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Make a Wooden Sushi Tray with Sliding Dovetail Legs

sushi trayAnyone who knows their way around a kitchen will tell you that cooking and serving good food has as much to do with the presentation as it does with how good the food tastes. I think I would have to agree with that statement because when ever I find myself at any kind of a fancy eatery for whatever occassion it might be. The food is always served in a manner that makes it look as good as it tastes. Often this has to do with the combinations and colors of foods, but sometimes what it is served on makes a difference too.
And so it was that a recent trip to a favorite Sushi Bar inspired me to try my hand at  making serving tray for sushi, and well ... anything else that you might want to serve on it too, like pastries, vegetables or any combination of assorted foods.

What I wanted was something simple, but it still needed to have enough detail to make it interesting without taking away from the food, after all the tray is to enhance the food not distract from it.

To start off with I wanted to platten part to be thick as this is part of the detail. A piece of 3/4" board would have worked as well, but something that is one inch thick makes more of a statement. I thought about what kinds of legs or stands I could use for a tray like this ...

Making a Wooden Cash Tray

cash trayWorking with cash and making change, especially for people who don't work with cast daily, it can be a stressful time ... making sure you give the correct change and not keeping people waiting. One of the things that can be be done is just making your cash more accessible and easier to see and count, just the same way retail clerks give change from their cash registers ... with a cash tray.
These are easy to make, but they do take a bit of time because there are a number of components, and you don't want to make they too big. The best way to start off is to determine how many slots for cash bills you want, and what the size of your money is. The size of your money and how many bays you want will determine the size of your tray and keeping in mind you may also want some change bins in case you are dealing with coinage.

I mad mine 2-3/4 inches high and that was plenty, I think 2 inches would be a better height if I ever had to do it again. I decided on 4 bays for paper money which also meant 4 bins for coins as these were used for the spacing with of the box.

Make a Wooden Entry Door

I don't think there is wooden article that is more diversified than doors. There are thousands upon thousands of different doors in all shapes and sizes, with and without window, highly decorative and exotic to plain and funtional. For this project I am building a door for my outdoor storage and garden shed. I built the shed a couple of years ago and the only door I had that fit at the time was interior door which is not really suitable for putting a good solid lock on, so the goal here is to make a sturdy, functional door that also happens to look nice that can be used to replace that interior door.
For the wood, I will be using a reclaimed Douglas Fir beam about 10 feet look that should contain enough wood to make the entire door if I cut it properly. The beam has been planed flat on one side but otherwise is rough. Three of the sides have also been stained. I do not want to run any of the stained sides through my jointer or planer if I can avoid it. Almost all stains contain some form of dirt that is used for the coloring of the stain and this dirt can be very hard on blades and contribute quickly to their dulling.

The first order of business is to cut the beam to a rough length to make it manageable to handle. The door size is 76 inches by 28 inches so with that in mind I began by cutting the beam to lenght, then in order to cut some widths, it needed to be run through the joint to make at least one edge flat and straight ...

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