Making Stuff Part 4

892F166C-124D-400A-A31D-E694964C3A27_1_105_cJust before Xmas I’d been given some oak worktop from a colleague at work who had some left over from his new kitchen. These tops were perfect for making cutting boards so soon got to work planing a couple down and presenting them to him as a thank you for donating them to me. I had rounded the edges over and gave them a coat of cutting wax and was pleased with the outcome. Apparently his wife was really pleased too. I’m planning to make more of these in the coming months and will also try to do some fancier designs too.

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During the Xmas break I decided to put my new plunge saw to good use by building a shoe rack for our under stairs cupboard out of a couple of sheets of MDF. Whilst my table saw is great for cutting down timber, it’s not so great for large sheets so the mini project would be an ideal test for the new Erbauer saw.

Firstly I created a design using AutoDesk free 3D modelling app Fusion 360. The software can be a bit daunting at first but having watched a few YouTube videos and completed some training I soon got to grips with it and managed to create a scaled drawing of the planned shelving unit.

I E3FC27D9-A677-407A-9BDA-95DF246672A7_1_105_cordered two sheets 18mm MDF and a similar sized sheet of 12mm MDF and once delivered starting cutting them down to manageable panels. I decided not to do any fancy joinery and ended up building the unit with screws and glue.

I found some white paint and the shelving unit soon started to look the part. I gave the walls under the stairs a quick paint and then installed the new unit along with some coat hooks, made from re-purposed wood I had left over from another project.

 

As seen in previous posts I’d started to make signs for my family and whilst they had turned out OK, I was never really happy with the accuracy of the hand routing so started to investigate other ways of creating similar effects. I had always been interested in CNC machines and so started to do some digging to understand what options were available. And of course how much worbeeone would cost me.

In the end ordered a WorkBee from Ooznest, based in Essex. I did look at cheaper units from Amazon but having read the reviews, I noted how limited they were and felt if I was really going to make things to a good standard I needed to spend a decent amount of money.

My next post will detail the fun I’ve had building the unit and some of the projects I intend to create.

Making Stuff Part 3

Having got to grips with making wooden things again, I started to look around for some gifts I could make for my family and friends using some of the small off cuts of timber I had accumulated over the months.

IMG_1809Following on from the success of the key holder that I engraved I decided to have a go at making some wooden signs, which I could personalise depending on the recipient. The idea actually came from my sister-in-law who had seen a wooden sign of our favourite holiday place, Kalkan and suggested I could make her one too.

I had already bought a hand-router, and worked out that if I printed out the words I needed and stuck them to a wooden blank I could then trace through, leaving a neat finish. Painting the letters black made the them stand out and I was pleased with the final once I’d finished the sign with a coat of wax. IMG_1793

I refined the process and was soon coming up with ideas for other members of my family and even made a couple for secret Santa gifts for people at work. To finished them off I drilled some holes and threaded a piece of hemp rope which could be used to hang them from a wall.

 

I even knocked one up for Matt & Chloe’s tortoise.

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Whilst making signs was fun, it was quite fine woodworking and so I got to think about a bigger project to challenge me. 20 years ago, one of the projects I enjoyed making was a pine coffee table, a simple design but very sturdy and still in use today in Tina’s sewing room. As I had some larger planks and long lengths of oak I decided I would attempt to make another table; this time a little more refined and fancier features. I researched online and got some ideas that I could adapt.

IMG_1776Firstly I cut down two wide planks, planed and then glued them up, using biscuit joints and clamps to keep them level. I then got to work on the legs and skirts. I had liked the look of tapered legs so wanted to incorporate these in my design but wasn’t quite sure how to achieve it. After watching a few YouTube videos, I stumbled on a technique using a table saw and soon had four legs shaped in exactly the style I wanted. IMG_1778

Once the top was dry and cut to the final size, I then used a 45 degree router bit to edge it. After lots and lots of sanding and a coat of wax finish the table was complete and too be honest I was rather chuffed with the outcome, especially as it was something I’d designed from scratch.

With Christmas now looming fast and colder temperatures in the workshop, any thoughts of new projects were few and far between but knowing I had some time off over the festive period I was determined to utilise one of my new tools, namely an Erbauer plunge saw that I’d purchased from Screwfix. Cutting large sheets was always a challenge on my table saw and having some ideas on projects using MDF and plywood, I decided a dedicated circular saw would be a good tool to have.

My next blog will cover how I turned some large sheets of MDF into a shoe rack for our under-stairs cupboard.