Workshop Update

The enforced national lockdown back in March last year began just before we were about to travel to Jersey to see our daughter, so instead I had the added bonus of a week off spent in my workshop.

Having managed to get to grips with my newly purchased CNC machine by making some signs, clocks and a crib board for my dad, I was keen to explore new things to make. I’d also ordered a pallet of hardwood from eBay, which would give me plenty of material to use as well.

Firstly, I wanted to try to produce a brass stamp on the CNC which seemed quite a cool thing to try to make. I had already ordered some brass blocks from eBay and so set about designing the stamps on the Vectrix software. The plan was to make a stamp that could be used for embossing my woodwork pieces; my very own makers mark. What I didn’t realise was that cutting metal, even a soft metal like brass, isn’t as easy as you think. My first attempt caused the router bit to break but once I’d sussed out the correct feed and speeds needed I managed to produce a pretty functional stamp.

I then thought I’d have a go at making some cutting boards, again out of left over oak worktop, but this time I wanted to try engraving onto them using the CNC. I made three different sized boards and a stand and then used the CNC to produce some pretty good looking boards.

Having no use for the boards I stored them away after first sharing photos on Instagram and shortly after an ex-colleague reached out for me to see if I would make her a set. As they were not required at home, I duly posted them to her and are now regularly used in her kitchen. Another project successfully completed.

Over the next few months my CNC output increased as I grew more confident in designing and creating new things. I even managed to get a couple of commissions from a chap in Scotland having seen my photos on social media.

Firstly he asked if I could make him a sign for his newly installed hot tub and then a sign for a work colleague. He loved them, especially as I only charged him for the postage.

Ideas were coming thick and fast by the time we came out of lockdown, not before dabbling in making some keyring, nick-nack trays and boxes, more signs and BBQ trays.

As the workshop warmed up in the summer, my activity slowed as the temperatures got unbearable but I still managed to knock out some football signs for friends and family.

In my next blog post I’ll run through some other projects including making beer bottle openers, signs for the garden, a box for a baby and a clock for my dad for Fathers Day.

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.