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Thursday, August 30, 2012

Ending on an upbeat note

Before packing up the "shop" in preparation for our move next month, I was determined to get one last project completed.  Given all the packing and arrangements that have to be taken care of before we leave, the project had to be something simple and quickly completed.

Since time and energy were both in short supply, I cut a simple piece from the latest issue of Creative Woodworks & Crafts.  I used quarter sawn white oak for the letters, and an oval of purpleheart for the backer.  I plan to give it to a good friend, who is just setting up her new home and could use something cheerful on the walls.

Now I've tied up the loose ends and am ready to pack up my wood and tools.  Once we move, getting a shop going will be a top priority, and I'm looking forward to making sawdust again.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Rare earth magnets

Looking for a neat way to keep box lids closed, I started using tiny rare earth magnets.  In small sizes, 1/8" to 1/4", they are strong enough to secure the lid, but not so strong that the lid is difficult to open.

Although I recess them so they're flush, and secure them with epoxy, it's still important to keep projects that use them away from children. There have been recent concerns about toys designed for adult use that contain multiple loose magnets.  These have serious consequences for children who swallow them, especially if they swallow more than one.

To be on the safe side, it would be prudent to keep any project using these magnets away from children, and to advise anyone to whom you give or sell these projects to do the same.  Since delicate or fragile items are typically kept away from children as a matter of course, it should not be a problem to add these to the list.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The problem with leftover wood

In preparation for a move to a new home, I've been sorting through the wood I have on hand, deciding what to take and what to leave.  Large pieces of wood, especially the more expensive hardwoods and exotics, are an easy decision--they come with me.  Small pieces of common wood are not a problem either.  Since they're easy to replace, they're easy to leave.  And small scraps of exotic wood don't take up a lot of storage space, so they're coming along, too.

The real problem I'm having is with the smaller pieces of hardwood like cherry and maple, left over from past projects, that are could be made into something, but are more likely to take up permanent residence in a box stuck under a table.  So, with some reluctance, I'm forcing myself to be realistic, and leaving them behind.

I am hoping that when we get our new and more spacious shop up and running, I'll be able to sort my wood in such a way that I can easily put my hands on what I need.  I guess everyone starts out with plans like that--let's see if I can actually pull it off!