Saturday, March 16, 2013

Saturday plans.

This whole blog writing doesn't come to me easily, it's not that I'm not making things in my garge, the thing is that I don't have a habit of taking pictures of the projects I'm making at the time and those as I finish. I'm not a kind of person who tends to make plans of a day or even any to-do list for the future. Every sticka has two ends, I would say every couple has two people - it's Julia who likes planning, so I don't have to bother of such things :)
But, I promise to take photos of my next project, only after I finish it. I thought about photographing it between some steps as I am making, but the problem is I don't want to keep my camera anywhere near dusty garage (I would have to keep Julia somewhere near as well, my photographing skills aren't so good).

The next project will be a chest. The most popular type - with rounded top and assembled only with nails. I could make some sophisticated joints to keep it really sturdy, but I heard about one big advantage of nail joints - they can keep up even couple hundred years due to the fact nails don't keep whole thing tight, they are elastic and as the wood expands and shrinks they can tilt and bend - they don't crack and don't cause wood to crack.
I've already built the chest box part and I am really happy of the work. It's made of 3 cm thick oak with a bottom made of 1 cm pine plywood - it's really sturdy. Now I see, or rather hear, that the whole only-nail-joints part is really doing it's job. Through a day, the chest makes cracking noises as the wood expands and it's only because the joints just rearrange. Someone would say 3 cm oak wood is much too much for a chest (which is by the way 60x40x35 cm), it is really heavy (about 20 kg) and the wood cost me much, but I would remind him of one thing, the thing people miss these days - 'authenticity'.


  1. What kind and size of nails are you using Szymon? This sounds like a great project - I look forward to seeing a picture. Good luck.


    1. Today I looked and the box and realised there are some places where the wood cracked. Strangely, those cracks look like those which appear on wood while drying - they are small and don't come through the whole thickness, they neither start nor end on the surface. I think I should have left the previously cut wood in my garage for a couple of days to let it accomodate. Well, now I know, but the whole thing doesn't really bother me as it's not really visible.

      I used 3x40 mm straight nails, in a store they were called black nails, but they are only darker than normal chromed ones.
      I've come up with a great idea as I needed to pre-drill holes for them, because they were too close to board ends (about 15 mm). I mounted one nail in a bench drill as a bit and drilled with it, comes out really nice.

    2. Good technique with the 'nail drill' Szymon.

      I have just finished a small box with nailed construction. When I did a nailing test before assembly the nail followed the grain and broke through the surface (the timber is only 6mm thick). Using pre-drilled pilot holes the nails went in straight and tight - no problems.

      I have never pre-drilled for nails before but it is worth doing.