My office building where I work is upgrading their HVAC system, and the new equipment was delivered packed in long crates. The wood was going to be scrapped so I loaded up my hatchback and brought it home. Now I figure I have to make a proper workbench, since I’ve been making do with a wobbly 1950’s kitchen table on hairpin legs (cool table, but it makes a crappy workbench). I like how the Roubo style benches look, and they seem pretty straightforward to build. I found Chris Sc...
Earlier this afternoon I started out with the notion I would get as much of the superstructure for the table saw done as time would allow for. The bottom of the base (seen earlier) is made entirely out of new lumber, which wasn’t my intention from the onset. I was getting ready to make a trip out to our local Lowe’s for more 2” x 4”s when I decided to use the reclaimed lumber in the dungeon. After I found a couple of boards with straight edges long enough to cut to ...
My grandfather was born in 1913 and lived in Charlotte, N.C. He died in 1987 when I pretty young. I knew him as a very soft-spoken family man. I have also heard numerous stories about his skill as a woodworker. The best examples I have are the hand-carved firearm stocks he made (he was an avid hunter). Other than a few things he made, I know him by his tools. Most of his tools went to my father back in the late-80s. When my dad passed away (almost 2 years ago), I gathered as many o...
So quite awhile back I was blessed with a Walker Turner 14” bandsaw for just $100 bucks, which I lauded as my way to finally resaw all these cool boards I’ve ammassed- and to this day I still cant get the blade to stay on. Harumph! So I finally got fed up and said to myself, how hard can it be to resaw by hand!? Since I got my Disston D-7 5 1/2 ppi rip saw, I haven’t even tried! My previous attempts were so awful, that I was discouraged… I started with a test p...
In my above video I share my recent tour of the traditional carpenter & cooper workshop in at Middleton Place, a former plantation near Charleston, South Carolina. Sorry, the video is a little shaky. But fortunately my photos below are not! Ahhh, what could be better than a traditional workshop in a heavenly location like this? (pssst…ignore the aligators) Nobody was manning their workshop station while I poked my head into this workshop, so I just gave myself a tour. I ...
After a few weeks of no woodworking, I figured I’d warm up my woodworking muscles by making a few trivets. Simple, fun, useful, and not to mention, quiet, exercises perfect for a couple free hours on a weeknight. This is a great trick Jay van Arsdale taught us: using tape instead of clamps to saw the lattice beams. Unlike clamps, it’s much easier and quicker to flip and maneuver the beams as you do your saw and chisel work. Saw the lines. Chop to take out the ...
Inspired by Simon Dale's Low Impact Woodland Home, the roof for the barn will be held up by reciprocal frame rafters rather than a ridge peak or a truss system. This will allow a clear span beneath without support poles. Other web resources about this kind of roof can be found at the Year of Mud blog and at Green Building Elements. This weekend, I tested out the reciprocal frame concept on the ground ust to make sure the voodoo works before I tried it ten feet in the air. First, I brought ...
One of the design goals with the barn was to able to care for the goats, chickens, and the livestock guardian dog from inside the structure, without necessarily tromping around outside in the often-wet Washington weather. To that end, one of the back (uphill) walls of the octagon will therefore be common with one of the walls of the coop and provide access to nest boxes for egg collection as well as food and water containers. After a few free Craigslist lumber finds, I was ready to proceed...
As May rolled around and the weather grew nicer, I could finally get to work in earnest making the timber wall frames. I was planning for a barn raising sometime in later June, hopefully getting a dozen or so friends and family to help me set the wall frames up and to wrangle the 8 rafters for the roof. Through a co-worker who was tearing out her deck, I got a good pile of usuable 2×6 boards, some pressure-treated 4×4s, and some concrete footing blocks. I used the 4×4s and 2...
Rather than buying posts from a big box store or even purchasing 6×6 timbers from a local sawmill, I wanted to use some of the alders and maples that cover most of my property. Without a broadaxe or adze, I have limited means to hew the timbers square, so I’ll be using them as roundwood. Fortunately, Ben Law’s book on Roundwood Timber Framing provides a great resource to plan it out. I am planning to rest the eight upright posts on prepared padstones rather than sink them ...
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