A place for me to display some of the varied projects that come out of my shop, as well as to "talk" about some of my experiences working with wood.

Monday, 15 February 2016

2016 in like a lion...

Like many of my woodworking compatriots I have adopted the use of Instagram to share the happenings in my shop. As a result my blog posts have diminished. I am determined to keep this running log of major activities, so this will serve as a an update on what I have been up to.

Click on any of the pictures to see them a bit bigger.

The end of 2015 brought to a closure my foray into the luthierie, I sold all my guitar making tools, jigs, plans, hardware, and bits to a friend who is starting up his own guitar shop in Dartmouth; I hope this gives him the head start he needs. He will also finish up a few projects I never completed which will close the door on this part of my woodworking experience. Having made 10 guitars and mandolins over a few years was both eye-opening and very rewarding. Nothing will take your woodworking to a level of precision like the technical demands of building a guitar. My archtop guitar remains the project I am most proud of to date - I will have to work pretty hard to surpass that accomplishment. BTW - I have kept all my premium wood sets, so if you are looking to build a guitar or two, come see me...

The off-time during Christmas was consumed with some painting around the house, and the pumpkin orange in the hallway has been muted to a cream off-white. Your retinas will thank you.

Update on Christmas build...

How do you do siding in bird-scale?
Tilted dado blade and voila!
As part of tradition at Christmas my wife's family draws names, this is a merciful way to deal with all the giving nonsense. Her sister wanted a birdhouse she could put out front. It was determined I would replicate her house (more or less) in bird scale. This was a fun project using up some cedar I have been storing for far too long.

The finished birdhouse "in the white"
The finished bird condo, after receiving the full Kim treatment - awesome!

Shop Clean-up and some turning:

We needed some cutting boards she said...
I have been doing quite a bit of shop cleanup and moving out more scraps to the burn box to get some of the clutter out of the way. As always many of the pieces are just a little too big or premium to burn, so these get either stored back away or turned into something. This time they made their way into some cutting boards, these are all offcuts and I thicknessed a few strip to inlay them to add some interest:

Is this enough already?
I started this rolling pin a couple years ago and was fed
up with it rolling off the bench. It has skateboard
bearings inside to make it easy to roll.
I rough-turned this wet piece of Olive last August
and finally it was dry enough to finish off (smells bad).

As you see I have been working through lots of pieces of material, although it does not appear to have made much of a dent.

I will have to re-dedicate myself in the coming months to this purpose - fail, I shall not...

This piece of punky apple came from Yarmouth in 1999!
This round piece of Maple had 1996 written
on the edge - c'mon man!

Another project from the material stores...

I have also been busy on a piece of furniture - this time for us. We wanted a sideboard for the dining area to replace a shelf that mysteriously disappeared after my youngest son bought his new house. I am not saying anything in particular here - the timing definitely was a coincidence.

The money shot - cherry and ash sideboard in its new home.
Size: 48" w x 16" d x 30" h

Those not interested in woodworking techniques and the man glitter that we all know sawdust is - click away now.

In keeping with the theme of this post this entire piece was built using material I had on hand. The cherry came from material I had left from the KUBISK bedroom set build, including the top which came from exactly three pieces 50" long to yield a 48" top. the ash is from material I had milled up for the KUBISK drawers.

The end frames are glued up and make extensive use of dominoes for easy joinery.

The ash end panel looks like separate boards, but I chamfered the edges before gluing them up.
Expansion s[ace was left on the edges behind the strips holding them in place.

The structure comes from an integral shelf in the base screwed to the end frames
and web frames in the top providing structure for the drawers as well.
The shelf is veneered Baltic birch to provide max support.
The back is designed with individual cherry slats shiplapped and screwed to the back.
I wanted a finished look in case this became a free-standing piece.
And yes the screws are clocked!!

This unit has a couple of drawers and of course I am going to dovetail them.
I don't dovetail all the time - but when I do, I use the David Barron jig! :-)

All glued up with a coat of oil to seal.
Another shot with the drawer open and shelf installed. We chose the clean
drawer front look without hardware. drawers have a centre glide hidden underneath.


  1. I don't do instagram but I do follow your blog. Curious, does cherry grow in NS?

    1. Hi Ralph,
      Glad I have at least one follower!! No cherry does not grow well around here, any local stuff is really not furniture grade, so most comes from the US.