Olly Writes

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Tag Archives: biscuit joints

Lipping Forwards

You may have already guessed by now that I didn’t get much done on the router table last weekend. Actually, I barely spent any time in the workshop at all. I find it hard to go in there sometimes… Not just because I live further away now but, when working with wood and power tools for four-and-a-half days a week, I often feel as though I’d like to be doing something different on a weekend. I guess that workshops are a lot like relationships and women in that respect… Every now and again, we need a little time apart from one another! 😛

This afternoon and, with the up-and-over door wide open, I braved the unbearable heat(!) of my small workshop in order to begin working on the top to my new router table. First, I needed to lip all the edges of the MDF sheet with some kind of hardwood.

Looking at the photo above; can you guess which species I used, before clicking below to read on? 🙂

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Router Table Begins!

This weekend, the weather’s been so nice that I couldn’t think of a better way to spend my Saturday afternoon that cutting up a sheet of dust-ridden 18mm MDF on the drive! 😀

Staddons must’ve received their delivery later on Friday afternoon, as they had a sheet ready to cut to size by the time I arrived on Saturday morning. After studying a cutting sheet I’d set out using the components in Google SketchUp, I asked them to crosscut the sheet at 1600mm, leaving <840mm x 1220mm on the other end. I was a bit optimistic when I assumed that this would fit to my small van with ease… It did fit but, the larger half was angled at a position that meant it resting against my head during the short journey back to the workshop! I wish I’d taken a photo! 😉

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Router Table Design

Earlier this week, I did say that I was going to buy a sheet of 18mm MDF today for the floor-standing router table I was going to begin building this weekend…

Well, I haven’t been able to get as much done on the design-front and, until I’m more certain of the finished dimensions of some of the components, I’m a little cautious of ordering a sheet and having it cut to size – to fit in the back of my van and also, to make life a bit easier handling it at the workshop.

Still, I’d like to share where my design is in its current state, after a brief moment of play in Google SketchUp last night.

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DVD Wall Shelf (Part 2)

It seems that I’ve skipped an update, here, on the simple DVD wall shelf that I began working on two-weeks ago – my apologies for that. After roughing out all the timber for the four shelves and two sides last time, I was still left with a small collection of cupped boards. This cupping wasn’t as severed as with the 10in-wide boards I’d started with but, I knew it was still likely to cause me some problems later on.

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Something for Your Biscuits

Here’s a useful little workshop aid that I hadn’t seen before I re-enrolled at college, close to four-years ago now. I’ve bought biscuits from several different manufacturers. Lamello are my current favourites and I’ve also used Trend – the less said about Silverline, though, the better!! One problem I often run in to – and, I’m sure you’ve found the same for yourself – is that some biscuits will be significantly tighter than others. Where most will slip in and out of a slot with ease, there’s always one or two that need a hammer to drive them in. On the other side of the coin; getting them out again can be a burden in itself – I’ve had many biscuits ‘shatter’ whilst I’m trying to lever them out with a pair of pincers, leaving ‘fragments’ of compressed beech that are no easier to remove.

All you need here is a scrap of 18mm MDF (thinner stuff may also suffice). I’ve added a softwood ‘hook’ below the front edge so that I can safely hold this jig in my vice. On top, there are three shallow recesses; each one cut ‘freehand’ with a router to a depth of no more than 3mm. One size fits each of the three common sizes for biscuits (0, 10 and 20) and a small hole either side of the recess allows you to lever them out again safely. All you do is press the biscuit in to the correct recess and take a couple of thin shavings.

Before any says it, yes, I do store my biscuits in air-tight containers (pickled onion jars, etc,) that prevent moisture from getting in. Yet, I still suffer from swollen biscuits, which is why I’ve made this jig. I imagine that part of the problem though, is that I buy my biscuits in bulk boxes of one-thousand at a time (particularly for the no.20s, which I use all the time). Honestly, it is so much cheaper than buying them in bags of one-hundred, if you do a lot of biscuit-jointing, that is.

I’ve seen people achieve the same objective by resorting to the art of sanding – which most commonly involves inverting a wooden sanding block, covering it in a coarse sheet of abrasive paper and then running the biscuit back and forth over the top. Well, the jig I’ve made creates no dust and you’re not at risk of abrading the ends of your finger tips, considering that you’re working with a material that’s only 4mm thick.

I hope you’ve found this quick-tip to be useful.

Thanks for reading.

Drawer Repair

Shortly after moving home at the end of last month/beginning of this one, I was asked to repair a drawer for someone. Sadly, it wasn’t of the traditional all-wooden construction. But, with a thin sheet of paper containing an image of the Queen being waved in my face, I said I’d have a look at this chipboard conundrum.

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One Last Stand (…for 2010)

Now, I remember why I used to hate working forty-hours a week – it leaves you with very little time (and energy) for woodworking – hence, why I haven’t had much to blog about for almost an entire month now. Working a mixed shift pattern of early mornings late evenings doesn’t help much, either. With money coming though, I’ve been able to stock up on materials for a few workshop improvements I’m planning to keep myself busy through the winter. This first one is a simple cabinet stand for my recently-acquired PK200 table saw. I also have plans to make a fit some new fences to my mitre saw and router table; while I’ve also decided I will make an MDF table for my pillar drill, even though Axminster sell something that costs only £50.

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