Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Work Bench

I built this workbench for the new workshop several months ago, when I had the day to myself. It was one of those lofty goal moments since I had no idea what I was building. I didn’t plan much, I stopped by Agent Orange on the way home from work the day before and asked them to rip a sheet of MDF to 23-1/2 “ wide. Got some 2×3 pine to along with that, total price, $28. The rest of the materials were things I had saved from my old shop, a couple of 4×4 redwoods and some 1×3 poplars.

I did know the bench would be built permanently onto the wall, it would have a way to clamp wood for planning and cutting dovetails and tenons. That was it. My last work bench was an IKEA stepstool I had purchased for $9.99. It’s design would inspire my new workbench by having a multipurpose slot on the top. So I went to work. Now, I’m not good at taking pictures of the procedures since it slows down my creative process. But this is the final product. Six hours of work and about $60 worth of materials. I hope it works. The slot is designed for my Japanese saw, it cuts on the pull stroke, so I use the downward force to hold down the wood. This notch gives me clearance as I like to kneel and cut on the down stroke. The front slots is for clamps, there’s plenty of holes so it offers plenty of flexibility. I have more ideas on jigs and attachment for my bench, but that will have to wait for later. The top is held down my gravity and wood dowels, hammered in and cut flushed. This lets me flip the top and change it should it wears.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Doors

San San the new German Shepherd Dog has figured something out. She knows we can never give her a correction unless she is caught in the act of doing something bad. So she waits until we are out of sight then she'd get on the kitchen and find things to play with. If food isn't available, then anything that she can shred would suffice. So the best way to correct the problem is to take away the opportunity. This is why I love these older house with lots of room. None of this open living concept with a great room for us. All I have to do is build a door where there's a doorway to close down the kitchen half of the house. The problem is they don't make standard doors to fit a 47-1/2" opening and this house was built in 1985, so it settle since then. The doorway is no longer square. So the task is to build two custom doors that: 1. Fits in the odd opening. 2. Is made out of square to fit in the odd opening 3. Locks out a very curious 65 pounds dog. 4. Looks attractive when opened, like it's not a piece of plywood set up to block a dog. 5. Can be removed and the existing doorway and molding is not damaged beyond repair. 6. Make it quick and cheap. So here it is, 3/4" oak veneer plywood, and 1x 2 dimensional lumber and edge band, Braded, Glued and wooden nailed to the plywood. The trick is to make the first door over sized, then scribed the door to fit the opening on three side, the center edge is left perfectly vertical. The second door is then created to fit the remainder space. The Second door is 1/2" smaller than the first for sake of easy math during construction. I knew that no one would notice the difference of 1" so, spending time on it was moot. So here's the result of the fitting. The next step is to take the thing apart and finish the door. Inside would have to done in a way to minimize scratch marks,the side that shows from the entrance or in the open position would have the shoji screen look. That would be for next time.