Over the weekend, I made my most recent trip to Ikea (twenty-four hours after ‘Black Friday’, no less) and obtained a final box of Lots mirror tiles (plus one spare pack, in case of any further breakages).
This post will tie up all the loose ends with regards to how the project came to a close.
For this window-mirror, I wanted to use rectangular glazing that would complement the functional window that this construction is likely to be situated across the room from. Looking around at various packs of glass tiles and they only appeared to come in square sizes. For a while, I was tempted to buy a pack of mirrored-acrylic tiles from a seller on eBay, knowing they can be cut with woodworking equipment.
Looking around some more and I found Ikea’s Lots mirror tiles and, for the quantity I required, they were set to work out at around half the cost of the acrylic, even before postage. So, after collecting three packs from Ikea in Bristol, I was left with the challenge of having to cut the glass myself – all of which is detailed below.
This is an idea I’ve been entertaining for a number of months, although not something I had cooked up entirely within my own skull.
My flat is lacking in light, being on the ground floor and with only window window fitted in each room. Instead of adding lamps and racking up the electricity bill, I came up with the idea to use mirrors. This is an alternative take on simply buying a ‘rectangular frame’. I like the thought of being able to add the impression of an extra window in my living room.
Living in a home that’s still holding on to more than an average share of hand tools, it’s hard to resist that urge to pick them up and to make something. This one will feature as a YouTube video at some point but I’d like to share some photos with you now.
You may remember that I purchased a portable TecTake washer/dryer back in March and one of my goals since has been to make this compact unit fully portable. So, what I’ve gone and done is I’ve mounted it on wheels!
Last week, I found some time to tinker and experiment with the dust extraction setup for my bandsaw. For the last few years, I’ve been using a setup that allows you to connect a vacuum hose to an angled port that surround the blade just below the table. It’s often worked well, collecting a majority of the sawdust and also leaving less to settle on the lower blade guides.
But it’s not always been as effective as it used to be and I think the change occurred once I added a simple dust separator in to the system, which has always been the Triton DCA300 Dust Bucket. Don’t get me wrong; I’m sure that another separator (particularly a cyclone) would give better results but the Triton one seems to offer an airflow that’s greatly reduced from the force drawn in by the vacuum on its own.
If you’ve ever tried to connect a vacuum to your portable power tools, you’re likely to have come across one (if not several) where the supplied nozzle at the end of the hose doesn’t even come close to fitting snugly in to the tool’s outlet. Some people will resort to using masking tape or scraps of PVC pipe; worse still (and I’ve been guilty of this many times) is where people decide to neglect the use of dust extraction and then proceed to cut, plane, rout or sand away with fine particles filling their workshops!
On Friday, while I was waiting for the glue to dry on a pair of chess boards (more on the perils of gluing end-grain to end-grain another time), I decided to have a go at making an attachment that would connect my vacuum to my random orbital sander. As you can see above; it works and I got the idea initially from (I think) Chris Pine over on Keek (@cpine).
You basically take two small squares of plywood, drilling one hole in each. In one block, you have a hole sized to take the nozzle from the vacuum; the other is drilled to fit over your tool’s outlet or port. Then, these two blocks are carefully glued together and I rounded the corners off to make it aesthetically pleasing.
It’s a custom solution that doesn’t cost a lot but might ensure you never run out of masking tape. You may still need to manufacture one ‘fitting’ for each of your tools but, if it means you’re more likely to use dust extraction then it’s worth it.
Thanks for reading and I hope you’ve found this tip useful.
Some of you may recall the making of my workbench back in 2009. It wasn’t until several months later that I decided to make a plywood unit beneath to house three wide drawers for the storage of hand tools and other pieces. In truth, I was never entirely happy with the setup and, each winter, the drawer sides and fronts would swell and it would be an effort to get to the tools I wanted to use. Over time, this has led to the ‘collapse’ of the previous drawer bases (cheap, distorted 6mm plywood).
A few weeks ago; I took a look at the materials I had available and decided to tackle this issue properly.