A Woodworking Project?

I haven’t done any woodworking in what seems like ages… not since I finished remodeling the house we sold in Moses Lake.

But, perhaps with one or two of these and a weekend’s effort, I’ll see about finding a purpose for the Purpleheart and Lignum Vitae that I’ve had stashed away for a few years.

Prototype The 𝓷th

One sheet of very inexpensive, workshop-grade plywood is now a prototype of a 23″ x 47″ coffee table.

Pay no attention to that couch. It’s hideous, yes. It’s very temporary.

So, now it’s clear why I had a bit of India ink. I’d heard last summer that it seemed to be gaining popularity in use so had to give it a go. If you’re looking for a pure-black stain, this is a good choice.

I think on the next, presentation-version of the coffee-table, I’ll use finished Baltic Birch plywood as it has fewer voids and more robust surfaces. Maybe red-oak for the legs, still stained black of course.

Woodworking

I wouldn’t call myself a woodworker — I’m just a maker. Most of what I make, apart from some software concepts and a few computers, is from wood, yes, so I’m more of a wood-maker.

I do spend some time skimming through the assorted YouTube videos of people’s projects and often find some inspiration for my own projects.

One of the things upon which I depend, like many others, is mechanical fasteners to screw things together.

Drilling pilot-holes is better than simply forcing a screw into wood and risking a split or tear-out or absurd amounts of torque to drive a screw (and break its head off). And countersinking the screw-head is better than leaving it protruding from the surface or crushing a portion of the surface.

So, a pilot-hole and countersink. They often need to be done together.

It seems that often times, makers have separate bits to do each task. Drill one, swap the bit, drill another. Thankfully, the world has embraced keyless chucks — imagine how much of a pain in the ass it would be to simultaneously juggle bits, screws, a chuck key…

So, rather than juggle a pilot drill bit and a countersink bit, save a few bucks (and headaches) and make the small purchase to get a single bit that will both drill and a pilot-hole and countersink in one shot.

These are absolutely awesome.

And with the collar, I can set it to countersink the screw-heads to exactly the same depth every single time. There is a limitation, of course, I can’t use just one tool to do everything with screws. I use two drills: one for the countersink/pilot bit, and another for the actual T-25* bit to drive screws.

Kick your creations up a few notches.

While you’re at it, pick up a few self-centering drill bits as well.

You’re welcome.

* Phillips heads are so last-century.

It’s A Trap!

I built a trap door.

This was the last of the flooring project.

The trap door in the master closet — not an accurate phrase because it’s most definitely not an actual trap — is access to the crawl space under the house. It was just a bit of carpet slapped onto a not-quite-square floor cut-out. But, having upgraded the floors from carpet to laminate, also providing a finished trap door was needed.

No trip-hazards and nothing to get in the way: wood floor secured atop the not-quite-square cut-out, some reinforcement around it, a continuous hinge, and a flush trap-door pull mortised into the surface.

I’ll still need to sort out the interior trim and possibly add a compression damper to hold it open and limit dropping it.

But, for now, I think I’ve earned this.

In Search Of…

Not long ago, the emergence of digital technologies was dominated not for the latest tech-gadget, but by an endless quest to find AA batteries.

Now, it seems we’re all in search of USB charging ports…

…or Qi wireless chargers.

…or two of them.

…or Apple Watch chargers.

So I cobbled this together out of some spare Red Oak:

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I should’ve included a tape measure for scale, but it’s 10-1/2″ W x 5-1/2″ H x 7-1/2″ deep. Way over-built.

Fine woodworking is something that I haven’t the tools, time, nor motivation for. Yet.

It includes

I still need to find a suitable set of hinges for the lid and a latch to stop it unintentionally opening. I’ll also need to find some sort of carry handle/strap. The earlier ammo-box style used rope handles on either end, which I still might do.

Yep, I could have just thrown everything into a Sterilite container, but where’s the fun in that? It’s not bad for an quick throw-together charging station solution.

And, yes, Pine would’ve been lighter and easier to work with — and it would’ve gone rather nicely with the 1940s-era ammo-box style. But I didn’t have any readily available. So, Red Oak, it is. And also it’s nicer than both the plywood and much less wasteful than the Purpleheart and Lignum Vitae that I do have.