Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Get The Lead Out

So recently on a woodworking forum I frequent we had a discussion about pencil sharpeners.  We all were pretty much in agreement that the old school manual crank ones were the best and thus we set out on finding the ideal pencil sharpener.  In my quest for the ultimate sharpener I started doing some digging on available options. There are tons of them out there X-Acto makes some, Stanley Bostitch makes some as well.  I then stumbled upon Class Room Friendly Designs.  The looks of the pencil sharpener are pretty slick, it is an old school look that I prefer.  Check out this video of how it works

I was honestly skeptical of the of the sharpener.  It looks like it would work good, but I wasn't sure about the mechanism that pulls the pencil into the sharpener.  In reality it works extremely well.  You can sharpen the pencil and it will basically stop when the pencil is sharp.

The sharpener came packed very well.

Here you can see the sharpener and the clamp the you can use to clamp it to a shelf.

I would like to have seen two sharpeners in here but honestly the one does a fantastic job.  It creates a very clean cut and a very nice point on the pencils.  

 Here you can see the little clamps that grab hold of the pencil while you are sharpening.  It  holds the pencil very firmly and doesn't allow it to move while sharpening.
 Look at those beautiful points.  I sharpened a few more pencils after this and it is consistent in its ability to sharpen all the pencils.

All in all I would highly recommend this pencil sharpener if you are in the market for a manual sharpener.  I am very happy with the tool and have added it to my arsenal of tools in the wood shop.  

Please make sure to check out http://www.classroomfriendlysupplies.com/ the sharpener is $20, the company that sells the sharpeners is based out of North Carolina.  I don't believe you will regret the purchase.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Hand Planes

It has been a while since my last post. Life has been interesting the last few years and I've had very little time for woodworking or the money for that matter. It's an expensive hobby. However it is one that I love so I try and do little bits here and there. The latest project I completed was a set of Hand Planes. In a recent issue of
Wood Magazine they had an article on making your own hand plane. I have wanted to do one of these for a LONG time and really enjoy making my own tools and jigs etc. I'm finding the jig side of things is going to be very helpful in building guitars. Anyway. I thought I would share my hand planes with you. Hope you enjoy. Oh and you should see a new logo on the blog now. I like it much better.

We start by gluing up the blank for the hand plane. It's roughly 2"x8"
All the parts next to each other

Cut the bed out for the blade. That center triangle later becomes the wedge.

Gluing all the parts together.

Glued up and ready to cut the wedge.
Bottom of the plane with the throat opened
Test fitting everything

The Wedge is now cut out.
After everything was shaped and tuned

The woods are Spalted Maple, Sapele, Walnut and some oak veneer in between

Here is the two that I have built so far.  The one in Front is Curly Maple Sapele and Oak.

Both planes work beautifully and I couldn't be happier


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Jelly Cupboard to Pie Safe. A Family Affair.

Hey Guys/Gals….  Sorry I haven’t been posting much this summer with the heat, the day job and trying to spend as much time with my son as possible this summer it’s been a little lacking in the woodworking and blogging department.  I will be back at it more when the weather starts to cool off.  In the meantime my Dad built an amazing Pie Safe for my sister and did a write up/story on it and I wanted to publish it for him.  I hope you like it.  I have a feeling I will be having him guest blog for me more so we can bring you additional content over the months. 



It’s funny how things sometimes happen. A couple months ago, Grover decided he was going to build a Jelly Cupboard (Grover is my son). Well about that time, my daughter, who works for a public library, decided she would like to have a pie safe. I thought that would be a good project, so I told her to find the plan she liked and I would give it a try. So a few days later she brought home from the library a New Yankee Workshop plan book written by Norm Abrams. I looked at the plan and thought, this could be more than I could handle. Dado’s, biscuit joinery, and so on, seemed a little much.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A little bit of woodworking a little bit of home repair and One heck of a view

This past weekend I had the opportunity to do some work for a friend.  This friend has a house on a lake that needed some repair work done to a couple of exterior doors.  After many years of weather some of the wood finally started rotting. 

First of all this was my view at 7:30am Saturday morning……

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I have to tell you it doesn’t get much better than this.  I have always been a lake guy even though I have never spent a ton of time on them and I love boats, so this view pretty much made my day.  I had to keep reminding myself that I am there to work not watch the boats go by.  So anyway…  To the work part of this…..

Take a look at the shots of the rot --


This is one of the doors. This one was the difficult one.  The one that scared me, the one that had me thinking for a few minutes what the heck did I get myself into, however after stepping back cooler heads prevailed. 







This one looks pretty bad but it was actually really easy to fix, so lets start here.

This is on a single open French door so this is the bulkhead between the door that opens and the static window/door.  The first thing we did was figure out how to separate the rotted board from the rest of the door or if we would have to build a patch.  We were able to find the seam and start to separate the bulkhead.






A little prying and she came right off.  You have to make sure not to pry to hard and damage the other side of the door.   Just take your time and go slowly.








I trimmed a board that was the same width of the bulkhead.  I just used a miter saw to cut it to size.

I attached the board using some finish nails.  I set the nails just below the surface and filled them with some caulk.  Make sure to use an exterior caulk.  One the board was attached I also ran a bead of caulk down the inside edge where the wood meets the door to seal any gaps, I did the same where the board meets the other part of the bulkhead.  One area that you want to make sure you get some caulk into is at the location of the original rot, make sure you get plenty of caulk at the bottom of the board between the board and the metal transition plate.  That way if there is ever any standing water it keeps the water from soaking into the wood as much as possible.

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This is how that door turned out.  I painted the entire door frame and doors, in addition to the new wood that was installed.






Now onto the scary door…..

So you saw the rot from above.  I made some assumptions about the construction of the door that turned out not to be totally correct. 

*******  If my friend is reading this post please just skip this section.  This totally isn’t your house…   *************


  Once I started the demolition of the rotted area it became apparent that the door was not built as we thought.  Instead of being multiple pieces the door was a single piece or it was glued together so well that we would have destroyed the entire door trying to go the original route of removing the rotted piece.  Instead of being able to just pry the piece off like the other door I ended up having to cut this section out.  There was more rotted wood than what you could see with the eye so I cut a little bigger than the rotted wood so to make sure there was no bad wood left. 

To cut this section out I used a great new tool from Dremel tools, called the Dremel Trio this was a super handy little tool. 

From this point I started rebuilding the frame.  I used several pieces of wood to build up the thickness we needed to fill the gap.

Once I had the right thickness I was able to start test fitting the piece in the hole and fine tuning everything.


Here is what the section looked like after I got the piece built up, at this point I caulked the heck out of everything to make sure it was sealed up tightly.







After Painting caulking and painting some more here is what the door looks like now. What rotted wood and hole are you talking about.  I don’t remember any rotted wood or a large gaping hole in the door. 






So here is the whole area all cleaned up and doors repaired and repainted.  I think it turned out pretty well. 


I know it looked scary at first but keep in mind there are very few things that cannot be fixed and usually they are pretty simple once you step back and take a look and think things through. 

Have a Great Day!




Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Milk Paint Revisited

I have had some great response to the Jelly cupboard from you here, Facebook and from my friends and family.  I have a couple of things to add to the last post that have come up. 

Heather asked to see some close up pics of the cupboard for a look at the grain.  I think that’s one of the great things about milk paint is that it still lets you see some of the grain. So Heather here you go I hope it helps making the decision on using milk paint. 


Here is a look at the grain running across top of the door.  You can also see the dowels that are used to hold the half lap joint together. 






Here is a shot of one of the knots on the side.  I would imagine you could add another coat and cover up the grain and knots if that’s what you are looking for.






Okay part two:

I talked with Anne the President over at The Old Fashioned Milk Paint Company about some of the things I mentioned in the last post about milk paint and she gave me a few pointers on the milk paint to make it smoother and easier to paint.

Here is an excerpt from the email that she sent me the other day:

Milk paint really is a rustic, crude, lumpy old fashioned paint. Make sure to let it sit for a little while after you mix it, and you can use a kitchen rubber spatula to squeeze the paint on the edges of your container to help get the lumps out. After letting it sit a little while you can also strain it through some cheesecloth or better yet a piece of a nylon stocking or pantyhose- that works great!

Please let us know if we can be of further assistance, and thanks again.
Best Regards,
Anne Thibeau
The Old Fashioned Milk Paint Co., Inc.

I will be using here suggestions on the next go round.  I hope this helps you guys out. 

Have a Great Day!

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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Milk Paint – You painted with milk are you nuts?

No No, we didn’t paint with milk.  That could be interesting however.  What I did do is use a great product from The Old Fashioned Milk Paint Company.  This paint is something akin to what early American craftsmen would have used in painting their furniture or other household items.  Milk paint was made at home by hand typically using skim or buttermilk, and a combination of limestone and more or less anything they could find for color.  What The Old Fashioned Milk Paint Company did was create their own recipe for their reproduction furniture business.  After seeing what they were able to accomplish they started receiving requests for their paint and thus what we have today. 


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