Saturday, December 28, 2013

Small hanging cabinet with drawers part 4

We have been severely pestered with bad weather. The North Sea is no joke during the winter months. You can't sleep properly, and a lot of work functions are also limited due to the constant an rather violent movements of the vessel. This includes woodworking during the leisure time..

Today we have been sailing a course where the ship hasn't moved too much, so I decided to do a little woodwork as a Saturday treat.

I started by shooting the ends of the carcase boards. The lid for my little tools chest is also a shooting board. After shooting the first end, I checked with an angle, and found that the shooting board was more off than last time. I rectified the problem by placing a little bit of cardboard behind the carcase board, an easy and quick solution. The boards ended up looking fine and each board in a pair had the same length.

Next I ploughed the grooves for the back panel. This was done using my trusty Stanley grooving plane. The grooves were made before the dovetails in order for me to make a dovetail layout that could conceal the grooves.
I placed the grooves about 5/16" from the edge. This is roughly half the thickness of the back panel. The only problem is that it gives a rather thin half pin for the back of the carcase. I hope it will still be all right.

the dovetails were laid out using my cardboard dovetail marker with a 1:6 angle. The back dove tail is thinner than the other to help conceal the groove.
The weather was still OK, so I decided to start sawing out the pins.
Normally I prefer the tails first approach, but due to the limited work holding out here, I go for the pins first.
I used a hack saw with a almost new blade in it. Actually I doubt that it has been used since last time I was out here, and used it as a tenon saw.
I find it very easy to use a hack saw for dovetail saw. It has a nice weight to it, so it will work its way down the wood just fine. The teeth are fine I can't remember if it is 18 or 24 PPI. If the blade is dull, it takes only a short time to replace it, and the saw is sharpened for rip cuts.
The only backside is that the kerf is a little wider than it would be on a normal fine dovetail saw, but I don't mind.

I chopped out the waste between the pins and left it at that. The weather has turned worse, and there is no point in risking to mess up the carcase by attempting to make the tails during a lot of waves.

The first pins are sawed.


  1. Take a picture of the sea from your ship some time. I'd like to have an idea of what you are experiencing. I would be so sick that woodworking would be the last thing on my mind.

  2. I will try to take some photos today.
    The problem with still photos is that you don't really get an idea of the motion there is involved.
    Our Internet connection is very limited, so adding a video clip is sadly out of the question.

  3. I like how you set up your workshop, and from what I can tell it looks very functional for a smaller space. Strangely, the whale oil lanterns look a lot like fluorescent lighting; it is amazing how far whale oil technology has progressed :)

  4. I think the usable width of the working table is around 3'. I am somewhat limited by the vice, but I can use it for my standard work holding set up, but I would actually have preferred if it was at the left hand side of the table.

    I'll try to take a picture of the entire shop sometime. to the right there is a lathe and to the aft there is a pillar drill. We haven't got any welding equipment in the workshop which is rather unusual, but then again it means that there is very little reason for anyone to use an angle grinder in the workshop which reduces the amount of dirt considerably.

    Regarding the illumination: Whale oil really does give a very bright light those days. I think it has something to do with that we only use oil from white whales. there aren't many of them around, and I am not sure if it is morally OK to hunt them, but they do provide some first class oil which gives an excellent light. :-)

  5. What's your job onboard the ship.also I like your setup for you make port in the us.

    1. I got promoted, so my position on board now is chief engineer. We sadly don't make port in the US in any foreseeable future. We have just signed a contract with Statoil for the next year or so with an option for the contract to be prolonged.
      We are at present engaged off the South West coast of Norway near Bergen and Stavanger. But theoretically I suppose that we could be sent to other places too, if Statoil wants it.
      I am glad the you like the woodworking setup. If you check the entries regarding the "Seaborne chest" (October + November), there are a lot more pictures of the work holding setups I use.
      Happy New Year