Monday, December 17, 2012


recently my wife and I talked a bit more about me and my woodworking hobby, since our garage is now more or less a complete wood-workshop (Still missing a jointer, but no space). One of her main concerns is my safety, especially after I got a bloody nose from a flying piece of Wood, due to some form of kickback. Apparently it's a bad idea to cut a round piece of wood on a band-saw and I learned yet another lesson. Wear a face-shield, not only when you work on the lathe.

Now the scary thing was, that if the same thing would have happened on the Table Saw, instead of the flying piece of wood, I possible would look at serious surgery and a bill of 40-50k$ to reattach missing fingers. Needless to say, we are selling the tablesaw right now and replacing it with a SawStop model, to reduce this risk. Since frankly there is no reason not to do it.

Now you might wounder what a SawStop is and how it's different?

It basically has a monitoring system, triggers a brake, if it discovers a finger touching the sawblade. Which is mostly useful during a kickback event, when you hand get's drawn into the blade rather suddenly.

Only question left is, which particular model to get. I'm kinda considering the 52" Fence model or the 36" Fence model, since this is about as big as I can go in my garage. While still being able to park a car.

Monday, December 03, 2012

puppy house - glue up

we are nearing the final stages of the puppy house and started to glue everything up.

running out of space...
And apparently I have to reorganize the garage yet again to make more space and have space to walk around. I do have more or less given up to ever park a car in here...

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

puppy house - roofing blanks are finished

so the next step was to cut all the roofing blanks and glue them into the rabbets of the rafters. For economical reasons we chose cedar fence boards. Since they resist insects and rain quite well, while being rather cheap at 2$ a board.

glue is drying...
Now ones the glue dried we will sand down all the rafters, remove glue squeeze out and fill in the voids to make it look a bit nicer.

Also as you can see I acquired some 48" cabinet clamps, which are just amazing and I want more of them. But so ridiculous expensive.

Monday, November 26, 2012

puppy house is starting to get a roof

now that the Thanksgiving stress is over, I have a little time to focus on the puppy house again. Meaning working on the rafters and finishing the skeleton for the roof.

current roof so far
Nothing fancy joint wise, just the attaching the rafters to each other by a couple of bars and reinforced them with some dowels.

But yes we are getting done with the doghouse.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

making of two cutting boards

now since I acquired some more maple and cherry, it was time to make more cutting boards to sell them  and actually make some money with this idea.

So here is the making off.

After sawing down a board of maple and a board of cherry to 18" long and 1" thick stripes, we assembled our desired patterns and glued them all up.

still don't have enough clamps...

after planning the blanks to thickness and remove the glue squeeze out

preparing the route the edges

routed edges for our one board

preparing to finish it with mineral oil

drying in the air and soaking up the oil

Now let's see how long it takes for them to sell.

But after making these and removing all the tear-out from the planer I was just praying for a 16"+ drum sander. A 10" drum sander is cheap, but absolutely useless for any board bigger than 9".

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

siding - we are making progress at last

now we are finally at the point were we can put the siding on the doghouse and I'm proud to say there are still 0 screws or nails used so far and it is rather sturdy and gets more and more stable with every piece I add.

I'm also started to realize that it's not the power tools, which are expensive and needed. The most expensive part so far are accessories and wood. Like it's just ridiculous how expensive clamps, chisels or saw blades are.

Anyway since I can't use nails to attach the siding, the only choice I have were to use dados. Which are frankly one of the easiest joints to make (if you got a dado blade or a router)

basic concept of a dado joint

Since this project is getting more and more expensive and I'm way over budget by now, I ended up buying cheap cedar fence boards and cutting them to size and plane them to 1/2 thickness (since my largest router bit is 1/2"). And during this process I learned that cedar wrecks absolute havoc with my planers dust collection. Basically the 2" hose I use to connect the planer to my shop-vac keeps getting clogged all the time and forced me to disassemble the planer 3 times to clear out all the stuck shavings since there is not enough suction. I start to see the point of commercial dust collection systems with 4" hoses.

After planning all the cedar, cutting it to size and routing the dados in the struts we ended up with something like this
first parts of the siding are fitted
 Now since the cedar was considered green, it promptly shrunk by about 1/2" over night and left me sitting with something like this...

after a night of drying some of the walls shrunk...
Which means we need to cut some form of outside molding to make it look pretty and make it windproof. Maybe some rafter for the rain run off...

Monday, November 12, 2012

rafter - cutting the bird mouth joints

Since the lap joint's were done yesterday, it was time to cut the bird mouth joints today. As preparation of assembling the roof tomorrow

First how does a bird mouth joint look?

standard birth mouth joint
The next step was to calculate the approximate position and our old friend Pythagorus came to the rescue, since our roof is going to have 90 angle at the top.

a*a + b*b = c*c
And since our dog house is 42" wide, the approximate position of the joints should be around 30". I'm saying approximate since we also have to include the width of the saw blade (slowly learning....) and that our fence is not that precise.

cutting the miters on the table saw
 The first step was to cut the miter on the table saw, while utilizing a block of wood with a clamp as a stop to ensure that all the joints are cut at the same position.

a bit wide
 Now the first cut was just a bit wide and since we did this in batches it meant that all rafters were a touch to wide. Not a big problem, since the joint needs to be on a double top plate anyway and so we just going to cut the top plate a touch wider.

finished joints
And there are our finished ratfters, with two bird mouth joints each, a lab joint and cut to size. Still not sure what todo with the ending, if I leave them at they are round them over. And how to put the wooden planks on. Maybe cutting some rabbits or so.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

starting working on the rafters for the doghouse

The next step on the doghouse is cutting the lap joints for the rafters.

example lap-joint
Since these joints are located at the end of the boards, we don't have to use a noisy and dusty router for this, instead we can just use the table saw. Which means we will also be done with this a lot faster.

Well in theorie anyway. Since I do not own a 6" Dado blade at this point in time and none of my local stores carries them (they only have 8" dado's and my saw is not powerful enough). Well I'm just sorry out of luck and have to use a little jig and cut them in several steps and ensure that the cut's line up.

out little jig

keeping the fingers save, thanks to all the clamps and the wooden support
apparently I can't raise the saw blade high enough
Now I still encountered a little annoying issue. Basically my rafters are 4" wide and so I need to cut the joint 4" deep, but can only raise the blade 3.75" height... So we had to use the little gent's saw to finish the cut by hand.

And all the 8 joints are finished now, so that we can continue with the dog hosue tomorrow and cut the bird-mouth joints (once I figured out how to calculate the correct positions)

Saturday, November 10, 2012

7 days till our house warming party - 7 days to refinish our oak kitchen table.

Our little house warming party will be in 7 days and one of my projects on the Honey-Do-List is to refinish our kittchen table, which we inherited from the previous owner of this house.

So step 1 is to sand it down...

some of the finish removed, still lot's togo
The next big step is to figure out what kind of finish was on it to begin with and stain it so it matches all the other parts of the table.

Right now I bought 'golden oak', which seems to be the wrong stain...

Finishing the dog house roof supports

after we cut the tenons and mortises last week, it was now time to put all these pieces together using cross lab joints.

Like these, except that there is a mortise in the middle. We need some overlap in these joints, to avoid the wood splitting while the glue is drying.

Now there are several methods of doing these joints. You can use a saw, chisel and bull nose plane, but since I was short this kind of plane I needed another method. So instead we used a small trimm router and a 1/2 mortise bit. Kinda the wrong bit for the job, but I had this laying around so...

one of our mortises from the last week

the lower part of the cut lap joint

all the assembled joints.
 Next step is cutting the rabbits for the siding and start working on the rafters.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

can't sleep...

so for some reason I'm so busy with work and all my little projects recently that I can't really sleep and wind down or relax.

So I started a late night/midnight project called building a workbench top with only the use of classic hand tools  Which I collected over the years.

Also I'm using mostly scrap wood that is highly bowed, warped and twisted. Just to make it more of a challenge...

jointing the 2x2x96" studs 
gluing the studs and leaving some space for 'dog holes' 
planning the top to get it somewhat level
So the basic idea is to get some support in the future for cutting mortises, tenons and other stuff. Still need to somehow figure out how to build a vise.

Cutting mortise and tenon joints

recently the work on the doghouse slowed down a bit, since for the love of it I could not figure out how to create the roofing support.

Now after reading a couple of more books about this topic I came to the conclusion that I will need a couple of joints for this.

  • a couple mortise/tenon joint
  • a couple half lap joints
  • a bunch of birdmouth joints
So the first step is right now to create the mortises for our tenons and settled on using a drill press as the best possible method, with some help from my chisels to square them up.

after measuring the proportions we remove the waste

square it up with a chisel

fit it slightly loose to leave a bit of space for the glue later

Now I only have to make 15 more and than start working on the lap joints to make the corners fit.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

my little woodshop

during the process of building our doghouse, I acquired more or less a complete little wood working shop in our garage and notice that it's really really handy to have all these tools available. For example, a couple of days ago our couch broke:

broken plywood support
and it was really easy to fix using a slab of Mahogany I had laying around (which was supposed to be transformed into something entirely different...)
fixed frame, after removing millions of staples
Granted it took me several hours, most of them removing staples from the couch. But it was so nice to have a thickness planer to just dimension the wood down to the thickness you need to make it fit

Also surprisingly it's not really the tools which are the expensive parts, it's all the tiny accessories you need with the tools. Be it a saw-blade or just a square/precision ruler/etc.

Next project is to install two additional 15A circuits into the garage and hopefully a system to collect air bone dust for health regions.

Also slowly making progress with the doghouse, everything is still level and working the roofing joint's next.

Monday, October 08, 2012

Dog House - foundation mostly done

I'm finally making some progress with the dog house and finished most of the flooring and foundation tonight.

rabbited supports for the roofing and siding, still need some more joints
glueing and doweling the corners together
glueing the cross brackets for the flooring
used joint for the foundation and roof support
after the flooring is installed ant the roofsupports are glued in

finished the reloading press mounts

so the mounting boards out of cedar and mahogany, needed to be slightly modified to allow for the press to be mounted. Since the bolt's were looking out under it.

But the result looks rather nice.

all setup and now only needs to be adjusted

Saturday, October 06, 2012

support for a reloading press

over the last couple of months I started to assemble an AR-15 precission rifle and got slighlty burned by the cost of ammunition. So the only possible way to support this hobby was to start reloading my own ammunition.

So the first step was to aquire a reloading press and in my case I wanted to have one, which can easily produce pistol and rifle ammunition. Because let's face it, at some point we will by a .45 1911 and 9mm Highpower pistol. Basically once John moves away and we loose the access to it.

Anyway, once you have a reloading press you need to mount it to a sturdy support and since I don't really have the space for a dedicated reloading shop (or the financial means), it had to be a simple sturdy board, which has the press mounted to it and can be clamped to a table, when the need to reload arrives.

we start with some rough white cedar and rough mahogany boards

the boards are cut down to 16" length each and planed to 3/4" thickness

after combining the cedar with the mahogany using a spline joint, we just sand them for a bit 400 and 600 grit sandpaper and add 4 coats of mineral oil. And they are finished and waiting for the press to be mounted on it tomorrow.
Since I plan on selling cutting boards with my little company rather soonish, I decided to join the cedar to the mahogany using a simple spline joint, cut on the table saw. The joint was made from a scrap piece of redwood, I had laying around and it turned out to be simpler than planned, but stil took about 90 minutes to make these boards. I really need an orbital sander...
example of a splined joined, in our case we are joining the mahogany to the cedar using a piece of scrap redwood.

Building a doghouse

over the last couple of weeks, I was starting to plan how to build a doghouse for our puppies...

After all they look kinda unhappy in there kennel right now and don't have that much shade:

get me some shade...

rough cad drawing of the doggie house

let's start with a 4"x4"x8' long piece of raw lumber and rip it on the tables aw

cut it to 4"x0.5"x8' strips and plan them to .4" on the thickness planer

so that our puppies have a hardwood floor to lay on during the day... 

Friday, October 05, 2012

Long time no news...

well for a lot time there were no posts, basically the reason is that we were very simple incredible busy and there were some slight changes. First we were running around and tried to find a patio furniture set for our backyard since about 2-3 months and finally found one

our backyard is coming together

We also finally manage to sell the motorcycle and now I'm trying to learn to live without one.

there goes 'rose'
And sadly I do miss it, even if I haven't really ridden it in the last 12 months for safety reasons...

I also attended a fundraiser for ovarian cancer with Robin and managed to finished 8th in my age group in a 5k run.

place 8 in my age group (30-35) and 169 overal out of  ~1000 attending people

I also spend a lot of time reading about how to build a doghouse for our puppies and somehow got a bit carried away and started to put a little woodworking shop together, but more about this in a future post.
we got a table saw, miter saw and thickness planer. Only the lathe, drill press and joiner are missing now...
And we finally managed to order a small little keggorator and a 50L keg of Franziskaner.