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Why I'm Upgrading Dust Extraction

In this video I'm going to talk about why I'm upgrading the dust collection system in my workshop.  This will be the first of two parts - in this video I'm covering why I'm upgrading, and in the second part I'll show what I'm upgrading to and how I upgraded it.
This is going to be predominantly a talking video so if that's not your thing, you probably won't be interested in this one.
Currently I have 2x 30l shop vacs for dust extraction. One is connected permanently to my tablesaw, the other I use for my mitresaw and bench top sander by simply moving the hose from here to here. Occasionally I'll also connect this one up to my bandsaw if I'm using it for a long time, but usually I just rely on the passive dust collection drawer on the bandsaw. I also sometimes use this one for hand tools like my random orbit sander or circular saw too.  
The one machine that I don't currently have a dust extraction solution for is my planer/thicknesser. That's because the amount of chips it creates really requires a large 100mm diameter hose, and I don't have a way of connecting that up to my shop vacs so when I use that machine, I rely on a respirator and a dustpan and brush to clear up the chips.
There are a few issues I have with my current set up that I wanted to address with my new set up and these are:
Firstly - Health - while regular shop vacs like mine are good for collecting most of the dust and chips produced by machines, they are not good at providing a complete solution for the very small micron particles that are the most harmful to your lungs. The reason for this, and by the way this was a complete surprise to me, is because unless your shop vac is "M rated" and has a HEPA cartridge or bag fitted, and most of them don't, once the shop vac has collected the dust, some of the very smallest dust particles escape from the shop vac through the exhaust of the vacuum back in to the workspace. And when you move around the workshop and disturb that dust, it floats around again and potentially ends up in your lungs again if you're not wearing a respirator most of the time. Those small particles tend to be mainly created by sanding or cutting materials like MDF or hardwoods.  So it was important to me that my new dust system would be rated M class, to deal with those small dangerous dust particles.
Secondly, noise - of my two shop vacs - one is quite loud and the other is even louder.  Most inexpensive shop vacs tend to be rated at around 80 decibels, and if your workspace is close to other people like neighbours, that can be a nuisance, especially when coupled with the noise produced by the machine that you're using that is connected to the shop vac.  For example, my tablesaw is very loud, and it's connected to a shop vac that is also loud.  That's fine for me because I'm wearing ear protection - but I'd like to be less of a nuisance to my neighbours when I use my workshop.  You can buy quieter machines, I've seen some rated at much lower decibel rating so that's what I'm going to upgrade to. And you can also try to contain some of that noise level with sound insulation - which is why I've used Rockwool sound insulation in my extension where the dust extractor will be located.  
Thirdly space.  Having two shop vacs in such a small workshop isn't ideal.  My plan is that my new dust extractor will be the only one that I use for everything, connected up to all my machines.  If I can remove both of the shop vacs I currently use from the workshop in exchange for a new system housed in my extension, that means I can use the space that those machines take up for other things.
Fourth - dealing with dust particles once they've been collected.  For a long time now I've wanted a cyclone system but I've never figured out how I could fit one in to my shop due to lack of space.  But now I have the extension, I also have space in that for a home-made cyclone system that will collect a lot of the chips and dust before they reach my dust extractor.  That means I won't have to clean shop vac filters anywhere near as often.  Currently I clean both of my shop vac filters at least once a month and have to empty the 30l bins quite regularly too.  A cyclone and dust collection bin will make the process of getting rid of chips and dust much easier and less time spent cleaning filters will mean more time in the shop.
So they're the issues with my current system, and while I'm hoping to improve on most of those things with the new system, there are a few challenges to overcome with the new set up.  These are:
Ducting and connectivity.  To extract dust from all my machines in to one dust extractor, I will need to install ducting to all my machines.  In order to do that, I need to decide what size pipe to use, I need to find a way to install them in my small workshop without them being too intrusive, I have to find the right fittings to fit my machines which all have various sized dust ports, and I'll need a blast gate solution so that I can control which machine the suction from the extractor is working on, and I need to find a way to minimise the chances of getting blockages of chips in the pipework.
Convenience - in upgrading to my new system, I'll sacrifice some convenience - and here are two examples.  Firstly, even though my current dust collection is quite basic, it is actually very convenient because both my shop vacs have a power socket built in to them and an automatic start up feature which means they turn on automatically as soon as I turn on the machines that I'm using and turn off automatically when I turn the machines off.  My new system will not have that functionality.  Instead I will need to get used to turning on my dust extractor before using a machine and turn it off when I'm finished.  And if that wasn't enough, secondly I'll also have to get used to opening and closing blast gates each and every time I use a machine.  All of that is going to be really difficult for me to get used to and remember, because I'm so used to just turning on and using a machine without doing any of that other stuff.  
And suction - and this is a complete unknown at the moment, but in theory the suction from my new dust extractor will not be as effective as it should be due to the length of the ducting running from the extractor to my machines.  The longest length it will be running will be around 4m.  I am hoping that it will be OK but that's one of those things that I won't know until I try it.  So it's a bit of a risk.
So to summarise, I think that I'm doing the right thing here and that the benefits of the new system will outweigh the drawbacks - but I can't be sure until I have installed it and tested it out, and by that point I will have done quite a lot of work, and spent a lot of money...  So it's going to be an adventure!
If you have a small workshop like mine, then the 100mm or 4 inch diameter pipes aren't very practical as they take up too much space.
I haven't decided what size I'm going to use yet, but there are cheap options like using PVC pipe, which can create issues with static shocks, but apparently that is very low risk, or more expensive options like using flexible ducting

Building The Workshop Shed Extension (part 2 of 2)

I cut some more spruce at the tablesaw to make some columns that would later support the doors for the extension.  These were glued and screwed on to the frame. I could then add cladding to the front panels.
I wanted one single piece of cladding to run the length of the front of the extension right at the top.
I measured and cut to length one of the cladding pieces.
 I could then offer it up  mark up the position of the doors on to it. I marked a pencil line where I wanted to remove material, and then cut it away with the jigsaw.  I cleaned up the jigsaw cuts with a block plane just to get them straightened up.
Next I needed to rip some off the top of it in order for it to fit in place underneath the roof, and I was going to do that on the tablesaw but then I realised that wasn't possible - as it couldn't go against the fence due to the shape of the workpiece.  With hindsight I should have made this cut first, but it was too late for that so I marked up what I needed to remove and ripped it using the circular saw instead.
That slotted in place nicely so I secured it with screws at each end, and in the middle I cut a couple of filler blocks so that I could secure it in the centre too.
So now that the columns were fitted at the front, the OSB sheet could no longer fit around it, and I couldn't remove it now either, so I needed to cut it while it was in place.  The oscillating tool was perfect for this job - I just cut a couple of notches away and it was problem solved. And I could screw it down
Next I started insulating the shed - I am mainly doing this to cut down the noise as there'll be an air compressor and dust collector inside. 
This stuff is Rockwool sound insulation slabs. I bought two of these packs on eBay for £52, and there was 9 slabs in each pack. I could have just about gotten away with just one pack, but I thought that I might want to double it up in some areas.  
I used an old handsaw to cut it to size which worked well.  This is quite nasty stuff so I wore gloves, and probably should have been wearing a respirator also.
I added to the wall, roof and underneath the floor too.
I used an old salvaged piece of chipboard as a bottom panel just to make sure the insulation wouldn't fall out.
At this point Dylan came by to inspect my work.
And as I was unsure how much weight the wall could take, I thought I'd do a sitting test.  I wasn't quite  confident enough to do a Matthias Wandell style jump test.
I had an old piece of plasterboard so I used that to secure the insulation in the roof.  I secured it with screws in the middle, and cut some blocks of wood to use as cleats to secure it at the sides. 
Next I needed to finish off the cladding, I'd left the awkward bits until last.  I measured the angle of the roof with a bevel guauge and that allowed me to mark up the final cladding pieces for the side panels.  The first just needed a small corner removed which I did on the
bandsaw. And the final piece was cut in the same way at the bandsaw.
Then I ripped a piece of cladding at the tablesaw to 18mm square to create some corner posts.
I ripped a small 45 degree bevel on the corner too, just to make it easier to nail them in place.
Next I started working on the doors. I first ripped a couple of battens at the tablesaw.
I measured and marked up where I wanted the battens to be in relation to where the floor was, as I wanted the bottom batten on the door to close on to the top of the floor if that makes sense....
I marked up the screw positions and then added screws through the cladding and in to the battens from underneath,
Then I could add a batten at the top and I used a clamp just to hold the cladding pieces tightly togehter.
In between the battens I could add more insulation.
I then offered up the door to check it would fit, and it was slightly too big in some areas, so I marked up the high spots with a pencil and used my planer to straighten those out, and then it fit perfectly.
I fitted the doors using these galvanised hinges and some of these security screws to ensure that no unwanted visitors armed with a screwdriver would be able to get in to it.
Next I added a piece of hardboard to the inside of the door, glued and screwed to the battens which would hold the insiulation in place.  I'm just using scrap materials here - as you can probably tell I'm not really concerned what the inside of the shed looks like - it really doesn't matter to me.  
I made the second door in exactly the same way, but it needed to be ripped down to the right width, so I cut a couple of cm off with my circular saw and then fitted it in the same way as the first door.  And I designed the doors so that I retained the tongue and groove overlap where the doors close on to one another so that there is no gap between them.
I chiselled away some of the insulation from the inside of the door so that I could add a small block of spruce, which I could then mount the latch on to.  And I bought a padlock to keep it secure. In future I'll also extend my workshop alarm system to cover the extension too.
That's the extension all done.
I'm pleased with how it turned out, it's a lot more rigid than I expected it to be and I don't have any major concerns about the weight.  I knew the extension itself was going to be plenty secure enough anyway just from the fixings to the workshop wall, I was more concerned about whether the workshop wall itself could take the weight of it if that makes sense - that could have been interesting had it have fallen down.... 
But the workshop walls are bolted together at the corners, so I think it'll be OK.
There are a few things I would do differently if I were to build this again.  Firstly, I would have lined up the cladding of the extension with the cladding of the workshop just for aesthetics.  That never occurred to me until after I'd already added the cladding.  No big deal though.  
Other than that it's pretty much how I envisaged it to be.
There will be a follow up video or videos which will show my new dust collection system.  I thought I'd keep that as a separate video as I'm not sure how many people will be interested in that.

Building The Workshop Shed Extension (part 1 of 2)

In this video I'm going to be adding an extension to my workshop.
The extension will hold be cantilevered from one of the walls of my workshop, to make it as unobstructive as possible in my garden.
And it will be mounted to the uprights of the workshop wall.  It's a bit of an experiment, as I'm not entirely certain that the wall will be able to take the weight - but we'll find out!
And the plan is to use the extra space to install a new dust collection system with a cyclone.
After drawing up a 3D design in SketchUp, I decided to also make it big enough to accommodate my air compressor.
And I'll also insulate the inside of the extension to try to minimise noise from both the compressor and the dust collection unit.
For the frame of the extension I'd use spruce as I had quite a bit of it in my workshop already. It's good for construction and it's lightweight.
All the pieces I had were 38mm thick, so I set my tablesaw fence to 38mm and ripped some 38mm square pieces.
I used the mitre saw to cut the pieces to length based on the dimensions from my drawing.
First I'd make two rectangles to form the side panels of the extension.
I drilled pilot holes and used glue and screwed butt joints for the joinery.
These rectangles would be mounted to the uprights of the workshop wall. I first marked up a plum line using a spirit level to use as a guide.
And I could use the screws that were holding the cladding in place to indicate where the centre of the uprights were.
I decided to use these concrete screws for mounting the frame.   My uncle gave me a tub full of these a while back and this seemed like a good project to use them as they are very long and strong.
I drilled a 6mm pilot hole through the frame and in to the upright in the wall and added the first screw.  Then I could check for plum using the first screw as a pivot point, and add more screws.
To get the next part of the frame at the right level, I first used a clamp to hold it roughly in place, and then I could use the spirit level taped to a 3 by 2, and make the necessary adjustments from there.
And I secured that to the wall in the same way.
Next I marked up the position of the side panels on to the 3 by 2.  THis would be one of two floor supports.  
I cut it to length, and then marked up the material I wanted to move in order to create a lap joint.  I cut the joint by setting my circular saw blade height to the depth of the joint, and then made a series of cuts.  I could then remove the bulk of the material using a hammer and clean it up with a chisel.
I could then secure it to the side panels with glue and screws.  I cut four of these pieces in total, two to support the front and back of the floor, and two for the roof, which were added in the same way, but upside down.
The next part of the frame would be a diagonal brace, which would add a lot of strength and rigidity to the side panels.  I first cut a 45 degree end on the mitresaw, then I could offer it up and mark it up for length, and make the next cut on that mark. 
And then I could glue and screw that in place.
The frame spanned two more uprights in the wall towards the centre of the extension, so I cut another piece of spruce as a filler piece so that I could add some more fixings to those uprights.  I did the same to the top panel, or roof, too.
Next I added some floor support struts. 
These were attached with glued and screwed through the front, and I drilled some pilot holes at an angle to secure the back.
I also cut and added some  small pieces to make up the difference in height between the bottom of the side panels and the top of the floor supports.
And the roof got a central support brace too.
I bought a sheet of OSB and I'd use this for the floor and roof.
I measured and cut the OSB to size with my circular saw, and cut a couple of notches out to fit around the frame.  THe reason I fitted this piece of OSB next was because it would come  in really handy as shelf while I was working.
I already had a couple of pieces of this cladding at home which were left over from the workshop build four years ago, but not enough to do the whole extension.  I used my circular saw to cut the cladding down so I could fit it in my car.
Before adding the cladding, I decided to start working on the roof, as it was due to rain.  I wanted cut some angled roof trusses and there was an obstacle to work around - this security light.
I measured up the height of that from the frame, and made a mark on a piece of spruce that was about 15mm less than that measurement.  I used my tapering jig on the tablesaw to cut the angled trusses, finishing off the cuts at the bandsaw.
These pieces were glued and screwed to the top of the frame. 
I offered up another piece of OSB for the roof, and all looked good.
I had an old scrap of sapele, and I glued and screwed this to what would be the front edge of the roof panel.  This was just to give me something solid to later tack the roof felt on to.
I could then secure the roof panel to the top of the frame.
I got a roll of roof  felt from my local reclamation yard, and I cut a piece to length and added it to the roof.  This fitted nicely underneath the security light fitting. 
I ripped down the top of one of the pieces of cladding using my circular saw and I'd use this to secure the roof felt to the top of the roof. 
And this is when it started raining!
I cut the corner of the roof felt away and then slid it in place, and then added the piece of cladding using some screws.  I didn't film this because - rain - but this is how it looks now it's fitted.
Then I added some roofing tacks in to the piece of sapele that I added to the OSB earlier.
I could then trim off the excess roof felt with an old knife.
I also added some more sapele to the sides of the OSB roof panel, and the roof felt got attached to that in the same way.
Next I started cutting the cladding to length, using my speed square to guide the cuts.
I used one screw in the centre of each cladding piece.  This will allow for seasonal movement as the wood expands and contracts.

Making A Vinyl Display Box

In this video I make a vinyl / records display box using some salvaged oak veneered MDF which came from some bookshelves reclaimed from an old library.

I used mahogany to trim the edges of the box.


Making A Bandsaw Box Desk Tidy

 Recently one of my YouTube viewers got in touch about a commission.  He was looking for a desk tidy to hold some bottles of ink, and some pens with a drawer where he could put his phone, wallet and keys.
He mentioned that he liked the wedding box and chess set that I'd made and said he was happy to let me design something.
So here's what I came up with as a concept.  And my idea was to build the bottom drawer section first as a bandsaw box, and then mount some pieces on top to form the pen tray and ink bottle holders.
The client was happy with the design, and he sent me one of his ink bottles for reference to get the sizing right, and also this beautifully handwritten letter.
For materials I'd use these offcuts of mahogany left over from the wedding box build, and some pieces of 18mm spruce ply.
I started by cutting the plywood to roughly the size of the mahogany pieces - these pieces of ply will be stacked up and laminated together get the box to the required depth.  I used the tablesaw for the rip cuts and the mitre saw for the cross cuts.
The pieces of mahogany would form the front and the back of the box. I cleaned up the faces with a handplane to get them nice and smooth. 
And then I could glue up the pieces using wood glue and some bar clamps
I let that dry overnight and then I could remove the clamps
I scraped off as much of the glue as possible using a cabinet scraped and then cleaned up one face of the block with my hand plane. That gave me a flat surface to reference against my tablesaw fence so I could clean up the opposite side on the tablesaw.  I did this in multiple passes, raising the blade each time.  The blade didn't quite reach the centre, so I finished off flattening that part with the hand plane, checking with a ruler to make sure it was flat.
And then I cleaned up the front and back faces of the block and marked up the shape I wanted the box to be using a bevel guage to mark up a taper.  I also rounded over the corners using a cap from a bottle.
So now I had the block prepared for the bandsaw box.  And this is only the second bandsaw box I've ever attempted, the first one was a couple of years ago and that one didn't go so well.  But since then I got a new bandsaw and I also learned a lot more about how to set them up correctly.  I normally tend to use 12mm wide 3 or 4 tpi blade on my bandsaw as I find that's good for most bandsaw jobs.   But as this bandsaw box was going to be quite small and with some quite tight curves to cut, I ordered a new narrower 6mm 3 tpi blade.  I thought that would be narrow enough to cut the curves I wanted, but a low enough tpi to handle cutting through a block as big as this. 
Last time I made a bandsaw box I got a lot of blade drift - and I've since learned that was due to me using a higher tpi blade - I'm not going to explain why in detail in this video, but I will include a link in the description box to an excellent video by Matthias Wandell which will explain that better than I ever could.
So after swapping out my 12mm 4 tpi blade for a 6mm 3 tpi blade, and setting up the guide bearings, I was then ready to start cutting out the shape of the box.
Here you can see that the low tpi blade doesn't leave a very clean cut, but the main thing was I didn't get any drift, so I was happy so far.
I used my handplane to refine the shape of the box, rounding over the corners to match the markings I'd made.
Next I did a rip cut on the bandsaw to create the back panel of the box.
And then I could mark up the shape of the drawer on to the front panel which I set in about 8mm from the edges
I started to make that cut on the bandsaw, and this is where I had a problem.  I had planned to make two exit cuts, one on each side of the box which I could glue together later, but when I got here, I realised that the blade was not going to let me cut as tight a curve as I needed.  So I ended up making an exit cut here.
Then I cut the rest of the shape out and fortunately this time I managed to cut the curve on the other side of the box without any issues..
So here's what I had now for the carcass: the left panel,  the right and bottom panel as one piece, a top panel, the back panel.  And the piece the block will later form the drawer.
Before working on the drawer I decided to put the carcass together just to make sure it would work out OK, as I was a bit worried that I might have ruined it at this point.
I cleaned up the bandsaw blade marks on the belt sander, and also flattened where the glue joints would be. THen I glued together the exit cut that wasn't meant to happen, I used tape and some clamps to hold it while the glue dried.
And once the glue had set I then glued on the top panel, and applied a couple of bricks to get a tight glue joint.
Next I started working on the drawer, first cleaning off the bandsaw blade marks.
Then I ripped the front and back panel of the drawer at the bandsaw.
And then after cleaning up the drawer front I then marked up the shape of the drawer.
And I cut that on the bandsaw, and this time the cuts went really well.
I sanded the inside of the drawer using my random orbit sander and also an electric file for the curves.
Then I glued on the front and back panel to form the drawer.
There were a few voids in the plywood pieces that made up the drawer, so I mixed up some epoxy and applied some masking tape to the inside of the drawer and then filled them on the outside of the drawer. The tape was there on the inside just to stop it possibly leaking through. 
Then I did some sanding to clean up the carcass, and glued on the back panel.  And more sanding,.  I sanded up to 240 grit, first with power sanders through the lower grits and 240 grit by hand.  I also eased over any sharp edges to make it more comfortable to touch.
I decided to make some feet for the box using some more mahogany.  I cut some small pieces to the same size as the depth of the box, and then I used my hand plane to put a bevel on each side to give the legs a tapered look.
And the position of the legs also meant that the exit cut I made on the bandsaw earlier that wasn't meant to be there would be hidden - which was a nice bonus
I fired in a couple of brad nails to secure the legs, making sure to choose a nail size that wouldn't break through to the inside of the box.
And I also stamped on my makers mark to the bottom.
I wanted the drawer front to be flush with the front of the carcass, so I used a combination of a handplane with the grain of the wood, and a chisel to clean up the cross grain at the sides of the box until it was flush.
Next I started working on the top part of the box and again I used some offcuts of mahogany.  I first squared up the edges at the table saw and mitresaw, and then used a hand plane to clean up the faces.  First I made the trays for the ink bottles to sit in.
The bottles measured just over 55mm wide, I marked up a centre point and then working from that centre point outwardse I marked up the space for three of the ink bottles
The plan here was to cut out the waste where the bottles would be, and then re-assemble it with wood glue so that the wood grain matches nicely.
So ripped the first piece.  Then I realised I hadn't accounted for the kerf of the blade so I needed to extend the markings I'd made by about 3mm and then I cut the centre piece. 
And I tested the width of that centre piece and the measurement was 56mm which was perfect.
So then I could cut out the tray dividers using my cross cut sled.
And after cutting another horizontal piece, I could then reassemble it using wood glue and masking tape.
Then I cleaned it up on the belt sander.
I applied glue and positioned it where I wanted it. 
Next I'd make the pen tray, and this would be assembled with mitre joints.   I first ripped three  thin strips of mahogany at the table saw and 1 45 degree on one end of each piece. 
Then I offered up what would be the front piece to the ink tray to mark it up at the same length and then cut it to length and I checked that was ok.
Then I measured the depth they needed to be, marked them up and cut them to length 
And then I could glue the pieces in place.  I used a scrap of plywood to distribute the weight from my brick. Then I cleaned up the joints
with my block plane.  I also rounded over the front pieces of both the pen and the ink trays.  
After blowing away the dust, I then applied some boiled linseed oil.  I tried not to get the oil on the bottom of the inside of the trays as this is where the felt would be glued later and I wasn't sure it would stick so well to oiled wood.
I got some of this red felt and cut it with a knife to fit inside the trays.
I used epoxy to glue the felt in place.
And I used a block of wood to push it down and then applied some weight.
For the ink trays I could use the offcuts from when I cut the pieces for the ink trays to clamp down the felt.
Finally I applied some clear Briwax to the drawer - I thought this might help it slide better and it did seem to help, but I later added a bit of candle wax and that worked even better.
I wanted to find a small brass handle, and this was the smallest I could find at 20mm.  I found this in a shop called WIlkinsons in the UK.
The bolt was a little long, so I cut it down to length with a hacksaw.
Then I marked up a centre point, drilled a hole and fitted the handle.
After a final buffing of the wax, I could package up the box and send it to the client.

Rustic Coat Racks With Shelves

A couple of years ago I salvaged some hat and coat stands, and I used them to make loads of things like this table top, a neck for an electric guitar, this table frame and this chopping board.
I saved all the coat hooks from them so I decided to make some coat racks.
I found a few pallets recently so I decided to use pallet wood.
So I broke them all down in to pieces, and removed the nails.
And I decided to use some of these wider pallet slats from one of the pallets.
I started by chopping off the ends where the nails holes were.
And I kept hold of the offcuts, and marked up a line across them diagonally, and made cuts following the line on the bandsaw. These pieces would be brackets to hold a top shelf for the coat rack.
I applied glue to the back, and nailed them in place with brads to hold them temporarily and then re-enforced them with some screws.
Then I added another piece of the wood on top of those brackets, which was glued and nailed in place, and then I added some F clamps to get nice tight glue joints
And I decided to paint the rack with some of this green paint I found in my shed, this colour is called sea moss.  And basically I painted quite badly, deliberately, as I wanted these to look rustic.  So I painted it lightly without trying to get it evenly covered.
Then went the paint was dry I used my random orbit sander with a 40 grit disc to remove some of that paint to get it to look worn and weathered, and also to smooth over this rough sawn wood and remove any splinters.
Then I applied a coat of spray varnish just to seal the paint and also to bring out the wood grain.
Next I added the coat hooks, I first found the centre and added one hook there. And then I could position the others and 5 hooks looked like the right amount.  I measured in about 5cm from both sides and added those.  And then I found the centre in between the hooks that had been fitted and added hooks there too.
I then did some final sanding by hand just with 120 grit paper, and added a final coat of spray varnish, Just to the shelf and the sides where I had sanded by hand.
Next I sanded a spot on the back of the rack in the centre so that I could add my makers mark.
And then I sealed that with spray varnish too.
And that was the first rack done, and I had enough of this wood to make two racks, so I finished the second rack with Rustic Pine Briwax just for a different look.

Circular Plywood Coffee Table

I had a few small offcuts of this 18mm spruce plywood, and they were kind of getting in the way in the workshop so I wanted to find a use for them.  These were offcuts from the hifi unit commission that I made recently.
I wanted to make another plywood table top because I really like the last one that I'd made.  But I wanted this one to be quite different in style.
I started by ripping the pieces of ply in to 35mm wide strips at the tablesaw
Then I laid out the strips to check for any imperfections in the layers of ply, and this is good quality stuff so there weren't really any voids in it but there were one or two knots, so I pulled out the worst pieces.
And I was left with enough material to cut a circle around 570mm in diameter. 
I found the centre point and then marked up a circle by measuring the radius of the circle from the centre point. This didn't need to be an accurate circle, this was purely to help position the strips correctly and to help line up the pieces correctly during the glue up.
Next I applied wood glue to each piece, spread it out and lined up all the circle markings. 
I used some bar clamps to clamp the pieces together.  
Originally I was planning to glue up the whole lot in one go, but as the glue up took some time I wanted to apply clamp pressure before the glue set, so I ended up doing the glue up in two halves instead.
I used the edge of a steel ruler just to make sure that the pieces had been clamped nice and flat.
And then I could glue the two halves of the circle together.
After a few hours I removed the clamps and used a cabinet scraper to remove any glue squeeze out.
I could then work on getting the pieces of ply perfectly flush with one another and ensure the table top was flat, so I used my no.5 hand plane.  It was close to flat anyway so it only needed some light shavings removed. 
Next I needed to cut the circle, and I'd do this using the tablesaw.  I needed to make a quick jig to help with this.
I first ripped a piece of oak to the width of my tablesaw slots.  On first attempt it was a bit too tight, so I moved the fence by a very slight amount and took a second pass and then it was a nice fit.
I glued and nailed it on to a scrap piece of veneered MDF, making sure that it would overlap the blade by a few centimetres, and then made a zero clearance cut.
Next I needed to add a pin at the distance from the blade that I wanted the radius of my circle to be.
I used a nail for this, which I hammered in place and then used my angle grinder to remove the head of the nail. I made a few tweaks to ensure it was upright.
 I was all ready to make a start cutting the circle, but then I decided it would be good to add a slight angle to the sides of the table top so I ended up flipping the jig on to the other side of the blade. SO I needed to reset the pin again.
I could then drill at the centre point of the underside of the table top, and put it on to the pin on the jig.
Then I swapped out my insert and angled my blade to 5 degrees.
And I could start making the cuts.  
I'd never tried this method of cutting a circle before, and I was a little bit worried about the blade possibly catching the circle and kicking back as I pulled the workpiece back towards me before making the next pass.  But I just made sure that I was applying enough downward pressure to the circle so that it wouldn't twist, and fortunately I didn't have any problems. 
When it was almost a perfect circle I could then slightly advance it forward in to the blade and spin it to shave off the rest of the material.
The layers of ply looked really cool. 
Next I did some sanding with my random orbit sander at 80, 120 and 240 grit. 
And then I sanded by hand at 400 grit.
And then I applied some boiled linseed oil to pop the grain. 
For the legs of this table I'd use these painted hardwood dowels which came from an old broken parasol. You can see one of them has a crack in it.
I cut away the pieces I didn't need
Then I set up a stop block and cut them to length and I only had enough good material here to make three legs, but I thought that would make for quite an interesting look.
I used a cabinet scraper to remove the paint. I'm not sure what wood this is.
I wanted to taper the legs, and I don't have a lathe so to do this I first marked up a smaller circle on the end of the dowels just as a reference and I used my spoke shave to taper the legs.
And the legs kept getting away from me while I was spoke shaving and scraping
So I ended up putting a couple of scrap pieces of wood in the vise to stop them jumping away, and that worked well.
I also used my block plane to do a bit more shaping.
And then I sanded the legs by hand and this is how they looked.
Next I needed to make some leg support blocks, and I'd use this piece of pine pallet wood.
I first cleaned up the faces with my hand plane. 
Then I cut it to the right thickness at the tablesaw.
And then I cut the blocks to length.
Then width.
And then I cut a 45 degree angle on one side of each of them so that the blocks would be less visible.
And I marked up the centre of each block ready for drilling.
Next I made a simple jig to help me to drill consistent angles through each leg block.
This was just a scrap of ply with some small pieces of wood nailed to it. 
And this shot is just showing what the angle of the leg would be once the holes were drilled
The dowels were 36mm so I chose a 35mm forstner bit to drill the holes. 
I moved the jig so that the drill bit was lined up with the centre mark , and then clamped it to the table.
And then I could drill the hole for each leg.
So I cut another 45 degree angle on to the other side of the blocks,
And then cut a 90 degree angle on to the other side.
Next I needed to take off about 1mm from the diameter of the dowels so that they would fit inside the leg blocks, so I used an old sanding belt for that.
Then I could add glue to the leg blocks and push the legs in. And I drilled a hole with a countersink bit for a 40mm screw which would re-enforce the joint.
Then I needed to remove the excess material at the top of the block which I did on the bandsaw first, and then I cleaned it up with a hand plane.
Next I needed to position the three legs, and I knew that the inside angle of an equalateral triangle was 60 degrees so I set my protractor to 60 degrees, and that helped me to mark up a triangle. I made sure that each point was roughly the same distance from the next, and they were within a couple of mm which was ok.  I wasn't bothered about getting it perfect - I just wanted the table to be supported well and for it to look right by eye.
So now I had the position for the leg blocks.
I decided not to glue the leg blocks to the table and just use screws instead, as I was making this table for sale to be listed on my Etsy shop online - and if I need to package it up and send it to the buyer, it'll be a lot easier to do that with the legs removable.
Finally I just needed to shape the bottom of each leg, and I used my electric file for that.

Girlfriend Makes A Wedding Gift Box

In this video my girlfriend and I make a wedding gift box to hold some gin and tonic.


Rustic Pine Dovetail Bench Seat

In this video I make a rustic pine dovetailed bench seat from an old pine dining table top


VLOG 1 - Salvaged Wood Haul / Work In Progress / New Camera Gear / Tool Talk

0:36 Salvaged Wood Haul
4:26 Coming Soon & Work In Progress
8:00 New Camera & Audio Gear
11:29 Tool Talk - Festool Domino, Makita LXT Trim Router & more
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