Interesting Woodworking Link

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Episode #35 - New-Fangled Workbench - Part VI


The old axiom, you can never have enough clamps, sure is true! This episode shows construction of the center tray sub-assembly. Routing a 1/4" radius on the face clamp holes is a nice finish detail. A practice dry clamp run indicated that the best approach was to glue up each side individually. I enlisted the assistance from a special shop helper to rotate the glued-up assembly to clean glue squeeze out off the bottom.

The astute viewer will notice that the side rails for the tray are different than those from Episode #1. I did not want to bore anyone with a repeat drilling of the side rails. The reason for the change is . . . well change! As I played with the design in SketchUp, I settled on a different top construction which ultimately meant redoing the side rails. More on that in a later episode when I will go over a small model of the top.

Clamping detail
Rockler clamping jigs help maintain 90°

Everything is square!

View down the inside of the tray

Episode #34 - New-Fangled Workbench - Part V

Happy New Year from The Folding Rule Show!

This episode continues the build of my modified New-Fangled Workbench with final dimensioning and glue-up of the central tray structure of the bench. I used my Festool Domino to glue up the bottom of the tray.

In the next episode I will put a slight radius (1/4) on the face clamp holes and complete the tray subassembly.

Shop powered by Sisters Coffee!

Episode #33 - Cyber Woodworking Interview #1

Cyber Woodworking Interview #1
Todd Clippinger - American Craftsman

I had a great New Years Day afternoon speaking with Todd Clippinger. This is a long download but worth the time. Todd shares some insight to his approach to design and craftsmanship. I think you will be surprised what his favorite tool is!

Below are some quotes from his website.

American Craftsman

Todd A. Clippinger - American Craftsman started in 1997 with a residential remodeling business. He was never satisfied with the ordinary and has made it a personal goal to give exceptional design solutions to his clients.

Researching designs for historically referenced projects led to an interest in and further studies of history, design, furniture, and architectural styles. His perspectives, derived from a remodeling background, have given him a solid understanding of which methods stand the test of time and which do not.

Todd considers himself to be a Designer/Craftsman. “The term woodworker is a bit simplistic and just doesn’t seem to cover it all,” he states.

“American Craftsman does not refer to a specific design style,” he goes on to explain,”but rather, to an adherence for the principals of quality and integrity in craftsmanship and design.”

Todd A. Clippinger - American Craftsman works out of his studio and workshop in Billings, Montana. Todd specializes in custom fitted and free standing furniture.

Todd on

Todd's PhotoGallery

Friday, December 28, 2007

Episode #32 - New-Fangled Workbench - Part IV

Happy Holidays to all of my woodworking buddies! I am looking forward to an exciting year in the shop. I wonder what is in store for the year 2008?

I have a couple of projects underway in the shop which I will share on this blog. I have a shadow box planned for my son for some of his Scouting collectibles. I am also considering making him a replica of Civil War Officer's Field Desk out of fir for him to store his growing Civil War relic collection. This should be a good project to hone my hand joinery skills! The good news for me is that these desks were somewhat rustic so less than perfect joinery would actually be appropriate taking the pressure off my end of things.

My build of a modified New-Fangled workbench is underway. I finalized my version with a SketchUp rendering. As I mentioned before, this is perhaps the best tool to make its way into my shop! I am sure I avoided some costly and time consuming mistakes by working out the details in SketchUp. I also have a commissioned cherry display pedestal for a special bronze. Sounds like I have my hands full and the year hasn't even started yet!

Today I began dimensioning the KD Douglas Fir for my bench.It was a long day planing and I am glad it is done . . . those fir 4 x 4 posts are heavy to be swinging around and feeding into the planner!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Episode #31 - New-Fangled Workbench - Part III



Finally finished the rough draft of my version of John White's New-Fangled Workbench. This exercise in SketchUp has been very helpful visualizing the construction and assembly of the bench. I am convinced that this has saved me some painful construction mistakes! Lets hope the real time build goes well.



The cabinet below will be plumbed for a shop vacuum and my vacuum pump, as well as, some storage. The cabinet opens from the back of the bench because the planing beam spanning the front would prohibit opening the doors. The planing beam rides in the T-track along the front legs. A support wedge and clamp ride in the horizontal T-track.



My shop is small, so this will be a mobile workbench with Kreg Tool Company 3 inch heavy-duty locking casters. I have some interesting plans for a series of clamping and assembly fixtures that will take advantage of Kreg Tool Company Mini Track and Track Clamp. I use the Kreg Pocket Screw Jig and Kreg Foreman quite a bit in my shop so it will be no surprise that the bench top will also have a couple of Kreg Insert Plates so I can take full advantage of my Kreg Bench Klamps. This bench will also incorporate some of my favorite features gathered from benches I have admired.


Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Episode #30 - New-Fangled Workbench - Part II

Plans and construction for my workbench continue. The design comes from the New Fangled Workbench designed and built by Fine Woodworking Shop Manager, John White. I just finished rendering the final SketchUp rendering for the top component. While construction has already started, I have been exploring the design with SketchUp primarily as an exercise challenge to help push my fledgling SU skills! This bench really appeals to the "McGyver" in me! I really like the flexibility. I think this will be an excellent solution for a blended woodworker. True to the spirit of all woodworkers, I will add my own spin to this remarkable bench.

As I mentioned in my first blog entry about this workbench, I am planning some design changes from the original. The front and back edges will have inset Kreg Tool Company Mini Tracks for a planing beam, clamping fixtures and fitting accessories.

The top is a laminated structure 1 3/4 KD douglas fir with 3/4 maple overlay. The removable panels are baltic birch plywood that will rest on 3/4 inch ledges along the inner well. These panels are press fit secured with inset rare earth magnets. The magnets engage a 1/2 steel strip flush mounted on the support ledges.

SketchUp has been a very welcome tool in my shop. SU allows detailed exploration of construction and design alternatives. It is very enlightening to visualize relationships between various components of a project. Next step is to work on a model of the stand. There are some surprises in store on how I plan it integrate the stand and bench top. Stay tuned!

Episode #29 - Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to all my fellow woodworkers! It has been a wonderful year full of new adventures in the workshop. I am looking forward to new challenges and projects.

From my shop to yours,
Merry Christmas
& Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Episode #28 - Custom Decals for Woodworkers

Custom Waterslide Decals for Woodworkers in
9 Easy Steps!

This was originally posted on Lumberjocks and has been updated twice. I continue to get email questions about this process. I just returned from our vacation home in Sisters, Oregon for a pre-holiday get-away with the family. Some of my first decals were made for this home. Seeing these guest signs made me think of posting a video tutorial update.

I have found this process very useful for making small signs and plaques. I also have made some small signature and commemorative decals for woodworking projects.

This Waterlide Decal Tutorial is available as a PDF download (see sidebar)

Materials List
  • Clear or White 8.5×11 waterslide decal paper
  • Deft Gloss Clear Lacquer
  • Speedball Rubber Brayer (Rubber Roller)
  • Paper Towels
  • Bowl with clean water
  • Color or Black & White Graphic Image
SOURCES FOR DECAL PAPER WATERSLIDE PAPER 1. Make decal design on your favorite graphic application.

I use a Mac so I will share the details of how I do things, however, you can do this on any computer with whatever application you feel most comfortable. For most of my decal work I use a combination of Microsoft Word and Adobe Photoshop Elements. I have also used my digital scanner and camera to import a particular image or graphical element. In this example I made a decal commemorating Dan Rickards, the landscape artist that painted the front of a cherry blanket chest. I usually print a draft copy on white paper and trim to size to test the fit on the finished piece.
When I am happy with the layout I make a final print on glossy photo paper or bright white heavy bond paper.

Decal sheets are 8.5×11. Try to make more than one decal during each printing run to minimize waste of the decal sheets. I just use the computer application to layout a number of images allowing room for final trimming. Mistakes do happen, so often it helps to make a duplicate image on each sheet.

2. Copy Decal Design On Decal Paper

Take final print and a small supply of decal paper to your favorite print shop. I use Kinkos for all my printing needs. If your intended decal is color you will need to use a color laser copier, otherwise use the black and white laser copy machine. Pay attention to orientation of the original and the print side of the decal sheet. This varies from machine to machine. I always use the “bypass tray” because the decal sheet is heavy and there is a risk of jamming the feed rollers.

The decal sheet supplier I use provides a thin tissue protection sheet on each decal sheet. Be sure to remove this sheet before printing your decal.

3. Seal the Decal

Spray 2 or 3 thin coats of Deft Gloss Clear Lacquer on the printed decal sheet. This protects the image, and more importantly, provides a bit of extra stiffness to the finished decal, making the waterslide application easier.

4. Soak the decal in clean water for a few minutes.

5. Lightly wet the surface where you intend to apply the decal.

Wetting the surface makes it easier to gently adjust the final position of the decal. For wood projects, I apply decals after the first coat of clear finish. The idea is that subsequent layers of finish will protect the applied decal. The decal ends up being buried in the layers of finish. The edges are barely perceptible after the last coat of finish.

6. Slide the Decal on to the Project

slide approximately 1/3 of the decal off the edge of the paper backing and position on your work piece. Gently hold that edge while slowly sliding the backing paper from the decal.

7. Check Final Position of Decal

At this point your decal is on your work piece floating on a thin film of water. Make any last minute position adjustments before using a brayer roller to gently squeeze water from under the decal.
Be gentle – decals are fragile!

8. Blot Excess Water

Use paper towel to gently blot any remaining water from the decal surface and your work piece.

. Allow The Decal to Dry

Allow the decal to thoroughly dry overnight before applying the remaining coats of finish.

Gentle and slow are key operative words for this process. As always, practice makes perfect when using a new technique!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Episode #27 - SketchUp Plans - INKLE LOOM

Inkle Loom Photo Gallery

Inkle Loom SketchUp Plans

I am out of town this week so not able to be in the shop. I do have an interesting project starting up just before or after Christmas. In the mean time, I have been playing a lot with SketchUp. I know the more I use the program that the better I will be – much like other things in life! Pushing my “SU comfort zone”, I decided to revisit the inkle loom. This would provide some challenge for using round shapes, slots and intersecting components.

This inkle loom was a fun project built for a weaver who contacted me from the Lumberjocks website. It was built from material rescued from the scrap bin! I enjoyed researching and learning about inkle looms. The loom is made of steamed cherry and red oak.

Joinery is mortise & tenon cut on the Leigh FMT and Miller Dowels.

Finish is 4 coats of tung oil, 3 coats of lacquer and 2 coats of wax.

The loom includes 6 shuttles to carry the weaving threads.

Inkle weaving has been around for centuries. Since early times, these narrow woven strips were used as belts, headbands, bag handles, or straps to tie and support things. Bags for gathering and carrying were fabricated by sewing together the woven strips. Recently, the inkle loom, and the woven tape it creates, enjoyed a huge cultural revival. In the 1960's woven tape from inkle looms was used for guitar straps and clothing trim.

Those interested the inkle loom should check out the following links:

Click for details: Inkle Loom

Inkle Weaving

Earth Guild

Friday, December 14, 2007

Episode #26 - Brass Makers-Marks

A new batch of brass Makers-Marks just arrived. It is always a cool day when you get something in the post from the United Kingdom! I get my brass labels from a very kind chap in England – his contact information is below. Vidi makes a solid and a finely crafted product lending a nice touch to a piece of handcrafted furniture.
My artwork was designed on my Mac using Microsoft Word and Adobe Photoshop Elements. The artwork file was uploaded via email. We sorted out a couple of design questions, basically agreeing to Vidi’s excellent suggestion of infilling the letters black and the tree green. The cost for 5 standard 1-inch brass color infilled labels was approximately $36 (US). An excellent deal! Vidi has been busy lately but I can tell you the wait is worthwhile.

My final artwork

I like the traditional feel that these brass labels give a project. I prefer painting the recess black so that when the label is installed there is a small subtle black reveal line around the outside edge. This is strictly personal preference. For those interested, a blog demonstrating installation of the small (1 inch diameter x 3mm thick) brass Maker-Marks was posted on the Lumberjocks website. My Installing a Makers Mark Tutorial is also available as a PDF download on my website.

Traditional Bronze, Brass & Stainless Steel Labels

VIDI Visual Communication

1 Cross Lane, Kendal
Cumbria LA9 5LB England, UK
Tel/Fax: 01539 740 251
From abroad 0044 1539 740251

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Episode #25 - Ezee-Feed Demo

Click for Hi-Resolution Video

Woodworkers throw away your unsteady roller stand once and for all!

My last Ezee-Feed video was a bit of a teaser as I unpacked and started the installation process. Well I finally got the Ezee-Feed system installed on my saw and had a chance to test the system with a sheet of 3/4 shop plywood. What a sweet accessory! As you all may know, I have a very small shop. This system allows me to cut sheets goods without any help. Think about that . . . no help . . . for me that means no longer having to coax my wife into the shop to help with an awkward task. Just that alone makes it worthwhile addition to the shop!

As a side note, my saw guard was left off for clarity while shooting the video . . . something I would not do on a regular basis.

This video demo of the Ezee-Feed infeed and outfeed system for the table saw will show you a better and safer way to cut rough lumber, plywood, MDF, melamine & other sheet goods. Ezee-Feed is the perfect solution for both the large production shop and the small garage or basement shop. Reduce back strain and kickback. Increase shop production and efficiency. Order yours today from
Ezee-Feed Manufacturing!

Ezee-Feed Manufacturing

Lee Jesberger
Proudly made in USA!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Episode #24 - Todd Clippinger - American Craftsman

Click for Hi-Res Video

Todd Clippinger – American Craftsman

I just had the distinct pleasure of visiting with Todd Clippinger, a talented designer and craftsman. I met Todd through one of the woodworking forums . . . well, the best woodworking forum;! A first for me last night, but typical of Todd's many talents and character, he pushed my technical envelope because our visit was via iChat. We had a great visit and he was exactly as I imagined from previous Lumberjocks conversations.

Todd works out of his studio and workshop in Billings, Montana. He specializes in custom fitted and freestanding furniture. Never satisfied with “the ordinary”, his personal goal to give each client exceptional design solutions sets him apart from the crowd. “American Craftsman does not refer to a specific design style,” Todd explains, ”but rather, to an adherence for the principals of quality and integrity in craftsmanship and design.” Todd bears out this sentiment, as he is a frequent contributor to generously sharing his skills and expertise.

Please visit his website for a better look into the remarkable talent of this designer craftsman. And, if you are like me, and get a thrill out of looking into another woodworker’s shop to see the “nitty-gritty” of how things are done, then you will enjoy his personal photo gallery. Although as Todd said, “its like watching paint dry”. Well not for me since both of these links are now on my “check frequently” bookmark section!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Episode #23 - Congratulations Neil!

BlipTv Best Shows on the Web . . .

I have been a fan of
Neil Lamens' woodworking blog since his first episode posted on Wednesday, February 7, 2007. Not quite the one year anniversary yet but getting close! Neil had me hooked from the first episodes.
I waited anxiously for each episode to be released as I followed his build of a six-drawer Contemporary Ash Lingerie Chest.

Neil speaks directly to the small shop operator working in the garage, basement or other small shop venue. He has a real ability to teach effective woodworking skills, shop efficiency, as well as, his passion for furniture design and history.

completion of the Contemporary Ash Lingerie Chest, Neil built a Thorsen Table for the & Popular Woodworking Thorsen Table Challenge. He then posted a series of interviews with selected designers from The 2007 International Contemporary Furniture Fair. He is now completing the build of a graceful bent lamination table inspired by Carlo Mollino.

I for one can't wait to see where Neil takes us next year! I know there are more exciting things yet to come out of his shop. Well it is no wonder that we see his Furnitology Productions listed as one of the best shows on the web!

Congratulations Neil!