Olly Writes

Woodwork, writing, walks, DIY and more!

Tag Archives: idea

Window Mirror Concept

Inspired by this recent video from Ana White, I’ve spent a short space of time over the weekend thinking about a window-style mirror that I make for my flat.

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It’s an old building with windows only down one wall (one in each room), as another building backs on to this. With high ceilings, it can also get dim even with the lights in full glow and, while I’ve had an idea to source a large mirror to help disperse more of the limited natural light, it may cost about the same for me to just make one.

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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.

Bandsawn Bowl

This video was released (released?) last weekend and I do have a new one planned for the next couple of days (if I can fit it in, with the 20-mile walk on Sunday and all). I seem to be saying this quite frequently but it’s had possibly the best reception for any video of mine so far, when you look at the limited time at which it’s been available.

Woodturning without a lathe, while working along the basic lines of the construction of a bandsaw box… The kind of challenges I relish, as a bandsaw man!

I am also a ‘stats man’ and, within the first 24 hours, it received almost 200 views (big for me) and almost 20 clicks on the Like button, which again is a huge one for me personally! At the time of writing, it has received twice as many views and an extra dozen Likes so, I’d like to again say a big THANK YOU to everyone who has already participated in watching, liking, subscribing and sharing.

Hours before I uploaded that video, I passed the 800 mark for the number of subscribers to my video and so, another THANK YOU is in order for you all. ๐Ÿ™‚

This video was inspired by another that I watched maybe a year ago. The main reason I didn’t use a log myself was because I didn’t have one to-hand and, to be honest, I’m never sure of what you can take in the woods and what you can’t… Plus, there’s often the issue (while I’m out walking) of carrying something very weighty back to my vehicle (I also remember finding lumps of driftwood on a beach near Burnham, but having parked several miles away). Not to mention the stash of offcuts I hold on to!! So, this is the video that inspired my approach:

Thank you all for reading and for watching.

I’d also like to spread my gratitude to everyone who has recently started following my page on Facebook, where we’ve just crossed the 60 mark. I don’t think I had even half this many followers 6 months ago so, another big THANK YOU to you! ๐Ÿ™‚

Magnetic Knife Block Design

While I’m pressing on with various things at the moment, I recently came up with an idea for a magnetic knife block design that I might like to make for my own personal use. I was asked about making a universal knife block a few months ago. Typically, those are fitted with carbon fibre rods or sometimes bamboo skewers. I couldn’t find a supplier of the plastic rods but that one didn’t come in to fruition anyway. Someone else later asked me about magnetic blocks (where the knives stick to the side of a block) and that’s what got me thinking with this design.

Magnetic Knife Block

I’ve grown up in a house with ‘common sized’ slots in each block. But how do you know what knives you’re going to need? Their size. Their quantity and what if my future plans change and I really want to get in to cooking and preparing food? That’s where I like these ‘unrestricted’ designs.

My own brief illustration is quite typical of what you might expect from an upright magnetic block. I see it as an opportunity to use up some scrap wood, with an interior constructed of offcut strips in a stack-lamainated formation, one on top of the other. With end-grain exposed at the ‘front’ end of the block, it could become quite a feature. There would be magnets embedded in to either side and these would then be sealed behind a thick veneer of something – in this case, I’ve drawn it in brown but I quite like the appearance of lighter woods (maple and sycamore) in a kitchen environment.

Both the shape and dimensions are only approximate at this time but, each time I head out to the workshop, I feel a desire to come up with a few scrap wood projects before I end up giving the stuff away!

Thanks for reading.

[New Video] Truing a Bandsaw Tyre

This is the subject of my latest YouTube video, which has just been uploaded this evening. There are probably a few other recent uploads that I haven’t announced to all of you directly so, it is always worth manually checking my channel from time to time (and, of course; subscribing makes that even easier!). I seem to have created a situation where I have a stack of video content on my hard drive (a good three or four videos-worth). This is a complete contrast to my situation earlier in the year, where I was struggling to even record the basic content for editing… Now, I can’t seem to keep up with myself! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Truing a bandsaw tyre has often been a popular topic for this blog and it certainly brings its share of traffic my way from some of the usual search engines. I’m aiming to have at least one more tool-relevant video on the way soon but, over the weekend, I hope you bring you footage of a small project (yes, an actual project) that I completed last week. If you’re really lucky, it may even feature my first attempts at narration!

As always, constructive feedback is welcome but I hope you hope you find this one useful and informative at the very least.

Thank you. ๐Ÿ™‚

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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Hope

As I mentioned yesterday morning; it feels as though time is ticking on the remaining duration I have left in this workshop. Just browsing the internet a little while ago, I found myself searching for a ‘woodworking club’ in the Bristol area… It’s actually a dream I have; to be able to create and host a large workshop where anyone can come along to make something, to make use of the tools and equipment and to learn about working with wood. I’m not suggesting an idea where I would run my own college and courses. It would ideally be a ‘community workshop‘, where people might pay a membership fee, with the freedom to come along on their weekends and evenings.

If only there was an easy way to make it pay… Realistically, I dread to think how much of an investment it would require on tools and equipment alone. You’ve then got to factor in the maintenance (not forgetting the building and premises itself) and I’m sure there would need to be a HUGE emphasis on Health & Safety and meeting all the regular requirements and expectations… Sadly, I don’t think it’s a dream I’ll ever achieve while earning less than ยฃ7 an hour! ๐Ÿ˜›

It’s another one for the ‘Lottery Winnings’ list, along with buying my own home and having a reasonably-sized workshop in my back garden (of course, I would need to start playing the National Lottery first!!).

One result I did come across, at the top of the list, was for the Avon & Bristol Woodturners (ABW). It’s an organisation I’ve come across before and they run a similar setup to my dream but focused entirely within the field of woodturning. If I am fortunate enough to end up in a place with a small garage (if, even, smaller than what I have now), I’d be quite happy with a lathe in one corner and a bandsaw for roughing out blanks (I think I will hang on to my turning tools anyway). But the AWGB are only a twenty-five minute drive from where I live and, even if I end up with nothing more than a few stacks of power tools in my next home, I could always join them for my woodworking fix.

I have always been curious about woodturning but, if you’ve seen images of my workshop then, the positioning of my lathe alone should give you an idea of how I approach it… Buried beneath my disc sander as a place on to which I can rest my saw horses!! It would always be warming the bench while my mitre saw and routers are making all the headlines…

It certainly won’t be the end! Thanks for reading.

Jointer Knife Setting Jig

After tidying up my router table this morning and adding the final touches with the featherboard accessories (photos to follow in another post), I spent the afternoon machining up some timber for a small job (yes, timber – not dusty MDF!) and also set about making a pair of simple-but-effective setting jigs for the knives (blades) on my 6in wide CT150 surface planer (jointer).

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