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...
I’ve been “done” with this project for nearly two weeks at this point, but I feel I should close this out. Along with the bench, I felt the need to showcase some of my favorite tools. I plan to update this blog with some of the uses for the gap that I can come up with…
I wanted to do this for a long time and had the parts ordered and delivered a while ago, but one thing led to another and this was kept on the back burner and never saw the light of day. Ironically, it is now finished but still with no light of day as it is almost 11pm… All it gets is the light of the moon (which some may say is better). I really liked benchcrafted wagon vise (even a free plug for them) But for what it is I think it’s a bit overpriced (for a vise). Don’t ...
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 ...
“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...
The Sign of a Craftsman Most woodworkers, including myself, have dreamed of building the traditional European style workbench. This has to be one of the greatest trademarks of a craftsman that even trumps the dovetail. Anybody that enters your shop and sees one of these beauties would have no doubt that you can administer dovetails with the skill of a legendary craftsman. Here are some thoughts on this table style. The table is designed to accommodate a certain work style, particular...
I mean literally – I got the shaper to work :). I guess that would constitute as a tool gloat, although I’m not much of a gloater, I just like getting things done. I got this shaper off of CL a couple of weeks ago just because it was too good of a deal to pass up. I contacted the seller, and told them my budget which was lower than their posted price, and they agreed to my offer – I was psyched! I’ll probably set it up with some 3/4 bore cutters for cope-stile at some ...
Got No Work? Got No Work? You are not alone. But that doesn’t make us feel better. We need to survive. Remember when we prospered? Charles Neil has asked me to talk about this and maybe by doing so we can help a fellow woodworker? The thread that has been going on o the Blog started with Charles’ piece. “So you want to be a professional woodworker?” Some themes: “don’t quit your day job,” “I love this but…”, “what have I gotten myself into?” Everyone has a different emotional...
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...
I have numerous projects going on. In short, all my horizontal surfaces have gone missing and it is standing room only. Here are some over-alls from the front door. This is the main cause of the melee’. We have decided to toy with silver soldering and jewelry. So, this area of our shrinking shop is being converted to a jeweler’s bench with acetylene torch, flex shaft tool, and all those other cool tools that jewelers use.I will have to find a new home for all that hardwa...
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