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Thread: Winter woodworking plans

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    GTA Ontario Canada

    Winter woodworking plans

    I am putting this out here to perhaps give some others some thoughts on this subject.

    So i dont have a heated shop at present and given the kids have left the coop and we have no hockey etc to have to go to, I have come to realize i need to be somewhat like the critters and make plans for the winter to do something indoors.

    Challenge i found last year was this temp accommodation while having a space in basement, is not suited to doing bigger woodworking things like say cutting a large piece of ply and same for prepping lumber.

    I am also highly concerned about what happens to me later in life re woodworking or tinkering.

    So as i posted in flatwork i am building a smaller workbench and one which is able to be knocked down and rebuilt with a different height set of legs.

    Brent spotted that i have been gathering together carving bits and pieces and wood for having a go at some carving, but i thought i would add a few more things i plan on giving attention to.

    For years i have had a hand saw vice, and plan on mounting this on the bench to tackle having a go at sharpening the saw blades i have with a view to resurrecting at least one or two saws of different sizes in my possession. Its always been a challenge to me to see if us modern folk are up to being able to re-mediate an old tool to its former usable state this has some mystical nostalgic traditional feel to it for me especially given i know that my great grandfather built wooden mills back in Bury St Edmunds, in the UK way back when and must have had to care for his tools himself to make it work for him. I have a few beater blades to practice on and have assembled the files and instructions to go with it. Could be nice challenging experience or maybe not but its something that i want to do and can be done in doors with little mess if you have a mini bench to work at. (Mini bench could even be a portable bench you clamp to a kitchen table).

    Then there is sharpening. Rather than using shop time when weather is great to sharpen planes chisels and carving tools, I am going to try get this done through winter. But not all at once as its not my favorite past time.

    The other thing i want to setup is my vacuum system. Parts are on their way as i write this and i see this opening up a whole new host of opportunities to tinker with all sorts.

    I think something that makes woodworking so interesting as a hobby is the fact that it has so many dimensions to it and some are able to be cross pollinated if you prepared to step out of the tradditional box and try learn something new. Example using a router on a lathe to make straight flutes in a spindle or trying out the concept of a vacuum chuck. (not sure i will ever feel confident about using one but the fun for me is in the trying rather than the production).

    Something else i have always wanted to do with vacuum is make a form and form wood around it. In specific i want to make up some wood strips to laminate but form them at the same time. Perhaps have a go at making a fly fishing landing net frame. Or perhaps a shaped seat like the Danes seem to be able to do in much of their modern designed furniture.

    Then there is the aspect of veneering. Some time back after buying a veneering book on the cheap, i came to realise there was much more we could do to put shape into some projects if we got away from straight cut wood and ventured into using a substrate like say Baltic Birch and then clad it with veneer of some sort. It does not always have to be the expensive rare burl veneers there are many veneer deals to be had for trying out.
    Lee Valley sells the bendable thin BB that one can use to establish a shape on a form and then use the vacuum to adhere veneer.

    So my plan this winter is to have a go at learning some processes and techniques that will add some dimension to what i might take on in woodworking in the future.

    Being caught indoors don't mean the fun has to stop. And I even have plans to make a indoor tool cabinet for the day that i end up confined to a small room like my Dad was in when he ended up at the aged home.

    I would really like to thank the TV execs of all the networks and channels (spoken in a manner befitting an Oscar award) for so totally ruining Television entertainment.

    Without them I might never have ventured down this path, but i think if i am faced with having to look at that screen for a winter then the madhouse will definitely have another resident.

    So anyone else got ideas to share on what they plan on doing to get through while Jack Frost abounds outside.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    DSM, IA
    Rob, looks like, as always, you have put some thought into how to get thru the winter. I typically spend much more time out in the shop in the winter...I like cold not heat. That said, I have some projects coming up that will need some warm weather finishing so I'm going to need to figure something out. That would involve a big clean up in the basement...
    A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone. -Henry David Thoreau
    My Website

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    ABQ NM
    My goal for this winter will be to get my shop set back up in the new house. First order of business is a new main electrical panel on the house, and a 80 to 100 amp subpanel to the garage/shop. Unfortunately, the garage is on the opposite side of the house from the power service entrance, so it's going to be a long run of copper to get power to the shop. I've got a journeyman electrician friend who will do the work for a reasonable price (primarily pizza and beer, most likely), but the materials are not going to be cheap.

    We're also going to look long and hard at remodeling the kitchen in the new place. It's a bit dated and it needs more cabinet space. The current cabinets are the originals from the early 1970s, and they've been refaced with plastic laminate. I don't plan to build the cabinets myself, but there's a good chance I'd do the install and other remodeling with help from other family members.

    Also on the remodeling list is the shower in the master bath. It has a dropped ceiling for no apparent reason, and the waterproof light fixture in the shower is low enough that I hit my head on it. Also, it has very dated '70s blue tile. Fortunately, my sister and one of her sons are an awesome tile installation team. It'll be some work to raise the ceiling, but once we get the walls and ceiling redone, the tile will go quickly.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    RETIRED(!) in Austintown, Ohio
    Quote Originally Posted by Vaughn McMillan View Post
    My goal for this winter will be to get my shop set back up in the new house. ...We're also going to look long and hard at remodeling the kitchen in the new place. It's a bit dated and it needs more cabinet space... I don't plan to build the cabinets myself...

    Why not build them yourself? Leave that spinny thing in storage , and use real tools to build your own cabinets!
    Jim D.
    Adapt, Improvise, Overcome!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Kansas City, Missouri
    Typically I can do some work in my shop in the winter, I'll go warm up in the office, then work until I'm cold again, repeat. However, I won't work in there when it's much below 20* (F). I had planned to build out a large finishing/tinkering room to heat out there, but haven't gotten to that and it looks like a new HVAC system for the house will be eating into any budget for it. I do have several house projects to work on and they should keep me busy this winter anyway.

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word “boo.” – Robert Brault

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    ABQ NM
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim DeLaney View Post
    Why not build them yourself?
    I did actually consider it, but there are several roadblocks that I see:

    1. I'd like them built right. I'm no cabinet maker. I also don't have good facilities for cutting sheet goods.
    2. I don't have the room to store a kitchen's worth of cabinets.
    3. I'd like them sometime before 2015 is over. So that kind of rules out the build and install one cabinet at a time approach.
    4. I'm in the land of expensive hardwood. I can buy a pre-made cherry or maple cabinet for about what the materials would cost me to build my own.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim DeLaney View Post
    ...Leave that spinny thing in storage ...
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    East Freeetown, Massachusetts
    Rob - why do you not heat your shop?

    My plan is to keep plodding along on the house remodeling estimated completion is sometime 2015.

    Following the house remodel - my next major project is to build the "Osprey" - estimated completion sometime 2017.

    I have a few smaller projects in mind for the "in betweens". These are always variable.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Escondido, CA
    Vaughn, with regard to the cabinets. I have been doing some pricing for my new house. That said I should also say I have access to an awesome cabinet builder for more healthy food than pizza and beer, but still very inexpensive. And...the bottom line is I can buy the cabinet boxes flat packed, ready to assemble, dovetailed, finished drawer boxes, finished hardwood drawer fronts and doors that match, and the hardware for about the same price as buying the raw materials and doing it myself. As my friend said, the quality of the kitchen (or bath, etc.) comes with decent materials and excellent installation. It will be like Ikea only with really good materials and hardware. I have total control over the quality. If you want suppliers, let me know. You can hire out the installation but that is a crap shoot. Pay attention to plumb and square and do it yourself. UPS will deliver it to your door. And you don't have to order everything at once. Pay as you go. No storage problems.

    I don't have the winter problems many of you do, but I absolutely hate being cold. Anything under 80º has me reaching for long sleeves. Like Rob, I would like to try some carving. Waiting on the next free shipping deal from Lee Valley and then will get some additions to my carving kit. I checked out Lora's sites. What a plethora of information! It will be hard to pick a first project. Likely will be a walking stick topper, something whimsical.

    Some say the land of milk and honey; others say the land of fruits and nuts. All together my sort of heaven.

    Power is not taken. It is given. Who have you given yours to? Hmmmm?

    Carol Reed

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    new york city burbs
    Ive thrown out all my winter plans and fall plans for that matter.

    My knee has taken over my life now. It dictates everything. It sucks.
    Human Test Dummy

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    No, not all of SoCal is Los Angeles!
    Small boxes, picture frames, wooden kitchen implements, game boards, jewelry made from small scraps, iPhone stands, tablet holders, marble games, M&M dispensers, tool holders for your new wall mounted tool cabinet, , , oh, and whirly-gigs.
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
    - Arthur C. Clarke

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