In addition to that I salvaged the old bathroom vanity cabinets from the recent renovations to use as workbenches so it was even more crowded. I really wanted all my machines set up and ready to use but it just wasn’t working out.

The solution to the workshop was the same as it is in Tetris – you have to get rid of some of the blocks to make room for the others to fit. While I was sad to do it, I pulled my scrollsaw stand apart, and the drill press stand is next. I’ve moved the drill press to the smaller of the new workbenches and the scroll saw is under the bench in the cupboards until needed along with my bench grinders. I don’t use them all the time and it’s not hard to get them out as needed.

I’ll post photos as soon as I can get a clear shot of it all!




Scrap wood tool tote

Last post I mentioned that we are in the middle of renovations. That’s meant carrying lots of tools and supplies around the house. Most of the time it’s meant me with my arms full of stuff dropping it, picking it up, dropping it again…you get the idea.

I got fed up with this so had a look at the local hardware store for something cheap to solve the problem but didn’t find anything I liked, so took a couple of hours weekend before last to make up a simple tool tote.

I just used whatever I had cut already to size the toolbox and did a test layout

One of the pieces already had some marks from when it was part of a shelving unit so I used them to lay out the sides and cut them out with my jigsaw and a scrolling bit

It took about 2 1/2 hours to get it finished, including sanding, but a good half of that was trying to find tools in the mess of the workshop. I’m pretty happy with the result.


The New Workshop

It’s been a long time since I posted. We moved house in early 2016 and there’s been so much to do in the new place that I haven’t even got my workshop set up properly yet.

A lot of stuff is still in boxes and I’ve just grabbed out stuff as needed for renovations and repairs. Everything’s a bit of a mess to be honest.

The garage in the new place is a lot smaller so we built a shed to use as a workshop instead. Here’s a pic of the inside just after it was built and I moved my stuff in

It’s 3m x 2.4m, so not huge but it does the job and I don’t need to pack it all up to bring the car in when I’m finished either.

We’re currently in the middle of bathroom renovations so I’ve saved one old vanity unit already when it was pulled out and turned it into a workbench, and I’ll save the other this weekend to use as well. No point wasting good cupboards when some castors and an MDF top can make them useful still.

In the meantime I’m having a ton of trouble buying pegboard. Everywhere locally is sold out so I can’t get it up and my tools on the walls. Hopefully I’ll find some soon and get that done too and actually get back to making things.


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.


Carving a Shallow Bowl (Part 3)

I haven’t had time to post this until now, but here’s a couple of shots of the bowl I carved last post after it’s had 3-4 coats of beeswax and been polished up.

20141123_101108 20141123_101153


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.