This has been long in the planning with many ups and downs. It is still not finished though her birthday is the 21st of Feb; I will be late with this, but make it as perfect as I can. I don’t have that much free time to blast off a whole weekend at it in the shop so it has been months in the works.Have had to buy some new tools, big and small and stop myself from buying some others and just use some elbow grease and ingenuity. The body is maple and the accents purple heart. Le...
In September, I started coming up with ideas for my wife’s Christmas present. The short of it is—I haven’t finished it yet. Fortunately, it was a minor part of all that I was getting/making her, so she didn’t go without this Christmas. Part of my problem is that I’m still a greenhorn and purpleheart is a jerk to work with. Tearout, checking, and pitting is something I’ve had to deal with non-stop. For the past two weeks, my shop (no heating) has been bel...
One of the best things about being a woodworker is making the furniture for your own house. You get to decide just exactly what you want and you know how it is made and you know just what corners were cut while making a piece. Hopefully not a lot, but sometimes it is necessary. I set out to make a bed for my 2 year old daughter and as I was choosing materials and thinking about the design, I wanted to make a simple but robust design. Something that looks good because it is simple is a q...
I was gifted by a very generous Lumberjock with a Skilsaw. I just recently used it to crosscut some hard maple, and I wanted to say thank you again to Jim C (it works great!). Also, I wish all of you here a Merry Christmas. That was the early Christmas gift. The late Christmas gifts are for my parents which I am just now working on: A wine balancer & A cutting board. You can see all three gifts in the the pictures
After I got the purpleheart cut to size and smoothed up last night I started working on a rough board that will be the top and bottom. The wood was given to me by a friend who said he thought it was soft maple. My first clue was looking through the boards many were marked with HM. When I started squaring the board up with my jack plane I could hardly cut it. I finally moved to my #8 because it is so heavy and it did a good job of cutting the wood. I have it mostly squared now but ran out...
I decided I would try to whip out one of Andy’s palm boxes (mines a little bigger) for my daughter for Christmas. She loves purple so I picked up some purple heart and started cutting tonight. I’ve heard that purpleheart is brittle but WOW. I thought it would be along the lines of oak but this stuff splinters like crazy. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to do what I had originally planned. I work mostly with hand tools and had planned to do some chamfering and a littl...
I cut all of the parts for the bases over the last couple of weeks, mortise and tenoned all of the rails and legs and rails, and assembled the bases. Each table used a custom jig for cutting the tapers on the table saw. My hope is to use these again for another commissioned project. They handle 26 1/4” and 28 1/4” legs. Each taper starts 1” below the edge of the rails, ending to a 7/8” taper at the ends. The sapele really planes well with a sharp low-angle blade....
After looking at SPalm’s step cutting board blog, I figured that I would have to try my hand at making a double step board. I found some cherry, maple and purple heart from prior projects I followed the instructions to but the pieces: After glue up and cutting the two sections, I knew I wouldn’t have enough, so I set my sights a little lower.I had enough of the triangles to make a hexagon. I really need to rethink the clamping process before I start the next one, and al...
A New Technique When I first designed the theater, I knew it needed something in the top arched panel. To me, the most natural thing would be the traditional comedy/tragedy masks. Although I’ve done a number of inlays in the past, it seemed like this called for something more dimensional, like a carving. Unfortunately, the last time I did any wood carving, we called it “whittling” and used it to make walking sticks and toothpicks at Boy Scout camp. I simply don’t...
Recently when working with some purple heart wood, my partner noticed something unusual. (Maybe it was not so unusual, but it was to us) In choosing a piece of wood for his projects, he noticed that some of the purple heart looked more purple and other areas of it looked more brownish. He was choosing the piece to make some small overlay pieces on his new ornament patterns and thought the purple color would be suitable. In his observations, he saw that one edge in particular was quite ...
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