Decking Gate

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.

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Keeping Busy

It’s hard to find the time to write regularly here at the moment. I have a couple of detailed posts I plan to write soon but those are the ones I mostly seem to aim for. For quick updates on more of a typical ‘blogging’ scale, I tend to use either Keek or my Facebook page. But I suspect that not everyone subscribes or visits there; not everyone has Facebook or ‘does’ social networking. So, I’d like to try and update you all with a few snippets of all the little things I’m working on at the moment.

New handles for old files.
New handles for old files.

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Router Table Begins!

This weekend, the weather’s been so nice that I couldn’t think of a better way to spend my Saturday afternoon that cutting up a sheet of dust-ridden 18mm MDF on the drive! 😀

Staddons must’ve received their delivery later on Friday afternoon, as they had a sheet ready to cut to size by the time I arrived on Saturday morning. After studying a cutting sheet I’d set out using the components in Google SketchUp, I asked them to crosscut the sheet at 1600mm, leaving <840mm x 1220mm on the other end. I was a bit optimistic when I assumed that this would fit to my small van with ease… It did fit but, the larger half was angled at a position that meant it resting against my head during the short journey back to the workshop! I wish I’d taken a photo! 😉

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Router Table Design

Earlier this week, I did say that I was going to buy a sheet of 18mm MDF today for the floor-standing router table I was going to begin building this weekend…

Well, I haven’t been able to get as much done on the design-front and, until I’m more certain of the finished dimensions of some of the components, I’m a little cautious of ordering a sheet and having it cut to size – to fit in the back of my van and also, to make life a bit easier handling it at the workshop.

Still, I’d like to share where my design is in its current state, after a brief moment of play in Google SketchUp last night.

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Coffee Table Concept

In an effort to get back in to the swing of regularly updating this blog, I’d like to share with you a design idea that I came up with over Christmas. I may not have been active in the workshop but, I did keep my pencil and sketchbook busy, in order to try and scratch at that woodworking ‘itch’. Without further ado, here is my coffee table concept:

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Dual Dust Hoppers

With the main cabinet done and both table saw and router table sat in their respective positions, I next needed to look at installing my dust hopper-style system below each machine to contain and collect any stray sawdust and chips. There’s only 100mm between the shelf and underside of the top so, I didn’t have much room to play with – certainly, not enough for a ‘conventional’ hopper; a steep-sided construction with a hole in the centre. I spent a couple of days trying to mentally visualise a solution without getting anywhere but in to a world of frustration. It wasn’t until I sat down Friday morning and played with Google SketchUp for a half-hour or so, that I came up with the following:

To keep the sides as steep as possible (which encourages dust to slide down in to the port), I would have to place the extraction port at one end of the construction. It may not be as effective but, I really do believe it’s the best that I could have done.

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Plywood Purchase

After leaving work on Friday afternoon, I picked up a sheet of 18mm WBP exterior plywood from a local timber merchant (Staddons). Before I had this van, I used to ask them to cut a full-sheet in to quarters (each approximately 4ft x 2ft), so that I could easily get it in to the back of my car. Now though, I can easily fit two half sheets (4ft x 4ft) in with room for plenty more!

In case you haven’t picked up on this from one of my previous posts, this plywood will be used to build the new cabinet for my table saw/router table station in the coming week, as I happened to have some spare holiday time from work, which has to be used up before the end of the year.

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We’re Talking ‘Tallboy’

Last Friday, I did take a trip down to Yandles in Martock, Somerset for their annual Autumn Woodworking Show. Not for the first time though, I managed to leave without spending a penny (in both senses!). That’s not to say that they didn’t have a nice selection of timber on offer – there was maple, cedar, American cherry and sycamore, among others. Many of the boards were near-sap-free and the prices didn’t look too bad either. I just hate shuffling around confined spaces with hundreds of other people also trying to do the same.

So, while I couldn’t make a decision on which or what to use on the door panels to complement a bathroom cabinet (I already have the ash) that I was complementing, I’m back at the drawing board (Google SketchUp) with my mind set on an alternative project with which to end this woodworking year…

It’s a tallboy; a narrow, single-width chest of drawers for the storage of clothes.

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