Ok, so it’s much more fun to dance than to fix…. Apparently welding a frame should not be undertaken without proper support, or ahh… more experience. The frame had a twist to it across the 59.5” length! I cleared a section of the shop floor (miracle) got out my door installation level and found a fairly level area. I then proceeded to use some shims to adjust the floor until the it was perfectly level. Gotta give credit to the guys that screeded the floor some 50 y...
The mobile workstation is in my opinion going to be the center of my workshop once its built. An integrated router table, table saw, downdraft table and ample storage in a ~ 5’ x 2’ area on wheels! Certainly not my idea, however, the layout will be done solely by me. I am open to all suggestions though, so please feel free to brainstorm here and let me know what has worked for you, what you would do differently if you had to build one again, etc. All comments and suggestions are w...
Putting a James Swan chisel back into service #1: Runup to the decision, assessing the situation, planning the resurrection
Since I got this tragic-looking tool at a giveaway (a junk store was moving, and the last day was free) and it had a bit of a name—James Swan tools are present and selling on the ‘bay—I decided the maximum benefit was to sell it. At the same time I put up a 2” Greenlee which I had. It wasn’t much, I thought. Well the Greenlee got all the attention, and indeed sold, but the Swan, all inch and three quarters of it, after two weeks, languished still. I considere...
It’s snowing here so Its out of the unheated shop and staying indoors – good time to make the blade clips. I chose to use stainless steel because I waned a material that won’t rust, be strong and capable of sustaining the blade tension, and I like the color (not a big fan of brass although I do like it as an accent in some cases). I ordered some 1/2” stainless steel rods from Speedymetals a while back for no real reason when I ordered some other material as it was o...
DESIGN INSPIRATIONI drew inspiration on my latest project from my recent experience visiting South Africa to build something for my in-laws (originally from Cape Town, SA). I wanted to design a table and set of benches that reflected the cultural experience of the visit, as well as their own personal style and needs for utility and durability. To start, I put Google to the test for some images showing unique slab-style pieces built by other people. I came across a few that were interesting...
I tend to get excited about things and it’s in my nature to want to cover all my bases. This means I can go a little overboard sometimes. I was researching how to set up and tune my Harbor Freight jointer I got over the holidays (which I will review once I use it a little more) and came across a bunch of shim stock at Amazon. For less than $20 I got steel shim stock in .001”, .002”, .003”, .005”, .007”, and .010” thicknesses. I don’t lik...
If you don’t feel like reading through all of this, please just scroll down to “Table Top Questions”! I took a welding/metal arts class at the “Academy of Art” last semester, and was intrigued by traditional blacksmith methods. I found these in many ways very similar to woodworking techniques, and decided to make a arts and crafts like table with a hand forged steel base and a wooden top. My idea was to imitate woodworking mortise and tenon joints, as you c...
I am working on yet another piece and thought I’d share me project so far with you guys. The Magnolia ‘Salicifolia’ tree had stood in the grounds of the Inner Temple on London’s Thames for over 80 years but due to a fungus it had to come down. My original plan was to use the timber as a practice piece that I could use my new Arbortech grinder on, however whilst the guys where cutting the tree down the girl in charge of the gardens asked what I would do with the t...
For the past 14 months, I have waited patiently to see if my investment in a prestigious national woodworking show would pay off. Sure it was a lot of fun to be counted acceptable by the jury, and to attend the show, but it is hugely expensive for a small one-man operation like I run here. Not only just the cost of the booth fees, but getting things ready to take is a huge undertaking, renting a truck, fuel, hotel, food, etc. I was disappointed with the “return” on my investmen...
Yesterday, after our bonfire breakfast (6:30 AM with our family, sitting around the fire laughing, eating), Rick and I headed to Toronto to the Woodworking Machinery and Supply Expo. Over the past year Rick and I have attended quite a few woodworking shows in the region but I have to say that none of them have been like this one. First of all we had to have a special badge to enter. At the entrance door you had to show your badge AND they had to check it with a digital thingymajiggy to che...
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