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Making a Dowel Length Cutting Jig

dowel cutter jigIn woodworking, the making of jigs is a necessary element to help us work safer, quicker and more effectively. For some time I have been using the Dowelmax doweling jig and it has opened up a whole new world of woodworking for me because I can make things quicker, more accurate and just as strong as using mortise and tenon joints. One of the issues I face  on rare occasion is that the dowels I need to use are sometimes too long, which means I either have to re-drill holes, or cut the dowels slightly shorter. I hate re-drilling holes if I can avoid it because sometimes it can make the holes a bit looser than I like. I prefer the dowels to fit tightly in the holes to give me a better fit and to ensure I get an excellent glue contact. So ... the next issue is cutting dowels. I seldom have to tim more that about a dozen or so, but even that can take a while and cutting them by hand as I have been doing means they are often slightly different lenghts. I have been thinking about some sort of consistent dowel cutting device for some time and I finally came up with an idea that I like.


It is MUCH quicker than cutting the dowels by hand and each dowel is cut to the exact length and even better, it only takes a minute or so to set the jig up, which mean I will use it more often and get better results.

How to Build as Simple Clock

make a simple clockWith all the modern clock movements that are available, building a functioning clock it much easier that it was a couple of decades ago. In the past you had to purchase mechanical time keeping movements, and keep them running. Now, with the highly accurate quartz, battery operated mechanisms, anyone can build clocks.

For me, the first thing a clock needs to be is to be able to tell accurate time, and to be clearly visible in displaying the time. I don't want to have to stop and have to try and calculate the time every time I look at the clock. The second thing I wang the clock to be is at least, somewhat attractive. To help match these criteria, I chose a blank white face, applied numbers at the appropriate locations, then surrounded it all with figured wood.  What I ended up with is a clock that I love, is quick and easy to tell the time from and is a nice looking clock.

Collecting all the parts is the first step with a project like this as there are a number of components, the clock mechanism, the face, the carcass, the numbers for the face, the hands (hour, minute and second) hinges and clasps if you need them and perhaps even some way of hanging or sitting the clock.

Colin's 2016 Year End BLOG & Wood Screw Tip

countersink bitNot one of my dedicated articles ... more like a BLOG on a few topics, starting off with this website's Woodworking FORUMS. There are thousands of visitors who read the Forums and are entertained and informed by them, but only a couple of dozen who actually participate in them ... and that's sad, because we could all learn from you, just as you learn from us.
Remember, you can't do anything wrong ... why, because every post that is made, an immediate email is sent to our "Forum Moderators". If it's offensive or blatent mis-use (such as advertising the much hated Ted's Plans) we simply delete it, otherwise it's good to go.
Here's how to get started on the FORUMS ... log on to the website with your Username and Password (or join the website, it's FREE), go to the Forums and respond to any post that is there. It'd doesn't matter, tell someone you like what they posted, or maybe you have a question of idea for them. It's that easy.  After you get comfortable with that ... create your own topic, maybe a question on woodworking, finishing or whatever. Maybe you want to post some pictures of a project or tool,  or have question about, like finishing or tool use. Go ahead, jump in and give it a try, we are all watching a waiting for some new ideas and comments.
Using SEARCH ... see that little seach box up in the upper right hand quadrant ... that is an amazing tool that can help you find any topic, article or video that has been posted on the website ... ever!  It's a super quick way of finding things, go ahead, give it a try.

 

Moving along now to the wood screw and pre-drilling topic that a few of you have asked about and a perfect topic for a short video clip. The video is self-explanitory how pre-drilling and countersinking can make a huge difference in helping to prevent wood from cracking when using screws. Unfortunately, because we are working with wood even pre-drilling and countersinking do not always work and usually the reason is because the wood structure failed, or that the screw was driven in beyond it's stop which then forced the wood to crack.
One of the best and often quickest solutions for helping to prevent cracking is using a clamp to compress the wood, then driving the screw into the wood, then releasing the clamp. Again this method does not always work but based on the alternative, which is driving a screw into the wood without any cracking prevention, it really does work well.
Well folks, that's it for now ... Thanks EVERYONE, for watching my videos, commenting and Liking, I am very appreciative and to everyone out there, Merry Christmas, Seasons Greetings, Happy Holidays all the best in New Year ... lots of cool stuff  coming for next year.  
Thanks again everyone  .... Colin

Building a Prototype Dust Hood for Sliding Mitre

sliding mitre dust collectionFor those of you who have chop saws or sliding mitre saws and are not happy with the poor (if any) dust collection capabilities of your system, this article is for you. For other information related to this topic, and to see where I got my inspiration for this project, check out the Forums on woodworkweb.com - Dust Collection section, to read and see pictures of what others have done.
For my saw, I am for ever cleaning up the dust, and even though it has one of those "industry standard" dust collection socks, that actually do (barely) work. I did not want to build a honking large dust collection hood around the saw, but rather something small that would be efficient in dust collection. I have seen the pictures and read the reports from others who have made similar adaptions so this would be my prototype to see if, and how well something like this would work on my saw.

One of the great things with doing prototyping is that you learn things you might not have otherwise discovered and confirm other things you suspected  ...

Building a Project Assembly Jig

assembly jigFor most of us who work alone in our workshops, having another set of hands to help hold things would be a pleasant addition. A short time ago I saw a picture of something called an assebly jig, then I looked for more and found all sorts of different versions and most of them looked like a great thing to have in the workshop to help hold projects when you need to work on them and you already have both hands busy.
I alwasy like to try and make jigs that can be worked in more than just one configuration and this version is no exception. I decided that a jig that could work standing up and on it's side would be ideal for almost any occassion, so rather than put a side on the jig, I left it open, knowing that if I needed to make the base more stable, I could easily add a piece to do that at any time, and remove it quickly and easily if needed.

The first thing to find was the lumber and I have lots of scraps around that are perfect for this. I used 1/2" baltic birch for the base and for the uprights. It's very stable and nice to work with. There really isn't too much to say about the cutting and the assebly that it's pretty straight forward in the video and the project is a simple one to make. I think I took me about 4 hours and much of that time was setting up machines and routers to make sure I had perfect corners, edges and that the slot I was cutting for the center would fit the T-Bolts snugly. I'm looking forward to using this little jig in the future ... it should make woodworking much easier going forward.

Working with Laminated Colored Woods

lamiante woodColored, and laminated woods have been on the market in one form or another for quite a number of years. They are often used by wood turners for making high quality colorful pens, wine stoppers, pool ques and other smaller items. If you think of colored plywood, that is what would describe colored laminated woods. The difference is what is used to laminate them together and there are a few products, some of these lamination or glues allow much of the natural characteristics of the wood to remain unchanged. This means these laminated pices are water resistant, but not really water proof. If you submerge them in water, the wood laminates will absorb water, expand and essentially come apart. Other version use more water-proof methods that means the woods are more water proof, but there is always the element that we are dealing with wood and even the best coatings are still covering wood that can absorb water ... eventually. I was excited to get stated on this project, something I have wanted to do for a long time and when my order arrived from webbwood.com I was all ready to go.

Because these laminate woods are similar to plywoods they are not ideal for those of us who prefer to use flat wood, as in cabinet, box, chair, shelf, table and similar kinds of flat, square projects. These laminate woods look best when they can be integrated into curved, rounded or coved kinds of cuts. It is only in this way that the true colors and laminations can be seen an appreciate, not unlike what wood turners do when they make round things on their lathes. For some time I have wanted to see what kinds of projects can be made that we can use to as features or other elements in our flat wood projects. Things like door handles, door knobes, hinges, design elements in chairs and tables, curved edge in fronts and other similar ideas.

Having never worked with this kind of wood today, naturally I jumped into something I have never done before - make a knife handle ...