It’s an old building with windows only down one wall (one in each room), as another building backs on to this. With high ceilings, it can also get dim even with the lights in full glow and, while I’ve had an idea to source a large mirror to help disperse more of the limited natural light, it may cost about the same for me to just make one.
So, I’ve been asked about fitting some kind of gate to fit on my mother’s decking. Naturally, whenever I’m asked about making something, the first question I ask myself is, ‘is this something I could make?‘.
It needs to be fairly lightweight as it’ll straddle a 1710mm gap between two newell posts, which are never going to be set like a pair of anchors. ‘Cheap’ is the word that, as often, if floating around as the main cause for these gates (it’ll have to be a double with that span) is to keep the dog from running off.
This post lies dangerously close to being labelled as ‘wood-related’! It’s been a little while since I wrote about anything I’ve made or have been thinking of making but I’ve had a place in my mind for this little job since the day I moved in to my current flat.
I am renting so I’m not normally expected to do things like this but I see the box as quite an eyesore for such an open space and I’d like to try and tidy it up a little bit. I’m hardly going to be defacing the property in any way. If anything, it’ll come as an improvement to this corner.
It’s almost official now that I’ll be moving home sometime within the next month. This past week, I’ve found a flat that is affordable and it’s enough for my needs. There’s still the issue over workshop contents and self storage to be encountered but, with winter only weeks away, a quiet period is often expected at this time of year. The only difference now is that I won’t be ‘awakening’ from hibernation in the spring. I can look back on 2013 as a positive year. By far, it’s been more productive than either of the last two years and my following on YouTube has increased by more than 300% – I do intend to keep my presence active on that channel but I’ll delve in to that another time.
Now, my attention turns to furnishing my next home.
A few days ago, I found myself wanting to record and upload a Keek that would be entered in Richard Morley’s competition (or #keekcontest). You can click here to see a complete list of the entries submitted (each one is no more than 36-seconds long) but the basic requirement was simply that we would need to ‘rout something’.
To suit my intentions, I needed a device to hold my smart phone while I performed an operation on the router table (working single-handedly with any machinery is never safe). I just about managed to clamp the magnetic flip-case of my smart phone to the lightweight, aluminium tripod I use with my digital camera but it’s now got me thinking about making a more permanent fixture for this set up…
While I’m pressing on with various things at the moment, I recently came up with an idea for a magnetic knife block design that I might like to make for my own personal use. I was asked about making a universal knife block a few months ago. Typically, those are fitted with carbon fibre rods or sometimes bamboo skewers. I couldn’t find a supplier of the plastic rods but that one didn’t come in to fruition anyway. Someone else later asked me about magnetic blocks (where the knives stick to the side of a block) and that’s what got me thinking with this design.
I’ve grown up in a house with ‘common sized’ slots in each block. But how do you know what knives you’re going to need? Their size. Their quantity and what if my future plans change and I really want to get in to cooking and preparing food? That’s where I like these ‘unrestricted’ designs.
My own brief illustration is quite typical of what you might expect from an upright magnetic block. I see it as an opportunity to use up some scrap wood, with an interior constructed of offcut strips in a stack-lamainated formation, one on top of the other. With end-grain exposed at the ‘front’ end of the block, it could become quite a feature. There would be magnets embedded in to either side and these would then be sealed behind a thick veneer of something – in this case, I’ve drawn it in brown but I quite like the appearance of lighter woods (maple and sycamore) in a kitchen environment.
Both the shape and dimensions are only approximate at this time but, each time I head out to the workshop, I feel a desire to come up with a few scrap wood projects before I end up giving the stuff away!
Just as I’m slowly making my way back in to the workshop, it seems as though the list of kitchen items to make is on the agenda!
Through the power of YouTube and my Facebook Page combined (do not underestimate their power), I’ve picked up a commission for a few end-graincutting boards and a pair of knife blocks too! You can be sure you’ll get to read about all of that as and when it happens. If I have time, I’ll even try to shoot some new video footage.
Yes, I initially did a three-part series on making similar boards from beech, which you can still find over on my channel. But, through watching many other videos and experimenting with my own recent efforts, I feel I’ve already learnt a lot about this ‘art’ of communication and sharing. People don’t really want to watch you endlessly resawing wood and not everyone enjoys the music that you might like… Some prefer no music at all. People tune because they share an interest. Because they’re keen to see and willing to learn. That’s my impression and I’m happy to help however I can.
Back to the main prompt behind this evening’s post…
Fear not, I’m still alive and I do still have intentions of getting back in the workshop before Christmas! Other things have been taking over lately and, as I did state recently, I’m enjoying a bit of a break from my seven-year-long ‘obsession‘ with this craft.
As I mentioned on my Facebook page recently, I’m planning to make and complete a couple of boxes in time for Christmas. If I can, I’ll document them, write about them (not just here) and offer them for publication in a UK magazine. If I don’t keep them both then, I already have a recipient in mind for one and I may try to offer the other as well.
Right now, I’m just looking forward to completing a small but enjoyable project like this. It’s been about five-years since I last made a box like this!