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Perspex Sharpening Station

In this video I use some reclaimed perspex to make a sharpening station to hold my sharpening stones/plates.

I used perspex rather than wood as I use water to lubraicate my plates and stones and I didn't want a material that would absorb the water.

I use the following products for sharpening, and as you see at the end of the video I get pretty good results with these.

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)

I first cut a piece of perspex on the tablesaw to the size I wanted the station to be which in my case was 460mm x 280mm (as I wanted it to fit inside my drawer.

Then I ripped some more strips at 20mm to create a border which would hold everything in place.

I used super glue and spring clamps to stick the border on.  Super glue works well on perspex but it can make it go cloudy - not a problem in this situation as I wasn't worried about how it looked, it just needed to function. 

I soon ran out of spring clamps so I used bulldog clips.

Next I cut and glued some spacers in between the plates/stones to position everything where I wanted them - I wanted everything placed so that I could fully use each the surface of each plate or stone to sharpen a chisel.

I cut a few mor spacers to hold the stones in place at the top so that they wouldn't move forward/backwards.

I did some sanding to ease over the sharp edges.

Next I cut a length of 40mm square pine to size to mount on to the bottom of the perspex.  I drilled pilot holes, and countersunk the holes to get the head of the screws below the surface of the perspex. The purpose of the piece of pine on the bottom was purely to make the station mountable in a vise.

At the end of the video I give a quick demonstration of my sharpening method using the station.  

I'm happy with how it turned out, and it was made entirely from reclaimed/scrap materials so it didn't cost anything.


Custom Desk And Speaker Stands With Ikea Lerberg Legs (part 2 of 2)

In part 2 of the build, I got started making the monitor stands.
I used some scraps of ply I had in the workshop, and they were varying thicknesses – so I needed to compensate by cutting some of the panels 3mm wider to keep both stands looking consistent.
I cut and assembled a simple plywood frame consisting of two side panels and a top panel with glue and nails.  Then I cut a back panel, which I cut a 35mm hole in the centre of for cabling as the inside of the speaker stands would be used for devices such as external hard drives, etc.
Then I started cladding the monitor stands with the remaining offcuts of the floorboards that I had.  These were cut to size, and glued and brad nailed to the ply.
I also added a mitred trim to the front of the monitor stands to keep them looking consistent with how the desk top looked.
I cleaned up the stands with the hand plane and sanded them on my bench top belt sander, followed by my random orbit sander.
Then I applied the same finish to the stands as I had for the desk top – walnut stain, and three coats of spray varnish, wet sanding in between each coat.
I added some adhesive backed felt feet to the bottom of the monitor stands – these would help to minimise vibrations from the speakers and also protect the desk top from scratches.
The next job was to fit the Ikea Lerberg legs to the underside of the desk top.  The Lerberg legs do not come with any fixtures or fittings, and I originally thought about simply drilling some holes and screwing them to the bottom but then I realised that if the floor was uneven where the desk would be sitting, or if the desk gets moved at any point, the screws would eventually end up tearing out of the plywood.
So instead, I cut some bracing pieces out of some pine (reclaimed bed slats) to encase the top of the legs.  These pieces were glued and screwed to the bottom of the ply wood, and the legs simply push snugly in to the bracing to support the desk while also allowing for some movement.
That was the desk completed, and the client seemed very happy with it.
I enjoyed the build (apart from my belt sander breaking!!!) and it took around a day and a half of my time in total (spread out over a week or so) to complete.  The cost of materials was around £40 in total – the Ikea legs were a bargain at £5 each, the ply was around £18 a sheet, and the varnish and stain came to around £16

Custom Desk And Speaker Stands With Ikea Lerberg Legs (Part 1 of 2)

In this video I make a custom desk for a friend, who is a local musician.  She was looking for a desk where she could sit and work on music production and mixing with some stands for her monitor speakers.  She wanted a desk with character in reclaimed wood, and she sent me a few photos of the sort of thing that she was hoping for.  I did some 3D drawings for her in SketchUp and we settled on a design.
For materials, I’d use some reclaimed pine floorboards which I acquired from a neighbour (they were going to be thrown away).  They were 15mm thick and various lengths, and I’d had them on my wood rack for a couple of years just waiting for a project like this one.
The floorboards were not thick enough to glue up in to a strong desktop on their own, so I went to my local timber merchants and found two 18mm thick 8x4ft sheets of spruce plywood that had been pulled out because they were dirty and had some damage to the edges.  They offered them to me for half price, so I bought both (even though I only needed one, I like a bargain!).  The damage wasn’t an issue as it would be on the waste part of the board, and the dirt could simply be brushed off.  The timber merchants cut the ply to 1.5m length which was the length that the desktop needed to be and also allowed me to fit it in to my car.
I started by cutting the ply to 750mm to give me a 1500mm x 750mm piece of ply. 
Then I laid the floorboards on to the ply to get an idea of how much material I needed to clad it, and marked up the boards to keep them in the order that I wanted and also figure out which boards would be butted up against each other.  
I cut the longer floorboards to length using a speed square and circular saw, and the shorter ones at the mitre station, and then I made some light repairs to the boards as some pieces were torn out – I used glue, masking tape and spring clamps.
Next I needed to rip each edge of each board to get clean edges and straighten them up.
Some of the floorboards had a lot of paint/varnish which needed to be removed, so I used my belt sander with a 40 grit belts.  The belts clogged up pretty quickly with the paint/varnish so I went through 3 or 4 of them in the end.
I used glue and brad nails to fix the boards to the ply, firing most of the brads near the existing nail holes in the board so that they would be hidden.  I also glued the edges of the boards together, until the whole desk top was covered.  I wiped off excess glue with a damp cloth and filled some small gaps with a bit of sawdust.
Next I knocked the nails beneath the surface of the wood with a nail punch and then used my hand plane to remove any high spots and get the desktop flat and the boards flush. I worked across the grain first to even up the boards, and then with the grain to get a nice finish.
I used a flush trim bit in my router to get the edges of the boards flush with the plywood.
I ripped some more floorboards to 30mm wide to use as edging trim for the desk top.  I mitred the corners at 45 degrees at the mitre station, and then I could glue and nail the trim to the edges.  The trim gave the desk top a nice chunky look.
Then I did yet more sanding to the desk top with the belt sander, sanding in direction of the grain with 80 grit, and later switched to my random orbit sander with 120 grit.
Unfortunately my belt sander (Ryobi EBS 800) broke at this point – something was rattling inside and the drive wheel wasn’t turning…  So I used a combination of my hand plane and random orbit sander to clean up the edges.
I used a block plane to break the sharp edges of the desktop to create a subtle roundover – mainly so that it would be comfortable on arms and elbows.
Then I applied a walnut stain by Liberon which the client wanted, to match the walnut stain applied to her floorboards in the room.
I used a spray varnish to finish the desk top – I chose it because I knew it would be hard-wearing and provide a seal to the surface.  I applied 3 coats in total, wet sanding in between each application with 400 grit paper to help keep the surface nice and smooth, then removed the dust with a wet cloth prior to the next coat.
I applied my makers mark to the bottom of the desk top

5 YouTube Woodworkers in the U.K. that deserve more subs!

Here are 5 British YouTube woodworkers that in my opinion deserve more subs! And why you should check them out.
Please write your recommendations in the comments so that I and others can check them out. Thanks! 
Links to their channels are below:
Stephen's 8x6 Workshop: https://goo.gl/iQC2IY
Badger Workshop: https://goo.gl/cg4aDV
Susan Gardener: https://goo.gl/nbdKU5
Stuff I Made: https://goo.gl/jGkLTl
Happy Wife Happy Life: https://goo.gl/K8GnG4

Making A Cat Scratching Post Using Pallet Wood And Concrete

I made the mistake of buying a cat scratching post that was too small for my cat to use comfortably... So I gave it away (to someone with a kitten) and thought I'd make one for my cat, Dylan.

For materials, I used a pallet that I found in my recent "how to get wood for free" video.  I'd use the stringers to make the post, and the slats to make the base.  I dismantled and de-nailed the pallet using a crowbar.

Then I used a handplane to flatten the surfaces of the strings for gluing them up to form the post, which would be made from four of them glued together.  I glued and clamped them together.

Then I started working on the base which would be hexagonal.  I tilted my mitresaw to 30 degrees and set up a stop block so that I could easily make repeatable cuts.  With all the pieces cut to length, I could then glue them up using masking tape to keep the pieces together and form the hexagon shape.

I could then trace the internal hexagon shape on to a piece of plywood and cut it out at the bandsaw to create a bottom panel for the base.  I glued this inside the hexagon shape.

Then it was time to work on the post again, and unfortunately my glue joints failed as I was working on shaping it with the spoke shave...  I had given it several hours to set, however it was too cold in my workshop and also the glue was past it's sell by date...  

Rather than salvaging it, I started again using another piece of pallet wood.  Unfortunately it wouldn't match the wood on the base, however most of it wouldn't be visible once it was covered in sisal rope anyway so it didn't really matter.  I shaped the new post on the tablesaw with the blade tilted to an angle and cut off each corner, then I shaped it in to an oval shape using a hand plane.

I decided to use concrete mix (just add water) to add weight to the base.  I was originally planning to use a piece of laminate kitchen worktop which would have worked well, but I had some concrete spare and thought that it would make an interesting design feature.

I sealed the edges of where the hexagon met the base using a gel super glue and then lined the inside of the hexagon with some parcel tape to help stop the moisture getting from the concrete mix in to the wood.

Then I added a couple of screws to the bottom of the post, which would help to anchor the post in the concrete.

I mixed the concrete as per the instructions on the bag, positioned the post in the centre and added the concrete.  I screeded off the excess and then vibrated the base by tapping it with a mallet to remove as many of the air bubbles as possible.  

Once the concrete was dry, I sanded the base (wooden parts and concrete) with my orbital sander.

Next, I made a top cap for the post to hide the end grain.  I used a scrap piece of sapele for this, glued it in place and weighed it down with a brick until the glue dried.  Then I sanded the edges flush with the post.

I added a Rustic Pine Briwax to the post, the base, and the concrete and buffed it out with a cloth.

And finally it was time to add the sisal rope.  I picked up 30m of this natural fibre rope on amazon for around £7, and used about half of it on the post.  I secured it at the top and bottom with some roofing nails (which would face the wall to ensure that my cat doesn't catch his claws in it) and wrapped it tightly around the post.  I considered gluing it with hot glue but it wasn't necessary, as the fibres of the rope when pulled tightly next to each other hold in place pretty well.

That was the scratching post finished, I was happy with how it turned out despite one or two issues while making it. And my cat Dylan absolutely loves using it.  There's some footage of him using it on the Rag 'n' Bone Brown Facebook page if you want to see.



Making Simply Picture Frames

In this video I make some simple custom sized picture frames for my brother.  He sent me the dimensions, there were five in total.
He wanted them spray painted black which is a good thing for two reasons – firstly I could use some scraps of wood that I had piling up in the workshop that don’t match, as the paint will disguise that. And secondly, my usual method of making frames using my frame spline jig is a little bit more time consuming than what I planned to do to make these ones - which is just to use wood glue and regular brad nails to assemble the frames together. 
I got started by ripping various scraps of wood to be 25mm square until I had a pile that looked big enough to make 5 frames.  Some of the pieces I used had rough sawn faces, or edges that weren’t perfectly straight, or they were dirty – so I cut off any of those bits that were no good.
Now that I had lots of lengths which are 25mm square, I wanted to cut a rebate joint that will be 12mm by 12mm down the length of each piece, and I did that on the tablesaw.  I set the blade height to 12mm using my calipers, and I set my table saw fence at 9mm because the thickness of the kerf of my tablesaw blade is 3mm – so that will give me a 12mm x 12mm cut.
Next I made a 45 degree mitre cut on one end of each piece at the mitre saw.
To assemble the frames, I applied wood glue to the mitre joints and held the corners together temporarily with a piece of tape.  I used speed square to check for squareness, and then I could fire in a couple of brad nails on each side of each corner of the frame.  The glue would do most of the work to hold the frame together, and the nails will act as a clamp until the glue sets and also add a bit of extra strength too.  
Once the glue had dried, I peeled off all the tape,  added some filler to the nail holes and then sanded all of the edges flush. 
I got some black spray paint from the pound shop, and used that to spray the frames black.
I used Perspex for these frames because I had some already, it was 6mm thick which is way thicker than needed, but it’s what I had so that’s what I used.
I measured up the internal dimensions and cut the Perspex to size on the tablesaw and then I could slot it in place.
Then I could cut some sheet material for the back of each frame to the same size as the perspex, and I had a mixture of some scraps of hardboard and plywood in the workshop, so I used a bit of both.
I used some framing pins to hold the backs in place.  

AEG BSB 18 CBL Brushless Hammerdrill Driver - First Impressions

AEG sent me their BSB 18 CBL Brushless Drill to try out.  In this video, I unbox and compare it to my Bosch PSB 1800 LI-2 drill.
Available to buy on Amazon UK with 2x 4Ah batteries: http://amzn.to/2mpkgdZ or 2x 2Ah batteries: http://amzn.to/2mpt7fT
Available to buy Amazon US with 2x 2Ah batteries: http://amzn.to/2ldGqjd

Simple Panel Cutting Jig for DeWalt DW745 tablesaw

In this video I make a simple panel cutting jig for my tablesaw the DW745 using salvaged materials.

Mobile Camera Stand - using concrete and reclaimed materials

In this video I make a mobile camera stand for workshop use, using an old plastic bucket, some concrete, some castors, a salvaged fence post and some scraps of oak.  This is inspired by the recent builds by Jeremy Schmidt and Jay Bates. 
Jay Bates Studio Camera Stand video: https://goo.gl/O6pAG3
Jay Bates YouTube Channel: https://goo.gl/Q4wbw6
Jeremy Schmidt's Rolling Concrete Camera Stand video: https://goo.gl/T4pR6K
Jeremy Schmidt's YouTube Channel: https://goo.gl/0ej0b4

Making A Cat House For Two Using Scraps Of Wood

In this video, my brother Alan visits my workshop bringing with him some scraps of sheet materials found in his shed - some pieces of various sizes of MDF, ply and chipboard.

Alan wanted a cat house for his two cats George & Jasper, and he already had an idea for the design he wanted, so we first did a quick drawing in SketchUp to figure out how to make best use of the materials that we had to create that design.

The biggest piece we had was a piece of 18mm chipboard, so we cut that in half and used the two pieces to create the front and back panels of the house.  We added a taper to each side of the panels.  This wasn't in Alan's original design but I thought it would make for a more interesting look.  We marked up where the step would be too, and made all the cuts with the circular saw, using a jigsaw to finish off the cuts where the circular blade would not reach.  

Next we needed to cut the side panels to size, and we needed to cut an angle on the ends of each panel to match the angle of the taper on the front and back panels.  We did that by measuring the angle with a bevel guage and tilting the tablesaw blade to match the angle.

Next we cut the central shelf out of a piece of MDF.  The shelf was supported by the top and back panels on one side, but not on the other, so we marked up where the shelf would be with a pencil, and added cleats to the inside to support it using glue and screws.

Then all of the panels were assembled using glue and brad nails.

Alan wanted a scratching pad on the largest side panel, so we wrapped sisal rope around a piece of plywood and used hot glue to secure it.  This would later be attached to the side panel with screws from the inside of the house.

Next we cut entrance holes/windows in to the front and side panels using a jigsaw.

To hide the chipboard appearance of the front panel, I re-sawed some strips of spruce to about 5mm thick on the bandsaw, and then used these pieces as cladding - glued and brad nails attached them to the front panel.  It would have made much more sense to cut the entrance holes after the cladding had been added - but nevermind!

Next we cut the edges of the cladding pieces to the shape of the front panel using the circular saw and a straight edge.

Alan mounted some fur (from a fur throw that he'd purchased) to the step and the top panel with spray glue.  The glue wasn't particularly effective on the material, so I ended up adding trim pieces to secure it using some scraps of sapele.  The top panel didn't need any trim pieces to secure it, as it was nailed directly to the top with the material overhanging the panel and "tucked in".

Next I sanded the whole house with the orbital sander and did some hand sanding around the entrance holes to soften the sharp edges.  

I used a piece of melamine for the bottom panel, this was cut to size at the tablesaw and screwed on to the bottom.

I added some pieces of sapele trim to make doorsteps to the entrances, and a skirting board at the bottom just for aesthetics.  

Finally, I made a sign saying "George & Jasper" using a wood burning iron on a piece of spruce.  This was mounted to a piece of sapele to create a border.

The cat house was a really fun project, and it was very inexpensive to make as basically everything was scrap material (apart from the sisal rope and fur throw)..

George & Jasper love their new home as you can see in the photos!