In my opinion, one of the most difficult joints to make is a miter joint. Although they are very attractive, they have almost no inherent strength, and require a high degree of accuracy to get all four corners of a box or frame to meet without gaps. To ensure that they remain closed, I use a spline of some design to strengthen the joint. A number requested additional information on the Miter Spline Jig I use when making boxes. I can’t take credit for the design of this jig, but for t...
I’m always a fan of recycling old wood and had recently finished rehabbing an old house. Sitting in a corner in one room was this old built-in “desk” that we removed (the shelves above came apart when we tried to remove it). I had an idea to convert the desk into something useful even though the built in was made from cheap pine and plywood. A workbench/tool center is what I came up with. The main objective is to be able to roll this in and out of the garage so that I...
For those of you who believe that you do not have enough clamps, I found and posted free cam clamp plans here . Easy to make and cheap. most of it can be found in your spare stick bin. Have fun. UPDATE After making over 10 I posted a few after I’ve used them all to clamp fret boards when you need a lot of claps and need a lot of pressure to make sure that the fret boards are clamped tightly so you have no gap anywhere. You can see them here
The Humble Hand Brace - A Beginner's Guide to Restoring, Buying and Using #1: Part 1 - Restoring a Brace to 'Like New' Condition
In a recent tool gloat, dakremer showed off three lovely braces he’d purchased and said “Now I just have to learn how to restore this kind of thing”. WayneC was first to congratulate him and then proceeded to drop me in it (only joking) by saying “Brit has lots of experience in restoring braces”. Later in the comments dakremer said he would love to restore at least one of them to like new condition. Always a sucker for punishment, I agreed to do a blog on restoring a hand brace and I’ve...
Not “green” in the environmental sense, mind you…but green in a very literal sense. I’ve spent literally months planning out most of the details of my new shop, since before they broke ground. One of the features I was most anxious to include that I was unable to have in my shared garage space was an honest-to-goodness central dust collection system. One of the earliest decisions I needed to make: metal or plastic? Metal of Plastic? I first read Sandor Nagyszalan...
First of all you have to determine what shape you will need that you can make accurately and repeatedly. This is where my jigs come in. I was to poor to buy several miter gauges so I made mine out of angle iron and bar stock. I made them set close to a certain angle, adjustable just a little. This first picture shows the back side of one of my jigs on the saw. This one is set at 45° like 4 of my jigs are; (Now on any of these pictures if you want to see something closer just click on t...
First I want to thank everyone who visited and responded to my last project blog; A walnut sofa table with Jacobean influences As always, your comments AND critiques are welcome! I recently completed a commissioned wing back chair for a very petite lady. It has a lot of carving detail so I though I would post one of the carving elements as a tutorial because this was almost a “project” of its own. This chair has ball and claw feet on the front legs, and the clients liked the unde...
Hi Folks, There is alot of Domino support and bashing, as well as Dowelmax support and bashing on various woodworking forums. Typically the owners of the tools talk about them like they are just about the second coming. The detractors talk about their excessive (relative) price. The Domino “won’t pay for itself.” The Dowelmax is no better at 250 bucks than a beadlock is at 50 bucks. Usually stuff like that. If you read close enough or care, many of the supporters an...
This is the second part of my blog and in this blog I am going to talk about writing a business plan, and past mistake I have made in business. Now this is the third shop I have started and if I have learned anything it is this, to be successful you need a plan! There it is. Now the first two times I did not write a business plan, I did not write a marketing plan. Really all I did was run into a guy who knew a guy who had a building to rent and the next thing I knew I had a shop and a whol...
This past week has been less productive than I would have liked. I’ve been struggling with a flue, thus operating at less than full capacity. I worked in the shop last Wednesday, and took some pictures showing the installation of the splines in the spline slots shown in my previous episode of Making a Small Wooden Box. Unfortunately, my photo card was corrupted, so I lost all of those pictures. Today, I will show you the continuation of making the lid and a start on one of the tra...
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