Monday, August 22, 2016

Miscellaneous Projects

I've been plugging away, making little things out in the shedshop, having a blast. Nothing really noteworthy, just... "stuff"

 This box I threw together from scraps... It's almost square! :)

 Here I'm starting a shelf-thingy designed to hold finishing stuff, spray paint, wax, stain, etc. Finally got to use my pocket hole jig after I built the accessory box for it.

 Here's the frame with the back, and then below, you can see it in place (hanging via french cleat) with a few items in it.

I'm _almost_ ready to tackle the dresser conversion/project thing. More on that later...

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Cleats and Tool Storage

Not that I have an enormous collection of power tools, but each one I have came in a hand plastic carry case. Those are great -- when you need to carry the tools around.

But now that I'm doing most of my work in the shed, those plastic boxes get in the way and take up valuable space.

So I decided to make a "french cleat" storage rack and some shelf/boxes to attach to it, and use that to store my tools. I've made all of this from scraps, which kind of explains how rough they look.

The idea is that I can just put the tool and maybe some of its basic accessories in a custom sized box hanging from the cleat and just put the plastic carry case somewhere else (in case I need it) or even toss it.

Here's the one I built for the small router. It's not exactly beautiful, but it was fun to make and it does serve its purpose. I cut a hole in the center of the bottom of the shelf/box so that the router can fit even if there's a bit inserted.

So far I've built three of these, one for the router, the jig saw, and the sander. I'm thinking about making one for the drills and charger next.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Adirondack (Pt 2)

Here it is waiting patiently for paint:

And then here it is "in situ"

I love the color. I wanted something really bright, but we _almost_ went with a forest green.

Glad yellower heads prevailed.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Scrap Pile Project: Kreg Jig Storage Base

I noticed that after I went through the garage, the rafters, and the storage shed, I've managed to build up quite a pile of scrap wood: cutoffs, mistakes, extras, etc.

I saw a really cool project here ( and decided to pretty much copy it as best I could with the leftovers I have.

Here it is while I was spraying it with some clear shellac. I had already put the hinge on when I decided it needed another coat.

The lid is a somewhat warped piece of cheap pine I've had for a while, but I think it will work fine.

Again, shamelessly copying the one I saw online. Turns out that once you put the jig itself up on the lid of the box, you don't really need much space inside the box for the accessories! :)

Sunday, June 5, 2016

"Japanese" Toolbox from Make Magazine

A few years ago we received Make Magazine issue #34 in the mail and I really liked the toolbox build project it contained. This was back when Make wasn't _all_ electronics... :)

Anyway, I always meant to get around to trying to make it -- I love the sliding "locking" lid mechanism. I even went so far as to buy the wood I'd need. But after a year or two I forgot about it and the magazine got buried in the pile of subsequent Makes.

Recently, though, I went through the stack and found the issue and decided to try to make the toolbox. I pulled the wood down out of the rafters in the garage. Some of it was a bit warped, but it's just a toolbox for myself, and it won't bug me if things aren't perfect.

I used my slightly accurate table saw cross sled for many of the cuts. It works well! That said, I must have done something wrong when I put the riving knife back on because wood _always_ gets pinched between the blade and the fence when I'm not using the sled...

After I cut all the wood to length, it was time to make a real mess.

 The box is finished, time to make the lid...

It came out ok -- I'm certainly happy with it. I still need to sand it down and get rid of the rough edges/splintery bits, but the lid works, and I'm sure it will hold whatever I put in there.

Not sure if/how I'll finish it. Just sand it down? Maybe some oil/wax?

If I were to make it again, I'd use better wood and maybe some more interesting methods for fastening it together. I think making one slightly smaller (this one is 26 inches long by almost 9 tall) might be fun as well.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Scrap Wood

I found a use for some of the scrap wood I recently picked up for free: a small lumber rack/shelf.

This was a very easy one, and I'm sure I could have made it about 20 different ways, and several of those would likely be better, but here's what I ended up with:

It's not much to look at, but it'll do the job. Next, I'm hoping to make a toolbox...

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Puttering Around...

I've been doing small things out in the shedshop recently, just kind of getting used to the space and the idea of it being there all the time. I organized my very small collection of clamps...

I made two jigs. First was a "door board" for cuts up to four feet long with the circular saw. Next on my list was a cross cut sled for my crappy table saw.

I realized that my table saw is just not very "true" and in fact, there is no way to get the blade to a true vertical 90 degrees. I used a digital angle finder and the closest I could get the blade was 1 degree off of 90.

Anyway, the cross cut sled makes using the table saw safer and should result in slightly more accurate and repeatable cuts. Of course, it's me making this thing, so let's just say I don't have super high expectations... :)

First step is to cut some runners:

I stacked a few coins in the slots to raise the runners up high enough to glue them to the sled. Once I had that done, I was ready to add the front and back fences.

Or, I _would_ have been ready, but somehow the runners went from a PERFECT fit to a very sloppy fit after I glued them in place. I was very frustrated at this point because I had spent so much time being very careful to make such perfect cuts.

I ripped one of the runners off and replaced it with a store-bought aluminum track made just for this purpose. Once I attached that to the sled, the thing fit perfectly and I was back in business. I coated the back of the sled with paste wax to help it glide. I'm sure it won't last long, but I love the smell and feel of paste wax.

Finally, I installed the front fence and made a partial cut through the base of the sled. I used a square to get the rear fence, the important one!, as square to the blade as possible. I triple checked it as best I could, screwed it in place and then cut some test pieces. I did this thing where you cut a piece of wood 5 times, rotating the cut side to the fence after each cut. Then, you save the off cut from the 5th cut and measure both ends of it. Divide that distance by 4 and that's how much off of perfectly square your fence is. (It's called "the 5 cut method" and I did a terrible job of explaining it)

Anyway, despite all of my careful measuring, I'm still off by .0125 inches. Well, that's what I'm "guessing" as I don't have any digital calipers. Could be more than that, could be a 64th of an inch.

Still, I suppose it will be good enough for now, as I think the fence is straighter than the blade itself.  :)

Here it is hanging on the wall:

That redwood 2x4 screwed to the rear fence is there to remind me to NOT put my fingers there. I may have made the sled a bit too large, but only time will tell.