Thursday, February 23, 2017

The new camping box

 I have been working on this project for over a year now.  It was a Facebook find and so I built one.  I am not sure were original concept came from because it was a while ago. This project tested my skills on grooving parts on a router.  Lots of setup and time was spent on the project.  When I realized that I was not going to make it for last year’s camping season I put it in the corner to work on something else.
Now I am trying to finish up past projects this year and this was one of them.  It isn’t quite complete but I don’t know if I am going to put the table top on it.  It is really heavy as it is.  It uses about a ½ sheet of ¾ ply and a sheet of ½ ply.  That alone is heavy.  The goal was to put all the cooking and setup things in one box.  And they all fit which makes it even heavier.  I am sort of happy how it turned out.  This was one of the projects were the vision was much grander than the finished project.  I put a lot of the gimmicky stuff together without a real plan and I think it shows.  It is a camping box.
I was not looking for finish quality on this project so I did not remove excess glue and the parts are really not sanded.  It is going to be fun to see how it works out on our first camping trip of the summer.
Sorry this was started long before I got into instructables and I was not really planning on sharing the plans for this project.  Most of the stuff needs to be custom made any way.  It is tough to fit all stoves and all plates and all bowls etc.  for individual needs.  If you want the carcass drawings I will be more than happy to provide them, just email me.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

My New Sawhorses and Table

It has been a long time since I have completed a project and I really need to get something done.  The saw horses were to fit two needs and a desire to try something.  Our coffee table/ kids table has been pretty well destroyed.  For some reason my kids think it is a trampoline and are shocked when they get hurt jumping on it.  I needed a new one but I wanted to function as a homework table also, maybe a serving table, coffee table, and just a general purpose table.  My wife and I were walking though Ikea and I saw this adjustable height table leg design.  I knew that is was the design I wanted.  I had to make some small changes because it was not very adjustable once it was set up. 
I do not have a workbench in my shop; it is a folding table from my Grandmother.  Although it is very useful it is starting to wobble pretty badly and it is a good height if I am putting equipment on it to machine parts.  The top is starting to show its wear and I should probably replace the top in the near future.  So the adjustable sawhorses would be great.  They would also be a lot easier and lighter than the metal ones that got rid of a few years ago.
One of the main reasons I wanted to do this project was because I wanted to do compound angled legs.  This should not be a hard process and it wasn’t once I figured out how to do it, but getting to that point was a mess.  It started out with the drawings.  I could not get my model to come together, probably because I was doing it wrong so I started to cut and machine parts before I was done with the drawings.  That was my first mistake.  Just to ruin the story, this project was a complete failure from what the intended purpose.  However they work and I like how they turned out.
The first of the major mistakes was cutting the angles wrong.  I thought for some reason I thought I had to make mirror images of the legs with opposite angles.  Apparently, all the legs are the same, it just depends on what is top and bottom.  This is the reason I wanted to make angled feet.  I lost about an inch of length on the legs because of this mistake.  This compounded the fact that I did not account that the angles would also reduce the height of the project a few inches.  I thought it was going to be less than an inch.  The next design flaw that I had, which I fixed before machining a bunch of parts, was locking the extension posts in place.  I was just going to let them float which means any horizontal force would cause the table to shift of the bottom assembly.  It was a good thing that I decided to push through the design after I cut the legs wrong.  Things did go much more smoothly after the design was complete.
After both sets were complete, I was kind of disappointed that they were not as tall as I thought they would be.  Then I checked the model and realized why.  My other design fail was not allowing enough room for chairs to fit between the legs of the table.  There are a lot of easy solutions, and I think it will work.  The kid’s table is now very strong and heavy.  I don’t think they will be knocking over all the time.  The saw horses are a couple of inches shorter than I want them to be, but it is nice to have the ability to raise the table when doing assembly and finishing work.
The table has a kitchen island top on it.  This is another one of the perks of working at a large cabinet manufacturer.  It is quite heavy and a very good work top.  The top for my garage table is particle board with melamine.  There are reasons for the holes.  One main one is the handle holes.  The second is that I have 36” bar clamps that will mount to the top. However, the top is 42” wide.  I will be putting beech around the edge of the board to protect it.
I am putting the plans up on instructables for free.  I hope to be using this site a little more.  If you have not seen what my plans look like please take a visit here.  My plans for purchase will also have instructions and a bill of materials.  Instructables is forcing me to take more pictures of the process which is nice.