Sunday, August 9, 2020

Covid 19 week 20, 21 - Rando projects

On the Covid front...  I had my first take-out in four months these last two weeks. Last weekend we ordered and ate some buffalo wings. They were good but not as good as I expected them to be after four months of no fried foods. While stopping by my local Woodcraft - more on this later - I also grabbed a couple of caramel frappachinos. Today our pork chops didn't thaw in time for dinner so we ordered Thai from a local restaurant. It was pretty good.


We have several fine lumber yards in the area. Some of them carry finishing supplies but when it comes to specialized woodworking tools Woodcraft is the best place for me to go. I needed some poly - General Finishes Oil and Urethane is my go-to here - and  I also picked up a Tormek T4 sharpener for sharpening my plane blades and chisels.

Is it excessive? Maybe...  I've tried learning how to sharpen my chisels and planes by hand. I've use oil stones, water stones, sand paper, etc. (no, not the scary sharp method...  yes I know about it... no, I haven't tried it). The nice thing about the Tormek is that it has jigs for properly sharpening all kinds of tools including kitchen knives.

My wife and I are quarantining all items coming into our house for three days so I just got the box out of quarantine this weekend and pulled the manuals. I'll let you know what I think of it after I get it fired up.


I finished my gaming console console but I'm still doing woodworking. Mostly I am trying to finish up small projects I started but didn't finish. As I said in my last post these projects include the hobby supplies storage cabinet I built for my wife and the gaming table accessories for my friend.

Last weekend I completed putting the finish on the drawer fronts and two more of the trays and got them in place. I'm not exactly happy with the spacing I got on the drawer fronts but it'll look fine from my house. Yes, I realize it is in my house but it's in my wife's hobby room and I almost never go in there.

Last weekend I also finished milling the parts for the gaming table accessories. I got the slot covers glued in place and found some 3/16 inch steel rod that I cut into 3/4 inch lengths to act as handles to the lock mechanism. I got all the pieces sanded and out into the garage last weekend but I didn't start putting polyurethane on them until this weekend. I've got two coats at this point so given that my technique needs many coats I figure I'll have the finishing completed sometime late this week. It is supposed to be hot over the next couple of days so depending on how hot an humid it is in the morning it may take longer. We will see.

My next "me" project is picture frames. We've been accumulating art over the last fifteen or so years and I always say that I'll build a frame rather than pay someone else to do it for us. Well that's a long standing "small" project I am going to get done. The nice thing is it won't take much wood so I won't have to risk going to a lumber store.

I've got a couple of 8x10's water color paintings that we bought in St. Maartin ten or so years ago. I think they'd look really nice in a black walnut frame. My wife has a small 5x7 ink drawing of a cat that I think would look nice in a black frame. Neither one of the frames need to be bulky so they'll be a good start.

One of the things that I'll need to be able to do is cut the pieces accurately. I do have a 45 degree table saw jig but I remembered seeing a video by Michael Alm a few weeks ago where he had a better jig (you could skip to the 3 minute mark but it'd be better to watch the full video). Since I could be more sure that a new jig would cut a better mitered corner I figured I'd build my own version of the Michael Alm jig (though, I'll bet he got his idea from somewhere else).

I finished mine today and cut my initial test frame. It looks pretty good especially considering it was cut out of scrap.

The last thing I got done today was making a setup template for my Kubb set. It's basically some paracord with loops tied in it that when laid out it forms a triangle making up half the pitch. It's explained better on the Kubb blog post. At first I thought I was going to need help and a long tape measure but then I remembered I'd already made one. I just laid out the one I already had in the yard and used it as a template for my new one.

In Summary

I had a couple of pretty relaxed weeks. I got a few hours into the workshop and made really good progress towards finishing up a couple of projects. I got some photos of my new table saw miter jig but I'll save that for its own post later this week.