Monday, September 25, 2017

WoodWorking for Wargamers: Troop Transport Case, Post 10

 Ok, how about a project that is actually relevant for a wargamer?  Over the next few posts I'm going to build a Troop Transport Case for ferrying troops and game materials to and from different theaters of operation.  The plans I'm using are for a Jimmy Diresta tool box that I've scaled down a bit (please see the link to the video at the bottom).

Troops, Tools - Tomatoe', Tom'atoe, it's still just a box with some attitude.

The first picture shows the 1/2 wide (12mm) plywood I cut out.  Eventually, you'll need most of an 8x4 sheet for this project.  I'll put the dimensions and cut list at the bottom of the post.

After cutting the basic parts, I decided (on the fly) to use 45 degree bevels to join each end.  Why? because I'm not that good cutting bevels and needed the practice.  I was originally thinking of using box or finger joints buy didn't have time to make the jig to cut the joint.

As in all hobby projects, you'll make decisions on the fly which usually adhere to the path of least resistance principal.  The use of 45 degree bevel joints is no exception - I'll need to go back and figure a way to strengthen the joints.

The second picture is the initial glue up.  Nothing to fancy here other than my Rockler 90 degree clamps.  I need to get 2 more!  They are wonderful.  As state earlier, one can never have too many clamps in a workshop.  It the same principal that applies to unpainted minis.

 In this picture the box is upside down as the front sides are glued on.  Why is there a 9 inch open gap?  I'l be adding some drawers for hold troops.

A picture of the case the rightsize up.  There'll be a storage tray on the top (4.5 inches deep) to hold rule books, dice and any other gaming supplies.  Just below that will be the drawers which is where the troops go.

A close up of one of the joints - it's ok bit not the best.  I need a lot more practice.
 So what are the final dimensions?

The box is 21 and 5/8's inches long - given the width of the plywood is 0.5 inches that provides an interior with of 20 5/8 inches.

The box is 14.5 inches tall
and it's 14 3/8 inches wide, again that provides an interior width of 13 3/8 inches.

Why the odd dimensions? - my table saw sled was off a bit as I was cutting the 45 degree bevels.  The box is square but I was a little off, hence the "non-multiple of 5" dimensions.  In other words, "I screwed up"

We now have a decision - how many and how tall should the drawers be (actually thats the same question).  We have a 9 inch space for drawers which means either 2, 4.5 inch high drawers or 3, 3 inch high drawers.

Drawer Decisions
At this point we need to decide what material will the drawers be built of off.  I'm going with 1/2 plywood for the sides and 1/4 inch for the bottoms.  The interior dimension of each drawer would be:

Interior Length (both options):
Length of 20 5/8 inches less 1 inch for the sides and 1/8 for clearance so 19.5 inches interior length

Interior Width (both options):
Outside width of 14 3/8 inches less 1 inch for the sides and 1/8 for clearance equals 13 1/4 interior width

Interior Height 4.5 inches high:
4.5 inches less 1/4 for the bottom and 1/8 for clearance equals 4 1/8 inch interior height

Interior Height 3.0 inches high:
3.0 inches less 1/4 for the bottom and 1/8 for clearance equals 3 5/8 inch interior height

The interior height is important as the maximum for how tall a mini can be.  Most of the tournaments I play in use 28mm troops (Bolt Action or Saga) and both have minis that are taller than 3 inches (tank models for one and troops with flags for the other.  If I was just transporting 15mm mini's then the interior height of the 3 inch drawer would be fine.

I'll be going with 2, 4/5 inch drawers for this project.

Given the the interior dimension of a drawers is 19.5 inches by 13.25 inches, that implies a storage capacity of 258 square inches (19.5 x 13.25).  If we allocate 1.25 inches per mini that means each drawer can hold 206 28mm figures.  A lot of my stuff (ACW, Napoleonics) are based on 4 figures per 40mm square base so I could fit 100 bases (at 2.5 square inches per base).

Dimensions & cut list for the outer case

1, 21 5/8 x 14.5 inch back panel
2, 14 3/8 x 14.5 inch side panels
1, 21 5/8 by 4.5 inch front top runner
1, 21 5/8 x 1 inch front bottom runner

3 21 1/8 x 13 7/8 bottom panels

Rough Project Plan (I doubt I'll actually stick with these steps)

- Installing the bottom panels with rabbet joints

- Drawers construction

- Installing the lid

- Reinforcing the Joints

- Wood finishing and clean up

- Hardware and other bling

Project Inspiration
I am "stealing" these plans from a Jimmy Diresta video, which is referenced below - Mr Diresta is a master craftsman and makes interesting videos.  I suggest you take a look to see how to build the case correctly rather than my haphazard way.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Wood Working for Wargmaers: What is it - a Lumber Cart, Post 9

Ok, it's not the most exciting of projects but it's really useful and fulfills my pledge to the Mrs. that the garage could be used to house her car.  It's relatively small (4 ft long by 30 inches wide) but can store a moderate level of stock.  Sheet goods go on one side (the right in the picture) and boards on the other

I still need to add a rack along the top of the left side for stock longer the 5 ft and will do that tonight.

The largish bin on the left side is a great place to store cut-offs and other remnants as I can roll the bin up to whichever tool I'm using and just toss the off cuts in.

I made this from a set of plans that were had a design of 8 in length but I've decided the best place to store lumber is - at the lumber yard.

With my solemn honey-do pledges completed, I can move on to more interesting and more directly related to wargaming projects.

Next up:  Either a troop transport chest or dice tower...

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Wargames Illustrated Issue 360 - Shameless Self Promotion

Issue 360 of Wargames Illustrated is now out (at least in electronic form) and includes some very nice coverage of Historicon.

It even has a picture of my game, which I always find very rewarding.  I suppose I should sit sit here and wait for those huge wargaming endorsement contracts to show up....

Maybe not.

I am thinking about what to do next year.  Return to the civil war, war of 1812 or reuse my skirmish rules from this year.  I do want to share the table with some other gamers so I don't run as many games!

We shall see

Monday, September 18, 2017

Wood Working for Wargamers: Hmmm I wonder what this is? Post 8

What could this become?  It's 48inches long by 30 inches wide and will be a huge efficiency gainer for me.  For the few of you in the world that cling to that dubious metric system that equates to 122 cm's long by 76.2 cm's wide

Any guesses?

and no, it's not a really badly made picture frame.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

My New Friend in St Michaels

I met one of our neighbors while working in the Garden - a very elegant Northern Rough Greensake.  These are very small snakes that spend most of their time in trees.  This young lad or lass was about 24 inches long and rather docile.

 I was able to pick him/her up without any aggressive response.  These snakes primarily eat insects so are welcome garden area residents.
Kind of cute, in a reptilian sort of way.  After a short somewhat one-sided conversation I put the snake back in a tree and he was on his way.

Friday, September 15, 2017

To the UK and Back in 2 Days!

 I had an unscheduled and short trip to London this week Flew in Monday am and flew out Wed am.  Sadly on the ground for less than 48hrs.  The weather was very nice as the picture of Nelson's column attests to.

 While in London it's a legal requirement to spend time in a pub, and I'm all for following the rules.  This pub pictured was named "The Jugged Hare" and was very nice.  It's located about a block away from the Barbican Theater.  The pub does get overrun with Lawyers which is something to watch out for.  My favorite pub in London still remains the Black Dog in Vauxhall.

Pictured is Justin getting another round from the barman.    Justin is CEO of one of our companies, ClearScore and I'm on his board.  If you search the ClearScore website there's some information about me and (gasp) even some pictures.  I'm really ugly so it's not worth looking up unless you feel the need to be punished visually.

On the flight back with a glass of Chilean red.  I started to watch a really bad movie titled "King Arthur" - and thankfully fell asleep about halfway though.  This one was directed by Guy Ritchie and I find most of his stuff to be very tiresome.  Perhaps it's a sign that I'm aging.

I'm scheduled to be back the week of October 9th and will try to stay over that following weekend to see if I can get some gaming in while staying in Ole' Blighty.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Woodworking for Wargamers: Miter Saw Workbench Done!, Post 7

 When last we left the Miter Saw Workbench saga, a bunch of old plywood had been cut to make a swinging arm.  That's not really a cliff hanger but stick with me,

 Here's the arm mostly assembled - I made it really sturdy (aka heavy) to hold up to a lot of abuse.

The first test fit of the arm in the extended position - drat, I'm a little off as the arm is just a tad lower than the saw platform.  It's about 1/16th of an inch so some flat washers should do nicely as shims.
 The next step is to make the guides that go along the tops on the arm and bench.  It's critical that these be square to both the platform and the saw itself.  Why is the front part 3/8 of an inch lower that the back?

So I can fit some T-Track from Rockler along it.  The track will be how I move the stop block along to set specific cut lengths.

 The base platforms are all installed.

 Cutting the T-Track to length.  I prefer to use a hack saw rather than my table saw.  The table saw blade can cut metal but it shortens the blade's life a good bit.  I only had to make 3 cuts so it wasn't so bad.

 Installed the guides - it's critical these all be square with the saw, which is where a 4 ft level comes in handy.
 I've got the measuring tape in place and about to make my first test cut... Going for 17 15/16 inches (why go for an even number that's boring.

 Bang spot on!

Some of you might be really bored by all this but having a saw dialed in to exact measurements really improves productivity.

A really bad shot of the fully assembled saw (well mostly fully assembled - I still need to add the cabinets underneath).
 A picture of the swinging arm in the extended position.

 The saw itself - it's a DeWalt and I really like it.
 A shot with the arm down.  The bench will be much easier to store this way.
Close up of the hinge and guide blocks I added to prevent racking.
 The back of the workbench.  OK that's a really boring shot but there's plenty of room to add vacuum hoses for dust control.
And, lastly, the swinging arm - it's go a T-Ney with a bolt that I can use to adjust the height of the arm as needed.  Wood moves and in order to keep the arm level with the saw, the support arm needs to have an adjustable height.

Friday, September 8, 2017

In the workshop

Not much progress on the Miter Saw Stand other than cutting the plywood for the folding arms.  Each is 33.5 inched long and 12 inches wide.  These will get beat up so I used really cheap 3/4 inch plywood.  It will not "look good" but will be sturdy.

I should finish up this weekend and then move onto to something a bit more directly related to gaming.  Likely a gaming/tool caddy.

I'll do a more detailed post on the arms this weekend - assuming they actually work!

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Star War Legions: Yee Gads!

As we toil under the lash of the ruling class, one of their most insidious enslavers is up to their old tricks again.  Yes, Fantasy Flight Games is releasing a new Star Wars game that is carefully designed to keep us all in gaming poverty as we, lemming like, hand over what few shekels remain in our pockets for their gaming largess.  Prepare for doom as Star Wars Legion makes it debut.

How dare they make such intriguing products with the ultimate licensing topic and chockfull of fun miniatures to paint, easy rules and well established player base.

The Bastards.......

I guess I can sell some more blood before the release and "technically" one only needs a single kidney to be able to play games.....

Editorial Note:
I am sure the decision to make the figures in a slightly larger scale was done not for financial gain but for play balance and aesthetic purity.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Woodworking for Wargamers: Miter Saw Bench Change of Plans, Post 6

 The more observant of you may notice that the Miter Saw bench is a good bit shorter than last time.  In fact it's reduced from 96 inches long to just 50 inches (I think that's like 9,278 mm's for you metrics out there - or close to it...)

Why the radical change?  At 96 inches the bench would "just" fit into the space I allocated for it but would be hard to maneuver in and out.  Rather then contend with hard to move beast, I decided to shorten the bench so it pops in and out easily - kind of like a sports car.  The tradeoff for ease of use is more build complexity as I need to add some foldable arms on each end to support longer stock.

A note on shop organization - I'm awful at it.  Look how cluttered my assembly table has gotten in a few days.  It's a mess and makes finding things hard - especially tape measurers which appear to burrow under the debris to hide.

So do as I say and not as I do when it comes to shop organization.

Newly Discovered Youtube Channel

RedneckDIY - This guy reminds me of home (I grew up in the deep south of America).  What I really like is his pace - it's deliberate but really informative.  A lot of woodworking you tubers skip over some of the tedious details - this guy really walks you through them.  The out-takes at the end of each video are fun to watch also.  The presenter made a three part set of videos on a miter saw sled which maybe the inspiration for my shortened one.  A note of caution here - he can sometimes be a bit coarse, not really vulgar but not always prim and proper Yankee style talk.

One last point - why build a workbench as part of a series called "woodworking for wargamers"?  Well a couple reasons:
- I needed one (that's a pretty good reason)
- The most important tool in a workshop is the bench so learning to build one is a very good starting point
- It's just a workbench, so doesn't have to look like heirloom furniture
- There's not that much difference between a top end game table and a work bench structurally