I’m becoming increasingly aware that so few people know where their everyday things come from. I was talking a lady the otherday and realised she didn’t know that plastic’s derive from oil. It just wasn’t something she had ever thought about. When people talk about what will happen when oil runs out, they talk about petrol mostly. But they don’t seem to think about plastic. the components in their car, the circuit boards in their computer, the silicone chip that ...
I spent some time in the shop this past weekend working on a couple of final tasks for a new table before starting on the finishing. I had a choice on how to do the work and opted for a simple block plane. If you’ve done work with well-tuned hand tools, then you know how my experience was…either way, you can read about it here.
This past Christmas, Santa brought me a Shark Guard. I used it to complete Nathan's crib, but knew I’d need to get it properly mounted before the next project. So I bought a 6’ length of 1” square tube steel, a metal cutting blade for the jigsaw, and a bag ‘o 5/16 nuts, washers and bolts. I would have much preferred to weld it together, but since I don’t own the equipment or know anyone who does, that just wasn’t going to happen. The overarm design is a...
Drove out to Geneva today to pick up an air filtration unit for the new workshop. The painters have been complaining about sawdust in their art (oops). The fellow I bought it from built it himself from scratch. Despite that, it is very well designed, probably better than most manufactured units. Twin filters (intake and outtake), fan and motor completely removable for service without pulling any wires or bolts, and it is pre-wired for low and high speeds with the flip of a switch. Only ...
A couple of months ago, I bought this bandsaw off Craigslist. It’s a great little Grizzly BS. A couple of weeks ago I bought about 50 bd ft of Black Walnut from a fella at First Monday Trade Days in Canton, TX for only $2.00 a bd ft. (killer deal). I think I forgot how big the opening is for my BS. Looks like I’ll be buying a riser block and new BS blades now. I’m going to use this lumber to build a baby crib..
I picked up an AKEDA DC 16 Dovetail Jig on eBay about a week ago and it got here this last Tuesday. It’s in great shape. Most of the bits still have the coating on them and most of the parts were not opened. Now I do wish it was the BC 24 but those are on Backorder until who knows when so I had to go with what I could get. I decided to go with the Akeda after speaking with Kevan, the designer, about what I would be using it for. He offered some great insight and I am confident that I ma...
I just edited my profile and added the following description of myself…as if anyone cares who I am anyway…sob sob. LOL I’m Alex, a 23 year old woodworking fanatic who’s affectionately called by my family the ‘Termite.’ I work at a private liberal-arts institution in my hometown as an Architectural Drafter/Designer. Another fanaticism I hold dear is that of Jazz Music. I was raised listening to the likes of David Sanborn, Tony Bennett, Stevie Wonder, Al J...
The timber is still moist to the touch and heavy, probably about 28% moisture, but it will be easier to cut in this condition and will dry quickly with a smaller cross-section. It is time to rough-cut the components. You may remember that I have already selected and prepared pieces for the main members – the back legs. All this hand-work makes you think of efficiency in a way that you may never have thought of it before. If you have ever cycled around the countryside and taken a wrong t...
“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...
Used tools: Often a great bargain, occasionally a spectacular bargain, sometimes a puzzle, rarely but delightfully a chance to acquire something with soul and a story to go along with it. Clamps are certainly about the least glamorous of all our toys, er, tools. But you can’t have enough, as the adage goes, and because they don’t make noise or sawdust or plug in, they don’t have much emotional draw. I’ve managed to bridge that and make it a passion to find an...
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