So my plan for vacation this week was to finish up a project I started a couple of months ago. My goal was to make a rolling cabinet for my little Ryobi table saw. I kept having to pull it out from against the wall, plug it in, put it next to my bench that I use for an out feed table, and then start to make cuts. I made an attempt at some dust collection putting a thin board at the bottom of the saw where it mounted to the metal stand. I put a port for shop vac hose, but it was less than efficient. I came up with the idea from reading about mobile work cabinets at the FWW web site. I learned to use Sketch up, took some measurements, and came up with what I thought was a nice solution. The top of the cabinet would be cut out for dust to fall into and then I’ll put a port or maybe a partial hose extension in the 4” tall space to the next shelf. Under that, I thought it would be nice to have a drawer or two in which to keep the odds and ends. I also plan to make a larger drawer on the lower left side to put blades in so they are stored more securely and safely.
The lower right side I wanted a space to put some of my battery powered hand tools instead of moving them from this table to the floor to the other table to a shelf on the bench, well you know, a home. So I knew I would need a face frame so I could mount a door and to cover up the ends of the plywood. After making a bad decision on where I purchased the plywood and ending up having some bows here and there, I finally got the cabinet basically together and on wheels! Early on, I purchased some Alder, which was my first ever hard wood purchase, and decided I would use that for the face frame.
Not having a budget for a proper jointer and planer, I decided I’d try using hand planes instead. My first plane was a 4&1/2 from the big orange box store. I actually bought it before I did research on what made a good hand plane a good hand plane. But I was able to make it nice and flat and was able to get the blade sharp enough to make some nice fine shavings. After using it for a little while, I knew I needed something more substantial to be able to plane a good straight edge for a panel or even something to flatten a panel. I tried a #6 Groz but could not get it to adjust so the blade would retract fully or make as nice as shavings as the super cheapo plane. I talked to a employee at the Woodcraft store from where I purchased the plane and explained the situation and he offered to make me a good deal on the Woodriver #6 if I brought back the Groz, so I did. The Woodriver worked much better. I know its not a Lie Nielsen but if I could afford that brand, I would have just bought the power tools!
Finally, today I finished milling a piece of stock I would use for the face frame. I had the pieces I needed, but would still need to cut mortise and tenons to build the frame. I was just about to call it quits because I know when I get tired I make more mistakes and more work for myself in the long run, but I decided I wanted to try and make the tenons on at least one piece of stock. I know I could have made or bought a tenoning jig or even used the router in the table, but I figured I’d give hand cutting a try since I had plenty of stock for a mistake and I really wanted to see how my Japanese hand saw would perform. It was amazing! The tenons aren’t perfectly straight but I was happy none the less. I used a chisel to clean up the shoulders a bit and was simply amazed that I actually made a joint that looked like a real joint used by real woodworkers! Now I didn’t go and make the mortises since I knew I was already pushing my luck, but can’t wait for tomorrow to see if I can actually make two pieces of wood come together and be somewhat square and stable! Pictures to follow!
-- Love the taste of sawdust in the morning!