Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Miller Dowels Replacing Screws

The workbench we build in the “Workbench in a Weekend” class is made up of five assemblies that are glued together, with #8 screws holding the parts together as the glue dries.

The screws in the leg assemblies might seem unsightly to some. (They do to me!) And the screws inside the top and side assemblies might be

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Solvent and Finishing Tip

 Not much explanation required here! I'll just elaborate by saying these washers are cheap and you might think about leaving one taped to cans you use often, like alcohol and boiled linseed oil in my case. The blue masking tape is good for this.
 My photoshop skills are far from pro-level, but I can at least

Thursday, August 31, 2017

3 Minutes on the Soapbox

Various woodworking fora have lately featured harrumphs and huzzahs about A Workshop of Our Own and their fundraising. Having taught woodworking to adult students for 18 years, I am confident the need is

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Quick Finishing Tip

Just because two finishes are from the same manufacturer, and just because their labels say they are "compatible" with each other, you shouldn't

Tuesday, August 15, 2017


Me? Just applying some stain. I'll be there just as soon as I finish . . . 

Woodworking Hero Worship: Pat Warner

It saddened me yesterday to learn that Pat Warner died late in July. I have long been in the habit of checking his website every couple of weeks to see what's new. His photos have always been

Monday, August 14, 2017

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Dovetails Again

Here is an excellent, short video that mostly is about cutting dovetails.

There is an astonishing quantity of b.s. propagated about dovetailing. So much so, that when I saw this, I decided to share it - - yes, I'm reblogging somebody else's work - - in the name of giving a boost to the good stuff so that the b.s. can begin sinking to the bottom.

Chris Hall's blog is worth following, too.

That's all!

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Iron-On Veneer

Here's a simple technique for applying veneer to flat panels. I have used it with bandsawn veneer I made myself, with paper-backed commercial veneer, and this week I'm doing it with some camphor burl veneer purchased from an online supplier. 

These particular panels will be

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Foot-Actuated Shutter Release: My Take

Another post, another jury-rigged photography doohickey.

(Uh, that's not my foot!)

A few months ago, I bought one of these. I did it to

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Pruning Works!

These photos were taken yesterday as I split potential chair parts from the butt log of a northern red oak. The tree had just been felled, and had grown up in somebody's yard. It was almost exactly the same age as I (slightly north of 50), and in one of the short pieces I split, I found a branch that had been pruned off when the tree was about 25 years old. These pictures tell a story (I hope)!

The photo above shows

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Trees With Personality

I love trees. It doesn't strike me as incongruous that a woodworker would love trees, although some of my non-woodworking, tree-loving friends have commented on it, and some of my woodworking associates are at times taken aback by my enthusiasm. You see, I don't just love trees in the abstract, as most woodworkers do. Who wouldn't love the very idea of huge plants that make a material like wood to hold their leaves up in the sunlight so they can photosynthesize: a material that we can use to make furniture, utensils, tools, paper, houses? Yes, that's wonderful.

But when I say “I love trees” I also mean individual trees, as individuals. Walking in the woods of northern Wisconsin yesterday I ran into a bunch of trees with great . . . personality is really all I can say. Some of these trees I have known and loved for years; others I encountered for the first time on yesterday's walk. So I tried making a few portraits. Click through to see some of yesterday's images.


Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Tormek On Sale at Highland Woodworking

EDIT: As of yesterday, February 21st, these are SOLD OUT

I make no secret of my longstanding connection to Highland Woodworking. Since 2000, I have taught classes there, and for a while I wrote some of the copy for their catalog. I have an obvious financial interest in their continued success.

So with that big, clearly-stated proviso, I am going to share this: Highland is clearing out their last few Tormek T-7's. They have been selling for around $650 and they're getting rid of them for $499. 

I have had Tormeks on and off since the 1990's. I have an on-and-off relationship with them. Currently I'm "on." 

I won't make this into a pro-con essay on the Tormek's merits and flaws. I'm just passing on the information that this machine, which is very seldom discounted, is on sale until the stock runs out.

I'm also passing on this information: when I bought mine, the diamond stone-truing jig and the horizontal tool mount were sold separately. Both are included in the package with this deal.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Wall Shelf Build-Off

I think of Chris Wong, of Flair Woodworks and Time Warp Tool Works, as one of a very few people I have interacted with online whom I feel I'd consider a real friend if I met them in person. Lots of folks I've only encountered online provide valuable information, or giggles, or inspiration. In addition to his design sense, industry, and craftsmanship, Chris conveys a strong sense of humanity, kindness, and likeability with his online presence. 

So I was delighted to see this on my Twitter feed:

I participated in #SSBO two years ago and had a great time; in the process I built myself a piece of shop furniture which is not only supremely functional, it's also the envy of my woodworking buddies. In fact it's out on loan right now, in the shop of a budding young carver.

Here are details about #WSBO:

As luck has it, Ms. Lee and I are updating the master bath at Chez Lee, and we could use a wall shelf as we button things up. A wall shelf to coordinate with a frame we need around the wall mirror . . . so there's a chance I'll participate in this Build-Off, too. We'll be brainstorming this weekend, to see if we come up with anything worth entering. Ian Kirby comes to mind; we'll see what Ms. L. thinks.