In the classroom, I stress safety at all times. After a few incidents my first year as a woodworking teacher, I changed the way I teach sawing. This year, as I’m teaching brand-new students to woodworking, I’m starting from scratch. At home, I apply the same principle. This blog post, though, revolves around a fact of woodworking: it is a risky activity, even when you do everything right.
Category Archives: Workshop
Just a short slideshow this week. Took a second shot at the camera rig. It’s a little long, but the hardware’s been upgraded and it stays put. I especially enjoy the mounted 1/4″ nut for the wrist joint.
Make it safe and keep the rubberside down this week.
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.
It’s taken me a few years, but I’ve begun accepting commissions. A friend of mine came with a project I couldn’t refuse. He wanted a chest to haul around the merchandise related to his rock band. He said he wanted something that light up the event and highlighted the band’s name. I knew just what he wanted!
I started with this SketchUp draft:
It has room for CDs, t-shirts, bumper stickers and t-shirts. My final design veered a little from this, but the basic shape was there.
I began with a 30″ long, 18″ deep, 7″ high box. I chose box joints as the joinery. I recently acquired a table saw (Jet Supersaw with sliding table) which made the production of those joints easy. I shot a dado down both top and bottom to fit the 1/4″ plywood top and bottom panels. I dry-fitted the box, dissembled it, then ripped the top and bottom apart on the table saw.
Next up came fitting the nameplate. This took a little finessing. I decided on a 2″ by 20″ removable nameplate fitted into a frame and panel type groove with a piece of acrylic as protection. I ripped the front face apart into four sections: a 1″ wide top rail, about a 1.5″ bottom rail and two stiles. After reassembling the piece to check the joinery, I needed to make a dado groove for the faceplate and acrylic. The groove necessary was just a hair (and I mean a hair) over an 1/8″ of an inch wide. So I went to my router table (oh, I should mention – this step meant I had to build a tablesaw/router table combo machine first. Nothin’ like buying and building 1000 dollar tools for a 100 dollar project) and shot a stopped dado down the rails and stiles. In order to get the faceplate to fit, I made a starter groove just a hair off center, then reversed the parts to get a centered groove. (If that doesn’t make sense to you, watch an episode of Norm) Finally, I glued up the bottom half of the front face and attached the top rail via #8 Phillips-head wood screws. If the band name changes, so does the display.
The interior partitions came together next. The front compartment, which holds the lighting assembly, is simply a horizontal cross piece with a plywood top attached via three small hinges. I ripped matching dadoes across the cross bar and rear face of the box. 1/4″ plywood creates the CD racks. A piano hinge flips the top, while a hobby chain keeps the top constrained. Last but not least, a pair of latches keeps everything tied down for transport.
I went with a simple black acrylic base and polycrylic topcoat. Sprayed it on with a Critter spraygun. Hope you enjoy the results.
If you have a rockband I’ve got a little something for you…call me, maybe?
Expect some new “In the Classroom” posts: the boys are back in town!
Stamped vs. Extruded vs. Cast hinges
• Inexpensive hinges are usually stamped out of thin steel or brass plates.
• Extruded hinges are molten metal forced into a die under high pressure. They are thicker, sturdier and more expensive.
• Cast bronze hinges are among the most expensive — bronze is melted and poured into a mold, resulting in a perfectly smooth surface and perfectly aligned pins.
Some great information on type, countersinks and placement of butt hinges. Check it out.
Make it safe & Keep the Rubberside down this week!
Recyclart.org is a site dedicating to showing off recycled and salvaged projects from readers around the world. If you’ve followed WodoshopCowboy for a while, you know I make the most of the Houston ReUse Warehouse’s offerings. Here’s another shot at how my boys and I used louvered shutters and fence posts to create some pretty sweet little coffee tables last semester. Check it out there or at the original post here...
Remember to make it safe, keep the rubberside down this week and like WoodshopCowboy on Facebook!
When my grandfather asked for a footstool, I obliged. He’s one of those elder individuals with a he once built a school with his bare hands and then sent his kids across the ocean to come to this land and earn their fortune type of stories. Which means if he asks for a stool, show some respect. Do it right, show some joinery skills.
Hand cut box joints. I’m not completely there yet, but the joints are getting tighter overall. The crossbeams give it rock solid marks. Finished by urethane and the air sprayer. The method sure uses a lot of spray, but man, it gets the job done in about ten minutes tops.
Last year, I posted a quick project: The Bed Frame. It has since become the most searched for post on this website, garnering a little over a thousand views with no publicity. People like to build beds.
It’s taken a while, but I’ve put together a small PDF which outlines how I make my simple bed frames. You can catch the goodness here: The Kid’s Bed Frame Plan
If you build it…send me pictures at woodshopcowboy @ gmail.com! If you have critiques, send them to a different address…I mean, send them over too.
Remember to like WoodshopCowboy on Facebook and be entered for a prize drawing.
Make it safe & keep the rubberside down this week.
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.
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