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

Butternut & Ash Side Table

I recently completed this small side table and it has already become a much-appreciated addition to the home. With a table top about 10" x 18", it has proven itself to be compact yet stable, and suitably sized to hold a book, or a dinner plate and drinking glass.   Followers of my blog may recognize … Continue reading Butternut & Ash Side Table

Responsibility of the End User: Reflections on Skeletal Ash Chair

The Skeletal Chair at my desk is my favourite seat in the house. I designed and built this chair three years ago and it has been in regular use ever since. It is comfortable and ergonomic, allowing me to lean side to side or forward, or pivot and turn on the front leg. It is … Continue reading Responsibility of the End User: Reflections on Skeletal Ash Chair

Limitations: Are they Restrictions that Block or Focus?

If you had access to all the greatest woods in infinite supply, what would you make? Questions like this are difficult because there really are no boundaries - anything is possible, so you must consider everything. It is much easier to be productive with limitations that restrict what is possible. Instead of looking at the … Continue reading Limitations: Are they Restrictions that Block or Focus?

What is there to be Afraid of About Failure?

Well, for starters, I’m not sure what failure really is. I’m always experimenting and learning and, to me, what others may perceive as failure is really just an indication that something can be improved. I am always looking for ways to improve things, and constantly analyzing things for weaknesses. Developing a solid design on paper (or … Continue reading What is there to be Afraid of About Failure?

21st Century Writing Desk – Designing the Base

So, with the top done, my next step was to design a suitable base for it. I went to my computer and started playing with designs. I had an idea for a base that consisted of a pair of rectangular frames and cross members. However, none of the variations that looked good to me. Slim, tapered … Continue reading 21st Century Writing Desk – Designing the Base

Finishing Puzzle Table

After routing the jigsaw puzzle design, I made a base out of four mitred lengths of black walnut to raise the table up off the ground. That way, it didn't just look like a cube sitting on the ground. Then came finishing. Let's just say that it required some patience to get an even coat … Continue reading Finishing Puzzle Table

Shop Stools, Revisited on Craftsy.com

It's official! I'm now a contributor to the Craftsy woodworking blog. My first article, fittingly, is about shop stools. In the article, I discuss some basic principles that make a good shop stool, then provide some practical ideas backed up by photos from the Shop Stool Build-Off. Read the article on the Craftsy Woodworking Blog.

Routing the Puzzle Pieces for Puzzle Table

After gluing up the four sides, my next step was to rout in the puzzle pieces. I used three combination squares referenced off of each edge to lay out a grid, which represented the size and location of the puzzle pieces. Pencil can be difficult to see on black walnut, but I found that roughing up … Continue reading Routing the Puzzle Pieces for Puzzle Table