January 21, 2013

Let's make a thumb chair

There are several woodworking sites that I follow on Facebook and one of them is Ana White's.  She runs a DIY blog and gives out plenty of free plans that she sketches.  A couple of weeks ago she posted a plan for a thumb chair that you can find HERE.  Once I saw it I knew that it would be perfect for my two boys.  It can be made out of 1x3's and some 1x12.  My local Home Depot never has flat 1x12's so I picked up some 1x6's and will be gluing them up for the seat bottom & back.

This is the example from her blog.

I set the angle for 10 degrees

and the bevel for 5 degrees

Here is the mitre saw all set up and ready to cut

I am making 2 chairs and I set up a stop block to make sure all the
legs are the same length.  I almost reset the saw to the other side to cut the other
half of the legs when I realized that you can flip and then turn them over to get the
opposite side.

Make sure that the bevel leans into the center of the chair when you
connect the pieces.

I drilled pockety holes into the cross pieces for the legs and the stretchers
that connect the two leg assemblies.

This Kreg clamp is a life saver.  I have a real problem with the wood shifting
when I drill in the pockets holes and making the pieces uneven.

It wasn't in the plans but I used a 1/4" roundover bit on my router table
to ease over the sides of the legs and bottom of the crosspieces.  I left the top
and bottoms flat.  The top of the legs is at a 5 degree bevel but the crosspiece
is not so I had to be careful when I attached them to keep the high point to
the outside.

I also rounded over the bottom of the stretchers.

I used my Rockler mini clamp-it to get the strectchers in the right
place and angle for gluing and screwing.

It's always good to have a helper.

I marked the two pieces to make them easier to line up.

One side done.

I test fitted it before applying glue.

One of my legs shifted a little so it's not quite square but
it sits flat on the ground so I am not going to complain.

I'm halfway done with the first chair.

January 15, 2013

Adventures in planing

I have never touched a block plane in my life.  I picked up a $10 one at Home Depot the other day so I broke it open and went to town on some scrap pine.  I'm not sure if it is my technique or the plane but it seems to cut more on the left.  After playing around with it for a while on some scraps I grabbed 2 boards that I need to glue together for the back of a thumb chair and made some passes.  I ended up having to flip the boards back and forth to end up with an even cut but now they fit much better.  Not perfect, but better.  I definitely plan on picking up a better plane in the future.

January 11, 2013

My first workbench

I was going through some files on my computer and found a couple of pictures from when I built my first workbench a couple of years ago.  I only had a cordless circular saw and a cordless drill at the time and it was my excuse to buy a mitre saw.  I had zero woodworking experience and was determined to over engineer the hell out of it.  I think that I used 13 - 2x4's on that one bench.  Each leg is made out of 2 pieces of 2x4 that are screwed together in an L shape.  I notched each one at the top and bottom by making a bunch of horizontal cuts with the circular saw and then cleaning them out with a chisel.

I live in Southern California and during the next earthquake I plan on hiding in there.

I had to redo the drawer twice before it worked right.

This when I first put that shelf in.

I have added lights under the shelf, moved the sprinkler timer, and added pegboard to the back wall and this is what it looks like now.

January 4, 2013

The New Yankee Workshop workbench build has started!

I've been watching a lot of episodes of The New Yankee Workshop on YouTube lately and one of my favorites is their woodworking workbench.  I found a hardcover copy of the 1st season of NYW book on eBay for a good price.  Norm said that the project can be made with 6 - 2x4's so I bought 7.  I made one mistake in my cuts and had to redo one 17" board that somehow came out 16.75" and still managed to use only 6 - 2x4's.  I am also shooting video on this project so I didn't take as many pictures as I normally would have.

It's Norm!

 This is the goal for my workbench to look like.

My wife got me this dado set for christmas.  I can't find anywhere to buy new plates for my table saw so I
am in the process of making one out of hardboard.

The new plate for the dado set is almost done.

The plan called for 6 - 2x4's so I bought 7.
Time to make some cuts.

These are all the pieces cut for the frame of the workbench.

Even with my one screwup this is all I had left for scraps.

These are all the pieces laid out.  Rabbits and dados are next!