The population of Martelle Iowa is in the neighborhood of 350, so one could use the phrase thriving metropolis comfortably. We do not have door to door USPS delivery, which is a little bit of a bummer, but it does have a tremendous upside. The excitement I get when I hop in the care and drive all the way across town to check my post office box. It is almost like Festivus all year round, without the pole or ‘airing of grievances’. Actually I don’t care for mail, but last Thursday I mad...
“When you have completed 95% of your journey, you are only halfway there.” -Japanese Proverb I need to remember this proverb whenever I approach the end of a project. I find that there are two finish lines when it comes to my tasks. The first finish line is where I start to feel good about what I have accomplished and the second one is where the project is actually completed. This is certainly the case for my workbench. It was, actually still is, my first project. The day tha...
The long cold winter swept over Jones County. It had been days since I had ventured past the threshold and I was nearly out of pot stickers. The Meeks residence was at Defcon 2. I was getting stir crazy. Action needed to be taken, so I bundled up, put on a sweatshirt and a coat, followed naturally by one additional coat, and topped off with a pair of gloves and a smart chapeau. The world outside waited and I was certain that there may would be an impulse tool purchase in my very near...
Someone once said, “Plan your work and work your plan.” Or was it, “Plan your woodworking at work, so you can plan on working on wood after work?” Either way, I have a plan. Over the last several years I have spent a good deal of my time building spaces in the virtual world of Second Life. I have designed hundreds of pieces of virtual furniture and I want to learn how to bring them into the real world. I realize that most readers are now scratching their heads with their tape measu...
It is cold in Iowa today. It was cold yesterday too. It will be cold tomorrow. Despite this I realized that I hadn’t been to Home Depot, Menards, or Acme Tool in several days. I was beginning to get that itch. I needed a fix. So I bundled up and hopped in the car and off I went. I had a vague desire to buy some rare earth magnets. Do I have a project that requires magnets? No, of course not, I just really wanted them. The reason that the advertising industry is so successful ...
Judging by the damage that appears on old wooden planes, patience soon runs out when we handle things that are not operated by a switch! Sometimes this damage is terminal but often with a little care and lots of determination the wooden plane will work again. This video shows the basics of how to handle moulding planes. There is a lot more to investigate and much of that is to do with sharpening, especially when the moulding plane is complex. It’s hard to know how much interest ...
As I have grown older, now 62, I have found that whenever possible I use both smaller power tools and even smaller hand tools. I often turn to my power hand tools instead of using my table saw or even my bandsaw. Instead I use my jig saw and small power saw (5-1/2” blade) with the necessary straight-edge jigs. My block plane is my best friend and I made sanding blocks from sections of hand railing (about 6” long). This along with moving to more non-powered hand tools seems to make...
As an apartment dweller there are a few things that just drive me crazy. I am working on a project right now that has taken me a while to complete. I have been building two end tables for our apartment, because as a newly wed we have very little furniture. The problem is that they are 50 miles away at my father in laws garage. This is a real pain in my butt because not only do I have to drive if I want to do anything, but also I get the itch to go out and tinker durring the week and really ca...
I decided to make my own try square, in the spirit of the hand tool extravaganza I’ve been into lately. I saw an article by Adam Cherubini on making them, I think in popular woodworking. (If somebody has a link to the issue, let me know!) I don’t have the article handy, but the basis of it was pretty simple. I grabbed some spare Sipo and some spare Maple that already happened to be an appropriate width, a hair over 1/4” and 3/4” respectively. Crosscut and ...
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