Friday, April 25, 2014

Wall Hanging Tool Cabinet

My second project for the week was a Wall Hanging Tool Cabinet.  I wanted to build a this version of tool storage because I felt it would travel better when I move in November. I can now use my modified Dutch Tool chest to store some my other miscellaneous tools.

I would have loved to make a beautiful Wall Hanging Tool Cabinet like H.O. Studley's Tool Chest (
But hey, I'm a beginner and I don't have the money or experience to make such a tool cabinet so I used available resources and made this:

I think it turned out fairly well. I learned a great deal even though it mostly held together by screws. I at least know what I would do better next time and what areas I could improve.

Dovetail Saw

Its been a while since my last post because I have been traveling for my work.

This week I have been working on two projects. The first was a modification to a cheap dovetail saw that I had lying around that I rarely used. The saw was a cheap deer brand dovetail saw from WoodCraft. Here is a picture of what the saw looked like before my modifications:
So two things I didn't like about this saw were the straight handle and the teeth were set to cut a wide kerf. My first modification was to remove the straight handle and replace with a traditional open wood saw tote. Here are a few pictures to help describe the process:
I used a saw tote template from Blackburn Tools:  It made things a little easier to get a traditional look for my saw tote. I glued the template to a block of wood that I harvested from some logs I have been toting around from Oklahoma (I think its some kind of oak). With the template attached, I cut the rough design out with my bandsaw. In the picture you can see the result with the template still attached. Here is a close up of the other side:
Next, I laid out the grove for the saw plate, the mortise for the saw back and the holes for the bolt and nuts. With the layout lines in place, I because to cut the grove mortise for the saw plate and back. This went fairly well since I had already researched and found a way to cut them with little error (I got a lot of help from Matt Cianci's video Build a Custom Backsaw). Not that I could prefit the saw plate and back into the handle. I could drill the holes for the bolts and nuts. With the holes drilled, I was able to preassemble and ensure that everything looked good. Everything went together very well. So the only two things left were to shape the handle and finish the handle. I used a simple wood rasp that has coarse and fine teeth for straight and curved shapes. The shaping was easier that I had thought it would and the handle turned out great. With a little natural danish oil, I was able to finish the saw modifications.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Workshop Updates

     I have been wanting to build my own workbench because my first workbench was a cheap harbor freight bench that couldn't cut it when planing wood. So, I did the research and the bench I would have loved to build would be a 8' massive Roubo workbench. The cheapest I could have built one was around $800 without any bench accessories (vises, holdfasts, etc.).  Even though it would have been a great investment over time, it just isn't the right time for me to be dropping that much on a bench (I still more tools :) ).
      What do people do when they can't get what they want? They improvise.  I improvised by building my top of my bench from free wood I found at my pallet/wood pile. My luck paid off and I found some very long pieces on a pallet (5-6 feet long).  After planing them flat (there was a good deal of cup in the boards), I was able to laminate the boards together to make a 5 foot long by 20 inch wide bench top. I forgot to take pictures throughout the process so you can see the top on the finished bench at the end.
     With the top finished, I schemed about how to do the base. I really wasn't up to mortise and tenoning my base together so I took an alternate route. Chris Schwarz published a video on how to build a sturdy bench in two day that I referenced heavily to build my base. I used 4x4 Douglas Fir to create a knockdown base for my workbench. Here are some pictures of the legs for the base.
     With the legs and base assembled, I spent most of my a night last week preparing and attaching the base to the top. The base is lag bolted to the top which can then me removed and to allow the bench to be moved easier. Here are some pictures of the completed workbench.
   Now that I have a true workbench that won't run away or wobble, I can get back to learning more about the fundamentals of my craft.  In order to prepare for that time, I spent a little bit of my weekend organizing some of my tools.  I use to use a peg board system to hold my tools on the wall but every time I pulled down a tool I evidently pulled the metal bracket as well. I decided to use a more permeant fixture to hold the tools on the wall. I attached some 3/4 inch plywood (also found at the pallet/wood pile) to the wall then build separate holders for each tool. Here is a picture.
     I forgot to post a picture of my tool chest when I first published my old projects. I thought it fitting to post it here since it has to do with my workshop. I built it based on a design of a Dutch tool chest that I found in a copy of Popular Woodworking.  My tool chest has a few slight changes because I wanted some drawers to hold tools. I think it turned out rather nice. I painted it the outside with Old Fashion Milk Paint. The drawer fronts need to be touched up a little. If I get the insides organized better I will take some pictures.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Patio/Deck Box

My wife had this great idea to buy a deck box for our patio area on the back porch. Wow, how does a plastic box cost so much? The cheapest was around $70. So I decided to visit my local wood/pallet pile and found these great pallet boxes. I cut one in half and it became the basis for my patio box. I should have taken a picture of the pallet box so you could see it before, but I was too excited to get started.
With a couple coats of outdoor spray paint, we were in business. The only cost to us was the 2 cans of  spray paint.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Ellie's Sand Box

I decided after being gone for a few weeks that I would build a sand box for my daughter. It turned out way better than I imagined since I decided to use wood from my local recycled pallet/wood pile. I didn't want the sand box to be too small or too large so I decided on a 3'x3' design. Here are the pictures of the build.

My daughter had a blast playing with her new sand box.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Past Projects

These are few of my past projects.

First Table I built - Douglas Fir with Dark Walnut Stain

Second Table - Douglas Fir with Special Walnut Stain

Third Table - Douglas Fir with Natural Stain

First Bed Frame (King Size) - Douglas Fir with Special Walnut Stain

Second Bed Frame (Queen Size) - Douglas Fir with Natural Stain

TV Stand - Douglas Fir with Natural Stain

Mallet - Made from firewood log from Oklahoma

Holdfast and Temporary Forge - First Experiment with Blacksmith Forging