Woodworking Posts

Monday, August 30, 2021

Most projects I never build more than once, especially outside of gift-giving seasons. The chairs in the picture above, though, are the exception.

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Thursday, May 27, 2021

It has been a little over 14 months since I finished my dresser. I've learned a few things that I'll consider during my next build, like how epoxy doesn't really stick to slate, and how heavy that much 4/4 cherry is. But the most surprising one has been the reaction to humidity.

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Wednesday, May 19, 2021

One reason I haven't worked on fixing my obstructions before now is that winter makes the ground impenetrable, and the roofs treacherous. The second reason is that I didn't want to attempt any solutions without having data to guide me.

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Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Every time I post pictures of a project I've completed, someone will ask if I have plans I can share. I never do. I have sketches with numbers near them, but I am confident that no one would be able to interpret them. If it has been too long since I made the project, I might have trouble interpreting them myself!

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Tuesday, December 29, 2020

I once watched a YouTube video about making a knife. Since then, YouTube has recommended more knife-making videos to me than I can remember. This is probably why, when faced with the question of what to make for this year's family gift exchange, I suddenly thought, "I could try making a knife!"

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Monday, December 28, 2020

I wasn’t kidding when I said the shape of my turned tap handle would be a familiar tool-handle shape. I turned the handles above for a Christmas gift this year. They’re an inch or so shorter than the tap handle, with different end diameters to match each tool, but otherwise they’re all the same idea.

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Thursday, December 3, 2020

I wanted a nicer handle for the tap serving seltzer from my kegerator, so I grabbed a piece of scrap maple and turned one.

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Wednesday, November 25, 2020

We left our old laundry rack with friends when we moved. I built us a new one, and then made a video and wrote up plans so that you can too!

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Sunday, September 27, 2020

I have crossed another long-time TODO project off my list. From the earliest days of learning to play guitar, I knew I wanted to make one. It took me a long time to get started because I wasn't sure what style I wanted. Instead of cloning of a common model, I decided instead to consider each piece and plan my own design. This quickly led to far more choices and choice-dependencies than I could handle. But this summer, with a little nudge from a friend who also wanted to build a guitar, I took the dive.

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Thursday, March 12, 2020

I've pushed off writing about progress in the past few weeks, for the practical reason of spending that time in the shop, and for the vain reason of keeping secrets before a big reveal. Last night it became possible to dispense with both reasons at once.

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Thursday, February 6, 2020

It turns out that there’s a reason everyone recommends building a crosscut sled for your table saw: they really are very nice. I spent the past several days making a few, and it made building my drawer boxes a breeze.

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Friday, January 24, 2020

The feet were the start of the avalanche. It was time to make the rest of this project three-dimensional. Six pieces would be glued to each other, and two would float in captured grooves.

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Thursday, January 23, 2020

While I could leave the case of this dresser flat on the ground, elevating it slightly has some advantages, like being able to pull out the bottom drawer without it running into my foot. How it is elevated offers different tradeoffs. If elevated with a skirt that spans the front, then dust gets hidden away, and the base gains some rigidity. If elevated with feet, a small additional storage space is gained.

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Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Before glueing the outer case together, I had a few things to prepare. I wanted the back of the dresser to be closed with a panel in a routed groove. I needed internal structure separating the drawers from the cabinet. And, I had a few things in mind for the internals of the cabinet.

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Monday, December 30, 2019

With so many examples of combining wood and epoxy resin appearing online in the last few years, I decided it was time to try myself. Also my first time making earrings, I'm quite happy with the result.

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Sunday, November 10, 2019

The moment had arrived to test the skill that I designed a whole other project to practice. Dovetails!

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Friday, November 8, 2019

After the wood had adjusted to the conditions of my shop, I began on the casework. Step one was to cut the ten-foot planks to length. I aimed just a little on the long side, because the tools I have to handle these large pieces aren't the finest. I needed to have room to re-square the edges afterward.

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Friday, November 8, 2019

Over fifteen years ago, friends lent my wife a dresser that their children had once used. When we moved into our first apartment, and she recovered her own dresser from her parents, the lent dresser became mine (our friends were adamant that they did not want it back). It has functioned well. The case is solid, the drawers open and close just fine, the drawer bottoms hold. Being a children's dresser, though, it has never quite been able to hold all of my clothing. So, my next big project is to replace my child-size dresser with a gentleman's chest.

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Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Our friends' son is turning one year old. His parents, deep in the Silicon Valley tech world, would prefer to delay the point when screens become a major component of his entertainment. Fortunately, screens are a major component of my entertainment, and so Pinterest suggested the perfect gift: wooden blocks. But why buy, when you can make?

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Monday, July 22, 2019

The inside of this box is about 36 x 12 x 3 inches - not something that could just sit on a table for decoration. It was built for a purpose: carrying equipment. Let's talk about how I prepared it to do that.

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Saturday, July 13, 2019

While I think about how to tell you about the process of fitting the internal components of this box, I'm going to talk about planning.

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Tuesday, April 30, 2019

This box was designed to be a carrying case, so the lid need to be hinged to the bottom. In keeping with the theme of cheap practice, I grabbed brass-colored, stamped hinges at the local Home Depot. Also in keeping with the theme, I watched Matt Estlea's videos on preparing these hinges and chiseling mortises for them. The particular style of hinge I bought required a little change to the plan, but I'll explain that in a bit. The mortising started with lines scribed for the edges of the hinge plate.

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Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Possibly even more exciting than my dovetails turning out well was the fact that, from the first dry fitting, the box was square. Corner to corner, any difference in the diagonals was less than my tape measure would read.

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Tuesday, April 23, 2019

It's not perfect. Looking at it, preparing to write about it, I see flaws all over. But, I've finally cut a dovetail I don't consider horrible.

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Tuesday, August 11, 2015

You should see the look you get when you tell a moving crew that you're taking three 200lbs slabs of slate with you on your move across the country. Maybe it was just the fact that we were standing in a fieldstone basement, and they were suddenly wondering how many of the other rocks in few were coming along. At least there was no further argument when I added, "And this pile of wood too."

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Friday, July 20, 2012

Some of you know that beyond beer and coding, I'm also an active woodworker. In this post, I'm excited to share the completion of my most recent project. Approximately 18 months after buying the first lumber, I'm now sleeping in in my hand-made hard maple sleigh bed.

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