Bench shavings – 2/5/16

I’ve always had trouble finding ways to talk about little shop excursions, and now I have a new title for them. They’ll have the date I start writing about them, just in case it takes more than one day.

So this week I started thinking about finally adding a small drill/driver to the arsenal. While the 18v drills and impact driver I have handle anything I throw at them, they are pretty bulky and heavy. They also don’t like small spaces. I have a 4v driver, but it is probably outclassed by most jobs a shop would throw at it. Installing drawer slides would be a perfect job, but I don’t do that very often.

The old CXS (I assume the battery was upgraded) had been on clearance from a couple of vendors, and I had considered it. Yet at $225 for the set, it was still plenty expensive. Passing on it, I looked at the local stores for other options. The Ryobi 8v was okay, but I didn’t like the plug-in, non-removable battery. Pretty much everything else besides the Ridgids had the bulky bottom foot battery packs. I did remember the Bosch had a nice 12v option, and after a day or so thinking about it, I ordered a set from Amazon. It is a driver and an impact driver, with two batteries and a charger. I’ll give updates on it as I use it, but so far I like it. Both will drive a 3″ screw through several layers of ply with no issue, even making a counter sink. This is with no pilot hole. The impact will drive the screw head half way through the top layer of ply. There is quite a wobble with the hex chuck, though. I’ll have to compare it to my 18v impact. The charger also smells like something is melting. Will have to watch that closely. The charger also can’t be mounted to the wall, which is really disappointing.

I also picked up a folding step stool from the shop a week ago, as the shop-made one I had finally busted. The house step stool is out there now, but it simply takes up too much room. I can hand this new one up anywhere, and it will hold 300 pounds.

From Home Depot clearance I found two medium respirators for my kids, which will come in handy. I also pulled the trigger on the Bessey spring clamps, to go along with all the F-clamps I bought.

It’s not all purchases. I’ve been struggling with how I’m going to build the router table. I had planned on a 3/4″ exposed wood edging, but that would be problematic for my case construction. Now I think I can solve the issue with a smaller reveal, more in line with what is usually done – 1/8″ or so. That leaves the odd portions of the table resting on more ply than the weaker wood edge, so that works. With that sorted out, I can start getting serious about this. It really has been a challenge not being able to build or do much of anything. The stressful part of school is still to come, so I’ll need to carve out some sort of time for myself.

I did play around a little bit with a saw and chisel on the scrap piece of wood I used for the router plane test. That was nice, I still remember how to saw and chisel. I also used the new rasp on the hanger that my mallets are stored – the Wood is Good mallet has been rubbing along the bottom since the beginning of time. A couple minutes fixed that, finally.

That’s all I can think of tonight. Until next time.

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