The Closet Organizer Last month, Marie Kondo’s show hit Netflix and it seemed like everyone needed to find a way to tidy up their life. I renovated the laundry last year – removing and installing new flooring, re-painting the walls, constructing new cabinets, etc. The last ticket to punch was to design and install a closet organizer. I began by figuring out what I would store in the closet, then designing a shelving system that would work in the space available. Taking a look at what I needed looked like this: Essentially, I designed a small tower with two shelves … Continue reading This Week in the Shop: The Closet Organizer
This Week in the Classroom I’m going to explore a variety of design challenges that I use in my classroom. I designed each of these projects to prompt students to explore the engineering design process, learn basic scientific concepts, such as forces and loads on structures, learn executive functioning and soft skills, and develop presentation skills in a variety of media. These projects are designed to be super flexible in practice. I can extend these projects, compress the time, develop thematic elements. None of these projects use expensive materials or electronics. Some of these project briefs I use nearly every year, in nearly every course. They are simply that good.
This Week in the Shop, I build a library book nook for my school. My school librarian came to me with her coffee bar theme for a renovated library and she wanted a circular book nook to take advantage of a certain space in the library. This book nook had to incorporate a column and reclaimed table top, be made under budget (roughly $500), have a professional look, design and materials. I looked at her requirements, looked at the space and said…yeah….I can do that. Follow along as I show you how! Installing a Laminate Countertop My toughest challenge was … Continue reading This Week in the Shop: The Library Book Nook
What are you making this summer? Here at Woodshop Cowboy, we are making cutting boards and slab tables at Nova Labs, of Reston, Virginia. Nova Labs is offering two premier woodworking classes at the premier makerspace in the DMV area. … Continue reading Learn to Make Slab Tables & Cutting Boards
This Week in the Shop we build tool holders for my recently installed tool wall. An organized workspace is a functional workspace, especially in community shops. When everything has its place, every part of the shop seems to work quicker. So this week, I put together a few tool holders to put up some screwdrivers, chisels, pliers and nail sets.
There are tons of storage solutions out there. I prefer tool walls, both in my personal shop and at community shops. The plywood provides a solid anchoring surface and custom tool holders can be rearranged as needed. Tool holders can be customized for each tool and can be made from small scraps for next to nothing. Lastly, they can be painted, stained, chalkboarded and more. A tool wall fits any work are, whether craft, machine, woodworking, leather or whatever else.
I have used pegboard, hanging tool-o-dexes, tool chests and more to help organize my workspace. Pegs fall out, hanging tool-o-dexes cost too much for their value, and tool chests attract clutter. Commercial systems never seem to be worth the bang for the buck (nor are they as much fun to install as designing your own tool holder).
This Week in the Shop we make a storage crate suitable to store a large pinewood derby track. This crate is simple to build and made out of very cheap materials. As built, this crate costs roughly $75 per crate … Continue reading This Week In the Shop: Storage Crate
Woodshop Cowboy goes to Maker Faire Nova on Mar. 18th at George Mason University at Fairfax, VA. You can purchase tickets at nova.makerfaire.com. Enjoy lots and lots of hands-on exhibits, including drones, blacksmithing, 3D Printing, robotics and of course, woodworking! The full list of maker exhibits is pretty overwhelming. I will be building a small selection of projects: the simple bench, a pencil box with four corner joinery, the nightstand & and a simple crate…all with mostly hand tools and a few easy types of joinery. I will also have a number of projects to display, cool tunes and some … Continue reading Woodshop Cowboy Rides Again at Maker Faire Nova….
This Week in the Shop we build small cabinet. Cabinet making epitomizes fine woodworking, as it rewards accuracy, consistency, and attention to detail. Cabinets can be found in the workshop, in the kitchen, as furniture, as built-ins. Great cabinets add value to the home and definitely have the wow factor.
While cabinet making may seem like a inscrutable dark art, basic cabinets are a breeze to put together if you have a few select tools. This cabinet build relies on the table saw and the router and showcases the versatility of shellac as a finish.
This particular cabinet will hold my son’s growing fossil & gem collection. Shallow shelves with scoops hold common tool boxes. This would also be a great workshop project and the skills are transferable to other pieces.