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Monday, April 29, 2013

Jewelry Box article in June Woodworker's Journal

It's always exciting when one of my projects appears in a "mainstream" woodworking publication like Woodworker's Journal.  This cherry jewelry box, with a removable 3-compartment insert, appears in the current issue (June, 2013).  I haven't seen the edited article yet, but they always do a super job, and I'm pleased that the project met their needs.

Friday, April 19, 2013

New sanding video is up and running

I just posted another sanding video on YouTube to cover some tips that I thought would be useful.  They are at the opposite ends of the spectrum with regard to cost, but both are worth considering.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Drum sander alternative

If you're interested in making bowls from glued-up blanks, you know that getting the finished blank flat without a drum sander is quite a task.  One of my readers found the following approach useful, and kindly made the plans available to anyone in need of a drum sander alternative.  Here it is:

I made a router planing jig based on a plan from workshopcompanion.com. I made the jig, installed an Amana 1 1/4” bowl and tray bit (#45986) which has a flat bottom, and went to work on it. The routing itself was easy.  I made shallow cuts and overlapped my passes, probably more than I needed but this was an initial test. I began by putting the flattest side face down, (wedged it in) did the routing and then flipped the piece and routed the second side. It came out amazingly good. I briefly sanded the face with 320 grit paper on my RO sander and the faces were smooth as silk and absolutely flat. My only cost was the purchase of the bit, which I got from Marden’s, Inc. in Waterville, Maine. I made my purchase thru Amazon. Marden'had this bit for about $25 whereas every else wanted $40 or more. I already had the wood so my total cost for the project was about $30 and a couple of hours work to build the jig.  I found that no matter which way you run the router against the blank there is absolutely no tear out as the bit has a 1/4” radius and does not aggressively attack the edges of the blank, regardless of the direction of the grain.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Just one more cut . . .

I am sure there are many, many sad stories from folks who were tempted to push beyond the point they should have stopped for the day, and ended up either messing up their work, or having an accident.

I was tempted to continue gluing up a decorative blank the other day, but when I thought of all the things that could have gone wrong with just that simple operation, I was glad I stopped.  The wood had to be perfectly aligned, the glue applied evenly, and clamped well in place.  Sounds simple, but under the pressure of getting it done, I could see not checking carefully for alignment, having to undo the clamps to set it right, having to put more glue on, etc. etc.

Those are small stakes compared to what can happen when you rush while using a tool like the table saw, and don't take your usual precautions.  It's so tempting to try to get as much done as possible, but the end of a work session should be just that, with a fresh start next time when you're more willing to take the time to do the job right.