Olly Writes

Woodwork, writing, walks, DIY and more!

Category Archives: Workshop

The Clock’s Ticking…

It is September and summer’s gone. Winter will soon be here and that means I wouldn’t usually have long left before having to think about wrapping up and hibernation… This year, however, there’s one very big difference and it’s something I’ve touched on in the past. I think it was first mentioned at the beginning of 2013 but I’ve been almost avoiding it ever since, in the hope that it might not actually happen…

So, I’ve been living back at my mum’s house for over a year now and that’s also where my workshop is. I’m looking to move out again because I need my own space and she’s has thoughts of selling on her mind for a long while. If I go, she has to sell. If I stay, there’s no guarantee that I’ll be happy in my home life, which is perhaps the one part we should not neglect.

So, the piggy-in-the-middle here has go to be my workshop…

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‘Re-Bottomming’ My Drawers

Some of you may recall the making of my workbench back in 2009. It wasn’t until several months later that I decided to make a plywood unit beneath to house three wide drawers for the storage of hand tools and other pieces. In truth, I was never entirely happy with the setup and, each winter, the drawer sides and fronts would swell and it would be an effort to get to the tools I wanted to use. Over time, this has led to the ‘collapse’ of the previous drawer bases (cheap, distorted 6mm plywood).

My workbench drawers; as they were for almost four-years.

A few weeks ago; I took a look at the materials I had available and decided to tackle this issue properly.

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Correcting Sash Cramp Heads

I’m a big fan of sash cramp heads for their sheer versatility. Whether you prefer to say clamp or cramp; these heads can be fitted a length of wood pre-drilled with a series of holes. Wooden bars will always be stronger than some of the cheaper aluminium clamps you can buy today and the real beauty is that you can keep several lengths of pre-drilled wooden bar, but you might then only require a small collection of set of clamp heads, which can then be interchanged to suit the projects you are working on.

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In recent years, I’ve been fortunate enough to have bought a few of these for some very reasonable prices on eBay. You’ll occasionally find that some of the older heads require 12mm holes, where most of the modern ones are suited for 10mm but there’s a bigger problem I’ve noticed with some of the newer sash clamp heads from Record or Irwin and I’m going to address that with a solution in this post.

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A Tidy Workshop

Today, I spent about one-third of my time on a solo walk in Somerset, to the east of the Mendip Hills. I’ll write more about that later on this week and I’ll also have to update you on at least two of three projects I managed to complete in the workshop yesterday! They’re only small but the satisfaction in being able to complete so many pieces at once is great!

This evening’s post is merely a brief one to let you know about a little bit of organisation I created in the workshop recently. It all started with this tangle of plugs that have always lashed on to the fence of my pillar drill…

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New Wheels

This is going to be one of those ‘informative’ kind of posts… I was actually intending to write about something else I made and added to the workshop recently but I appear to be missing some of the in-progress photos of that and, if I did take them then, they must still be on the SD card which is sat out in the workshop right now!

Underneath the router table.

So, this evening’s post concerns some minor modifications I’ve made to the ‘mobility’ of both my table saw’s mobile base and the router table I made back in August.

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Cramps and Pains

With all the glue-ups I’m having to complete with for each of these cutting boards, it’s got me thinking about the sash cramps I own; which ones I like and which ones I actually needs.

In this post, I’ll be running through my ‘collection’ and attempting to construct a plan of action.

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Spring Show Purchases

This post is going to be a brief recap of the few items I purchased at the Yandles show yesterday afternoon. I have driven all the way down there, looked around and then come home again without spending a penny in the past… That’s not easy to do! But then, I’m not one for splurging a small fortunate in a moment of madness (unless I’m sat infront of my laptop, perhaps…).

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Garage Door Ventilation

I’ve just sat down to write this, having spent an hour out in the workshop this evening – after work and in temperatures that are barely anywhere above freezing!

Marking for the cut-out.

You see, I was watching another YouTube video from the Ultimate Handyman last week where he shows you how to fit simple, cheap louvre vents to an up-and-over garage door. My workshop’s always been in need of further ventilation since I draft-proofed the door and there is an ominous smell of ‘damp’ each time I’m out there. I don’t currently own a diamond core bit to drill the walls and I liked that you can fit these higher up the door which, in my mind, means you’re less likely to get frozen toes… I could be wrong!

Either  way, it might help to pass some fresh air up in to the roof space for the time being and I decided to just get this done and to have a go and hopefully get back out there to do some proper woodwork very soon.

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