Additional Shop Projects

I have paint, stain, and other finishing and cleaning supplies on an open shelf for the whole time my shop has been in existence.  I've always wanted to put these supplies in an enclosed metal cabinet.  So I made a quick trip to a big box store and got one that should server.

Paint, Stain, Finishing supply storage

Paint, Stain, Finishing supply storage

Next I have to improve my wood storage.  Right now it's on the floor and on shelves and on my mini loft.

First I have to remove a door accessing the attic next to my shop.  Quite a while back, I installed external security cameras (ever have too many hobbies?) and in so doing, I cut open the drywall in my shop and installed "temporary" doors in case I needed access again.

1 of 3 Doors to the attic.

1 of 3 Doors to the attic.

It's not pretty but unfortunately, I created 3 doors.  When I installed a heater in my shop (see past summer posts), I patched up one of the three doors.  Now that I am addressing lumber storage I need to close up the second of the three doors.  The last of the three will remain in case I need access in the future.

Drywall Patch to close up door in prep of lumber storage

Drywall Patch to close up door in prep of lumber storage

First thing, it's good this is my shop because my drywall patches kind of suck.  If I ever need to do this inside of my house, I'd better practice a bit more.

In the picture above, you can see that I have a loft on one end of my shop.  I've used that for some wood storage but I need to make it more efficient so that I can store nearly all of my wood there.  Now that the wall is patched, I will create stacked shelves or cubbies for the wood allowing me to keep it organized and mostly out of the way.  I'll post a final picture when I have it all done

Last Cabinet is done - Saw Till

I finished the door for the saw till.  Most saw tills don't have doors but I live in the Pacific Northwest so humidity and moisture is all around so I wanted an enclosed space to keep my saws so that I could keep a silica based de-humidifier in it and attempt to control moisture and rust.

Saw Till - with door installed (closed)

Saw Till - with door installed (closed)

I'm a western saw user for the most part but I do have a few pull saws and so I am using the inside of the door to store those saws.

Saw Till - with pull saws on inside of door.

Saw Till - with pull saws on inside of door.

I am hoping over time to explore saw sharpening too so I'm glad that I have a larger panel saw collection than I really need.  I do think I want get 2 additional Bad Axe saws.  I'd like a crosscut that is a bit longer than the Lie-Nielsen crosscut and maybe after that a rip saw with a slightly shallower plate than the Lie-Nielsen rip saw.  All of this waits for additional funds to be saved up.

Saw Till Cabinet

Now that the Plane till is done, it's time for one more shop cabinet.  I am building a Saw Till such that I can have a door on it and still fit all my saws inside.  The reason for the door is to have a little control over humidity via some silica based de-humidifiers (via Amazon).  Living in the Pacific Northwest  means we have lots of moisture which of course means rust for all metal surfaces.

The saw till is a basic cabinet box with dovetailed corners.  The dovetails allow the cabinet to have some strength just for the hanging (tails on the side panels and pins on the top/bottom).  I placed a center divider at the bottom of the cabinet allowing the positioning of 2 dowels to hold the saws up on their handles.

Saw Till (loaded) with no doors yet

Saw Till (loaded) with no doors yet

I still have to make a door.  On the inside of the door, I will hang a few pull saws I use occasionally.

My Plane Till next to my new Saw Till

My Plane Till next to my new Saw Till

No more shop builds after this cabinet though I do have one moderate project to coral my minor amount of lumber and keep it organized and out of the way.  After that, it will be time to build something else.

Finished Doors

I finally finished the doors.  They are simple rail and stiles with a floating panel for the front and a dovetailed frame for the the sides to give it some thickenss.

Both doors hung

Both doors hung

Inside, I plan to hang some additional tools.  One the left side I expect my files, rasps, and knives.  On the right, I will put spokeshaves and drawknives along with a similar shaped cabinet scraper.

Beginning to hang tools inside the doors

Beginning to hang tools inside the doors

The spokeshaves and cabinet scraper required some magnets to hold them in place during door opening/closing.

I still may create drawers but at this point, I'm going to live with the cabinet the way it is to see if that is the way I want it.

I have at least one more shop project before I turn my attention to something else (I'm thinking about a jewelry box for my wife).  The shop project I want to work on is a new Saw Till Cabinet.

More Door Work

I've been playing at woodworking for about 20 years.  I remember moving up to the Pacific Northwest followed shortly by a friend buying a table saw.  I followed his example and my journey begins.  In reality, the first 10 or so years was more me collecting tools than really working wood.  I'd say my real woodworking journey began about 5 years ago with the major milestone was me getting rid of the table saw I bought about 20 years ago.

During the last 5 years, I have found that I am truly making progress in various parts of my woodworking.  For instance, while my dovetails are far from perfect, I am able to get a pretty tight and clean fit right from my dovetail saw - minimal chisel work.

Today, I worked on tenon's and mortises.  My first tenon was nearly perfect.  It was snug enough to give me a friction hold yet not too tight (I didn't need a mallet).

Tenon with haunch

Tenon with haunch

My process is to mark the width of the tenon along with the depth.  I used my Veritas markers (wheel style).  I reenforce the mark with a pencil.  I clamp the piece down in my joinery bench.  I saw just outside of the line (not quite ready for a fit directly from the saw) so that I have some latitude to fine tune the fit.  Fine tuning involves my rabbit block plane and a chisel.  It went picture perfect and I really didn't have any road bumps.  Check out the snug fit:

Nice tenon, right?

Nice tenon, right?

Unfortunately, the second side was about the worst disaster you can imagine short of me injuring myself.  Apparently I lost all sense of touch because I must have held the saw crooked.  I made the tenon so thin, it cracked before I even looked at it.  I had to start over and create a new piece.

This time both sides went pretty well.  I still have some clean up but I'll hopefully post a picture next time showing the entire door front in good shape and clamped.

Doors, a beginning

Over the past week or so, I've been slowly making progress on the doors for my Plain Till Cabinets.  See a previous post where I show them hanging up and fully stocked.

My goal with the doors is to add some thickness so that I can hang some additional tools on the interior of the door and allow the doors to shut even with the plane handles sticking slightly beyond the front edge of the cabinet.  Some of the tools I'd like to hang in the doors include spokeshaves and drawknives.

I've cut the sides of the doors giving thickness of about 3".  I joined them together using dovetails much like the cabinet carcass.

Doors - creating thickness using dovetails

Doors - creating thickness using dovetails

I will use piano hinges to join these doors to the cabinets.

I glued up a few boards to make center panels for the fronts of the doors.  The doors will be rail and stile door frames with a floating panel.

Floating panel for front of doors

Floating panel for front of doors

I've created the tongue on the panels on 2 sides until I finish sizing the panel and will create the tongues on the other 2 sides.

Next I created the rail and stiles and created a groove to receive the tongue from the panel.

Rail with groove

Rail with groove

My next step will be to cut the rail and stile to final length and size the panel and then glue them up.

Ready for cutting to final lengths

Ready for cutting to final lengths

Once the door fronts are glued up, I will create rabbets on the outer edge to fit them into the side frames I make and then the doors will be done and it will be time to attach to the cabinets with the piano hinges.

Shop Visit

With the holidays going on, lots of people have some extra time off.  A few woodworking friends had some time and came over to visit my shop and go to breakfast.  It was fun!  We spent a couple of hours talking woodworking.  A few brought their own show and tell items too. A lot of friendly teasing was done, especially over my over organized shop - all in good fun.

Michael Lingenfelter, me (Glenn Thompson), Marilyn Guthrie, Ananda Dorje

Michael Lingenfelter, me (Glenn Thompson), Marilyn Guthrie, Ananda Dorje

Michael Lingenfelter: check out Mike's work on both Lumberjocks where he's posted about his Chevalet and other woodworking projects.

Marilyn Guthrie: check out Marilyn's work on  SheWorksWood where here current project is some rehab and research on some old and well used tools from a family friends great grandfather found in their attic.  Facinating!

Ananda Dorje: You can check out Ananda's Flickr stream for some great work though it's missing his work on violin's which we've talked about quite a lot.

Plane Tills in Place!

After glueing up the cabinets, it was time to work on the backs.  I used a tongue and groove plane and quickly pumped out the necessary panels.

Creating tongue and groove panels for the back

Creating tongue and groove panels for the back

After creating the panels, it was all about sizing the pieces so that they fit tight top to bottom and have some movement space right to left for any wood movement.

Finished tongue and grooves

Finished tongue and grooves

The last step before hanging them was to attach the back, install the actual plane till and then create the cleats for hanging the finished cabinet.  With the back sized, it was simply a matter of figuring out where wood movement would happen so that screws allowed for the movement.  As for the plane till, I created a spacer for the bottom (1 1/2") so there would be a slight angle to the till (very slight, so I added more magnets to firmly keep the planes in place) and then screwed them in place.

Hanging the cabinets required moving my shop around a bit.  As for the old plane cabinet, I'll use that elsewhere in my shop.

Plane Till Cabinets hung in place and fully loaded

Plane Till Cabinets hung in place and fully loaded

I'm satisfied with the cabinets.  The plane tills make accessing the planes simple.

I still have to create doors.  The doors will have space for hanging some tools (i.e. spokeshaves).  I also am going to create drawers for the lower section.  As you can see the lower section is broken up into 3.  The middle will remain open and the outer 2 sections will have drawers for any loose plane accessories or tools.

Cabinets - Ready...set...go!

After the dovetails were done, it was time for some of the other casework elements.

There is a large main element where the plane till will go and just below that a fixed shelf.  That space below the large area for the plane tills will have some separation so that I can create drawers.  This work requires some dados and rabbets.

Dados and Rabbets

Dados and Rabbets

Notice that all my planning didn't keep this knot from landing right where I needed the rabbet and dado to go.  I'll fill it in with some epoxy after the cabinet is glued up.

I next needed to create the separators for the lower shelf.  I didn't want to use the 3/4" thick stock so I resawed it down to about 1/4" thick.  Here is all the materials ready for glue up.

Parts all ready for glue up

Parts all ready for glue up

The glue up went well as all the parts were already fitting nicely before the glue up - tight but not too tight; minimal gaps.  I still used too much glue so cleanup will be a bit more work.

Cabinet glue up

Cabinet glue up

Next I will create the back.  I'm using tongue and groove boards so that I can manage wood movement a little.  I'll create a cleat to hang the cabinet.  At this rate, there is a chance that I'll have the cabinets done and hung before some woodworking friends come and see my shop.  That would be sweet.

Some case work.

The case for my new Plane Tills is going to be dovetailed.  I'm a tails first kind of guy though I have tried both and think they are similar enough that I don't care that much.

At some point, I need to play with dovetail layout for a more artistic approach but for now, I feel like I just need to keep improving my technique so I go for basic layouts.  I mark the layout of the tails with a knife and follow that up with a pencil line so I can see the mark better.  Light woods like maple or pine require the pencil mark for me.

Side note: pine is not very nice at the end grain.  It doesn't take away from the visual or strength aspects of the dovetails (as for as I know or see) but there is a lot of tear out no matter how sharp my chisels are.  It's possible that the angle on the chisel is the answer but I haven't played with that.

Tails are first

Tails are first

After marking I cut the sides of the tails with my dovetail saw (I have a Badaxe dovetail saw that is fun to use) and then I cut out most of the waste as seen above.

Removing waste with a chisel

Removing waste with a chisel

Next I turn to my chisels and work towards my line to get a crisp edge for the eventual dovetail fit.  If on the previous step, I was able to cut close to the line, it doesn't take long especially with this softer pine.  Once the tails are all cleaned up, it's time to mark the pins.  Again I use a knife and follow that up with a pencil for additional visibility.

Next it's time for some pins

Next it's time for some pins

Cutting out the pins is nearly identical to the tails in that you cut the edges by following your knife/pencil marks.  The only real difference is that when cutting the first part of the dovetails (in my case the tails), you don't have to worry too much about the line because the fit is decided by the second part (again in my case the pins).  You have to keep tight on your marking lines.  The benefit as you get better at this is that the fit can be just right off of the saw.  I'm getting closer and have to do less and less cleanup every time I cut dovetails.

Test fit - NICE!

Test fit - NICE!

Last is a good old dry fit.  I like the fit to be tight so that with a little hammering with my palm, it will work into place.  I move to a hammer though because my palm gets sore after a bit.  I have found the less work on fitting pins to tails, the tighter the fit.  I'm looking for minimal to no gaps at the base of the pins and tails and also at the sides of the pins and tails.

As you can see, my first one turned out great.  Now onto the rest of this case and the second case.  It only takes time.