Thursday, November 12, 2009

Back at the bench

The last couple of weeks I've managed to carve out a little time to get on the bench. Now I have an indoor space in which to work, I can do more projects without having to worry if I'm going to get things done before it rains.

The first thing I made was a stand for a recycling bag that Ally asked me to do for her new house at University. Recycling bags are a pain because they sit on the floor and spread as they fill. I made one for us last year or the year before, just before Bedford introduced orange bins!

Ally's stand was little more sophisticated with a clip-on top frame to hold the bag. If I get her to take a photograph I can post in on this blog.

This week I thought I'd have a go at making a simply bird table. I had an idea in mind, and the result looks quite nice. I used a small piece of 12mm ply for the table, the rest is 34mm square planed softwood left over from the bag stand project.

The foot consists of a simple lap joint for the base, drilled through and into the upright and then secured with glue and a dowel. I'd already used 6mm dowel to reinforce the butt joints on the bag stand, so there was some left and this seemed like a good use for it.

I then cut four angled supports, all with 45deg angles and drilled 6mm holes through the bracket and into the foot and upright, again secured with glue and dowels. It takes a bit of time and patience to hold everything together for drilling, but it's not too hard.

I assembled the foot and upright and then clamped a square to the foot and used this as a reference point for the opposite angled bracket. That sounds more complicated than it was!

The top is secured with four screws into a simple square assembly under the table. I cut the pieces for the support and glued them together around the upright but not to the upright.

Using a pencil, I'd already found the centre of the table top by drawing the diagonals, so it was fairly easy to square up the top by making sure these diagonals passed through the corners of the support.

A 6mm hole on the table top and in the upright allowed me to locate the top properly with another piece of dowel. And using a couple of scrap pieces of wood I could mark the outer edge of the support on the top side of the table so that I could drill the pilot holes for the securing screws.

The top is trimmed with more of the 34mm square timber mitred at the corners and rebated to take the table top. I set the groove off-centre to give a deeper lip to the top than the underside. No reason, I just thought it looked nice.

All that left is to get some weather proof finish for it before it goes out into the garden. I might add a hook or two for some hanging bird feeders, but I'll leave Anne to tell me if she wants me to do this. There's still some 6mm dowel left, but I think I'll use a couple of brass cup hooks I found the other day.

I wonder how long it will take for Sid, the local squirrel to work out how to get onto the top?

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