Community Watch: Build a Bench this Memorial Day Weekend!

Are you in the Houston area?  Ever wanted to get started woodworking?  Maybe you just enjoy benches as much as I do? Join me for the Wood Workshop at TX/RX Labs on Sat. & Sun. May 25th & 26th (5/25 & 5/26) from 9am-5pm.  The Finished Bench I will be walking you through how to build the simple bench project, start to finish.  As TX/RX so elegantly put it: Build a simple bench using both hand tools and power tools. A perfect intro to woodworking, we will cover basic tool usage both hand and power along with learning the basics of … Continue reading Community Watch: Build a Bench this Memorial Day Weekend!

This Week in the Woodshop: Footboard, Pt. 2

Last week, I showed everyone the biggest project sitting on my workbench.  This week I completed the footboard just in time for Valentine’s Day.  I celebrated its completion by buying my wife a dozen roses, and taking her on not one, but two, dates in one weekend. But I’m back in the doghouse, I mean, woodshop now. I hope you enjoyed the pictures.  I designed the footboard with dovetailed (and splinted) carcass, rear panels from birch ply floating in dados, solid wood support beams on the ends. Finishing this guy was an adventure in and of itself.  I discovered a rule about … Continue reading This Week in the Woodshop: Footboard, Pt. 2

This Week in the Shop: Mirror, Mirror

I swear the conversation went like this: Wife: “What dress should I wear?” Me: “I don’t know, you look great in anything.” Wife: “This dress?  What about this one?” Me: “I don’t know if you’ve been watching me, but I haven’t taken my eyes off you in forty minutes.” Wife:  “I need a full length mirror, I can’t see anything here.” Me:  “I can handle that.”  Exit stage right. I know a good exit line when I’m handed one. Mirror from Lowe’s, sans frame.   A saw kerf down the middle makes a perfectly sized dado.  Pocket hole construction.  The … Continue reading This Week in the Shop: Mirror, Mirror

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog: Your Guide to Butt Hinges

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. via Your Guide to Butt Hinges.   Some great information on type, countersinks and placement of butt hinges.  Check it out.   Make it safe & Keep the Rubberside down this week! Continue reading Popular Woodworking Editors Blog: Your Guide to Butt Hinges

Check Out the Shutter Table Project on Recyclart.org

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

Woodworking Plans: The Kid’s Bed Frame

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 … Continue reading Woodworking Plans: The Kid’s Bed Frame

This Week in the Shop: Locomotive Bed

One of the neat challenges in designing furniture (and teaching) is the need to get outside yourself in the middle of a private act.  I think putting oneself in another’s shoes, no matter the context, is one of the most civilizing things humans can do.  Because before I was a father, before I was a husband, before teacher, and before I was a craftsperson, I was a selfish, selfish toddler.  And if you ask my wife, the toddler in me isn’t that far below the surface. When I designed my Simple Bench, I had one eye on my eventual audience. … Continue reading This Week in the Shop: Locomotive Bed

This Week in the Classroom: Swingin’ Chalkboard Signs

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

This Week in the Classroom: The Conversation Bench

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

Book Review: One Block of Wood by Nina Tolstrup

This spring, a sweet little book fell into my hands.  Nina Tolstrup, an UK designer (she owns studiomama, a design firm).  Her projects include lamps, scooters, wall planters, book ends and card holders – all out of One Block of Wood. Ms. Tolstrup’s eye for function and style dovetails nicely with her habits of simplicity.  While not every project is truly made from one piece of wood, each project involves a minimum of cuts and a maximum of flexibility.  As a woodworker, I appreciate her style – as a teacher,  I appreciate her clear directions, beautiful visuals and simple construction.  I’ve used … Continue reading Book Review: One Block of Wood by Nina Tolstrup