I wrote, in a previous post, of my intention to buy a backpack for storing my most-used hand tools. Well, days after writing that, I went out an bought the Stanley 195611 Fatmax backpack from my local Bunnings Warehouse. I’m sorry it’s taken me this long to get around to writing about it.
For those who don’t know: Wesfarmers the Australian company who own Bunnings, purchased Homebase in the UK, well over a year ago now. They’ve already ‘rebranded’ ten former Homebase stores around the UK, including my local one, at Worle in North Somerset.
I hold to an intention and hope of finding a new workshop this year. I won’t even begin looking until these dark and chilly months have passed but, when the time does come and I’m physically able to walk through that door, I will be looking to add a few tools to my arsenal. If not immediately then, sensibly, over time.
Last weekend, I was working at a friend’s house for the whole two days. This meant lugging a portion of my tools (mostly hand tools) and accessories from their storage location, in to my car, to and from the house and then back again, once the job was complete.
I quite like being able to do jobs for other people but I’ve never been a fan of physically moving tools back and forth.
I hadn’t planned on maintaining such an absence from this blog until now but for the past few days, I’ve been unable to log-in and it looks as though it’s a problem that has hit other WordPress users. But I’m here now; my fingers ready to share so many things and I feel it would be most convenient to share details of this weekend as it comes to a close.
Straying back in to the world of woodworking and workshops for a moment; this weekend was when I decided it was time to put the majority of my tools and equipment in to self storage!
Earlier today, I uploaded a brand-new video to YouTube, which happens to be my first for about a month. I’ll probably go in to that one a little deeper in a separate blog post next week but it bears some relevance to this post where I’m going to be looking at mitres and tackling the seemingly-simple question of how to fit a length stop for repeat or batch cutting of identical lengths.
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.
Last night, I sat down to write this but took a break part-way through to remove myself from my lovely arm and to head off for a relaxing shower. By the time I returned and awoke my laptop, I realised it was deciding to play up. Even with an internet connection, none of the tabs in my browser were responding properly. I had to reboot the computer (and a forced restart, at that) before I could type any more and, as Windows reloaded and I clicked on the Firefox icon on my desktop, I realised that WordPress had automatically saved nothing more than the opening line.
I was virtually ready to hit ‘Publish’ but now, I’m stating again. My mind was clouded with other thoughts last night so, maybe this is for the better.
My day job isn’t one that I particularly enjoy. It doesn’t involve working with wood but, mostly to the extent of fixing sheets of plywood together with nail guns to construct packing cases. Not the sort of fine-quality work I’ve been trained to produce but still, it does just about pay the bills and I can only imagine it is better than working in a confined, stuffy office. In over eighteen months now, this role has taught me the significance a pin gun (you might refer to them as brand nailers) can bring to a woodworking workshop.
I’ve been enjoying some time away from woodworking recently, which is something I feel I haven’t really had much of for the last seven-years. I’m learning a lot about myself, life and, I also believe, growing as a person (coming out of the shed, so to speak…). That’s not to suggest that I’m giving up; it’s like any part of life or work; doing the same thing most days for any amount of time is going to get on top of you. We all need a break, sometime. Don’t let the heading of this post mislead you! 😉
Seven-years ago, I had my very first table saw and sold it on to someone (thankfully) a year later. I managed just fine without one until October 2010, when I bought another small saw on eBay. That one was sold earlier this summer. As useful as it was, I really didn’t have the space to use it (despite all the work I put in to sit my router table beside it). Now, I’m on to my third table saw and I don’t feel as though I need to comment on the space issue…