In an effort to get myself back in to the swing of things and to make use of the workshop while I still have it, I’m trying to tie up a few ‘loose ends’ while I still have a few days before I return to work. This means that I’m trying to sort out a few videos that have been on my to-do list for too long (one was uploaded last night) and I’m also trying to get various bits and pieces together that I can eventually submit for magazine publication (tool reviews and tests, hopefully some small projects, too).
I was going some photos with my current camera (Nikon S8200) last night when I finally found a practical use for a small item I bought from Rutlands over a year ago:
It’s a magnetic LED light mine and I only really bought it because, when it first arrived in their catalogue, it was on sale and available with free delivery. I was hoping to use it with my bandsaw but, even when I got the positioning right, the light wasn’t always strong enough. So, it’s been sat on top of bandsaw for far too long since then. But, where another LED device has since failed (possible dust ingestion), this little light is still working fine.
I could’ve done with this while filming some of my video sequences but this thought never occurred until I’d starting photographing things afterwards.
If you follow me on Twitter then, you’ll have noticed that I’ve been watching a lot of videos on making bandsaw boxes. Certainly, they kept me occupied far beyond my bed time last night! That’s something I’m looking at experimenting with soon and it’s given me new hope for another inspiring idea I came up with back in… August, I think! 😉
A few months ago, during one of their all-too-frequent sales, I ordered a pocket hole plug cutter from Rutlands. This was in the time before I purchased my pocket screw jig but, as it was on special offer and I knew I’d be wanting one eventually, I decided to take the plunge. At the time though, they were out of stock and unable to clarify when it would be available again… They were talking months, not weeks!
A few months went by and, only a few weeks ago, I placed another order with them for this same item, as it was now shown live on their website as ‘in stock’ and available to buy. Thankfully, the plug cutter arrived next-working day and, although I haven’t done an awful lot with it since, I have at least been able to tinker with it enough to be able to share some of my initial impressions and opinions of its performance with you, here.
This isn’t going to be as scintillating as I would like. At least, not on the woodworking front, anyway. I’m sure there are others out there who discovered several wood or tool-related gifts lying under their tree this year and that’s great. I rarely ever ask for woodworking kit at Christmas because I fear that the buyer won’t fully understand what they’re buying or what it could mean for me. Neither am I in favour of identifying the item in a catalogue – where then, is your surprise and delight on the big day? Not to mention the fact that woodworking, as a whole, is rather expensive; regardless of whether you’re an occasional hobbyist or someone who works with their hands full-time for a business.
This year, I didn’t ask for anything at all! There are one or two power tools that I’d like to buy in the new year but again, cost becomes an issue and, really, I should be looking to invest in some timber for 2012, as I really don’t feel like I got much done in the past twelve months. If I have to, I can certainly get along with what I already have. It’s not as if I ‘need’ even one small item that’s otherwise halting all progress in my workshop. If anything, it’s a combination of the weather and life in general that’s keeping me inactive right now.
Regardless of all that; I was very happy to receive one particular gift, this year:
It’s quite shocking to think that I’ve been living on my own for almost five-months now and yet, I’m still using the window sill of my “bijou” bathroom as a convenient means of keeping a roll of toilet within arm’s reach! 😳 It doesn’t look tidy and that’s something which generally bothers me. I’ve been looking around at the prices of various steel or chrome-finished products (to fit in with the other bathroom fittings and furniture), ready to buy off the shelf and they were either surprisingly dear or, at the other end, the cheap ones just looked nasty and tacky.
So, armed with a spare length of 1in thick English beech (about 4in wide; I think this was a spare length that I didn’t use on my workbench drawer fronts), this has become yet another small project where I could make something useful out of, well, almost nothing (…scrap wood!).
It’s been about a week since I filmed but, the final episode in my three-part cutting board series is finally online and ready for viewing:
I’ve taken on board some advice from Stu recently, with regards to the transitions between scenes, if nothing more at the moment. As I’ve said before; it’s all a big experiment for me. I am very aware that you can barely hear my voice towards the end of the video and, again referring to Stu’s comments, I’ll probably look at tinkering with voice-overs in future (at least, until I can a decent video camera with an input jack for a microphone – though, I’m sure the purchase of a 16-32 drum sander would push that one even further back down the list!!).
I hope you enjoy this final instalment and, if you’ve learned something new along the way then, I’m happy as well! 🙂 I am hoping to capture a couple of other short projects in video form throughout the summer [summer?!?] so, I hope you’ll also subscribe and keep checking back here for future updates.
Sorry that the gap between each post appears to be growing at the moment. I’m working a lot at the moment just to keep my head above the water and, where I haven’t got as much time as I’d like to be able to spend in my own workshop, I’ve discovered that the art of basic video editing can easily consume a lot of spare ‘workshop-time’!
Before we go any further, I hope you’re not thinking that I’ve spent several hundreds of pounds [or dollars – not that I actually have either at the moment!] on something shiny and new to add to my tool collection! What it is, is that I’ve come up with another improvement to the toolbox tote that I built some time back.
This new feature (one on either side) allows me to carry a pair of 20in or 22in hand saws (panel saws, if you will; the cheap disposable ones – I’m sure you know! ;-)).
Even when I’m trying to get on with my work, it seems the courier guys are hell-bent on delivering something that will disrupt my working day… I’ve just taken delivery of a Triton DCA300 Dust Collection Bucket; something I’ve been talking about buying for months:
I managed to get it for less than £24 delivered – it was listed as a Used item at Amazon.co.uk but, in “As New” condition, which simply meant that it didn’t arrive in the original packaging. I have double-checked though and everything is complete and in tact. Having signed up for a thirty-day trial of their new Prime service as well, the item arrived next-day at no extra cost. 😎
This looks like an excellent solution for owners of the Work Sharp system. These Magna-Discs do appear to be available from Rutlands, for those of us in the UK. It’s just a shame that the initial outlay is so steep… But, if they last as long as the claims (fifty-times a standard abrasive disc?!) then, it’s got to be worth the investment for any tradesman or professional who uses their tool sharpener on a daily basis.
It’s the use of magnetic technology that really appeals to me. Could this be the future for abrasive discs? If only they can find a way to reduce the costs… I know that not everyone gets along well with the velcro hook-and-loop attachments. I’ve come across posts where woodworkers say that the backing pads on their sanders have lost their grip, for example (it’s not uncommon).