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Sunday, 23 January 2011

Mobile Workshop

I've gone mobile!
I've decided that the best way to use the space I've got in my workshop is to make everything move.
My planner-thicknesser already had a mobile base that I brought for it years ago, it works really well. I can tuck it in a corner when not in use (or under the mitre saw work bench I made the other day which still needs a top).
So I decided to go the next step and buy 2 more Axminster mobile bases for my morticer and bandsaw, this way I can push them up to the wall when not in use and have the middle area for assembly of larger projects when needed. I've been working on a large gate/outside door this weekend and so far having these machines mobile has been great (I think it will encourage me to keep the floor well swept so they move easily - not a bad thing).
Now if I could just sort out an extraction system better than a tub and a shovel...

Friday, 14 January 2011

More Work Benches

I've had a nice couple of days making some work benches this week (amount other things). A bit bigger than the ones I built before, this time they're 5.3m long one way and 4.3m long the other.
[The corner where the benches are to be placed and my mitre saw set up and waiting]

[The frame in construction]

I was told that it has to be strong as heavy generators and engines would be taken apart on them. I settled on making it out of 4x4 legs with and 8x2 top rail, the rest of the frame being made out of 4x2 (all halving jointed together) with 4 lengths of 8x2 as a thick top.
[The finished bench - not a great picture but it was getting dark]
This is a seriously solid bench (It is also bolted to the wall) and the guy I'm working for came over and slapped his hands on the top of the bench and said "Thats it - Now your sucking on the right teat!" (a bit vulgar but it made me laugh).

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Door hanging

I'll just share this because it made me laugh.

I went to a job yesterday for someone I do quite a bit of work for to take out a door and frame and replace it with new ones. When I got there the door was locked (I could get to both sides of it though) so I rang the boss for the keys. He says to me "Oh yeah, you've got to break into it first!"

Talk about moving the goal posts!
Still, after grinding off the hinges it was quite a nice straight forward job (besides having to plane the frame down to get it to fit in the opening).

Sunday, 9 January 2011

A Unit for our Kitchen

This is a little job I did over the Christmas break but only fitted on Thursday night due to how long the old paint I used took to dry!
Our kitchen is small and very short on space, so my idea was to build a cheap lattice/shelf unit type thing to house Kilner jars to hold all of our store cupboard ingredients (oats, rice, pasta, etc).
For cost I made it out of one sheet of MDF (£10 from Magnet - really cheap and they gave me a free t-shirt!(I also walked out with his pen by accident an unintentional bonus!)) and some paints I already had (although I wish I brought some new gloss as it wouldn't dry!).

It's really simple construction, I trench cut with my little 1/4" router where the shelves crossed into the sides and then it's held together using a good glue and a few pins. Trench cutting using the guide clamp I've got is so easy - but I think the last time I used it was when I converted a ambulance into a camper van (but more of that another time). The back is just rebated into the unit and the two end panels were cut to fit over the skirting. It glued and clamped together really easily.
I sealed it before painting (anyone who uses MDF knows this is essential), I'm sure the finish would have been better if it had dried faster (less dust to sit on it) or if I had used a spray gun instead of a brush (I think I need to build a shed to finish my projects in!)[Looks quite good with the jars in place and our new retro scales]

I think I might build something similar for the utility area and for storing shoes under the stairs as its so cheap with MDF and quite easy to clean once painted (I'll buy new paint though!).

Saturday, 8 January 2011

If I was a Butcher...

...Then this would be a sausage.
This weeks not been great, although I had some nice work Monday and Tuesday finishing an oak floor for Mum and Dad (it still needs one more coat of oil) the rest of the week has been spent doing building work on an industrial estate. Not too bad in itself but the site is used for a diesel generator centre so all the timber has dirt and oil all over.
One of my first jobs there was to build a reception desk out of the worst 2x2 rough saw timber you've ever seen (hence my reference to sausages) and then clad it in ply, to be fair when it was clad it didn't look too bad and then I had the idea of getting the carpet fitter to cover it in carpet it looked even better. Quite a cheap reception desk for them in the end.
On a different note work isn't exactly flooding in at the moment so I've got to decide whether to keep doing work for builders (and start calling a few) or to start advertising for my own work. Too many decisions in this world! Ideas on a postcard please...

Saturday, 1 January 2011

Happy New Year

Well last year is not going to rate as one of my favorites ever but I'm looking forward to what this year can bring. Last year I struggled to come to terms with leaving site management but I know now that I'm happiest with a chisel in my left hand and a mallet in my right - so why fight it?
This has given me a sense of direction and I plan to be in a position to be able to be a little more particular about what I choose to do, including working more with the raw materials (e.g seasoning wood for turning and some rustic projects I have in mind) and hopefully work on some interesting projects that I can be proud of.
Anyway, I've sharpened my chisels, put a fresh coat of linseed oil on my tool handles and stripped and cleaned out my nail guns - I'm ready to start how I mean to go on.
Now then, who wants to hire a carpenter?
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