17 December 2013

Back trouble

I know what you're thinking…(and it's not ''did he fire six shots or only five?")  Neither is it a slipped disc, crushed vertebrae or the indefinite need to use a walking stick.

It's the back panel on the latest Alan Peters cabinet, a simple enough affair of two panels, three stiles and a couple of rails, something I've done many times before, but has it gone together without a hitch?

Has it buggery!

I've had to remake the whole bloody thing at least twice, including both panels and all the frames as the cock-ups have been too numerous to catalogue.  My only excuse is that with the Christmas excitement about to dawn, I haven't been 'in the zone'…

 Yeah right..some who read these tales of woe will no doubt nod their heads,  quietly smirk to themselves and whisper that '' the silly sod rarely is''

However, we progress and the latest version is currently being glued.  Not the final gluing I hasten to add, but the current cock-up as a false 5mm  Domino has been glued in place because I failed miserably to check that the machine was set correctly, so the resultant slot was 2mm too low.  It'll just be flushed off when the glue has set and then re-cut.

With a little luck and a following wind, it ought to go together by the end of the day.

Don't hold your breath though….

08 December 2013

Arise Sir Tribe

Open almost any woodworking mag these days and you'll be inundated with useful 'tips', most of which will set you back an arm and leg and many of which are as much use as a chocolate bloody teapot!

The best one I've seen is definitely worthy of a swift mention here and can be wholly attributed to my friend Chris Tribe.

It concerns cramps and cramp heads.   For years, I've used bits of 6mm plywood with a slot cut out...

…so that they hook over the bar.  Works quite well, but does have the slight problem of...

…cramp inversion.  Turn it upside down and they fall off, so either you need to fix them to the job (with masking tape) or fix them to the cramp heads (with yet more masking tape), both of which are a veritable pain in the backside.  In addition the cramp itself is prone to fall over, which is intensely bloody annoying so instead of paying a king's ransom to some nefarious tool company for supports, simply make...  

…your own.  Blocks of scrap wood with a slot milled down the middle.  How simple is that?…and you've still got some 'folding' left to spend down the pub in the evening.

To return to the cramp heads, here's the solution.  The 'fork' has now been cut off and some offcuts of nice thick leather glued to the face, but here's the cunning bit.  The reverse….

….side now sports an 8mm rare earth magnet, set in flush with the surface.

This means that your cramp heads stay in position...

…no matter which way the cramp is orientated.  Clever n'est pas?

 See Chris's full Utoob clip for more enlightenment.