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First Project: Mounting Block

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Fingers

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Well, this is terrifying.

The central reasons for my posting this is for my own self-creative confidence and to make some small contribution to the newbie community. I also wanted to see if I could do it without self-deprecation or warnings to how crude it is (guess I’ve just done it).

Anyway, my partner is what they describe as ‘horsey’ and she needed/wanted a bigger sturdy step with which to mount the oversized pet.

Though I am indeed a wood newbie I’m Not new to ‘hand skills’ I suppose. I’m an Armourer (fixes firearms). Due to the background in engineering, I became so incredibly frustrated that I could not get this simple project, with what I considered an easy material to work with, straight, flat, square and parallel. I will say that all this wood was from old large pine boards lying around a friends farm. All bowed, all twisted. And I went out and bought a No. 4 Record, some
Stanley chisels and a cheap hand saw. How hard could it be?

I planned to knock out some mortices like Paul Sellers and bobs your uncle I’m
In the club. Although I made a reasonable practice joint, when it came to the mounting block the wood was I think was rotten, as the walls of the mortice were sort or loose and soft. So I ended up making 12mm dowels to join the sideboards together, the frame, and the steps. I thought trough dowels would look
Like nice on the steps but, well you can see. I stained the steps which again was harder than I thought it would be, and finished it all in a few coats of danish.

Though using a plane for the first time was utter hell I feel I’ve learned enough to at least take material from where I want it and flatten a board. But I’ll be honest, I don’t want to spend days, literally, doing that at the start of the every project. So I’m picking up a Record Power BS300 (found here from Aramco) and a
Elektra Beckum hc260 later this week.

The mitre saw I bought at the end of the project but was more trouble than it was worth. Evolution Rage something or other. Took a day to get it square, it’s actually set up off square and whatever play is the slide and positive stops pulls it square. Witchcraft.

Thanks for reading and my hat is firmly off to those of you who work with this ‘easy’ material.

Bonus, a nearly finished chopping board
 

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Trainee neophyte

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"I've never done any woodwork before,so I knocked up working nuclear aircraft carrier out of some old pallets and half a dozen toothpicks".

I don't know whether to be astonished and amazed, or just never speak to you ever again. You definitely get a round of applause =D> =D> =D> =D>

...my partner is what they describe as ‘horsey’
Well, at least that takes care of the kids' inheritance - there won't be one. "Horses: dangerous on both ends and crafty in the middle". Also more expensive than a NASA space program.
 

MikeG.

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Congratulations and welcome to the club.Your experience with your first project would have been enough to put a lot of people off, so the fact that you worked your way through the issues and found an alternative way of solving the problems is really promising.

So many people think that starting with pallets or somesuch is the best way into woodworking. Well, as you've just discovered, working with decent stock is sometimes half the battle. Do yourself a favour for the next project, and buy some redwood PAR, or some tulip wood (poplar), or some ash or beech, from a reputable supplier. Your life will be transformed!
 

sunnybob

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That chopping board is more than I can do, and I've got a garage full of machines. =D> =D>
I would strongly suggest you put a diagonal brace across the back of the steps. Wooden joints have almost no resistance to the racking effect.
I also came to wood from a lifetime with metal, I fully understand your pain trying to get it to stay sill. (hammer) (hammer) (hammer)
 

Fingers

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Trainee neophyte":2kl1syrr said:
"I've never done any woodwork before,so I knocked up working nuclear aircraft carrier out of some old pallets and half a dozen toothpicks".

I don't know whether to be astonished and amazed, or just never speak to you ever again. You definitely get a round of applause =D> =D> =D> =D>

...my partner is what they describe as ‘horsey’
Well, at least that takes care of the kids' inheritance - there won't be one. "Horses: dangerous on both ends and crafty in the middle". Also more expensive than a NASA space program.
Thanks mate. It’s astonishing, With a lot of humming and aring I’ve spent about 1k on tools now, she wouldn’t think twice about spending that on some new horse leather.
 

Fingers

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MikeG.":3udrvtsz said:
Congratulations and welcome to the club.Your experience with your first project would have been enough to put a lot of people off, so the fact that you worked your way through the issues and found an alternative way of solving the problems is really promising.

So many people think that starting with pallets or somesuch is the best way into woodworking. Well, as you've just discovered, working with decent stock is sometimes half the battle. Do yourself a favour for the next project, and buy some redwood PAR, or some tulip wood (poplar), or some ash or beech, from a reputable supplier. Your life will be transformed!
Thanks Mike. This is another scary step, going into a timber yard or saw mill. Can barely read grain direction let alone know what to look for boards.
 

Starjump

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Good job Fingers!

A few good books are worth investing in. People on this forum often refer to the 'Technique of Furniture Making' by Ernest Joyce for example. Have fun!
 

Fingers

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sunnybob":ig45mu33 said:
That chopping board is more than I can do, and I've got a garage full of machines. =D> =D>
I would strongly suggest you put a diagonal brace across the back of the steps. Wooden joints have almost no resistance to the racking effect.
I also came to wood from a lifetime with metal, I fully understand your pain trying to get it to stay sill. (hammer) (hammer) (hammer)
It does have two braces at the bottom (front and back) you can only see the front brace in the picture. But you are right.

Some v. basic bench dogs do a decent job of keep it still. I think I actually enjoy slowly building the workshop as much as making stuff.
 

AJB Temple

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Caution: if you do add a brace to the mounting block, make sure the horse cannot get its leg through it. I used to keep competition horses at home and it is a basic fact that if horses can find something to injure themselves on, then they will.

I made my mounting blocks out of brick and brought horse to block, not vice versa! 8)

Top notch work there by the way. Welcome to the band of wood wasters.
 

gwaithcoed

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I love the chopping board. I also have the tools to make one but not the bottle to try :mrgreen:

Alan.
 

Fingers

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Thanks all. The chopping board is really straight forward. If it goes a bit wonky in the clamps just tap it into place and/or clamp some scrap across the top and sides. You will need to sharpen you plane iron to prevent tear out when finishing. I did use a router for the finger handles. But yer, quite rewarding as they look like more effort than it really takes when finished.
 

Trainee neophyte

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Fingers":2jb3234w said:
... But yer, quite rewarding as they look like more effort than it really takes when finished.
A master of understatement. I look forward to more of the same ;-)
 

Mrs C

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The block looks lovely. :)

As a horsey person I might want the holes filling in - if a horse has an opportunity to drum up a vets bill it will! Also, how slippery will it be to stand on when it is wet?
 

Fingers

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Reading your’s and AJB Temple’s comments makes me chuckle as these are all things I hear her say regularly. As for the block, she tells me it could be wider. . .
 
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