A few years ago, I had the idea of building a small solar kiln. Well, life happened, and I didn’t have the time or money to build one. Then two weeks ago, my neighbor had a red elm cut down that had been struck by lighning earlier in the spring. I figured that a beautiful elm tree would never just fall into my lap, so I had the tree removal service roll the 8’, 30”+ main trunk into my front yard. After having it milled, I realized that I couldn’t wait an entire year to...
Quick picture update for anyone following this father’s day gift builds. I put the bottom of the bench together this morning before Tom and I went to the pool for the afternoon. Tomorrow I need to put the braces on the legs as well as put the back on it. I should have time because my wife is going to a concert with her friend so it will be just Tom and I tomorrow night. I have it sanded already to 150 grit and only need to hand sand it 220 to remove the pigtails before I spray it with spar va...
Isn’t funny how some smells remind you of things from your past. As it turns out the scent of red elm reminds me of my late Great Uncles Barn. He owned the family farm that dated back to the 1800s and it had the original barn until just about 15 years ago. As a boy my cousin and I would play in the lofts and at the time I didn’t know it but that wood it was made of must have been elm because when I cut this red elm it reminded me of that old barn. Enough of that! I was able to put seven hour...
Another Roubo build here. This is something that I really need. My old workbench that I built 30 years ago has gotten a bit rickety for hand planing I have found. I want something solid, so the only thing that moves when I plane a board is the plane. So I have begun to embark on a Roubo build. First step is the glue up. Leveling it up. I decided to go with poplar for most of the top. I have a cheap source of kiln dried poplar. I also think it is kind of soft for this applicat...
I have moved.. and moved a considerable amount of WOOD! I have updated my lumber rack projects with new photos of the current racks. My new shop is the entire basement, and to say its bigger than my last basement shop is an understatement. I have four times the space! and at least 88” of height between my floor mats and floor joists! I have repacked the racks and have collected EVEN MORE WOOD! You see my new house was built in 1918, and the basement had a few excellent resource...
This is the grand finale. Here I’m doing the final leveling of the top. It was a ton of hand planing and sanding. It’s not perfect but not too bad either. I only sanded to 100 grit, I don’t want a slick surface. Now onto applying finish. I used a simple mixture of 1/3 MS, 1/3 BLO and 1/3 spar varnish. Next up is to apply suede to the vise chop and wagon vise and dogs. I used contact cement. That was the last step and here is the final product. ...
Time to get back to the Roubo build. I took a vacation to Mexico for 10 days and so my progress took a nose dive. I’m back at it now though. First thing I needed was to make a board jack. I wanted it to be 1 1/4” thick, I only have 8/4 stock that is 1 7/8” thick. So in order to rip it down I had rip both sides on the table saw and finish it off w/ a handsaw. If you want to know if your handsaw is dull try ripping through three inches of 1/4 sawn white oak. The rest ...
I was caught of guard this week when I realized that Father’s day is next Sunday and I had just picked up the wood on Tuesday for an antique reproduction garden bench that I am building for my father. My parents have an old park bench sitting out front of their house that my pop sits on every morning waiting for the paper boy to show up. Well I have repaired the slats that routed on it once all ready and when they told me that it needed a couple more this year I decide that it was time to re...
gathering logs for 14×18 cabin with loft, I have access to all the southern iowa lumber i need, hickory, oak, walnut, osage orange, red cedar, & red elm. Will try to use all types of lumber in the cabin, shell is going to be made with 3 sided cedar logs, i have been practacing hand peeling & judging size of logs I will need, will be hard to get full 18ft logs due to tapper, think i will take two 10 footers & splice them. Going to do all my own milling with a stihl ms 660 magnum ...
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