Wednesday, February 28, 2018

The Little Cabinet That Could

A few years ago I bought a whole lot of 6mm WWII models at the Christchurch Wargaming Club's annual bring-and-buy, and they came in some simple trays made of pink birch and hardboard. Those trays have been sitting around doing nothing ever since, and yesterday I thought I might as well make use of them for their original purpose.

I whipped up a carcass from MDF (boo! hiss!), slapped some handles and oil on the trays to turn them into drawers, and voila, a little cabinet for my tiniest war-dollies.

MDF has many virtues, but it has many faults as well. Among those faults, the fact that it's a real pain to get a decent, even paint coat on. Especially if, like me, you're basically pretty crap at painting things that aren't models.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Kerfing Saw

 Here's my most recent tool-making project — a kerfing saw, or kerfing plane. It's intended for creating a saw kerf around a plank, for re-sawing, or for cutting off a box lid, or any of those sorts of jobs where a straight, accurate saw line is needed. This tool doesn't need to be able to saw right through a piece of wood; it's intended to provide a guide line for a hand-saw to finish off.

The blade is taken from a Bahco gents saw, which cost me about ten bucks. It's ideal for this purpose, because it's quite thin, and sharpened in an unaggressive rip pattern, which means that although it won't cut very fast, it will cut in both directions. I drilled a couple of holes in it and mounted it on a pair of 8mm bolts and wingnuts in slots through the body of the plane, so the amount of blade showing (and therefore the depth of cut) can be adjusted.

The body of the plane, and the fence, are made from offcuts of ash I had left over from another job.

I think I'll add some glue blocks along the inside of the gusset on the fence bracket, just to give it a bit of added strength. Also, I might replace the hex-head bolts with coach-bolts, just because the domed heads will look a bit nicer, I think. That's a pretty low priority though, as it's purely for aesthetics.