Monthly Archives: November 2014

WFC 2014 Project completed

IMG_2607Completed! the colors are all general finishes premixed milkpaint – Klien Blue, Emerald, Holiday Red, and SunGlow. I wanted the brightest colors I could find. Chalkboards were used front and back, because we have carpeting in the playroom where the toy box will sit, and we’re pretty sure that the markers would find there way to the fiber.

If you want to participate in the build this year and have your build count towards the generous donations from the Spaguonolo’s – you can find out more about it, and the plans, at the WoodWhisperer site.

Ever do something stupid in the shop?

I’m doing some milk paint Finishes this year, since it’s all the rage. The top coat is going to be acrylic and I did the final sanding, vacuumed it off, and started the application.

 You know hoe they tell you to pour a small amount into a separate container to apply?

Well *I* have never followed directions! I know what the heck I’m doing. It’s just paint for crying out loud, anybody can do it, and it just goes on so…. What’s that strange shadow growing in the finish? Wait, it’s the same color as the cabinet… 



Dovetails in Pine

As I continue to work on a small cabinet to hold baskets for my daughter, I’m doing some focus exercises on my dovetails. I teach a hand cut dovetails class at Woodcraft, but I’m no master like Mr. Cosman. Because I don’t do this professionally (outside of teaching), I take every new project with dovetails as a chance to improve my technique. The critical points for the tails is that 1) they are perpendicular to the face of the board, and 2) they stop exactly on the scribe line. By taking the time to practice, I’m trying to continue developing muscle memory, which is a hard thing to do if you don’t do them all the time. And anyways, I don’t know if I’ll ever get to the point that speed becomes an focus, because I do this for fun not for profit.

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Shop Zen

This week I worked on a cabinet my IMG_2561daughter asked for – it’s just basic pine from the home store. I glued up a couple panels to make the carcass and was cleaning up the glue line with a scraper and smoother.

snick – shhhhhhhhhh

snick – shhhhhhhhhh

Nice long ribbons of shavings came out, the surface seemed to pick up more depth. And I found that at the end of each pass, I would clear the shavings with my left hand, and unconciously run my palm over the section I had just planed, while moving back to the start position. I had intended only clean up the glue line – but I was in the zone…

When I was done, I had dressed both sides of the two panels that I was going to make the carcass from. I was tired and sweaty, but felt satisfied – calm, relaxed, and satisfied. There’s just something about working on a project, when both the material and I are in sync.

New in the shop – half-back saw

BonyzHalfBackSawAnother saw from Ron Bontz showed up this past week – and it’s a useful little thing. The half back saw has a short back at the top of the plate. Filed for cross-cut, it seems to excel as a go to saw at the bench. It’s on the rack right behind me at the bench or in a slot on the bench most of the time.

When it first arrived, packed as shown above, the teeth were very very sharp, and I noticed that I had to be careful to to not flex the plate when the teeth caught. Holding it like a baby bird, using full strokes and remembering NOT to push it into the wood, the saw is re-enforcing some basics. As with all the saws I’ve gotten from Ron, the handle fits my hand really really well. After a week of frequent use and a bit of set adjustment (I messed around with it when I found a burr that I thought was responsible for the catching) it’s spot on for me now.

I’m blaming this one entirely on Shannon Rogers, as I want to build the tool tote, and this is the saw that seems to be perfect for that use. Look for that project in a later post!

Shop Quickies 2 – scraper rack

IMG_2556Another holder I needed to updateIMG_2555 was the scraper holder that sat on the shelf I removed. The original holder was a hunk of 2×4 that was kerfed on the table saw, and attached to a base plate. This worked well (and took up very little space), but wouldn’t work on the wall as well. (Or maybe it would, I may revist that later 🙂 ).

I used a short piece of 1×2 stock, and marked cross lines every 1/2″ along most of the length. Then I set a bevel angle on the side, and kerfed it by hand. That was it! I screwed it to the wall, and I’m ready to go.