Maybe I am a bit of a pessimist, but I find some of the “tool awards” presented by some blogs to be questionable mashups of both parties gaining from awards being handed out. The blog/magazine gets free tools and gets to highlight major names who then buy ads, and then in turn the tool companies promote their tools as award winning which then to some extent benefits the tool company and gives credit back to the publication. Hence its hard for me to not think of them as possibly bi...
View on YouTubeI had an amazing time at Woodworking in America. This was my first time there and I wasn’t 100% sure what to expect. As always, one of my biggest concerns was meeting and hanging out with new people and that was NO PROBLEM! Everyone I met was not just friendly, but downright welcoming. I wrote a complete blog article on my website with LOTS of pictures if you want to know more. I hope you don’t mind that I didn’t post all the pictures here. I figured si...
While at my grandparents house recently, I dug through the basement hoping to find some tools I’d have use for. My great-grandfather was quite the woodworker and while I’ve previously collected a variety of tools from there I decided to focus on things I could use for woodworking with this visit. I found some files, rasps, a saw set, and a variety of hand saws. All need a little work but are in pretty good shape—cleaning, removing rust, and sharpening will put them in great ...
My brothers and I are slowly wading through 50+ years worth of valuables and junk in my father’s home. Soon to be 88, he no longer can manage the house and is finding communal living among his peers not as bad as he thought. Most of my dad’s tools are cheap and uninteresting even with time on them. He does have several items that he obviously paid good money for and were worth keeping. The only item in the group picture that I really didn’t need was the Stanley “...
Last fall I received a call from my father inquiring if I wanted my great-grandfather’s tool box; all he knew about it was that it was extremely heavy, locked, and had been sitting in the corner as long as he could remember. Jumping at the chance to own a piece of family history I told him I would take it and a few weeks later it arrived to my garage via cargo trailer. Escorted by my father and uncle we managed to unload and extremely heavy trunk that seemed to weigh in the hundreds of ...
Winter Storm Jonas had us snowbound for a few days. I made a short film about getting my shop in order since I didn’t have materials for the next project. You can watch it here: https://youtu.be/BD1KMiy0NI4
I realised my last couple of posts were actually woodwork projects rather than workshop projects so I’ve started a new series. Anyway onto the actual post. In the run up to Christmas 2015 I realised I didn’t have much for my dad (a print out of a voucher wasn’t very interesting!). My dad has always had an interest in woodwork, so I decided to have a go at a quick project. I decided to try a dovetail box because I hadn’t done dovetails before and wanted an excu...
As previously mentioned I found 2015 pretty tough, that coupled with a slow project meant that I’d hardly been in the workshop in since oct. Meanwhile my wife Jenny has been getting into green woodworking and bushcraft type skills. This started with some training to become a forest schools teacher (an initiative in the UK to gets kids outside and learning so basic bushcraft skills, like shelter building and fire making, along with craft work). Anyway, she did a week long course on gr...
So as I continue to catch up with recent projects I come to my first piece of furniture. This was a kitchen island unit with a butchers block type top. I was really excited about this project, as it was the first piece of furniture I’d attempted and it was going to make use of some oak I’d recently acquired. This is a lifetime supply I feel! Anyway using this wood meant a lot of hand planing to remove the original varnish. Also I made almost every cut (including ripping ...
So as the series continues to play catch up with where I am at the minute, I next took on the challenge of a workbench. This was to be the centre of my hand tool workshop, in the same way the table saw is often the centre of a machine workshop. Again attempting this on a budget I decided to use construction 2×4s and a few left over 2×6s from my recent attic project (I had put in a floor, but first lifted 6 inches to clear the extra insulation). This project was a really great ...
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