Power Tools vs. Hand Tools, and When Can You Modify the Design?

I am continuing to work my way forwards through back issues of the since discontinued magazine Woodwork. If you are proficient with the tools at your disposal, the decision to use either hand tools or power tools can be based on pleasure or efficiency. I use a combination of hand and power tools, and my choice … Continue reading Power Tools vs. Hand Tools, and When Can You Modify the Design?

Woodworking On-the-Go with Modified Knives

Anytime I go somewhere and anticipate the possibility of having some free time, I like to have a knife with me to carve. My First Modified Carving Knife I started with a German #8 chip carving knife with a fixed blade. I modified the blade to extend the cutting edge right to the handle, and … Continue reading Woodworking On-the-Go with Modified Knives

The Five Foot Shop

It's been about a year-and-a-half since my shop size got cut in half. It presently occupies a one-car garage and I must say that I'm quite happy with the space. All my machines made the move, including my sliding table saw, 18" bandsaw, jointer, planer, drill press and dust collector, but I did give up my … Continue reading The Five Foot Shop

Working Efficiently in a Small Shop

It can be a challenge to work efficiently in a small shop, but I have arranged the equipment in the space of a 1-car garage to allow me to build with components up to five feet in length without having to rearrange. In fact, the only machine that is on wheels is my 13" thickness … Continue reading Working Efficiently in a Small Shop

The Maker, the Buyer, and the User

As a creator (in my case, of designs, artwork, furniture and writing primarily), it is necessary to understand to whom one is accountable. The maker doesn't want it, the buyer doesn't use it, and the user doesn't know they're using it. What is the object? This classic riddle illustrates the difference between three types of … Continue reading The Maker, the Buyer, and the User

Sketching to Develop Wall Shelf Ideas

With two weeks before the Wall Shelf Build-Off, I spent some time this afternoon working on design ideas. I filled three pages of sketches with a variety of designs. When sketching, I like to use pen and don't spend more than half a minute on each. I use the sketches to help me figure out what I … Continue reading Sketching to Develop Wall Shelf Ideas

Elm – Pleasant to Work and Full of Character

The latest addition to my catalog of air-dried slabs for sale is Elm (Ulmus americana) A medium-density wood with pale sapwood and warm brown heartwood, elm often exhibits a coarser grain pattern. Most elm trees do not grow very large and consequently it is rare to find elm mature enough to exhibit a substantial amount of darker … Continue reading Elm – Pleasant to Work and Full of Character

Butternut – it Carves like Butter with a Hot Knife

The latest addition to my catalog of air-dried slabs for sale is butternut (Juglans cinerea). A relative to the highly sought-after black walnut, butternut shares the same grain patterns but the colour is lighter - similar to the shades of bigleaf maple (Acer macrophyllum). Butternut is also lighter in weight and softer than black walnut, making … Continue reading Butternut – it Carves like Butter with a Hot Knife

Stool with Sculpted Seat

This project actually started over eight years ago, but in a very different form. While down in California working a trade show for Lee Valley, the crew and I made a detour to Sam Maloof’s house in Alta Loma. We got a very inspirational tour of the very unique house which he had built for … Continue reading Stool with Sculpted Seat

“Sharpening” Carbide Insert Cutter Heads

It has been a long time since I installed Byrd Tool's Shelix carbide cutter heads in my Delta DJ-20 8" jointer (May 2009) and DeWalt DW735 13" planer (June 2012). The videos showing the installation of the cutter head in my planer have been viewed almost 75,000 times! Although the machines still produced tearout-free cuts, they did … Continue reading “Sharpening” Carbide Insert Cutter Heads