Project Sketches – 1

Before I start a project I often spend time thinking through the design, and sketching out plans.

I’m currently thinking through two different projects, and thought I would show a glimpse of what my planning looks like. As you’ll see below I have terrible handwriting and no artistic talent whatsoever. Thankfully those skills aren’t required to learn woodworking.

Magnetic Knife Holder

IMG_0458In my kitchen I currently have a metal bar that uses magnets to stick to my fridge and hold several knives. (Not mine but pretty similar.) It’s nothing fancy and I’ve been thinking about replacing it for a while with a wooden version. Although I could simple get a small plank of wood and put some magnets on it I decided this would be a good small project to practice a few new techniques. Specifically I wanted to practice laminating boards together and joining boards with butterfly joints.

If you aren’t familiar with those types of joinery techniques laminating is just another term of gluing the boards together, and a butterfly joint is when you inlay a dovetail key (which looks like two dovetails connected at the narrow end) to hold two pieces of wood together. Butterfly joints are also often used to hold together a slab of wood that is cracking.

In the sketch below I start laying out the rough dimensions of the piece, and then playing around with a few different designs. The bottom section of the page is a bit unfinished; I was planning on drawing the three different designs to scale, but ultimately I decided I liked the first one the best and stopped there.

I never sketched out the back of the knife holder, but my current plan is to use  a forstner bit to inlay a few circular magnets that will hold the piece to the fridge, and then cut two small groves near the top and bottom to inlay some magnets that will hold the knives. I need to do some tests to see how deep these grooves need to be, but that’s the current (rough) plan.


Table Top Workbench

IMG_0455The second project I’ve been thinking through is a table top work bench; I got the idea from this video. The bench in the video is placed on top of an existing workbench to create a raised surface to make it easier to do detailed work. I don’t have an existing workbench, but I figured the idea could be used to create a table top work bench I can put on my bathroom counter.

I don’t have much to report yet since I’m still early on in the design phase, and there is still a lot I need to think through. The two biggest elements I’m still thinking / working through are: how modular should the bench be, and where to put / what type of vise to get.

Since this is a more complicated project, and I want to make sure my bench is useful for a wide variety of future projects, I’m sure this first design will only bare a small resemblance to whatever the final bench looks like. That said, putting down my initial thoughts and being able to reference them later is always helpful.

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