A Single Defining Element

I found another good quote from the back issues of Woodwork. This one is from the article titled Judy Ditmer: The Power of Acceptance by Kerry Pierce in issue #45, from June 1997. It resonates with me, as this way of working is not unfamiliar to me. “‘Stephen Jay Gould, the archaeologist and teacher... discussed a … Continue reading A Single Defining Element

Good Tools Work for You, Not Against You

Nearly every tool is designed with compromises. In some cases, the compromise is made to increase the ease of production (and therefore lower cost). Other times, the compromise is made to make the tool more appealing to a broader audience. After using a tool for a while, these compromises become very clear. You'll think, "I … Continue reading Good Tools Work for You, Not Against You

Defects Are Hints For Something Better

In all the creative work I have done with live-edge material, I have always looked at a cut section - where a limb was removed or the material cut to length - as a shortcoming. But recently, I had an epiphany. Like so many of my revelations, this one came while experimenting on a piece … Continue reading Defects Are Hints For Something Better

Woodworking Digitally is More Convenient, But Not Better

What Do I Mean By "Woodworking Digitally"? First, let me define digital. I don’t exclusively mean the use of measuring tools with LCD screens. I mean the use of any numbers at all, whether Metric or Imperial, decimals or fractions. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary: digital: of, relating to, or using calculation by numerical methods … Continue reading Woodworking Digitally is More Convenient, But Not Better

Results from the 2017 Wall Shelf Build-Off

Well, the ballots have been tallied and that means it's time to award some prizes.  Although there were not as many entries as I had hoped for, the shelves built were well-constructed, innovative, and certainly well made considering the two day time limit. This made it tough for judges to decide which shelf was the … Continue reading Results from the 2017 Wall Shelf Build-Off

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

More Wall Shelf Sketches

I've continued to sketch, trying to figure out what design to use for the Wall Shelf Build-Off this weekend. I could well find myself in the shop Saturday without a design and just making it up on the fly - that idea is not foreign to me. Have a look at my sketches - perhaps … Continue reading More Wall Shelf Sketches

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

Designing a Wall Shelf – Mounting Options

For a wall shelf, the best place to start is at the beginning - the wall. How will the shelf be mounted to the wall? Perhaps the biggest challenge in designing a successful wall shelf is attaching it to the wall strongly enough to support it and whatever it supports. The method of attachment will … Continue reading Designing a Wall Shelf – Mounting Options

Understanding Material and Joint Strength

Guaranteed Success Can Be Bad Being scared of failing can steer us towards taking extra precautions to better the odds of success. It makes perfect sense, but it’s a shame because when things are over-designed and over-built, we often do not have the opportunity to observe the actual strengths of the components involved. Understand the Materials, … Continue reading Understanding Material and Joint Strength