Sunday, 26 September 2010

The Kreg K3 master system I bought recently in the USA

On a recent holiday in the USA I bought the Kreg Jig. This is a superb tool that allows woodworkers to quickly and easily create strong and accurate joints without the need for dowells, biscuits, glue or clamps.
It really speeds up the build process and after the initial purchase (about £100 plus screws) will start saving you time and money.
I'll be posting some pictures soon of a few items that I've made using the jig. Check out the video to see how I modified the jig to suit my bench.

Saturday, 3 July 2010

Bird Table in White Gloss Finish

This is my latest project just finished. Its my dads birthday in a couple of months and he wanted another bird table as his last one rotted away.
This is made from PreVac treated redwood with a gauranteed non rot of 10yrs. It's made mainly from 2X2 and 4X1 with the feeding table made from Ply. The two cross pieces for the feet are 24" accross with 45 deg angle supports on all four sides. Each of the feet has two or one 4X4" pads.

The roof is made from two 500 X 250mm slates which were very tricky to cut, in the end I used a 'dremel' with a cutting disc to get through them. They sit on two 30deg angle pieces cut from 4X1 and lightly screwed in with Black Japaned screws.

The central ridge piece on the roof lifts out to allow nuts to be put in to the mesh food container. The whole table is fastened by four M6 coach bolts and wing nuts to a plywood top on the stand, which allows for easy removal.

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Any Ideas For Some Corks??

I bought these wine corks, about 200, off Ebay a few months ago with the intention of making a notice board out of them but I've since gone off the idea. Has anyone seen a project that has used a lot of corks or any ideas for what I could use them for? I've tried cutting them and they are a nightmare ... they start to crumble and flake so if I could use them whole rather than chopped, that would be better.

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

The chest is now complete.

It took a while to get the right colour with the water based stain but I think I got it in the end. Two coats of stain and two coats of 'Mid Brown' furniture wax. A couple of people have mentioned that I must have had some sort of woodworking training to produce this sort of work but I can assure you that this is completely within the grasp of most hobbyists. If you can use basic hand tools and have a router you can make this box. Believe me, I am not a skilled carpenter.I reckon in total the box took approx 35hours and cost in the region of £40 ($60).

Thursday, 22 April 2010

Norm's three drawer chest (With Secret Drawer)

This is my latest project. Its a softwood 3 drawer chest designed by Norm Abram from the New Yankee Workshop. He originally aired it in his season 12 episode 12 show. His version is made from cherry wood however that would be far too expensive so I'm using some softwood boards that I bought at IKEA for about £4 ($6) each.
It incorporates a box top and a secret drawer which was quite challenging for an amateur like me. The original can be seen at this link. I've just ordered some water based pine stain from a company called fiddes, I've used it before and it gives a superb natural English country pine finish. The octaganal door handles were about £1.50 each from a discounted range at a local ironmongery store called Woodfit. If you have any questions or would like to know any of the sizes, just subscribe to the blog and drop me a line.

Wood burning stove made from a gas cylinder

One or two people have asked if I would include the wood burning stove on the blog .... so here is the youtube video and a few photos. A couple of other videos can be found at

Thursday, 15 April 2010

Found this bargain !!

Found this bargain in a local DIY store yesterday ...... reduced from £23 to £19 ($35 to $29). Its made by Arrow .... model No. ET100K and is capable of driving 1" nails in to hardwoods, no problem! It comes in a blown plastic carry case with four packs of nails (5/8" - 3/4" and 1"). Iv'e always wanted a small nail driver but because of limited space a pneumatic gun with compressor is just not an option.
The project I'm working on in the background of the photos is a jewellery case designed and made by Norm Abram on the NYWS. Click the link and follow through on the site to some of the photos of cases made by other woodworkers. I did'nt buy the plans I just guessed the sizes.

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Router Table (Foldaway)

As you can see, the router table is very similar in construction to the cross cut saw. Both are made from 16mm MDF, both have the single leg at the front and both are collapsible. It may not look it from the photo but I can assure you this is very sturdy and when the 1800W Freud router is spinning at full speed the table is solid.
The back edge of the table simply screws to the bench with three 40mm long, No.10 screws. Because the sides are completely free of supports it's quite easy to hold the fence in position with a couple of handy clamps.

Monday, 12 April 2010

A great woodworking blog ....

Just found this superb blog on the web ..... have a look and check out his videos on YouTube .... Brilliant!
I have made the Jewellery box that he made on his site. I'll be including that in a later post.
Woodworking For Mere Mortals

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Cross cut Saw (Foldaway)

Ok, I said in yesterday blog how important it is to 'save space' in your shed. When you are dealing with small spaces and lots of equipment, being able to 'knock them down' helps. These photos show you just how I achieve that with my cross cut saw. The saw is an electra beckum that is quite weighty (about 22kg)So to keep getting this out and putting it away daily is just not a practical option.
I mounted the saw on a piece of 16mm MDF that I hinged to a batton on my shed wall. At the front of the base I drilled a hole that accepts a 10mm dowel, I drilled a similar hole directly underneath in the wooden floor. Between the two is a length of 2" square wood that when fit keeps the table perfectly horizontal.
Tomorrow I will show you how I create the same effect with a router table.

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

My First Real Blog

My first real blog after the introduction. This is my shed. 12' X 8', and like I said, very tight. Its important to utilise as much space as possible when working in small workshops especially if building large projects. As you can see it has two windows with one facing south that allows a lot of natural light in, very important when it comes to dying and staining wood. Believe it or not, incorporated in to this shed is a saw table, cross cut table, router table and drill stand .... I even have a plan to get myself a small bandsaw. So how do I do it, how do I fit all this gear in here and still have space to work? Collapsable tables is the answer. The drill press pulls out from the wall and the saws and router table all fold away.
Tomorrow I will show you the cross cut saw.
Thanks for looking in.

Saturday, 20 March 2010

New Shed Blog

A brief introduction to my blog.........
I've made many projects over the years in my small (8x12) shed. I hope to show you some of these on these pages and maybe inspire you to get out in to your shed and create a few yourself.
I've a few videos of the stuff I've made and I'll also post links to these on YouTube.
Most of the projects are woodwork and carpentry but as a mechanical engineer there are going to be a few welding and steel construction jobs aswell.
You really dont need a fully equiped workshop to produce some good results, like I say, my shed is only 8x12 and at times it can be tight but with planning and clever use of space it can be very productive.
The shed itself was one of my first woodwork projects and I'll cover that in a later post but inside I've made collapsable jigs and fixtures that help to make maximum use of the limited space available.
So, if you have a shed and are keen to get a few projects built, follow my blog.
Thanks for looking in. Graeme