Category Archives: Shop stuff

A pair of small bow saws… building a replacement

I had a small frame sawIMG_3440 from sometime back (from Gramercy Tools), that I had rushed through a build on (trying to shape it with power sanders) that was never really pretty. It did however work 100% so for several years now I’ve used it. The fact these break down with the removal of the suspension string and blade make them easy to pack in the tool box, so it’s a lot easier than porting the frame saw I finished a few weeks back. And these are for cutting curves, that was for re-sawing wide boards, so – not really a comparison hey?

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Bottle opener without the lathe


Opener on the left is sawn and carved. opener on the right is shaped on the lathe, but with non-square material. (I think it works, but I really need to measure and mark the material to do this!)

I’d picked up aBottle_Opener_1.jpg couple of the bottle opener kits from Woodcraft a while back, and intended to turn some quick handles to make the openers available within the family parties. However, something occurred to me when working on the re-saw – how nice an easy “shaping” the wood for the handle was using just a rasp and spokeshave. And I started to think – what if I just wanted flat handle on the opener, rather than a fully round one?

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Building a ReSaw-Saw… from HTW semester 4

IMG_3370So a couple years back Shannon Rogers covered the creation of the Roubo style resaw frame saw in semester 4. And I purchased the metal and blades at that time and they’ve been moved around quite a bit since then. I recently got a spot between some projects, and decided to go ahead and do the Roubo style 4′ long, 4″ wide large saw to see how I can make do. I have lots of 8/4 cherry stock and my oldest daughter has asked for some wall units that would benefit from some book matched components. I figured since most of the stalk “could” be done on a bandsaw I’m covered if this doesn’t work out, but in the mean time it’s sure fun to try out these techniques. I’m pretty impressed to find out some manual operations are a lot faster than power tool operations – setup for hand tools is pretty easy sometimes, and sometimes a simple operation setup on the power tool is not.

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My Paring chisel – re(shape/sharpen)ed

The chisel that I rely heavily on when working up joinery is my paring chisel. It’s a 1 1/4″ Stanley SW chisel with the handle that fits into the shaft of the metal. That allows me to use the chisel handle that came with it… or the longer chisel handle that I turned a couple years back. The longer handle allows me more body control when I want it, and I favor that handle because I’m more comfortable with it.


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Sharpening table finished and Bookshelf built

IMG_3332I had built the primary parts of the sharpening station with white oak due to it’s natural resistance to water and such, and then used cherry for the frame and bottom shelf parts. But it turns out that I spray water more than I should, so I did go back and add two finishing changes. The edges were (finanlly) relaxed by knocking the edges over with a quick planing. And I used some waterlox (two coats) to the wood to ensure that water would not be absorbed in any of the exposed end grains that were exposed!



IMG_3333 IMG_3328  IMG_3329

The bookshelf for the kindergarteners was assembled for my wife and daughter to size and sew the canvas shelf material. A template was created to trim the sides to shape. The drill holes in the template were used to align the larger holes that were used to fill with 1/2″ rods that will support the shelf fabric. Once we’re set, the rods will be trimmed flush to the sides and the drawer knobs will be screwed into both ends to hold the bars in place. (Well, they are kindergartners after all!) At that point, this unit will be finished with chalk paint. and that’s when I expect to get a request to either change design – or deliver more.


School opens soon.

I’veIMG_3327 two daughters(*) that are working hard to make sure kids have a good learning experience. And because I support them however they’ll let me, I do get some school related things to do. In previous years I took some 4×8′ sheets of hardboard with a white finish and cut them down into 10×8″ squares. These squares then had each edge gently sanded to make sure they were completely smooth. The students were kindergarteners, and the little boards became sketch pads for school. We make more than there are kids in class, and we refreshed them as needed.

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Off cuts… what to do

IMG_3301So as part of the cleanup in the shop – yep finally back to that – that I started a while back, I’ve been pulling out a lot of wood that I’ve held onto for a while. When I start with a nice board, and cut it down for the project, I’m loath to get rid of the off cut. And those tend to pile up over time. And if you pay attention to the calendar, it does not take long at all to get a big pile. Anyways, I’ve got a plastic 30 gal can that I use for wood off cuts that I will eventually get rid of. However it really holds small stuff, not longer stuff – and that’s where the latest cleanup decision has had to be.

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Summer time, summer time, …

Yep, been a long summer time already – busy with household, family and related items. Just to be fair here, I had some brain surgery (NOT WOODWORKING RELATED!!! 🙂 ) back at the end of march, and have been through some followup treatment. For those that wondered why the posting slowed down I’ve been pretty tired and for the past 8 wks have pretty much been on the side line. However that may now be in the past, and I can start to get back to work in the shop again!

And my wife is doing all the tracking/update stuff from the post surgery (I do love her 🙂 )

I have finally set up a Caring Bridge account where updates will be posted about Brian’s illness and treatment. If there is anyone you can think of to add please feel free. Thank you for all your prayers.

A CaringBridge Site was created for Brian Biggs. It’s a caring social network to help people stay connected with family and friends during a health event. Visit Brian’s site often to stay updated and share messages of encouragement and compassion in the Guestbook.

Visit online

Site Link:
Site Name: brianbiggs

Susan Biggs

Graduation! Congratulation!

Well, i didn’t make any real progress on the door this week (and I suspect others didn’t either) for a simple reason. This is my daughter Briana, who earned her Masters degree in education. While she is aiming to teach middle schoolers, i’m guessing she’ll only be average height there. Of the students!


Door sides progress…

IMG_3186 IMG_3187 Well, I got the big boards narrowed for the door sides. And I didn’t do it with the hand saws after all. Something about wanting to eat meals and stuff made me drop back to a fence and circ saw. The end results are boards that are now 85″ x 6″ x 2″ and weigh almost nothing compared to before. Thank goodness!

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