Thursday, 28 August 2014

Garden Gate Project - Part 4 - Top rail profiling

Template making and bandsawing

We had decided that the top rail would be curved long ago during the projects inception. Originally we had planned for the top side and undersides to be curved but this may have proved to difficult to pull off especially since a lot of the oak had voids in it. We didn't want to chance cutting into voids so the underside of the rail remains straight.
However the top of the rail is going to be curved. A template was duly made. This was done by drawing a grid over the top of the rail at 25mm spacing (approx 1"). The half image was exported out of Sketchup as a PDF file to full size.
Gate top curve template
This produced around 3 pages that were pasted to a scrap of 1/4" plywood using some 3M spraymount. The grid was used simply to join the paper sheets together at the correct spacing

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Garden Gate Project - Part 3 - Top and middle rail with tenons and mortises

More mortises

The top and mid rails required mortises to house the mullions. As the the top and mid rails had already been jointed it was a simple matter of defining a mid point on each and then marking out for each of the mortises.
I normally use a striking knife and undercut with a chisel on my joinery to produce crisp, clean results. The knife line also makes it easy to rest a chisel bevel into.
The pattern bit we have that is 1/2" diameter was measured. The cutter length was 25mm (1") and the bearing thickness was 6mm (1/4"). This dictated the depth that I needed to go to use my method of cutting a shallow clean mortise and cleaning to depth with a router.
Mullion mortises complete

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Garden Gate Project - Part 2 - Stiles and thru-mortises

The timber (American white oak) was jointed and thicknessed to 70mm thick x 100mmm wide x 980 long (2.3/4" x 4" x  38.1/2").
I had to do some remedial repairs to one of the stiles as when I cut it to 100mm strong I found a flaw. It was inside the wood and wasn't apparent from the outside.
Maybe the timber had been either dried too quickly or taken from too close to the core of the tree (the annular rings on that piece look around 14" diameter)? or both. So I thought I would just rip some more off with the table saw a little at a time (1/8" bites). 5/8" off the width and a pile of sawdust later I managed to get to "almost" good stock again. I glued one of the 2" wide x 3" thick pieces that I took off one of the other pieces back on with some epoxy. After it had setup overnight I cut the piece back to width again.
I also thicknessed and jointed the top rail and middle rail but still had them long.

Next I set to work marking out the mortises. Then using a chain drilling technique I drilled the through holes at the drill press.
Chain drilling is drilling a series of holes close
together and then removing
waste between the holes and therefore
creating a pocket.

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Garden Gate Project - Part 1 - Design and timber selection

Not strictly fine furniture, a shop project or a musical instrument but essential all the same.
My next project is an oak garden gate and has been commissioned by my wife Elly to showcase TMc Woodworks to people who come to our front door.
I have looked around and didn't find any plans that suited so I designed the gate myself.

Street view

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Pattern Routing Work Holding Jig

Fine Woodworking magazine for the month of  July/August 2014 issue 241 has plans for a Smart Jig for Pattern Routing by Tim Celeski to hold a template and work-piece when pattern routing. Over the years I have made occasional jigs to do such things but they have always worn out, broken or fallen by the wayside. So I decided to make the one described by Tim in the magazine. Credit for the design goes to Tim and full details are in the magazine.


Essentially it comprises:

  • a base 10" x 17" made from 18mm plywood (preferably baltic birch 3/4")
  • a clamp plate 8" x 17" made again from 18mm plywood
  • a hardwood fence, in my case an oak scrap, glued onto the clamp plate
  • 8 off 3/8" captive T nuts
  • 4 off 10mm (3/8") washers
  • 2 off 3/8" star knobs
  • 2 off self adjusting toggle clamps
  • 8 off M5 x 40 long countersunk head socket screws with nuts and washers(or equivalent imperial).

The hardwood fence is glued to the top plate and cut away to clear the star knobs when they are in the forward position.
Drill 2 columns of 4 holes (8 in total) for the T-nuts in the base plate. These start 3-3/8" from the front of the longest edge of the base plate on 15" centres. The remaining  3 pairs of holes are drilled inline with the first two on 1-1/4" centres.
Next counterbore these holes on the underside of the base plate with a Forstner bit to clear the head of the T-nuts. Then the T-Nuts are inserted from the underside and hammered home.

Underside of base plate showing the
counterbores for the heads of the T-nuts