Olly Writes

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Tag Archives: startrite 401e

Hand-Picked Box

I made reference to this project a couple of weeks ago in another post. It’s a small gift I made for someone I consider to be a very close friend, even though we’ve only known each other a matter of months. I’ve kept it a secret until now just in case she happened to stumble upon these pages but, there’s no longer any danger of that. She’s delighted with the small plectrum (guitar pick) box that I made for her and I’ll show you how I made it (well, two of them, in fact!).

This is a near-direct copy of something I saw in one of Steve Ramsey’s videos over at Woodworking for Mere Mortals. This video appeared a matter of weeks before I met the young lady in question and, when I realised how much she loved guitars, I knew that I wanted to make a box like this for her… I just needed an occasion! 🙂

If you’ve seen Steve’s video then you’ll notice that I approached things a little differently. For a start, I don’t have a scroll saw but I’m also incredibly safety concious after slicing my thumb open on a stationary planer knife two years ago.

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Picket Planters (Part 3)

As I’m sure you’ve guessed simply from reading the title of this post, the third instalment of the Picket Planters series is now live on YouTube. Now, it’s time to get busy doing some “more interesting” work on this project. You get to see the jigs I made to do the round-topping and how the Supertuff blades from Tuff Saws perform.

In retrospect, I do wish I’d filmed a longer scene for each of the two round-topping sections (that’s the pickets and also the posts). I can see now how it might appear to be quite ‘short-lived’, with only one cut recorded for each operation. It comes across as very brief, in contrast to the rest of the video, I think. Especially when I wanted this to be the main focal point of this episode… 🙄

We live and learn and learn is always the latter! Winking smile

Part 4, once it’s ready, will show you how I came to assemble these planters – and, with the larger one of the two in particular, it wasn’t easy with the low roof I fitted earlier this year!

Thanks for watching!

Picket Planters (Part 1)

I know it’s wrong of me to begin uploading another series before officially ending the previous one (I still haven’t filmed the final scene for the Kitchen Towel Stand project) but, I’d like to get the first two videos on the planters I’ve been making online fairly quickly. There’s a lot of machining covered in these first two parts and I know that may not be of as much interest to everyone as the later scenes.

Part 1 is also a great advert for the Supertuff Fastcut blades available from Tuff Saws in the UK. I’m aiming to get Part 2  ready in the next couple of days and will let you know as soon as it’s online.

Thank you.

Scale for Bandsaw Fence

As much as I love the 16in Startrite 401e bandsaw that I’ve had for over a year now, I’m continually frustrated by the lack of a a built-in scale when it comes to setting the fence for a width of cut. Many cheaper bandsaws have them as standard, even if they’re not all that accurate. I’ve never understood why Startrite don’t include one… This has meant that, instead, I’ve either had to set the fence using a ruler before I start the saw or, for multiple cuts of varying widths, it’s often meant marking each board with a pencil line, so I do not have to switch the saw off. With its electronic brake, you can lose a lot of time in between stopping and starting a machine of this size. On the other hand, you don’t want to be putting a steel tape measure of ruler anywhere within the proximity of a continuous blade running at full speed!

In order to remedy this problem, I purchased a length of self-adhesive tape or rule, which is produced by Kreg.

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Storing Bandsaw Blades

With all that’s gone in recently inside my workshop (reorganisation, etc.), I’ve again found myself up against the challenge of conveniently and safely storing bandsaw blades. When I had my smaller bandsaw, I could happily hang all my blades inside the plywood base cabinet I had made. But, with the Startrite 401e being such a monster and all, sitting that on top of any kind of box construction really isn’t an option. So, I’ve had to hang them elsewhere (for now) on the right-hand end of my mitre saw station:

Having put up a load of spur shelving in recent weeks, I really don’t have the wall space to spare for an alternative solution. That hook is one that I bought as a bulk pack from Toolstation and, as I had a scrap length lying around, I decided to line it with foam pipe insulation or lagging, which should do a good job of protecting the teeth (which are, of course, all pointing inwards!).

It would’ve been nice if I still had some space for a wall-mounted cabinet but, for now, I’ll have to see how this system works… I don’t really envisage ever having more blades than this collection ‘in stock’ at one time so, that shouldn’t be a problem. There is still the threat (albeit, a minor one) that the teeth on this nearside could pose a thread to passers by but, I think of much else to be concerned about beyond that.

How do you store your bandsaw blades?

Thanks for reading.

Can I Play with Magnets?

Rare earth magnets are kind of the things that can have a million and one different uses in a woodworking ‘shop. You’ve probably seen them available from places like Axminster, generally sold in quantities no greater than ten. Once you’ve started using a few of them, you soon begin to realise just how beneficial they can be and that initial pack of ten doesn’t go very far at all. That’s why I’d advise you to take a look at some of the listings on eBay, where bulk packs of fifty or even one-hundred magnets can be purchased for a very reasonable sum of money. I recently stocked up on a quantity of 8mm and 10mm diameter magnets (5mm and 7mm thick, respectively) and I thought I take the time to show you what I’ve been using them for so far. Perhaps this will give you some ideas for your own workshop.

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Back-Saving Labour

Ever since I bought the monstrous Startrite 401e bandsaw earlier in the year, my one, persistent complaint is that the working table height is too low for general shaping work, particularly if you’re a fairly tall person. While I appreciate the ways in which this aids to ripping of larger timbers, I’d been meaning to sort this issue out for a while.

Yesterday, with a bit of heaving, some sweating and lots of hammer-action, I managed raise the height up by a good 2in, which has already begun to make a world of difference to the comfort of my back when using this saw.

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Two Bandsaw Jigs

Over the weekend, I got around to finishing a couple of jigs for my bandsaw; both of which are based on examples you can find in the volumes 4 and 5 (‘The Compleat Bandsaw‘) of Steve Maskery’s Workshop Essentials series.

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