Olly Writes

Woodwork, writing, walks, DIY and more!

Tag Archives: wooden

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.

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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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Another Toolbox Addition

Before we go any further, I hope you’re not thinking that I’ve spent several hundreds of pounds [or dollars – not that I actually have either at the moment!] on something shiny and new to add to my tool collection! What it is, is that I’ve come up with another improvement to the toolbox tote that I built some time back.

This new feature (one on either side) allows me to carry a pair of 20in or 22in hand saws (panel saws, if you will; the cheap disposable ones – I’m sure you know! ;-)).

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Bench Repair (Part 2)

Over the weekend, I made further progress on the bench seat repair and started by preparing all my previously sawn stock down to finished dimensions.

When I’m working with timber that’s been at least partially sawn on a circular saw, which leaves a much cleaner finish than most bandsaw blades, I find it helpful to scribble over the sawn faces to void confusion later. Unless your planer knives are razor-sharp, it can sometimes be tricky to distinguish the prepared face and edge from the two other surfaces… On a few occasions, yes, I have made the mistake of referencing off the wrong face and edges when feeding stock through a thicknesser! đŸ˜³

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Coming Unstuck

A couple of weeks back, I forewarned you of the dangers of leaving your workshop contents ‘un-prepared‘ for fluctuations in the British weather during the winter (see here). While cast iron can be cleaned of rust and protected again with relative ease, I also showed you an image of the drawers below my workbench; two of which had found themselves in a partially-open state and were refusing to budge. Yesterday, I decided to do something about this…

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More From Santa

Regardless of the fact that more than one-month has now passed since ‘the Big Day’ in 2010, I still feel it would be appropriate to share with you some of the gifts I received, in addition to the two new Metabo drills I purchased for myself (as featured in a previous post).

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Tea Tray

Another day and another piece is ready for the Furnish exhibition in July! 8) It’s a tea or ‘serving’ tray made from a contrasting combination of brown oak and regular English oak. Sides are angled or ‘canted’ at 20° and, while it may look deceptively tricky to do; trust me – with a sharp blade and a half decent saw, a simple frame with compound mitres like this is a doddle to cut! Gluing it up, however – not so easy!

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