Divide and conquer

The shelves are now to thickness and cut to width. Some sanding of the end to ensure they fit and they are almost ready to go. I used a router to cut the dadoes in the case and because the bit is round, so is the end of the cut. I could attempt to square off the dado, but that would be difficult. My smallest chisel is 10 mm. I decided to try a different route and round over the edge. I did try to use a router to do the rounder over with a 1/8″ round over bit, but the shelves are too small to do it by hand. The router table wasn’t very effective as I couldn’t reliably get the depth right and anyway the shelves aren’t exactly 1/4″ thick. Then I remembered a video done by Matthias Wandel:

After a little trial and error I found that 3 45º strokes with my block plane, followed by a 22.5º either side of that created a very close round over, which is completed with a little light sanding.

Once the shelves are ready, I positioned them in the cabinet for a dry fit. I drew where the dadoes meet the shelves which give me a start line to mark out where the dividers go. To make sure I get the dadoes in the right places, I used the layout marks from the dadoes and a compass to find the center of the board. I think this must be one of the first times I’ve used a compass for something other than drawing a circle. The layout lines were then used as a reference point to make sure my router was in the right place to cut the dadoes. A 1/4″ v-groove bit has a sharp point and can help position the router on the line so the fence can be zeroed in.

1/4" V Groove bit

Swap the v-groove bit for the 1/4″ straight bit to make the cut and the dadoes are perfectly down the middle of the board. The depth of cut can be determined by dropping the router bit onto the workpiece whilst the motor is off, then placing an appropriate diameter drill bit in the depth stop. I did a couple of test cuts and worked out the best depth. After doing a couple of cuts things when a little wrong. I didn’t realise and cut one of the shelves in half. I didn’t realise until after I’d finished the second cut because of all the dust in the channel. Luckily I had enough stock prepared and was pleasantly surprised at how fast I was able to get a new shelf ready.

As I was finishing up, I managed to get one divider cut and placed in the dry assembly.




Andrew’s _IMG_0891 Andrew’s _IMG_0890 Andrew’s _IMG_0892

Magnetic personality

At some point I managed to knock my tray of 200 odd drill bits on the floor. With all the dust and the incredibly small diameter bits, it was quite difficult to get them all. Until I remembered I had a super strong magnet from inside a dead hard drive, and used it to sweep the debris to pick up the drill bits.


Winter is coming

No, nothing to do with Game of Thrones. Everything to do with temperatures barely reaching double figures in the morning. So it’s time to relocate the workshop to warmer climate. I’m very fortunate that I have a room at the back of my house which until recently was a dumping ground for anything and everything. That’s now clear so I can relocate my workbench and many of my tools into the house.

My table saw is way too big to move and would take up so much space in the 10′ by 10′ room. I don’t use my jointer enough to need it down in the winter shop. So these two will need to be winterized and left in my barn workshop. The tops of both the tools are cast iron, so they will need to be given a protective coating of paste wax, and some oil put on other moving parts to keep moisture out.

I will have to use them occasionally over winter so that will stop them from seizing. This will also be a bit of a test for me. Can I mark up the parts that need cutting, take them out to the other building and make the cuts? Or will I find that I can make all cuts with my miter saw and band saw? Obviously I’m going to resist going up there. Operating dangerous power tools in sub-zero temperatures is less than ideal. I’ve got a small pile of 12/4* red oak which needs jointing on at least two sides so I don’t have to do that during winter. If I can joint two faces flat and square, then I can use my bench top planer to finish the other two sides as and when I need to get them done.

I’ve currently got a large hutch in the room, so I’m probably going to dismantle that I think. I can re-use a lot of the materials and it will clear a 3′ by 6′ space for tools. There’s still a fair amount of junk in/on the hutch so that’ll need to be cleared off. I have a feeling procrastination will set in before that’s done though.

Once my wife’s birthday present is finished (sorry babe – I *know* it’s only 3 months late), then I can get on with putting up some shelves and moving tools.

* Rough lumber is measured out in 1/4″ widths, so 12/4 is approximately 3″. It’s hard to be more accurate that that for several reasons:

  • Rough lumber has a lot of saw marks, which you need to get rid of before you can start making things out of it.
  • Wood swells and shrinks significantly with the moisture content of the air around it. This can be by as much as 1/8″! (just over 3mm)
  • Wood will twist, bow, cup and otherwise distort out of shape. Typically this means when you start with a 4/4 piece, you’ll need to plane it down to 3/4″ to make it flat and square on 4 sides.