Leave blank for all. Otherwise, the first selected term will be the default instead of "Any".

Testing Biscuit Joint Strength - Do Biscuits Add Strength To A Woodworking Glue Joint?

In this video I test the strength of various materials like melamine, plywood, MDF and solid wood with biscuits and without biscuits to see if biscuits add any strength.

I've heard people say that biscuits are purely for alignment, but others say that they add strength.

The results were very surprising to me!

Restoring A Hand Plane - vintage Stanley No. 4

In this video I restore a vintage Stanley Number 4 hand plane which I purchased on eBay.

This handplane dates from 1948-1961 which is a really old model.  I used this website to check the age of the plane.

There was some rust to deal with, a loose handle, and the plane needed a set up as the frog was set too far forward.  The blade was also in need of a thorough sharpening.

I started by dissambling the handles and frog from the plane and I cleaned up all the rust from the bear metal parts with 80 grit sand paper.  I also oiled the bear metal parts once they were clean.

I could then re-fit the frog further back from where it was originally.

I used a knife blade to scrape off the old lacquer from the handles, and then sanded them with 80 grit abrasive paper.

I used Teak Oil to finish both handles.

I needed to shorten the bolt which held the rear handle in place so I used the grinder for that.  The bolt then sinched down the handle nicely, and I only needed to remove a couple of milimetres.

Next I flattened the sole of the plane.  I used a Sharpie to mark up the base of the plane, and some 80 grit paper on a flat surface (piece of melamine.  The sole had a big hollow in the centre, so it took quite a bit of sanding to get flat.

I also sanded the sides of the plane in the same way, and eased over the sharp edges to make it more comfortable in the hands.

I then cleaned up the cap iron and cutting iron, again with 80 grit abrasive paper and again adding oil to the bear metal parts to prevent them from rusting.

I then used my usual sharpening technique to bring the cutting iron edge to a mirror finish using the products listed below:

Draper Honing Guide: http://amzn.to/2rIhK9h (Amazon UK) http://amzn.to/2reUdvx (Amazon US)

Taidea 360/600 grit diamond plates http://amzn.to/2toED25 (Amazon UK) http://amzn.to/2rIolkm (Amazon US)

King Japanese 1000/6000 Whetstone: http://amzn.to/2shn7cH (Amazon UK) http://amzn.to/2qEpTaE (Amazon US)

Green Polishing Compound: http://amzn.to/2ro1do1 (Amazon UK) http://amzn.to/2qEzvCq (Amazon US)

After re-installing everything and a quick set up of the frog and cutting iron alignment, I tested the plane out and it works brilliantly.  This is already my favourite hand plane to use, it has surpassed my expectations. Previously my "go to" hand plane was my Record no.;5 buton this one the cutting seems to hold a better edge and the plane feels great in the hand.  I LOVE IT!

Simple Workbench Dogs

In this video I make some simple dogs for my workbench.  

Before I started, I wasn't sure I'd need/use them, but fancied giving it a try - and now they're installed I haven't stopped using them

I started with a scrap of oak that was around 33mm square which I'd use to make the dogs.

I picked the back left hand corner of my workbench for a few reasons - I have access to the underside of the worktop in this area, it's also in a good position to plane/sand etc, and finally it's out of the way of the main surface area of the worktop.

I started by drlling 30mm holes through the worktop with a forstner bit in my drill.  I drilled a few more holes with and then chiselled out the rest of the material until I had a square hole to fit my piece of oak. My worktop is plywood which wasn't the easiest thing to chisel, but it worked OK.

Once the dog fitted the hole, I then mounted an offcut of plywood to the underside of the worktop with woodglue and brad nails to cover half of the square hole. Then I inserted the dog, and made a pencil mark from underneath. 

I cut away 5mm in from the bottom of the dog and halfway through the workpiece on the bandsaw so that the bottom of the dog fits in and protrudes below through the plywood mounted to the bottom. With the dog seated fully in the hole, I then drew a pencil line around where the dog was flush with the worktop surface, and cut all the way through the workpiece with the bandsaw.

The dog can then be used by pushing it out from underneath, rotating it 90 degrees, and re-inserting so that the dog sticks out around 5mm from the top of the worktop.

I ended up adding a second dog level with the first one which will be useful for working on wider boards.

This was a really simple project that only took a couple of hours and has been a really good addition to my workbench.

Making A Quick, Simple and Strong Workbench

Recently a friend of mine got in touch and asked me for help building a workbench.  He wanted something simple and strong to fit in to a space in his garage and he sent me these dimensions. 
 
So I did a drawing on SketchUp, I designed a simple frame made from basic 63mm x 38mm construction timber these are more commonly known as 3x2s, although they actually measure less than 3 by 2 inches.  I also worked out a cut list and worked out that we needed 7x 2.4m lengths of the 3x2s to complete the frame which Steve bought new. 
 
For the top and the shelf, I already had some salvaged pieces of 18mm plywood which I found dumped by some bins, they were painted and a bit dirty on one side, but fairly clean on the other side. 
 
Free plans showing all the dimensions and a cutting list will be available on my website if you're interested in building this bench.
We started by cutting the outer leg pieces to length. I used the mitre saw to cut all of the pieces for the frame to the right length based on the drawing. 
 
Next we cut the inner leg pieces which would later support the apron rails, or stretchers that would support for both the shelf and the worktop.
 
I set up a stop block at the mitre station to cut these pieces to a consistent size.
 
And then we cut the apron rails or stretchers to length.
 
So these are the pieces we cut, the four pieces on the left are the aprons and on the right are all the pieces that would form the legs.
 
So we positioned the small pieces flush with the bottom of the outer leg pieces, then used an offcut as a spacer to get the distance correct for the apron rails, and applied wood glue.
 
We drilled some holes with a countersink bit and screwed the pieces together.
 
I marked up with a pencil some positions for the screws just so they were centred and spaced equally apart just for aesthetic reasons. 
Next we applied glue and added the apron rails which we attached with 2x 60mm screws. I used a large sash clamp to hold the pieces in place
 
Then we cut some shelf supports that would go in between the apron rails to support the shelf and the main worktop.
We used up some of the short scrap pieces of the 3x2s by ripping them in half to create some cleats.
 
These were then cut to length and glued and nailed to the sides of the shelf supports and would later be used to attach the shelf and worktop from underneath, so we pre-drilled the holes for that.
 
Then we cut the side pieces for the frame.
 
Next we did a dry assembly of the frame just to check we were on track with our measurements for shelves and started cutting the plywood to size starting with the main worktop.  Because these were salvaged pieces I first checked to find a corner that was a perfect 90 degree angle with a framing square and then I took all my measurements from that corner.
 
I set up a straight edge to cut it to the correct width.  My straight edge was a bit too short to use clamps so I got Steve to stand on one end instead.
 
I made the cut with my cordless circular saw.
 
And then I could cut it to length.
 
Then we cut the shelf to the size we wanted.  And to fit this piece between the legs, we needed to make a few cut outs. I used the jigsaw for that and a speed square to mark them up,  And that fitted in place just fine.
 
We wanted to cover the plywood edges at the front of the workbench to make them more hardwearing.  I had some reclaimed pine bed slats which I ripped to strips of 20mm on the tablesaw.  Then I glued and brad nailed it to the front. 
 
And for the worktop we did the same again except we also mitred the corners and did the sides of the worktop as well as the front to give it a cleaner look.
 
I used a block plane just to break the hard edges of the trim pieces.
 
Then we went to Steve's to assemble the bench.  We could add the shelf supports with glue and 2 screws on each side. There were two for the worktop and two for the shelf.
 
And then we could add the side pieces which would also support the shelf and worktop.
 
THen I tipped it on it's side to add the shelf and it was quite a tight fit now so I used my body weight to force it in.   
 
I could then add screws through the cleats in to the plywood to secure the shelf.
 
We didn't add wood glue here as we thought it would be useful to be able to replace the plywood at a later date once it gets worn out.
 
And then I added the top, making sure it was nicely centred on the frame.
 
We then offered up the workbench to the space and we'd deliberately left an overhang at the back of the shelf and worktop so that we could fit the bench around the brick pillar along his wall. We marked up where the pillar was on to the shelves, and cut it out with the jigsaw.  So the pillar stuck out 12cm from the wall, so we'd left a 12cm overhang between the edge of the back of the shelves and the frame to account for that.
 
And it fitted in place nicely.
 
This was a nice quick and simple project and the total cost of materials was £21, that was for the 7x 3x2s.  Everything else was either salvaged or stuff I already had in the workshop.
 
If you'd like to build your own then full drawings, dimensions and a cut list will be available on the Resources page of my website.
Images: 

Perspex Sharpening Station

In this video I use some reclaimed perspex to make a sharpening station to hold my sharpening stones/plates.

I used perspex rather than wood as I use water to lubraicate my plates and stones and I didn't want a material that would absorb the water.

I use the following products for sharpening, and as you see at the end of the video I get pretty good results with these.

Taidea 360/600 grit diamond plate:
Amazon UK http://amzn.to/2oHrxa9 Amazon US http://amzn.to/2nE71In

Japanese Whetstone:
Amazon UK http://amzn.to/2oHw3pm Amazon US http://amzn.to/2nns4Nu

Honing Guide:
Amazon UK http://amzn.to/2oHiJkE Amazon US http://amzn.to/2oHh4vz

Green Polishing Compound
Amazon UK http://amzn.to/2oHwtvW Amazon US http://amzn.to/2nriR7E  

I first cut a piece of perspex on the tablesaw to the size I wanted the station to be which in my case was 460mm x 280mm (as I wanted it to fit inside my drawer.

Then I ripped some more strips at 20mm to create a border which would hold everything in place.

I used super glue and spring clamps to stick the border on.  Super glue works well on perspex but it can make it go cloudy - not a problem in this situation as I wasn't worried about how it looked, it just needed to function. 

I soon ran out of spring clamps so I used bulldog clips.

Next I cut and glued some spacers in between the plates/stones to position everything where I wanted them - I wanted everything placed so that I could fully use each the surface of each plate or stone to sharpen a chisel.

I cut a few mor spacers to hold the stones in place at the top so that they wouldn't move forward/backwards.

I did some sanding to ease over the sharp edges.

Next I cut a length of 40mm square pine to size to mount on to the bottom of the perspex.  I drilled pilot holes, and countersunk the holes to get the head of the screws below the surface of the perspex. The purpose of the piece of pine on the bottom was purely to make the station mountable in a vise.

At the end of the video I give a quick demonstration of my sharpening method using the station.  

I'm happy with how it turned out, and it was made entirely from reclaimed/scrap materials so it didn't cost anything.

Images: 

Simple Panel Cutting Jig for DeWalt DW745 tablesaw

In this video I make a simple panel cutting jig for my tablesaw the DW745 using salvaged materials.

Finishing The New Workshop Layout - Workshop Re-Model Episode 8

Last in a short series about re-modelling my small workshop space.

In this video I make a simple box out of some salvaged OSB to store wood.  Simple butt joints, glued and screwed, and I added some castors to the bottom just because I had a spare set which will be useful if I ever need to move it around.

Then I start work on my second tool wall.  The old wall wasn't insulated and it was looking really messy, and as I had enough salvaged OSB to clad the wall I took the opportunity to insulate the walls and start from scratch.  I used plasterboard on the lower half of the wall and made some simple skirting boards out of pallet wood.  I filled gaps with decorators caulk and then painted everything with white satin paint to make the walls clean and bright. 

At the end of the video I talk about a few other changes I made - clamp storage, tool wall etc. and finally show some photos of the new workshop space.

 

Images: 

Mitre Station Support, Clamp Storage & Tool Wall - Workshop Re-Model Episode 7

In this video I make a simple unit to support material at the right hand side of my mitre station while I make cuts that also holds some of my clamps too, and I start my first of two new tool walls.
 
I used some scrap blockboard and melamine to make a simple unit mounted on castors which sits about 1cm below the height of the mitre saw’s base so that when I cut material, the offcut doesn’t fall on to the floor of the workshop.
 
I made a simple rack inside the unit to hold my F clamps by cutting some slots in to another piece of blockboard and this was mounted inside the unit.  Then I added some narrow pieces of wood to stop the clamps rocking forward/backward which would also hold my spring clamps.  I also mounted a couple of simple plywood pieces to the side to hold my long reach C clamps.
 
That was the clamp storage/mitre station support sorted.
 
Next I mounted some sheets of reclaimed OSB to the wall of my workshop which would become my main tool wall near my work bench.  This wall was already insulated.   I had a few cuts to make to fit it to the wall as there was a power socket and light fixture in the way.  I made the cuts with the jigsaw and then mounted the OSB to the workshop wall uprights with screws and coated it with a few coats of white satin paint. 
 
Due to the walkway around my workbench being quite narrow, I only mounted things to the toolwall that would not protrude too much as I don’t want to be knocking things off as I walk by – things like rulers, squares, hammers, handsaws etc.  everything is held in place with drywall screws only – no fancy French cleats or anything.  Screws had worked fine for the past couple of years to hold everything, and nothing ever fell off the walls, so I saw no reason to complicate the job in hand!
 
Once the boards were mounted, I added decorators caulk to the gaps just to improve aesthetics.
Images: 

New Mitre Station (part 3 of 3) - Workshop Re-Model Episode 6

In part 3 I begin by making a new fence for the mitresaw.  Originally I was going to make one using wood, but while I was in my local DIY shop I stumbled upon some lengths of aluminium angle which were relatively inexpensive and it occurred to me that it would be worth using that instead as it is perfectly straight.  
 
I decided to fit this not only to the worktop of the mitrestation, but also to the saw itself to replace the existing mitre saw fence.  
 
I cut the aluminium to length with a hacksaw.  Then I marked up where to drill holes for the bolts very carefully using digital calipers.  I centre punched with an awl, applied oil and then drilled the holes with a 10mm drill bit.  The bolts were 8mm but I wanted to have some room for adjustments which would enable me to get the fence at a perfect 90 degree angle to the blade.
 
Next I fitted the fence to the mitre saw on one side and squared it up to the blade using a framing square.  I propped open the blade guard using a wedge of wood.  When it appeared that the fence was at 90 degrees to the blade, I secured the bolt on the other side and I could then do a test cut.
 
I swapped the blade out as I didn’t want to cut through aluminium with my new blade, and then I made the cut.
 
Next I made a test cut, flipped one of the pieces by 180 degrees and pushed both pieces up against the straight fence and there were no gaps inbetween the two pieces which told me that the cut was accurate at 90 degrees – I was surprised to get this right first time as it’s always taken me a few attempts in the past!
 
Then I secured the rest of the fence down to the worktop by drilling pilot holes, counter sinking, and adding screws.
 
I bought a metallic faced, adhesive measuring tapes by Kreg.  Rather than fitting it to the front of the fence I decided to mount a piece of wood to the back of the fence, and fit the measuring tape to the top of the piece of wood instead because I was worried that by applying it to the front it would affect the cutting accuracy.
 
I ripped a piece of wood to slightly below the height of the fence to leave space for the thickness of the measuring tape and attached it to the fence again with screws.  It was important to countersink the holes again so that the head of each screw was set back from the front of the fence so that it wouldn’t affect the accuracy of cuts.  I also had to cut away some material from the piece of wood for where the bolt heads were on the mitre saw using a forstner bit. 
 
To make sure that the measuring tape would stick effectively to the wood I applied some pva glue to seal the wood.  That worked well.
 
Next I started making a stop block.  I used a scrap of mahogany and a Stanley knife blade to make a measurement point marker.  The stop block was cut to an L shape at the tablesaw.  
 
I re-shaped the Stanley knife blade to the shape I wanted on the belt sander then I spray painted the tip of it black, and used epoxy to glue it to the stop block.
 
Then I could stick down the measuring tape to the piece of wood. I realised that I would need to offset the tape by the distance between the measuring pointer on the stop block which was just over 4mm.
 
I tested the accuracy of the stop block by setting it to 600mm and cutting a piece of wood, and then confirming with a tape measure that it measured exactly 600mm – and it did, so no further adjustments were necessary.
 
Next I fitted my dust collection hoses to both the saw and the belt sander mounted underneath the mitresaw cabinet.  I can then use the shop vac on either machine by swapping from hose to hose.
 
That is the mitre station complete.
 

 

Images: 

The New Mitre Station (part 2 of 3) - Workshop Re-Model Episode 5

In part 2 of the mitre station build, I started by fitting some structural supports/spacers to the mitresaw stand.  These would make the structure more rigid and also ensure that the space between the two panels would be evenly spaced so that I could later fit a drawer in the space.
 
Next I made a hood for the mitresaw to help contain any dust that my shop vac doesn’t catch.  I used some salvaged blockboard to make the hood, and another piece of white 1 inch thick melamine for the top.  I needed to cut away some of the material with the jigsaw to fit around both the workshop wall uprights and around a plug socket so that it was still accessible.
 
To fit the mitresaw to the melamine top, I made sure to position it so that all the tilt and pivot functions worked as they should.  Then I drilled pilot holes and added bolts, washers and nuts to secure the saw to the worktop.  The bolts I used were too long so I used an angle grinder to cut them to the right length.
 
I made the drawer for the mitresaw cabinet from some more blockboard and a piece of low grade plywood for the bottom.  I used the same method as I had used for the drawers in my tablesaw stand, however this time it didn’t go as well as the drawer was about 1mm too wide.  I tackled this by removing the drawer runners, running the assembled drawer through the tablesaw to trim off 1mm from one of the sides, and then re-fitted the runners.  This worked well.
 
For the drawer front, I used some more poplar that came from some salvaged pallet collars which would match the pieces I used to trim the plywood edges on the rest of the mitre station.  There were a lot of imperfections and knots in the wood so I ripped the best pieces on the tablesaw and glued up a panel big enough to use for the drawer front.
 
Once the glue had dried, I ran the panel through the thickness planer to clean it up and attached it to the drawer temporarily using hot glue until I could secure it permanently with screws from the inside of the drawer.
 
I made a handle for the drawer from another poplar offcut, ripped at an angle on the tablesaw to form a “finger pull” shape.
 
I finished the drawer front with some boiled linseed oil
 

Pages