Monday, May 25, 2015

standing keyboard and rodent-input tray proof of concept

a corner of our guest bedroom functions as sarah's writing desk and recently she had expressed interest in a standing desk for her laptop. I'm going to make a keyboard tray that bolts to the wall and folds up like in this video below. There will also be an adjustable height shelf in the adjacent wall where her laptop will perch and approx eye level. Everything should fold up as conveniently as is possible, without interruption of thought. twist knobs will fine tune the height of the components. Wireless keyboards/track-pads will be used.

There should also be room for a cup of coffee to spill off the top of the ledge. Welcome the splashes.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

workshop cabinet countertop installed and ready to roll

finally got the countertop installed, and all the drawers populated with crap that had been hanging out on open shelves coated in thick layers of dust and goo. best part is now the west end of the shop is clear of open shelving that housed things that should never have been there given my workflow. Screws and hardware are closer to where I actually apply them instead of being on the opposite end of the garage.
The countertop is just 1/4 masonite, atop 3/4 cbx ply, and then a 2x4 frame. There's another long stick of 2x material on front with a few coats of water based poly to take a beatin'. Gotta mount my grinder before too long. That will be my sharpening area, close to the workbench. The water bucket on ammo cans below the bench is where I keep the sharpening stones.
I still keep a fair number of the important hand tools in my japanese toolbox in the corner there. some of the heavier bench planes have been relocated to drawers but we'll see how it goes.
A neighborhood kid was here with his brother for the afternoon. He stepped onto the threshold of the garage and said he likes to paint. I thought: "well that's definitely the best thing that I've heard in about 45 months!" I asked him what color he likes and he said "blue". So we set him up with a brush and some of the surplus milk paint from the cabinets. he sat for about 45 minutes painting the model of our house that i made couple years ago testing out designs for our remodel. Stick around, kid. I'll have some canvases stretched on frames for ya next time :-)

Saturday, May 2, 2015

workshop cabinetry progress

Well I've been busy making plywood boxes inside boxes. Working with sheets of plywood tests the muscular endurance quite a bit. Feeling pretty beat up but I think this cabinet/drawer installation will really help keep a lot tools/supplies/documentation out of the dust shroud that covers every surface here.

I used 3/4 birch ply for the cabinet carcasses with whatever extra scraps of cbx ply were kicking around the shop. Drawers and drawer fronts are 1/2" with 1/4" bottoms. Used lock-rabbet joints for drawer boxes. Full extension 75# sidemount drawer slides from Lee Valley when they had free shipping recently. they work okay, but demand you be really accurate with your drawer box sizes. I did okay, none of them were binding irretrevably and I didn't need to shim them.

This is General Finish's Milk Paint that I mixed in various amounts of Corinth Blue, Black, and Brick Red. I wanted to aim for a slate-purple but nobody around here sees it as purple. I'm colorblind and so it looked OK to me when I mixed it. I like the flat/velvety finish of milk paint well. It will scuff up a bit and that's OK.

I have my hand-tool box perched on the two ammo cans there temporarily. That space will open underneath the counter. I'll position the grinder and various sharpening habiliments on the countertop there eventually. Maybe a pattern maker's vice, too, if I can find one.

Sarah thought i was being pretty clever with my plywood portaging hack here, but there are plenty of ideas on the web of folks doing something similar. It really helps and I highly recommend you make yourself one if you're carrying even one sheet around. I can and have injured myself carrying these sheets around. My shoulders, and back do not regret it at all!

Here, i'm a bit farther along, all the drawerfronts have been applied, and there's a 2x4 web that I'm stringing across there for the "countertop" which will be 3/4 cbx ply and then 1/4 masonite.

Here are my quick-n-dirty drawer-pulls. You can imagine these being done on the tablesaw, first rabbet the edge of a board along the length, then rip to thickness, then cut the resulting stick to 4" segments, then a jig/sled that holds them at 45deg to take that last little nibble out. They are easy to grab hold of in the shop though probably not what you'd want to use in a more domestic setting :-)

the 1/2" plywood had a fair number of voids in it at $33.88 per sheet from MacBeath lumber in Berkeley.