Wednesday, January 04, 2006

What I did on my holidays

Well it's far to late to wish my reader a Happy Christmas, so instead New Year Salutations. Although somehow or other it's already the 4th of January. I swear somebody's pinching the days...

So is my silence due to inactivity and general malaise? Well no, actually. I've been quite a busy little bee; just not had the time to Blog. After considerable jointing of edges on the shooting board with the #164 I got round to gluing up the panels for the planter - between 6 and 8 pieces to each panel, including the smaller side ones, no less. One advantage of using clamp heads is I was able to clamp up two panels at a time on one set of long bars, to save space. No Bessey could do this! Of course I would never dream of doing it with anything of any weight, but 10mm panels are nowt. They're not panels of beauty, but then it was teetering on the edge of not-enough-wood-for-the-job so beggars weren't going to be choosers...

The next task was to clean up all the joints and make the panels less of a tight fit
and rather more of a snug fit in their grooves. I made a simple stop to butt them against while I planed them; the BUS doing the bulk of the work and the #102 block dealing with any small low patches that needed a quick clean up that the BUS couldn't reach without reducing the thickness too much. And of course a card scraper coped with anything left. Which wasn't much. The holdfast is already proving a boon and I'm wondering how I managed without it for so long.

Anyway, what with gluing up the panels and such, that stretched out either side of Christmas. Just this week I cleaned up the last panel and went for the big glue-up. I toyed briefly with the idea of draw boring the joints, but as always with trying something new, the risk of failure and lack of alternative timber to make replacements stayed my hand. So instead I ended up using these el cheapo sash clamps which I hate with a passion. Of course I was an idiot and thought I might be able to get away without any pads on the jaws... Evidentally being foolish was not left behind with 2005. Oh well, 'tis almost done now - once I've cleaned up the dents... Just need a piece of ply to fit for the bottom and I'm done. I've decided not to apply any finish simply because I have a feeling my Mum'll prefer it to weather naturally, whereas oiling it would have committed her to maintenance she wouldn't really want. That's my excuse anyhow...

Somewhere in the middle of all this oakiness, Christmas came and went. The more handable and droolable tool-related gifts included a Carpenter's Axe from my brothers. Much hilarity in my younger brother's workplace by the website I suggested he buy it from apparently. Heathens. It's a super tool though, it really is. Each one get's the initials of the smith who forged it stamped in the head, and I'm rather chuffed mine is LP - Lennart Pettersson - who's heavily featured in "The Axe Book" that came with it. Gotta be a good one, yes? :~)

Rather more prosaically, my main present really sucked. Yep, finally a dust extractor capable of actually extracting the mess the P/T makes - and it was on a clearance special too! ;~) It's wonderous in its efficiency compared with my old WV1000 high pressure/low volume thing. The latter was also catered for though. A kit of narrow extraction ducting is now hooked up from it in its new home on the wall to the SCMS, bandsaw and a power tool outlet near the bench, and it really works very well. At last I don't feel like I'm risking my lungs so much every time I flick a switch in the workshop. Plus there's all the fun of seeing the dust flying along the clear plastic tubes - I could sell tickets judging by TPTB's delighted cries when I demonstrated. So setting all that up was how I spent Boxing Day. Heck, I'd have done it on Christmas Day if only we hadn't left opening the pressies until so late in the day...

In between all this I bent my mind to a couple of tools, one of which turned out to be unusable in its current state. D'oh. No matter, I can devote myself to sharpening all its blades while a solution is found.

In short, that's what I did on my holidays. :~)


  1. Mike Wenzloff (MikeW)1/04/2006 07:39:00 pm

    Ahhh, all is well in Mikey land now. Thanks Alf.

    The axe by Lennart is very, very nice. Congrats!

    Take care, may the New Year treat you kind.


  2. Nice axe indeed!

    Don't forget to drill a few holes in the ply bottom of your planter so that the soil/compost whatever doesn't become waterlogged at the bottom.


  3. Sounds like you had a great time. Nice one with the axe. Did Adam C get you thinking along his lines?

  4. Wonder what Freud would have made of axe envy...

    Anyway, Adam.C almost decided me against it. Not being an 18thC woodworker I find his approach often more off-putting than anything else. Really it's more an aid to woodturning than furnituremaking; a better way to convert firwood/free wood to usable blanks than dubious use of the bandsaw.


Owing to vast quantities of spam this blog is getting, I'm afraid only registered users can post. All comments are moderated before publication, so there may be some delay. My apologies.