Cutaway view of carpenter bee tunnels in redwood lumber
When I reclaimed the lumber from an old redwood bench, I knew there were carpenter bees taking up residence in the wood but I had no idea how many – and how much damage they had caused. Boy, was I in for a surprise! The only external evidence of the bees was neat 1/2″ diameter […]

Carpenter Bee Damage

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

Restored turtle top table
I came across this turtle top table while cleaning out the attic in the home where I grew up. I remember my mom working on the table many years ago – she had partially stripped off the finish as the first step in reviving the table but didn’t get around to finishing the job. Eventually, […]

Restoring a Turtle Top Table

Maple floor clock
This is a floor clock, also called a longcase clock, tall-case clock, or grandfather clock (technically, I suppose it’s a grandmother rather than a grandfather clock because it’s just under 6 feet tall). I’ve dubbed this clock the “Pop Clock” in honor of my dad who built the clock many years ago (early 1980’s I […]

Pop Clock

My dad added a porch to our house back in the 1970’s and I must say he did a pretty good job overall. Especially for someone who wasn’t a professional builder or carpenter. However, there was one critical flaw in the construction: the main sill plate running across the front of the porch was made […]

When Wood Goes Bad

Routing a slot for the replacement tenon
While restoring an antique parlor table, I ran into a situation in which a couple of the tenons holding the leg assembly together split during disassembly. I tried being careful – I brushed a liberal amount of denatured alcohol on the joint to soften up the old hide glue followed by gentle tapping with a […]

Repairing a Broken Tenon

Shellac blushing formed by trapped moisture
Although it may look like frost, the white in the photo below is actually an example of shellac blushing. Blushing is caused by moisture that gets trapped in the finish when the top layer of the finish dries before the moisture has a chance to escape. It typically occurs when the humidity is high or […]

Shellac Blushing

Wiping off rust and naval jelly residue 1
One day in the woodshop… I was applying a finish to a newly constructed coffee table and I activated my fume control system.  This involves opening one of the windows and turning on a fan that is positioned in front of the window to blow fume-laden air outside. It actually works fairly well at clearing […]

Removing Rust from A Jointer Bed

Restored garden bench 18
We bought this garden bench about 15 years ago from the local Lowes home improvement store.  It held up fairly well for about 10 years but inevitably the oak slats on it started to rot and break apart. The finish also disintegrated over time (yes, I didn’t maintain it) and the bench took on a gray, […]

Restoring a Garden Bench