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Mitre Station Support, Clamp Storage & Tool Wall - Workshop Re-Model Episode 7

In this video I make a simple unit to support material at the right hand side of my mitre station while I make cuts that also holds some of my clamps too, and I start my first of two new tool walls.
I used some scrap blockboard and melamine to make a simple unit mounted on castors which sits about 1cm below the height of the mitre saw’s base so that when I cut material, the offcut doesn’t fall on to the floor of the workshop.
I made a simple rack inside the unit to hold my F clamps by cutting some slots in to another piece of blockboard and this was mounted inside the unit.  Then I added some narrow pieces of wood to stop the clamps rocking forward/backward which would also hold my spring clamps.  I also mounted a couple of simple plywood pieces to the side to hold my long reach C clamps.
That was the clamp storage/mitre station support sorted.
Next I mounted some sheets of reclaimed OSB to the wall of my workshop which would become my main tool wall near my work bench.  This wall was already insulated.   I had a few cuts to make to fit it to the wall as there was a power socket and light fixture in the way.  I made the cuts with the jigsaw and then mounted the OSB to the workshop wall uprights with screws and coated it with a few coats of white satin paint. 
Due to the walkway around my workbench being quite narrow, I only mounted things to the toolwall that would not protrude too much as I don’t want to be knocking things off as I walk by – things like rulers, squares, hammers, handsaws etc.  everything is held in place with drywall screws only – no fancy French cleats or anything.  Screws had worked fine for the past couple of years to hold everything, and nothing ever fell off the walls, so I saw no reason to complicate the job in hand!
Once the boards were mounted, I added decorators caulk to the gaps just to improve aesthetics.

New Mitre Station (part 3 of 3) - Workshop Re-Model Episode 6

In part 3 I begin by making a new fence for the mitresaw.  Originally I was going to make one using wood, but while I was in my local DIY shop I stumbled upon some lengths of aluminium angle which were relatively inexpensive and it occurred to me that it would be worth using that instead as it is perfectly straight.  
I decided to fit this not only to the worktop of the mitrestation, but also to the saw itself to replace the existing mitre saw fence.  
I cut the aluminium to length with a hacksaw.  Then I marked up where to drill holes for the bolts very carefully using digital calipers.  I centre punched with an awl, applied oil and then drilled the holes with a 10mm drill bit.  The bolts were 8mm but I wanted to have some room for adjustments which would enable me to get the fence at a perfect 90 degree angle to the blade.
Next I fitted the fence to the mitre saw on one side and squared it up to the blade using a framing square.  I propped open the blade guard using a wedge of wood.  When it appeared that the fence was at 90 degrees to the blade, I secured the bolt on the other side and I could then do a test cut.
I swapped the blade out as I didn’t want to cut through aluminium with my new blade, and then I made the cut.
Next I made a test cut, flipped one of the pieces by 180 degrees and pushed both pieces up against the straight fence and there were no gaps inbetween the two pieces which told me that the cut was accurate at 90 degrees – I was surprised to get this right first time as it’s always taken me a few attempts in the past!
Then I secured the rest of the fence down to the worktop by drilling pilot holes, counter sinking, and adding screws.
I bought a metallic faced, adhesive measuring tapes by Kreg.  Rather than fitting it to the front of the fence I decided to mount a piece of wood to the back of the fence, and fit the measuring tape to the top of the piece of wood instead because I was worried that by applying it to the front it would affect the cutting accuracy.
I ripped a piece of wood to slightly below the height of the fence to leave space for the thickness of the measuring tape and attached it to the fence again with screws.  It was important to countersink the holes again so that the head of each screw was set back from the front of the fence so that it wouldn’t affect the accuracy of cuts.  I also had to cut away some material from the piece of wood for where the bolt heads were on the mitre saw using a forstner bit. 
To make sure that the measuring tape would stick effectively to the wood I applied some pva glue to seal the wood.  That worked well.
Next I started making a stop block.  I used a scrap of mahogany and a Stanley knife blade to make a measurement point marker.  The stop block was cut to an L shape at the tablesaw.  
I re-shaped the Stanley knife blade to the shape I wanted on the belt sander then I spray painted the tip of it black, and used epoxy to glue it to the stop block.
Then I could stick down the measuring tape to the piece of wood. I realised that I would need to offset the tape by the distance between the measuring pointer on the stop block which was just over 4mm.
I tested the accuracy of the stop block by setting it to 600mm and cutting a piece of wood, and then confirming with a tape measure that it measured exactly 600mm – and it did, so no further adjustments were necessary.
Next I fitted my dust collection hoses to both the saw and the belt sander mounted underneath the mitresaw cabinet.  I can then use the shop vac on either machine by swapping from hose to hose.
That is the mitre station complete.



The New Mitre Station (part 2 of 3) - Workshop Re-Model Episode 5

In part 2 of the mitre station build, I started by fitting some structural supports/spacers to the mitresaw stand.  These would make the structure more rigid and also ensure that the space between the two panels would be evenly spaced so that I could later fit a drawer in the space.
Next I made a hood for the mitresaw to help contain any dust that my shop vac doesn’t catch.  I used some salvaged blockboard to make the hood, and another piece of white 1 inch thick melamine for the top.  I needed to cut away some of the material with the jigsaw to fit around both the workshop wall uprights and around a plug socket so that it was still accessible.
To fit the mitresaw to the melamine top, I made sure to position it so that all the tilt and pivot functions worked as they should.  Then I drilled pilot holes and added bolts, washers and nuts to secure the saw to the worktop.  The bolts I used were too long so I used an angle grinder to cut them to the right length.
I made the drawer for the mitresaw cabinet from some more blockboard and a piece of low grade plywood for the bottom.  I used the same method as I had used for the drawers in my tablesaw stand, however this time it didn’t go as well as the drawer was about 1mm too wide.  I tackled this by removing the drawer runners, running the assembled drawer through the tablesaw to trim off 1mm from one of the sides, and then re-fitted the runners.  This worked well.
For the drawer front, I used some more poplar that came from some salvaged pallet collars which would match the pieces I used to trim the plywood edges on the rest of the mitre station.  There were a lot of imperfections and knots in the wood so I ripped the best pieces on the tablesaw and glued up a panel big enough to use for the drawer front.
Once the glue had dried, I ran the panel through the thickness planer to clean it up and attached it to the drawer temporarily using hot glue until I could secure it permanently with screws from the inside of the drawer.
I made a handle for the drawer from another poplar offcut, ripped at an angle on the tablesaw to form a “finger pull” shape.
I finished the drawer front with some boiled linseed oil

The New Mitre Station (part 1 of 3) - Workshop Re-Model Episode 4

In this video I start making a new mitre station for my workshop to create space in the corner for a wood storage bin, and also to make it a little slimmer so there would be more walkway space.  
I dismantled my old mitre station and re-used most of the material for the new one.  
I started by screwing a horizontal support piece to the uprights of the workshop walls.  
Then I built the frame for the storage shelves (where I will store power tools and short scraps of wood) and worktop (where my belt/disc sander will be).
I added a trim to the plywood edges using some salvaged poplar.
Next I started to build the unit that the mitre saw would sit on.  I had some white 1 inch thick melamine which I cut to size for the top and some salvaged plywood as a side panel.
I used a straight edge and some sheets of paper as a "feeler guage" to make sure that the mitresaw table and the worktop were perfectly level with one another until it was as accurate as I could get it.

Wood Finishes - A Quick Guide - Varnish / Stain / Oil / Wax / Lacquer / Polyurethane / Shellac

Wood stains, also known as wood dyes are designed to change the colour of wood while leaving the grain still visible. Most stains don't offer a lot of protection to wood, apart from perhaps some of the stains that are made for external use which tend to be a lot thicker, so if you're using a stain it's usually a good idea to apply a protective coat of something else like a varnish afterwards - depending on what project you're doing and what look you want to achieve. Stains are available in all sorts of different colours, but the colour that you will achieve after applying will also depend on the type of wood that you are applying it too. I'd recommend using a piece of scrap of the same wood that you want to apply the stain to, wait for it to dry and then you can check if it's a colour that you're happy with before you apply it to the actual thing that you want to stain. If the colour is too intense, you can dilute it with mineral spirits to thin it out and make the stain more subtle. If the colour isn't intense enough, then you can apply multiple coats until you get the result you want. Stains are easy to apply with either a paint brush or a rag. It usually dries pretty quickly. Applying stain can raise the grain on some wood types, so you might want to rub it down with some steel wool or do some light sanding in between coats to keep things smooth. You can add other finishes like oil or varnish after your stain has dried without any problems.

Oils make wood look good. Unfinished wood looks dry and kind of dull, and applying oil will bring out the natural beauty of the wood making the grain pop and nourishing the wood - it replaces the natural oils in wood that dry out over time. Oil will add a bit of colour to the wood too, making it slightly darker and it can also add a warmer yellowish tint to it, but not in the same way that a stain would change the colour of wood - you generally get more of a natural look with oil. There are loads of different types of oils but some of the most popular ones are boiled linseed oil, teak oil, ting oil, mineral oil and danish oil. Oils add a bit of protection to the wood against things like moisture but are nowhere near as effective as a finish like varnish or lacquer would. Danish oil offers more protection than other oils because it is actually a mixture of oil and varnish, so it is more hard wearing. Oils are easy to apply with a brush or a rag. You can apply multiple coats of oil if you want to achieve different looks. Boiled Linseed Oil is cheap to buy so I tend to use that when I want to bring out the beauty of the wood in a project but I don't need much protection - like on a picture frame for example. I tend to use Danish Oil when I need a bit more protection, for example on a table top. Mineral oil is good for things like chopping boards, because it is food safe and it won't go rancid.

Polyurethane finish is basically a liquid plastic, and it can either be water based or oil based, the water based stuff dries quickly but doesn't do much to bring out the natural beauty of the wood, whereas oil based takes longer to dry and will pop the grain nicely and add a warm tint to it. It's usually available in different levels of sheen - gloss is shiny when it catches the light, Matt is not shiny at all and Satin is somewhere in between the two. Polyurethane is the most durable and hard wearing finish - so it's good to use on things like floorboards or table tops. You can apply it with a brush, but I like to use a wipe on poly - that way you don't need to worry about dealing with brush strokes. But if you do use a brush, a bit of wet sanding with some fine grit wet and dry abrasive paper will usually smooth it out nicely. The down side to polyurethane finish in my opinion is that it has kind of a plasticky feel to it so I don't tend to use it very often but that's just a personal thing

Varnish is an older type of finish made up of oils, resin and solvents. It dries slowly and isn't as durable as polyurethane, but it does offer better UV protection than polyurethane. It's usually cheaper than polyurethane too.
Yacht varnish also knows as spar varnish is great for exterior use, great for things like decking and garden furniture.

Shellac is another older type of finish. It's basically flakes of waxy resin scraped from a tree which is then mixed with an alcohol solvent which makes it easy to apply and it dries quickly. It offers a very glossy finish and is often used on antiques and fine furniture. Shellac is what is used for French polishing which is basically applying lots of very thin coats of shellac. It is not as durable as polyurethane or varnish but it does look great, however it can appear slightly dull and cloudy with age.

Lacquer is a thin liquid varnish usually applied by spraying. It dries quite quickly due to the evaporating solvents that it contains. It's durable and hardwearing and it can also be polished to a glossy finish. And it also pops the grain and brings out the natural beauty in wood without drastically changing the colour of the wood.

Finishing Wax is usually made mainly of beeswax. It's available as a clear finish or in different colours. It offers a bit of protection to wood against moisture and it brings out the natural beauty in the wood and a leaves a very smooth to the touch finish. It is best applied sparingly using a rag, or you can use a brush and then wipe off the excess with a rag. After it dries it can be buffed using another clean rag to a nice satin ish sheen. It's not suitable for exterior use.

Mobile Tablesaw Stand for DeWalt DW745 (part 2 of 2) - Workshop Re-Model Episode 3

In this video I make a back panel for the stand out of some low grade packaging plywood.  I did this mainly to stop some of the dust getting in to the bottom section where the shop vac and jigs will be stored, but it will also add rigidity to the stand.

Next I fitted the shop vac hose, using a hole saw drill bit.

I cut some pieces of poplar in to 10mm strips, cut them to length and glued and nailed them to the front edges of the stand mainly to hide the plywood edges for aesthetics.

I went and bought some epoxy coated drawer runners so that I could fit a couple of drawers to the front section.  Unfortunately they didn't come with any instructions so I measured the thickness of them with digital calipers, and then used that to calculate what size I would need to make the drawers.

The drawers were a very simple construction - 18mm plywood (thicker than needed, but it's what I had to hand and I wanted to use up the offcuts) glued and screwed butt joints, and a plywood panel glued and screwed to the bottom.

The drawer fitting went smoothly apart from that there wasn't quite enough clearance between the two drawers, but I used the tablesaw to cut a few mm off the top of one of the drawers and then re-fitted - problem solved.  

Next I could add the drawer fronts, for which I used some oak veneeered plywood offcuts.  I positioned them where I wanted them using hot glue, and then I could screw them on from inside for extra strength.  I used a steel ruler to space the drawers apart.

I made some drawer handles for the drawers using some offcuts of mahogany ripped at an angle on the tablesaw to create somewhere for fingers to grip.  I glued and clamped these to the drawer fronts.

I added some boiled linseed oil to finish the drawer fronts, and they looked pretty nice.



Mobile Tablesaw Stand for DeWalt DW745 (part 1 of 2) - Workshop Re-Model Episode 2

In this video I start making a mobile stand for my tablesaw the DeWalt DW745 as part of my workshop re-model to achieve a new layout.
My old mobile stand for the tablesaw had been thrown together quite quickly and so there were a number of improvements I wanted to make for the new version.
I started by designing the stand in 3D using SketchUp to get an idea of what I could make from the materials I had.  As usual, I just wanted to use reclaimed materials, stuff I already had in my workshop.
I’ve created some free plans showing full dimensions and a cut list – this is available on the Resources page. These plans are optimised – i.e. any mistakes I made during the build process, I have rectified for the plans.
I wanted the following:
· For it to be the same height as my workbench, so that I could use my workbench as an outfeed table
· An extension table – this would give me more work surface in the workshop and also makes it easier to rip larger sheet materials on the saw
· Space for my tablesaw jigs – like my cross cut sled, frame spline and tenon jigs
· A couple of drawers for tablesaw accessories – wrenches, push sticks, angle guauge, inserts etc.
· Space to introduce a new shop vac to the workshop – one that will be permanently hooked up to the tablesaw
It was a challenge finding a 30 litre shop vac that would fit on the stand underneath the tablesaw, as I was restricted to 523mm height, and a lot of the manufacturers don’t list the dimensions of the products they sell on their websites!  But eventually I found one in my local ScrewFIx – a Titan 30 litre 1400 watt machine.  It would only fit in the space without either the handle attached, or the wheels – I opted to take the handle off, and add the wheels to the bottom – and that just fits inside nicely with about 5mm height clearance.  
I started by cutting the plywood panels to size based on the 3D drawing I’d done – there are 5 panels in total (excluding the back panel which is optional) and I used 18mm thick material just because that’s what I had. I didn’t have quite enough plywood to make the whole thing so ended up using a piece of melamine for the central shelf.
With the panels cut to size, I could then assemble.  Simple construction - butt joints, drilled pilot holes, applied wood glue and used drywall screws (again, just because that’s what I had available).  I used a speed square to keep everything square and measured carefully to ensure that the tablesaw’s table and the extension table would sit at exactly the right height that I wanted based on my drawing.
I re-used the castors from my old tablesaw stand on the new stand – these were screwed in place and I used some brass washers to get a bit more purchase.
For the top section where the drawers would be, I wanted to ensure that this was spaced accurately so I cut a couple of scrap pieces to use as “spacers” – it worked out really well.  I also ended up using the spacers as kind of a cleat type thing (not sure how better to explain!), to attach the worktop from underneath.
For the extension table, I used a scrap piece of kitchen worktop that I had left over from my kitchen re-fit earlier in the year.  It was 40mm thick.  I cut it to size on the tablesaw.  
I used some pieces of wood that I’d salvaged from an old futon bed some time ago to make a trim for the extension table to hide the chipboard edges of the melamine worktop.  I cut 45 degree mitres and glued and nailed them in place. 
This build will continue in part 2 when I will make a back panel for the stand, add a trim using some poplar to hide the plywood edges at the front, and build and install the two drawers.

Small Workshop Layout Changes - A Quick Introduction - Workshop Re-Model Episode 1

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.

Oak Bedside Tables

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!



Restoring A Mid Century Modern Sideboard

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.