Monday, December 30, 2013

Nails and Cracks

When Schwarz post his nail cabinet to the LAP blog a few months ago, I knew immediately I would build one. Why? I can't explain. It just struck me. It's a ridiculously easy project, so no challenge aspect there, but it seems lately I'm drawn to shop furniture that makes the place more pleasant to be in. So the back wall of my personal shop is undergoing a change. And this nail cabinet is the first part of the process. Later I'll cover the drywall with oak flooring and hang my new chest upon it.

I'm using Sapele from some 12/4 planks from Midwest Woodworking that Andy Brownell picked up for me a couple years ago. I had to do a bit of resawing, but the stuff stayed put as I sliced of 3/8" thick pieces. Very stable. I'm not a big fan of Sapele, so I thought shop furniture would be a good resting place for this material. I don't yet know if I have enough stock for the drawers, so in the spirit of the original, I may use something else. I do have a long beam of Douglas Fir that came out of an old library in Eugene, OR. It has ridiculously tight grain and would make fine drawer boxes.

If you end up building this project, make sure you err on the side of a tad loose on the egg crate dividers, especially if you use softwood. I have a hard time dropping my luthier's tolerances sometimes. I had a couple of the short grain section pop free when banging it together. Glued them back on in a jiffy though.

I'm also opting for card frame pulls instead of the bin pulls and knobs from the original. I need the labels. I picked up 21 of them from Van Dyke's, on sale for less than $3 ea. in an oil rubbed bronze finish. You can get nice, heavy cast pulls, but I didn't want to spend over $100 just on the pulls. Here's the link.

Here's some pics of my French Oak bench in the dead of the coldest winter I can remember. The top is crowned (as expected) and the leg tenons are poking through about 1/32". The bench still works, although it does need flattening to perform better. In case you're interested, my top has opened up quite a bit on the worst end. The red arrows point to pencil lines that I drew across the ends of the checks when I finished the bench this summer. The lower check has just about doubled in size. In a month or two I'll wedge the gaps in the leg tenons, then flatten the top. I only ended up wedging one leg when I built the bench, and its the only leg that hasn't poked through the top. It will be interesting to see what the other three do next winter.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

More Carver's Vises--Just In Time

We have in stock a handful of Carver's Vises, just in time for Christmas gift-giving. These are literally the last of them until we get enough demand to do another run, which may be never.

This is a sweet vise that I've been using so much lately that I have not removed it from the back left corner of the bench. I use it for detail work, sharpening scrapers, anything smallish that I need better control over. Heck, I even use it sometimes to hold magazines or pictures for reference while I work.

If you're into making charming shop furniture, just for the fun of it, this fills the bill perfectly, especially if you've got some special thickish wood kicking around the shop. We do have beech though, in case you need to buy wood.

If this is your first exposure to the Carver's Vise, click here for everything we've written about it.

After you're done with that, click here for the details on the vise itself and ordering info.

Order buttons are up on our Store Page. Refresh your browser if they don't appear. 

If you order now, these will ship early next week, and should arrive by the 24th. Send us an email if you absolutely need it by the 24th and we will sell you faster shipping.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

XX Small Split Top Roubo

Camil Milincu, a customer from Romania whom we've posted about before, sent us these pictures of a bench he just finished. Camil nailed this one. Here's his description:

Hello Jameel,

I have attached some pictures of a bench I've finished. It's for a friend which had a tough request: all the stuff that's on my bench (seen here -ed.), but in 53 inches. The easiest thing to do was to chop the end vise. But since he might move to a bigger shop (and I hope he does), I had to come up with a plan to keep all the hardware intact.  I've sunk the rails in the underside of the benchtop and made a deep recess for the screw. As I had to keep some wood for the leg tenon, the last dog had to be shortened. This explains the weird hole.
For this one the toothing plane was used only in the center of the slabs, leaving a smooth strip near the dogs.

Let's hope the next one will be a "regular" :).

Best regards and Happy Holidays,