Again, I’m nearly one-week behind in updating you on my recent exploits in the workshop! I didn’t really have much left to do on the bathroom box at this point; it was more a case of figuring out how I was going to do a couple of things and then, setting up for each operation.
Why am I such a terrible procrastinator?! It’s been over three-months since I started this simple pine box for storing bathroom cleaning equipment yet, this is hardly the first instance in which I’ve been known to start one project and to then ignore it for many, many months (there’s still an unfinished fruit bowl in my workshop, somewhere!).
If I’m honest with myself, I really haven’t been in the mood to do any woodworking for a long time. It probably goes back to when I finished college (which I really enjoyed) two-years ago, and perhaps also the lack of reception following the two furniture exhibitions I was involved in that summer. I’m moving back to my mum’s in a couple of months (to save money, cut down on overtime hours and it’s also closer to the workshop) but, that’s only really a temporary measure until she sells up. At which point, I also expect to lose my workshop. I just cannot bear the thought of taking everything with me… Anywhere. Of course, I’ll hold on to all the hand and power tools that I can carry; it’s mostly the larger stuff that will have to go. I may just look at ‘down-sizing’ to working with power tools alone… Expect a further post on this nearer the time!
For now, I have reignited some desire within me to finish this bathroom box at least…
It must have been late-2009 when I made a plywood base cabinet to sit directly underneath my chip extractor (an Axminster ADE1200). Small workshops are all about making the most of whatever space you can find. As this extractor wasn’t very tall (no more than 5ft, to the top of the filter bag), I seized on the opportunity to increase its height by a good foot and to keep some of my ‘junk’ from off of the floor.
This extractor lives in a corner of the workshop, which makes it very difficult to access directly, when the time comes to change the bag. So, it’s often easiest for me to clear a space ahead and to roll the unit forwards. A problem occurs then because the weight of the unit is still on top, with the motor and so, attempting to drag of push the extractor out of or in to hiding often results in it tipping up. That’s why I decided to finally make and fit another handle lower down, which would allow me more direct control over the ‘weight-less’ half of the unit, directly supporting the upper load.
As my short-lived love life falls apart and the warmer weather begins to creep in, I find myself drawn back in to the lure of my long-neglected workshop. It’s been so long since I last blogged… Even longer since I last stepped in to my workshop… It smells damp in there and it’s much smaller than I seem to remember. There are still a couple of on-going projects that I need to finish first but, I’m also feeling slightly inspired to get going again, by the mess that accumulates on the window cill of my bathroom:
Now, I remember why I used to hate working forty-hours a week – it leaves you with very little time (and energy) for woodworking – hence, why I haven’t had much to blog about for almost an entire month now. Working a mixed shift pattern of early mornings late evenings doesn’t help much, either. With money coming though, I’ve been able to stock up on materials for a few workshop improvements I’m planning to keep myself busy through the winter. This first one is a simple cabinet stand for my recently-acquired PK200 table saw. I also have plans to make a fit some new fences to my mitre saw and router table; while I’ve also decided I will make an MDF table for my pillar drill, even though Axminster sell something that costs only £50.
While I should be cracking on with my exhibition pieces (only two months to go, now!!), I’ve fallen back on to the English cherry bookshelf I was working on a few weeks ago. Partly because I need to regain some space on top of my workbench; but also, because I need some time to reflect and consider a couple of points on my other pieces.
Shortly before Christmas, I purchased an 8in Dovetail Saw Kit from Workshop Heaven (made by Atkinson Walker in Sheffiled). This kit is based around the same idea of the Gramercy 9in Saw Kit, which has become quite popular in America; they supply all the parts and you customise your own personal handle from your preferred species of wood. Yesterday, I finished shaping my own handle for the Atkinson Walker saw and I wanted to share my thoughts and experience of this.