The finished breadboard

Once the glue dried, I cut the ends straight across with the jigsaw as shown below

After that, I ran a roundover bit on the edges with a router, and gave it a good sand. There’s a bit of tearout still that I couldn’t quite get out, next time I will know to make sure the grain all goes one way.

The final step was to give it a coat of food safe oil. I used canola spray and rubbed it in well, let it dry then wiped it off, then repeated. It came up quite well I think.




Making Christmas Decorations

My lovely girlfriend decided that she’s like to have more some Christmas decorations this year, and instead of rushing to the shops to by piles of throw away plastic I offered to make her some if she painted them.

This is the first lot, made of 6mm ply to see how it worked. It’s a bit grainy so the next lot will be made out of MDF and spray painted instead of brush painted to get a nice gloss finish. I think she did well given the material though.



Building a Ladder hanger

My workshop shares a small single garage with my car and some of the household items like the whipper snipper and ladders.  They generally live in front of the workbench until I move them to work, then go back when I need to park the car.

I’ve been meaning to put together a hanger for the ladder so I could mount it on the wall out of the way for a while, and as this is Roundtuit Month 2011 I decided that this morning was the time to get it done. Here’s the little alcove I plan to use.

I started by working out how far apart the hooks needed to be, and how far off the wall they needed to sit because the ladder has angled feet and sticks out from the wall a bit. Once that was done, I grabbed a spare chunk of hardwood and used the mitre saw to cut halfway through on each side. The reason for this is that I didn’t want the full block depth to screw to the wall, it would need screws longer than I had around. A few bits of scrap made a handy prop to let me cut out the waste.

Once cut out, clean up the waste with a wide chisel. I have a 32mm Fatmax I like to use for this sort of work, as I can thump it without worrying about damaging a handle on my good chisels.

Once done with one side, do the other the same way, then ease the edges with a block plane and give it a light sand. It’s going to by holding up a ladder not sitting in a furniture shop, but it’s up to you how much effort you put in at this point.

Then it’s a matter of drilling holes for the hooks you bought and attaching them

To mount it on the wall, I drilled a couple of holes in the ends of the wood, then drilled the brick with a masonry bit. Tap a couple of wall anchors in and screw it to the wall, making sure it’s nice and firm, you don’t want the ladder falling off onto your car!. You could use dynabolts here if that’s a concern.

and finally, with the ladder attached. To remove the ladder, lift it above the hooks and pull forward.

There’s room at the side so I might take the opportunity to use that up and get the whipper snipper off the floor as well, or the little stepladder. Now there’s one less thing I have to move to get to my workbench.

Making wooden children’s blocks – 15 minute prototype

A friend asked me today about how to make her child some wooden blocks with limited tools. To answer her I had to go and try it myself. I managed it with a mitre box, a tenon saw, two clamps, a ruler, a pencil, a block plane, a bottle of PVA glue and two pieces of sandpaper – 40 grit and 120 grit.

I grabbed a few scraps of wood and started to work. There’s a bit of maple and a bit of pine that I laminated together for the larger block.

Start by marking out the length. I went for 7cm, seemed a good size. Then cut it to length in the mitre box. Cut two lengths of the pine so you can glue it together.

Glue the two bits of pine together and clamp them. Photos got a bit blurry somehow, will retake when I get time.

Then just use the block plane to take a few 45 degree shavings off each edge of the block to soften the edges, then use the 40 grit sandpaper to soften it some more. Finish up with the 120 grit sandpaper to make it all nice and smooth. You could then paint or oil the blocks with something non-toxic.