Olly Writes

Woodwork, writing, walks, DIY and more!

Tag Archives: tips

Time to Switch Off

Sometime last year, I wrote in complaint about the deemed-inefficiency of the battery that powers my Samsung Galaxy SII smart phone. This phone is just over a year old in my possession and I’ve frequently found myself having to recharge the battery on a daily (nightly) basis. I tried various tips at the time of writing that post – some of which, have helped to prolong the duration of the battery’s charge, albeit minutely. But I now believe I’ve found a more definitive solution.

Screenshot_2014-01-26-18-09-45-1

Time to switch off.

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Dust Extraction Tips

My latest YouTube video offers a couple of simple tips on using and maintaining your dust extractors that could help to maintain and restore your airflow. If you’ve suffered a loss of or drop in suction from either a twin-bag HVLP chip collector or, perhaps even a smaller HPLV vacuum-type; these tricks could really help you out.

One tip near the beginning offers an easier way to reattach the bottom bag without a second pair of hands. Also, you get to see how convenient it isn’t to access each of my extractors in a small workshop! 😉

I run an Axminster ADE1200 for collecting larger shavings and a Nilfisk-Alto Aero 25-21 for finer dust, which is partially filtered through a Triton DCA300 Dust Bucket.

Thank you and enjoy. 🙂

Woodworking Safety Day 2013 (Video)

Today is May the 4th and, just reading that aloud, you can imagine some of the Star Wars-related jokes that often occur around this time each year. Now, the 1st of May for this year was known as Woodworking Safety Day. It’s very similar to the Safety Week we’ve had for the last few years. I can’t remember whether I even wrote a blog post for this in 2012 but this year, I knew that I wanted to make a video that was perhaps a little different to what the average woodworking enthusiast might be planning.

I wouldn’t like to claim that my video or its content is an entirely original concept but I chose to focus on the sliding compound mitre saw. This video also covers a couple of common maintenance questions for the Makita LS1013 that frequently brings traffic to this blog. I am my usually nervous, anxious self for the most part but I end this 23-minute film with two short tales of personal experiences where my health and/or safety has been compromised…

As always, comments and feedback are always welcome. Before I end this post, I’d like to share with you an interesting video I found on improving a mitre saw purchased at the lower-end of the market…

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Tee-Halving Joint

At work today, I spent a lot of time thinking about how I haven’t done a video for over one month now; how much I want to make the most of what time I have left in my workshop; how I need to crack on and finish the mobile base I started for my table saw, weeks ago… All whilst banging nail after nail in to small sheets of wavy birch plywood!

So, I was home by 17.00 and, after briefly stopping in the bathroom, I grabbed my camera and headed straight out to the workshop! Evenings have been almost mild this week (even though forecasters are now forewarning the threat of snow to follow this weekend – just when we were opening our arms to welcome the spring!). In two hours, I managed to get the following filmed and also, I made some good progress on the mobile base, which I’ll share with you another time.

This is something that I originally intended to film and publish about a month ago during Get Woodworking Week… I also have a ‘Valentine’s Gift’ idea that I’d like to film at some point but, it looks like I’m going to sail straight past Mother’s Day with that one as well! This video’s all about cutting a tee-halving joint, which is a traditional form of lap-joint, between two pieces at 90°.

I hope you enjoy the video. I’m incredibly nervous and fast-talking infront of the camera but I welcome all and any comments people may have. It takes a good hour for me to upload a video of this length and I do now try to keep them brief… That also means compromising a little on the finished quality but then, I’m only using Windows Movie Maker, which is a free program.

If I was to use something paid-for (like Camtasia), would I able to experience faster upload speeds?

Ideally, I’d like to have one short video to upload once each week. In fact, from the video I’m sharing with you this evening, I could easily have cut a section from the end and published that under its own heading.

Thanks both for reading and for watching!

An Abrasive Message

Very shortly, I intend to have an update for you on the progress of the new and simple DVD wall shelf that I’ve been documenting recently. It’s almost at the point where I’m ready to claim that project as ‘complete‘, after applying the first coat of finish this afternoon. Before that, of course, I had to give the entire unit a thorough sanding – here, comes a timely reminder to keep an eye on the condition of your abrasive discs, pads, belts and sheets…

These Hermes sanding discs clearly show you when the abrasive is just about ready for a replacement – as the ‘grit’ wears away, the white colour disappears to be replaced by yellow. In addition to that, you’ll also find they don’t cut as efficiently as before…

I’m as guilty as any other woodworker for storing and continuing to struggle with tired, worn abrasives – that’s the only reason why the packs of ten discs I purchased two-years ago have lasted this long!! 😀 [That white disc in the centre of the photo is unused and fresh out of the box.]

You may not fully appreciate just how prepared that old sheet of abrasive for a trip to the bin until after you’ve fitted a used a brand-new one! If in doubt, throw it out! 😉

Thanks for reading.

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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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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