Keurig K-45 K-cup Shelf with Drawer.

K-Cup
K-Cup

Hey everyone I have designed a simple K-Cup holder for a Kuerig K45 Coffee Machine and decided to share it with you. I have designed it in Sketch Up and have posted the pictures here in this post. If you would like the .skp file to use in Sketch Up on your machine just email and I will send it to you. I have just gotten one myself and love it because of the one cup at a time and the seemingly infinite number of flavors.  I used box joints for the top and a simple dado groove for the bottom of the actual box. The reason I did that is I saw no need to make box joints on all 4 corners when the bottom will not even be seen where it is placed on the counter but obviously it would be just as easy to add them to the bottom if you would like. So the basic dimensions allow for the Kuerig to sit on top and it has some extra space for a basket of other things you may want like sugar or spoons or you could even store a couple of cups if you would like.

The wood that I used was some very old redwood and will not use that again for such a purpose because of how dry it is and when I started I thought it would be much harder. It is actually a very soft wood and in some aspects difficult for me at least to get a tight fit on the joints. There is some real finesse and patience needed to work with this wood both of which I have a limited supply of! I picked up this wood awhile back when a friend was doing some remodeling of there home. This is actually siding from underneath the siding they were tearing off to change. A very unexpected and cool find. So I got the call and took a drive over but was beaten to the punch by another of there friends who had gotten there  just before me. Luckily enough I was able to dumpster dive and salvage a few good pieces. I wish I had 10 more pieces to make a table top because this stuff is a 80 years old I think and very beautiful. I am happy just to have the pieces that I do because I have heard that this is difficult wood to get a hold of these days.

So building this project I learned how to get better fitting box joints. I am on a quest to get better at doing small projects with different joinery all with hand tools to make my woodworking skills better. I think that by doing these projects with hand tools it is going to force me to slow down and take the time to really understand what I am doing and the reason that one uses a certain type of joinery over another. Plus I think it will increase my patience and help me to slow down. Something I have been striving to do because I have been realizing that most if not all of my mistakes are from rushing through these things and not taking the time to get it just right. I say to myself all the time that no one will notice or don’t worry about it just get it done!

K-Cup Top
K-Cup Top

So here are some details on how we would build this. People with the Sketch Up file can generate a cut list with the plug in “Cut List” available on the Sketch Up site. My first step was to get my wood prepared. I took some planks that were all different widths and milled them to the same thickness. These planks were 1″ x 8″ x 10′. I wanted the box to be 12 1/2″ x 13″ so the actual width allowed for some easy milling to size. This I did by running the planks through the table saw for each side lengthwise. This allowed for a nice straight cut parallel to each other. I then cut them close to length for all my needed pieces on my small table saw sled. Next we have to get the pieces the same thickness so we do that by putting them through the planner. (Just a note here on the planning.)  I could have run these through in one length first but I think it easier to get close to the actual size of all the pieces needed and then run them through. For me it is easier to handle the smaller lengths and I think it saves any unnecessary planning of wood that will not be used in the project and wear the blades unnecessarily. I do leave all the pieces an inch or two long in case there is any snipe. Snipe is basically any beginning or ending deeper planning marks caused by the entrance or exit of the board from the knives. No matter what you do sometimes this just happens. We then put the boards on the bench and make sure we have the amount needed and all the boards are the same thickness in case we did forget one! At this point I like to plan out my glue up and see which sides look best together. I take four pieces and glue 2 together for the top and two together for the bottom. I take all the rest of the pieces and dimension all of them at the table saw.  After the top and bottom plates are dry I dimension them as well. Now is the time to do your joinery. I chose box joints for the top with very large pins at that. The reasoning behind this is I wanted to do them by hand and need tons of practice so to put pins at half inch centers seemed like I was asking for trouble having to be more precise. I know I need more practice but I didn’t want to fail either by making it unnecessarily hard. You can of course center yours anyway you see fit. I believe that when the strength is not needed we can use aesthetic value as our guide or in my case practice!

K-Cup Left Side
K-Cup Left Side
K-Cup Right Side
K-Cup Right Side

Let’s not forget our dado for the bottom of our sides at bottom plate. Simple grooves done at the table saw. Just use half the thickness of you wood as your guide and sneak up on it with a scrap piece and they will fit perfect! If you notice for the back panel there is also a dado need so the back is not seen from the side view. You can do this on the table saw for the top and bottom but the sides need to be done with and router plane as in my case. (the hand tool thing again) Or perfectly easy to do with a router. All you have to worry about is stopping just before the end and cleaning and squaring up that portion with a chisel. Now we need to go to the scroll saw with our 1/4″ plywood piece to cut out our letters. I used a piece of paper printed out from my computer and cut that out, not perfect just close, so I could spray glue it to the plywood for a template. If you do not have a scroll saw any hobby store sells pre made letters for very cheap and then it’s just a matter of painting and gluing them on when the project is finished. I glue and then pin it. At this point we can get to the glue up after some sanding that I like to do just to clean up any plane marks or table saw marks. I have a grooved table saw top so I frequently get some marking from it.

K-Cup Bottom
K-Cup Bottom
K-Cup Back
K-Cup Back
Drawer
Drawer

Now we just glue up an set it to dry and after it drys we do our finish sanding and actual finishing which I did some Watco oil.  I really like that finish and it turns out darkening the natural color just a bit which is what I wanted because this wood was already so dark. We glue and pin the painted letters on and we are done! Thanks for stopping by and as always “If I Can Do It So Can You!”

K-Cup Whole
K-Cup Whole
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Must Have Tool!

Marking knife
Marking knife

Hey everybody I hope al is well. Like the title says I have decided that a marking knife is a must have tool in your arsenal. I am one of those types that want to buck the system and say stuff like— “You don’t need that crap just do it!” I am hear to eat those words and tell you that you really do need a marking knife. Especially if you want to be the least bit accurate. I didn’t want to go there really because it takes more time. The older I get the more I realize that my impatience is what is holding me back and stopping me from becoming a better woodworker. This is a great malady to have when you are in the construction trades where I made my living for 30 some odd years. There is a big misnomer that if you are in the trades, especially a union, that you sit on your ass and sleep all day. The media has really hurt us in that respect but in my experience that is not at all true. If you don’t get it done and done fast you are down the road. Now we all know there are exceptions to everything and if you know the right people then you do get some slack. I am ok with that because as an adult and a realist I know that this happens in every job on the face of the planet and if you think that is not true then you are fooling yourself. In the end it is who you know. WOW is that off track or what? Any who back to the marking knife! It is a must have tool because if accuracy is what you are after it is very hard to achieve that without one. How does a marking knife achieve that you ask?  The knife cuts the fibers and sets a line for your chisels to follow or your saw to follow. It sets a beginning for your slice. It also, for me, slows me down and makes me get the square out and strike a line where a lot of times I would just guess and draw a line real quick and this sets me up for failure in respect to alignment. So I broke down and went and got a knife from Crown Tools on Amazon and it works great. It has allowed me to realize I do not suck at woodworking I have just been going about it in the wrong way. When I first got the knife I thought the handle was way to short but as I started to use it I realized that is a benefit and if it was longer it would just get in the way. The knife is sharp and hefty even though it is small and feels really nice in your hand. If I was to guess I would say that this will last a long, long time. I think I may make a couple just to have a few more even though these are so cheap that it really isn’t worth the time to make one. I think it was around 13 bucks here in the US and if you are a prime member 2-day shipping is free. So to me well worth it. John at Ibuildit made a whitling knife and here’s New Chinky hand made tools a pretty cool site so if interested hit the links! I am always hesitant with stuff like this off the internet because it is a crap shoot on whether you get a piece of junk or not. I do read the reviews but it seems people just write them to write them and a lot of people do not even have the tool. That blows my mind. Why would you waste the time to review something if you don’t even have it or just as bad right when you get it and haven’t even used it yet. I do like the videos of the un-boxing but I wish people would use the tool. I like the ones where they unbox the tool then actually use it for a while so they can tell you if it is good or not. I don’t know how many times I have gotten a tool and at first it seems great but then upon further testing it falls apart or just doesn’t do what you need it to or they say it does.

What started all this is I have been trying to cut a set of dovetails a day to get better so I can make some drawers and boxes. I believe, for now, that you can’t get good tails by hand without one. The knife cuts the fibers so you can come back with a chisel and clean a groove for the saw to start in the right position. You also can use it for the same reason, to cut the fibers, when cutting plywood and stop all that tear out when you cross cut. I use a sled and tape when cutting plywood but there is always tear out. The tape and sled really helps a lot but the knife adds another layer of protection from tear out as well. So not just a one trick pony tool but even if it was that if you want to hand cut dovetails you need this tool in my opinion. I found this site in my search for how to cut dovetails. It is called Sawdust Making 101. It has a good page on different types of joints and how to cut and mark them. Very informative and helped me so maybe it will do the same for you.

So off topic a bit I think this may open my eyes to some other things that I have been bucking. The thing that comes to mind first and foremost is sharpening plane blades. I am under the opinion you do not have to go through all these grits and that up to 1000 grit at the very most is all you need. I have recently run across some cherry that is really nice and figured. Problem with that is the grain changes all the time and is very hard to get a smooth cut without any tear out. So I tried going a little further with sharpening and that worked pretty good. Maybe there is something there for me to look at and slow down with. Who knows maybe I should take up meditation or something. So Thanks for reading and like always “If I can do it so can YOU!”

Awesome Fast Cap Camera!

I have been looking for a good shop camera and I think I have found it! I have used the Go Pro and if you watch the linked video he even names them and tells you the differences between the two. I know that he is a salesman for his products but he does hit the nail on the head when he touts the features of the Fast Cam versus the Go pro. I have not used the Fats Cam so do not know if what he states is actually how the camera works but I have used the Go Pro and do know the draw backs that he talks about. That is why I eventually sold the Go Pro it just didn’t work for me. The clincher was the actual footage and the major fish eye in my garage. When outside with the Go Pro it is much less noticeable but inside with all the straight lines you can really tell. The tight shots are horrendous. Go Pro now has a better camera and like he says the video the upgrades are all extra as well as the better camera with less fisheye.  I am going to try to get enough cake together to try this one or hopefully someone else has had the camera for awhile and can let em know if this has a good quality picture without all that fisheye! 

Ipad Holder

Ipad Holder
Ipad Holder

I have been making versions of an iPad holder. I have totally finished none of them so far! As for the pics remember this is  the first mock up so there are plenty of imperfections. In a mock up I am not so worried about mistakes with the router going to deep or things like that. This was a good chance to practice free hand techniques with my Colt size router that I normally always use with a straight edge or template. I have made three attempts at this and have still not come up with a design that I am comfortable with. My thinking on this is that I want it to be light but made out of wood and I want to have an area for the speakers to be redirected from facing down to forward. The first version is the best so far but the subsequent two are terrible. I am wondering to myself how I got so far off the mark when the first one was so close! The first one is picture here and the speaker redirection was very simple. Just a cavity and then holes drilled to let the sound escape. It works surprisingly well.  One mistake that I have made through this whole process is that I have been just winging it. I should have at least did a simple sketch an being the fan I am of Sketch Up I should have started there. I know the troubles I am having with the last iteration of the holder would have been noticed if I drew it first there in 3D. So thats what I am going to do! Wish me Luck!

Ipad Holder
Ipad Holder

Router Plane

imageHey everybody I have been posting on Google+ about this issue. I am in the market for a router plane because I make a lot of carcasses that have dados and rabbits in them. I am sick of using the chisel to get the grooves right. I always end up going a little deep especially on plywood and although that isn’t the worst thing it just takes to long. I can picture in my head the ease and speed of the perfect dado with this tool! So as I was surfing around looking for one, I always first start on Craigslist and then move to Ebay, I couldn’t believe the prices people are getting for these planes! When I saw that I surfed to Lee Valley and looked at their Veritas plane. To my surprise they are not that much more than the going rate for a used one. Now I get the whole old tool thing and especially old planes. The reason I go that route is for the fact that they are much better tools and of course the “Wow” factor. There is just something totally cool about getting and fixinimageg up an old plane. Then when you start to use it there are the thoughts of, at least through my head, who used this plane and what kind of work it has seen. As I plane it takes me to a cool place and I love it. Ok, once I come back to reality I also don’t want to get bamboozled out of all my money. I mean I know these are cool planes (the old ones) but when you look at the newer version from Lee Valley I just see a much better and more versatile plane that will come ready to plow out of the box and no they are not paying me to say that. (Geez I wish!)  So as I was surfing around I found this web site from Perth Australia and a guy named Derek who makes a lot of his own tools including a router plane. Here is the link to that page intothewoodshop.com. Before I saw this page I had in my mind that I would try to make my own but it was just a passing thought. Once I saw this i realized how easy it would be to go ahead and make one. This will be the first “real tool” I will make. I have made jigs and other things for the shop but nothing I would consider a tool. So this is new territory for me and I think a very got project to get my feet wet in that area of woodworking. I have always wanted to make certain things that end up being to expensive or are just cool but never had given it the time that it needs to get it done. I am the t type that needs  a few things going at once to feel comfortable. It is a blessing and a curse because I have a hard time slowing it down and want to get things done now. That is your enemy in endeavors such as these. You have to be will ing to know that this may not be done today or even next week and that the objective is to get it right not get er done!

So I have another project that went awry and decided to right that wrong and use that wood to build this. It is the perfect thing to use. I had gotten an old wooden plane for like 5 bucks from somewhere and don’t remember but I had tried to fix it. It was the size of a number 7 or so and the front had worn down so much that it was digging into the wood. The mouth was very wide and it pretty much rendered it useless. I had tried to rectify that but failed and ruined the thing. So I took a chunk of it and made the router plane body which is where I am at now. I need to drill a hole to accept the holder for the blade, an eye bolt, and notch out a seat for the blade so it cannot spin. I went looking around yesterday and couldn’t find and brass collars or thumbscrews so I am going to use just what is available until I can work that out. The tool will look much better and probably work smoother if I can locate those things. So the process I used to make it was very simple. I marked out the piece using most of Derek’s dimensions and then later realized I could have just printed his template but my piece of wood was just a few millimeters thinner than his so that wouldn’t have worked anyway. So I tweaked that and finally got a shape I was happy with and took it to the scroll saw. Chucked a new coarse blade and it cut slow but very nice and smooth so there was minimal sanding. I then took it to the drill press and drilled the three holes on top. Next I took it to the vise and used my dovetail saw to cut the slope on the front. For the slope in the back I just used a file and kept testing the grip until I was happy. So then I just took to filing and sanding the rest to get the final shape. There is one flaw in the plane body and that was unavoidable if I wanted to use this piece of wood. There is a hole drilled right where the handle was on the original plane and where this handle ends up. imageI will have to fill that with something. It just looks bad but I don’t think it will hamper the quality of use at least I hope not. i think it has turned out rather well so far but the real test will be the blade installation. That will be key as to wether this thing will work at all. If the blade is not square to the body then you will never be able to get a nice cut. I will post again once I have located the rest of the parts and finish it up. Until then, as always “If I can do it so Can YOU!”

Rockler Gun/Spraying

I bought this sprayer from Rockler over a year ago and haven’t used it but twice. I have had a few projects such as the one I am about to paint today where something like this could work very well. In the old days I used to spray all the time in a shop that had a dedicated spray booth and clean up station. I don’t have that and it always seemed to much for me to go through just for painting. The clean up intimidated me and also the fact I hadn’t used a gun in so long. I keep telling myself spray cans are just as good and easier if not better cuz there is no clean up. Truly not the case. I finally broke down and had my brother over the other day because he still does a lot of painting and was a pro for many years. It is one of the things he is best at and had a rather large client base that still tracks him down after all these years. I needed a refresher coarse to get my confidence back and to feel enthusiastic about the whole situation. Before he came over I put together a make shift paint booth in the basement because I do not have enough room in the shop and the weather is quite cold here now. It actually worked out very well because the room I broke in half  has ample power and a window for exhaust of the overspray. Another huge factor is the smell. Paint boothWhen painting in the house that smell seems to permeate every nook and cranny but by putting plastic on the ceiling and the walls I have sealed it enough so a box fan in the window does a great job of keeping the smell away from the family and the boss! At any rate with my spraying lesson and an example of the proper and sufficient cleaning of the tool I am ready. Cleaning has always been probably my biggest excuse for not using a sprayer. I was always worried, or at least used that excuse, I wouldn’t clean the gun good enough and would render it useless. It is actually just as fast as cleaning a brush out properly and if you use a brush and a roller it is faster. Even if using oil-base it is still faster and easier. So all my reasoning has been shot with enough holes that I think I am going to be using this gun much more often. I have also seen a gun called the Critter that looks like a very promising tool and can be used with a pancake compressor. It also uses mason jars for the cup so you can store your thinned material and very easily see the paint color at a glance. I really like that and I think if I start spraying enough I will try it. So off to the paint booth with me. Wish me luck! As always “If I can do it so can YOU!”

Check this OUT!

Very seldom do I see a tool that I want right when I see it. Wait make that every tool I want when I first see it! But very seldom there is a tool that I think will really help me in the shop to become a better woodworker versus just something that would make things easier. If you think about it most tools that you have just help you do things faster and more efficiently. If you take a look at a lot of the “Hand Tool” woodworkers out there you can see that I really don’t need all the tools that I have and that most are just tools that I want. I mean the table saw you can do without if you have a hand rip saw. If you have a few good hand saws and a few sharp hand planes plus a couple of  chisels you can totally do with out power saws and sandpaper. It may take more time but all you have to do is sharpen up that blade and go to work. I notice the dust that is created in my shop and I think a lot of the time that I should just do away with these tools! Then I come to my senses and realize I don’t have the patience or probably the strength any more to deal with that. So that brings me to what I am talking about in this post. I will preface this with I have no affiliation with Igaging and am not being asked by them to tell you about this gauge. I don’t even think you can purchase it yet and to look at all there other gauges I wouldn’t think it would be that expensive. If it was I might still buy it. By now you are saying to yourself “Tell me what the hell you are talking about!” Ok I will it is they’re new gauge for telling the depth or really the extension of the blade on your hand plane. Now I am a newb to the world of hand planes and would probably think this a gimmick, which it may be, if I wasn’t but I love the idea. I always have a hard time with getting the depth of the blade set on my plane. I always find myself getting the damn thing close and then going for that final adjustment to only go the wrong way and cost myself some more fiddling and some more change in the cus jar. Here is the link to the tool and please tell me what you think. http://www.igaging.com.wp1ad88003_05

I will be interested to know what some of you think about this tool and if you think it would be a good addition or just end up sitting around. The only other tool of there’s I have is the angle gauge which I use a lot and think it well worth the price. I do also have a digital marking gauge which I like but it is not there brand. It is just a HF knock off and it broke almost right away but I was able to fix it and still get some good use out of it.  The HF way I think is that when you but something you know going in that you will have to either tweak it or out right fix it to use it. I use the marking gauge a lot and I am thinking of buying Igaging’s in the hope that it is of better quality. So I hope you find this article interesting enough to comment on it and like I said I will be interested in hearing what you all say. So as always “If I can do it So can YOU”!