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Jewellery Box made from pallet wood (Part 3 of 3)

To finish off the tray that would sit inside the jewellery box, I first cut a centre section with a small handle (shaped by drawing around a large washer) that would be used to lift the tray in and out of the box.  This was cut on the bandsaw and shaped using a file and some sanding.

I glued the partitions in to the tray.

I then wanted to make a decorative inlay on top of the lid, so I used some sapele and oak offcuts to cut some very small pieces at the bandsaw, glued them together in to a bar.  I then cleaned up one face on the bandsaw.

To cut a housing joint in to the lid which would accommodate the inlay, I used the tablesaw by setting the blade height to less than  the thickness of the inlay, and made a series of cuts until it was the right width.  I needed to clean out the joint using a chisel because my blade doesn't have square teeth so it left some grooves.

Next I glued in the inlay.  Once the glue was dry I could then make it flush with the top of the box using my hand plane.

After some sanding, it looked great.

Next I added some brass butterfly hinges to the back of the box and lid.  

I added a roundover to the top of the lid using my trim router,

Then I added a hook and eye style catch for the front of the box to hold the lid closed.

Finally I finished the box using some teak oil.  I later (off camera) gave the box two coats of spray varnish, wet sanding in between the coats with 400 grit wet and dry abrasive paper to give the box a bit more protection and a harder seal, as the wood seems quite soft.

This was quite a long project I think I spent 25-30 hours on the box in total.  I enjoyed making it.


Jewellery Box made from pallet wood (Part 2 of 3)

The next job was to cut some splines at the mitred corners to re-enforce the strength of the box.

I set my tablesaw blade to a height to ensure it wouldn't cut through to the inside of the box, and used my frame spline jib to cut three slots on each corner, equally spaced.

I cut some splines out of some scrap pieces of sapele and glued them in place.  To cut them to the right size, I used a spare tablesaw blade to set the distance between the blade that was fitted and the tablesaw fence ensuring that the blades were tooth to tooth.  This gave me perfectly sized splines which I cut out on the bandsaw before gluing.

I trimmed off the excess spline material at the bandsaw and sanded them flush with the sides of the box.

Next I marked up where I wanted to make a cut for the lid, lined up the mark with my blade and made the cut at the tablesaw,

To make sure that the lid and top of the box were perfectly flat I sanded them on a flat board covered in sandpaper with sticky back tape.

WIth the box finished, I started working on some partitions to sit inside the box using the left over panels of meranti.

I ripped them to the width I wanted on the tablesaw and used my bandsaw to resaw the material to give me more pieces. to work with Then I sanded the pieces and cut them to length on the mitre saw. 

I wanted two of the pieces to cross over to form a cross so I cut out a joint on the bandsaw in the centre of each piece and pushed them together, getting a snug fit by using a file.  Then I could glue the partitions in place.and weighted them down using a brick.

I wanted to make a tray which would sit on top of the partitions, so I made another mitred box with another slot and 5mm plywood bottom in the same way as I had made the main box.  I glued and clamped this together.

Once it was assembled I needed to do some sanding to get it to fit inside the box.






Jewellery Box made from pallet wood (Part 1 of 3)

In this video I make a jewllery box out of some pallet wood which I believe to be Meranti.

I started by cutting out all the bits with nails in, and then used my electric planer to get one edge and one face of each piececleaned up and square.  

I glued the pieces up in panels with the flattened sides face down and the jointed edges together, and when the glue had dried I ran the panels through the thicknesser to clean up the other side.  Unfortunately the grain on the wood tore out quite badly so I ended up using a sharp cutting edge in a hand plane which had much better results.

Next I cut the panels down to the size I wanted the box to be and mitred the panels using my panel sled on my tablesaw.

I cut a slot near the bottom of the box to accommodate a 5mm plywood bottom which I cut to size at the tablesaw..  

Then I could assemble the box with the plywood bottom in the slot.  I used some elastic bands to hold it all together until the glue dried as I only had one strap clamp.

Next I cut a top panel to length at the mitresaw.  I wanted to set the top panel inside the box so I made some reference marks and cut some rebates at the tablesaw so that the panel would fit snugly inside at the top of the box.  I cleaned up the cuts with a chisel and then glued on the top panel using some claamps to apply pressure.  Once that was dry I made it flush with a handplane.


Hand Plane Set Up - in seven simple steps

In this video I talk about how I set up my hand planes in seven simple steps. At the end of the video I talk about my hand plane collection.

Flat sole
The sole of the plane needs to be as flat as you can get it. 
The easiest way that I have found to check for flatness is to tape down some 120 grit sandpaper to a known flat surface – you could use a piece of glass, or a tablesaw table, or even a ceramic tile for example.  In the video I use a piece of 12mm MDF.
Back off the iron so that it’s well clear of the throat, you don’t want to sand the cutting iron.  But it’s better to leave it in rather than taking it out because the tension of the lever cap can slightly alter the shape of the sole very slightly, so if you flatten the sole with the lever cap on, then you know it’s flat with the cutting iron in which is how you’ll be using it.
Draw some lines on the sole with a sharpie pen from one side to the other all the way down the length of the sole.
Then sand the sole and if the pen marks are visible in some areas, that means it’s not flat, so you’ll want to do some more sanding.  If it appears to be badly out of shape then you might want to start with a more aggressive paper like 80 grit which will remove material more quickly, and then when it’s flat move up to 120.
There’s really no need to go above 120 grit as that is plenty smooth enough but you can if you want it to look more polished.  Once the sole is flat, it’s really important to lubricate it, which I’ll talk more about a bit later.
Sharp Cutting Iron
A sharp cutting edge will make the plane cut cleaner and the hand plane will also be easier to use as there’ll be less resistance.
The method I use for sharpening is to use a honing guide like this one, I set the tip of the cutting edge to be around 35mm from the front of this honing guide which gives me an angle somewhere between 25 and 30 degrees.  Then I sharpen on a 360 grit diamond plate, using some water with a drop of washing up liquid to lubricate the stone and checking to make sure that I’m cutting along the whole length of the cutting edge.  Then I do the same again at 600 grit on the other side of the plate.  Then I use a waterstone at 1000 grit, and then the other side at 6000 grit. Then I hone the cutting edge using this green cutting compound on a piece of leather glued to a block of MDF and I do this free hand without the honing guide.  Then I remove the burr from the back of the blade with one stroke.  I test it’s sharp using a piece of paper, and when it cuts cleanly I know I’ve got a good cutting edge. 
Here are some links to the items I use for sharpening - all of them are inexpensive.
Taidea 360/600 grit diamond plate http://amzn.to/2pXfLZX (Amazon UK) or http://amzn.to/2o9cudt (Amazon US)

Japanese 1000/6000 grit whetstone http://amzn.to/2oHw3pm (Amazon UK) or http://amzn.to/2pIpzIb (Amazon US)

Green polishing compound http://amzn.to/2oHwtvW (Amazon UK) or http://amzn.to/2pIa7LQ (Amazon US)

Honing Guide http://amzn.to/2pXgLgQ (Amazon UK) or http://amzn.to/2pIiqY4 (Amazon US)
Chip breaker / Cap Iron set
Once your cutting iron is nice and sharp you’ll want to attach it to the cap iron, also known as chip breaker which is this piece here, and it’s job is to deflect the shavings out through the top of the plane and reduce tear out.  I like to set mine so that it is 2mm away from the tip of the cutting iron.  To adjust it, you can unscrew the thumbscrew that holds both irons together and manoeuvre it in to place being careful not to let it rub against the tip of the cutting iron as that can dull the blade, then tighten the screw to set it.  You can also flatten the tip of the cap iron to make sure it makes contact with the cutting iron from one side to the other which will help prevent chips getting caught in there.
Lever Cap setting
The lever cap allows you to quickly remove and re-fit the cap iron and cutting iron at the flick of a lever.  There's an adjustment screw which controls how tight the mechanism is and also how tight the blade adjustment knob is to turn, which is this part here.  Tightening the screw will make the adjustment knob and the lever mechanism tighter, and loosening it will make the knob turn and the flipping of the lever more easy and you can adjust this until you get it operating just the way you want it.  I like to set mine so that the adjustment knob can be twisted with one finger which allows me to adjust it quickly and easily.
Blade cutting depth and alignment
Next it’s time to set the blade cutting depth using the screw knob on the back.  To do this I hold the plane right up to one eye and hold it up towards a light, I close my other eye and I sight down the length of the sole turning the knob until I can see just the very tip of it protruding from the throat.  If one side is protruding more than the other, then I use the alignment lever to angle the blade so that it’s level and straight.  Then I back off the blade by half a turn or so and give it a try on a piece of wood advancing the blade with each pass until I get a shaving.  Then to test I first use the right hand side of the blade, and then the left and I look for both shavings to be the same thickness – and when they are, I know my blade is correctly aligned.
Mouth width / frog adjustment
The distance between the front of the throat and the cutting iron can be increased or decreased depending on how much material you want to remove with the plane.  I like to set mine so that the distance between the cutting edge (when it's able to take a light shaving) and front of the mouth is 2mm. 
If you find that shavings get caught in the throat as you’re planing, and you’re having to pull them out all the time by hand, then that’s usually a sign that the opening is too narrow, so you’ll probably want to open it up a bit.
To adjust it, this part of the plane is called the frog, and at the back of it you’ll find an adjustment screw at the bottom.  This can be turned clockwise to advance the frog or counter clockwise to back it off and make the opening wider.
This one is sometimes overlooked, but makes a huge difference. I regularly lubricate the sole of my plane between and during use, it makes the plane glide much easier and take a lot less effort and it also protects it from rust.  I either use some regular oil or a lubrucating wax on a cloth. For the sole of the plane though, I like to use some candle wax.
If you follow the above steps then you should get decent results.
Finally I thought I’d talk about my own hand planes, and I only have three.  I have a vintage Record No. 5 which I use the most, probably 90% of the time and I have this set up as a smoothing plane to take mostly thin shavings.  Then I have this unbranded No. 4 hand plane which I tend to use for rougher work with more questionable materials (in case there are nails embedded in the wood). And finally I have a Draper block plane which I tend to use predominantly for bevelling edges, or creating subtle roundover edges.

My Tools - Corded Hand Power Tools

In this video I talk about the corded hand power tools that I use, where I'll cover what I like about the tools, what I dislike about them and ultimately whether I'd recommend buying them or not.
Tools featured in this video are:
Bosch PKS 46 Circular Saw (no longer available)
Bosch PST 700E Jigsaw: http://amzn.to/2luNNX4 (Amazon UK) 
VonHaus Oscillating Tool: http://amzn.to/2luUPLi (Amazon UK) or http://amzn.to/2kzfv5g (Amazon US)
Black & Decker CD115 Angle Grinder: http://amzn.to/2lXHGYv (Amazon UK) or http://amzn.to/2lh1x4Z (Amazon US)
Silverline Silverstorm 247820 Power Belt File: http://amzn.to/2lXIPzw (Amazon UK) or http://amzn.to/2kJ91Mj (Amazon US)
Ryobi EBS 800 Belt Sander: http://amzn.to/2lXLMzL (Amazon UK) 
Draper 75303 Biscuit Jointer no longer available but they now make this one: http://amzn.to/2lXzs2B (Amazon UK)
Makita BO5021 Random Orbit Sander (no longer available)
Makita TR0 700C Trim Router: http://amzn.to/2lXKp4m (Amazon UK) or http://amzn.to/2lV8MCY (Amazon US)
Draper 90088 Plunge Router (no longer available)

My Tools - Cordless Hand Power Tools (Makita and Bosch)

In this video I talk about the cordless hand power tools that I use, where I'll cover what I like about the tools, what I dislike about them and ultimately whether I'd recommend buying them or not.

Tools featured in this video (affiliate links):
Bosch PSB 1800 LI-2 Cordless Drill with 2 batteries: http://amzn.to/2lv1K7j (Amazon UK)
Makita DTD 152 Impact Driver: http://amzn.to/2luW2lI (Amazon UK)
Makita DSS 610 Circular Saw: http://amzn.to/2lXP5ac (Amazon UK)
Makita DBO 180 Random Orbit Sander: http://amzn.to/2o3P2tD (Amazon UK) http://amzn.to/2mP9cqp (Amazon US)

Wooden YouTube Play Button (mahogany and poplar)

In this video I make a wooden YouTube Play Button, because I hit 20k subs and 100k subs (which is when YouTube will present an official plaque) seems quite far away!

I chose mahogany for two good reasons - firstly, it has a reddish tint and secondly I had some small scraps of it to use up!  These pieces came from some reclaimed wooden hat and coat stands - the pieces I used were the feet that supported the upright piece.

I started by ripping them square on the tablesaw, to remove the tapered face.  

Then I jointed one side and ran the other through the thickness planer.

I glued the pieces together and clamped them with bar clamps

When the glue had set I used a hand plane to clean up the faces of the new block.

Then I trimmed the excess off each end.

I used a pencil to mark up the play icon, and a round object to round over the corners, and then cut the edges on the bandsaw before refining the shape at the belt sander.

Next I drilled a recess in the play icon using a forstner bit on my drill press table before routing out the rest of the icon shape.  I then needed to chisel out the rounded over corners to form the triangle.

I made a rubbing of the shape on a piece of paper, and then stuck that piece of paper to a piece of poplar which came from a pallet collar.  I chose poplar as it is pale in colour and will contrast well with the mahogany.

I cut out the shape on the bandsaw and I could then glue it in to the recess.

I used the bandsaw to trim off the excess material (as the poplar was quite thick).

Then I used the hand plane to get the inlay flush with the mahogany face of the block.

I tilted my tablesaw blade and cut bevels on all 4 front edges of the block and used a hand plane and orbital sander to smooth over the bevels.  

I used teak oil to finish the play button.  I'm really happy with how it turned out.



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