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Making Pet Beds

In this video I make some miniature beds for cats and dogs or other small pets out of some reclaimed pine bed slats.


Repairing A Vintage Display Cabinet (Part 2 of 2)

In this video I repair and restore a vintage display cabinet. I sand and re-finish the top, re-finish the legs and make new shelves for it.

In the last video - part 1 - I repaired the legs on the display unit.  I made new wings for one of the legs and after sanding the leg I needed to try to match the colour of the other legs on to this one.

I first applied some of this dark teak stain, and that did a pretty good job of blending in the colour of the new wood with the old. I I applied two coats.
And because the other legs had a slight red coloured tint to them, I thought I'd try some of this mahogany varnish, which also has a red tint to it, and that helped to blend the colours even more and by this point there was really no discernable difference between the colours of the repaired leg and the old ones, so after letting the varnish dry I applied some spray varnish.  
And when that was dry I sanded at 400 grit, to get the finish smooth, and then wiped away the dust and applied a second coat. And I was happy with how it looked - it was a prety good match so I left it there.
Next I did some sanding to the side of the unit which had had some damage to it, and I then I started work sanding down the top.  The top was solid wood so I didn't need to worry about sanding through any veneers.  I sanded at 80 with my random orbit sander and the old finish clogged up the paper quite a lot so I went through a few discs. Then I sanded at 120 and then 240 by hand. 
And I also sanded the veneered back panel by hand.  For some reason it hadn't occurred to me to look and see if I could remove the back panel first - which was a bit stupid of me - and more on that later.
Then I wiped the surface clean with some mineral spirits.
And then I hand sanded at 400 grit. 
And then I applied boiled linseed oil to nourish the wood.
When the oil had dried I applied spray varnish.  I chose it as a top coat because I knew it would be hardwearing which I think is required for a top like this as it's bound to have drinks and things put on top of it at some point in it's life.
Then I wet sanded with mineral spirits at 400 grit to smooth over the finish. 
Now before I got to applying a second coat of the spray varnish, I noticed that the back panel was simply screwed to the top from underneath.
So at this point I created more work for myself, and decided it'd be better to remove it, as that would give me access to the whole top, and better access to the veneer on the back panel too, but ofcourse that meant that I needed to start again with the re-finishing process.
So I used a cabinet scraper to remove as much of the top coat that I could, and then sanded back to bear wood once again.  It was quite annoying having to do this again, but it was my own fault for not thinking it through before jumping straight in to it - and I thought it would be worth it to do this again and do it properly.  
So after sanding again, and wiping away the dust again I applied spray varnish again, then I wet sanded again at 400 grit, and applied a second coat. Then I wet sanded again at 600 grit and applied a third coat. 
I used an 80 grit paper on the belt sander to remove the veneer.
I sanded at 80, 120 and then 240 grit with my random orbit sander to remove any marks left by the belt sander.  And then I used the dark teak stain again to better match the colour of the top.  After staining I sanded by hand at 400 grit and then applied some more of the mahogany varnish to give it more of a red tint.
And when that was dry I finished with spray varnish, sanding between coats again using the same method as I had for the top.
And it turned out pretty good.
So then I added the old screws again but the panel still fitted quite loose so I drilled some new pilot holes using a right angle drill attachment, and then added new screws and it was nice and solid after that.
The next job was to make new shelves for the unit, so I first measured up the internal dimensions. 
For the shelves I'd use some of these oak veneered pieces of MDF that I salvaged some time ago from a book case.  I wanted to use what I had rather than buying something else.
I first needed to remove the solid oak trim, these were joined with glue and biscuits but a mallet loosened them up.
Then I cut them to length at the mitre saw.
And then I drew one half of the semi circle just freehand, and cut that out on the bandsaw. I used a handsaw to finish off the cut at the halfway mark
And I could use the offcut flipped over to mark up the other half of the shelf, and cut that on the bandsaw too.
I also cut off the protruding biscuits from the back edge at the bandsaw too.
Next I could scrape off the old finish with a cabinet scraper and sand back to bear wood.
I could then used the solid oak pieces of trim to make a new edge banding for the shelves to hide the MDF edges.
So I ripped some very thin  slithers of oak, probably about 1-2 mm thick.
and then I could glue them on, holding them in place with an F clamp in the middle and plenty of masking tape.
After a few house I removed the tape and then used a blockplane to flush trim the edge banding to the shelf.
I didn't have enough of the dark teak stain left to do these shelves so to get them to better match the rest of the unit I used some walnut coloured Briwax instead.  I wasn't really trying for a perfect match here, just a better match.
With one shelf finished, I could then mark up the next piece and I made the second shelf in the same way.
Next it was time to fit the shelves, and I found to get them in through the doors and on to the pins needed to be done in a certain order, otherwise they wouldn't fit.
Finally I just needed to give the unit a good clean, I used glass cleaner on the glass and hoovered the inside.
That's the display cabinet finished and I'm really glad I managed to salvage this - as soon as I saw a picture of it I really wanted to fix it up and give it a new lease of life.
I don't have space for this in my home unfortunately, but after posting a photo of it on social media, I do have a buyer lined up for it - and I'm really happy that it's going to a good home.
This project took me around 15 hours to complete, and it's difficult to make a financial profit on this kind of project, mainly because display cabinets like this one aren't particularly fashionable at the moment so they can be bought secondhand for not a lot of money, but they are usually in really bad shape - whereas this one is now probably stronger than it's ever been, and I think it looks fantastic, I really like the style of this particular one.   
If the unit had been a more valuable piece of furniture, an antique for example, then I definitely would have done more of a sympathetic restoration - for example I would have used modern screws - so this was more about fixing it up and making it a useable piece of furniture rather than restoring it as such. The reasons I'm pointing this out is because I usually get some criticism in the comments on these videos from one of two extremes - I either get people telling me a piece of furniture like this is not worth wasting my time on, or from the other side saying that I've not done the restoration sypathetically enough. But what's important to me is that I've saved this piece of furniture from being thrown away, and it's now in a condition where it should be a useful piece of furniture for many years to come.
One thing that I didn't manage to fix on this project was to find a key for the lock.  There is a lock number on the lock, but after doing some research, unsurprisingly it doesn't seem like these are available to buy anymore.
So what I'll probably do before the buyer collects it is to buy and fit a brass handle for the door, just to make it easy to open and close.
Thanks for watching as always. Please subscribe for mre weekly videos from me if you haven't already, and if you'd like to support this channel and what I do, please consider becoming a Patron over at my patreon page.

Repairing A Vintage Display Cabinet (Part 1 of 2)

In this video I repair and restore a vintage display cabinet. I sand and re-finish the top, re-finish the legs and make new shelves for it.

Recently a friend of mine sent me this photo of a display cabinet that he'd spotted by a skip on an industrial estate.  Unfortunately at the time I was hundreds of miles away at a wedding so I couldn't go and check it out, but I really liked the look of it and after speaking to my brother - he was kind enough to go and look at it for me - he got in touch with the company where the skip was - a company called Carpets Plus here in Norwich and the manager there was really helpful and said that he could come and take it away.  So a big thank you to Carpets Plus!

I started by removing the two back legs and the one loose front leg as they all needed some repair.
I used the belt sander to flatten the top of the leg.
I wedged an awl in to the crack to open it up and got as much glue in there as I could.
And then I could glue on the other piece.
I sanded the bottom of the cabinet ready for the leg to be re-attached
Then I glued and nailed the leg support piece to the back of the leg.
Then I could add glue, drill pilot holes, countersink and screw the legs to the bottom of the unit.
I used the bandsaw to cut away the woodworm damage to the wings of the leg, and then I removed the rest with the hand plane
I cut two pieces on the bandsaw, one for each wing to form the new leg. 
I used the electric file to smooth over the curves.
then I applied glue and added the wing
So I marked up the second wing , cut it out and refined the shape as I had for the first wing.
And then I could glue and nail it in place, and shape it to match the curvature of the left using my electric file.
I then added new support blocks to the back, securing in place with some brad nails before adding screws.
The leg came off without too much effort.
I used the disc sander to remove the old glue and get a nice joint, and then re-glued it with pin nails and a squeeze clamp.
I used a chisel and some sandpaper to remove any old glue from the surface and get back to bare wood.
After drilling some pilot holes I then flattened the top of the leg.  I did a dry fit and it wasn't sitting very well so I made a few more refinements befor adding glue and then securing it with screws. 
I added kind of a pocket hole by drilling at an angle through the leg supports and in to the leg itself to add some more strength.

Testing Biscuit Joint Strength - Do Biscuits Add Strength To A Woodworking Glue Joint?

In this video I test the strength of various materials like melamine, plywood, MDF and solid wood with biscuits and without biscuits to see if biscuits add any strength.

I've heard people say that biscuits are purely for alignment, but others say that they add strength.

The results were very surprising to me!

Hifi And Vinyl Unit Commission

In this video I make a commission hifi and vinyl unit from some plywood.

I started by designing what the client wanted in SketchUp.

I ripped the pieces of ply in to more manageable pieces using my circular saw and a straight edge, and then I could make the finer more accurate cuts on the tablesaw.

I cut mitre joints at each corner of the unit on the tablesaw using my panel cutting sled.

I also cut housing joints for the shelves.

I also used the biscuit jointer to install the front panel, just to get it perfectly aligned.

Dowels were added through the side panels to help support and strengthen the shelves and top and bottom panel - I simply drilled holes for them and glued them in place, cutting off the excess with a flush trim saw and sanding.  The dowels would be visible but I like how they look.

After sanding all the panels, I then routed out a rebate joint around the back of the unit to accommodate a back panel which was a 5mm hardwood plywood.

For finish I used boiled linseed oil followed by a walnut stain Briwax at the customer's request.



So in part 1 of this video series I made the chess board, and in part 2 I made the chess pieces, and in this video I'm going to be making a box to hold both the pieces and the board.
I'd mainly use mahogany for the box, this was an offcut from a wardrobe panel that I used to make this mahogany box recently.
I started by ripping it to the height that I wanted the sides of the box to be and then I cleaned up the pieces using my thickness planer.
The mahogany was quite thick, so to get more out of the material I re-sawed it at the bandsaw, and then thickness planed again to remove the bandsaw blade marks and ensure they were all the same thickness.
Then I cut 45 degree mitres at the corners with the pieces sized to fit around the chess board.  I used a stop block to get consistent cuts
I marked  up for some housing joints which I would cut to accommodate some pieces which would split the box in to sections where all the chess pieces would be stored.
I lowered my tablesaw blade to half the thickness of the mahogany.  Then I cut the housing joints wide enough to accomodate the pieces which were around 6mm.  My blade kerf is 3mm so I could make the cut in two passes.  I used my cross cut sled and a stop block again to ensure my cuts were consistent on each piece.
I cleaned up those cuts with a square file.
And then I could assemble the sides of the box. I used masking tape to hold the pieces at each joint together and also to prevent glue squeezeout on to the wood.  I applied wood glue and added some elastic bands to apply pressure to get nice tight joints.
Then I checked the box for size, and the chessboard fitted in nicely with about 1mm of play around the perimeter which I was happy about.
Next I could mark up the length of the partitions and cut them to length at the mitre saw.
There were five partitions to add, one which I wanted to be almost the same height as the sides but about 10mm less that the chessboard would sit on, and four half height ones that would later hold the chess pieces. So I ripped some of the pieces at the tablesaw for the ones that would hold the piecse.
I applied some tape again to keep the glue up clean.  
And here I'm ripped the centre partition to 10mm less than the sides. I then glued that in place.
Here I'm cutting some more plywood for the bottom of the box, this is the same plywood that I used in part 1 for the base of the chess board.
I glued that to the bottom of the box. And once it was dry I planed the edges flush with the sides. And the end grain of the ply will later be hidden by some trim pieces.
I did a bit of sanding to the sides of the box with my random orbit sander at 120 grit/
For the half height partitions I could then figure out the spacings to get the pawn chess pieces equally spaced. I'm useless at maths so I rely on a calculator for everything   .
 I first marked up where the centre of each piece would be, and then centre the pawn by eye to the marks, and marked up the width of the pawn.  I'm not going for precise accuracy here, just that the pieces look equally spaced by eye.
I set my tablesaw blade to about 10mm in height and made the cuts to remove material based on the markings I'd made.
Then I could check the fit, and one or two slots needed to be cut a fraction wider.
I cleaned up the slots with my electric file.  This is such a useful tool and I use it far more than I ever expected to.
I could then make the cuts to the rest of the partitions and then glue them in place
With the glue dry I could then remove the tape.
Next I set up a stop block on the cross cut sled for cutting some slots in to the back of each chess piece so that the chess pieces would slot neatly in to the box.
I moved the fence by 3mm, and then made another pass to widen the slot.
And then I cleaned up the cuts with a file.
I used the calipers to figure out how high I wanted the sides of the box to be and then set my fence and made the cuts.
I used the hand plane to get the central partition flush with the sides of the box.
And then I used a couple of sacrificial scrap pieces of wood in order to balance the router with a straight bit installed, on top of the box and I used that to cut away the material and lower the height of the partition.  I took two passes to get it to the right height.
I could then do a bit of clean up with a chisel and some sand paper.
Next I ripped some more pieces of beech to create a trim for the box.  I mitred the trim at the mitresaw and then applied glue and clamped it in place with elastic bands and small F clamps.
I did a bit more clean up with a hand plane and sanding and the mitre joints looked really nice.
And I added another mitred trim at the bottom to hide the plywood endgrain.
I ripped a piece of mahogany at a 45 degree angle on the tablesaw and then cut them to length at the bandsaw.
I pushed the corner supports in place until the hot glue set.
Next I applied some teak oil finish to the box, and in one or two places you can see there was some dried up glue, so I scraped that off with a chisel and applied oil again.
Unfortunately the board didn't sit level on the corner supports at first so I needed to chisel away some material to remove the wobble.
Then I applied oil to the inside of the box.
And finally I made a few finishing touches, I added these adhesive rubber feet to the bottom of the box, I cut some more felt and used epoxy to glue them to the corners of the chess board so that the board won't damage any surfaces, and the felt would also cushion  wouldn't scratch or damage any surfaces and also it's a soft layer in between the board and the corner supports of the box.
I also added some of this gold ribbon to either side of the bottom of the chess board, which I attached with a drawing pin after making a small hole with an awl.  These would be used to lift the board out of the box.
Then the box got a spray varnish finish to give it some protection. 
And finally, I added my branding to the bottom of the box using a rubber stamp and sealed it with some more spray varnish

The Chess Set (Part 2 of 3) - The Chess Pieces

To make the chess pieces I'd use this offcut of sapele for the black pieces and some beech for the white pieces, so I started by ripping the beech to the same size as the sapele which was 27mm square.
This beech came from an old table frame that I found by some bins.  I also have the table top from the table which I haven't got round to using for anything yet.
Next I started cutting the pieces to length at the mitre saw. I started with the longest pieces which would be the king and the queen, and gradually made the pieces shorter and shorter until I got to the pawns which would be the smallest.  I used a stop block to ensure that all of the pieces of the same type would be the same height.
I didn't have much of a vision for what each of the chess pieces would look like at this point, but I had a few ideas and I wanted them to be quite minimal and sculptural in design 
I'd start with making the pawns and I had the idea to make a tapering jig so that I could add a taper to the left and right hand side of each piece.  I used a scrap piece of wood which I stuck to the bandsaw table using hot glue as an attempt to get consistent cuts to each piece.
This method didn't work too well because as I pushed the pieces through the blade with a slight sideways force, the blade was deflecting a bit so I wasn't getting the best cuts.  But I perservered with it anyway just to finish all the pawn pieces in the same way, but as soon as those were done I wouldn't use that method again for the others.
Once all the tapers were cut, I used a large washer to mark up a rounded edge at the top. It would have made more sense to do this before I cut the tapers, but this is what happens when you're making stuff up as you go along!
I cut off the corners crudely on the bandsaw, and then did the more refined shaping at the disc and belt sander.
At this point I put them on the board and then decided that they would look better with a taper on the back too, so that they would appear to be leaning forward slightly.   So I made a mark about 5mm in on each piece and then drew a line from that mark to the bottom corner.
And then I made those cuts freehand at the bandsaw and cleaned up the cuts on the belt sander.
That was the pawns done, and next I moved on to the rooks
First I marked up a taper to th e sides and backs again as I had for the pawns but this time I made the cuts freehand at the bandsaw which worked much better than using a jig as I had previously.
I cleaned them up on the bandsaw and then marked up a design for the top, the shaded areas would be the waste material.  I made the cuts on the bandsaw, and then did some filing to the top to clean up the bandsaw cuts.
Next I could make the knights, and I knew this one was likely to be the biggest challenge out of all of the pieces
I decided to make a cardboard template for this, so started by marking up a taper and then sketching the outline of a horse shape.  I am not good at drawing, but just did the best I could.  I cut out the template with a knife and then used this to mark up the shape on to each of the four pieces of wood
I then cut out the profile on the bandsaw
Then I marked up a taper for the sides and cut those too
And then I cleaned the tapered cuts at the belt sander.
Next I marked up the shape of the ears and cut those out on the bandsaw too.
And then I did some shaping of the horses head using back strokes on the blade to carve away material.  And I recognise that this isn't the safest of methods, so please don't try this at home and also don't feel the need to point this out in the comments.
Next with my electric file held securely in the vise, I did some more shaping
And then I did some final work with a chisel and some sand paper to clean them up.
And they ended up looking a bit like a moomin. 
Next I made the bishops. I cut a taper at the back the same way as I had on the others.
Then I marked up a shape for the heads 
I made the cuts on the bandsaw
And then I did some more shaping with a chisel. 
And I wasn't keen on how they looked at this point so I decided to add a bevel to the top of the pieces too which I did on the disc sander.
And after some more cleaning up with a chisel I was happy with them.
Next I made the King pieces. 
And for these after cutting another taper on the back to match the other pieces,  I marked up a shape on top that would look kind of like a crown, and made the cuts on the bandsaw again.
And finally the Queen, once again cut a taper on the back, and then marked up a point for the top of the piece which was again cut at the bandsaw. 
I did some sanding by hand just to break over any sharp edges so that they'd be nice in the hand.
I applied a teak oil finish to the chess pieces which brought out the grain really nicely.
And the most observant of you may spot that the chess pieces now have a groove cut in the back of them.  I'll explain the reasons behind that later in the project - in part 3
The final job to finish the chess pieces was to add felt to the bottom so that the pieces won't damage the chess board.  I picked up this green felt from a shop called hobbycraft - it was only 55p for a sheet this size.   I used pound world epoxy to glue the felt to the bottom of the pieces, this stuff has always worked really well for me. It smells a bit, but no big deal.  
Then I just used scissors to trim off any excess felt

The Chess Set (Part 1 of 3) - The Board

In this video I make a chess board.
In terms of materials for the chess board, I had four offcuts of mahogany, these are the feet from some salvaged hat and coat stands.  And I had a piece of what I believe to be Iroko although I might be wrong - I've had this for a while and I don't remember where I picked this up.
First I needed to prepare the two materials.  I started by flattening one edge and one face of the piece of Iroko on the planer and then I did the same with the mahogany.
Then I ripped the opposite face of the mahogany at the tablesaw to make it square.
And I ripped the piece of Iroko in half and then thickness planed the other faces and edges of the Iroko to the same size as the pieces of mahogany.  
I then chopped the Iroko to length to be similar sized pieces as the mahogany using the mitre saw.
I also cleaned up the ends of the mahogany pieces
With all the pieces prepared I alternated the two woods ready for gluing up.  
I used a couple of bar clamps for the glue up, and used a framing square to check the shorter pieces of iroko were level and then I could tighten the clamps and wipe away the excess glue with a damp cloth.
I then added some F clamps to make sure that the pieces were seated on to the bar clamps
Once the glue had dried I cleaned up the ends at the tablesaw using my panel sled.
And then I cleaned up the faces of the workpiece with my handplane.
Next I needed to cut the block in to strips.  The tablesaw would have been the best tool to use for this but I used the bandsaw because the blade has a thinner kerf and I wanted to get as much material out of the block to work with as I could.
A little bit of blade drift on the bandsaw is inevtiable, especially when using a pretty dull blade like I am here, so before cutting the next strip I made sure to flatten the face of the block with the hand plane. I checked for flatness with a steel ruler and then I could cut the next strip and so on.
The bandsaw left a bit of tear out so I cleaned up each strip on the belt sander.
With all of the strips cut, I then made sure that they would all mate together properly by flattening the edges with a couple of strokes of the hand plane.
Next I could glue the strips together to create the chess board. I used a ruler to make sure the board was straight.
and I added clingfilm and a couple of small boards and F clamps again to make sure that the board would be as flat as possible while the glue set. The clingfilm was used just to stop the chess board sticking to the scraps of wood.
Once the glue had dried, I used a cabinet scraper to get rid of most of the excess glue and then I made sure the edges of the board were straight with my block plane.
I wanted to make a mitred trim for the board, and I had an offcut of oak which I'd use for that.
I cut the mitres at the mitre saw, and glued and taped them to the sides of the board.I used another mitre just to check that each corner would marry up well together
And once all four side were held in place with tape, I added some elastic bands and these would help to apply pressure and get nice tight joints
Once the glue had dried I then used my belt sander to flatten the board, clean up any dried up glue on the surface
and also get the trim flush with the board.  I sanded both sides at 120 grit and then moved on to sanding with my orbital sander with 120 grit also.
I marked up the size of the board on to the ply and cut it out with the jigsaw making sure to keep on the outside of the pencil lines.
I applied glue to the face of the ply, spread it out and then used a couple of scrap boards to make kind of a sandwich which would 
help to distribute the clamping pressure across the whole board.  I used F clamps and couple of long reach C clamps to reach near the centre
With the glue dry I then used the hand plane to get the ply flush with the oak trim.
Then I added another mitred trim out of some offcuts of mahogany and this would hide the edges of the plywood. 
I made this trim  in the same way as I made the oak, so I didn't bother filming it in detail.
I brought the trim flush to the board with my block plane and then I added a decorative edge to the mahogany trim using my router.
I used some abrasive paper wrapped around a pencil to sand the profile left by the router bit.
I then sanded the board by hand at 240, 400, 600 and finally 1200 grit to get it nice and smooth.
The first coat of finish I used was Teak oil.  Because this is an end grain board, the oil soaked in extremely quickly so I re-coated it once or twice straight away and then left it alone to soak in.
After applying oil, I decided to add a spray varnish, for a couple of reasons.  Firstly as there'll be chess pieces moving around the board I wanted quite a hard wearing top coat of finish, and secondly I wanted a nice glossy sheen to the board.  
In between each coat of spray varnish I sanded with 400 grit wet and dry paper to keep the surface nice and smooth before applying the next coat.  It got three coats of the spray varnish in total.

Converting A Dining Table In To A Coffee Table - Habitat Kilo

In this video I convert a Habitat Kilo dining table in to a coffee table for a friend.

Handcut Dovetail & Brass Inlay Mahogany Wedding Box (Part 3 of 3)

The next job was to fit the piano hinge for the lid.  I cut the hinge to length with a hacksaw.

The hinge was around 3mm thick so I wanted to cut a recess for the hinge to sit in, in the rim of the box. 

I set up a straight edge and used my router with a straight bit to make the cut, squaring up the corners with a chisel.  Before adding the screws, I first glued the lid to the hinge using some epoxy so that I could ensure the placement of the lid was right.  After the glue had set, I could then fit the hinge with the brass screws after drilling some pilot holes.

I sanded the box by hand at 120, 240, 320, 400, 600 and then 1200 grit - much higher than I'd normally go, but that's because I wanted the brass to look really nice.

For finish, I'd use Teak Oil which I applied with a cotton cloth.

Finally I applied some clear Briwax, and buffed out the finish once dry.

I used some upholstery pins as feet for the bottom of the box just to create an air gap under it.  These were fitted with a mallet, evenly spaced in from the 4 corners.

I bought a brass plaque to go on the inside of the lid which I purchased from The Engraving Shop - this was mounted with screws.

I had some difficulties finding a good quality brass latch that was the right style - I bought many different ones and none of them looked right.  Eventually I found one on Etsy that was nice but needed some adjustments as it was too big and not shiny enough.

I adjusted the height of the latch at the disc sander which worked quite well.

To get it to be shiny, I sanded it by hand at 600 grit and then buffed it using some green polishing compound on a buffing pad in my drill.  That worked really well.!

I could then fit the latch with screws and the box was complete.