Modifications to the plane till

I have to say I’m finding this whole cleanout process quite rewarding. The garage is actually starting to look neat, I can focus my attention on making sure a handful of tools are tuned up and ready to go instead of half-finishing a pile of them, and it’s also creating a lot more space which is making everything easier to organise.

I’ve cleaned out the plane till a bit and removed a couple of ‘tool shaped objects’ (most notably the Stanley RB10) to a box of planes that may go, and my moulding planes and surform tools are in a box below the till as they don’t get used often. They will end up going as well if I find that they aren’t being used, which I suspect is likely.

I’m now on the lookout for a plough plane and a router plane to finish out the set, these are two recommended by Chris Schwatz and I see the logic behind him suggesting them. I have the body of a Stanley #55 sitting there and I’m considering making a fence and blades for it to fill the plough role, though I may have a Record Plough coming from a friend at the local woodworking group though so will hold off on this until I find out about that one.

I think I might have a go at making an Old Woman’s Tooth router plane, based on Derek Cohan’s guide. I have some Jarrah and brass around so that could work nicely.

Now that the plane till has been cleaned out a bit I decided to move the block planes to the main rack and remove the box I’d added for them, giving me room to hang my spokeshaves and scraper plane. I just marked out the locations and put some brass hooks in and this appears to work, we’ll see how it goes under use.

You can see that some of the planes are still half assembled, I’ve got to finish these up and get them all back together shortly. Once they are all working I’ll see which I use. I can see myself keeping them all when I don’t need to, just because they look nice there, but I can decide that later on.

The keen eye will note the body of a second 4 1/2 in the picture. It’s about to be rebuilt from parts of a variety of planes and will be configured as a scrub plane. I get hold of quite a bit of rough stock and think I’d find one handy. Again, if it doesn’t get used it will go to make room for something I do.



Drill bit storage

I’m constantly amazed at the number of different things a simple drill can do. It can of course drill holes, but with the right bit it can create flat bottomed holes, cut plugs, clean metal (wire brush), act as a grinder, sand and the list goes on.

The problem is storing all these accessories in a way you can find them and also in a way where you will be easily able to put things back where they belong. We all know that if we can’t put it away in a few seconds, it ends up on the floor under the bench!.

Here’s my latest attempt at bringing order to the chaos.

The containers are from the citric acid I use to remove rust, wrapped with insulation tape for appearance. The larger one used to contain herbs. I’ve split the bits into the different types and this way I can just pick up a whole container, take it to the bench and then drop the bits into it when done before returning it to the shelf at the end of the day. The buffing wheels and sanding disk sit in the lower shelf, I still need to find a way to store the rest of the bits and pieces that go with the drill.

More tool racks

It’s been a week since my last post, basically because I’ve been too busy to do anything in the garage. I managed to get a bit done this weekend though.

First on the list was a tool rack for Dad’s old toledo chisels. These are my favourites and I’ve ‘permanently borrowed’ them from him and they’ve been rolling around in a tool caddy since then.

I still had some merbau decking left over from the last racks I made so marked up a piece using another rack as a template.

I cut it to length on the dropsaw and took the corners off with a tenon saw.

Then I drilled holes to match the ferrule size of each chisel with Forstner bits and cut the slots out to let the tools out with a jigsaw.

I used a block plane to chamfer the edges and then gave it a good sand, then using the pegboard as a guide marked out the position of the screw holes.

Then to screw the rack to the pegboard and test it out. Looks good I think. Lift the chisel and turn it sideways to remove, and no chance of them falling out and damaging the edge. I’ve still got a few more tool racks to go though to get all my tools stored properly.





From chaos comes order

I enlisted the help of my girlfriend to help me sort out some of the chaos in the garage today. She’s fantastic at organising things and didn’t have anything planned for the public holiday so I sat her down with some plastic containers from the local $2 shop, her labelmaker and a huge pile of screws, nails, wall plugs and who knows what else.

An hour or so later, three shelves worth of ‘stuff’ was neatly fitted into the five divided containers with labels on the ends so I know which one contains what type of hardware. A bins worth of packaging had been thrown out and I’d reclaimed a lot of space back. She’s got designs on reorganising the whole lot now but if it means I can actually find things I’m not going to argue!

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.

Storing odd shaped tools on pegboard

I’m sure I’m not alone in having a wall or two of pegboard in my garage. I don’t think there’s many woodworkers who don’t have a least some of their tools stored this way. The problem is, while you can get all sorts of fancy hooks for it, what do you do with the tools the hooks just can’t handle?.

There’s pictures below of two different ways I’ve coped with odd shaped tools.

The first way is to shape dowels and glue them into the holes to form a rest for the tool. You can see it here holding up a couple of surform tools. I bought the dowel, cut it to about 2cm longer than I wanted and used a cheap tap and die set to bring the end down to a thinner diameter. A bit of PVA around the edges and a blow from a rubber mallet and it’s good to go.

The second method is a bit more time consuming but can give nice results. It’s making special racks for each of the odd tools, or groups of tools.

I’ve made these out of merbau but you could just as easily use pine or ply. If you look back at the earliest blog posts you can see these racks in the out of focus pictures there, but I’ve taken a few new ones to illustrate them in action better.

These have two L shaped hooks at the back and to put in the pegboard you just tilt them up and then let them fall back into place.

Storing power tools

I only have a few modest power tools, but I’d struggled for how to store them close at hand but without getting damaged. The answer came from a few wire baskets I used to keep toiletries in. These were mounted to the wall with standard masonry plugs and are quite strong, and are mounted below my sandpaper storage racks.