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Handcut Dovetail & Brass Inlay Mahogany Wedding Box (Part 2 of 3)

With the four sides of the box assembled, I needed to flatten the edges ready for the top and bottom panels to be added.  I used some sandpaper stuck to a piece of flat melamine with sticky back tape for this.

I cleaned up the edges of the box and the dovetail joints at the belt sander.

With the remaining piece of mahogany from the same wardrobe panel as the sides had been made from, I could get a top and bottom panel.  I marked them up and cut them out oversized with a circular saw.  I then cleaned up the faces of the panels with a handplane and checked for flatness with a steel ruler.

I then glued and clamped the top and bottom panels on to the box at the same time using F clamps.

When the glue had dried I could trim off the excess from the panels at the bandsaw, and refine the edges with a hand plane and belt sander.

I wanted to add a brass inlay to the box, so I contacted some local metal suppliers and one company could cut off some 1/4 inch brass square bar for me - just the amount I wanted.

I cut a housing joint in to the lid of the box at the tablesaw by setting my blade height to the thickness of the bars and making two passes for each inlay.

Once the brass bars fitted nicely, I glued them in with epoxy.

My 1/4" chisel wouldn't fit in the joint, so I cleaned them up by using a small screwdriver as a scraper.

I wanted to give the top of the box a decorative look so decided to use an ogee bit in my router to cut an "s" profile around the edges.  

I was surprised that I could route through the brass as well as the wood - I had googled and found it could be done!

Next I cut the lid free from the box at the tablesaw.

I could then use  the piece of melamine with sandpaper taped to it to flatten the lid and box so that they met nicely.



Handcut Dovetail & Brass Inlay Mahogany Wedding Box (Part 1 of 3)

In this video I'm going to be making a box as a gift for my brother and his fiance's wedding.  As it's a special occasion I wanted to make something a little special, so this is going to be my first attempt at handcut dovetails.
For materials I'm going to be using some reclaimed mahogany wardrobe panels.  Recently a work colleague of mine mentioned he had a couple of solid mahogany panels from an old wardrobe and he asked me if I wanted it for anything.  To be honest I was expecting the panels might be plywood with a mahogany veneer applied, but to my surprise, they were indeed solid mahogany panels - and I've been keeping them aside for a special project as I don't come across mahogany very often.  
There were a lot of old nails to pull out of the mahogany, mainly in the sides of the panels but there were also a few random ones elsewhere.
With the material de-nailed, I clamped a straight edge to it and used my cicular saw to cut a new clean straight edge. to get rid of some of the old nail holes.
Then I cross cut a piece of the panel  in the same way to the size that I wanted the length of the sides of the box to be.
This piece would form the four sides of the box. I first checked that my cuts were square with a framing square and then ripped 4 equal pieces ot the tablesaw.
Next I used the planer to get one of the faces on each board flat, and then thickness planed the opposite face of each board, and at this point I think they were around 19mm thick.
Next I cut the pieces to length at the mitresaw using a stop block to get consistent cuts.
With my four sides of the box cut the next job was to cut the dovetails.  I'd never cut doevtails before, by hand or machine.  I first watched some instructional videos on YouTube by Paul Sellers.  And before I started working with the mahogany I wanted to do a test run on some scrap pieces of pine.  I'm really glad I did this as I learned a lot.  I also tried a couple of different saws for the cuts to see which worked best.  The dovetails didn't turn out brilliant, there were some pretty big gaps. but it didn't really matter as I knew that when I was working on the final piece I would take my time a bit more and concentrate on getting them as good as I possibly could. 
I transferred that on to all faces and edges of each board, and then started to lay out the dovetail cuts, marking up the waste material with an X.  First I would work on cutting the pins, and then the tails. I took my time with these cuts, continuouslly checking to make sure that my cuts were accurate.
I used a chisel to clean up the joints and could then assemble the four sides of the box
The dovetails turned out pretty good for a first attempt, but I did have some small gaps so I filled those with a glue and sawdust mixture

House Tour / Past Projects Re-Visited (part 2 of 2)

Tour of my house and some of the things in it - talking about past projects some which have been featured in videos and others which haven't.

House Tour / Past Projects Re-Visited (Part 1 of 2)

Tour of my house and some of the things in it - talking about past projects some which have been featured in videos and others which haven't.

Restoring A Hand Plane - vintage Stanley No. 4

In this video I restore a vintage Stanley Number 4 hand plane which I purchased on eBay.

This handplane dates from 1948-1961 which is a really old model.  I used this website to check the age of the plane.

There was some rust to deal with, a loose handle, and the plane needed a set up as the frog was set too far forward.  The blade was also in need of a thorough sharpening.

I started by dissambling the handles and frog from the plane and I cleaned up all the rust from the bear metal parts with 80 grit sand paper.  I also oiled the bear metal parts once they were clean.

I could then re-fit the frog further back from where it was originally.

I used a knife blade to scrape off the old lacquer from the handles, and then sanded them with 80 grit abrasive paper.

I used Teak Oil to finish both handles.

I needed to shorten the bolt which held the rear handle in place so I used the grinder for that.  The bolt then sinched down the handle nicely, and I only needed to remove a couple of milimetres.

Next I flattened the sole of the plane.  I used a Sharpie to mark up the base of the plane, and some 80 grit paper on a flat surface (piece of melamine.  The sole had a big hollow in the centre, so it took quite a bit of sanding to get flat.

I also sanded the sides of the plane in the same way, and eased over the sharp edges to make it more comfortable in the hands.

I then cleaned up the cap iron and cutting iron, again with 80 grit abrasive paper and again adding oil to the bear metal parts to prevent them from rusting.

I then used my usual sharpening technique to bring the cutting iron edge to a mirror finish using the products listed below:

Draper Honing Guide: http://amzn.to/2rIhK9h (Amazon UK) http://amzn.to/2reUdvx (Amazon US)

Taidea 360/600 grit diamond plates http://amzn.to/2toED25 (Amazon UK) http://amzn.to/2rIolkm (Amazon US)

King Japanese 1000/6000 Whetstone: http://amzn.to/2shn7cH (Amazon UK) http://amzn.to/2qEpTaE (Amazon US)

Green Polishing Compound: http://amzn.to/2ro1do1 (Amazon UK) http://amzn.to/2qEzvCq (Amazon US)

After re-installing everything and a quick set up of the frog and cutting iron alignment, I tested the plane out and it works brilliantly.  This is already my favourite hand plane to use, it has surpassed my expectations. Previously my "go to" hand plane was my Record no.;5 buton this one the cutting seems to hold a better edge and the plane feels great in the hand.  I LOVE IT!

Simple Workbench Dogs

In this video I make some simple dogs for my workbench.  

Before I started, I wasn't sure I'd need/use them, but fancied giving it a try - and now they're installed I haven't stopped using them

I started with a scrap of oak that was around 33mm square which I'd use to make the dogs.

I picked the back left hand corner of my workbench for a few reasons - I have access to the underside of the worktop in this area, it's also in a good position to plane/sand etc, and finally it's out of the way of the main surface area of the worktop.

I started by drlling 30mm holes through the worktop with a forstner bit in my drill.  I drilled a few more holes with and then chiselled out the rest of the material until I had a square hole to fit my piece of oak. My worktop is plywood which wasn't the easiest thing to chisel, but it worked OK.

Once the dog fitted the hole, I then mounted an offcut of plywood to the underside of the worktop with woodglue and brad nails to cover half of the square hole. Then I inserted the dog, and made a pencil mark from underneath. 

I cut away 5mm in from the bottom of the dog and halfway through the workpiece on the bandsaw so that the bottom of the dog fits in and protrudes below through the plywood mounted to the bottom. With the dog seated fully in the hole, I then drew a pencil line around where the dog was flush with the worktop surface, and cut all the way through the workpiece with the bandsaw.

The dog can then be used by pushing it out from underneath, rotating it 90 degrees, and re-inserting so that the dog sticks out around 5mm from the top of the worktop.

I ended up adding a second dog level with the first one which will be useful for working on wider boards.

This was a really simple project that only took a couple of hours and has been a really good addition to my workbench.

Making A Quick, Simple and Strong Workbench

Recently a friend of mine got in touch and asked me for help building a workbench.  He wanted something simple and strong to fit in to a space in his garage and he sent me these dimensions. 
So I did a drawing on SketchUp, I designed a simple frame made from basic 63mm x 38mm construction timber these are more commonly known as 3x2s, although they actually measure less than 3 by 2 inches.  I also worked out a cut list and worked out that we needed 7x 2.4m lengths of the 3x2s to complete the frame which Steve bought new. 
For the top and the shelf, I already had some salvaged pieces of 18mm plywood which I found dumped by some bins, they were painted and a bit dirty on one side, but fairly clean on the other side. 
Free plans showing all the dimensions and a cutting list will be available on my website if you're interested in building this bench.
We started by cutting the outer leg pieces to length. I used the mitre saw to cut all of the pieces for the frame to the right length based on the drawing. 
Next we cut the inner leg pieces which would later support the apron rails, or stretchers that would support for both the shelf and the worktop.
I set up a stop block at the mitre station to cut these pieces to a consistent size.
And then we cut the apron rails or stretchers to length.
So these are the pieces we cut, the four pieces on the left are the aprons and on the right are all the pieces that would form the legs.
So we positioned the small pieces flush with the bottom of the outer leg pieces, then used an offcut as a spacer to get the distance correct for the apron rails, and applied wood glue.
We drilled some holes with a countersink bit and screwed the pieces together.
I marked up with a pencil some positions for the screws just so they were centred and spaced equally apart just for aesthetic reasons. 
Next we applied glue and added the apron rails which we attached with 2x 60mm screws. I used a large sash clamp to hold the pieces in place
Then we cut some shelf supports that would go in between the apron rails to support the shelf and the main worktop.
We used up some of the short scrap pieces of the 3x2s by ripping them in half to create some cleats.
These were then cut to length and glued and nailed to the sides of the shelf supports and would later be used to attach the shelf and worktop from underneath, so we pre-drilled the holes for that.
Then we cut the side pieces for the frame.
Next we did a dry assembly of the frame just to check we were on track with our measurements for shelves and started cutting the plywood to size starting with the main worktop.  Because these were salvaged pieces I first checked to find a corner that was a perfect 90 degree angle with a framing square and then I took all my measurements from that corner.
I set up a straight edge to cut it to the correct width.  My straight edge was a bit too short to use clamps so I got Steve to stand on one end instead.
I made the cut with my cordless circular saw.
And then I could cut it to length.
Then we cut the shelf to the size we wanted.  And to fit this piece between the legs, we needed to make a few cut outs. I used the jigsaw for that and a speed square to mark them up,  And that fitted in place just fine.
We wanted to cover the plywood edges at the front of the workbench to make them more hardwearing.  I had some reclaimed pine bed slats which I ripped to strips of 20mm on the tablesaw.  Then I glued and brad nailed it to the front. 
And for the worktop we did the same again except we also mitred the corners and did the sides of the worktop as well as the front to give it a cleaner look.
I used a block plane just to break the hard edges of the trim pieces.
Then we went to Steve's to assemble the bench.  We could add the shelf supports with glue and 2 screws on each side. There were two for the worktop and two for the shelf.
And then we could add the side pieces which would also support the shelf and worktop.
THen I tipped it on it's side to add the shelf and it was quite a tight fit now so I used my body weight to force it in.   
I could then add screws through the cleats in to the plywood to secure the shelf.
We didn't add wood glue here as we thought it would be useful to be able to replace the plywood at a later date once it gets worn out.
And then I added the top, making sure it was nicely centred on the frame.
We then offered up the workbench to the space and we'd deliberately left an overhang at the back of the shelf and worktop so that we could fit the bench around the brick pillar along his wall. We marked up where the pillar was on to the shelves, and cut it out with the jigsaw.  So the pillar stuck out 12cm from the wall, so we'd left a 12cm overhang between the edge of the back of the shelves and the frame to account for that.
And it fitted in place nicely.
This was a nice quick and simple project and the total cost of materials was £21, that was for the 7x 3x2s.  Everything else was either salvaged or stuff I already had in the workshop.
If you'd like to build your own then full drawings, dimensions and a cut list will be available on the Resources page of my website.

How I Make My Videos

This video is a bit of a departure from what I normally do - I’ve had a few people ask me to make a video about how I make videos so this video is about how I film, edit and produce my project videos on this channel.   Making the videos is time consuming – I spend at least as long working on the video side of things as I do making the project itself.  So here it is.


So filming starts in the workshop and I use my home made mobile camera stand – there’s a link in the description box below for the build video for that, and I use a Panasonic HC-V210 camera. I bought this camera in asecondhand shop about 3 years ago for £85, so not a lot of money, and this thing has taken so much use and abuse, it’s fallen on the floor countless times and it’s usually coated in sawdust, and yet somehow it continues to perform.  It’s a 1080p camera, it has a wider lens than a lot of the similar cameras I looked at when I bought it which means I can capture more in the frame when the camera is quite to whatever I’m filming, which is useful. I’m really happy with it for what I paid. I do have more capable cameras that I use for stills, they are both Panasonic too - I have a GX80 and a GX7 but I don’t use them in the workshop as I don’t want to ruin them – I’d rather continue to use this one until it finally can’t take any more abuse.

On most projects I tend to start filming the project first, and then film any spoken intros or outros once the project is complete.  I have tried filming an intro and then filming the project, but sometimes projects take a slightly different direction as they’re progressing, so I find it usually makes more sense to do it at the end.

When I’m filming the project, I only film short sections of all the different activities I do, so for example if I spend 10 minutes planing a board by hand, I might only film about 1 minute of that activity.  Also within that minute of filming, I usually try to move the camera at least once, so I might film 30 seconds as a wide shot like this and then another 30 seconds of a close up shot like this.  Having  a few different camera angles just seems to make the final video a bit more interesting to watch in my experience. Filming absolutely everything that I do on a project wouldn’t really be possible as the memory card on my camera would be filling up too often, the battery in my camera would need replacing more regularly, and also when I transfer the video files from my camera to my PC, it would take a really long time.

Once the project is complete, I then film a spoken intro / outro if I feel the project needs one, and I also take some still photos of the project with my other cameras.  They are for use on my video thumbnails, and my website articles for each project, and sometimes I’ll show them as a slideshow at the end of the project video too.

All of my projects are filmed at the weekends, as I have a full time day job Monday-Friday.  Occasionally though I’ll do an hour or so woodworking in an evening – that tends to happen for two reasons – either I’m running late for getting a video done as I push myself to upload a new video to my channel every Friday, the second reason is if I’m really excited by a particular project and I just really want to work on it.  


When the project is complete I need to transfer all the video files from my camera to my PC or laptop, and I do this by plugging it in via USB and I drag and drop all the files to a newly created folder to keep them all together and organised.  This process takes quite a while as the video files are large, so I tend to leave it processing and go away and get on with something else.

I’ll show the specs of my PC and laptop on screen.  I predominantly use the PC for editing, and it’s not the highest spec as it’s now about 3 years old, but it handles editing 1080 video files just fine.  My laptop is much newer, I bought it around 6 months ago and the reason I got this was because I have to travel quite frequently for my day job, so when I’m staying in a hotel room I can still be productive and get some editing done in the evening once my working day at my day job has finished. 

Both my PC and laptop would probably struggle a bit with 4k video editing, which is why I haven’t yet upgraded my camera.  But also I think 1080 is plenty good enough for what I do at the moment, I’m in no hurry to upgrade to a 4k set up.


For video editing I use Sony Vegas Pro 11.  I wouldn’t necessarily recommend this particular software, I just tend to use it because it’s what I’m used to using and I don’t dislike it enough to push me to go and learn how to use a different piece of video editing software.  My biggest problem with Vegas is that sometimes without reason it will crash while rendering a video for no apparent reason which is pretty frustrating.

I have a video file as a template which has my intro and outro and all my preferred audio level and video settings saved and I use this for each new project video I start to give all of my videos some consistency.  I won’t talk about the settings I use in too much detail, but basically for audio I use a hard limiter which helps to raise the volume and compress and even out the levels – I mainly do this because if you’re watching one of my videos without a proper set of speakers like on a mobile device for example, it helps keep everything audible.  And for video, I add a bit of contrast to the footage from my Panasonic video camera as the footage from it looks a little bit washed out without it.  Occasionally I also need to change some colour tones in a clip, but generally the auto white balance on the camera does a good job most of the time.

I’ll drag all my video files from the folder on to the project, and they are automatically arranged in the order that they were recorded, which is great – makes my life much easier.  Each clips has a video and an aidop track which gives you the flexibility of being able to work on them independently.

The first thing I do is edit down each clip to only the bits that want shown in the final video, and then I keep moving them all together. I’ll also speed up any clips that seem long winded and I do this to keep my video as short and concise as possible.   Generally I aim to get the content of each video down to around 10 minutes, as to me that feels about the right length for a YouTube video in my opinion.  If I’m working on a particularly long project then I’ll split in to 10 minutes sections and post the videos as part 1, part 2 and so on. 

I’ll also merge some clips together, for example if I’m just talking in the video clip but I want the video to show me doing something while I’m talking, I’ll overlap the clips, and then sort the audio levels out so that both the talking and the background sound is audible.  


Once all the clips are trimmed and put together, I watch the whole thing back and type up a script which I’ll later use for narration.  I do this because I’m not a very good talker - I find I get my point across better when I write down what I want to say first rather than just freestyle narrating what’s happening in the video.  I have tried to narrate videos freestyle on occasion but that actually tends to take more time for me – but that’s probably just a personal thing.


Next comes narrating, and for this I use a USB microphone which plugs straight in to the PC – this is called the Blue Yeti. I bought it on Amazon for around £100.   It works great and is well built – I’ve even travelled with this in my suitcase a few times if I want to get some narration done while I’m away in a hotel room somewhere and it’s always performed well.  I also use a pop filter in front of the mic which helps to eliminate any plosive vocal sounds.  This is just something I had left over from the days when I used to record music, but the microphone stand clip which used to be on it broke, so I made a little wooden base for it so I could use it at my desk. 

I create a new audio track in the project, set the microphone level to make sure that my vocals are not clipping, and then hit record and read through the script that I previously typed up. If I mess up a line, I’ll repeat it until I get it right.  When I’ve finished reading the script, I cut out any gaps and any bits that I got wrong,

Then I move the narration clips to wherever appropriate within the project so that what I’m talking about reflects what’s happening on the video.

I usually have three separate audio tracks on each project, one for background sound, one for vocals and narration, and one for music, which I usually put at the start and end of each video.  Having them as three separate tracks allows me to adjust the levels on each of them independently so I can get the video sounding exactly how I want it. The vocals are always loudest, the background sounds are usually quite quiet, and if I’m using a particularly noisey tool like my tablesaw for example, I also lower the volume of those particular clips.


Finally, I’ll watch back the whole video and make final adjustments.  I might take out some clips that I feel are unnecessary to keep the video short and concise, tweak audio levels, that sort of thing. 

I’ll also listen to it through both headphones, and speakers to check that the audio levels are OK and everything that needs to be heard can be.

Like I said before, I aim to keep each video to 10 minutes. 


Next I’ll render the video, and that takes some time, usually over an hour so I leave it alone to do it’s thing.


I’ll watch the video one more time just as a final check.  And once I’m happy that it’s as good as it can be, I can upload it to YouTube.  I schedule my videos so that they are uploaded every Friday at 5pm GMT and I’ve been able to maintain 1 video per week for well over a year now.  At the moment I’m doing really well as I’ve been doing lots of projects so you can see here I’ve got plenty of videos scheduled for the next few weeks which means I can chill out a bit and actually have some time at the weekend to relax and see my girlfriend! It also means I can go away on holiday and I don’t have to worry about getting behind – that that’s the way I like it. It’s not always like this though and often I’m uploading videos to YouTube the night before they’re due to be published and it’s all a bit of a mad rush.

So Friday evenings are always quite exciting for me and I look forward reading the new comments on the video and getting some feedback on the projects.  I’m very lucky that 95% of the comments I get are either positive or constructive and I really like to see some of the same people commenting regularly too – so a big thanks to all my regular viewers. I’m happy to get negative comments too if they’re constructive but they’re often not - but that’s just what you happens on YouTube!

So that’s it, I hope you enjoyed this insight in to the life of a YouTube woodworker and what goes in to making these videos. 

 Normal service will be resumed next week with another project video.

Laying Wooden Flooring In A Kitchen

In this video I help a friend lay some spruce tongue and groove wooden flooring in his kitchen over a tiled floor.
The tiles in his kitchen extended in to his dining room where the tiles were laid over a wooden floor.  Over time, the tiles cracked as wood isn't a stable enough foundation for tiles, so he wanted a wooden floor laid on top to match the floorboards in his living room. 
I needed to raise the floor in the dining room where the tiles had been removed to the same level as the tiles, so work began in the workshop where I planed some scrap pieces of wood down to 10mm using my thickness planer.
The first thing I did at Alex's was to check how level the floor was. It was perfectly level in the direction the floorboards were running, but there was a slight drop off in the other direction from the kitchen in to the dining room, however we were confident that there would be enough give in the floorboards for it not to matter.
Next we unplugged and unplumbed the washing machine and removed the kickboards from the kitchen.  The washing machine was placed outside and it became a temporary workbench for the day.
After a quick clean up I could begin putting down the battens to raise the floor to the height of the tiles.  We used drywall screws for this as they were the right length and it's just what we had available.
I used a handsaw to cut the angles and cut the battens to length.
In one corner there was a concrete area that was slightly higher than the floorboards so I marked up where it was on to the batten and used the hand plane to slightly taper the board so that it would sit flush with the kitchen tiles.
I tried to space out the battens evenly as the areas in between would later be filled with underlay and we wanted to reduce the amount of awkward angled cuts we'd need to make.
Then we laid a floorboard and walked over it to check that it felt level and it seemed ok.
The next job was to go and get some underlay.  The stuff we chose was 5mm thick and it would help to even out any height inconsistencies before laying the floorboards.
Like a lot of old houses, none of the walls were square or straight so this meant the underlay and later the floorboards would all need to be cut to fit the shape of the room as best we could.  This ultimately made the whole job take much longer than we had expected it to.
As the battens in the dining room were 10mm, we put two pieces of the 5mm underlay in between them to bring it up to the same height, and then a third layer over the top of everything.
The underlay was easy to cut to size, you could just score it and snap it.
We later taped down the underlay with some masking tape to stop it moving around
Next I started cutting the floorboards. They were 3m long so I cut about 1m off some of them to give us some different lengths so we could stagger the joints. I made all the cuts with my cordless circular saw.
Before we started laying the floorboards, we were unsure which way up they were supposed to go down, and there were no instructions included.  On the groove side of the tongue and groove boards, there's a thick piece on one side and a thin piece on the other.  We checked on the internet and found that the thicker side should go at the top.  I had guessed that the thicker side should at the bottom, so it's a good job we double checked before laying them.
I used a bevel guage to set the angle so I could repeat this on to the floorboards at the dining room end.
Next we laid the floorboards in the space between the cabinets where the washing machine would go.  There was a gap left over which was 50mm on one side and 30mm on the other, so we marked up another board and ripped it on the circular saw.  This was the first of many angled cuts we'd need to make. Alex slotted it in and pushed the boards back in place and it was a nice fit.
We closed any the gaps between the boards as the project went along using some gentle taps with a hammer.
One of the boards met a door frame too, so I offered it up and marked it up by hand and cut it out with the jigsaw.  I wasn't going for perfection here, really I was just looking to close the gap tight enough so that after a bit of sealant had been applied, it'd look nice and tidy and it turned out OK.
At this point I realised that in one area of the floor the end joints between three of the boards were close together and it didn't look right aesthetically, so I removed the middle one and later replaced it with a longer board 
On day two, we started fitting the final boards, this one needed some cut outs in order for it to fit around the kitchen cabinet legs so I marked them up and cut them with the jigsaw.
The next job was to make some edging trim pieces for the ends of the floor boards.
We took down measurements and also measured the angle in the dining room with a bevel guage and protractor and it was exactly 45 degrees which meant we'd need to cut an angle of half that - 22.5 degrees to the trim pieces for them to join nicely together.
And at the other end we would need a piece of trim between the edge of the boards and the bathroom door.
So we went over to my workshop.  I had a piece of spruce I'd been storing behind my sofa, it was pretty long so we took it out through the window then we cut it to a more manageable size with a handsaw.  
We started making the trim for the dining room end.  I ripped two pieces to 80mm wide, and then we used our reference drawing to mark up a shape on to the end of the workpiece.
I cut the rebate joints on each piece at the tablesaw with two passes. And then I cut a sloped angle, and did a bit more shaping with a block plane to round it over.
Then we cut the 22.5 degree angle at the mitresaw.  We had to use a sacrificial fence here because the workpiece was now a bit of an awkward shape to put up against the main fence.
To fit this piece I marked up some screw locations I think they were 15cm apart, and drilled, countersunk with a 10mm drill bit as we didn't have a countersink with us, and then added the screws - I think we used70mm ones at the top and 50mm at the bottom
Then I offered up the longest piece and needed to make some more adjustments with the block plane to get the two pieces flush with each other.
For the second piece of trim we used an offcut from the slope that we cut on the previous piece of trim and this would be used for where the flooring met the exterior door.
Again I marked up screw locations and secured it in place just screwing it to the floorboard.
And this is the final trim piece for where the kitchen meets the bathroom door.
This piece needed cutting to fit around a door frame which I did with a handsaw.  It also needed to be secured to the tiles so Alex drilled the holes with a tile cutting bit, added some wall plugs seated in to the tile and then secured the trim down with screws.  And after a bit of sanding the boards were stained with this oak tinted polyurethane varnish.
The final job was to rip down the kitchen kickboards to account for the difference in height.  Some of these were in pretty bad shape as you can see. We made some cuts with the jigsaw, some with the circular saw and we also used the handplane to make gradual adjustments and get a nice snug fit on each piece.
The washing machine could be squeezed back in, and it was a really tight fit but eventually we got it back in there.  Not sure if he'll ever be able to get it out again though.

Restoring A Mid Century Modern / Ercol Style Coffee Table

In this video I restore a mid century modern / ercol style coffee table that was given to me at car boot sale. 

It had one or two broken legs, and the top had some heat marks and stains and generally looked dry and in bad condition.

The legs had wooden threads which screwed in to the leg mounts on the bottom of the table.  I didn't really like this method of construction so I wanted to come up with something better and more solid.

I started by sanding the top starting with 80 grit and then on to 120. It cleaned up really easily and revealed a nice bookmatched graindesign..

Next I started working on the leg mounts which were glued and screwed.  I used a mallet to knock them off after removing the screws.

When I removed the mounts I could see from the tearout that the table top was plywood.

I next worked on the solid wood legs, cutting off the threads at the bandsaw, and sanding them down, 

I then glued up some scraps of beech which I would use to make the new leg mounts.  When the glue had dried I cleaned up the work piece with a scraper and hand plane, and cut the leg mounts to size at the mitre saw.

I then rounded over the corners of the blocks on the disc sander to match the old mounts.

Next I needed to create a simple jig which would allow me to fix the tapered legs at a slight angle.  I used a wedge of wood to get the angle I wanted and mounted it to a scrap of plywood.  I then placed a leg mount on the wedge, and added some small pieces of wood around the mount which I attached to the plywood with brad nails.

The jig could then be clamped to my drill press table and would allow me to keep all of the holes in each leg mount nice and consistent and centred.

I used a 35mm faustner bit to drill the holes - the top of the legs were around 36mm in diameter.

I drilled all the holes and could then work on getting the top of the legs to the right size to fit the mounts.  I used the belt sander to remove material from the top of the legs and eventually got them all fitting nicely.

I glued all of the legs to the leg mounts, and then trimmed off the excess leg material on the bandsaw. Then I sanded the top of the mount on the belt sander to make sure it was flat.

Then I could glue and screw the leg mounts to the bottom of the table.

Because the leg heights had been altered, I next needed to level the legs.  I placed the table on a flat surface and used my electric file to remove material until the table sat on all four legs with no wobble.

I did some final hand sanding with 400 grit wet and dry paper.

I then applied Teak oil (two coats) with a cloth.

Finally to give the table a more hardwearing finish, I applied 3 coats of spray varnish, gently wet sanding with 400 grit wet and dry in between each coat to keep the finish nice and smooth.

I posted a photo of the finished table on facebook and the same day someone got in touch to buy it and I took it to it's home - the buyer seemed very happy with it.

I was happy to be able to give this nice looking table a new lease of life.