This is a smaller board I put together to try out the new drum sander. I made it with whatever milled boards I had left over. Still trying to get the patterns to line up. It was pretty close except for a couple. I’m starting to think it would be easier to just do a repeatable pattern.
I got frustrated enough with end grain boards to pick up a drum sander. These cutting boards are learning project and I’m planning to start building some boxes next. A drum sander would be handy in working with pieces too small for a thickness planer. So, I figured I’d have uses other than cutting boards as a justification for a new toy.
As with other large power tools, I made a mobile cart using similar designs.
I chose the small Jet 10-20. Not only is it one of the most affordable, but has a small footprint for my little shop. Although, the cart is bigger than it needs to be. I may repurpose this cart in the future for something else and make a cart a little smaller to save on space.
I’m still learning to use it. I keep tripping the motor overload, but I’m getting the hang of it. It seems running the belt fast and doing very small thickness adjustments works well. Slowing the best causes a lot of burning, so seems like this small sander just needs some patience. It’s not a huge time saver, but it requires little to no concentration, unlike the router sled.
With my next attempt at a cutting board, I’m trying to get better at lining up patterns. I still have room for improvement. Part of the issue I think is my table saw cutting is drifting on me a bit and strips are shifting around while gluing. This is also the first board where I milled rough sawn boards.
This is maple and walnut in a checkerboard pattern. The maple had a stain running down a section of the board. I didn’t really notice or pay much attention when I was first working on it. Then figured it looks a little different and kept on going. Reading, I thought it may be spalting. Asking around and doing more research, it appears to be mineral staining. Another thought was perhaps caused by the tree being tapped for maple syrup. Either way, it seems safe for food contact while spalted maple probably should be avoided.
I leveled this board using my router jig and it didn’t work out so well. I had a lot of marking from the bit and this board was larger than others so it was challenging with my setup. I decided to bite the bullet and get a drum sander after this doing this board. I tried to sand out the bit marks with the orbital sander with mixed results. Aggressive sanding left some dips in the board. End grain is very hard stuff!
So, I might take this back and sand again this time using the drum sander and see if I can level it out a little. I gave up on it because of what I thought was spalting, but now willing to put in some more time.
My workshop has an exterior door and a doorway going into the garage. When making dust, I open the outside door and car garage door for some ventilation. The doorway into the garage and the outside door and in-line, so the rest of the shop doesn’t seem to get a lot of air movement. A forced air exhaust vent at the other end of the shop seems a good idea.
The other thing I’ve been thinking about is I probably don’t want to have all the doors open when the weather turns cold. My thinking is that I may run the fan only when running saws, or perhaps just flip on the fan for a few minutes to clear out the air. There’s no heat in the workshop, but I’m thinking of installing some kind of electric heat. By just running the fan to suck out dust, I’m wondering if I’ll be able to take the edge of the cold in the workshop and momentarily run the fan to clear out the air. I plan to crack the garage door when running the fan in the winter.
I’ve also moved my shop vac dust collector over by this fan. I run a short hose from the blower port on the fan and shoot that out the fan. The idea is whatever isn’t captured by the Dusty Deputy and HEPA filter should go side.
Anyway, I got this 14-inch fan from Amazon. There are bigger fans, but they seemed excessive and not worth the price for my space. I didn’t get fussy installing it. I basically cut out a hole in the garage wall with a beat up jigsaw blade, then braced the fan with 2×4 boards against the joists. I wired then it up using an extension cord. Eventually, I’ll make it more permanent with a switch.
This seems to work pretty well. There’s noticeable less dust hanging in the air and even less eventually settling. I always wear a respirator when making dust, but I feel this fan clears the air enough to remove the mask when not running saws or sanders.
Small project to improve lighting. I’ve been using four CFL bulbs for my little workshop. I bought an LED array that’s in the form of tube bulbs. I’m trying to keep down the power usage for the shop just because everything is on a shared circuit. LED seemed a good solution for low power and quality of light. I installed one and liked it enough to add a second.
These worked out great. Hopefully, they prove to be durable. They offer 4800 lums of light at 5000k daylight temp and run at 64 watts. They make a big difference lighting up my work.
You can link them together, which is pretty convenient for installing multiple bulbs. Installation is pretty easy. Just u-shaped bracket, chain, and clips.
Finally got around to building a cart of the little jointer. I was keeping this on the floor and lugging it on the workbench when needed.
This cart is using some new casters I got from Amazon. I think I like these much better than the casters from Lowes. Seem smoother. Cheaper too. These don’t have locks. Next time I may try a set from Amazon with locks.
We have a birthday party coming up next month with a Pokemon theme. I made some simple cornhole boards and fixed up some bean bags to look like pokeballs.
I started making a strong board with a 2×4 frame around plywood but then decided to go lighter and cheaper. I’m not too sure how much use these will actually get, plus it will be nice if they can be folded up for minimal storage and easy moving. The design is simply a 2-foot by 4-foot piece of plywood then a 2-foot by 1-foot plywood stand on the back with cabinet hinges. I drew a six-inch circle for the cutout and used a drill and jigsaw. I painted the boards white with spray paint, then made a template with a big cardboard box. Using the template, I painted the red area and then black outlines.
Finally, the kids helped make the pokeballs using fabric paint and permanent markers.
The boards came sanded, but it would have been better I think to sand them further. I probably should have also used a dedicated primer. I’m using glossy paint, but the bags don’t slide at all. I might try a top coat enamel if I feel like.
Anyway, this was a fun little project that got the kids excited.
I’m calling this a maker project because it took a ton of work. We’ve been working on our kitchen and dining room for the past few weeks. Painted the walls, new lighting, new flooring, and new trim. We’re happy with how it turned out!
With my cutting board adventures, I made some board cream similar to John Boos Butcher Block Board Cream. This is a really cheap and simple. Basically, measure by weight 5 parts mineral oil with 1 part bees wax in a sauce pan. You can add more or less mineral oil depending on the desired consistency.
Mineral oil must be food grade. I get mine in the pharmacy area as a laxative. I got the bees wax from Amazon because I couldn’t find a local source for something other than candles, which may not be processed with the intention of food use.
You want to heat very slowly and swirl the pan until the wax dissolves. You can use a double boiler if you wish, but going slow worked for me. I poured the finished product into two half pint jars and let it cool to turn into a paste
To use, I scoop it out with a towel and rub it into the board after washing. I then let it sit on the wood, and if I feel like, I’ll wipe it clean. For fresh boards, it seems a good idea to first saturate the board with just mineral oil. Doing this should limit any water being absorbed by the wood. The waxy board cream then should help water seal it further.
This cutting board was a little more complicated build with doing essentially two different glue-ups. One was for the center maple part of the board and second the border. It was a little tricky gluing together single rows of blocks. I ended up doing the long sides in two parts. I still had some trouble getting things to line up well. I also goofed and did cross cuts of the center maple before running it through the planer. So, that made the maple area smaller than expected.
Anyway, this design was inspired by David Picciuto’s book of cutting board designs. I’m getting determined to get end grain cutting boards right, so I got a book of designs.
After the last glue-up, I had a lot of excess glue and uneven seams. I need to work at doing better glue ups, which I’m planning for my next board. After the board was complete, I ran the router over it like before. This time went better with the improvements I made to the jig.