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The Chess Set (Part 1 of 3) - The Board

In this video I make a chess board.
In terms of materials for the chess board, I had four offcuts of mahogany, these are the feet from some salvaged hat and coat stands.  And I had a piece of what I believe to be Iroko although I might be wrong - I've had this for a while and I don't remember where I picked this up.
First I needed to prepare the two materials.  I started by flattening one edge and one face of the piece of Iroko on the planer and then I did the same with the mahogany.
Then I ripped the opposite face of the mahogany at the tablesaw to make it square.
And I ripped the piece of Iroko in half and then thickness planed the other faces and edges of the Iroko to the same size as the pieces of mahogany.  
I then chopped the Iroko to length to be similar sized pieces as the mahogany using the mitre saw.
I also cleaned up the ends of the mahogany pieces
With all the pieces prepared I alternated the two woods ready for gluing up.  
I used a couple of bar clamps for the glue up, and used a framing square to check the shorter pieces of iroko were level and then I could tighten the clamps and wipe away the excess glue with a damp cloth.
I then added some F clamps to make sure that the pieces were seated on to the bar clamps
Once the glue had dried I cleaned up the ends at the tablesaw using my panel sled.
And then I cleaned up the faces of the workpiece with my handplane.
Next I needed to cut the block in to strips.  The tablesaw would have been the best tool to use for this but I used the bandsaw because the blade has a thinner kerf and I wanted to get as much material out of the block to work with as I could.
A little bit of blade drift on the bandsaw is inevtiable, especially when using a pretty dull blade like I am here, so before cutting the next strip I made sure to flatten the face of the block with the hand plane. I checked for flatness with a steel ruler and then I could cut the next strip and so on.
The bandsaw left a bit of tear out so I cleaned up each strip on the belt sander.
With all of the strips cut, I then made sure that they would all mate together properly by flattening the edges with a couple of strokes of the hand plane.
Next I could glue the strips together to create the chess board. I used a ruler to make sure the board was straight.
and I added clingfilm and a couple of small boards and F clamps again to make sure that the board would be as flat as possible while the glue set. The clingfilm was used just to stop the chess board sticking to the scraps of wood.
Once the glue had dried, I used a cabinet scraper to get rid of most of the excess glue and then I made sure the edges of the board were straight with my block plane.
I wanted to make a mitred trim for the board, and I had an offcut of oak which I'd use for that.
I cut the mitres at the mitre saw, and glued and taped them to the sides of the board.I used another mitre just to check that each corner would marry up well together
And once all four side were held in place with tape, I added some elastic bands and these would help to apply pressure and get nice tight joints
Once the glue had dried I then used my belt sander to flatten the board, clean up any dried up glue on the surface
and also get the trim flush with the board.  I sanded both sides at 120 grit and then moved on to sanding with my orbital sander with 120 grit also.
I marked up the size of the board on to the ply and cut it out with the jigsaw making sure to keep on the outside of the pencil lines.
I applied glue to the face of the ply, spread it out and then used a couple of scrap boards to make kind of a sandwich which would 
help to distribute the clamping pressure across the whole board.  I used F clamps and couple of long reach C clamps to reach near the centre
With the glue dry I then used the hand plane to get the ply flush with the oak trim.
Then I added another mitred trim out of some offcuts of mahogany and this would hide the edges of the plywood. 
I made this trim  in the same way as I made the oak, so I didn't bother filming it in detail.
I brought the trim flush to the board with my block plane and then I added a decorative edge to the mahogany trim using my router.
I used some abrasive paper wrapped around a pencil to sand the profile left by the router bit.
I then sanded the board by hand at 240, 400, 600 and finally 1200 grit to get it nice and smooth.
The first coat of finish I used was Teak oil.  Because this is an end grain board, the oil soaked in extremely quickly so I re-coated it once or twice straight away and then left it alone to soak in.
After applying oil, I decided to add a spray varnish, for a couple of reasons.  Firstly as there'll be chess pieces moving around the board I wanted quite a hard wearing top coat of finish, and secondly I wanted a nice glossy sheen to the board.  
In between each coat of spray varnish I sanded with 400 grit wet and dry paper to keep the surface nice and smooth before applying the next coat.  It got three coats of the spray varnish in total.

Handcut Dovetail & Brass Inlay Mahogany Wedding Box (Part 3 of 3)

The next job was to fit the piano hinge for the lid.  I cut the hinge to length with a hacksaw.

The hinge was around 3mm thick so I wanted to cut a recess for the hinge to sit in, in the rim of the box. 

I set up a straight edge and used my router with a straight bit to make the cut, squaring up the corners with a chisel.  Before adding the screws, I first glued the lid to the hinge using some epoxy so that I could ensure the placement of the lid was right.  After the glue had set, I could then fit the hinge with the brass screws after drilling some pilot holes.

I sanded the box by hand at 120, 240, 320, 400, 600 and then 1200 grit - much higher than I'd normally go, but that's because I wanted the brass to look really nice.

For finish, I'd use Teak Oil which I applied with a cotton cloth.

Finally I applied some clear Briwax, and buffed out the finish once dry.

I used some upholstery pins as feet for the bottom of the box just to create an air gap under it.  These were fitted with a mallet, evenly spaced in from the 4 corners.

I bought a brass plaque to go on the inside of the lid which I purchased from The Engraving Shop - this was mounted with screws.

I had some difficulties finding a good quality brass latch that was the right style - I bought many different ones and none of them looked right.  Eventually I found one on Etsy that was nice but needed some adjustments as it was too big and not shiny enough.

I adjusted the height of the latch at the disc sander which worked quite well.

To get it to be shiny, I sanded it by hand at 600 grit and then buffed it using some green polishing compound on a buffing pad in my drill.  That worked really well.!

I could then fit the latch with screws and the box was complete.






Handcut Dovetail & Brass Inlay Mahogany Wedding Box (Part 2 of 3)

With the four sides of the box assembled, I needed to flatten the edges ready for the top and bottom panels to be added.  I used some sandpaper stuck to a piece of flat melamine with sticky back tape for this.

I cleaned up the edges of the box and the dovetail joints at the belt sander.

With the remaining piece of mahogany from the same wardrobe panel as the sides had been made from, I could get a top and bottom panel.  I marked them up and cut them out oversized with a circular saw.  I then cleaned up the faces of the panels with a handplane and checked for flatness with a steel ruler.

I then glued and clamped the top and bottom panels on to the box at the same time using F clamps.

When the glue had dried I could trim off the excess from the panels at the bandsaw, and refine the edges with a hand plane and belt sander.

I wanted to add a brass inlay to the box, so I contacted some local metal suppliers and one company could cut off some 1/4 inch brass square bar for me - just the amount I wanted.

I cut a housing joint in to the lid of the box at the tablesaw by setting my blade height to the thickness of the bars and making two passes for each inlay.

Once the brass bars fitted nicely, I glued them in with epoxy.

My 1/4" chisel wouldn't fit in the joint, so I cleaned them up by using a small screwdriver as a scraper.

I wanted to give the top of the box a decorative look so decided to use an ogee bit in my router to cut an "s" profile around the edges.  

I was surprised that I could route through the brass as well as the wood - I had googled and found it could be done!

Next I cut the lid free from the box at the tablesaw.

I could then use  the piece of melamine with sandpaper taped to it to flatten the lid and box so that they met nicely.



Handcut Dovetail & Brass Inlay Mahogany Wedding Box (Part 1 of 3)

In this video I'm going to be making a box as a gift for my brother and his fiance's wedding.  As it's a special occasion I wanted to make something a little special, so this is going to be my first attempt at handcut dovetails.
For materials I'm going to be using some reclaimed mahogany wardrobe panels.  Recently a work colleague of mine mentioned he had a couple of solid mahogany panels from an old wardrobe and he asked me if I wanted it for anything.  To be honest I was expecting the panels might be plywood with a mahogany veneer applied, but to my surprise, they were indeed solid mahogany panels - and I've been keeping them aside for a special project as I don't come across mahogany very often.  
There were a lot of old nails to pull out of the mahogany, mainly in the sides of the panels but there were also a few random ones elsewhere.
With the material de-nailed, I clamped a straight edge to it and used my cicular saw to cut a new clean straight edge. to get rid of some of the old nail holes.
Then I cross cut a piece of the panel  in the same way to the size that I wanted the length of the sides of the box to be.
This piece would form the four sides of the box. I first checked that my cuts were square with a framing square and then ripped 4 equal pieces ot the tablesaw.
Next I used the planer to get one of the faces on each board flat, and then thickness planed the opposite face of each board, and at this point I think they were around 19mm thick.
Next I cut the pieces to length at the mitresaw using a stop block to get consistent cuts.
With my four sides of the box cut the next job was to cut the dovetails.  I'd never cut doevtails before, by hand or machine.  I first watched some instructional videos on YouTube by Paul Sellers.  And before I started working with the mahogany I wanted to do a test run on some scrap pieces of pine.  I'm really glad I did this as I learned a lot.  I also tried a couple of different saws for the cuts to see which worked best.  The dovetails didn't turn out brilliant, there were some pretty big gaps. but it didn't really matter as I knew that when I was working on the final piece I would take my time a bit more and concentrate on getting them as good as I possibly could. 
I transferred that on to all faces and edges of each board, and then started to lay out the dovetail cuts, marking up the waste material with an X.  First I would work on cutting the pins, and then the tails. I took my time with these cuts, continuouslly checking to make sure that my cuts were accurate.
I used a chisel to clean up the joints and could then assemble the four sides of the box
The dovetails turned out pretty good for a first attempt, but I did have some small gaps so I filled those with a glue and sawdust mixture

House Tour / Past Projects Re-Visited (part 2 of 2)

Tour of my house and some of the things in it - talking about past projects some which have been featured in videos and others which haven't.

House Tour / Past Projects Re-Visited (Part 1 of 2)

Tour of my house and some of the things in it - talking about past projects some which have been featured in videos and others which haven't.

Laying Wooden Flooring In A Kitchen

In this video I help a friend lay some spruce tongue and groove wooden flooring in his kitchen over a tiled floor.
The tiles in his kitchen extended in to his dining room where the tiles were laid over a wooden floor.  Over time, the tiles cracked as wood isn't a stable enough foundation for tiles, so he wanted a wooden floor laid on top to match the floorboards in his living room. 
I needed to raise the floor in the dining room where the tiles had been removed to the same level as the tiles, so work began in the workshop where I planed some scrap pieces of wood down to 10mm using my thickness planer.
The first thing I did at Alex's was to check how level the floor was. It was perfectly level in the direction the floorboards were running, but there was a slight drop off in the other direction from the kitchen in to the dining room, however we were confident that there would be enough give in the floorboards for it not to matter.
Next we unplugged and unplumbed the washing machine and removed the kickboards from the kitchen.  The washing machine was placed outside and it became a temporary workbench for the day.
After a quick clean up I could begin putting down the battens to raise the floor to the height of the tiles.  We used drywall screws for this as they were the right length and it's just what we had available.
I used a handsaw to cut the angles and cut the battens to length.
In one corner there was a concrete area that was slightly higher than the floorboards so I marked up where it was on to the batten and used the hand plane to slightly taper the board so that it would sit flush with the kitchen tiles.
I tried to space out the battens evenly as the areas in between would later be filled with underlay and we wanted to reduce the amount of awkward angled cuts we'd need to make.
Then we laid a floorboard and walked over it to check that it felt level and it seemed ok.
The next job was to go and get some underlay.  The stuff we chose was 5mm thick and it would help to even out any height inconsistencies before laying the floorboards.
Like a lot of old houses, none of the walls were square or straight so this meant the underlay and later the floorboards would all need to be cut to fit the shape of the room as best we could.  This ultimately made the whole job take much longer than we had expected it to.
As the battens in the dining room were 10mm, we put two pieces of the 5mm underlay in between them to bring it up to the same height, and then a third layer over the top of everything.
The underlay was easy to cut to size, you could just score it and snap it.
We later taped down the underlay with some masking tape to stop it moving around
Next I started cutting the floorboards. They were 3m long so I cut about 1m off some of them to give us some different lengths so we could stagger the joints. I made all the cuts with my cordless circular saw.
Before we started laying the floorboards, we were unsure which way up they were supposed to go down, and there were no instructions included.  On the groove side of the tongue and groove boards, there's a thick piece on one side and a thin piece on the other.  We checked on the internet and found that the thicker side should go at the top.  I had guessed that the thicker side should at the bottom, so it's a good job we double checked before laying them.
I used a bevel guage to set the angle so I could repeat this on to the floorboards at the dining room end.
Next we laid the floorboards in the space between the cabinets where the washing machine would go.  There was a gap left over which was 50mm on one side and 30mm on the other, so we marked up another board and ripped it on the circular saw.  This was the first of many angled cuts we'd need to make. Alex slotted it in and pushed the boards back in place and it was a nice fit.
We closed any the gaps between the boards as the project went along using some gentle taps with a hammer.
One of the boards met a door frame too, so I offered it up and marked it up by hand and cut it out with the jigsaw.  I wasn't going for perfection here, really I was just looking to close the gap tight enough so that after a bit of sealant had been applied, it'd look nice and tidy and it turned out OK.
At this point I realised that in one area of the floor the end joints between three of the boards were close together and it didn't look right aesthetically, so I removed the middle one and later replaced it with a longer board 
On day two, we started fitting the final boards, this one needed some cut outs in order for it to fit around the kitchen cabinet legs so I marked them up and cut them with the jigsaw.
The next job was to make some edging trim pieces for the ends of the floor boards.
We took down measurements and also measured the angle in the dining room with a bevel guage and protractor and it was exactly 45 degrees which meant we'd need to cut an angle of half that - 22.5 degrees to the trim pieces for them to join nicely together.
And at the other end we would need a piece of trim between the edge of the boards and the bathroom door.
So we went over to my workshop.  I had a piece of spruce I'd been storing behind my sofa, it was pretty long so we took it out through the window then we cut it to a more manageable size with a handsaw.  
We started making the trim for the dining room end.  I ripped two pieces to 80mm wide, and then we used our reference drawing to mark up a shape on to the end of the workpiece.
I cut the rebate joints on each piece at the tablesaw with two passes. And then I cut a sloped angle, and did a bit more shaping with a block plane to round it over.
Then we cut the 22.5 degree angle at the mitresaw.  We had to use a sacrificial fence here because the workpiece was now a bit of an awkward shape to put up against the main fence.
To fit this piece I marked up some screw locations I think they were 15cm apart, and drilled, countersunk with a 10mm drill bit as we didn't have a countersink with us, and then added the screws - I think we used70mm ones at the top and 50mm at the bottom
Then I offered up the longest piece and needed to make some more adjustments with the block plane to get the two pieces flush with each other.
For the second piece of trim we used an offcut from the slope that we cut on the previous piece of trim and this would be used for where the flooring met the exterior door.
Again I marked up screw locations and secured it in place just screwing it to the floorboard.
And this is the final trim piece for where the kitchen meets the bathroom door.
This piece needed cutting to fit around a door frame which I did with a handsaw.  It also needed to be secured to the tiles so Alex drilled the holes with a tile cutting bit, added some wall plugs seated in to the tile and then secured the trim down with screws.  And after a bit of sanding the boards were stained with this oak tinted polyurethane varnish.
The final job was to rip down the kitchen kickboards to account for the difference in height.  Some of these were in pretty bad shape as you can see. We made some cuts with the jigsaw, some with the circular saw and we also used the handplane to make gradual adjustments and get a nice snug fit on each piece.
The washing machine could be squeezed back in, and it was a really tight fit but eventually we got it back in there.  Not sure if he'll ever be able to get it out again though.

Jewellery Box made from pallet wood (Part 3 of 3)

To finish off the tray that would sit inside the jewellery box, I first cut a centre section with a small handle (shaped by drawing around a large washer) that would be used to lift the tray in and out of the box.  This was cut on the bandsaw and shaped using a file and some sanding.

I glued the partitions in to the tray.

I then wanted to make a decorative inlay on top of the lid, so I used some sapele and oak offcuts to cut some very small pieces at the bandsaw, glued them together in to a bar.  I then cleaned up one face on the bandsaw.

To cut a housing joint in to the lid which would accommodate the inlay, I used the tablesaw by setting the blade height to less than  the thickness of the inlay, and made a series of cuts until it was the right width.  I needed to clean out the joint using a chisel because my blade doesn't have square teeth so it left some grooves.

Next I glued in the inlay.  Once the glue was dry I could then make it flush with the top of the box using my hand plane.

After some sanding, it looked great.

Next I added some brass butterfly hinges to the back of the box and lid.  

I added a roundover to the top of the lid using my trim router,

Then I added a hook and eye style catch for the front of the box to hold the lid closed.

Finally I finished the box using some teak oil.  I later (off camera) gave the box two coats of spray varnish, wet sanding in between the coats with 400 grit wet and dry abrasive paper to give the box a bit more protection and a harder seal, as the wood seems quite soft.

This was quite a long project I think I spent 25-30 hours on the box in total.  I enjoyed making it.


Jewellery Box made from pallet wood (Part 2 of 3)

The next job was to cut some splines at the mitred corners to re-enforce the strength of the box.

I set my tablesaw blade to a height to ensure it wouldn't cut through to the inside of the box, and used my frame spline jib to cut three slots on each corner, equally spaced.

I cut some splines out of some scrap pieces of sapele and glued them in place.  To cut them to the right size, I used a spare tablesaw blade to set the distance between the blade that was fitted and the tablesaw fence ensuring that the blades were tooth to tooth.  This gave me perfectly sized splines which I cut out on the bandsaw before gluing.

I trimmed off the excess spline material at the bandsaw and sanded them flush with the sides of the box.

Next I marked up where I wanted to make a cut for the lid, lined up the mark with my blade and made the cut at the tablesaw,

To make sure that the lid and top of the box were perfectly flat I sanded them on a flat board covered in sandpaper with sticky back tape.

WIth the box finished, I started working on some partitions to sit inside the box using the left over panels of meranti.

I ripped them to the width I wanted on the tablesaw and used my bandsaw to resaw the material to give me more pieces. to work with Then I sanded the pieces and cut them to length on the mitre saw. 

I wanted two of the pieces to cross over to form a cross so I cut out a joint on the bandsaw in the centre of each piece and pushed them together, getting a snug fit by using a file.  Then I could glue the partitions in place.and weighted them down using a brick.

I wanted to make a tray which would sit on top of the partitions, so I made another mitred box with another slot and 5mm plywood bottom in the same way as I had made the main box.  I glued and clamped this together.

Once it was assembled I needed to do some sanding to get it to fit inside the box.






Jewellery Box made from pallet wood (Part 1 of 3)

In this video I make a jewllery box out of some pallet wood which I believe to be Meranti.

I started by cutting out all the bits with nails in, and then used my electric planer to get one edge and one face of each piececleaned up and square.  

I glued the pieces up in panels with the flattened sides face down and the jointed edges together, and when the glue had dried I ran the panels through the thicknesser to clean up the other side.  Unfortunately the grain on the wood tore out quite badly so I ended up using a sharp cutting edge in a hand plane which had much better results.

Next I cut the panels down to the size I wanted the box to be and mitred the panels using my panel sled on my tablesaw.

I cut a slot near the bottom of the box to accommodate a 5mm plywood bottom which I cut to size at the tablesaw..  

Then I could assemble the box with the plywood bottom in the slot.  I used some elastic bands to hold it all together until the glue dried as I only had one strap clamp.

Next I cut a top panel to length at the mitresaw.  I wanted to set the top panel inside the box so I made some reference marks and cut some rebates at the tablesaw so that the panel would fit snugly inside at the top of the box.  I cleaned up the cuts with a chisel and then glued on the top panel using some claamps to apply pressure.  Once that was dry I made it flush with a handplane.