Monday, April 2, 2018

My second book is available now!

During my layoff from my woodshop, I spent a fair amount of time organizing and filing mountains of notes, thoughts, photos, and ideas for later use. During this process I realized that "later" was now and "use" was another book. I organized my thoughts, rewrote a bunch of them, and put together this little collection.

It is currently print-only and is available here. The Kindle version is forthcoming.

Because it isn't exactly a traditional book and doesn't really fit any traditional woodworking publishing category, I self-published using Amazon CreateSpace. The process was quite smooth and I will do it again. I highly recommend it to anyone who has a book or six rattling around in their head.

I'm very proud of this book. It is totally different than most of what you'll see in the woodworking media. Part comedy book, part philosophy text, and part how-to. If you pick up a copy, I hope you enjoy it.

All the best,
Zach

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Tool wall

Well, are you bored with reading posts about my shop renovation project yet? I'm starting to tire of the project myself. I'm aching to get back to some real woodworking but I have a few more things to take care of first.

The tool racks are largely done, just need a few more in a few spots and I need to figure out auger bit storage. They currently live in tool rolls on one of the new shelves but this may change. I'm leaning towards a few bit blocks stashed on the shelf below the saws.




It should be warm enough to finish painting everything in the next two weeks. Then I can lay the new decking for the attic floor and get my lumber storage organized up there.

I can't believe the number of tools that I own that I simply forgot about. I need to have a woodworker's yard sale...

Friday, March 23, 2018

Williamsburg / Jamestown pictures

I've been very busy putting up insulation and siding in my shop, which is not very interesting work to read about on a blog. So, I've dipped into my archives a bit and decided to put out some pictures of a trip my wife and I took to Virginia back in 2010. Our travels took us to Historic Jamestown, Jamestown Settlement, and Colonial Williamsburg... here are a few of the pictures we took during that trip.

The original hearth and chimney of the joinery at Monticello

A slightly different angle of the 'Nickel View'

A very cool architect's desk designed by Jefferson

The Hay Shop

The Williamsburg Courthouse

A cornice plane stamped 'Underhill' and made by the man himself

A messy workbench at the joiner's shop

One of many fascinating timberframe buildings at Jamestown Settlement

New work at the Settlement

Inside the church

I'm copying this style of rack for my axes and froes

A recreation of one of the ships that carried the colonists to Jamestown in 1607

Beyond the pale...

Friday, March 16, 2018

Tool storage racks and shelves

In my continuing quest to clean and upgrade my workshop, I've been seriously considering my options for tool storage. I've always loved the look and functionality of the systems used in the shops in Williamsburg, namely shelves and racks. My inability to heat my building has made this an unworkable solution so the tools have lived in chests for many years. Now that I'm insulating and electrifying the shop, I'll be able to keep the building at a minimum of 50 degrees year round. This means tools can live on walls.

To that end I've been busily making shelves and racks. I've chosen to paint them, along with the window trim, in a brownish-beige color which will contrast nicely with the soon-to-be white walls.

I'm simply using dimensional pine from the Borg. It's rare that I use pre-dimensioned lumber but, with my time at a premium these days, I'm going to be saving my efforts for where it really matters, i.e. my actual work. I did hand plane a nice bead detail on the what will become the bottom of the rack, and will plane similar beads on future racks.

 Here it is hanging temporarily before painting. I decided that I will hang it in a lower position when I install it permanently.

Tool rack from Sampson Joinery Shop. Photo by Peter Follansbee
I'm also planning to make a few of these racks from the Sampson Joinery Shop as documented by Peter Follansbee.

It's still far too cold to paint anything outdoors so the walls will have to wait a while yet (c'mon Spring!). The shelf rack was painted inside and I'm pleased with the look. I suspect it will look even better against white walls.

I hope this series on shop improvements is inspirational. I know I'm enjoying getting back out there and making things a little brighter, a little cleaner, and hopefully a little warmer!