Olly Writes

Woodwork, writing, walks, DIY and more!

Category Archives: Workshop

New Safety Boots

At the end of March, I started a new job and I recently treated myself to a new pair of safety boots. It’s been slightly surreal, doing a similar job to my previous one but working in a different environment, after almost six years with one company.

Change isn’t always a bad thing, as much as we may sometimes fear it.

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Workshop: Looking Ahead

Having viewed the potential-workshop a few days ago now, I’ve taken the weekend to step back and decide that I will be going for it – just in case there was ever any doubt! 😉

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You know you’re looking forward to something when you find yourself plotting a potential workshop layout!

Things are still yet to be signed, dotted and paid for as I write this but I remain confident regardless. In this post, I’ll be highlighting a few things I’ve since noticed and looking ahead to what will need to be done.

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A New Workshop?

There’s a very good chance that I have found myself a new workshop. Less than two-years after departing the first one alongside my mother’s home.

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Some of you may’ve already seen this photo on social media – for those of you who haven’t, I’d just like to say that it is not my photo. But the previous tenant clearly did a bit of woodworking themselves.

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A Tale of Safe Storage

I hadn’t planned on maintaining such an absence from this blog until now but for the past few days, I’ve been unable to log-in and it looks as though it’s a problem that has hit other WordPress users. But I’m here now; my fingers ready to share so many things and I feel it would be most convenient to share details of this weekend as it comes to a close.

One final shot of my complete workshop in March 2014.

Straying back in to the world of woodworking and workshops for a moment; this weekend was when I decided it was time to put the majority of my tools and equipment in to self storage!

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Cutting the Clutter

We’re already halfway through February and I reckon I’ve got about 6 weeks left before my workshop needs to be empty. Over this weekend, I believe I may have secured a space in which to store (not use) my larger tools and machinery, along with my workbench. There are still two of three items that I intend to sell. On Friday afternoon, I had a good crack at sorting through some more of the unnecessary clutter.

Un-wanted and under-used jigs.

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Bye-Bye Lathe

I wasn’t intending to have anything other than a lie-in on Saturday morning but when someone was willing to pay for and collect my lathe at 9am, I knew I had to be there on-time. Early, in fact!

It happened so fast that I didn’t even take the time to capture a final photo (with the disc sander removed from the equation). So, you’ll have to accept the current setup as above; with a pair of sawhorses providing a place of rest for the old Hegner.

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Dust Wrong

Last week, I found some time to tinker and experiment with the dust extraction setup for my bandsaw. For the last few years, I’ve been using a setup that allows you to connect a vacuum hose to an angled port that surround the blade just below the table. It’s often worked well, collecting a majority of the sawdust and also leaving less to settle on the lower blade guides.

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But it’s not always been as effective as it used to be and I think the change occurred once I added a simple dust separator in to the system, which has always been the Triton DCA300 Dust Bucket. Don’t get me wrong; I’m sure that another separator (particularly a cyclone) would give better results but the Triton one seems to offer an airflow that’s greatly reduced from the force drawn in by the vacuum on its own.

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Making Hoses Fit

If you’ve ever tried to connect a vacuum to your portable power tools, you’re likely to have come across one (if not several) where the supplied nozzle at the end of the hose doesn’t even come close to fitting snugly in to the tool’s outlet. Some people will resort to using masking tape or scraps of PVC pipe; worse still (and I’ve been guilty of this many times) is where people decide to neglect the use of dust extraction and then proceed to cut, plane, rout or sand away with fine particles filling their workshops!

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On Friday, while I was waiting for the glue to dry on a pair of chess boards (more on the perils of gluing end-grain to end-grain another time), I decided to have a go at making an attachment that would connect my vacuum to my random orbital sander. As you can see above; it works and I got the idea initially from (I think) Chris Pine over on Keek (@cpine).

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An additional tip for drilling small squares safely!

You basically take two small squares of plywood, drilling one hole in each. In one block, you have a hole sized to take the nozzle from the vacuum; the other is drilled to fit over your tool’s outlet or port. Then, these two blocks are carefully glued together and I rounded the corners off to make it aesthetically pleasing.

It’s a custom solution that doesn’t cost a lot but might ensure you never run out of masking tape. You may still need to manufacture one ‘fitting’ for each of your tools but, if it means you’re more likely to use dust extraction then it’s worth it.

Thanks for reading and I hope you’ve found this tip useful.

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