Tuesday, July 28, 2015

D.I.Y Reuse Project

  I know that I am supposed to make projects in my shop from walnut or hand planed cherry. Trouble is I am cheap and I like all wood, without discrimination.  We eat lots of clementine oranges and they come in small crates made from wood.

  Recently I needed a small box in which to put bathroom vanity stuff so I grabbed a orange crate from the garage.

  With a bit of sanding and a handle this turned in a usable box. There is nothing better for making things like this handle than pine or bass wood. I shaped the handle on the band saw and then rounded the edges on my router table. The whole thing took less than 20 minutes including a quick and easy spray paint job.

box with green foam lining 
  The result of my 20 minutes work turned out okay and it is wood, not plastic. 
the box filled with bathroom jink
  cheers, ianw

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Three Tools to have always on hand.

  When I was making the tomato cages I used tools that are always available, often used and mostly unsung. I have a shop hatchet that I bought on a trip to Sweden a few years ago. This little hatchet has sharpened dozens of posts and pegs for the garden. In my shop it has been used to rough shape spindle for the lathe as well. I would be at a loss without it. It deals with things that are too big for a shop knife, and/or to awkward to shape on the band saw. If you aren't planning a trip to Sweden I suggest an Estwing hatchet, Estwing makes very good quality tools.

   The second tool are my scissors. I use the shears to cut everything from paper patterns to veneer and twine. Good heavy duty shears are a must for a shop.  Don't try and get along on crappy $ store scissors, take the plunge and get a decent tool. 

  The last thing is a lump of bee's wax.  I bought this lump at a local farmers market a couple of seasons ago. The wax gets used to lubricate blades and protect tools. I also use the wax to give a quick wax coating to string or twine. The bee's wax can be melted and used as a old style wood finish too. Tonnes of uses for cheap.

  All of these three tools are not necessary if you have a shop where you manage to do things.  I hate having to run upstairs to the kitchen junk drawer for scissors and we have a real axe in the garage but that is just too big for most jobs. I have found having the correct tool at hand makes everything less frustrating.

 cheers, ianw

Les Stroud and a Wetterlings of Sweden axe