Monday, December 11, 2017

More Shelix

My letter to Santa was delivered successfully. My planer was upgraded years ago, it's the jointers turn.


Mortises for the L tenons:

Mortises for the mitered rails:

A quick dry fit of the miter'd rails into the miter'd frame:

Some shaping, bevel:

Surface prep before cutting sliding dovetails:

Cutting a series of stopped sliding dovetails for these ribs that run across the cabinet. One of my usual plywood offcut, double stick tape, router template guide type jig:


There's something about a clean miter.

I'm reinforcing these miters with L tenons, aluminum angle with some wood strips glued on. Another idea borrowed from Fine woodworking magazine. Here's the lamination with eco-poxy glue.

Then trimmed to fit at the bandsaw.

My design called for these mitered blocks/rails. To glue up this edge joint I reused a square box I'd made to cut keyed miters.

It produced a perfectly square sub-assembly with a seamless re-sawn joint, this is straight out of the clamps, ready to be cut into lengths.


I devoted time to sitting in the office, designing a highboy dresser. Wood was piled up, Elm slabs. Then there was much cutting of wood.

The parts emerged eventually.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

The Three Benches

A special case. A couple contacted me to see if it was possible to re-purpose grandma's table.

The table had been in the family for 80 some years, but it's days as a table were close to done. Grandma had brought the table with her when she arrived in Canada from the States to take up free land. Three members of the family had been very close to grandma and have many memories sitting at the table. So they had the idea of converting the table into three benches, one for each of them. The wood, not worth saving. The memories, well that's a different story.

Here's the table and leaves as they came in. I sketched a design that would work with the materials, ran it by them, and put together the three benches.

About 44 dowels in each bench, 88 holes per bench. A good exercise in working off square and off flat. Thought I'd try out the veritas dowel jig, my usual dowelling method would have taken too long. The veritas jig is designed for edge joints but I used it to make a template then screwed the template down to the workpiece. Not sure how much time it saved, dowelling is time consuming, but definitely a saving, and it worked out well.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

The Makeshift Man Desk

So I had the amputated section of the now modified Outlaw coffee hutch kicking around... Suppose I could stick some legs on it.

My son had outgrown his piece of crap baby desk, and was in need of a real man's desk. The thing turned out rock solid. just as well, he's a prolific drawer of birds and general crafts maniac, so it will see heavy use. Threw in a couple trays to hold his pencils.

Couple pics of the 3/8 dowel construction.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Make it Rain

And with the rain comes the need to make planks.

I started with a small project to ease the hands back into work after a summer of truly exceptional distractions. The project involved remaking the top section of my 'Outlaw' coffee hutch to better accommodate my latest coffee machine. The coffee addiction is real. This meant going from two drawers to one so that the machine could sit at a lower elevation on the right.

Some free hand doweling on the mortiser using the shop made doweling jig.

My dad gave me these pincer pliers years ago. They work great for pulling the pins that hold the jig in place.

Fresh off the drill press. I typically make a jig for each butt joint, so in this case 4 jigs. This helps keep the mating dowel holes consistent for each joint, and also spreads out the wear and tear of the jig holes.

Stitching it up, dry fit.

Tapered cauls for the glue up. To apply pressure in places where no clamp can go.

I re-used one of the old drawers. It was an nk drawer which was obviously fit to the previous cabinet. I oversized the drawer opening height & width by a couple hairs, then I made up some 1/16 veneers and laminated them onto the drawer rails, then re-fit the drawer.

Ready for a stiff pour. And while we're getting jacked up. I picked up a Mazzer Mini on craigslist about a year ago. It goes front & centre in the kitchen, no cabinet modifications necessary. Built like a tank.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017


Finally got round to installing the glass guardrail for the bedroom shutter.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Spearhead Dining Table

Make It Like This.

I heard this story about Tom Waits' 1985 album Raindogs on CBC yesterday. Tom said something to the effect that every sound has to be hunted down, killed and skinned, and not made with the press of a synthesiser button. When a fellow musician suggested they just sample a particular sound, he said, No. I'd rather go hit my bedroom door with a 2X4, really hard. When giving direction to Keith Richards he was crawling around on all fours, saying "play it like this". to which Keith replied "I know exactly what you mean".

And so it is with furniture. Every part has to be hunted down, killed and skinned. It's a process every time. An enjoyable back and forth process, punctuated with educated guesses, and critical decision making while machines are roaring. Here's a few shots taken during the table build, as though everything went like clockwork.

Flushing the aprons with the legs after glue-up.

Get me Big Will. Will is most comfortable when he's on an edge joint. He just loves a good edge joint. These were a little rough coming off the jointer (I've been getting them damn close on the machine recently but these were a bit tricky for whatever reason). Big Will stepped in and within an hour had three joints just perfect.

The rough table top after glue-up, straight out of the clamps, after glue clean up.

Removing a high spot along one seam. Haven't busted out the cabinet scraper in a while.

Some machine room hand planing. Flushing the rails with the aprons after final glue-up.

My sophisticated jig for routing table top clips mortises. generally double stick tape and some plywood does the trick.

Flushing table top end grain.

The soap finish. An outdoor affair. The most environmental finish known to man. Juxtaposed with a gas guzzling beast. Mankind has a lot of work ahead.