In woodworking, the making of jigs is a necessary element to help us work safer, quicker and more effectively. For some time I have been using the Dowelmax doweling jig and it has opened up a whole new world of woodworking for me because I can make things quicker, more accurate and just as strong as using mortise and tenon joints. One of the issues I face on rare occasion is that the dowels I need to use are sometimes too long, which means I either have to re-drill holes, or cut the dowels slightly shorter. I hate re-drilling holes if I can avoid it because sometimes it can make the holes a bit looser than I like. I prefer the dowels to fit tightly in the holes to give me a better fit and to ensure I get an excellent glue contact. So ... the next issue is cutting dowels. I seldom have to tim more that about a dozen or so, but even that can take a while and cutting them by hand as I have been doing means they are often slightly different lenghts. I have been thinking about some sort of consistent dowel cutting device for some time and I finally came up with an idea that I like.
It is MUCH quicker than cutting the dowels by hand and each dowel is cut to the exact length and even better, it only takes a minute or so to set the jig up, which mean I will use it more often and get better results.
Electric Power Tools have come a long, long way in the past 50 or so years. I remember being amazed that anyone could invent a power drill that ran on batteries, and I'm just as amazed today to see the latest generation of power tools that you can actually control with your Smartphone, and what WILL be the wave of the future ... crazy! If you think that this is just a trend, or that this is something you would never use, I think you would be a pleasently surprised as I was. It only took me a couple od days to fall in love with this Impact Driver, it's an amazingly versatile tool. I have often needed in impact driver but never seemed for it to be a high enough priority in my tool selection to actually get one. I told myself I didn't really need one in my woodworking shop and I could by without one for the DIY projects that often crop up.
When this tool arrived, the first thing I did was take it out of the box, and with what was present for battery power, of course I tried driving some heavy, long woodsrews into a thick piece of Oak I had. Wow, they powered in with very little effort. What was most noticeable was that the driver does not want to twist out of your hand with torque like an 18 volt drill will do. The impacting mechanism really makes a big difference. Much easier to use, and quicker.
With all the modern clock movements that are available, building a functioning clock it much easier that it was a couple of decades ago. In the past you had to purchase mechanical time keeping movements, and keep them running. Now, with the highly accurate quartz, battery operated mechanisms, anyone can build clocks.
For me, the first thing a clock needs to be is to be able to tell accurate time, and to be clearly visible in displaying the time. I don't want to have to stop and have to try and calculate the time every time I look at the clock. The second thing I wang the clock to be is at least, somewhat attractive. To help match these criteria, I chose a blank white face, applied numbers at the appropriate locations, then surrounded it all with figured wood. What I ended up with is a clock that I love, is quick and easy to tell the time from and is a nice looking clock.
Collecting all the parts is the first step with a project like this as there are a number of components, the clock mechanism, the face, the carcass, the numbers for the face, the hands (hour, minute and second) hinges and clasps if you need them and perhaps even some way of hanging or sitting the clock.
Not one of my dedicated articles ... more like a BLOG on a few topics, starting off with this website's Woodworking FORUMS. There are thousands of visitors who read the Forumsand are entertained and informed by them, but only a couple of dozen who actually participate in them ... and that's sad, because we could all learn from you, just as you learn from us. Remember, you can't do anything wrong ... why, because every post that is made, an immediate email is sent to our "Forum Moderators". If it's offensive or blatent mis-use (such as advertising the much hated Ted's Plans) we simply delete it, otherwise it's good to go. Here's how to get started on the FORUMS ... log on to the website with your Username and Password (or join the website, it's FREE), go to the Forums and respond to any post that is there. It'd doesn't matter, tell someone you like what they posted, or maybe you have a question of idea for them. It's that easy. After you get comfortable with that ... create your own topic, maybe a question on woodworking, finishing or whatever. Maybe you want to post some pictures of a project or tool, or have question about, like finishing or tool use. Go ahead, jump in and give it a try, we are all watching a waiting for some new ideas and comments. Using SEARCH... see that little seach box up in the upper right hand quadrant ... that is an amazing tool that can help you find any topic, article or video that has been posted on the website ... ever! It's a super quick way of finding things, go ahead, give it a try.
Moving along now to the wood screw and pre-drilling topic that a few of you have asked about and a perfect topic for a short video clip. The video is self-explanitory how pre-drilling and countersinking can make a huge difference in helping to prevent wood from cracking when using screws. Unfortunately, because we are working with wood even pre-drilling and countersinking do not always work and usually the reason is because the wood structure failed, or that the screw was driven in beyond it's stop which then forced the wood to crack. One of the best and often quickest solutions for helping to prevent cracking is using a clamp to compress the wood, then driving the screw into the wood, then releasing the clamp. Again this method does not always work but based on the alternative, which is driving a screw into the wood without any cracking prevention, it really does work well. Well folks, that's it for now ... Thanks EVERYONE, for watching my videos, commenting and Liking, I am very appreciative and to everyone out there, Merry Christmas, Seasons Greetings, Happy Holidays all the best in New Year ... lots of cool stuff coming for next year. Thanks again everyone .... Colin
For those of you who have chop saws or sliding mitre saws and are not happy with the poor (if any) dust collection capabilities of your system, this article is for you. For other information related to this topic, and to see where I got my inspiration for this project, check out the Forums on woodworkweb.com - Dust Collection section, to read and see pictures of what others have done. For my saw, I am for ever cleaning up the dust, and even though it has one of those "industry standard" dust collection socks, that actually do (barely) work. I did not want to build a honking large dust collection hood around the saw, but rather something small that would be efficient in dust collection. I have seen the pictures and read the reports from others who have made similar adaptions so this would be my prototype to see if, and how well something like this would work on my saw.
One of the great things with doing prototyping is that you learn things you might not have otherwise discovered and confirm other things you suspected ...