Friday, November 28, 2008

Coffee Caddy

We resurrected our Friday coffee group at work and the Galoot Coffee Caddy has been pressed back into service! I made this last year when our group of four became a group of five. Besides accommodating more than the disposable cardboard carriers, it is reusable and much cooler!

This was a fun project with a surprising amount of joinery: dado, stop dado, half-lap, double mortise and tenon, and dovetails. The wood was some mystery "mahogany" which I think is some kind of Philippine or Luan type. I selected only the more dense of the boards as some was too spongy or "popcorny".

Here's the final dry fit:

And a series of the caddy being disassembled down to it's separate components:

After glue-up - first unfinished, and then with a coat of mineral oil:

A close-up of the dovetails. I just love the contrast between end grain and long grain after it has been oiled.

And final shot of the caddy alongside its mock-up. I don't usually do mock-ups, but since the sizing was critical, I wanted to make sure I got it right.

A fun project that makes me happy every Friday! Viva Caffeine!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Poor Man's Holdfasts

You know how you have a list in your head of things you need for the shop? Some things shoot right to the top, get purchased and crossed off. Other things get removed from the bottom of the list because after a while you realize that you don't need them after all. But a third group of items seems to float in limbo right in the middle of the list - not so important that you make it happen, but not so unimportant that they get dropped. For me, that would be holdfasts.

I've been wanting to buy a pair of holdfasts for a long time - maybe Gramercy's or maybe some from Galena Village Blacksmith. But here's the problem; I made a pair some time ago, and while not perfect, they ARE functional, and thus the purchase stays in list limbo.

Here's my setup being used for planing a large rabbet:

Just some rived spruce, oversized holes to allow pivoting, washers, wing nuts and long carriage bolts. The bolts go down through my dog holes, with wing nuts and washers on the bottom.

The wing nuts are for adjusting the amount of play in the system. The real clamping pressure is from the wedging action of the small blocks of wood under the ends of the arms. Slide the blocks in towards the bolts (fulcrum) and the pressure increases - slide them out and things loosen up. Pretty simple really, just a little slow, especially when I need to remove and then replace them multiple times, and they take up a lot of real estate on the bench.