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  • Pete

Side projects

Whilst spending most of my time working on the uke project I've also had a couple of other small side projects on the go.

Firstly a returning client (my Dad!) wanted a foot stool made to hold a blutooth page turning pedal to use whilst playing the organ. A specific set of dimensions were provided for it to fit, but he wasn't concerned about the timber/style just use some scrap.

It's hard to justify using scrap plywood when I have a tonne of hardwood sat there, so instead I took a quick trip up to the lockup and pulled out some really grubby looking boards, either side of number 63 here.

A bit of time and effort cleaning these up on the planer and thickness sander, some jointing of the top board, carving the recess for the foot pedal, a bit of stain and some varnish and voila. A custom foot pedal stool

Slide projects

A returning client (my Dad again!) wanted some replacement drawer slides made to replace some broken plastic ones on a set of drawers. A couple of offcuts of oak batten, some cutting sanding and polishing later and voila. Another happy customer.

Stop hammer time

Final side project for the moment. I had a message from someone via eBay asking if I had any oak and mahogany. Now, with over 60 oak or mahogany items on ebay at the time its pretty clear that I do. However, after some more investigation, it turns out he was after some smaller offcuts to build a mallet. So I did a quick Google and Pinterest search to check out sizes and designs, and put together a package of offcuts I thought would be suitable. Maybe I asked too much for them, but it turns out he found some locally so didn't need mine. Since I'd been inspired and had the material there I thought I'd knock up a couple of mallets for myself.

I made a mini one and a mid size one as starters and will build another bigger one to complete the set. I'm imagining these two for small chisel carving and general assembly tasks, with a bigger, heavier one for bigger tasks.

There are a variety of designs and methods of building out there. Rather than totally traditional, I wanted something a bit more stylish, so designed a flying style head with a contoured knife style handle (too long spent watching Forged in Fire). I glued together a couple of oak offcuts to be the main body, with mahogany face caps on either side. The smaller one also has a couple of other hardwood laminates in the sandwich (I have no idea what it is, it's very yellow/orange and I've used it for various signs and other projects). The handle was then fitted through the middle. To help with glueing it all together and to add a mechanical fixture to the glue joints I added several dowels, both between the faces and between the handle and core. This was all done on the fly, so there are things I would do differently next time but not bad for a quick build.

Also, before anyone calls me out on dodgy technique (I'm sure there's plenty of other things to call out too), the picture below is before I spread the glue. I always spread the glue with a spreader first to ensure full surface coverage, I do not like the "squirt it on and hope it squeezes out all round" method.

Once glued up, I ran them over the router table to chamfer the edges all around, gave them a quick sand then added a Danish Oil finish.

Once the oil had cured for a couple of days I polished them on the cotton wheel and now they are done.

That's all for now, future updates will hopefully be more regular and less wordy!

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