Thursday, July 24, 2014

Working with a Maneater

The school has been so busy lately, that I'm running out of bench space. Right now, the benches are 60" square, but some students come in to work and take up a whole bench, when really - the benches are designed to be shared by two people.  So I'm making smaller benches, sort of using this design as a guide. 

I found this online - I have NO idea where I found it, but I like it. (Note to self: bookmark sites you like!) It's just simple and sturdy and straightforward. I like that. (If this bench/image belongs to you - I'm sorry I can't give you credit for it! Contact me and I'll be happy to place a link to your site here!)

So - I'm making a prototype of a workbench that I want to use at my shop. The work is going smoothly, although I did make a couple of (fixable) errors. That's what prototypes are for, right?

I'm getting ready to do the last bit of shaping and routing, before I assemble the two sides - and it's time to pull out the router and round over some edges.

Remember that old Hall and Oates song - Mateater? 

 That's how I feel when using this router bit. It's a 3/4" round over bit, perfect for making large round overs on sharp corners. I don't use it often, but when I pull it out and throw it in the collet, I know things are going to get dicey!  It's a wood eater!

Over the years, I damaged more than a few corners using this bit. It's so easy for the bit to grab into your wood, cutting an area of wood that you hadn't intended to round over.  So - here's a tip - clamp some scrap on either side of the wood you intend to rout. Just make sure the clamp isn't in the way of the router base.

The scrap wood gives you a broader area on which to rest the router base, and it reduces the chance of an errant cut, 

leaving you with crisp, rounded edges. 

OK, back to work for me!... hope you're having a productive day in your woodshop. 


brendan cheney said...

I'm loving your recent blog posts! Giving me lots of good ideas.

My biggest question as I get more and more into making furniture is, Where can I find affordable wood? There's a great lumber yard near me in terms of their variety/supplies, but it's very pricey. Thanks for any feedback!


Wood It Is! said...

One thing is sure - stay away form the big box stores. Their lumber is overpriced, and not of the best quality. Look for "Hardwoods" in your local town.

Get to know the people at your local lumberyard and chances are, they will offer you some discounts. They have several prices - from the hobbyist to the professional. Ask them how you might qualify for better pricing.