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Box Making – Every Dovetail deserves an adjustment

September 15, 2021 Leave a comment

There are people that make perfectly fitting dovetails every time and I don’t envy their lack of opportunity to adjust the dovetails they make. Typically I will have at least one dovetail that needs some work along with a saw cut that went a little too far and perhaps somewhere the wood chipped. Frequently I can also pick out the dovetail that was cut first. Which suggests that I should make a practice dovetail to increase my focus before beginning on the real thing.

With this box I have three corners that look good with only a couple of minor changes required but the fourth corner needs a little work. Nothing major the joints are strong and fit well just a few cosmetic touches.

Filling in the minor gaps is simple, find wood that is similar in color ensure you match end grain to end grain and long grain to long grain and trim the wood to fit the gap and glue in place. Once the glue is dry trim with a chisel and plane it smooth. In most cases the gap disappears and will never be noticed. If needed you can fill in some fairly large gaps!

Categories: Cherry Box

Box Making – Glue Up

September 8, 2021 Leave a comment

Before glueing up the box I needed to install the grooves for the future sliding door. I thought this could be done quickly on the table saw, but after a minute realized that it would not leave a flat groove since the saw teeth are offset. I grabbed the plow plane and in a few minutes had a 3/8 inch upper groove and 1/4 in lower groove completed. In most of the woodworking I do, it is often quicker to do the work by hand and much more pleasant.

There are more clamps then usual since I continued to have some minor warping from the humidity. I did not glue the back or shelf in place just let them ride free in the grooves.

This is a typical dovetailed box with only the integrated divider to consider so I didn’t plan on extensive practice prior to putting it together. But I did lay out all the clamps and place some brown paper on my bench. I did make some cauls to help glue the ends and then forgot to take a picture of the final glue up.

There are people that make perfectly fitting dovetails every time and I don’t envy their lack of opportunity to adjust the dovetails they make. Typically I will have at least one dovetail that needs some work along with a saw cut that went a little too far and perhaps somewhere the wood chipped. Frequently I can also pick out the dovetail that was cut first. After the glue up we’ll se how I did.

Categories: Cherry Box

Box Making – Wood Prep

August 11, 2021 Leave a comment

Local hardware stores provide great service and often have greater service then the big box stores. The 4MM bolt that I needed to fix the planer took me to three stores before it was found. I realize that everyone needs to make a profit and that it is costly to keep inventory that has low turnover but three stores to find two screws?

With he planer fixed and adjusted I proceeded to prepare the pieces for the walls of the box. The piece of lumber that I had was 25% pith so I ran it through the bandsaw and planer to get it down to the 1/2” thickness.

Careful with the order of the boards to maintain some congruity with the grain direction I could envision the dovetails and final look. Next I grabbed boards to glue up for the back and carefully laid them out to keep the grain looking similar.

After many years of woodworking its only in the last couple that I have made more effort to watch the grain and it certainly pays of in the finished project. Next dovetails and rabbits.

Categories: Cherry Box

Box Making halted by a 4mm Screw!

July 21, 2021 Leave a comment

Warm water splashed my face as the river’s rumble passed into the darkness, it is warm, very warm. With a jerk I find myself awake, a thunderstorm rumbling overhead and Scout licking my face looking for comfort.

Admittedly it has been a long time since I jumped headlong into a project. The shop is all but complete and my excuses no longer hold sway. Grabbing a piece of cherry left over from another project I began sizing it up for a couple of boxes I noticed in Mike Pekovich’s book ‘The Why and How of Woodworking’ not sure I’ll make the exact box, but its a simple way to get back into the swing of woodworking.

Bad Axe Tool Works D8 Cross Cut Saw

The cherry board that I have on hand is 5/4 and I need to get it down to approximately 1/2”. It’ll work great because approximately half the board is the pith. I used my Bad Axe Tool Works D8 saw to break the board down and there was a big smile on my face the entire time. The saw was singing and dust dropped quickly onto I the floor. There is something very satisfying about cutting cherry with a hand saw. If you’ve never used a Bad Axe Saw try one, the filing is magnificent. Even if you don’t get the chance visit the web site its full of great information about saws, saw sharpening etc.

Grabbing the Sargent 409 I flattened one side of each board in preparation for running it through the planer. My jointer sits in its box by the door and I can’t recall the last time I sued it. Just seems quicker to use a hand plane and a lot more pleasant! Turning to my planer I check the bed to make sure I eliminate as much snipe as possible and notice that one corner is sagging. A quick peak and the problem becomes clear a small screw 6mm to be exact is missing and there is no doubt that if it’s in my shop I long since swept it up! Stumped for the lack of a tiny screw!

Categories: Cherry Box

Roubo Gap Stop Revisit

June 25, 2021 2 comments

Last week I posted about my Roubo gap stop. This was actually written last November and I failed to post it. This week I revisited the gap stop and made a few changes. Below is a picture of the puppy you saw in the post 40lbs heavier.

The gap stop was functional but with a very humid spring it needed some adjustment. After looking at it carefully I decided that it really needed to be reworked. First step was to correct the gap between the two bench tops.

I unbolted the sections and using a #7 Plane worked them down to the correct width. Next I found a couple of new boards and dimensioned them carefully, removing all of the twist and getting them to the correct width. The new boards along with a couple of extra blocks were glued together and when dry they only needed minor modification to fit into the slot. The rebuild of the gap stop took approximately half the time that I spent trying to fit and adjust the improperly made first stop.

Categories: Roubo

Gap Stops, and Puppies

June 9, 2021 Leave a comment

The day started early with what appeared to be a simple glue up with minor adjustments. Let no one think that the simplest of pieces take the least amount of time. The Roubo bench has many features that make it the most critical tool in a Hand Tool woodworkers shop. In the version I am building one of the features is the split top and subsequent gap stop. It’s another work holding device that I hope will become a useful tool.

Split Top Roubo Bench

Making the gap stop consists of gluing spacers between two pieces of lumber and fitting it into the gap. Nothing simpler, a great start to the day! It’s now one day later and it just fits, needs more adjustment and on top of that I’ve got a nice dent in the wall to repair….let me explain! Oh and I’ve not told anyone about the dent so let’s keep it quiet.

The Gap Stop consists of two boards, the length of the bench, approximately 1.5 inches wide. Spacers are used to glue the boards together providing a stop mid bench that can be used for planing against. The spacers also provide an area where tools can be placed so they don’t roll off the bench.

I cut the two outer boards and all of the spacers that would be needed. The two outer boards twisted magnificently and required a lot of work to get them close to flat. Then I checked my measurements and realized it was a little wider then I intended. Not to worry I planned to run it through through my planer. Next I check the actual gap between the two parts of the bench and realized that they were also a little wider then planned. So being In a hurry I clamped the boards to the table to prevent twist and glued everything up. Next morning I had a slightly twisted gap stop that wouldn’t fit in the gap. So I ran the gap stop through the planer. It only took two passes to begin showing a very strange variation in thickness.

Standing and staring at the stop for a minute I realized that the stop was flexing in the planer under the pressure from the guide rollers. I set them on the bench and hand planed them to fit.

A couple of thoughts that may help someone in the future. Make sure your boards have no twist, add a couple of additional spacers. Secure your work piece before planing, Be familiar with your tools and how they operate. Don’t assume the small stuff is easy! Enjoy the puppy picture!

Categories: Roubo

Roubo Workbench – Bench Dogs

October 31, 2020 Leave a comment
<p class="has-text-align-left" value="<amp-fit-text layout="fixed-height" min-font-size="6" max-font-size="72" height="80">The tail vise (wagon vise) is of no use without providing something to clamp against. In this case the Bench Dog becomes the opposing force. Many people use round dowels and it certainly would make things easier wehn making and drilling holes for their placement but the design of these bench dogs is unique and it looks like a fun project. The challenge is making fourteen of them. Clearly this is when a production line is a great choice and using power tools will speed up the process. I followed the guide suggested by the Wood Whisperer and it only toolk a couple of hours to complete. The first step was making a model which is shown below.The tail vise (wagon vise) is of no use without providing something to clamp against. In this case the Bench Dog becomes the opposing force. Many people use round dowels and it certainly would make things easier wehn making and drilling holes for their placement but the design of these bench dogs is unique and it looks like a fun project. The challenge is making fourteen of them. Clearly this is when a production line is a great choice and using power tools will speed up the process. I followed the guide suggested by the Wood Whisperer and it only toolk a couple of hours to complete. The first step was making a model which is shown below.

Beginning with hand tools, I made the first dog to get the correct size and shape. Most of you know that the majority of my time is spent using hand tools, however I do have the option of power tools when it makes sense and with 14 pieces exactly the same making a jig and mass producing them is a better use of the little free time I have. I’ve probably used a router more on this bench project then the last 10 years in total and although it’s far from my most favorite tool, it handles this job well. Beginning with hand tools, I made the first dog to get the correct size and shape. It took a bit of time assembling my router table, mostly spent looking for the assembly manual (hidden carefully in the box with my routers.) Next I assembled a jig using pallet wood from the construction dumpster next door. The design is from the WoodWhisperer, and it took an hour to put the jig together and rout the final shape for all of the Bench Dogs. Notice that the router produces a rounded shape rather then the squared off shape I made by hand. No worries they work just fine.

Categories: Roubo

Roubo Bench Tail Vise

October 26, 2020 1 comment

A year of waiting to woodwork has produced one lone thought, where the heck was I. Looking at the bench I recall a frantic weekend to put together as much as possible and carefully pack the benchcrafted parts. However remembering the step I was about to take is in a recess of my mind. One thing is clear, I need to complete the tail vise or Front vise before moving forward.

After some contemplation I set to work on the tail vise. It appeared to be a quicker installation and I’ve yet to determine the shape of the chop on the front vise. It took time and some final adjustment, but I inserted the rails into mortises, adjusted the bolt holes and screwed it together.

Really happy to have the center punches to mark the holes. It’s one of those tools that aren’t essential but make a difference. I picked mine up at Lee Valley but I think you can get them most woodworking stores.

Some work the plane and saw and it’s all together.

Categories: Roubo

Bench Dog Design

January 5, 2020 5 comments

Wandered through an antique shop today and noticed several benches and tool chests. Typically I prefer junk stores since their pricing is reasonable and people understand what you are looking for and how it’s used. During my wanderings there were several benches, but the dogs on this bench caufgt my eye.

IMG_7320

Perhaps I should have looked at the price of the bench, but by the time I was in this part of the store sticker shock had worn off and I was in cruise mode. It’s a very nice bench with decent proportions and a couple of nice vises that worked well. I imagine this will ultimately end up in a kitchen somewhere.

The bench dogs were quite large and moved smoothly up and down. They were held in place by a thin piece of wire.

They did not appear to hve been used often but I can imagine the wire would eventually create a groove in the bench top. Don’t think I will change the design on my bench but always fun to look at options.

Categories: Roubo

Roubo Bench Top Attached

October 11, 2019 2 comments

Travel has gotten the best of me this year and projects that should take hours are taking weeks. I’ve put woodworking aside to spend time with family and my furry friends. Hobbes is sleeping now so I’m slipping out to attach the bench top.

With both sections of the top complete, I only have to cut the mortises to attach the top. A small task that took surprising little time. Again careful measurement was the key and handling the bench was a struggle. The weight of the bench is one of the reasons I gravitated towards it but it does present building challenges.

Categories: Roubo