If you enjoy the projects, plans, tool primers & gear reviews, curriculum, lessons and (maybe) a few of the editorials you see here, show your support by liking WoodshopCowboy on Facebook!
At thirty likes I’ll throw all the names in for a hat for up a prize – the Tea Box in maple and walnut.
So go on, throw your name in the ring…just stick around for that prize drawing.
Are you in the Houston area? Ever wanted to get started woodworking? Maybe you just enjoy benches as much as I do?
- The Finished Bench
I will be walking you through how to build the simple bench project, start to finish. As TX/RX so elegantly put it:
Build a simple bench using both hand tools and power tools. A perfect intro to woodworking, we will cover basic tool usage both hand and power along with learning the basics of crafting with wood. All participants will complete a handsome rustic bench as part of the class, theirs to take home upon completion.
You’ll become familiar with the bandsaw, powered miter saw and all the hand tools stuffed away in the tool chest. I’ll run you through stain, varnish and paint as finishes for pine. If you take your time, I’m hoping yours will outshine mine.
Make it safe & keep the rubber side down.
Last Saturday I had the chance to introduce ten students to woodworking tools – great bunch! If you are interested in learning how to use power tools and are in the Houston area, why don’t you sign up for a class over at TX/RX Labs?
Intro to Woodworking Tools behind the tablesaws. 110 fingers.
Join me for a second class in June!
Make it safe & keep the rubberside down this weekend.
In the next two Tool Primer articles, I will discuss my process for finishing a woodworking project. The finishing process is the difference between a good woodworking project and a heirloom piece of furniture. When I want to really knock a project out of the park, I focus much of my energy on choosing and creating a proper finish.
Boiled Linseed Oil, Shellac, Paste Wax
So here’s my advice: sand it well and thin it as well.
In this article, I’ll focus on sanding. More after the jump!
For those readers who are looking to get into woodworking and live in the Houston area, consider joining me for Intro to Woodworking Tools on Saturday, April 13, 9am to 12pm at TX/RX Labs.
This summer’s selection @ TX/RX Labs
I will be focusing on safety procedures for a number of common hand power tools, the table saw, router, oscillating sander, miter saw and others. Check out the link above for more information!
Every year, I celebrate a my student’s success (and my survival) with 250,000 of my closest friends. How do I do that? I take a van filled with students and covered in wood butterflies downtown for a little ride.
A little ride in the Houston Art Car Parade.
If you are a Houstonian maker, teacher, artist, mover or shaker, you need to fire up the welders, put on the mechanic’s gloves, break out the oil paints and get creative. It’s Art Car season!
Entries are open now!
Make it safe and keep the rubber-side down.
Some tools do only one thing well. Some tools do a lot of things well if you know how to use them. The jigsaw (or sabersaw), in my opinion, is unique in the pantheon of modern woodworking tools as it does nearly everything with equal parts of ineptness and frustration. So why keep it around? It’s the only portable tool that cuts curves. And that makes it invaluable in the shop when the project calls for it.
D Handled Jigsaw
This weekend I got the opportunity to enjoy a some beautiful weather & check out Houston’s Sustainable Living Fest held at Market Square Park. Houston might be the epicenter of the oil & gas industry, but it has a wonderful green and sustainable environmental underground. There’s a lot of cross-pollination too. For example, the Galveston Bay Foundation raises salt marsh grass in donated space inside a NRG power plant. The City of Houston has a number of big corporations headquartered here and its also funds the Houston ReUse Warehouse.
Lots of companies, non-profits and government agencies were represented yesterday. Hope to see you there next year!
Make it safe & keep the rubberside down this weekend.
If you give a woodworker a table saw, he realizes new vistas awakening in his craft. If you give him a table saw, he’d like a sweet router table. If he makes that router table, he’d need a bench to store his other bench-top tools. If he has a stand for his bench-top tools, he’d want storage for their accessories…..
Click to download the Sketch Up model!
My school spends a lot of time, energy and financial resources on project-based learning. In my experience, teachers use project-based learning as a catch-all term for anything from make-it-take-it projects which last twenty minutes to inquiry-driven, rubric-graded, long-term explorations. Calling the former project-based learning is lazy and misdirection. Creating incredible experiences for students with the latter definition is exhausting and rewarding. Most of the time, a teacher must follow a middle course. This is one of those projects.
We started off by designing and building pantographs. If you don’t know anything about pantographs – check out the video below. Also check out http://www.peter.com.au/articles/pantograph.html for instructions on how to build a professional-quality pantograph. This site contains a java applet which allows students to digitally explore a pantograph’s mechanics before use. I’ve included a Sketch Up model in my section of the 3D Warehouse.
Afterwards, my student’s worked through a number of percentage problems based on their pantograph’s working results. I don’t include a lot of variety in the type of problems, but you can modify the problem sets to reflect your curriculum needs. If this series of projects interest you, feel free to use them in your own classroom.
Make it safe & keep the rubberside down this week.
Last week, I showed everyone the biggest project sitting on my workbench. This week I completed the footboard just in time for Valentine’s Day. I celebrated its completion by buying my wife a dozen roses, and taking her on not one, but two, dates in one weekend.
Completed footboard. Click on the picture to see the Sketch Up file and examine the construction.
But I’m back in the doghouse, I mean, woodshop now.
I hope you enjoyed the pictures. I designed the footboard with dovetailed (and splinted) carcass, rear panels from birch ply floating in dados, solid wood support beams on the ends.
Finishing this guy was an adventure in and of itself. I discovered a rule about shellac: never use shellac when it’s raining. The humidity causes a white-ish blushing. I had to wipe off the shellac with a rag soaked in alcohol to solve the issue…which caused most of the unevenness you can see in the photos. It’s not terribly noticeable in real life, but the flash brings out the worst.
Make it safe & keep the rubber-side down this week.