Workshop Twin Screw Bench Vise

While doing some shop improvements, I got the idea to create my own DIY vise to use for projects and so forth. After much deliberation and research, and my wish to keep the project budget low, I decided on mostly wood materials with store bought hardware. I purchased a length of 3/4″ threaded rod, some threaded coupler nuts, washers, a 23/32″ tap, a 3/4″ drill bit, and some lengths of steel rod. I milled the necessary parts down, and used the new Lathe (see this post) to make the lead screw “heads” that would take the threaded rod and the handles. I also had to turn the handle ends. I figured while I was on it, I might as well be creative so I carved the Bushwood logo onto the front of the vise.

I’m pleased with the results. I finished it with 2 coats of Tung Oil and 2 coats of Johnson’s Paste Wax.

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Workshop Stools

IMG_20140112_132549After cleaning up my shop, I realized I had nowhere to sit at the workbench. While standing is supposed to be better for you, I also enjoy having the kids join me from time to time, and visitors, and everyone needs a place to settle occasionally. So I found a nice, simple plan from Ana White for a stool. I had to enlarge the top of the stool to 12″ x 12″ to allow the cushions my wife had made me years ago to sit on top. I ended up using walnut for the legs and rungs, and sapele for the top, with a few contrasting poplar plugs in the screw holes.

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American Girl Doll Bed

So Christmas 2012 (this past Christmas), my wife and I were lucky enough to be able to get our daughter an American Girl Doll by way of our wonderful ex-next door neighbors in our old hometown.

My wife asked if I could take an existing plan from Ana White who is a fairly well known DIY blogger and crafty woman from Alaska. Her plans are usually very simple to build and use inexpensive hardware and supplies.

The plan specifically was this one: http://ana-white.com/2011/08/doll-bunk-beds-american-girl-doll-and-18-doll

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I had a bunch of Sapele (read more about Sapele here) sitting around the shop, and it was very easy to size the lumber I had down to the dimensions I needed. I finished it in roughly 1 weekend’s worth of time, plus a little extra for finishing. I used two coats of Tung Oil to make the grain stand out (Sapele’s grain is just plain beautiful when finished with oil).

My wife finished it off by making a custom sewn bed set for both bunks, and even made quilts for the dolls as well.

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My customer is one happy little girl.

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Entire gallery of images is here: https://picasaweb.google.com/107602759139677368610/AmericanGirlDollBed?authuser=0&feat=directlink

The Spokeshave Project

So here it is. My next tool. And it works too. I made a spokeshave. It cuts fine shavings with a small adjustment of the blade, easily done with two brass screws underneath the blade, after loosening the blade from its brass knobs.

The brass pieces were milled for me by someone at my job, who works in our prototype shop. I filed them a bit for the tool to work properly, and then sanded them down using progressively finer grits of silicon carbide paper up to 1000 grit. Then I used some polishing compound on a buffing wheel on my grinder, and made them very shiny. I then coated the brass with a bit of spray lacquer so they won’t tarnish.

The body of the tool was made from African Sapele, and the finish was two coats of tung oil, followed by Johnson’s Paste Wax. The blade was obtained from Hock Tools, and came ready for use. A very fine blade made by an expert, and the service from Hock was among the best I’ve worked with.

The tool plans themselves were from the #84 issue of Shopnotes #84 (my favorite woodworking magazine.)

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Millet Hybrid Headphone Amplifier Project

The Bushwood Amplifier. A state of the art high quality hybrid tube amplifier based on the Millet Hybrid design. The design was taken from DIYForums.org. They are really great guys to work with, and you get a lot of support while building the amplifier.

I sold it because I wanted to get more into woodworking than into DIY audio.

Specifications include:

  • Two 12AE6A RCA vacuum tubes (matched) from Tube Depot
  • Tangent Easy Power Supply with 12.5VA (each side) toroidal transformer by Amveco, Nichicon capacitors, and other stock items as listed on Tangent’s site. I built in a 3 prong grounded plug (included) and a rocker power switch with LED indicator light.
  • Nichicon Muse capacitors throughout the amplifier
  • WIMA MKP10 capacitors where necessary.
  • PCBs mounted on PC board standoffs, with padding underneath to compensate for any flexing
  • Integrated ALPS RK097 rotary volume knob, wired for just a power switch for the amp.
  • ALPS Blue Velvet for volume control.
  • 1/4 inch Neutrik headphone jack
  • Dayton audio gold plated RCA jacks for audio in
  • LED indicator light for amp portion
  • Casework custom built by myself, made from African Sapele, maple, and walnut, with a danish oil/wax finish. Lid not attached for easy removal and access to all inside components.

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