I’m Back!

After a long hiatus, I am back, whilst my woodworking slowed I didn’t really stop. For the last few months, I’ve been tinkering more with steel which has been an interesting change.   Make a mistake and you can fix it, no waiting for glues to cure and sanding etc.

My next project is going to be a hybrid of woodworking and metalworking. See we foster and socialise a number of cats, dealing with kitty litter etc is a pain.  So im making a mobile kitty cart to store and deal with the stuff we regularly use.   Believe it or not, it’s not unusual for us to be lugging around 60+ Kgs of stuff every week or two.



Mobile cart will have space at the top for a couple of storage tubs and two shelves underneath to store kitty litter etc.


The steel part of the trolley will be 20mm tubular steel. Not sure at this stage about adding a handle.Thats  something I will tinker with when the carts assembled and I can take it for a test run.

Small Ball & Claw Table

Lets face it 99% of woodworking is just working with straight timber and 90 degree joints. Being able to work with compound curves and even a little carving will open up your woodworking to a whole new level.

I am jumping into curves by attempting a small table using Ball and Claw style cabriole legs.

Ok let the fun begin, the table is based on an episode of “Rough Cut Woodworking” (Episode 11, Season 1). The timber used is some spare Melunak.

Leg templates were printed and glued onto some 3mm mdf then cut on a bandsaw and sanded smooth. I know it may seem like a lot of work but I will keep these templates for future projects and hope to get plenty of use out of them.

I used regular PVA glue and it was ready to go in about 20 minutes. The templates I am using were included in the rough cut DVD and just printed via laser printer to A4 paper.

Rough Stock
All the materials were rough cut and labeled to allow me to match the ears/knee blocks to the legs for the best grain match possible.


Round mortices were drilled on the leg stock before any cutting took place ,its much easier to clamp the stock down while still square.

Tenons were hand cut and rounded with a rasp to fit the round mortices. Couldnt resist a quick dry fit of the progress so far.

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Now the fun starts, templates were traced and legs were cut on the bandsaw. All the curves were smoothed over with a spokeshave and the corners rounded over using rasps.



Closeup showing the finish straight off the rasp and an updated dry fit.
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Carving the foot.

The toes and a general outline of the foot was marked using compasses to ensure all four feet are the same.

Two circles are drawn on the base, the larger circle represents the outside diameter of the ball and the smaller circle is the base diameter of the ball.
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The toes are carefully cutout with a handsaw to meet the outside ball markings and the excess material is carefully pared away with gauges to define the outside diameter of the ball.
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Updated Dryfit with the talons and basic ball visible. Some of the excess material has also been removed above the knee, this was done to mainly aid in clamping, in the begining stages the excess material serves to protect the top of the leg from damage.


Sides glued up and the ears/knee blocks have been glued on with hide glue and contured to fit. Conturing was roughly done on the bandsaw and finished with a blockplane and shoulder plane.

When doing the final carving of the feet, I found it easier to complete one leg and then carve the other 3 legs in stages take measurements off the first leg.

Finshing began with some Linseed oil. When freshly oiled the whole piece darkens and highlights any area’s needing more attention.

Finished Table.

After the oil had dried and any issues sorted it was time for the final finish. I sprayed the whole table with a mixture lacquer tinted with a little walnut stain. This helped to even out the tones through the whole piece.

Then applied several coats of full gloss lacquer as a final topcoat, when this completly dries I will rub back the gloss and apply some furniture wax til sliky smooth.

The final finish

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Bit and Pieces

Sample Mirror

With a couple of weeks annual leave under my belt I set off to tackle and finish the console table. To aid me in cutting and fitting the drawers I made a new moxon style vice and a bench helper to support the drawers for final fitting.

Sample MirrorSample Mirror

The Bench Helper, provides support for larger pieces and is great when plaining drawers to final fit. It only took a couple of hours to make using some scrap. I have already used it a dozen times. Its one of those handy jigs you wish you made years ago.

The Moxon vice is used to lift the work to a more usuable height, perfect for cutting dovetails. I was lucky enough to score a cheap Benchcrafted vice in a group buy with some friends (http://benchcrafted.com/).

Ok so here is the finished table, minus the lacquer and stain. I am very happy with the way the table turned out, it was a lot more work than I was expecting, but I learnt a lot from this piece. Every drawer was assembled using handcut dovetails, which was a first for me.

Sample Mirror Sample Mirror

Sample Mirror
Heres a close up showing the dovetails and the applied drawer front. The drawers and made out of hoop pine.

Matching corner table…

While working on the table I also decided to make a matching corner unit, to replace a recently broken vase 🙁

Luckly I had just enough leftover Durian to build this:
Sample Mirror

I didnt have any plans for this, I just match the main design elements of the console table and made sure I had enough Durian to complete the unit.

The Weekend is upon us!

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Well its a cold and wet Friday night here in Melbourne, Australia but I don’t care. Its almost the weekend and that means I have paid my dues for the week and get to retreat to my shed!

During the week I managed to pickup some goodies and will hopefully get to put some of this stuff into use this weekend.

CMT Rabbet set, CMT box joint bit

digital mitre gauge, Fastcap Calculator

Framing Clamp, Pliers

dust collector reducers and pipe clamps.

I firmly believe in working on the workshop as well as in the workshop, so I’ll continue to tweak the dust collection on my saw (keep an eye out for my roof mounted boom arm ) and hopefully find time to work on with my Jewelery box and Chippendale Mirror projects.

If you interested in more info on any of my projects checkout the Projects Section.

Anyway thanks for looking.


Rough Cut—Woodworking with Tommy Mac

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I’ve been following Tommy Macs work for a while now, he does some amazing work. Just in case you haven’t heard he’s just scored his own TV Show.

If your not familiar with his work, you’ll find a link to his website on the links page (207 Woodworking).

Hopefully well be able to see it here in Australia, things have been very quiet on the woodworking front since Norm and David Marks have disappeared.

Anyway here is the trailer for the new show, which starts in late October 2010.

Rough Cut—Woodworking with Tommy Mac