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…..
Category Archives: This Week In the Shop
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.
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.
You may have noticed a distinct drop off in the frequency of posts here on WoodshopCowboy since the beginning of the year. In that great crucible of life, demands of life has reduced my shop time.
Mostly, though, a majority of woodworking time has been caught up in a commission from my wife: a bed.
I’m chasing the look of Crate and Barrel’s Atwood platform bed in a queen size. It looks something like this:
And here’s what I have so far – racked in clamps. I’ve dovetailed the corners of the case. The back panels and frames float in a 1/4″ groove across the piece. The large supports on each corner are 2″ square birch posts, offering (I hope) substantial support for the bed frame system I’ll install later.
I’ve tackled long-term projects like this before (my woodworking tool-box, for starters) but this one has taken both my “blogging” and my “logging” energy. Check back soon – I’m hoping to have the foot board installed in the next few weeks. I have a few gaps to fill.
You can take a look at the Sketch Up model below to see the dimensions for yourself.
Make it safe & keep the rubber side down this week.
I swear the conversation went like this:
Wife: “What dress should I wear?”
Me: “I don’t know, you look great in anything.”
Wife: “This dress? What about this one?”
Me: “I don’t know if you’ve been watching me, but I haven’t taken my eyes off you in forty minutes.”
Wife: ”I need a full length mirror, I can’t see anything here.”
Me: ”I can handle that.” Exit stage right.
I know a good exit line when I’m handed one.
Mirror from Lowe’s, sans frame. A saw kerf down the middle makes a perfectly sized dado. Pocket hole construction. The mortise-looking splines came from a botched attempt at a bridle joint, similar to these frames. Finished with a three coats of amber shellac and paste wax. Feels inviting to the hand. I especially like the chamfer detail at the corners. Hung with a French cleat.
Make it safe & keep the rubberside down this weekend.
Eight students, six boxes built and finished. It was a long day in the shop – nearly seven hours with only a few breaks for liquids. I can think of a number of great moments: the first box getting nailed together, the last coat of shellac being applied, the look of what-have-I-got-myself-into as the students tackled nearly 40 linear feet of hardwood for the first time. We captured the moment which stands out most for me in the picture below.
Take a good look at the boy in the white shirt. Take a good look at his smile. He didn’t get to build a box that day. He had to work and work hard keeping up with a manic teacher and seven students as a teaching assistant. He hustled and bustled and sweated through a long day in a shop he didn’t know, with people he didn’t know, with a project he helped design and make happen.
But here he is, seven hours later – still smiling.
I make a few right decisions. Bringing him along was the best one I made that day.
Enjoy a few more pictures. Build something in the shop today.
If you want to build a box, I’ve posted my preliminary directions up here.
Make it safe, keep the rubberside down. And forgive someone today.
Today at TX/RX Labs, I’ll be leading a class in building a few of these tea boxes. I’m sending a box to one random contestant on WoodshopCowboy Facebook page, just in time for Christmas.
Remember to like WoodshopCowboy on Facebook!
Make it safe & keep the rubber side down this weekend.
A little while ago, I ran a book review on One Block of Wood. I recently made a pair of bookends using Ms. Tolstrup’s plans out of salvaged pine and live oak. Hope you enjoy the looksee. Read a good book this week. Especially books on pirates!
Make it safe & keep the rubberside down.
Here’s some pictures of completed Arts & Crafts type frames I’ve put together over the last few weeks – along with some older frames still in use. The wife’s given me a commission to cover our living room wall. Got a bit more wall to cover, but I feel like I’m getting the style down.
Bridle joints on every corner. Every frame is oak, whether white, red or salvaged. My finishes are all over the place – Danish oil, polyurethane, spar urethane, polycrylic. I’m not really worried about matching. I’ve brush, sprayed and rubbed. Just experiments in style.
Make it safe and keep the rubberside down this weekend.
For the last two years, I’ve spent one weekend before Christmas drilling holes in glass blocks to create lighting stands which look like something like this:
This year, he’s asked for me to drill the same hole in a wine bottle. In order to make this happen, I needed a jig to hold the bottle still. In the slideshow below is the results. Maybe you can take it to the next level.
Make it safe & keep the rubberside down.
In my second period this semester, I’m moonlighting as a video producer. I don’t get to do any fancy music videos or full-feature movies, but I do get to make a documentary. We’ve got the backdrop ordered, the lights rigged up and a the interview stool picked out. I even have a low-slung directors chair that I talk to when its empty. I pretend my boss is sitting there.
In the woodshop, I made this little rig to support my students. This is just a prototype. I’ll be working on a second rig which will find a permanent home in my woodshop when this gig is up. I expect to be making movies which look something exactly like this.
Make it safe and keep the rubberside down this week.