Bench Shavings – 1/21/17

It’s been an interesting few days in the shop. I’m working on a pair of DIY Festool parallel guides, and the shop is a bit messy again. Lots of MDF dust around the saw. I really should consider going ahead and upgrading my dust collection, even if it’s doing something just to the saw. The dust shoots forward and not down. Might help if I had the guard on with the dust port, but with the vac it isn’t that much of an improvement. In the future I’ll have to close in the saw to get better collection.

The dust on the floor is pretty slick, and my saw was sliding around a bit. It was a good reminder of not to have a polished shop floor surface. Even the unfinished MDF (?) that makes up my floor is too slippery at times. I wonder what my solution will be in a new shop.

If you’re looking for details on the guides, I will have a dedicated article about them when I am done. They are most likely functionally done at this point, but I need to test them out and then work on the aesthetics. These are the second version, and I’m sure at some point there will be a third. The third might even include video, something I was seriously considering, but I still had some things to work out. I’m sure v3 will be what the two people who read this site and check out my Instagram will be talking about.

I will need to clear up the mess a bit, but mostly it will consist of a vacuuming and sweeping session, plus a put-away of the tools used. Won’t take very long at all, considering just about all of the tools now have a good home. In fact, I told my wife the other day that my shop was probably as clean as it has ever been, even before it became a shop.

Unfortunately, when it becomes clean again it won’t be to build the side table for my son. Yes, it is getting pushed back again. That is because my wife and I are tasked with building a theater stage set. Thankfully I am not handling the artistic side but the practical side. I’ll have to build a main rotating display, which I am still working out, but my main task will be to build boxes. Lots of boxes. The group has about six of these 18″ cubed OSB boxes they use to sit or stand on, or use under stuff. My task is to build a whopping 14 more of them. Each cube has five sides, and while the dimensions of all the pieces isn’t purely identical to get a true 18″ cube, you can see why I would want parallel guides for this task. I plan to crosscut the full 4’x8′ sheets at 18 inches, then cut down by 7/16″, the height of the OSB, on a couple of dimensions depending on the piece. Some 2″x2″ braces in the corners, attach with pins and glue, and the job should be done. I might preassemble part and deliver flat to save space. Otherwise I might need a box truck.

It’s raining pretty good today, and I have pretty much a full day of appointments, so I don’t know if I’ll be able to test the parallel guides out. Perhaps this evening.

Finally though, I get to share what was (mostly) a Christmas present that finally arrived – the picture at the top, a Veritas Medium Shoulder Plane with a PM-V11 blade. I’ve been wanting one for awhile, and it joins my Router Plane in the Veritas family. Here’s what I have so far, in preparation for making a hand tool cabinet. I have plenty left on my wish list, and at some point all non-Veritas planes will be replaced. Lots of new stuff on the list too.

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