Olly Writes

Woodwork, writing, walks, DIY and more!

Tag Archives: make your own

Billy-Proof Fence

This may come as news to a lot of readers, as I don’t think I’ve mentioned it previously, but my mum and sister decided to welcome a new puppy in to their lives, a few weeks before Christmas.

His name is Billy and he’s a ‘Morkie’ (Maltese/Yorkshire Terrier-cross). Mum was asking about a temporary fence to cordon off the shared driveway. Because they live in rented accommodation as well, this needed to be a freestanding option.

I took some measurements, browsed around online and eventually came up with the following.

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Making Marking Gauges

My latest YouTube video made it to the internet over the weekend and I’m pleased to say that, for the first time in 3 months, it’s a proper woodworking video and not something I knocked together in my flat (although, there are still more of those to come).

However, I was a little dismayed to realise, through the process of editing my footage, that I made this batch of marking gauges back in MARCH of last year… I was quite certain I did this towards the end of summer/early autumn… But seeing as that I didn’t move in to this flat until November, there’s a good chance therefore that I’ll have a few more videos from the workshop on their way in to your subscription feed gradually between now and Christmas. 😉

To give a brief bit of background as to why I made these gauges; well, I’d only ever owned one single gauge (made by Marples) up until this point and when I started my current job over 3 years ago, a need arose to have one in box my toolboxes at work and also at home. But I was reluctant to spend £15-20 on another (in fact, the one I had is made of beech and perhaps only £5-10). So, I took a long term ambition and made my own!

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If you watch this video over on YouTube then I’d be grateful if you could give me a thumbs up (click Like) and also if you wouldn’t mind subscribing to my channel, if you haven’t done so already – I’m almost up to 2,000 subscribers and I’d love to break that milestone fairly soon.

Thanks for watching! There will always be something more to follow!

Guitar in the Making

I can’t remember exactly when I last blogged about making a guitar but I do recall (probably last year, when I purchased two sets of plans – or was that 2011?!) stating my intention here on at least one prior occasion. it’s been an ambition for the last, say, three-years and it’s only really in the last year that I’ve been able to build my confidence up to a level at where I feel fairly competent in having a go.

I would like to reiterate that I do not currently play a guitar; I have never played a guitar and I really don’t know much about them… From the three sets of plans I’ve now purchased (from JAGuitars), I’ve chosen to go with the Gibson SG style (my latest buy) simply because, to my eye, it has the most attractive and appealing aesthetics! Plus, while Googling for user-made replicas a while back, I came across some walnut SGs that looked quite stunning… And I still have more than enough walnut left over from a near-£300 purchase back in April. 😎

This is my first video in what is going to end up a series of indefinite length. There are questions over whether or not I’ll be able to finish this before November comes – I mean, it’s taken me about two months to complete the templates, to upload this video and now, I still haven’t ordered the necessary hardware or figured out exactly what I need to buy!

My current plan is to get the ‘workshop stuff’ (machining and hand tool work) complete before the inevitable cold snap arrives; regardless of where I’m living and where my tools are likely to end up at that time. I can imagine myself French polishing on a kitchen table if I have to (I dislike ‘plastic’ lacquers and, well… I made that table!!)… If it comes to it. To my mind; strings, straps and even scratchboards [if that’s what they’re called] can be fitted afterwards. I could even do that sat on a living room sofa with 8in of snow underfoot outside!

I’m hoping mine ends up something like this. [Photo taken from: dawsons.co.uk]

Anyway, I hope you like my ‘introductory’ video to this project. I have unnecessary trouble in uploading this one because my editing software decided to shuffle the order of scenes as I as working through my final cut! But, on Saturday night (Sunday morning), it did reach YouTube just after 1am and it’s been very, very well received since. Thanks largely in part to this video (along with your own efforts and contributions), I’ve now surpassed the 700 marks for subscribers to my channels. I feel as though I’m well on course to reach 1,000 before December! 🙂

Thank you all.

Router Table Fence Clamps

It was after seeing a video for Steve Ramsey’s router table build that I decided I would make one final change (an improvement, even) to my newly-complete table saw/router table station before I attempt to clean it up ready for selling. Steve’s videos are always inspirational. His videos on YouTube are probably my favourite and have been for the past year. Modestly, Steve admits that he cannot accept much credit for the idea behind the clamps he’s made for his router table fence but it’s the kind of genius thinking that I believe we all can learn from.

For starters, I’ve never been too satisfied with the clamping system on my old benchtop table. A cut a pair of grooves in the top and, using two short lengths of threaded rod (M8 studding) with a Bristol lever on one end and a sliding nut on the other, I was able to lock the fence in position without any play or movement. Problems began to arise whenever I wanted to remove the fence.

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How Cyclones Work

I’m sure I briefly mentioned the emergence of a small company in the UK called Cyclone Central, who produce flat-packed CNC-machined cyclone kits that you can assemble yourself and fit directly in to your dust extraction system. If ever you’ve wondered how these kits go together or, exactly how a cyclone dust collection system works then, with the aid of one of their first customers, there’s now a video on YouTube that will tell you all you need to know, without going too far in to the science of it all:

I have no affiliation with either party here; I just thought the video would be of interest to other woodworkers. There are some web pages and other videos that delve in to great detail on the subject of dust extraction, which tends to almost over complicate things and can make it all difficult to follow.

Delivery within the UK and EU is a standard service. If you live outside of these boarders then, it may still be worth contacting them directly, as these kits are flat-packed, after all.

Thanks for reading.

Pillar Drill Table

Up until the sharp drop in temperatures around here recently, I was discreetly working away on a new table for my Axminster ED16B pillar drill. It’s surprising how long it had taken to get to the stage you can see in the first photo, below… Working only two-days each week due to work and other commitments, I reckon it took the best part of three-weeks to get this far – and, I’ve still got some work to do on the fence!

Step inside and I’ll show you some of the main features of this design so far, while also explaining my reasoning behind them.

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Mitre Saw Fence

On Monday, I finished building the fence for my new-look mitre saw station…

Read all about it!

Saw Handling

Shortly before Christmas, I purchased an 8in Dovetail Saw Kit from Workshop Heaven (made by Atkinson Walker in Sheffiled). This kit is based around the same idea of the Gramercy 9in Saw Kit, which has become quite popular in America; they supply all the parts and you customise your own personal handle from your preferred species of wood. Yesterday, I finished shaping my own handle for the Atkinson Walker saw and I wanted to share my thoughts and experience of this.

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