Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Roll Out the Barrel...

And when it's empty, roll it into the shop. Apparently oak barrels can only be used to ferment spirits once. Then they're off to the trash.
I've seen planters made of half-barrels, and some very crude outdoor furniture, but never anything like this.
From Stil Novo Design's web page: "We are a family business dedicated to create the finest woodcrafts & specialty pieces. Our eco-friendly home decor & gift ideas are made with creatively recycled reclaimed materials. Every piece is a 'one of a kind' item."
See more of their furniture and other original designs here.
[Thanks to BoingBoing.net]

Monday, November 16, 2009

Working Wood -- the Music Video

Thanks to our friends at Fine Woodworking for posting this on their blog the GlueTube.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Stocking Stuffer?

A blog like this should be inspirational. So I post photos of wooden projects by normal people and wooden art objects by, well... artists. I don't expect that you'll actually build anything exactly like I'm showing, but I hope you'll get inspired to do something a little special in the shop.
Well, forget all that for a moment. Here's an idea you can and should rip off. This is so easy and cute, I can't believe I haven't seen it before.
Cut a wedge. Drill three holes, two shallow one for the eyes and a deeper one or the tail. Glue a piece of twine or a leather shoe lace in the hole and voila: an adorable mouse-shaped door stop. Everybody on my Christmas list is getting one of these year. The people I really like are getting theirs in exotic hardwoods. The others... well, I see what's in the cutoff bin.
More photos at the website SUCK UK.
Happy holidays!

Even More Fun with Plywood

This is fun, and probably more mainstream than it seems, a laser cut plywood light bulb-shaped lamp. Now I know you're laughing hysterically as the marketers intended (a lamp in the shape of a light bulb made of wood of all things-get it?) and that's the way it's being sold on the SUCK UK website.
But take a moment and look again--actually, it's a pretty nice lamp. The instructions say you can hang from the ceiling or lay it on the floor (like a large trouble light).
In any case, I think it's attractive. I don't want one particularly, but it wouldn't kill me to look at one now and then, especially against that sexy black background.
Lots of photos here.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Re-Handling a Tang Chisel

Woodworking chisels are made a couple of different ways. A tang chisel has a long, pointed part (the tang) that is buried in the handle of the chisel.
WoodNet Forums member MikeW recently posted a series of photos showing how he installs a new handle on a tang chisel.
Interesting photos, worth a look.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Iphone/Ipod Touch app

I haven't used this app, not owning an iPhone or iPod, but the developer just posted a link to the app in the WoodNet Forums. A couple of the members bought it and the reviews are very good. From the forum post:
"The app is called I.D. Wood and it is to be used as a pocket reference for anyone who works with wood. It has been approved by Apple and is available on Itunes as of this week. Currently the app includes 50 wood samples, various names, a wood glossary of 70+ terms, descriptions, wood working potential, sustainability, search functionality etc. 10 additional woods will be added next week in a free update."

Here's the website.

More Fun with Plywood

Even if you said, "plywood tables," no one would expect this. From the website:
Lazarian, "Richard Sweeney and Liam Hopkins, created a series of models with various connecting methods, including bolting and self-interlock. With the use of a CNC (computer numerically controlled) router, these models were further advanced to find structural forms capable of supporting weight. From this process emerged a distinctive collection of furniture, which makes use of both raw and laminated birch plywood."
There are three tables designs in the Mensa Collection, all with the unique interlocking bases. Click through to their website to see more tables from this collection.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

RIP James Krenov

I started woodworking in the 1980's, and like many if not most woodworkers, James Krenov was an inspiration beyond description. He did such beautiful things with wood, and he shared his skill and knowledge with many others. He died yesterday.
From the official James Krenov website: "A recognized furniture maker in Sweden, he moved to Northern California in 1981, where he created and led the College of the Redwoods' Fine Woodworking School. In his twenty years with the school he taught hundreds of eager students from around the world while continuing to build his own fine furniture. He retired from the college in 2002. James Krenov is represented with works at museums in Sweden, Norway, Japan and the U.S."
Lots more information about him and photos of his work are at his website. The photo at right is from his website.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Another Not-Really-Wood Product

But I want one of these. It looks like a piece of 4x4, a chunk of something holding up your deck. But it's really a oversize pad of more post-it notes than you'll use in a lifetime. The wood grain is on all four edges and one side of each sheet, leaving you the other side to write on.
The link is to a Portuguese website. I don't think they're selling these notepads. The reviewer seems intrigued by the design, but he's not impressed by the usability (or my Google translation is confused).
I'm also not sure where the notepads actually come from. Some of the photos have what might be Korean or Japanese characters on them.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Plywood Furniture

The title Plywood Furniture may conjure up images of some really bad-looking, poorly-build objects that barely qualify as furniture. Well, prepare to be pleasantly surprised.
This article at the Design Crave website has ten examples of beautiful (mostly) pieces of furniture built from plywood. The Poltrona Suave Lounge Chair in the photo is a good example. From the website, "Brazil’s Julia Krantz creates her pieces by stacking and laminating sheets of plywood and shapes seating like a relief. With its grain, sheen and organic undulations, the Poltrona Suave Chair looks whittled from a solid piece of wood, but vertical lines hint at its plied origins." (Click for larger view.)
The article also has links to online plywood furniture projects you can built. They won't look quite like the Poltrone Suave Chair, but hey, what does?

Monday, August 31, 2009

Beech Wood Flash Light

I'm not a woodturner, so I may not be totally up to date on the latest turning projects. But this one made me smile.
While it's not for sale as a project or a kit (that I know of), I thought it was an interesting use of turned wood.
I have no clue how difficult it would be to hollow out the inside to accommodate the batteries, and you'd have to make a tight fitting (screw-on) cap to keep the batteries inside. But those are the kind of challenges woodworkers usually enjoy.
If you like the idea and don't have a lathe, you can visit the Generate online catalog and decide how badly you want one. They're US$49.00. Ouch.
[Thanks BoingBoingGadgets]

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Designer Firewood

In an earlier life, I lived out in the country and burned firewood (mostly split oak) to heat my home. I discovered early that paying attention while stacking the firewood would often yield some useful, if somewhat short, pieces for woodworking.
Of course, that was pre-iPod, pre-iPhone. Now there are many more useful things an enterprising wood burner with a sharp eye can do with an attractive, if somewhat short, log.
If you are lacking in logs but really like this idea, you can find it in Etsy.com.

Note: You may find this hard to believe, but this item is actually sold out! Where does this guy live, inside the Arctic Circle?

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Disappearing Table Act

This fold-up table was created by Japanese designer Nobuhiro Teshima to accommodate small Japanese homes. The table unfolds out of its roll-around cabinet when you have a group over for dinner. There's even room for storage in the cabinet. I liked the idea and the execution, but I wondered where are the chairs?
Guess what? There are no chairs. Take a look at the photos with the wine glasses set on the table and you get a better sense of scale. You're supposed to sit on the floor, or on a cushion on the floor. Perhaps it's possible to scale-up the design to fit the more ample behinds and stiff knees of the western world.

Lots more photos on the TrendsNow website.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Notirondack Chairs

I have always loved the look of Adirondack Chairs, and sometimes sitting in them. Recently I came across an interesting, beautiful, and functional variation, the Notirondack Chairs by artist/designer Zeke Leonard.
The settee in the photo is actually two chairs. One with an armrest on the right and one on the left. Reverse the chairs and you get two chairs with a table between. Line up a lot of them and you get... well, you get the idea.
You can see more photos and read about the chairs at Zeke's website. And check out his other designs, most it seems come from found objects.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

One Day-$40 Bookcase

Here's an example of how your woodworking skills can help even if you're not, strictly speaking, woodworking.
WoodNet Forums member BandMan built this bookcase for his daughter in a day. It's made from pre-finished, maple particleboard that's sold as shelving at his local home center. It looks terrific and is better built than the flat-pack bookshelves you can buy (and cheaper, too).
Here's a link to the post on WoodNet where he explains what he used and how he did it.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Make Your Own File for Tight Spots

When smoothing curved profiles, you'll need a fine-cutting file to get into the inside corners that your sanding drum can’t reach. But the thick square edges of the file can get in the way and sometimes even damage the workpiece. So rather than abandon this method, Woodsmith's Ted Raife simply modified the tool to fit the job.

As you can see in the drawings above, he ground a bevel on both edges of the file to get more clearance in tight corners. You can make this modification with just a few minutes work at the bench grinder. But you want to be careful to not let the file get so hot that it loses its temper. Keep a container of water close by to quench it and this won't be a problem.

You can get e-tips like this esent to your email address each week. Sign-up here, they're free.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Best Use of Used Stir-Sticks Ever

Paint-Stick Table from the Flickr Photo Stream of matangi.esty. Terrific!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Earthquake Safe Wooden Buildings

Over at Treehugger.com, they've got a terrific article and video about using wood to build earthquake safe buildings. And wood also has some environmental benefits too. From the website:
Wood construction has some tremendous advantages. Wood is strong, light, flexible and fast. Unlike concrete, which adds a ton of CO2 to the atmosphere for every ton of cement made, wood is renewable and sequesters carbon dioxide for the life of the building.
Definitely worth a look.
Click the photo for a larger view.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Vanity of Vanities

As in most things, in wood-working the devil is in the details. Here's a beautiful bathroom vanity just built by Twitter user @davewest1. In this case, the devil and the beauty are in the careful attention to the grain of the black walnut. The whole front of the cabinet and the side are from one piece. Click photo for a larger view.
Dave also has a beautiful website which you'll especially appreciate if you're looking for inspiration for new bathrooms and kitchens in your home.

Lazer-cut Keyboard Desk

Interesting idea, beautifully executed. From the MoCo Loco website:
For Marlies Romberg, a recent grad of the Utrecht School of Arts, her goal is to "to materialize the ungraspable fast digital world and create an opportunity for nostalgia in this future world." The result is Dear diary 1.0, above, the fusion of the real world and the digital world...

Click image for larger view or click through to the website for more photos and comments.

Update: The goofy guys at Woot.com went straight for once and did an interesting interview with the artist, Marlies Romberg. Read it here.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Two Ebony Box

Twitter user @oh2dovetail posted a link to this beautiful ebony dovetail box he just completed. Click on photo for a larger view.

Finished the Mun Ebony and Gaboon Ebony handcut dovetail box. Very happy!
Lots of woodworkers on Twitter. This is the first good project photo I've found there.

Dogs that Don't Bite

I think we've all had this happen: You clamp a workpiece onto your bench for a little sanding or planning and then discover the faces of your metal bench dogs left their marks. There are lots of work arounds to avoid this happening, and this is one of the simplest and handiest.
See how to build these simple "dogs that don't bite" here. They're from the editors at Woodsmith magazine. You can get tips like these delivered to you computer each week. Sign up here.

Monday, July 6, 2009

More Things to Do with Cutoffs

Over in the WoodNet Woodworking Forums, member TomFromStLouis has posted photos of an interesting and unusual box he just built:

I made this box using a number of different samples of maple: curly, spalted (with and without ambrosia beetle stains), straight ambrosia, and burl. I made veneers and laminated both sides of some 1/4" MDF. Then I assembled sized pieces with the katalox frame elements. Katalox is a Mexican timber that is hard and close grained with a tendency to tear out. There were lots of glue-ups. To unify the colors a bit and deepen both woods I used garnet shellac for the finish.
It's just a bit larger than a cigar box. Cool.
For more photos and info, visit WoodNet.net.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Traditional Framing in Tibet

I'm always fascinated by the framing of wooden structures, whether large or small. I recently found this website that has a photo gallery of vernacular architecture in Tibet.
Most of the photos show amazing, colorful interior cabinetry and exterior details. But this photo especially caught my eye. It's the framing for an exterior wall of a house in Dawu/Daofu. No wonder wooden structures can last hundreds of years.
Click on the image for a larger view, and check out the joinery.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Wood Grain Patterns

HunterGatherer is a design, illustration, animation and production studio in New York. They've applied a wood grain finish to lots of things where wood grain wood not be expected. From the goincase website:
Todd St. John and collaborator Gary Benzel created the woodgrain pattern and have applied it to products ranging from furniture to skateboard decks. The signature design has been reintroduced for Curated by Arkitip, ornamenting two of our own signature products: the MacBook Sleeve and iPhone Slider Case.
Click on the photo for a larger view. There's also an interesting video of how these guys work as well as other photos. Neat.

[Thanks Boing Boing]

Monday, June 22, 2009

Wood and Brass iPod

Another in our irregular series of posts on what to do with those hardwood cut-offs you hate to throw away: Make a wooden iPod. Josh D did just that using "Australian red cedar, Camphor Laurel for the clickwheel, brass plates, brass screws and the guts from the first iPod i ever had."
His Flickr photostream shows many angles of the finished iPod as well as the individual pieces he fashioned with his Dremel tool. Definitely worth a look.

Friday, June 19, 2009

PlansNOW on Facebook

Aha! You've been wondering where I've been the past couple of weeks. Well, now you know (sort of). I created a Facebook Page for PlansNOW.com--my day job where we sell woodworking project plans and technique articles as pdf downloads. Facebook facilitates making pages to promote small businesses like PlansNOW as well as big guns like Starbucks and Lowes. As a Facebook user, you can become a Fan of products and organizations you like. PlansNOW has almost 1200 Fans.
If you'd like to see what these folks are looking at, click here. Each day I post one update, and it's different from what I post on Twitter. You can see us on Twitter here, or just look to the right side of this page the see the three most recent Tweets.
I have no idea if these social media websites will be money makers for PlansNOW, but it's nice to have additional contact with so many woodworkers. Facebook is especially nice because it makes commenting so easy. I hope you'll try it.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Wooden Cars

The folks over at Woodworker's Auction website spotted this beauty on a trip to Las Vegas. It's an all wood version of a Ferrari F50. As they point out, the sign says there are ten different woods used in the model, though pine seems to be the one used most.
Click image for larger view. Lots more photos here.
[Thanks @RocklerDave]

Monday, June 1, 2009

Perfect Miters on a Deck Rail

While installing the handrail on a newly constructed deck, I found that the 45° miters I had so carefully cut didn't fit tightly together. As it turned out, a small variation in the deck meant that the boards came together at an angle slightly less than 90°.
Rather than guess at the angle and recut the boards on my miter saw, I clamped the boards into position and used a circular saw to cut across the joint. This created matching angles — and a perfect-fitting miter joint. Note: This technique works well with a hand saw too.
You can get more useful tips like this from the editors of Woodsmith Magazine. They're free. Sign-up here.

Friday, May 29, 2009

They Don't Make 'em Like They Use To

This is an interesting video showing a techie getting a 1964 modem to work with a modern laptop and the internet. Two things:
1) The size of the modem--I tell the younger guys around here about the days when a modem was the size of a toaster. I'm not sure they believe me, but here it is.
2) The real reason I'm posting this video in this blog: the box the modem came in. It's a solid wooden box, dovetail joinery, brass hasp, leather handle, and a piano hinge.
Heck, I'd like on the these just for box.
[Thanks BoingBoing]

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Sam Maloof Remembered

Furniture designer and builder Sam Maloof passed away a couple days ago at the age of 93. I had the pleasure to meet him in the mid-90's. I was an assistant editor at Woodsmith Magazine in Des Moines, Iowa. Maloof, along with several other woodworking luminaries, was in Des Moines to make a guest appearance at a woodworking show. Woodsmith publisher and editor Don Peschke invited them to a party in the garden at Woodsmith headquarters. It was a beautiful evening.
Sitting at one of the tables under a big awning, a couple assistant editors and myself found a rare moment when Maloof was alone. We had recently watched a documentary in which Maloof was carving a piece of walnut on a band saw with the blade guard removed and about 8" to 10" of blade exposed. So we asked him if he had ever been injured in the shop. He said yes, but only once. He said he'd been napping, and for some unknown reason awoke quickly and started back at the band saw where he had left off. That was when he buried the blade in his thumb. He showed us the scar.
But what I saw were the hands. His hands were big and strong and impressive. They were the hands of someone who worked with his hands every day. He was a designer/artisan. He was what we wanted to be on some level, if only we'd had the creativity and the skill to pull it off.
He was also very nice. We asked a few other dumb questions which he answered with candor and humor. Quite a guy.
I looked through several photos of Maloof for this post and chose the one above. You can see his hands.
You can read about his life and work in this LA Times obituary with lots of photos.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Good-bye Baby Food Jars

When I was growing up a half-century or so ago, my father and grandfather stored screws, nails and other small hardware items in used baby food jars. Maybe there are fewer babies, or they're just not eating out of little glass jars. But I don't see the migration of jars from kitchen to shop anymore. For safety reasons, that's probably a good thing, but what's taking their place? Surely the modern woodworker has just as many odds and ends to save, label, and inventory?
Talking to Ted Raife at Woodsmith Magazine, I learned of one replacement: plastic containers that once held a stack of blank computer CDs.
The deep, clear plastic lids of these containers simply lock to the base with a slight twist. So Ted removes the center post from the base and then screws the base to the underside of a shop cabinet. The lid can then be filled with whatever hardware items require organization and quickly stashed out of the way, but easily accessible when needed.
You can get woodworking shop tips like this delivered to your email box each by the editors of Woodsmith magazine. They're free. Here's the sign-up.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

More Fun With Lasers

The Amazon Kindling--I should have thought of this. It's the result of a collaboration between the guys at Cockeyed.com and EvilMadScientist.com. (Click on image for a larger view.)
It's vaguely reminiscent of something that I mentioned here a couple of weeks ago. But I'm a sucker for goofy stuff.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Heavy-Duty Push Block

Push blocks are essential safety tools for your table saw. But some push blocks are so wimpy, I wonder if they're all that much safer than no block.
Well, that won't be a problem with this push block. Phil Huber, at Woodsmith, made a sturdy push block that keeps hands well above the blade. And the wide body of the block pushes the workpiece on both sides of the saw blade.
For extra blade clearance, the thick body of the push block is glued up from two pieces of scrap. At the back, he screwed a ¼″ hardboard heel to catch the end of a board and push it through the blade, like you see in the photo.
An ordinary steel utility handle gives me a firm grip on the block. Once the bottom and the heel of the push block get chewed up, you can easily remove the handle and make a new block.
You can get more useful (and safe) ideas like this sent to your computer every week from the editors of Woodsmith Magazine. Here's the free sign-up.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Measuring Diagonals, Again

I talked about how to do this before, but this tip is even easier than the last one.
The last step to assembling a case is to make sure it's square. And the quickest way to do this is to measure diagonally from corner to corner. (If it's square these measurements will be the same. If not, you'll need to make some adjustments.) Using a tape measure is an easy way to check for square. The problem is that keeping the end of the tape on the corners can be difficult. But, as Woodsmith's Ted Raife shows us, a quick modification to the hook of the tape solves this problem.
To do this, simply cut a small slot on the hook with a rotary tool (or hack saw), see the drawing above right.
The slot slips over the point of the corner of the case, see the drawing and detail at right. The slot holds the tape in place for those large projects where an extra set of hands would be a big help. And it doesn't effect the tape measure's accuracy when I use it for other projects.
You can get more useful tips like this from the editors of Woodsmith Magazine. They're free. Here's where you can sign-up.

Desk Organizers

Here's another idea for what to do with all those cutoffs accumulating under your workbench, especially the small chunks of hardwoods you just can't throw away.
Japanese designer nosigner created a series of triangle, square and rhombus-shaped desk organizers for the Tokushima Wood-Bamboo Workers Association. What you're looking at in the photo is called, *Triangle / Square / Rhombus.* Each individual small box is magnetic, allowing you to create your own wild pencil/pen holder!
Other than saying they're magnetic, the Spoon & Tomago design blog doesn't say how the parts are connected. I guess we'll have to spend the 2,000 – 5,000 yen ($200-$500) to find out.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Not Your Pet Store Aquarium Stand

Over in the WoodNet Woodworking Forums, member BarryO has posted photos of his "Arts & Crafts, Greene & Greene aquarium stand. It's a beauty, and as Barry explains, it had to be:

My son and I had convinced [my wife] to go along with having a BIG aquarium in the living room. So this was going to be a showpiece, not a backroom utility tank. I wanted the stand to look like a piece of furniture. Most commercial stands sit flat on the floor, and have doors that are wider than they are tall, both of which are cues that scream “fish tank stand”. So I came up with a design that stood on 4 legs instead. Also, the front consists of 4 narrow doors, rather than 2 wide ones. Rather than using something like ebony or walnut for the plugs and inlays, I decided to use something more, uh, “whimsical”. Hey, it’s an aquarium stand, right? So I used bloodwood. Not only is it very colorful, as a South American wood it’s very appropriate for this stand, as the tank will hold South American species of fish.

I'm sure the fish will appreciate the attention to detail. I know I do. See many more photos here.

Rolling Sheet Goods Cart

Things were getting pretty crowded in my shop. So I asked Woodsmith's Phil Huber for a way store some extra plywood and MDF I have lying around. His rolling cart solution is especially convenient.
The cart has two sides. One side is designed to hold larger pieces. And the other is made to store smaller sheets and plastic buckets for small odds and ends of various sizes.
The cart is built using 2x4's for the base and uprights. Lengths of 3/4″ PVC pipe are used to make partitions for holding larger sheets on one side of the cart. A single PVC pipe is used on the other side and provides a place to hook a bungee cord for holding smaller pieces and plastic storage buckets in place. (Click on the drawing for a larger view).

You can get more useful ideas, plans and techniques from Woodsmith Magazine editors sent to your computer every week. Sign up here. They're free.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Clay Pot Hangers

Do this for Mothers Day! This is by far the easiest, quickest, and most appreciated Mothers Day gift you can make. You only need small pieces of wood (think cut-offs), a jig saw and a drill.
But the best thing about them is that they work. My wife got a couple of these as a gift a couple years ago and they're still in use. I've made more of them and given them away, always to great thanks. Do yourself and Mom a favor.

The plans and instructions are only $4.95 at PlansNOW.com, and you can save a buck using the coupon word playhouse (not case sensitive).

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

19th C. Wooden Watches

Over at the English Russia blog, they've got an article on Russian Wooden Gadgets. Among the things they're talking about are pocket watches. Apparently they were quite popular, if you could afford them:
Such Russian clocks were produced by the Bronnikov family from Russia. For three generations they mastered their skills on crafting light-weight fully functional wooden pocket clocks. Such gadgets were true hit back then, among their customers there were Russian Tzars and other high society members. They were sending their samples to the international exhibitions of Paris and New York to make foreign people awe. The price of such wooden clocks exceeded of those of gold.
There are also photos of Russian all-wood computer mice, including in-process photos of them being manufactured by some sort of computer-controlled carving machine.

Invisible Scratch Repairs

Scratches happen. That's wood for you. But unless they're really bad, they can be fixed well enough to become invisible. Ted Raife, at Woodsmith Magazine, uses this technique which he shared with the Woodsmith Weekly E-Tip subscribers a while ago.
"My repair system started with an investment in an assortment of touch-up markers. You can get these from many woodworking and finishing supply companies. My set includes about a dozen different colors and this gives me a good shot at finding a close match to the project. But the trick is finding the best color match without relying on a lucky guess."
"To help make a more informed choice, I created a sample sheet on a piece of clear acetate. The sheet contains a small, labeled swatch from each marker. As you see in the photo, I simply hold the sheet up to the project to find a good match. After choosing a marker and performing a quick touchup, the project looks as good as new and I feel a whole lot better."

You can get useful tips and techniques delivered to your computer each week from Woodsmith Magazine. They're free, sign-up here.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Checking for Square

The most reliable way to check an assembly for square is to compare diagonal measurements. The only drawback is that making these measurments accurately with only a tape measure is often easier said than done. But Ted Raife, an editor at Woodsmith Magazine, has a terrific idea. He made a very simple set of tape holders.
Each holder consists of a square block of plywood with two pieces of hardboard attached to adjacent sides, as shown in the drawings. The hardboard laps over the edges of the block on both sides so that the holder can hook over the corner of the assembly. The adjoining ends of the hardboard are mitered to form a slot that can hold the end of the tape or act as a "cursor" for your measurement (drawing and photo).
The holders make taking the two diagonal measurements quick and easy. One minor regret is that I no longer have any excuse for an out of square assembly.
You can get tips and ideas like this sent to your computer every week from the editors of Woodsmith Magazine. They're free, sign up here.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

i-wood with Blazing 3B Technology

We don't usually talk tech in this blog, but sometimes something comes along that just demands we toss tradition out the window. Certainly, the new i-wood 3B is just such a product. (Spoiler alert: If you love your i-phone, stop reading now.) The i-wood has many benefits, for example:

With the i-wood’s built in web connectivity you can not only check when your movie starts but when every movie starts ever. Or check when all future movies will start until the end of time because we all need more useless information at the tips of our fingers.
Amazing, huh? Be sure to visit the website and see for yourself how this dramatic new product can "help you redefine your relationships with people by showing them how truly irritating they, and their portable devices, have become."

Friday, April 17, 2009

City in a Bag

New York City to be precise. Now this is a cool idea and an interesting twist on building blocks for kids. I think it would be fun to make a set of these for several cities. And then you could mix and match them (kids will anyway), and have fun naming the new cities, Bost-Angeles and York-Cago and Mi-Lanta (wait, that's taken), Lant-Ami.
Even Des Moines, Iowa has several building with a distinct enough profile that Iowans, at least, would recognize them.

If you decide to make some of where you live, send me a photo.

City in a Bag is available on line at Muji.us. The tallest building is 4", but the cars are really tiny, and would present a choking hazard. You could make you cars larger. And make a Godzilla figure too, just to spice things up.

[Thanks to BoingBoing.net]

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Micro-Adjusting Rip fence

Here's something that's long overdue: a safe accurate way to cut very small parts on your table saw. Fact is, it's just not made for that. But with the precision cutting Small Parts Jig in the newest issue of ShopNotes Magazine (No. 105--on newsstands now) it's a snap to cut small and thin parts.
The jig is a small-scale table that sits on your table saw's table. The main feature is a micro-adjusting rip fence. It also includes a cross-cut sled, a zero-clearance insert, and a unique hold-down for small parts.
If you ever works with small parts, you should check this out. ShopNotes No. 105 is on newsstands now, or you can go to ShopNotes.com and get a free preview issue.

Ash Kitchen Table

Over in the WoodNet Forums, member Bob_MN just posted photos of an Ash kitchen table that he just completed. He said this was his first venture in turning legs.

They turned out pretty good. Not perfect, but if they were, I'd have to quit. :-) My Leigh FMT came in handy on the joinery. Natural finish. 4 coats of General's Arm-R-Seal. The table is 48" Long X 30" Deep X 30" Tall. The legs are 3" square at the top.
He said, "Ash works great, just like oak."

More photos and discussion at WoodNet Forums.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Cypress Bench

It's getting to be that time of year when most of us will actually consider sitting outside on a porch or deck. WoodNet member Jeremy_s finished this beautiful cypress bench for his wife just in time.

After months of working on other projects and side jobs (and being a little lazy), I finally got this done for my wife. Design is from a gardening magazine my wife was reading. I made changes and improvements. It sets comfy.
Lots more photos and discussion including in-process photos in the WoodNet Woodworking Forum.

Bathroom Vanity Revisited

Two weeks ago, I blogged about Jim Barry's (Woodchuck Canuck) new home bathroom installation. I liked his use and modification of a old dresser as a bathroom vanity. That got me thinking that we have a similar project at PlansNOW.com.
Our project uses an old table as a vanity (see photo) rather than a dresser. And since a table is too deep for a good vanity, a strip is ripped of one side. That strip then becomes the back splash. Neat.

Minimal woodworking skills required.

Larger photo and details on the PlansNOW website.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


If art is supposed to generate a reaction in the viewer, this is definitely art. Actually, I kind of like it. I don't want to live with it, but I like it. If you have a desire to live with one of these walnut wood Frog Tables by Dutch designer Hella Jongerius, you're in luck. Apparently there are eight signed and numbered editions of this bad boy.

Visit the designboom's daily coverage blog for more photos and info.