Just a quick video to talk about some of the changes I'm going to be making in upcoming videos to achieve a new layout for my workshop.
This project was mainly driven by the need to make use of some left over oak veneered MDF. It's the same material as I used for the previous project - the coat and shoe rack, and I needed to clear some space in my workshop which meant using up the rest of it. Because some of the pieces were quite short, I had the idea of making some bedside tables, and when I started using SketchUp to make a 3D model I found that I had just enough material to make 2x matching ones. Unfortunately some of the material had some mould on it, so I couldn't use everything that I had.
I cut the larger pieces to length on the mitre saw and the shorter pieces on the cross cut sled on my tablesaw as they were more manageable.
I assembled them using cleats as they would be hidden by the solid oak trim on the front of each shelf, and I knew they'd be nice and strong and it would be quicker than cutting dado joints. I used some offcuts from the oak parquet coffee table top that I made recently for the cleats.
I used some scraps of oak to cut some trim for the sides of the top shelf to hide the MDF edges and glued and taped them in place I used some boiled linseed oil to better match the colour to the finish on the rest of the pieces.
Finally, I used a rabbet bit on the router to cut a channel on the back where I could flush fit a piece of 4mm plywood. This was then cut to size and glued and nailed on.
I didn't have any use for the bedside tables so I listed them for sale on Gumtree, and they sold within a week!
In this video I buy and restore a secondhand mid century modern style sideboard.
I came across this while browsing through my facebook feed, it looked like someone was going to throw it away, so I bought it from them, paying £20.
It wasn't in too bad condition, but it had some scratches, heat and water stains and one of the drawer runners was missing. The finish was also quite dull.
I started out by making a new set of drawer runners for it, as the old ones were softwood and only attached with staples and very little glue - not very well made...
I made the new runners out of some scraps of oak that I had in the workshop, cutting them to the same size as the old runners.
I carefully positioned them where the old runners had been, using a couple of scrap pieces of wood as "spacers" to keep them at consistent heights. I first glued and nailed them in, knowing that if they didn't quite fit I could pull them off again before the glue set and make adjustments. This method worked quite well. Once I knew that the runners were positioned correctly I attached the new runners with glue and screws making sure to countersink holes in the runners so I wouldn't split the thin pieces of oak.
All three drawers fitted quite nicely apart from the middle drawer, which was a little too low, so I pulled the runners off, placed a couple of shims under the spacers to lift it by a couple of mm and then screwed it in place.
To rejuvenate the finish, I first tried to get rid of the heat and water stains with an iron and a piece of cloth, a method that worked really well when I restored a sapele chest of drawers recently. However it didn't work well on this piece, perhaps because the stains were quite old. So instead, I sanded, and applied some Superior Danish Oil which really brought out the grain nicely and it looked really nice. Finally, I applied some clear Briwax for a bit of extra protection and buffed the whole unit to a nice sheen.
I'm really pleased with how it turned out and it's a perfect fit in my dining room.
I salvaged some pieces of oak veneered MDF with solid oak trim, these were old book shelves that were stored in a cold, damp building and they started to go mouldy so were going to be thrown away.
I had hoped that the mould would clean or sand off, however after trying I realised that the mould goes right through the veneer and in to the MDF, so I decided to cut off the mouldy parts and make use of what was left.
My house has a small entrance porch, and I cut some shelves to the width of the alcove in the porch and fitted them to an adjustable shelving system with brackets to make use of the shelves as a shoe rack.
I wanted to make a matching coat rack with a shelf at the top, to sit above the shoe rack on the wall.
I started by cutting the top shelf to length on the mitre saw and then ripped it to the desired depth on the tablesaw.
I then used the offcut to make the back piece of the coat rack that would have hooks on for the coats.
Then I cut some corner supports that braced the two pieces together at each end.
The hooks for the coat rack came from the salvaged hat and coat stands that I've been using in a lot of recent projects. I have a lot of these hooks so if anyone needs some, get in touch as it'd be great to get them put to some sort of use!
I assembled the rack with glue and screws from the back and secured the top shelf with glue and brad nails.
Then I cut some strips of oak and glued and taped them on to the MDF edges so that they would not be visible.
Finally, I install the rack to the wall.
In this video I talk about why I use salvaged materials, and show you where I get them from.
I also take a walk around my local area to show places where I’ve found things in the past, for example: alleyways in my neighbourhood, communal bin areas, skips, etc.
And I show you what my local reclamation yard has to offer, such as new and old pieces of dimensional wood – both soft woods and hard woods, pressure treated wood, sheets such as plywood, OSB and chipboard flooring. They even have their own selection of items made from reclaimed materials like furniture and house accessories.
Why use salvaged wood / materials
· It’s the right thing to do for ethical reasons – re-cycling means less waste
· They’re either free or inexpensive – my local reclamation yard tends to be around 30% cheaper than big DIY stores, and the quality of materials is often comparable
· Salvaged wood has more character, which is a benefit if you want a “rustic” feel for your project
What are the drawbacks?
· The materials might take longer to prepare – there might be old nails, paint or dirt to deal with
· Knowing if things are OK to take away – for example if you see something on a building site or left by someone’s garden – always ask permission before you take anything!
· It might feel embarrassing to take things that other people are throwing away – but you get used to it!
· Storage – if you have a small workshop or shed then space for storing materials is always a challenge!
Where can I get pallets?
· Ask people who work “in the trade” – often companies will pay other companies to come in and take away pallets and packaging materials – so from my experience they’re usually happy for people to take them away for free
· Check at local retail parks, warehouses and shopping centres – often they’ll leave them outside by the bins – but always ask permission before you take anything, and always check that they are safe to use. They will usually have letters stamped on them – e.g. “HT” = heat treated. Check out this link for more information: http://www.1001pallets.com/
Where else do you get stuff from?
· Now that word has got out a bit about what I do, family and friends often let me know of opportunities – for example – someone’s neighbour is throwing away some old floor boards, or there’s a skip on this road that looks like it’s got some good wood in it – and then I can go and check it out for myself
· Checking Classified Ads – on Gumtree here in the UK there are two sections worth looking in – “DIY Tools & Materials > “Building Materials” and “Freebies”. There are other classified ads websites like craigslist, Shpock, FreeAds, Preloved etc.
Here are a couple of quick tips about glue bottles and glue spreaders
I had an alcove in my dining room that was dead space, and it was too shallow to put a piece of furniture there because it would encroach on the doorway entrance to the room. So I decided to instead install some shelves.
I used some 1" thick pieces of melamine - they were actually faulty desktops at my place of work - the holes were drilled in the wrong place for the desk frames, so the supplier replaced them with new ones so these were all going to be disposed of, and I asked if I could take them home.
I wanted to cut the shelves at an angle to match the shape of the alcove, so I placed a straight edge against the two front corners and used a bevel guage to measure the angle which I think was around 80 degrees. I could then mark this up on to one of the pieces of melamine, and also mark up the desired depth for each side of the shelf as well as the length of the front of the shelf. I cut it out on the bandsaw which left a really nice clean cut with no chip out.
I had to cut out the corner to fit around a piece of architrave surrounding by doorway too. Once I had one shelf that fit nicely, I could use it as a template to cut out the rest of the shelves. I made some shelf supports out of some scrap pieces of blockboard I had in the workshop, and drilled pilot holes on the rill press.
Then I could install the shelf supports and shelves, which were screwed down to the shelf supports to make them more solid.
In this video I make a quick and simple (and not very pretty) tenon jig for my tablesaw, the DeWalt DW745.
I started by creating a box from some scraps of plywood that fitted snugly around the tablesaw fence, which means that the jig will move along with the fence.
Then I added a side fence and a back fence with wood glue and screws to support the workpiece so that it can be clamped down. I cut out a shape on the side fence with the jigsaw to make it easier to attach clamps.
It was critical that both fences were at a perfect 90 degree angle to the tablesaw's table and that the tablesaw blade is at a perfect 90 degree angle to the table when making tenon or morise cuts to achieve a perfect joint.
There's also the option to tilt the blade and use the same jig as a dovetail jig if you want to get clever!
The jig turned out pretty ugly, but that doesn't really matter to me - as long as it is functional that is all I need! And it works well.
In this video I make a frame for the plywood end grain table top that I made in the previous video..
I used some of the oak hat and coat stands that I salvaged from a local office clearance to make the frame. The design of the frame was influenced by a table I saw in a mid-century modern / vintage shop in Mallorca in Spain while I was on holiday, however mine differed slightly as I wanted to add a shelf to sit beneath the table top.
I wanted to make the frame with no metal fixings (screws and nails) - just nice glued bridle joints. I made a simply tenon jig for my tablesaw (which I'll cover in a separate video) to cut the mortise and tenons for the joinery. This did not go particularly well because I made the mistake of not checking my tablesaw blade was at a perfect 90 degree angle to the tablesaw table before making the cuts, so the joints ended up being a little loose in places. Having said that, once they were glued up and finished, they actually don't look too bad at all.... It was my first attempt at bridle joints so I didn't expect them to be perfect!
I also cut a dado housing joint in the leg frame to accommodate the shelf which I cut from a piece of salvaged oak plywood. I trimmed the plywood edges with some more oak to tidy up the look.
And finally I finished the frame to match the table top trim with Superior Danish Oil and some Rustic Pine Briwax. I'm really happy with how this table turned out and it looks great in my living room. It's definitely my favourite piece of furniture that I've made so far.
I had lots of offcuts of various pieces plywood cluttering up the workshop, and rather than throw them away I decided to make a table top from them, using the laminated layers of wood as a feature.
I first checked each piece had a straight edge by holding it up against my tablesaw fence, and then ripped all of the pieces in to 30mm wide strips.
Some of the plywood pieces had some white paint on them, so I sanded the paint off on the belt sander.
Then I could glue up all the strips in to a piece that was roughly 600mm square.
I then flattened the tabletop surface using a handplane, and then the belt sander.
I filled any voids in the plywood with epoxy and sawdust.
Then I made a mitred oak trim for the table top, which I needed to clean up by re-routing it and sanding.
I finished the tabletop with Superior Danish Oil, and I had to apply quite a lot of it as the end grain soaked it up really quickly. Finally I applied some Rustic Pine Briwax and buffed it to a nice sheen. I was really pleased with how it turned out, I think it looks really interesting.
I'll make a second part to this video where I will build a table frame to fit to this table top.