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Vintage Tool & Machinery Swap Meet 2017

vintage swap meetEvery year, in recent history, a local oranization has been putting on a "guy" swap meet in a nearby town. People come from far and wide to sell their items just as others come from long distances to purchase items offered for sale. The items as a varied as you can imagine and what shows up one year may not the next. It's a cornicopia of people and things and a whole lot of fun. This year I put out and offer ... anyone who wanted to join me on a walkabout, we would meet up at 9am at the entrance and go through together from there. Three local woodworkers showed up, 2 immediately ventured off on their own and another an myself got to wander the grounds looking at tools and other items to see if there was anything that interested us. As it turned out, 2 of the guys got a couple of great buys on some tools and I just spent the time taking pictures that were used to assemble this brief slide show of the event.

Just like any swap meet, it's a buyer beware scenario. Some years I have purchased a good item or 2, other years I have purchased items that ended up in the electronics recycdling bin of scrap metal, but I don't talk about my lost deals. In the end, I always have a great time and it was even better this year to share the experience with subscribers and friends ... can wait until next year ...

Making a Table Saw Fence Alignment Checking Jig

table saw fence alignment jigThere is nothing more frustrating than trying to assemble parts to a woodworking project and finding out they don't align properly. Many times we blame ourselves for not being more careful in our cuts or for not taking enough time to make proper measurements, but in many cases it's simply that the tools we are using have come out of alignment and need to be re-tuned or re-set.
On the table saw the item that needs to be re-set the most if ... of course the fence. It is the most used item on the table saw and is constantly being moved back and forth and tightened and loosened and all this activity, will, over time create a small amount of wear which results in the fence being out of alignment.

Every fence for every table saw has some sort of adjustment mechanism. Some are better than others, but all of them can be adjusted. My first table saw has such and awful fence that even when I adjusted it, every time I moved it to a new location, I still had to check and set the front and back separately. It was terribly slow to use, but it was all I could afford and it did the job for me. More advanced and expensive fences are easier to set by simply turning a small set screw but regardless of the fence ... they ALL need to be checked and re-checked from time to time ...

Make a Matched Wooden Knife and Cake Lifter

matching wooden knife and pie lifterMy inspiration for this pair of wooden utensils is that for many parts of the world, spring and summer are the time of year that is popular for couples to join together in marriage and similar civil ceremonies. These events are joyful time for families and friends to come together to celebrate the event and share conversations and food. In many cultures the cutting and sharing of a desert, like a wedding cake is the representation of the joining together of family and friends.

I have watched many brides and grooms cutting cakes with family heirloom swords and knives, but not every family have items like this ... so why not make something that could become future family heirloom ... a knive and matching cake lifter. But these are far from limited to weddings, they could be used for birthdays, anniversaries or any special event where family and friends might gather together.

I have never made these before but looked forward to the experience. I wanted these items be more that just cutting up some nice wood and to make them appear different, I elected to glue together different colored strips to form something of a pattern.

Making a Standing Drink Cooler

custom drink coolerI never understand why some things I build are so much more fun to make than other things, and this standing drink cooler was one of those "surpriose" fun builds. It is meant to be somewhat rustic, after all, it is an outdoor furniture piece, and a great compliment to the Barbecue or backyard grill that is a great place for entertainment and enjoyment.
The concept is simple, find a square plastic container suitable to hold ice, then build a free standing, waist level stand to hold it, give it a lid and in no time you have a standing cooler.

For this build I used pocket holes and suitable screws. I prefer pocket hole technology for out door projects as they hold well and if they become loose over time, the screws can be easily tightened.

Making a Sturdy Cabinet from Reclaimed Wood

reclamed wood cabinetI believe that most woodworkers are very in-tune with where their wood comes from and all of them that I know of, will go to great lengths to use their lumber sparingly to make sure there is a little waste as possible. Many, like me, will also take advantage of obtaining used lumber, also called salvage or re-claimed lumber. There is often a bit more work in using this wood but there is also a bit of satisfaction knowing that it wasn't just simply sent to the landfill or burned, and that it could be re-used for other things. I don't go out of my way looking for this wood, but I never pass up an opportunity when I see it.
In this case I was lucky to get quite a few sheets of 1/8 plywood paneling that had been removed from the interior of a house. I have been using it for cabinet back and jisgs for many many years. When I decided to make this finishing products storage cabinet I immediately though of using my re-claimed lumber stash.

Because I was using 1/8" plywood for the structure, in order to make the cabinet sturdy, I ended up using 2" x 3/4" as the shell to glue the plywood to. This made a very strong but surprisingly light cabinet. Much lighter that say using 3/4" plywood or a similar structural component, and for something that is only holding storage items, this was more than adequate.

I was fortunate to even find used hardware for this project, even the wheels, door pulls and hinges were re-claimed from some other project somewhere and I purchased them from the the Habitat for Humanity Store that I frequently visit and am happy to help contribute to ... they do good work. 
Of course the main purpose of this cabinet for me, is to get all my wood finishing products in one location. I have, on occasion, made trips to the hardware store to purchase product, like varnish, to finish one of my projects, then after I have opened and used it and put it away, I discover I already had a can of this in a place I had forgot to look, so hopefully this cabinet will help me be a bit more diligent in using what I have first .... hopefully.

 

Another Thin Strip Ripping Jig

thin strip ripping jigI am amazed at how many times I need to rip thin strips of wood ... for all sorts of things. Often they are shorter stips, less than 24 inches, but often I seem to make multiple versions of them, like when I am making banding and gluing together many small strips of wood. Then other times I am need a thin strip of wood to cover the edge of a board, like a shelf that I made from plywood and I want to cover the front of the plywood with a nice strip of natural wood. Many, many reasongs for cutting thin strips ...
I remember the first thin strip jig I ever made, it was quick and crude but it worked well until it got lost in the shuffle and probably ended up in another jig or some other project, which mean the next time I needed a thin strip I neede to re-make that jig all over again.

 

Later, after purchasing a pair of magnetic switches, I used them to make another version of the thin strip ripping jig. This version worked well, but it was a bit slower and you could rip almost any lenght of wood with it. That jig and article are featured here, and to see the part of the video, you need to move along to 6:50 in the video  Thin Strip Jig
The new creation I am making in this episode is a different kind of ripping jig ...