I’ve been working the graveyard shift all week (which has seriously impeded my woodworking habit), helping my defacto brother-in-law with his concrete polishing business. It’s pretty cool, especially if you start with the right concrete, dye, aggregate, etc. I was seriously thinking about making the tops for my night stands out of polished black concrete. It would look like granite, only I could do it myself (with his help). It would be water resistant, if sealed properly, so ...
As you may or may not know, last year I cut off my middle finger while ripping the legs out of the glued up blanks. I didn’t have a splitter, riving knife, pawls, or blade guard on the table saw and was then surprised when my finger was gone. This year, I put a Uniguard blade guard w/ riving knife/splitter on my table saw and have been using a MagSwitch religiously. With the courage engendered by my recent successes, I got back on the horse that kicked my ass. This evening, I ...
I was able to get back out into the shop and make some progress on this project. This was my first foray into template routing. I can definitely see the power of this technique. I was able to knock out the inside, decorative cuts on all four sides and they’re identical. They need almost no sanding. The slight errors in the template were the only problems on the finished sides. It took only a light hand sanding to fix those. I didn’t have too much trouble with wood grain, ...
I didn’t like how the “Ebony 2718” Minwax stain looked in the last entry in this series, so I grabbed a can of flat black paint from a recently completed project for my friends’ wedding, and after a 24-hour drying period, painted right over the stain. I went out to the shop several times yesterday to sand @ 220-grit, and apply another layer of Minwax’s water-based polyurethane. Water-based simply because I had it, and I also don’t love finishing ...
I know dark colors are a bad idea in a dusty shop, but I just couldn’t resist their siren song. Time to go crash my boat on the rocks! I looked at the colors of the planer, and with the help of our office manager at my company, decided I wanted a black cabinet with a red drawer. I labored over my choices for an hour in Home Depot, and even had them unpack stock boxes to get some Minwax ‘blank’ stain so we could mix up some reds. I chose “Spice” and “Chin...
Up early, I got a little done this morning before work. I tested 2 stains from my small stock pile on some scrap poplar, the same stuff I used in this rolling base. That’s Minwax “Golden Pecan 245” on the left, and “Red Oak 215” on the right. The pecan is less saturated than the online sample. The red oak is much less red, and much more like chocolate, but I like how it makes the poplar sort of look like a hardwood. I’m tentatively going to use that ...
I have to say, posting projects as I do them does two things. I puts the pressure on me to not screw up, after getting great comments from you folks about how to proceed through difficult parts. I sure don’t want to come back and say “Thanks for all the suggestions, but oh well! I shattered the entire thing in a big kickback!” It also really drives me to keep working when I might otherwise say “Meh, I’ll finish that part tomorrow, or this weekend.” So thank...
I got the casters on yesterday, cutting some scrap wood board to fit along the edges inside the bottom, and joining them in with pocket hole screws from underneath. Extra sturdy now, and the wheels are all in plane with each other. I wasn’t sure how tall they were, and it was critical, as I was designing this to be as high as possible, while still fitting comfortably under my work table. I have Rockler’s digital height gauge, and it showed me they were all exactly 2.5” (actu...
My Craftsman 13” planer is a real beast to move around in the shop. It’s very heavy, and really bulky. As such, it’s just always either in the way when I don’t need it, or really hard to get to when I do, having collected many items from other projects on and around it since its previous use. After setting up to use it, I’m often too tired to. I’ve even changed some projects to avoid planing altogether, just because I don’t want to move a few dozen th...
From my blog: Sometimes a project calls for drastic action. This is exactly what I had to do, to allow me to cut integral tenons on very long rails for a project for a client. I normally work with the Leigh FMT on the workbench. But now I am using the workbench to make a stand that will allow me to set the FMT on this new stand on the bench: A kind of self-raising, tower crane. I start the process by milling stock for the legs, and all rails. After a couple of test cuts, I am ready to c...
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