This Week in the Classroom (and the shop): Time Lapse Photography or Filming Rigs

In my second period this semester, I’m moonlighting as a video producer.  I don’t get to do any fancy music videos or full-feature movies, but I do get to make a documentary.  We’ve got the backdrop ordered, the lights rigged up and a the interview stool picked out.  I even have a low-slung directors chair that I talk to when its empty.  I pretend my boss is sitting there. In the woodshop, I made this little rig to support my students.  This is just a prototype.  I’ll be working on a second rig  which will find a permanent home in … Continue reading This Week in the Classroom (and the shop): Time Lapse Photography or Filming Rigs

Tool Primer: How to Select and Use Power Drills

The first power tool I probably ever used (and owned) was a power drill.  The lowly power drill can do a whole lot of things if you know how to use it.  A power drill can strip paint, drill big holes, little holes, create dowel joints, sand curves and screw stuff together.  It makes pocket holes and wood split.  If you don’t know exactly what a power drill is, it is a handheld tool which spins a metal bit attached to an electric motor via a chuck.  The magic of the drill is in the bit.

In short, it’s pretty essential to the hobbyist and homeowner.  In this post, I’ll break down the types of (power) drills available for the average homeowner/hobbyist/woodshop teacher and give some tips on how to choose which is right for you.

First, let’s take a walk through history, why don’t we? Continue reading “Tool Primer: How to Select and Use Power Drills”

This Week in the Shop: Merchandise Display

It’s taken me a few years, but I’ve begun accepting commissions.  A friend of mine came with a project I couldn’t refuse.  He wanted a chest to haul around the merchandise related to his rock band.  He said he wanted something that light up the event and highlighted the band’s name.  I knew just what he wanted! I started with this SketchUp draft: It has room for CDs, t-shirts, bumper stickers and t-shirts.  My final design veered a little from this, but the basic shape was there. I began with a 30″ long, 18″ deep, 7″ high box.  I chose … Continue reading This Week in the Shop: Merchandise Display

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

This Week in the Shop: Put Your Legs Up On A Little Something (It’s a Stool)

When my grandfather asked for a footstool, I obliged.  He’s one of those elder individuals with a he once built a school with his bare hands and then sent his kids across the ocean to come to this land and earn their fortune type of stories.  Which means if he asks for a stool, show some respect.  Do it right, show some joinery skills. Hand cut box joints.  I’m not completely there yet, but the joints are getting tighter overall.  The crossbeams give it rock solid marks.  Finished by urethane and the air sprayer.  The method sure uses a lot of spray, but man, … Continue reading This Week in the Shop: Put Your Legs Up On A Little Something (It’s a Stool)

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

Tool Primer: How to Select and Use a Circular Saw

Invented in 1923 by Edmond Michel, the circular saw remains a basic portable tool for any homeowner/woodworker nearly 90 years later. Skil77

The Model 77 hasn’t changed much, but worm-drive saws such as the 77 have become the realm of framers, carpenters and other tradesmen and women who make a living with the tool.  For a weekend warrior like myself and many others, we use  a sidewinder.  The sidewinder came about from  Porter-Cable in 1928.  In the next post, we’ll walk through selecting ourselves a proper circ saw and I’ll point you in the direction of some internet resources which show you how to use a circular saw.

Continue reading “Tool Primer: How to Select and Use a Circular Saw”

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