Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The Improvised Life

A couple of paragraphs I wrote a few months ago have shown up on The Improvised Life, a blog I never fail to read. Here's the link: http://www.improvisedlife.com/2013/12/03/paint-dipped-spoons-diy-buy/. Woodworking advice on a food and decor blog? That's Sally for you.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

1-2-3 Blocks


Here's a quick post in praise of 1-2-3 blocks. They come in pairs, they're quite affordable, and I think you should at least know about them. Most woodworkers haven't heard of them, most woodworkers don't have them. They come from the machine shop, but why should those guys have all the cool precision stuff to themselves? Other items that woodworkers have lifted from the machine shop include the combination square, the engineer's square, the dial indicator (for setting up table saws and planers), the dial caliper (for measuring thickness) and the precision straightedge (used both to check machine tables and the straightness of wood workpieces). This is another machine shop item we should be thinking about borrowing.


Sunday, October 20, 2013

The Toolkit



I mentioned in my last post that you don't have to be interested in making a ladderback chair to take notice of the tools we used at Country Workshops, or to make use of green wood. For the woodworker on a budget, wood from retail sources can be expensive. So, in many cases, you might want to consider splitting logs into useable wood and drying it yourself.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

My Take on Wilbur Pan's Take on Odate's Toolbox



Here's a quick, useful project that can be built in a variety of sizes to suit your needs. Build it from humble, simple wood like pine or poplar, don't worry about perfection, and you'll end up with something to be happy about. The design is based on the boxes used by Japanese carpenters to carry their tools from job to job. I just built one for myself, and want to build a bunch more.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

PVA Resist Finish, or "Do You Think We Can Tell the Homeowner Batik Is Coming Back?"

I found this photo a few moments ago in a folder of files from the first digital camera I owned, about 12 years ago. I'm glad I found it, as it's an excellent illustration of something I tell my students all the time:

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Cabinet Installation


When woodworkers take my basic cabinet class, we don't have a chance to install cabinets during the class, so we take some time to discuss installation on the last night of class. Here's a short version of what I say in class, and what Mark Duginske and I will cover in the Installation chapter of our cabinetmaking book:

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Flattening Glued-up Panels




Sorry it's been a while since the last entry! Things have been crazy at work, but I'm still working wood and I still have plenty more to share with you guys, so please bear with me. I've been tracing the process of making a countertop. That has actually been done for a month or so, and I installed it on top of a run of cabinets in my shop. So today I'll backtrack a bit to cover flattening a big panel.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

What is the Thousand-Dollar Shop?


This question came up recently when a friend of mine discovered my blog. It’s a natural question, and the answer has to do with why I started blogging here. I’ve been putting this entry off, because it’s a lot of words with no good pictures, and every time I’ve tried to write it, it's felt too long and too negative. But we need to do this, so let’s go.

It starts with another friend of mine, Kevin, and his experience when he got serious about woodworking.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Jointing with the Router




Happy New Year! I hope 2013 is kind to all of us. The last project I took on at home in 2012 was gluing up a birch countertop for my shop cabinets. In the last post, I showed how I got the big planks ready to run through the planer. In this post, which will be shorter and easier to understand, I'll show you how to get a good, straight edge on a workpiece if you don't own a jointer, or I should say, a big enough jointer.