My Son has his first tool.

Over the weekend my oldest and I took a woodworking class together at a neighborhood shop where we built a kid sized mallet. The owner used to be a kindergarten teacher so it was a great experience for my son who has a tendency to not really listen.

After a 2.5 hour class we had a decent kid sized wooden mallet but my sone wanted to add some wood to the gaps around the wedge but i suggested some black tinted 24 hour epoxy which we also used to fill in a loose knot.

The next day i used a card scraper to smooth off the epoxy and my son sanded everything smooth before adding raw linseed oil thinned with true turpentine.

Why yes that is a Claro Walnut child’s mallet (the owner had received some free cutoffs from someone). Once the oil cures we might add some shellac but we will see.

First Bowl

I’m planning on turning the tenons for my long overdo staked chairs and my family is still out of town so I decided to take a bowl turning class at the office wood-shop.

Considering it was my first attempt I’m pretty happy with the results this far. Next week I’ll try to finish sanding out that tear out and try to get it finished. I might cook some raw linseed oil this weekend in preparation.

The Perks of the New Job

I’m just wrapping up my first week of training at the new job and wow this is a change from my old job. I had a bit of downtime Thursday evening so I signed up for the safety class at the on site wood shop. Overall it’s a well stocked shop with dedicated crosscut and ripping stop-saws, multiple lathes, and an oscillating horizontal drum sander. There are also laser cutters and soon to be a CNC router.

Next week I’m going to see if I can fit in the lathe checkout class so I can crank out the dining chairs what are taking up room in my shop.

A consultant no more

Yesterday I put in my notice at work and soon I will no longer be a consultant. For the last 15 years I have lived by the billable hour but now I am entering the world of Big Tech thanks to an offer I could not refuse.

It will be interesting to see how the year shakes out in a new industry (they have an employee wood-shop).

Life is full of change.

Butterflies may have jumped the shark

This afternoon i was touring the new office space of one of my clients (tech startup) when my host pointed out their new tables. Inlaid brass butterflies work pretty well in the “industrial chic” of their new office.

Then I happened to notice the oddly consistent need for split control and became suspicious.

Is it just me or do those look like saw marks in that split?

This will cut into my Woodworking Time

So my wife and I did something crazy.  Like, I still wake up in the middle of the night wondering if this was a terrible idea.  We bought a “ranch” in northern Wyoming…

The property has been neglected for decades and I just spent a few days exploring and figuring out what needs work (short answer is everything) and the scale of this project is a bit overwhelming.  There is no house at the moment (it burned down) but there is a garage/workshop that needs a new roof.  I’m sure the seller will being clearing some of it out but I might end up with some functional tools.

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Clamp Storage

A while back I saw a clamp storage station on Reddit and saved the image to my phone. I found that image this weekend and cranked out a version for my garage. I didn’t realize how many clamps I had.

Between the pocket holes and the band saw this was a pretty quick build and has already made a difference in the garage.

Sandbox

I was telling a friend of mine that the plus side of being a woodworker is you can build cool stuff but the downside is we tend to overbuild it. Case in point, i went to hone depot to get lumber for a sandbox and they had 2/12 rough sawn redwood board that were almost the same price as pressure treated.

My fore plane removed the fuzz and my spoke shave smoothed the chipped edges. Then I used percussion right angles and a half dozen clamps with 10 outdoor grade pocket screws and gorilla glue in each corner.

Square sandbox unfortunately showed that the yard edging was not.

Side note, my oldest asked if a Gorilla handed me the glue like on TV.