Friday, November 21, 2014

Making Progress: Soft Wood Not So Bad Afterall

In my last post, I mentioned the various difficulties I was having using alder for my changing table. Well, as it turns out, almost all of this was easily preventable! With a bit of reading and some adjustments to my technique, I was able to overcome these challenges, and have been making great progress on the changing table!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Changing Table Woes

This mortise broke as I was attempting to fit
it to its tenon.
Sometimes things don't work out how you planned them.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Top o' the Rocker to ye!

It's really coming together! I turned the last couple of days into solid shop days and managed to tear through the next few steps on the rocker: the front roll, tapered mortises on the top of the chair, and the back posts and spindles — not to mention the initial mounting of the top crest.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Hide Glue, Or How I Intend to Fix my Rocker

Something's not quite right here...
As a rookie woodworker, there's few things that go through my mind more than all the mistakes I'll make. "What if I cut the board too short?" "What if my glue doesn't hold?" "What if...?" Especially concerning for me are those first cuts into good, expensive wood. Once those cuts are made, there's no turning back.

Monday, November 3, 2014

On The Bench: Baby Changing Table

As we get closer to our due date, we're going to start needing more baby furniture. Besides the normal crib-and-dresser-set, we'll need a changing table too. Though we could have bought a dresser with a built-in changing table, we wanted to be able to use our dresser as a normal dresser when our kid is older. So, we opted to buy a normal dresser, and build a removable changing table to put on top.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Bottom Half of the Rocker; Or, How I Learned to Stopped Worrying and Love the Mortise

After what seems like months (it's actually only been one month), the bottom of the chair is cut and dry fit!  The hardest part?  The tapered mortises.  Contrary to how easy I made it out to be in my mortise and tenon post, getting a good tapered mortise and close fitting tenon turned out to be much more difficult than I expected.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Project Highlight: Orchid Inlay Jewelry Box

Wood species: Cherry, Wenge, Purpleheart, Redheart, Yellowheart, Kiaat
Finish type: Tung oil and paste wax
Completed: September, 2014

I had been thinking about what to do for my mom's birthday earlier this year. I had always gotten her something from the store, gift cards, books, games. But this year was different, I had my wood shop now, maybe I could make her something. It hit me, a jewelry box! Turns out this project would be the most involved project I had yet to do.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Tapered Mortise-and-Tenons: Joints That Get Stronger When Used

Test mortise (left) made with the
reamer (left center). On the right
are two halves of my tenon
template, with a test tenon I turned.
Classic Windsor chairs traditionally use mortise-and-tenon joinery. But, unlike most joinery of this kind, there's a twist. These mortises and tenons are are tapered. The tapering means that as the tenon is forced into the mortise, it gets stronger! This is a great joint to have for a chair, as chairs get beat up probably more than any other kind of furniture. So, that's what I'll be using for my rocking chair.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Designing a Project in 3D: Sketchup

Every project I've done so far started with a design. While some opt to use good ol' paper and a pencil to do their designs, I prefer to use Sketchup to do my designs. This fantastic (and free!) tool is one of the easiest applications I've found for 3D modeling of this caliber. I can easily create my surfaces, shapes, and even joinery and hardware choices to scale.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Project Highlight: Oak Plant Stand

Wood species: White Oak
Finish type: Water-based stain and spar urethane
Completed: April, 2014

We had a problem. We have lots of plants, and plenty of light in our kitchen, but nowhere to actually put the plants in the kitchen. Oh, but the solution is easy! I have a workshop, I can just make a simple plant stand!

Monday, October 20, 2014

On The Bench: Classic Boston Rocker

To celebrate the coming of our son, I wanted to make something special, something we could all enjoy, and something that could be passed down. After talking about it with my wife, we came up with the idea: a classic Boston rocker! (Actually, to her credit, it was her idea. She's always full of great ideas!) I was very excited, this would be the perfect project! Something beautiful we can use while he's young, and when he grows up, we can pass it down to him to use with his children.

What's All This About, Anyway?

If you're reading this, it's likely because you "stumbled" (get it?) upon it via some internet engine of searching. Perhaps you were looking for woodworking resources. Maybe you were looking for something else entirely. But, the fact remains, you made it to my lowly corner of the interwebs.

So what's all this about, really?