Today is Woodworking Safety Day. I have been fortunate through my years of woodworking to only injure myself twice and neither of them was severe. I could go into the detail on those events but you ultimately wouldn't learn much. However, both of those incidents could have been prevented if I had just followed this advice:Read More
When I got my Powermatic 15HH planer last summer I was overjoyed. The Shelix head provided an incredibly nice surface with no tearout whatsoever. However, after planing a few boards I was disappointed that I was getting a little snipe on both ends of the boards. I read through the manual again for any clues and stumbled upon one sentence that referenced a pair of table locking knobs that were on the left side of the planer (as viewed from the infeed table). All the other controls are on the right side.Read More
For years I have dreamed of being able to do some woodworking during the many nights I spend in hotels across the country.Read More
Ok, let's finish this bench! With the screws completed and handles glued on all I have left to do is actually assemble the bench. I marked out the position of the screws on the end pieces and then drilled countersinks and clearance holes.
The glue-up starts at the end opposite the wagon vise. I glued the end piece on and then set it aside to dry. While that was drying I decided to make the 3/8" dowels that will reinforce the bridle joints. Making the dowels is a little easier than the large ones for the screws.Read More
In my last entry on this build I had finished most of the flat work. That means it's almost time to hit the lathe. The first order of business was to select some straight grained wood to use to turn the dowels for the vise screws. Like chair parts, grain that runs out the side of the screws will significantly weaken them.
I ripped the stock to 1 3/8" squares. Then I cranked the blade over to 45 degrees and installed my aux fence to rip off the corners to make octagons.Read More
Now that I have most of the bench complete it's time to start gluing and cleaning some things up. The first order of business was to glue up the two parts of the bench top. For this I used the same technique I used when I was gluing up the ash 2x4's for my bench top: apply the glue to both sides and then use parallel jaw clamps to keep the two pieces in alignment while you apply the clamping pressure.
If you are gluing up more than two pieces this technique works great. After 15 minutes you can unclamp long enough to add another piece on and re-clamp the stack and keep going. You'll end up with a slabRead More
In my last post I had cut all the pieces for the bench to their final dimensions - minus the end pieces which I intentionally left long. Today it's time to begin cutting some of the joinery for this little bench. The first task was to cut a groove in the front rail and back half of the bench top that will receive the tenons from the side of the wagon vise block.
The grooves are 3/8" deep and 1/2" wide and must be centered in the stock. I decided to use my Whiteside 1/2" downcut spiral carbide router bit for these grooves. Normally I would do this operation on the table saw, butRead More
Today I started out by checking the squareness and moisture content of the roughly milled parts for the workbenches. None of them had moved that I could perceive. The moisture content had dropped about 1% since I brought the stock into the shop. At 9% I shouldn't have any issues with unexpected wood movement.
I re-jointed all the parts and then started planing all the stock down to the specified 1 5/8". As I was preparing to rip the parts to width I noticedRead More
In the June 2013 issue of Popular Woodworking there is an article by Chris Schwarz titled "The Milkman's Workbench". Chris approached me about possibly making one of these benches for someone in need and I gladly accepted. After I started planning for the build in earnest I decided that I might as well build two of these at the same time.Read More
It's been five years since my shop building was completed. During that time the shop has undergone a lot of changes. Every woodworker I know likes to see someone else's shop. So I thought that this would be a good time to document the state of the shop and maybe provide you with some ideas to use in your own shops.Read More
When I was building the Shaker Trestle Table I espoused my love for the Lie-Nielsen #62 with a toothed blade. Well, Deneb Puchalski from Lie-Nielsen has put together a video demonstrating that very thing and doing so better than I could explain. The one thing missing from the video was a close-up of the surface after using the toothed blade. Fortunately I have one in my blog post. Hopefully this will help make things even clearer.Read More
Just like any passionate hobbyist woodworker I have read just about eveything I could get my hands on with regards to woodworking. I've also bought and rented my fair share on woodworking DVD's. After a while I got to the point where I just felt like 90% of what I was reading/watching I had seen before. I decided to take some classes with Chuck Bender at the Acanthus Workshop in Pottstown, Pa. Chuck has an extensive portfolio of amazing period furniture, having worked as a professional in the trade for almost 30 years.Read More
It's time to make the top. As you saw in my previous post I am going to make the top from three wide cherry boards. The boards were sawn by a local sawyer with a Woodmizer bandsaw sawmill. Most of the cuts are nice and smooth, but the cut between two of these boards was very wavy. That is going to lead to a lot of cleanup work. The boards range in width from 15" to 12". Since my jointer is only 8" wide I needed to find a way to flatten one side of the boards before I run it through my 15" planer. There are several options here.Read More
I'm on vacation from work this week so I've been able to get quite a few hours of work in the shop. The base for this table is from a big maple tree my next door neighbor had cut down to put a pool in. I cut mortise and tenon joints for the leg-to-foot joint, which I will also draw-bore, and a notched bridle joint for leg-to-brace joint.Read More
Yesterday I started preparing to make the top for my trestle table.
A few weeks ago I brought some boards down from the attic to give them time to aclimate to my shop. My cherry log has been drying for about a year and the 4/4 stock is down to about 10% moisture content now.I trimmed the sap wood off of three of the boards from the tree and cut off the end where the tree started to bend. That left me with 8' boards. The final table length should be about 84" so I've go a little to play with still.Read More
In my last post I had just decided to order the Oneida Air Pro 1500. Business must be good for Oneida Air Systems because the dust collector was back ordered for about a month. That worked out just fine because it gave me plenty of time to get the ductwork and install it.
Deciding on the Pipe
After more research I decided to go with 26ga spiral pipe as opposed to the snap-lock. Here are my Pros and Cons for each:Read More
I have been contemplating the purchase of a new dust collection system for several years. After entirely too much research I decided that a two-stage cyclone system was what I neededwanted. I also wanted to make sure that this was the last dust collector I would ever buy.
Next I had to decide which model to go with. Recently several manufacturers have come to market with some nice portable 1 1/2hp and 2hp models that are very attractive.Read More
have one corner in my shop that had become the junk pile. It was a corner under the stairs that go up to the attic of my shop where things had just begun to pile up. I had a plastic shelving unit that had so much stuff on it that I couldn't seem to grab something without knocking something else off. I had stacks of cans of finish on the floor along with moving blankets, painting supplies and a bunch of other junk. Something had to change.Read More
Whenever I'm on a layover where I actually have enough time to roam around (rare) I try to find something historic or woodworking related. Last week I flew into San Jose. I remembered seeing something about a woodworking store nearby so I pulled up my trusty Google Maps app and started walking.
The Sawdust Shop is a very nice woodworking store with a great woodshop attached. They have some lumber, a nice selection of General Finishes finishing supplies, a decent selection of books, and general shop supplies.Read More
Almost 9 months ago I posted a finishing test that I'd done comparing General Finishes new Enduro-Var waterborne urethane and their oil-based Arm-R-Seal urethane. According to the formulator at General Finishes that I spoke to, these products both use the same resin, but one is suspended in oil and the other in water. As you know, the color of Cherry continues to darken and intensify as it ages. I also noticed that the Enduro-Var finish that had been left in the rim of the can had turned a deep amber-brown over time.Read More