As mentioned in my previous post, whilst making tea light holders, cutting boards and coasters helped me get to grips with my new machines, I was keen to have a go at making something a bit more substantial and stretch my woodworking skills and fully utilise my new machines.
On researching online for some small projects to undertake, I saw a couple versions of a stool which I thought would be useful in my new workshop. With no plans to go on, I drew up a rough sketch and went about ripping and sizing the oak planks I’d purchased. The timber was all rough sawn so I had to use my new Makita thicknesser, a great piece of kit and very versatile.
With the wood cut to size I then glued up the seat, leaving it overnight to dry using my new sash clamps. For the legs, I decided I would use floating tenons, a simple but effective way of joining two pieces of wood together. I had to do a bit of research on the best way to make them and ended up building a jig to use with my handheld router to create the mortise and tenons. Once cut, I dry fitted the seat and surprisingly it all fitted together with little adjustment needed. I then glued it together, screwed the seat on to the legs and then sanded and finished it off with some beeswax polish. I posted a couple of pictures on a woodworking forum I had joined and got some positive feedback and for a first attempt at making a stool I was rather pleased with myself.
During the summer months, I found that working in the garage was a challenge, especially on warmer days so had to limit any activity to the cooler parts of the day. I also had some house decorating to do which took me away from my workshop but I did manage to squeeze in small commission for the downstairs toilet, namely an interlocking shelving unit. Again I was pleased with the outcome and was asked to make Abby one for her flat in Jersey.
Next on my list was a wedding present our next door neighbours son Ben, who was getting married to Sam as both are mad on dogs I decided that it would be a nice touch to make something with that theme. I eventually came up with the idea of a key holder, made from oak with ‘his and hers’ routed out along with some paws. Again I was pleased with the results and I believe it went down well with the newlyweds.
I really enjoyed the process of making the key holder and this gave me some ideas for Xmas presents for the family but more of that in a later post.
With the summer turning into autumn I found I could spend more time in the garage so decided to make some more coasters, coat racks and key holders that could be sold at work to raise money for charity. These small projects, whilst not very challenging are easy to knock out in batches and I soon had a bagful of bits to take in for the fundraising stall.
When I designed my workshop, the hope was that the large extraction unit would be sufficient to keep a check on the dust and shavings created from my new hobby but alas it wasn’t the case and I soon realised that I needed to install a method of keeping the airborne partials down to a minimum by installing a permanent extraction system. I watched a few YouTube videos and found a solution someone had designed using 42mm pipework. Whilst not perfect, using some homemade gate valves I’m now able to direct the vacuum towards the machine I’m using at he time and so far it’s worked well, with only a couple of blockages to sort.
In my next blog I’ll share details of the wooden signs I made for presents and also how I made a bespoke oak coffee table, which now has pride of place in our conservatory.