Monday, September 24, 2018

Updates from a very busy woodshop

I've been very busy in the shop, building two projects for upcoming Popular Woodworking articles. I still managed to work on a couple of personal projects.

First, a Roman bench as popularized by Chris Schwarz. Mine is a bit shorter than the plan calls for but is still a very useful little thing. I've always sat for a large portion of my work and this makes it that much easier to do so.

I knocked together a qamutiik (Inuit sled) for hauling firewood this winter. Made with traditional lashings instead of nails or screws, the flexibility of this sled should help get over the snowbanks and ice between the wood shed and the wood stove.

I've also cut down, stripped the bark from, and put up to dry a 8 foot maple sapling. This is destined to become a spring pole for a new lathe. My old lathe is worn out from a decade or more of hard use and I plan to replace it once the PW build craziness is over.

From the remnants of this tree and other deadfall from the yard, I've put up a few twig bundles for the wood stove. This is always a fun little distraction that can happen at any time. Lately I've been having my two year old daughter Abigail help me gather sticks from the yard. Fun times.

Finally, I knocked together this little box. Inspired by the Mastermyr box with a couple of small changes, this will store my augers, gimlets, braces, and other boring equipment on a daily basis and will also make a fine partner for traveling to demonstrations. It still needs a lid but, since this picture was taken, I've planed out a piece of sassafras to serve. Again, lightness is a priority for traveling.

That's pretty much it in terms of things that I can talk about. You'll be seeing my writing more and more in PW and on the PW website so keep an eye out for that!


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,

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...