Monday, May 30, 2011

Practical Wood work, again

   On the left the result, on the right the project.  Yesterday I was trying to make some space in our garage. The summer season is fully upon us and so the car lives in the driveway and the garage is filled with : bicycles, motorcycles, lawn and garden tools, .as well as a wagon for the grandson and all that sorted flotsam and jetsam that seems to fill every one's garage.
    If you look carefully in some of the photos you can see that I have gone passed the thinning hair stage, to the no hair on the top of my head stage.  I can only hope that that is the limit of the deterioration.  So, to defend the sensitive and shiny dome I wear hats.  A baseball hat doesn't defend my ears very well so years ago I opted for a hat with a wide brim. The hat on the left is my souvenir from Spain, a very nice light and dressy fedora. The middle hat is a souvenir from Cozumel Island and a very good hat that is getting a little stained and nasty.
  The photo on the right is the 20 minute hat rack(naked).  I went to my scrap bin, in which I had 28 large dominoes that I didn't like. (another story for another time) used 5  and a 50 inch scrap of 3/4 plywood and made the rack.  Since I am getting to be more fussy about my projects; even the ones hidden by hats, the arms are shaped on the band saw and shallow dadoes were cut in the plywood for them. While completing the shaping of the arms I used files and rasps, no sand paper. (that is another story)
    The dadoes were not necessary, the old glue and screw method what have worked fine but....even something as basic and unglamourous as a hat rack gets just a little extra technique now days.  When did you begin to raise your personal expectations and start doing the little extra bits of l joinery?


Friday, May 27, 2011

What would Sherlock Holmes think?

    My favourite deductive reasoner is Sherlock Holmes, in fact I was a bit of a Holmes geek back when you had to remember things rather than just quickly Google them.
   Holmes was not a wood worker but  he knew the various trades well, and went undercover as a plumber and a horse groom in the course of his adventures. No doubt then he knew the tell tale signs of a woodworker's home. 
   Should he one day come to our house he will see on the front porch a wooden mat at the door and oak hand railings as you come up the steps.  If he looked into the garage he would see a rack/shelf unit for recycling bins, a landing and steps to get into the house from the garage as well as two tool boxes, made years ago and still standing the test of time.
   Once inside, a mirror on the wall is made from pine and the coat rack featuring Shaker pegs are in the mud room.  The front  entrance features a stout bench and the bowl for keys and loose change in one of my carved bowls that we call the "peanut bowl".

  A quick glace into the kitchen shows cutting boards and at one end a large rolling kitchen island, wood with a marble top. In the living room are my sofa table and a footstool/magazine storage unit. The clock in the bedroom was made for my Grandmother, since passed and there is another mirror.  Our powder room has been featured before so it is my woodwork and Eva's tile work. The on-suite bathroom has a clothes rack designed for that specific space, Eva's design my construction...etc..etc..etc.

   Our house is filled with boxes for storage or jewelry, various foot stools as well as chip carved coasters and trivets with tile inlay. Our Grandson's toys are wood and so is his crib.  The list goes on and on, in fact the desk on which I am working was made by my wife many years ago.  Lets face it how many guys get to marry a woman that has her own power tools? Lately Eva's efforts have gone into tile work.  She did the tile work in two bathrooms and our kitchen.

   Now... would Holmes say "obviously Watson this is the domestic abode of a woodworker", or would he say,"aha we have clearly stumbled upon a cheapskate." 

  It is my hope to one day raise my quality of work to that of craftsman, from its current level of DIY woodworker.  It would be nice to think that one day Sherlock Holmes would say,      " Watson, observe, we are in the home of  skilled craftsmen. This space is filled with beautiful and functional objects that have been created and collected with care."

   Holmes will never be here to say that, but Eva and I still aspire to have that thought pass through the minds of our guests when they visit. 

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

A New Design for an On Site Mitre Saw.


     I got a tweet about the saw yesterday.  If you have a minute watch the video and see what you think.  I think it would be an excellent tool for flooring and framing.  As a shop tool it would be good for breaking down long stock too.