Yearly Archives: 2015

All season Adirondack chair made from cypress 1
What could be better on a hot summer day than a cold drink, a good book, and a quiet, shady spot to read? How about a comfortable Adirondack chair? Exactly. After mulling it over for a number of years, I finally got around to building some Adirondack chairs this past Fall. Yes, a bit late […]

Adirondack Chairs

Dryer booster fan with lint trap
This isn’t exactly a woodworking project although it did require a bit of cabinet re-purposing. If you’re looking to glean some woodworking wisdom, you may want to move on. But if you’re dealing with a clothes dryer that doesn’t dry very well, you may find this information helpful. We noticed that over time, it was […]

Dryer Booster Fan

Entertainment center housing a 1980's era TV and stereo system
Most of the furniture from my early woodworking ventures had a red oak theme to it and this entertainment center was no exception. It was made in the late 1980’s and is fairly representative of entertainment centers of that time: an opening to house a nice sized TV (32″ was large back then), a series […]

Oak Entertainment Center

Oversized oak bookshelf
When I made this bookcase some years back, I built it to fit a specific area of an office wall. However, if I were to do it again, I would have made two narrower bookcases rather than one wide unit.  At the time, my thinking was that a single wide unit would be the most […]

Over-sized Oak Bookcase

While building an Adirondack chair, I needed to create a curved support piece that would attach to the rear side of the back slats. I made the chair from a set of plans that provided templates for all of the other pieces but this particular curved piece was a refinement that I decided to add […]

Chair Curve Layout Tip

Chip the beagle lazing the day away in his well-worn doghouse
From the back of the rack… I made this dog house for our family beagle Chip (aka, Chipper) way back in the 70’s. It was one of my earliest woodworking projects. At the time this photo was taken, the dog house had seen several years of service – it was starting to fray a bit at the […]

Chip’s Dog House

Oak-walnut floor lamp 1
Here is a floor lamp that I built in the early 1990’s. I was in a lamp building frenzy back in those days and this one was perhaps my crowning achievement. It features a tapered pole made from laminated solid red oak and walnut and tapered red oak legs that attach to the base of the […]

Oak Walnut Floor Lamp

Solid oak coat rack 2
Some years back, the family was growing and we were running low on coat/jacket hanging options. I decided it was high time to make a coat rack. Or two. I realized we needed something that was functional, able to hold roughly 10 items at a time, but not too utilitarian. Something that could be proudly displayed […]

Coat Rack

Jig consists of a curved template and adjustable end clamps
After embarking on a mission to create a box load of mini-mallets, I realized a handle forming jig was called for to make each handle the same shape and to keep me from going crazy (no way was I cutting every single handle on the band saw). I came up with the simple router jig […]

Mini Mallet Handle Jig

A mini-mallet makes a great tree ornament!
Having made several full-size mallets for general purpose shop use, I decided to make some mini-mallets. My initial thinking was that they could be used as tree ornaments, and that’s exactly what I did with a couple mallets in our home. I also discovered they work well as crab mallets, office desk knick-knacks, gavels for calling […]

Mini Mallets

Burl on cherry tree with 1-gallon can for perspective 1
While out looking for wild blueberries, I came across a wooded grove containing a number of trees with unusual growths on them. I’ve seen such growths before but never this many in such a tight cluster. I felt like I was walking into an alien forest… As best I can tell, these growths are burls rather than […]

The Gall of Those Burls

My carved owl with a bald eagle friend
After completing my first carved owl masterpiece, I decided to give it another shot. This time I opted for another owl but larger and more intricate than the first. Here’s what I ended up with: The basic design for the owl came from an image I found online. I converted the image to a black and white […]

Carved Owl Version 2

Brand new weatherproof shed doors
When confronted with dilapidated shed doors, one can opt to either repair or replace. In the case of the doors shown below, I opted for replacement. These doors were probably 20 to 30 years old and in dire need of TLC.  They were made from T1-11 plywood and painted a garish, ugly primer red that contrasted […]

New Shed Doors

Could American chestnut be the wood of choice for future generations of woodworkers? Well, I’m not quite ready to make that prediction but there is reason for optimism. As some of you may know, chestnut was one of the dominant tree species in the eastern forests of North America a hundred years ago. It’s estimated that in the early […]

American Chestnut – Down But Not Out

Damaged groove caused by impatient routering 1
In this installment of Woodworking Damage Control, the challenge was to repair a groove that got away from me. While making some wine totes, I was using a router bit to cut grooves along the inner face of each side to accommodate a plywood base.  The problem was that I got a bit impatient and tried removing too […]

Groove Damage Control

Two-bottle wine tote made from wormy cherry
To help pass those slow winter months after the holiday season, I decided to make some wine totes (aka caddies) using some cherry lumber stored for many years in the family barn in PA. The wood was well seasoned and appeared to be in good condition.  However, after surface planing, instead of finding nice clear material, I […]

Wormy Cherry Wine Tote

Side view of install vise 7
Can you imagine not having a vise on your workbench? Me neither. Yet, somehow I scraped by for many years before finally installing one and now I can’t imagine not having it. I bought a Jorgensen model 41012 vise from a fellow woodworker who bought it some years ago but never got around to installing it. It […]

Installing a Front-Mounted Workbench Vise

From basswood blank to carved owl
After receiving a wood carving kit for Christmas, I decided to usher in the new year with a carving project. As a relative neophyte with only one other carving project under my belt, I spent a bit of time online looking for a suitable beginner’s project and I eventually found plans for a “3-to-5 minute owl” at […]

New Years Carved Owl