Saturday, June 27, 2020

I've Got Wood and It's Rock Hard

Ok maybe not rock hard, it's only European Beech. Moderately hard.

But it's a damn sight better than anything you'll find at Home Despot. This will be making the side skirts, legs and stretchers for my new workbench. The top will be composed of a laminated core of OSB left over from tearing down the hantavirus shed and faced with some more beech that will be coming in on Monday.

I'm excited to get started on this!

Saturday, June 20, 2020

Going Places

I had initially planned to go hardwood shopping today to get some poplar so I could finally get started on my workbench, but the one store I was planning to go to isn't open on the weekend, and another didn't open until 11am, so I had some time to kill this morning.

So, instead of that, I went for a little bike ride instead. It was fun.

I might still go hardwood shopping tomorrow, I guess we'll see.

Friday, June 19, 2020

Incra-mental Improvements

Got a miter fence for my band saw.

It's an Incra V27 which is a pretty well respected brand. They sell fancier models but most of them are too large to be practical on a band saw.

I also took the time to square up the rip fence and adjust the fence ruler thing, since both were pretty far out of adjustment.

Cuts real nice.

Monday, June 15, 2020

Working Out the Kinks

I gave the new bike stand setup a workout this afternoon. I had noticed that the wheels on The Crimson Ghost were a little out of true, so I pulled them out and gave them a little gentle persuasion on the truing stand to coax them back into line. The whole procedure went flawlessly, I'm very happy with the setup.

Also suddenly Blogger has a new UI for writing posts in. I was about to file a bug about the photo insertion widget not working (I had to drag-and-drop all the photos into the compose window on the previous post) but the one in the new UI works so all's well that ends well I guess.

A Box

So I bought myself a jigsaw. This jigsaw didn't come with any sort of bag or case to house it. Naturally I took the simple option and went on Amazon to find an inexpensive tool bag that was sized exactly to fit it.

I get the feeling that the dimensions listed on the Amazon page were a bit optimistic. Ok, plan B: build a box. This begins with the simple step of building a box.

Now admittedly this is a bit of a peculiar way to build a box. Usually you start with the short sides and then either inset the top or have the top lay on top of them. However I wanted the sides, which I was going to attach next, to extend beyond the back of the box to form a pair of feet, and so for the sake of my sanity I decided to attach them last instead.

For the handle, I glued two smaller scraps of shitty 1x12 together, but did so at an angle so as to hopefully reduce the chance of the whole thing splitting along the grain lines and falling off.

It seems to have worked out ok for me, but time will tell if it holds up long term.

The next step of building a box is actually being able to open it, so I took care of that in the usual way.

And then moved on to the step that keeps the two halves from becoming hopelessly separated from each other: installing hinges.

The hinge installation didn't quite go perfectly. Turns out that the cheap chinese hinges I bought weren't manufactured to any reasonable tolerance, and so when I marked all the screw holes in the same place the lid didn't line up quite perfectly.

I cut out and glued on the handle, and then wiped down the wood with some mineral spirits to clean off any dust and grease, and get a look at how it might appear with a clear finish.

Truly horrifying. Ebony stain it is! And a few coats of water poly to top it off.

The photo makes it look like the wood grain has been totally obliterated, but I assure you that it still shows through a little, as you can see here. Of course this photo makes the wood grain look really pale and chalky, in real life the tone is much warmer.

To make this box suitable for containing a tool, the inside really should be finished in felt. Luckily I had some laying around from another project I haven't bothered getting to yet, so 3.75 sheets of self-adhesive adventures later and things are starting to come together.

Now a box that can open is great, but a box that can stay closed is even better. I'd picked up some toggle latches from the middle kingdom and now was the time to install them.

Truly splendid, and easier to install than I initially thought. One item worth noting is that I got the package that included a set of stainless steel wood screws, but they were flat-head screws and the hardware didn't have any countersinking, so had I used those the heads would have stuck up in a most unpleasant way. Instead I purchased some stainless sheetmetal screws from the Home Despot and used those instead for a much cleaner look.

Oh right, and the jigsaw fits inside. That's kind of important.

Any-hoo, project complete and placed into service. A job well done.

Friday, June 12, 2020

Shedding Some Light On Things

My band saw comes with a little auxiliary outlet on the back to plug in an accessory work light that they sell for probably way too much money. I happened to have some LED strip lights left over from a different project, and an extra 12v wall wart to power them, so I decided to stir the three things all together and see what it turned into.


And after:

Ok, so, not the most dramatic difference but my workshop is already pretty bright. It'll probably come in handy if I move the bandsaw over to the side of my car hole such that my fat ass will be between it and the hundreds of watts of overhead lighting I've installed.

And just for good measure, here's the money shot:

I actually bought the 1-ft IEC cable specially for this project, so I wouldn't have a regular 6 foot cable all spooled up in a big wad hanging off the back.

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Getting A Grip

When I set up the workbench / tool chest for my bikes I had it in the back of my mind to mount a bike work stand thing to it. I already have a portable bike work stand, but the fact that it's very lightweight and portable makes it rather tippy, so it's a bit annoying to use.

This will definitely not be tippy.

And it holds a bike quite well!

I may pull the chest away from the wall when working on bikes just to make it easier to get around behind to the drawers, but luckily it's on wheels so that's not a problem.

Up, Up and Away, Then Down, Down and Return

The weather was great this weekend so I slapped on my trail runners and hit the dirt. Ran into a cow-orker and his wife half way up the hill by complete coincidence. I didn't think to snap a photo of them, but I took a selfie later so enjoy looking at my slightly sweaty face.

I ended up going a bit further than I originally planned and by the time I got back my legs were pretty spent. It's now three days later and the soreness in my calves and shins is just fading.

I did see a deer though.


Making Bigger Things Into Littler Things

Stumbled onto a good deal for a used band saw, which I had been considering picking up at some point.

Van life is best life.

I did a quick test cut on it to see if it would accurately shave 1/16th of an inch off the side of a board.

Looks like that's exactly what it did.

Good job, band saw.

The motor can be wired for either 120v or 240v. It comes from the factory at 120v and draws 14a which is quite a bit. Once I rewire the car hole I'm planning to put some 240v circuits in, so I'm going to do the rewiring for it at which point it'll be drawing only 7a which is much less light-flickering. But for now it'll do as-is.

Making Things Whole

Replacement mirror came in.

The glass isn't quite as flat as I might have hoped but it's perfectly functional, and will probably settle in a little as the plastic deforms over time. Maybe. Who knows. I can see through it, that's what matters.