This Week in the Shop: Movin’ on Up!

As I’ve hinted at in earlier posts, I’ve officially moved my home shop (the Magic Shop, as I tend to call it) to my new home in suburban Texas.  The move took nearly seven days to complete – two to three to move and another two or three for set-up.  I’m very happy with the results.   Two new additions to the Magic Shop this move – I’ve hacked apart my workbench/router table to create a bandsaw/router combo bench.  I’ve also made a moveable stand for my planer.  By designing the stand around my bandsaw/router table, I can use the … Continue reading This Week in the Shop: Movin’ on Up!

This Week in the Shop: Fixing the Couch

My wife bought a beautiful used Craftsman couch for the new house.  Unfortunetely, the previous owner had two young boys.  Boys, as any parent knows, have an instinctual hatred of nice things.  My parents used to run around my house yelling “this is why we can’t have nice things” at random intervals throughout my childhood life.  Often, I would not actually be engaging in destructive behavior, but they thought judicious over-use of the saying would compel me into good behavior. I am now the father of two young boys.  I believe they didn’t yell that enough at me!  I got … Continue reading This Week in the Shop: Fixing the Couch

Little Toy Trucks

Brrrm brm brm brm brm brm brm, brrrm b’ brrrm, Brrrm brm brm brm brm brm brrrm b’ brrrm, Brrrm brm brm brm brm brm brrrm b’ brrrm. Brrrm brm brm brm brm brm brrrm. Take me riding in the car, car; Take me riding in the car, car; Take you riding in the car, car; I’ll take you riding in my car. — The Car Song, Woody Guthrie   Continue reading Little Toy Trucks

Teacher Tip: Use Two Bench Hooks

Dadoes are much easier to cut when you use two bench hooks…. You can even chisel out the waste right there.  My students are having such success using bench hooks, knee height workbenches and the tool chest I’m reconsidering my thoughts on bigger workbenches.  I’d like a better assembly table, but it ain’t nothing if I don’t have it. The kids are killing the simple bench project – in-progress pics coming soon. Continue reading Teacher Tip: Use Two Bench Hooks

Student-Built Seesaw (He see-d, he saw-ed, he fell down)

Yesterday, we completed a physics demonstration: The adjustable see-saw.  This seesaw has holes drilled into the balancing beam, allowing students/users to experiment with the capabilities of numerous levers.  You just shift its position along the beam and viola!  Instantly, a foolish grin hits your face as you try to balance anew.

More pictures after the jump…

Continue reading “Student-Built Seesaw (He see-d, he saw-ed, he fell down)”

Picture Frames

I’ve built a few picture frames over the last two years.  I’ve enjoyed the process and the opportunity work some hard wood.  With all walnut, maple, white oak and red oak scraps  I’ve been making I should have raw materials for an entire house!  It takes about an hour to make the frame, but years of hard work to get the family right. In other news, my home workshop has entered into a serious slowdown mode until May.  I will not be showing any big projects out of the home shop, although work will be cool.  I’m buying my own … Continue reading Picture Frames

Classroom Projects: The Tea Box

This fall, I made an effort to produce a “high-quality” product – and by this I mean hardwoods, nice finishes, proper construction techniques and professional quality work.  This effort resulted in the “Tea Box” project.  I also tried to maximize the amount and quantity of hand tools used versus the necessity of power tools.

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Toy Making Jigs

My son has very strong feelings about woodworking show hosts.  “Herm” (Norm) is his favorite – he’s in love with power tools.  Me?  I prefer St. Roy. In this episode, St. Roy discussed and built several toys from 18th century America.  I was especially fascinated by the jig he uses to create small parts.  I saw an opportunity to move the jig into the classroom, especially as I wanted to build small wooden sculptures made from patterns created in Google Sketch Up.  I can’t say much about the project yet – somethings work, somethings don’t.  It’s quickly running away from … Continue reading Toy Making Jigs