I didn’t really build anything today, but it was a productive day in the shop.
I did a lot of cleaning and rearranging in the garage. I got all of our house paint cans off the floor, on to a shelf – which allowed me to sort and neatly stack all of my larger scraps of wood. Getting those pieces stacked opened up a space in the front corner of the garage for my new jointer. This in turn gave me enough room to walk around the garage easily, something I haven’t had since the jointer and planer arrived.
Speaking of the planer – now that I had room to maneuver I could attach the infeed and outfeed tables to it. For anyone who has to level cast iron tables, try this method:
1) Joint one side of a 2×4 sized board flat, then cut it in half
2) Clamp the jointed sides to the fixed table
3) Clamp the wing you are attaching to those boards
4) Apply the bolts and set screws
With enough clamping pressure and a flat/jointer surface, you should get the wings perfectly lined up.
With all this free space, I was able to actually vacuum up the floor and provide my aunt with another bag of sawdust for her compost heap. There’s something a little zen about a clean and organized shop – I just need to work on doing this often, instead of a whole lot of work every couple of months.
I didn’t want to leave the shop without creating some sawdust, so on my organization bent I decided to create a simple rack to hold all my recent router bit purchases. I had a piece of 1.5″x1.5″ pine that was part of the crate that housed my planer. I drew a crude center line down the length of one side and set to marking the hole locations. I was going to use a forstner bit to drill the holes, so I used it to lay them out as well. Because I have a varied/piecemeal set of bits, I couldn’t just drill evenly spaced goals if I wanted to maximize the space on the board. I think the results turned out nicely and it was nice to use some of the scrap I had lying around:
After the router bit rack, I wasn’t quite ready to leave the shop, but I didn’t want to work on the candlesticks, because I knew my remaining time in the garage was short. I decided I needed more practice cutting dovetails. I wanted to cut more than one, so I grabed a short piece of 3/4″ plywood that was about 4 inches wide. My previous practice dovetailing was only a single tail, two half-pins and I wanted to cut a couple of tails.
I’ve done a few of these “practice” dovetails and the biggest thing I’ve learned is that I need to take them seriously if I ever plan on improving. Nonetheless, practice is better than no practice. I’ll get there eventually!