I found these boxes inside a log from a tree felled in my parent’s backyard, in the house my brothers and I grew up in. I’m now in my thirties and my youngest brother is closer to thirty than twenty-five. We’ve grown up, moved out, moved back, gotten married, had kids, and brought our kids back. This holiday season, we’ll be together for a few days and hours. Then, like many families, we’ll scatter to the wind. A few years ago, I stuffed my suitcase with a log instead of presents. This year, I made matching boxes for every person in my immediate family – mom, dad and four sons. Continue reading This Week in the Shop: New Tools, New Projects
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!
In the past few weeks, I’ve had the chance to photograph my completed big fall project from 2011. I put together the table base over a few weeks in August and built the top over a couple weeks in September. I don’t remember much, other than my wife traveled overseas during that time. I remember my stomach tightening when she said “well, the country is in a state of emergency, so I might need a bodyguard” and the guys at the lumberyard telling me “a great story” about said country which involved his friend being smuggled out of a military dictatorship. I built the … Continue reading This Week in the Shop: Tangled Up (Dining Set) in Blue
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
It’s been a few weeks since I’ve let y’all into the woodshop at work. We’ve been building the “simple bench”. If you’ve been reading this blog long, you know I love building benches – butterfly benches, green benches, small benches and long benches. My boys have been working off this pattern: And I give them lots of flexibility in said pattern. We started with three 3 foot lengths of 1×12 stock. The students then cut their bench seats to any length as I rip the rest of the stock into 3 1/2″ strips for the aprons and 5 1/2″ strips … Continue reading This Week In the Classroom: The Simple Bench