Building a Shed Part IX

I’ve been as motivated to work while it’s 100 degrees as I was when it was 30 degrees, so the shed has been sitting the past few weeks acclimating to the sun. The good news is that it has given me time to work in my nice cool basement workshop building the doors and corbels. I bought ten more 8′ long 8″ wide siding and slid five of them together to figure out how much to cut off the end boards to make a nice centered door.

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After figuring how much to trim off the end boards, I clamped them together and stapled 4″ cedar trim across the top and bottom. I used 1/4″ crown galvanized staples 1 1/2″ long.

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I attached the sides and center rail the same way. I used a liberal amount of Titebond III exterior glue to help hold everything together.

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I flipped the door over and did the same thing on the other side. I left the door over hang the inside trim about 2″ so that the bottom of the door would be flush with the bottom of the siding. I attached one board on the back at the diagonal to strengthen the door.

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I built the other door exactly the same way with the only difference being the diagonal board was going the other way.

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After the weather cooled down a bit, I took the doors out to the shed to see how they fit. In a perfect world they would fit perfectly, however I don’t live in a perfect world and I’ve never built anything perfectly. So, I had to trim the doors down to size about 1/4″ and shave down one end about 1/8″ less than the top.

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After fiddling around with the doors, they fit well enough for me to be happy. I used large hand screw clamps and clamped the inside of the doors to the frame opening. I then attached three hinges per door while they were clamped.

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After they were hung, they stuck a little bit at the top. I grabbed my block plane and shaved away the tops of the doors so that they would open and close freely.

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Installing the locking handle was a breeze. A simple hole drilled through the door allowed the stem to pass through. I then attached the inside handle with a set screw.

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I needed the left door to stay put while the right door was locked, so I drilled a 5/8″ hole through the floor and used two-part epoxy to glue a small piece of 1/2″ copper pipe inside the hole.

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I then attached the door hardware to the left door so that the bar would fit nicely in the hole.

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I did the same thing for the top of the door except I used a 1/4″ copper coupler instead of a 1/2″ pipe.

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I trimmed out the inside of the door the same way I did with the windows. I took a 2 x 6 and ripped into three pieces that were 3/8″ thick by 2″ wide and attached them with finish nails.

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I’m happy with the way the doors turned out. Now on to the corbels.

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Making a Roubo Style Workbench Part 2 – revisited

Well after letting the wood acclimate and dry in my shop for about a month, I finally had the time to assemble the top. I took each board and planed them down to 1 1/4″ thick. Be prepared to have a boat load of shavings coming from your planer. I ended up filling four garbage cans with planer shavings. After surface planing, I straightened the boards the best I could with my transitional jointer. The boards were just too long for me try to joint them over my 6″ motorized jointer so I clamped each one to the bench and did it with a hand plane. It didn’t take that long at all and honestly I wasn’t looking for a perfectly straight edge anyway. I just wanted to get rid of the crook in the board so I could rip them to size on the tablesaw. After each board was ripped to 4 1/4″ wide, I laminated them into sections using five boards per section. The shorter part of the bench was laminated with seven boards.

After each section was dry, I ran them through the surface planer and planed them to 4″ thick. Then I glued two sections together. After that section dried, I glued the third. Then when that dried I glued the forth (you get the idea). I did my best to dry fit and line up the sections to minimize any hand planing once the top was formed. However, even after all the careful planning, I still ended up with an 1/8″ bow in my top. I’m not entirely sure why that was but if I had to guess, I say the bowing of my pipe clamps played a part. I’ve always heard of the limitations of pipe clamps and I think I found one of them. Clamping this massive behemith of a top was no easy task. I had to apply an extreme amount of pressure to get each section to bond tightly with one another. It was times like these where I wished I owned twice the amount of pipe clamps!

Once the top was glued together I grabbed my Stanley No 8C jointer and No 5C fore plane and went to town. I planed across and diagonal to the grain to level out the top as easily as possible. The 5C worked well to remove a lot of stock quickly. The No 8 was effective in leveling the high and low spots. Periodically I would check my progress with a straight edge (the side of my No 8 plane) and plane where necessary. I also used winding sticks to make sure the top did not twist from one end to the other. It took me an hour and forty five minutes to plane down the entire top but the funny thing was that I actually enjoyed all the planing.

Next I’ll make the legs and build the frame. I’ll keep you posted.

Repairing a broken tote

Sometimes when you buy an old plane from an antique dealer or from ebay the tote is cracked in the middle. While the majority of the time, the crack is clean and can be easily glued back together, once in awhile the fibers of the wood are so damaged that simply gluing the two pieces of the tote back together will not work.

Totes crack in the middle because of excess pressure the user puts on the back of the plane. When a plane’s blade is dull and not properly sharpened, more force is needed to make a cut. This extra force puts added stress on the tote and often it will crack in the middle or near the bottom. Fortunately repairing the tote is not all that difficult.

The first thing you need to do is take the two sections of the tote and clean whatever glue residue is left on it from the previous owner trying to fix the tote. The two pieces of this tote here were held wrapped together with electrical tape when I bought the plane.

Next you need to find a scrap piece of rosewood that you can use as a filler. Take each piece of the tote over to a disk sander and sand away the broken fibers so that you have a clean and smooth surface in which  to glue the filler strip to. Now glue the tote back together with the filler strip in the middle using polyurethane glue.

After the glue is dried, file the filler strip so that it matches the profile of the rest of the tote. Take a 1/4″ drill bit and re-drill the hole through the filler strip for the tote screw and brass nut to slide down. Then sand with 220 and 320 grit sandpaper. Apply a coat of shellac to finish the tote.

Tote is repaired and ready for another hundred years of use.