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Member postings for Mike Garnham

Here is a list of all the postings Mike Garnham has made in our forums. Click on a thread name to jump to the thread.

Thread: garage workshop
05/01/2009 14:00:00
Ben Plewes wrote (see)
So I have a question for Mike here, is there another solution for effectively controlling humidity in an underground space built around 1840 that doesn't involve remortgaging the house? Cheers, Ben

Hi Ben,

yep..........and not too difficult.

You need forced ventilation, which you can do with an extractor fan or two, and a couple of 110mm plastic pipes up to and above ground level. Ideally, one would be high level, and the other one at the opposite end of the cellar would be at low level, and with one extracting "out" and the other fan turned around to extract "in" .........connect them to a humidistat and away you go. Obviously, a little heat will help too, although a constant temperature is better than a fluctuating one from the condensation perspective. out of time..........I'll come back to this later.



04/01/2009 21:01:00

Welcome Joshua,

if you get the insulation and ventilation right, there is absolutely no need what-so-ever for a dehumidifier in a workshop. Do you level best to avoid using these.....they are simply a mask for an inadequately prepared building. In years to come I think they will be considered as excessive and wasteful as patio heaters are by thinking people....... they border on immoral in my book.

As for your kit..........well, a small garage suggests to me that you might think in terms of bandsaw and router-table rather than table-saw.

But before you do anything, and particularly before you get too cluttered in there, get 2 inches of Kingspan insulation lined with say OSB around the walls of your workshop, and at least 4 inches at roof level. There are some important issues with regards this, so if you are going to do it, post on here first and you'll get the full story.


Thread: Surface Preparation
04/01/2009 20:51:00

Well, I reckon this very much depends on the wood and the project...........and the finish.

With pine I pretty much follow Mailee's formula up to 320 grit, but as I hate varnish the similarity stops there. What goes on after sanding sealer or the first coat of oil will vary with the finish. But I don't think you are after a discussion after the start of the finishing process........

With hardwoods, if I have belt sanded (these days I am just as likely to have finished without sanding.........except for big areas such as tops), I will carry on sanding down to a worn-out 120 belt, then finish off with a scraper. A flexible, hand-held scraper, mind you.........not a crazy-price scraper-plane. I really dislike the ROS, and will only use it for emergencies when nothing else will do............or for sanding the plaster on the kitchen ceiling after filling in where some old lights were. I'm not really sure that it is a wood-working tool.........

The recent exception was the  spalted sycamore furniture that I made in the summer. This wood was so soft and friable that it was utterly impossible to use an edge-tool on. It looked and worked like a sticky aero-bar, and that was finished with about 120 grit sandpaper only.......after a good soaking with sanding sealer. In fact, virtually every process throughout the project was proceeded  by a dose of sanding sealer. If I had scraped this surface it would have ripped chunks out.

My next project, in ash, may well be sand-blasted...........removing the question of surface preparation altogether!



Thread: Intuitive woodworking
03/01/2009 09:00:00
Matthew Platt wrote (see)
Blimey, next you're going to want a full on blow by blow account!


02/01/2009 22:10:00
Matthew Platt wrote (see)

 I have just riven a walnut log in half with hammer and wedges and am now in the process of placing the shape of the back of a chair within the riven face to best exploit the beauty and strength of the timber. There is a crotch that will provide integral butresses for the seat and a natural curve to the back that I will follow but alter slightly to make sure the grain transitions stand out where I want them to. I have the option of leaving in some contrasting sapwood on the edges to crisp up the lines a little and add definition and interest.

What's the rules.........??????



None of this exists unless there are some pictures!!!!

Come on Matthew, with your great photography skills you've no excuse!! Lets have a look at this bit of riven walnut......


Thread: Radial arm router
02/01/2009 20:49:00

Apparently deWalt RAS's are convertable to overhead radial arm routers as described, but I have never bothered.

It is just so easy to make a jig amounting to a slot in a piece of MDF the width of the guide bush that comes with your router, put a bench-hook on the front edge at right angles to the slot, and clamp this over the workpiece. You can easily make a stop which fits in the slot, so stopped housings are easy. It is so clean and accurate, and I suspect a lot safer than having an exposed cutter on an overhead router.


Thread: New Year Projects
01/01/2009 19:16:00
Ged Meager wrote (see)

I would love to seea pic of your dresser if you make it




rest assured that I will post pictures of this as I do it.

My wife hasn't, and won't, see any drawings of this before I build it, otherwise she would exercise her rarely-used veto!! Actually, that isn't quite true............she has seen a drawing showing the left-hand half only, and of course assumed that the right hand side would be a mirror image! I will have to break it to her gently (probably as I ask her to give me a hand carrying it into the kitchen)!

I'm always here for a chat, Ged!! The sides are going to be awkward, particularly doing raised panels on the curved panels and doors. The hinge positions are what is getting me thinking, though, because I want the doors to work. The other head-ache will be for the glazier who has to make a curved leaded light for the upper RH door....


01/01/2009 16:19:00

Great 2009 to you all too!!

If I publish it here it will put extra pressure on me to do it.......... here it is:


Ash, partly sand-blasted. The Melting Dresser. My commentry on corny Welsh Dressers....

.............and it will be a bit bigger than this. These, though, will be my full working drawings.


Thread: New site platform for GW...
31/12/2008 12:04:00

Good luck with that Ben.........but what a time to choose to add all that extra workload! When everyone else is taking it a bit easy you're picking the whole site up, lugging it across to some new location, and then hoping to re-start it seamlessly!

I hope it works!

............and I hope it doesn't wreck your christmas break trying to organise it all!!

All the best for 2009


Thread: Removing Bitumen from wood - help please
29/12/2008 22:43:00
No Jeremy, not at all. This thread isn't closed..............I'm just suggesting that as Sparky has not only finished stripping the bitumen off, but has also finished using all the wood, that this particular thread has reached its natural end.
29/12/2008 21:56:00

Jeremy et al,

this thread is about 10 months old, and Sparky has not only stripped all of his parquet blocks, but made a whole series of projects with the pieces. It is time to let this one drift off into the ether.........

Thread: Nesting cousins
28/12/2008 19:25:00

Saved by the stop-chamfer/ cove-moulding.....!!!

This just shows the importance of details, especially mouldings. Imagine how heavy and uninteresting this set would have looked without the edge mouding on the legs.........and yet with it this is a good-looking, balanced set of tables.

When you do a set like this for yourself, Mailee, I guess you'll do it in oak or cherry or walnut or some other hardwood?


Thread: What wood is this and can I use it?
27/12/2008 20:03:00

This looks just like a silver birch to me. If it is, then it certainly isn't any use for furniture making, but I have no idea about its turning qualities. I thought you guys could pretty much turn anything?


Thread: Breadboards: Endgrain Ash & Walnut
27/12/2008 16:42:00

Hi Olly,

no, the walnut plugs aren't just decoration.........they are so that people can have a seperate side of the board for meat and for veggies and know which one is which.............cross-contamination and all that. The plugs, you'll guess from that, are on one side only.

I chose the Polymite glue for a number of reasons. Firstly, it is the strongest glue I know of, and with all those joints I didn't want the board falling in pieces! Secondly, it gave me a decent open time (I knew the glue-ups would be difficult). Finally, because PU glue didn't seem like something I would want to ingest in even the minutest quantities, and Titebond 3 would have left obvious dark glue-lines. The Polymite certainly didn't is instantly tacky.

Interesting that you mention a table I was making it I had a thought that whilst this might seem like a good project for a tablesaw, there is potential for an awful lot to go wrong......inch cube blocks caught between the blade and the fence seems like a recipe for lots of wasted block, at the very least.

As for the biscuit've got to be kidding!! I'm putting this forward as my entry for Woodworker of the Year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



Thread: Bandsaw Speed
26/12/2008 21:58:00
baz wrote (see)

to achieve this with a bandsaw is quite time consuming everytime you need to change the blade. To this end mine has a 5/8 blade permanently in it & i only change the blade to a smaller size if i can`t think of another way to do a particular job.


Spot on Baz..........exactly what I do. But once it is set up correctly with a decent blade I do find it accurate.

Which bandsaw have you got, and where did you squeeze it in?


Thread: Breadboards: Endgrain Ash & Walnut
24/12/2008 23:32:00

Cheers all, and seasons greetings to all.....

Its been a pleasure chatting in 2008........may 2009 bring plenty more.

All the best......don't drink I mean eat too much!!


24/12/2008 13:51:00

So, all the 27mm square segments were glued together into boards and then the boards were glued together..........






There we are........4 endgrain chopping boards, with walnutplugs and wiped with olive oil.

Have a great christmas all.......

...........and thanks Ben for all the hard work this year

(and next year maybe your techies can fix the uploading difficulties...........none of this lot loaded in the order it was supposed to)



24/12/2008 13:42:00

Many apologies for not posting any work on here for ages, and then just submitting these. This is not a set of masterworks, but it gets me out of trouble over Christmas!!

My workshop is still in metalworking mode, so I had no room and everything was this is a machine-only project. Completely and utterly devoid of any skill, but it turned out OK......

It started with some off-cuts of ash....








Thread: bowls 020 (992 x 744).jpg
22/12/2008 23:06:00

There's a couple of things I'm certain of here............

Firstly, this isn't pine.

Secondly, it isn't a bowl!!

I'd be fairly sure that it is ash, but I'm getting a sore neck trying to look at it........


Thread: Help with Routers
22/12/2008 23:03:00
I've got a Hitachi 120V in my table, too Mailee........and I never thought to remove the springs. What a good idea!
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