Making large piles of sawdust out of perfectly good wood

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Dispatch #31 - Keeping Varmints Out of your Workshop

If you are one of the forturnate few woodworkers who have an air conditioned workshop, then this is just fun reading for you.  For the rest of us, who work out of garages or buildings with roll up doors then this applies.
My workshop is in a two car garage with an 18 ft. wide door.  In the summertime trying to work is hard because of the flying insects that come in to buzz about and land on an arm or leg, and starting drilling for blood right as I'm running a board through the table saw. And, on several occasions I've had birds to fly in and it was a fight trying to get them back out.  When a bird gets excited, it tends to crap on everything it flies over.
The solution?  A garage door screen from Garage Door Screens.  A low cost fix for the flying insects, four legged varmints (like the neighbors cat) and even two legged varmints.  Even though people can see in, it makes them stop and sound off before being invited in. At night is when the screen really is nice.  I can work into the late evening in comfort and not have to put up with night bugs flying everywhere.
The screen is held in place with a Velcro strip around the perimeter of the door way.  The manufacturer suggest for additional holding power to attach the Velcro with small screws every 6" to 8".  I didn't do this to begin with, but recently went back and installed them.  I had chosen white Velcro since my door trim was white so I wanted to use white headed screws.  I purchase some 1/2" screws and stuck them into a piece of cardboard and spray painted the heads white.  Now when I remove the screen the screw heads are nearly invisible.
The screen came with three heavy duty well made zippers, one on each side and one in the middle.  To hold the screen down, you can slip a piece of 1/2" PVC pipe or conduit in a pocket at the bottom which is designed for that.  Access is easy though the middle zipper when you just want to come and go, and, to move large items in or out of the workshop, just unzip the middle and side zipper and roll up.  The manufacturer provides one Velcro strip to hold the screen up with but I chose to use a better version of it and to fasten it in place with a screw.  It only takes a couple of minutes to roll up one side and the screen advantages outweigh the trouble to roll-up.
I've had the screen in place now for nearly two months and feel it's one of the best investments I've made for my workshop ever.  Plus, the wife likes it because when I come into the house from the garage, a bunch of flies don't come in with me.
The folks at Garage Door Screens are great folks to do business with.  It is a Mom & Pop operation and the screens are made by them.  So, check out their website and decide if a garage door screen is right for your shop.
Disclaimer:  This is only a recommendation, I have no financial interest in this company, nor do I receive anything if you click on their site or purchase from them. 

Screen with Door up
Screen with door down
Looking from outside toward driveway
The strap to hold screen when rolled up

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Dispatch #30 - Back in the Woodshop Again

After several years of neglect to this blog I'm once again resurrecting it from the ashes of the internet.  I'll be entering more projects as time goes by since I've retired and now have time to devote to woodworking and my photography hobbies.
The current project I'm working on is a storage cabinet for underneath the right wing of my tablesaw.  Since I have a Biesemeyer fence with the 30" extension table there is a great space to put the cabinet.  My saw is on a caster platform and this cabinet will be mounted to it also.  This still leaves my table saw completely portable should the need arise to move it out of it's present position.
As of today I have the cabinet carcass built and the edge banding put on the front.  Since we'll be leaving going on vacation in a couple of days I'll have to put building the drawer boxes on hold until we return.
I need also to post pictures of the kitchen remodel that was completed.
In the meantime, here is pictures of my Shop Vac Cart build.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Dispatch #29 Undercabinet drawers - Update

The undercabinet drawer project is moving right along.I got all of the stock cut to size.For the first time I did all of my measuring with my Woodpecker Precision Ruler and my marking knife.All of the cuts were made on my Dewalt SCMS.It was amazing that by utilizing this process my cuts were all on the "right" side of the line. If you don't own a precision rule and marking knife, I strongly recommend that you get one and start using it on layouts.
After all the stock was cut to length, I milled the box joints on the table saw and then cut the dados for the drawer bottoms.This was as far I got on the project Saturday.
Tomorrow, I will start cutting the bottoms and then assembly can begin after sanding of all pieces.
Another project that I've been working is getting my new EZ Smart System cutting guide setup. I installed the dust collector port on my Makita 5007MGA circular saw.It sure makes a big difference using the circular saw with dust collector in place.

Quote of the moment:
I have long been of the opinion that if work were such a splendid thing the rich would have kept more of it for themselves.
- Bruce Grocott

Friday, September 5, 2008

Dispatch #28 Undercabinet Pullout Drawers - Update

Note:Pictures for this entry select :Photo Galleries>Flash Photo Gallery>Pullout Drawer Project
This week on my days off I started building the prototype drawer for the project.My first prototype (P1) was constructed using half lap joints.I didn't do a full glue up on P1, instead I used blue painters tape to put it together to see how it looks.I wasn't real happy with the results of P1 so I decided to build another using the box finger joint method.
Before I started P2, I decided to go ahead and mill all of the boards to final thickness of 1/2".It sure made a lot of new mulch for the concrete planters on the front of the garage.
In cutting the pieces of P2 to length I used my Woodpecker precision straight edge and a marking knife I picked up at Woodcraft.This method sure my cuts accurate.
I then numbered all of my corners using blue painters tape and a sharpie.This was to keep the orientation correct.I cut the finger joints on the table saw using my sled jig.
The bottom of the drawer was cut from 1/2" birch plywood.To cut the piece I used my new EZ Smart System rail and my Makita 5007MGA circular saw.This was my first opportunity to use the EZ system and I was well satisfied with it.All of my cuts were dead on accurate with the EZ rail.This eliminated having to use the table saw to cut pieces to final dimensions and saves stock.
I glued up P2 and after we had supper I installed the drawer slides on the box and then the rails inside the cabinet.The prototype was a great success so I will began production of the remaining drawer assemblies on my next day off.
Your comments are always welcome and don't forget to check out the pictures.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Dispatch #27 Starting a New Project

This past week I began the kitchen cabinet pull out shelf project.These shelves will be installed in all but one of the lower kitchen cabinets.The only reason the one won't get the pull outs is that the door does not open fully due to the new dishwasher being a bit bigger than the old dishwasher.I will be installing a total of 12 pull outs.
The first problem I've encountered is that the cabinets were site built.The entire unit was built as one piece.This means there are no side wall to attach the drawer slides too except on one end of the cabinet.
The solution to this problem was to construct amounting strip for the drawer slides to mount to.I measured the side next to the end wall and it needed 1-1/4" to bring it flush with the edge of the face frame.On the opposite side, the middle face frame was 2" wide.For the 1-1/4" thick piece I used a piece of 3/4 x 4" pine and added 3 pieces of 1/2" mdf as spaces.On the 2" thick piece I laminated two 3/4" x 4" with 3 ea 1/2" mdf blocks in between them.This gave me the 2" I need.
To fasten them to the cabinet shelves used my Kreg Pocket hole jig to drill 6 pocket holes on each face of the 2" thick pcs and 6 holes on the accessible side of the 1-1/4" piece.We will be staining the piece prior to installation so I can add a few dabs of glue to the bottom of the mounting strips when I install them.Between the glue and the pocket hole screws they should be secure.
Tomorrow is Labor Day and I plan taking the before pictures and the pictures of the mounting strips.They will be posted to the gallery tomorrow evening.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Dispatch #26 Shop Update

Not a whole lot going on this past week.I continued the shop cleanup project.Did manage to get the air hose retractable reel mounted to the ceiling.I've had the reel since fall of 2007, but just never gotten round2it to install.It sure makes managing the air hose a whole lot easier.
Had a good "find" on ebay recently, picked up a Stanley 60-1/2 low angle block plane at a real nice price.Have to sharpen the blade a bit more, but it is gonna be a handy item.I'll get pictures of it posted soon in the Hand tool section.
On another note, I ordered the slides for the kitchen cabinet slideout draawer project.They are due in today via UPS.I got them from Grizzly.com for $9.95 ea which is about half of what the local HD BORG wanted for them.They are the same type that I used on the assembly table project and are a good value for the buck.
I'll be leaving Thursday morning heading for Atlanta to attend the The International Woodworking Machinery and Furniture Supply Fair at the Georgia Congress Trade Center.It is one of the largest woodworking events in the country.
Norm Abrams will be there signing autographs and I plan to take my first New Yankee Workshop book for him to autograph.
That's all for now, heading to Southaven, MS for my son's wedding today.More on that later.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Dispatch #25 Trip to the Hardwood Center

Today we made a trek over to Scottsboro to the Hardwood Center.All I can say is WOW!!They had species of wood I've never even heard of before.There were some Africa Mahogany that was a good 22" wide and had the most beautiful texture and delightful to the touch.
Our mission today was to find some 1/2" thick stock for construction of the pull out shelves in the lower kitchen cabinets.After walking through the Hardwood Center's warehouse and oohing & hahing over all of the wood, we settled on some basswood.It is appox 9/16" thick by 4" wide.It came in random lengths and we managed to find about 100 LF that will be usable.They had a great price I thought on the basswood at .83 per LF.In fact all of their hardwood prices seemed very reasonable.
We also checked out their hardwood plywood and saw some great domestically produced hardwood ply.Will sure keep that and all of the wood in mind for future projects.I would highly recommend anyone within driving distance of Scottsboro, AL to make a trip over there if you need quality hardwoods for any project.They also produce hardwood flooring, molding (both stock & custom order).If you are restoring an antique home they can even take a sample of you existing molding and make a cutter knife to produce new molding to match.Visit their website at Hardwood Center
We got rain most of the day here in Florence, I was suppose to go over and watch UNA's football team practice this afternoon, but due to the rain we postponed till tomorrow evening.That works out even better since they will be scrimmaging then.So I made good use of my time and done a little cleanup in the shop.I removed all the items from one section of my pegboard in preparation of removing it.I plan on replacing it with five 16" x 32" cabinets that I already have on hand.These were originally storage shelves for thick computer printouts at Sequoyah Nuclear Plant.I purchased them several years ago for $5.00 at a TVA sealed bid sale. They are made of Walnut Veneered dimensional lumber with a plywood back on them.I'm going to cut doors to fit and then install the doors with euro hinges.I'm debating on whether to paint the cabinets white or leave them walnut and then stain the doors to match.
I plan on hanging the cabinets on the wall using a french cleat at the top and a strip at the bottom edge.A drywall screw will be driven in to the bottom strip to prevent the cabinet from accidentally being knocked loose.Pictures of this project will be posted shortly in the photo gallery.
As always your comments are welcome.
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