Another pie out of the Art of the Pie book. It’s been fun baking my way through this book because there are some combos I’d never expect. Peach blueberry was good but probably at the top of my list.
This crust was made a couple week ago with the Blueberry pie. I rolled it out, put it in a pie pan, then put it in an XL zip top bag, and then in the freezer. This is using frozen fruit, so it’s an easy bake for a week day. I preheat the oven, bring out the crust, mix up the crumble, then bring together the filling. Dump it in the crust and into the oven.
Some day I’d like to either rebuild this cart or build a more traditional work bench. Until then, I’m getting an idea of what is helpful and what is not helpful for me to a work surface. One thing I decided to add last week was a bench vice.
This is an Eclipse 7-inch vice that has a few features that I wanted. I wanted something that mounted to the side of the bench and sat level with the surface. I didn’t want a bench-top model. I also wanted something that I could use to hold a workpiece against a bench dog, and this has a little notch that can pop up for this purpose. I also wanted to screw in some scrap wood to prevent the metal of the vice from marring the surface of a workpiece. Lastly, I like how this vice has a quick release to quickly open and close without working the vice.
I opted for the smaller 7-inch model because it was significantly cheaper and I don’t see myself needing to hold anything much bigger. Plus it just seemed like a small vice would be an easier retro fit into my bench`.
The vice is designed to sit about 2.25-inches from the surface. This means a 2×4 and 3/4-inch bench top fits it perfectly. Since the front of my cart has a 2×4 running vertically, I trimmed down a section with the jigsaw. The cutout isn’t pretty, but it works. Then I screwed in a new 2×4 to lay flat under the bench top. This supports the second bolts for the vice and I have it screwed from the front of the work bench and sides with the side of the bench and middle cross support.
I ran four 3/8-inch 4-inch hex bolts through the bench top and secured them with washers and nuts. The rear bolts could actually be shorter since there’s less material in the vice. I made it work just by adding some extra washers rather than another trip to the hardware store. Also, I didn’t have a 3/8 counter-sink bit to have the bolt sit below the bench top. I ended up just making the holes a little bigger with a drill. Doing this, however, I actually over drilled a couple of the holes, so the heads spun freely in those holes. It’s not solid tight, but it works.
The last part was I cut two pieces from 1×4 pine to screw into the vice. I trimmed the height of the board to be flush with the workbench top.
Tip: Make sure to screw in the wood before bolting it down! Another tip, this thing fell off the bench and chipped the paint. Don’t do that either.
I’m planning to make a bunch of different cutting board. I love wooden cutting boards and these seem a good way to learn different skills. Plus they’re relatively small projects so I can finish things. Even better, I can make things to my preferred size.
This board was inspired by a YouTube video. Mine uses maple and walnut in an interesting pattern. My pattern didn’t line up exactly, but it’s functional and looks nice. Next time I’ll need to pay better attention to my cut sizes.
My process was to cut the board into the directed strips. Then glue them together in the directed alternating pattern. Then cut the laminated board across the grain. Then finally glue that together in an alternating pattern. I also clamped a couple board to the top of the glue ups to try and keep the individual boards as level as possible. Lastly, I trimmed the edges with the table saw to make everything even and clean.
I used my planer to smooth the long grain board before the second glue up. Then I used my planer-jointer jig for my router to clean up and level. I then used a straight bit on a router and router guide to make a cutout for easy lifting and also rounded over all the edges with a 1/2-inch roundover bit. Then sanded it down with an orbital sander. Finally, I put rubber feet to give it stability. For the finish, I used John Boos oil and board cream.
Next time, I’d want to ensure all boards are the same thickness. Also, take better care to measure the cuts better. Also, I suspect it would help to factor in the width of cuts to the width of the board. I’m not sure how to figure that into something like this design with different board widths.
The goal of this jig is to level edge grain surfaces for cutting boards. Running edge grain through a planer is tempting, but not recommended. I’m not going to risk my new planer, so I’m trying this setup. The idea here is to use a router with a large straight bit to chew through the surface of the wood. To get a level surface, you run the router over the workpiece in a parallel plane.
So, I built a simple sliding platform with a center slot that rides along two rails. I used 3/4 particle board for the bottom and 2x4s for the rails. I ran the 2×4 through the jointer to get them level. In theory, the jointed rails and flat particle board should be parallel to the work surface that’s supporting the workpiece.
I glued two sides on top of the jig on the long edge using more particle board. This keeps the router on the jig. I also glued two guides to the bottom of the jig to keep it on the rails. Here I used scrap plywood that I already had cut into strips. At first, I didn’t have these guides, but the vibration of the router makes the jig move laterally and slip off the rails. For the slot, I measured the diameter of my router bit and cut out a slot in the surface of the jig. To cut, I just drilled some holes and used a jigsaw. It’s nothing fancy or pretty. The critical parts of this jig are the flatness of the bottom and the rails.
To set up the jig, I placed two scrap pieces of wood between the cutting board and rails. Then I clamped it all together to make it stable. For height, I slide the jig on either the long or short side of the glide boards and adjusted the router bit depth as needed. The jig and rails are not attached so that it can handle a variety of sizes. I just need to have a couple pieces of scrap wood to fit between the rails and workpiece. Also, note the burn marks from my table saw. I recently picked up a new saw blade and it’s an amazing difference on hardwood.
In my first attempt, it did the job, but I ended up taking off a lot of material. And it made quite a mess. Next time, I’ll fine tune the technique and setup to get a lighter pass. There was also some machine marks, which isn’t a big deal since it needs to be sanded, but this can probably be improved.
You can make this jig as wide as needed. This one is about two feet, I think. You just want to make it wide enough to accommodate the workpiece and a little buffer so not to run into your rails. (I thought about clamping stops for the router, but I kept it simple and was just mindful of my progress.)
BONUS: My bench jointer can face joint up to 6-inch boards and my planer can thickness plane up to 12-inches, so I’m thinking this jig could be useful if I need to mill larger boards for thickness or straightness.
Another power tool cart. When I picked up some milled hardwood a couple week ago, I realized the value of milling my own wood. Rough sawn lumber cost 1/2 as much as the milled boards. This includes waste lost to the milling. So, in my head, this thing will pay for itself! We’ll see, I guess. I really do like it though. Along with the small bench top jointer I have, it’s very satisfying when all the wood comes together as intended.
My first project with the planer was an end grain cutting board. After gluing it up, I sent the long grain board through the planer to clean up the glue and level out of the boards. This was prior to cross cutting for end-grain. More on this project soon. When a clean and level board came out, I gave a “whoa, that’s cool.”
The second project was the cart to hold the tool. I took extra time to joint and plane all the dimensional boards to be square and same thickness. Clearly, overkill, but everything came together like Legos, and like I said, it was very satisfying… even if the board lengths are off a mm or few.
I did the wheel barrow design here and left two legs longer. I hand planed the longer legs to make them level with the wheels. Given the weight of the tool and dimensions of the cart, the wheel barrow design doesn’t seem that ideal. There isn’t the same leverage to make it easy to lift. I think I’d rather this have four wheels, however, I’ve been thinking of trying a design for retractable wheels. I may try that on my next cart.
I put a shelf at the bottom, which I think was left over from cutting the bench top. I plan to add shelves to some of these carts and could do that here too.
My miter saw is 10-inches without a slide arm, so I need to make my larger cross cuts on the table saw. I made a simple sled with particle board for this task.
There are two strips to fit in the saw’s miter slots and I added front and rear panels for the blade to travel through. Both are glued and counter-sunk screwed. It works, although I need to fine tune it further to get the rear fence square. I also used furniture wax on the miter rails to make to slide better.
I also use the table saw miter gauge to push cross cuts. I extended the miter gauge by screwing a board to it. I actually prefer the simple miter gauge. The sled is cumbersome and takes up a lot of space. Either way, I have if I need it.
I found this Bosch router and table on Facebook for a pretty good deal. It also includes a bunch of bits and other accessories. I haven’t haven’t had a project for it yet, but it’s ready to go.
I did this wheel barrow style with four locking casters. My idea is to have my gear mobile so I can configure everything as needed to maximize my small space.
On the bottom, I had a shelf for the accessories. I just used a left over piece of particle board, so it doesn’t quite fit. Under the router table, there’s more space for storage.
I decided to remove two of the casters and extend the legs. The cart can be moved wheel barrow-style. The idea is the legs will give more stability while still being mobile. Plus, I’m saving some money on casters. I extended the legs by gluing some jointed 2×4 blocks and plywood. I also planed feet to make it all level. We’ll try this for a while.
We all went picking Blueberries at Uncle John’s Cider Mill. We brought back over six pounds, so there was plenty for baking. I don’t really like blueberry pie, but this was pretty good. (Since the holidays, I’ve been baking my way through Art of the Pie, so I can check that off.)
I’m getting the hang of pie crust. I put it together in the food processor, then let this rest in the fridge for 30 minutes and rolled. It came out perfect. I do everything by weight and don’t fuss with it. The recipe makes two crusts. I roll both and put into pie plates and freeze one for another day.
Filling Art of the Pie Blueberry Pie
Double Crust (Adapted from Art of the Pie)
363g AP flour
1/2 tsp salt
112g butter cut into small pieces
112g frozen leaf lard cut into small pieces
118g ice water (50g, 50g, 18g additions)
Sprinkle 50g sugar and 12g flour over top of filling in pie plate. This makes it gooey sweet.
100g All-purpose Flour 100g
75g cups Packed Brown Sugar 75g
45g Tablespoons Granulated Sugar
85g frozen unsalted butter (cut Into Small Pieces)
Mix in food processor until it’s like cookie dough. Break into marble size pieces and put in the fridge.
I’ve had this Craftsman miter saw for many years. It doesn’t have a fancy rail/joint for larger cuts, but it works well enough for making straight cuts and miters. It came with a metal stand that was falling apart, so I wanted to create a new cart. Also, I wanted to put it on wheels for my plans to make a modular workshop. The idea is I can tuck this in the corner and wheel out it out when needed.
Eventually, I want to make some drawers for this cart for extra storage. I’ll add the sides when I figure out how I want to build the drawers. I also left a little overhang for clamping. I bolted saw bolted on to the table top.
I’m thinking of removing two wheels and extending those two legs. I’m playing around with the wheel barrow idea to have a mobile cart, but still stable on swivel casters. Plus, it will free up a couple of casters for another project.
Over the 4th of July holiday, I learned my way around SketchUp and got interested in building something. Our garage has an attached addition that I recently reorganized after selling my brewer equipment. I had about 100 square feet open and thought about gathering my tools and making a little workshop. I thought a small workbench would be a nice place to start.
A couple years ago I bought a portable table saw to do laminate flooring. I’m sure I figured I’d use it for all sorts of things, but really I spent the following years just moving it around the garage.
The table has a short outfeed, which made it a hassle to set up and use. So, I thought it would be nice if my workbench could serve as an outfeed table for this saw. That gave me the idea of putting it on wheels. If it was on wheels, I could configure this small workshop how I wanted, or bring it out into the garage or driveway. Given I have a small space, being able to stage things seemed a good way to maximize this space.
I found these wheels on Amazon that lift. When they’re in the down position, the table sits on boards, when pressed down, they roll. These are nice big casters that glide the table around nicely. They’re expensive, and not as strong as regular bottom casters, but they work and the table is fully stable when down, which isn’t possible even with wheel locks.
The cart is made of 2x4s and plywood.
I’m probably going to replace the top of this cart. I want to extend the top further to one side to add a vice and holes for bench dogs. I’ll probably just put on a new top and see if that holds. Or I might rebuild and do a frame for the vice.
Also, the cart should be shorter. I only gave myself a 1/2 inch between my saw table and the top of this cart. If everything isn’t perfectly level, there isn’t a smooth outfeed from my saw. I may remove the wheels and shorten the legs an inch. Also, I’ve since purchased the extension kits for the Bosch saw, so that makes a table less necessary.
I’m not in love with these casters. I keep bumping into them with my feet and shins. They also stick out and keep the table from going right up against the wall. They roll really well and it is nice to have a stable surface when they’re down. On my new carts I’m making, I’m switching to using two locking swivel casters and two wooden legs. Sort of like a wheel barrow. I’m hoping this will be more stable than four wheels, but still mobile to move around. Plus it will be much cheaper building.