Happy Mothers’ Day everyone! Finally got a chance to go back to my parents’ house for the weekend (i.e., the location of my shop). Went into the shop and this is what my bench looked like: Looks like my dad has been at work in the 2.5 months I’ve been away. No surprises there. I made a pair of holdfasts in a blacksmithing class last fall. When I made them, I tried to round them down to about 3/4”. Since they aren’t necessarily a standard size sha...
That symbol is a frowney/smiley, because the news about my job lately is bittersweet. After the 7-month unemployed spell that started last September and lasted exactly as long as my savings held up, an old coworker got in touch with me about coming to work with him at an online games division of Disney. It was a really great opportunity to do exactly what I do, which is pretty niche, and it marked the first time the job skills requirements matched 100% with my resume. They’re usually mo...
Lately, everytime I go to the garage whether it be to get something, or work on something I tend to always come back with bruised/scratched shins. The garage is a somewhat of a mine field. It never really started as a workshop, so tools and machines just accumulated as they came with no order or planning and each one made it more and more stuffy and cramped. My wife just asked me ‘why don’t you take everything out and reorganize the place’.... hmm.. that means spending...
So I decided I needed to finally build a real woodworking bench for my new workspace. I got all the books by Chris Schwarz, checked all the back issues of woodworking mags and browsed the internet in preparation. Then the first thing I did was break one of Chris Schwarz rules. I decided to design my own rather then duplicate a historical bench. I think I had valid reasons. My workspace is small. I could not fit a long bench. A short bench means planning forces have a bigger impact, so I d...
“Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson. I read that quote the other day and I liked it so much that I posted it on my Facebook status. I like reading and finding little nuggets of wisdom like that because not only do they make us think a bit deeper, but they also can sometimes inspire us. Emerson is great for that. I also like Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain) because he had a knack for stating the obvious. I love...
When designing the shop I tried to anticipate the type of work we would be doing. Looking back, I wasn’t even close. However, in spite of that, the work flow is very much the same for many woodworking projects. Our shop is laid out considering that work flow. Our entrance door is where we unload both sheet goods and solid lumber. We stack the lumber on stickers, prior to use, and the plywood is placed on a drywall cart. We place lumber on the chop saw station, which ...
I don’t own a camera so a neighbor volunteered to film my shop. Its a bit unique so enjoy.I hope it even worked since we don’t know what we are doing. :-) Always willing to learn new things! Watch the Video
On my walk this morning I paused to admire the Willamette River. It is wide and this morning it was quiet, peaceful and full. As always it was flowing past me, underneath my footbridge. The body split apart and came back together again with grace and ease. After admiring it’s awesome beauty I was reminded of my work and the feeling of running in place. On the surface the river looks so peaceful so laid back like nothing is really going on. It’s so full that rapids aren’t even showing whe...
Screw assembly The face vise screw mechanism is all DIY. Here are the piece parts. The hand-wheel has been kicking around my basement for 15 years. I remember buying it on Ebay for a project I never completed. It was too nice to throw away, so it waited and waited until now to find a purpose. The acme screw and nut I picked up on Ebay more recently. I cut the screw to length and drilled the hole that holds the hand-wheel setscrew. I found a 5 inch brass plate 1/2 inch thick also on...
Top Assembly The top consist of two sub-assemblies: The lower half and the upper. The lower half is made up of two plywood sheets glued together, edged with maple and joined using doweled bridle joints. The doubled up plywood is attached to the frame using a basic butt joint strengthened with 3/8” dowels and glued down with epoxy. I used this method because my wood was not wide enough for the desired final dimensions if I rabbeted in the panel. This simple butt joint gave me some a...
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