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Intricate woodworking tool help

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Brian McManus

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Intricate woodworking tool help


Hello everyone.


Sorry that my first post is me coming cap in hand begging for help! I have taken a lot of time to look around the site to try and figure out which tools would best suit my needs and have even gone to a dolls house forum to try and figure it out but alas I’m just more confused.

I am trying to put together a very small workshop to make delicate show cages for small birds and also would like to make small boxes and tiny cabinets with tiny draws, so far i have decided that a corner key doweling jig would be amazing for my skill level to make small joints for my cage corners and draws as the one i'm looking at goes down to 1/8th inch or 3mm(ish) , the cages will have the same size dowel instead of wire as this type of old cage is one of the earliest memories i have of my grandads shed and have always wanted to make one. I would like to add a detailed roof rather than a flat one, one more like the oriental cages from old kung-fu movies , so i would need a electric saw to make some nice shapes and a way of drilling a hole at 45 degrees in the roof beams, which would be in a cross shape when viewed from the top but sculpted from when viewed from the front or side views . I was thinking that maybe I would have to pilot the 45 degree holes before cutting the roof beams into their final shape if I could find a suitable jig and clamping mechanism . Although I would ideally like to learn how to box and dovetail joint my work but i don't think i will be able to at this stage , i was also thinking that it would be nice to be able to rout out a grove on the litter tray so that the bottom is held in like that of a kitchen draw as i really wish to make all my projects without any nails or screws , I see that dremel have small router kits and pillar drill conversion and such but am a little sceptical ! and it is not the cheapest .
I am also in a muddle as to what kind of miter/ cut off saw I would need as I want to keep everything to minimum and on a budget but want the joints/miters to be very precise due to the small scale.
I have seen a scroll saw that also has a guide that looks like I could use it to reduce timber to more workable sizes so I wouldn't have to buy smaller, more expensive wood ! Does anyone know if these are any good? Or would I need to buy a separate table top saw ? or could a plunge saw and guide work?

Sorry again for all the newbie questions, you guys must get sick of going over the same old ground, I just can't make sense of what i need, i didn't even know that corner key jigs were a thing until late last night so i thought it was time to ask the pros!
Any and all help is gratefully received.

Brian
 

nev

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Hello and welcome,
I think I can help with one or two of your points. I would imagine that hand tools are more than likely used to create the items you describe and the cost layout would be a lot less for hand tools, but the ability to use such, accurately, would take a little longer to acquire.

Machine wise - A scroll saw is only good for erm... scrolling :) that is cutting intricate shapes from thin material, think jigsaw pieces for example. To reduce thicker pieces of timber e.g. 4x2" to thinner pieces e.g 4'' x 1/4'' a bandsaw with a decent fence and decent blades would be used.
see about 8 minutes in to this video
You can of course use a bandsaw for curvy stuff too.

After sawing you will need to plane the surfaces of the wood flat. This can be done with a hand plane or a machine - a little bench top jointer or planer/thicknesser.

If drilling lots of holes accurately and to depth a pillar drill is your weapon of choice. You can tilt the bed or use jigs to drill at angles.

I'm sure someone with more knowledge and experience will be along shortly.
 

Blackswanwood

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Proxon do a range of small machines which are aimed at model makers (check out the Axminster website) but they are not inexpensive.

Is there a reason you are looking at going down the machine rather than hand tool route? I would have thought with a bit of practice, a few decent fettled tools (probably available on e-bay) and some jigs you could have some really good fun making these?

Cheers
 

TheTiddles

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This is all shouting hand tools and jigs to me. For making small things it's less painful to buy expensive prepared materials than buy the big expensive machines to make cheap materials ready to use, also by asking here there's likely to be people who would help you out, we're a nice bunch generally.

Have you got a picture of what you want to make?

Aidan
 

sunnybob

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I didnt think I would ever have to say this, but he needs a router table with a QUARTER INCH ROUTER
:shock: :shock: :shock:
The finest filigree work can be done on a router table, Remember all those old railway station roof eaves? with curlicues on top of rolls?
make a template, double sided sticky and youre in full production mode.
Addv a bench top bandsaw with a tilting table (which on a small scale like this can easily double as a mitre saw).
There, I did it, I've gone SMALL :roll: :lol: 8) :lol: 8)
 

Just4Fun

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Brian McManus":63lh6ofh said:
I am trying to put together a very small workshop to make delicate show cages for small birds ...
Concentrating on this for a moment, rather than your boxes etc, are these cages for use in competitions? As a teenager in the 1970s I showed budgies and made my own cages. The cage specification was tightly controlled by the powers that be in the bird show world, so there was no scope for originality or better quality. The idea was that every cage was the same so it was definitely the bird being evaluated, not the cage. So first step is to check the cage specification so you know what you have to produce.

I made my cages using basic hand tools, that being all I had access to. Once painted (in the obligatory black & white colour scheme) my cages were no different from any others, even commercial offerings, so I know you don't need any fancy kit to make them.
 

Droogs

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Firstly welcome to the forum.

for what you are trying to achieve, if you are trying to make to a high standard given time then the first thing you should do is learn about the joints used in the construction of the thing you are trying to make. most of the cages etc use what is usually regarded as chinese style joinery and this is done predominately by hand. Now-a-days you can use modelling saws such as a "Zona Saw tm" to get good crisp edges to the shoulders of the joints etc. Proxon kit will help you a lot if you want to go the powered route but what you want to do is eminently more achievable in an easier manner (believe it or not) using hand tools and making jigs to assist.

First things first though. Learn the joints, download this app from the Google play store - it is free and eis excellent at letting you see fully exploded views of how the joints work including those used for 3 way corners on thin frame display cabinets, bird cages etc and of course for making drawers. The app is called "wood joints and is by Muna and published by lost and found. You will know you have the right one as when you look at the about page in the menu it is all in chinese

hth
 

Brian McManus

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Hello everyone one, thank you for all the warm welcomes and knowledgeable help it has given me much much more to think about and also spurred some new ideas as well!
Sorry for the late reply, I am kind of good with computers. It's just that I got Chris Pye’s woodcarving course and reference manual…...and it's a real page turner.

Nev, thank you for the link to the video I reaffirmed many of the suspicions i have regarding many tools and alike and was very refreshing that the host was British for once, needless to say I spent hours watching his content, there will be very little room for or budget for power tools so hand planers will be the way forward although i feel I will need more than one ! So I will definitely need some insight into these as all I have ever used is a jack plane. As for the drill this is a must and is why I wondered about the Demel as you can buy a pillar drill stand and routing table for it , although I really am not convinced but then and again it's also a very useful multi tool in its own right and is kind of the tool i could find a million uses for, but again i’m not convinced and there are very few reviews on them.

Blackswanwood Aye I have been looking at proxxon tools and they are not cheap, after finding some videos of people making small (read tiny) dovetail joints (one lad was about school age ) and researching japanese pull saws I will be going down this road , in reality I would like to do everything by hand but i don’t feel I could take a small chogg of wood and turn it into a usable bit of lumber very easily hence the need for a saw, and i don't think i can get away with not having a router for making draw slides or fitting the bottoms of draws without using fixings which i would rather not do.

Thetiddles I am fast thinking that what you are saying is right, but i really needed to put it to a forum rather than trying to figure it out on my own and buy the wrong tools, I cheakley posted a small picture of a carving i done to increase my post count so I can post up some links later.

Sunnybob Thank you very much for chiming in. I will look into quarter inch routers at night, if you know of anything that has good reviews then could you post a link please. Many thanks

Just4Fun I really had not thought that anyone would have a practical use for them, I just have always wanted to make one as they are as ingenious as they are practical and would like the challenge and the learning curve, if I could make a few that pass the mark then i’m sure a few friends would hang them with plants in.

Droogs Wow thank you for the insight. That's just the kind of pointer I needed, I’m sure given time I can make the channels needed to slot draws into their housing without a router but I think I will need a band saw at least as I would like to make my own wood from nice burrs and bits of wood that my tree felling friends can give me.

Thank you all so much again for your help.

Brian
 

AJB Temple

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I know it is frequently misused but a drawer is a thing you can pull out of a chest of drawers (for example). You can draw it out (meaning to pull) or draw it (meaning to make a picture of it)but you can't make a draw.

Sorry. I had to get that off my chest.

Good luck with your projects. I would be looking for good quality model making tools and possibly fine saws used by jewellers. I doubt machinery will save you much time.
 

TheTiddles

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Brian McManus":15xh0o2z said:
Thetiddles I am fast thinking that what you are saying is right,
Don’t worry, it takes some people a while, but most get there in the end :D
 

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