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
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.
This week in my home shop I finished up a new bench project I developed for class at Nova Labs in Reston, VA. While simple in design and execution, it does involve the full suite of woodworking tools and a custom jig to complete. This great intermediate project uses the Fab Five of a powered woodshop: table saw, band saw, miter saw, jointer and planer.
I built the entirety of this project at Nova Labs, Inc using their woodworking tools.
Nova Labs is a membership-driven all-volunteer makerspace based in Reston, Virginia that was founded in 2011 with the purpose of empowering everyone to Rediscover the Joy of Making Things!
The current 10,500 sq. ft. facility located at 1916 Isaac Newton Sq West houses classrooms, workspace, incubator offices and a shop that includes both common tools and advanced fabrication equipment. Members enjoy 24-7 access and help co-manage our space by teaching classes, maintaining equipment, and promoting making in the community.
I cannot say enough good things about the membership and openness of the culture they have built up. It’s rare to find a makerspace that has such a grassroots structure and active volunteer culture.
If you are interested in learning woodworking, you can join me in class in 2017.
Nova Labs members support a wide range of open source development projects that benefit both the local community and the world! Consider joining today to learn how and meet the people behind these projects!
Earlier in the year, the great folks at Canyon Mesquite donated a number of spalted red oak boards to make furniture out of. It took a while, but we finally made some great use of them. Finished with Howard’s Feed-N-Wax. … Continue reading This Week in The Classroom: The Simple Coffee Table in Spalted Red Oak
Some quick pictures of coffee tables that the kids and I built at school this fall. We sold six of these pieces at $60 each as a fall fundraiser for my classroom. With the proceeds, we were able to buy mounds of safety equipment, a new drill press and some VOC respirators for finishing.
This project offers a lot of customization for the builder. The top can be sourced from nearly anywhere: old shutters, heavy duty lumbar, salvaged pine boards, etc. Lowe’s and Home Depot sell Parson’s Table Legs which can be pressed into service, or you can buy squared lumber.
Or you can have a full woodshop and go Fine Woodworking on this one.
You can get a SketchUp file and plans for the Simple Coffee Table after the jump.
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This is the second in my “Making a Makerspace” series. Catch part 1, Planning the STEAMworks, here.
With my planning done, I turned my attention to “building out” the makerspace. My original plan called for a long woodworking bench against a pair of bay windows with two tool cabinets and four mobile workstations with integrated tool storage. I thought the makerspace would look something like this:
Keep with me after the jump, as I show of my workspace and even provide plans on how to build a Long Bench and Mobile Workstation for your own makerspace.
Of the three or so classes I’ve taught at TX/RX Labs and the twenty to thirty projects I’ve taught at work, the simple bench project remains my favorite. It is an intermediate level project which can be reached by absolute beginners, it’s cheap to build (approximately $15 w/ finish) and it lends itself to multiple machines (tablesaw, bandsaw, drill press) and hand tools. I present the latest and greatest class yet: Special thanks to Pratt for building extra supports for himself and everyone else, shout out to Sean for the intense questions, my teaching assistants, and everyone else in the … Continue reading Community Watch: Build a Bench Is Complete!
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! Continue reading Check Out the Shutter Table Project on Recyclart.org
Here’s a few shots of a project build I did a few months ago. The challenge was to build a recycling container from completely recycled materials. I picked up some nice crepe myrtle branches and immediately saw a V shaped stand with a small basket to collect recyclable goods. To bad we never did finish it. We got all the way to the crossbeam. Spring break came with all the lassitude of a wilted Texas flower in August. We never stood a chance. Eventually, I snookered a student into repainting an old cabinet door into a chalkboard sign. Then I parked … Continue reading This Week in the Classroom: Swingin’ Chalkboard Signs
Students with autism, people with neurological disorders and people with two eyes and ears and a brain often need a place to talk. For my students with autism, the act of conversation can be harrowing, heartwrenching and terrifying. On a … Continue reading This Week in the Classroom: The Conversation Bench