May 24, 2013

How to make a rustic cedar ice chest/cooler box!

My wife found a picture of a wood ice chest box on Facebook and once she showed it to me I knew that I had to make one.  I wanted to make something that would be easy, relatively cheap and very rustic so I went with cedar fence pickets.  They are 5/8" thick by 5 1/2" wide by 6 feet long.  I was able to make this entire project out of 7 pickets.  The pickets were $2.05 each, the hinges were $2.17 each, the handle for the front was $2.97, and the Styrofoam ice chest was $2.99.  Those materials came out to $24.65 not including tax.  I also used 56 one inch screws, a bunch of 1 1/2" brads in my nail gun and some Titebond glue so I would estimate the cost of this project to be right around $30.00.  It might be a little bit more if I decide to put a coat of finish on it.  I am very happy with the outcome and plan on making more.

I started by cutting the legs to 31 inches making sure to keep the angled parts for the feet.

I then set my tablesaw to 3" to cut the leg pieces.

May 22, 2013

The new Craftsman router table has been assembled and is ready for it's first test

I put the new Craftsman router table together yesterday and it was much, much easier than the Ryobi.  Each leg is held on by 4 bolts.  The vertical ones just screw in and have washers and lock washers.  The horizontal ones have lock washers, washers, and nuts.  I found a diagram in the manual for installing the model of my router and it screwed right in with 3 bolts and the height adjustment hole lined right up.  I installed the fence and featherboards in a couple of minutes and the table is now ready for testing.

I couldn't get the Ryobi router to fit in the new table so I returned it and bought this Craftsman router
on sale for $50.99.  I checked the router table manual before I went shopping for compatible
routers and this one was on the list.

Here is the fully assembled table.  It went together much faster then the Ryobi table.

May 20, 2013

My new router table

As I mentioned last week, I bought a new router table.  It came in a million pieces and took me about an hour to assemble. I used it to make some chamfers on a project on Thursday and it worked like a champ!  The new router is way more powerful then the one that came with the beginner table that I had previously.  I have all the pieces for another thumb chair that have been sitting around my shop for about a month so I got off my butt and made all the finish cuts and then put a 1/2" round over on them using the new router table.  The insert plate totally sagged and warped and all of my pieces got caught on the lip at one point or another.  The difference between the 2 days?  About 15 degrees hotter on the second day.  That was unacceptable so I took it back to Home Depot this morning.  I found a Craftsman router table with a die cast aluminum top on the Sears website on sale for $118 so I went to my nearest Sears and picked it up.  They didn't have the sale price on the shelf but I told the clerk that it was cheaper on their website and they price matched it.  I brought it home and started the assembly this afternoon.  It had many less pieces and went together in a few minutes.  It is about 6 inches shorter in length but probably half the weight.  From watching Steve Ramsey's YouTube channel I knew that he had a Ryobi router in a Craftsman table so I figured there would be no problems.  I screwed with that thing for 20 minutes and couldn't get it to fit so it looks like I am going to take the router back tomorrow and go pick up a Craftsmen router.  I signed up for the Craftsman Club while I was there and they sent me a $10 off coupon for joining so I plan on using that on the new router.

This is the table I returned

This is the new one

May 14, 2013

I bought a new router table!

I borrowed my brother's router table back in June of 2012 to build the hall tree.  It is a beginner's Ryobi table.  You can pick them up for $99 at Home Depot and it comes with a router.  He moved a couple of moths later and I asked him if he wanted me to bring it with me when I helped him move and he said no.  I then offered to bring it at Christmas and he said no.  He's come to my house a few times and declined to take it with him.  If I offer to give you your tool back 8 times and you decline then I stop asking.  So last week out of the blue I get a text message asking if I have his router so of course I said yes.  We met for lunch yesterday and he totally forgot that he was supposed to pick it up until I went and took it out of my car.  Long story short, I had to go buy a new router, router table, and router bits.  I was sorely tempted to pick up the $99 table like my brother's but I think that I have progressed enough in my wookworking skills to warrant a better table.  I have a Lowes and a Home depot both near my house so I went and took a look at both places.  I finally decided on the Ryobi table and router because of price, size, and construction.  The Skil table looks cool but didn't feel very sturdy because of the folding legs.  The Ryobi table is also much longer which may be good or bad as I might have to build a small table for it.