May Project Round-Up

Get caught up on all the new and completed projects in the shop for May 2020.

Completed: Workbench!

Three months of weekend warrior work are behind me and the new workbench is complete, including leg vise and end vise installation as well as dog holes, storage cabinets underneath and finish!

Ready for finish

I’ll be writing up a considerably larger project page, including step-by-step photos and more detail, but for now I’ll just glory in being able to chisel, plane, and clamp work pieces in ways I’ve never been able to before. Just weeks after finishing I don’t know how I lived without it for so long.

End vise with walnut jaws installed


Started: Sewing Box

My first significant piece to build using the new workbench is a sewing box for all my supplies. In mid-March 2020 when covid-19 descended on us I purchased a sewing machine so I could start making masks for family, friends, and to donate to the hospital if it came to that.

I was inspired by Jimmy Diresta’s white oak box he made for his sewing supplies, and back in the winter I’d found an absolutely perfect piece of walnut at the Restore that had so much character and color.

My plan is to roughly build the same thing in walnut with brass hardware. I have some locust wood from the same Restore trip that I’m going to use to make the removable tray inside.

Box joint test

Stay tuned for more updates on this!

Side Note: I May Have Fixed My DeWalt Planer!

I’m hesitantly cautious that I may have figured out the problem with my DeWalt 735 planer. For the first time I completely disassembled it this weekend to deep clean the parts and try to reason why the pulleys were not coplanar and the belts kept rolling off into the gears.

Ultimately I found that I think there was a spacer missing from the lower pulley so that it wasn’t tightened to the correct distance from the bearing, and thus was not coplanar with the upper pulley.

I cleaned the all the internal parts and re-ordered a new set of v-belts which should be here this Friday. Fingers crossed that I’ll be back to using the Shelix heads before no time!

Quick Project: Mother’s Day Mega-Frame

Finally, me and the kids worked tirelessly this week to paint and prep a very large picture frame that we’ve had for 10+ years without ever getting around to putting pictures in it.

It’s a 6 x 2 grid of roughly 10” x 10” squares. My idea was to do a progression of pictures for each kid, with a couple of open spots where can insert more pictures as our younger one gets older. We needed to repaint to a neutral color because the frame was originally painted (not natural or stained) an ugly brown color and I wanted to use black mattes and black & white pictures.

All finished, in the nick of time

In retrospect because many of our walls are grey tones I wish I’d painted the frame white, as I think it’s going to clash with some of the greys on our first floor. But I can easily pop the mattes out and repaint the frame again with a white or off-white.

Result: she really loved it!

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