Sunday, August 20, 2017

Week in Review – August 13-20

This week, Nancy Hiller demonstrated her simple strategy for installing Blum Tandem slides – one for setting the depth and one for setting the height of the slide in the cabinet box. Her process was developed over years of using jigs that went out of date with slide design revisions. It’s simple and effective! We set inventory-clearing prices on a few great titles – I have personally enjoyed using Hand Tool Fundamentals […]

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Saturday, August 19, 2017

Update on Hannah’s Progress

Hannah has been working with me since December for a day or two a week and then working in the classes we have too. She has just finished the construction of her home workbench, which she started two weeks ago. This one flows my latest pattern and dismantles for her to transport it as she …

Read the full post Update on Hannah’s Progress on Paul Sellers' Blog.



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VIDEO: How to Build a Hall Table with Simple Tools – I Can Do That!

Chad Stanton built an awesome Hall Table with simple tools and wood purchased from the home center in his latest episode of I Can Do That! This video will walk you through, step-by-step, the entire build. Chad uses a very modest tool set – this project is within everyone’s grasp! If you’re not familiar with our I Can Do That series, check out Christopher Schwarz’s post on how we got started with […]

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Friday, August 18, 2017

Book Giveaway: The Homemade Workshop

Homemade Workshop

What do you do when you need something for your shop? Do you spring for the new tool or machine you need without worrying about the cost? Probably not – few can afford outfit their shop with such wild abandon. But you’re a woodworker! Surely you can build some of the stuff you need, right? That’s the attitude James Hamilton, creator of the popular Stumpy Nubs website, has about outfitting the […]

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Dugout Chair Step 2: Lose 200 Ugly Pounds

I can roll this rotted log around my driveway for the dugout chair. But danged if I can lift it by myself. So the next step is to start chainsawing away the majority of the bulk that is not part of the finished chair. With my tiny 16” electric chainsaw I spent a good hour wasting away the first two kerfs on this chair. This activity attracted the attention of […]

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Thursday, August 17, 2017

Dugout Chair Step 1: Get it Out of the Truck

After picking up the rotted stump for my dugout chair, I parked my truck in front of my shop and then went inside to ponder: How do I get it out of the truck? Sure, there are lots of redneck methods involving wax paper, Wesson oil and chains. But I wanted to avoid damaging myself and trashing my truck. I could rent a forklift or other machine to make it […]

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Disposabilty, the Culture of Uncare and Uncraftsmanship

Of course you can’t uncare because  ‘uncare’ is not a verb, and generally we use ‘uncaring’ as the typical adjective. But I used uncare to encourage you to think about something that has increasingly troubled me and it ties in I think with the loss of crafts posts I posted on recently. Uncraftsmanship is not …

Read the full post Disposabilty, the Culture of Uncare and Uncraftsmanship on Paul Sellers' Blog.



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Success Isn’t at the Bookstore or the Museum

When my first book, “Workbenches: From Design & Theory to Construction & Use,” was released, I played a game that many first-time authors play. I looked for my book on the shelves of any bookstore I visited. After a few years I gave up. I’ve never seen the book for sale anywhere except online. But I do have something else that I’ve decided is better: Hundreds (maybe thousands) of photos […]

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Glutton for Punishment: My First Furniture Build

When I joined the Popular Woodworking team I had 14 years of editing and publishing experience. My woodworking experience was a bit more lacking – let’s say… level zero. But, I was eager to learn and Megan knew it. She asked me what I wanted to build first. I think the first thing I told her was a grandfather clock. Only not just any grandfather clock – my clock was […]

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Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Titanium Dioxide a Carcinogen? Europe Thinks It Is

It’s not just solvents such as methylene chloride that are coming under scrutiny as suspected human carcinogens. (I wrote about methylene chloride in the June, 2017 issue of Popular Woodworking.) The European Chemicals Agency’s Committee for Risk Assessment (RAC) just classified titanium dioxide as a suspected cause of cancer. What is titanium dioxide (TiO2)? It’s a white inorganic pigment that occurs naturally in certain rocks and mineral sands. It has […]

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Deep Discounts on 3 Print Titles – Building Arts and Crafts Furniture, Make a Windsor Chair and Hand Tool Fundamentals

We’re clearing off a shelf in the warehouse for new titles, and as a result, have three good books (the print versions only) available right now at a deep discount. The first is “Building Classic Arts & Crafts Furniture: Shop Drawings for 33 Traditional Charles Limbert Projects,” by Michael Crow. Right now (and only at shopwoodworking.com), it’s $7 (75 percent off the cover price). I think we mis-titled this one; it […]

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Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Nicole’s Wooden Spatula

Nicole’s favorite wooden spatula recently decided it had enough. The spoon was a layup from multiple pieces and featured two glue joints. With repeated exposure to moisture and heat, the joints eventually opened up. While the spatula is repairable, we decided we’d try to make something spatula as a fun collaborative project. Nicole turned the handle and I carved the spatula. We pretty much winged the entire project and used the old spatula as a model for the new one, so there are no official plans available for this. We hope you enjoy!

Here are a few links to products shown in the episode:

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How to Repaint Numbers & Graduations on a Steel Ruler: Restoring John Walters’ Rusted Starrett Ruler

After finding a rusted old Starrett ruler in a ‘Free stuff’ pile left by a neighbor, I decided to restore it and repaint the numbers and graduations. First, I placed it in a tray and covered it with a 20% vinegar solution for an hour or so. Then I scraped the ruler with a bread clip and #1000 grit wet-dry sandpaper to polish the surface. After washing and neutralizing the […]

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Yes, a Moisture Meter is Essential Equipment

A moisture meter is a device that lets you see the future. It allows you to avoid mistakes where your furniture will – literally – fall to pieces. But convincing woodworkers to buy one is like trying to push water uphill. This weekend, Brendan Gaffney and I were each working on some chair projects and got on the topic of moisture meters. Brendan has an idea for how to make […]

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Monday, August 14, 2017

No Surprises

Your responses to the last blog came as no surprise. As people accept the ever more mundane of mass making, skills automatically become dumbed down. Manufacturers that once had loyalty on a more local level have gradually sold out and what we thought was still being made domestically by local skills was hidden behind bland …

Read the full post No Surprises on Paul Sellers' Blog.



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The ‘Dugout Chair’ Begins With a Rotted Stump

For as long as I have been writing about woodworking, I have wanted to build a dugout chair. I first encountered the form in one of the many furniture books we had a Popular Woodworking Magazine. Soon after I started working at the magazine in 1996 I began poring through the books whenever I had a spare moment – attempting to get up to speed with all the different furniture […]

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How to Install Blum Tandem Slides with 2 Jigs

Blum Tandem slides being installed with jig

Blum Tandem slides are a fabulous innovation for built-in cabinetry with drawers and pantry pull-outs. They’re smooth, silent, invisible and they come with a little person inside who pulls the drawer shut for you. (OK, not really, but there might as well be someone in there considering how well they shut themselves.) As with most innovative hardware, there’s a range of accessories you can buy to ease installation. When I […]

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Dying Crafts. What to Do?

I listened to a BBC Radio 4 programme with a presenter named Jenny Murray talking about 17 crafts on the ‘Red Endangered List’, where certain crafts are in danger of disappearing. Of course we have seen crafts disappear because there was no use for them anymore. John Seymour wrote a book about the Forgotten Crafts …

Read the full post Dying Crafts. What to Do? on Paul Sellers' Blog.



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Sunday, August 13, 2017

The One With Cremona -Friday Live

We have a special guest for today’s Friday Live PM Edition: Matt Cremona. Be sure to check out Matt’s website for more details and who he is and why his hair is so cool! Here’s the topic and Q&A rundown:

0:34 – Special Guests
2:21 – Beers of choice for tonight
3:56 – Denver area maker meetup
6:01 – Presents from Jen
8:37 – Dust collection alert adapter
10:35 – What did you use to remove the coating on your new chisels?
12:18 – Can you tell me about a brand of panel saw or what TPI to get?
13:29 – What brand of sandpaper do you use/does brand matter?
16:18 – Do you have any tips for replacing jointer knives?
18:06 – On your Blacker house chair, did you use a pattern for the inlay or do it free form?
20:48 – Where do you see your business 5 years from now?
25:39 – Can Matt describe what hair products he uses to grow 4″ of hair in one night?
26:49 – What advantages do floor standing planers have over benchtop models?
28:44 – What species is referred to as ironwood?
29:09 – Are dominos strong enough for a trestle table?
29:30 – With dado zero clearance inserts, do you just make it as wide as possible, or buy multiple inserts?
34:21 – Do you trust your taps in knotty pine and plywood? What size of tap do you recommend for 4/4 stock?
36:41 – What skill or technique are you working toward improving the most?
40:38 – What’s the deal with square drive screws?
42:00 – What’s your favorite woodworking feature?
48:05 – Where can I get some good online instruction for a handplane?
49:10 – Is there something you continue to do but know there is a better method?
51:29 – Advice for a hand tool cabinet?
52:52 – Should I sell my kapex since I generally use my carvex?
55:00 – How do you know the correct grit to sand up to?
57:15 – When will we see Nicole using the lathe?
59:05 – What’s the best way to reduce a fuzzy surface coming off a benchtop planer?
1:00:41 – Does endgrain always take stain darker than the edgegrain?
1:03:30 – Can I use 1/4″ wood as a back panel to a cabinet?
1:05:27 – Why aren’t you doing a roubo tool cabinet with Matt?
1:09:02 – Would sycamore or red oak be good for a roubo?
1:10:00 – Is a hot dog a sandwich or not?
1:10:33 – Is the market for artisan chisels and hand tools already saturated?
1:14:38 – Can you offer advice to use a tablesaw to edge joint material?
1:15:47 – Do you know any youtubers who sell mallets?
1:17:55 – When are some instances you’d choose water based finishes over oil based?
1:20:44 – New Patreon supporters
1:21:13 – Guild project winner

coming soon

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Week in Review – August 7-12

This week we released a brand new episode of I Can Do That! In this episode, Chad Stanton walks us through a hall table build using lumber purchased at the local home center. The project is stunning and we hope that it encourages our viewers to leave their excuses behind and to build something incredible! You can watch the video and download the plans on the I Can Do That […]

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Saturday, August 12, 2017

Painted Bucket Bench – Home Center Wood Transformed with Faux Graining

A simple project from home-center wood is transformed with faux graining. by Catharine C. Kennedy Pages 51-54 August 2014 Buy the issue here.  Faux graining is the art of illusion. Use this technique, and your choices aren’t constrained by what woods are available or what’s shown in the veneering catalogs (or your bank account); you are limited only by your imagination. With the use of simple tools and materials you […]

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Friday, August 11, 2017

Talking of Beauty

An abandoned wardrobe lay bereft of its doors on a burn pile and I tugged on it to lift one end from the pallets below as if the pallets deserved to be there but the massive wardrobe didn’t. It was pine, only pine! I remember hearing the man say. But I tugged on it anyway, …

Read the full post Talking of Beauty on Paul Sellers' Blog.



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Video Giveaway: ‘Build a Welsh Stick Chair with Don Weber’

This week’s giveaway is the 2-DVD set (or the download version, if the lucky winner prefers) of our recent video “Build a Welsh Stick Chair with Don Weber” (& Friends). Confession time: I’m one of the “friends”…but I have yet to complete my Welsh stick chair. I’d set aside that week for filming and blocked off my calendar accordingly so as to keep anyone from calling me into a meeting. […]

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‘You Own a Table Saw?!’ – Safety Tips From a Hand Surgeon

This hand surgeon likes meeting fellow woodworkers – but not at work. by David Shapiro Page 64 From the April 2017 issue #231 Buy this issue I long ago lost track of how many people, upon learning of my interest in woodworking, have puzzled aloud over my table saw. They follow up with, “Do you know how important your hands are?” or, “Do you know how dangerous that thing can be?” […]

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The No. 1 Plane

It sure is cute – but is it useful? by Clarence Blanchard from the December 2006 issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine Few tools spark the affection of so many as the Stanley No. 1 size bench plane. Regardless of one’s interest, the small plane has a way of catching everyone’s eye. Set one on a table at a tool show and nearly everyone who walks by will stop to look […]

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Thursday, August 10, 2017

Another 16” saw lives

I once found a mid 19th Century Henry Disston handsaw being sold on eBay and bought it. `it’s a lovely saw and my favourite of all. It’s nott a common item and few will own this one particular type. It’s very lovely. My Disston is possessed and owned by me. It’s actually a small saw …

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Learning Woodworking from History Never Gets Old

I know, I’m getting older and turning into one of those guys that watches the History Channel way too much, but there’s some pretty good woodworking to be learned from history. Take crown moulding… no, really, crown moulding. Usually, our hardest task with crown moulding is trying to remember which way to place it in the miter saw to get the right angle. That’s because we’re working with crown that […]

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Ugly Need Not Be – How I built a Hewing Stool…Twice

A year ago I built a glorified stump to hew spoon blanks. I spent weeks thinking about my needs, how to make the work safer and the construction robust. It needed to be high enough to so I wasn’t constantly bent over and stable. Speed of build was also important because it was just a shop appliance. That bench performed perfectly and met all my goals. I have never hated […]

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Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Adam’s Wall Hanging Jewelry Box

My wife had been complaining about how messy her small little jewelry box was and how hard it was to find matching earrings. So I started searching the internet for inspiration. I found that there were several hang on the wall and or over the door models that I thought would be really nice. So I began designing.

I started with the hanging mirror we had on the wall and used that for the dimensions. I then showed my wife several of the designs and asked her to tell me how she would like the inside to be laid out. I wanted the inside to be flexible. So I made shelving holes the entire length. I also made a french cleat system on the door so that the earring holder could be moved or other boxes/accessories could be created if desired. I used maple and finished it with an oil based poly to get the “glow” from the wood. It was a fun project!

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CAD to CAM to CNC: Part Three — From a Simple 2D Drawing to 3D Design

In previous posts, I drew the basic 2D curved shape for the BARN Workbench vise chop using CAD software. Because I was still at the beginning stage of the project, I also designed and built a jig that holds the blank stock during machining on a CNC. Now that the basics are out of the way, it’s time for the fun part: Turning a simple 2D shape into a 3D vise […]

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Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Treasure Hunting & the Restoration of a Starrett Sliding Bevel – Part 3: How to Sand Rust Off Your Tools

Strategies to have more control while removing rust with abrasives One of the best ways to give you more control when sanding rust and to make sure you only engage the corroded areas is to back up the sandpaper with a hard and flat backing plate. If you were to hold a piece of sandpaper or an abrasive pad with your fingers instead of a cork or rubber block while […]

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What to Do When White Oak That Won’t Take Stain Evenly

I received a question from a woodworker who had made an end table from quarter-sawn white oak and had a problem with the stain penetrating unevenly. The problem showed up just on the end grain, not the long grain. And it showed up on both ends of the board. The woodworker explained that he had tried to fix the problem by cutting off a little of the end grain (hand-planing […]

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Monday, August 7, 2017

Slabs From the Sawyer

I often feel like sourcing wood takes on two aspects for me. It can be an annoyance, where I can’t find the board I’m looking for, and everything is checked, warped or has too much runout. On the other hand, I go out of my way on every vacation to visit lumberyards, to see what treasures another part of the country or world possesses, and to take a chance on […]

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Dutchman to the Rescue: How I Patch Wood

Every so often I do something dumb. A few weeks ago I was drilling 1/4″ holes to peg the tenons for a table’s apron. I started with a brad point bit but switched to a Forstner after finding that the first bit had torn the grain at the edge of the first two holes. I glued the pegs into those holes anyway, hoping to scrape out the tears when I […]

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Sunday, August 6, 2017

Kitchen Worktable

When we moved out here to Covington, I refused to do two things. For one, I didn’t want to bring some of the beater furniture that has been following us around since college. And two, I didn’t want to buy any cheap furniture when we got here, with the plan of replacing it. This led to the need to build nice, hard-wearing furniture with some speed, and a few meals on […]

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Week in Review – July 30-August 5

If you are not a subscriber to our print magazine, you might not know that we produce seven issues a year. This week, we received the first box of our September/October issue at our office in Cincinnati, Ohio. This issue should make it to print subscribers through the mail any day now and our digital subscribers have already received their emails with the PDF version. This is always a very exciting time in […]

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Saturday, August 5, 2017

Nails: Your Unexpected Friend in the Forest

A lot of hand skills develop hand-in-hand with other hand skills. Learning to sharpen a handplane gives you the skills to sharpen a carving gouge or turning tool. These are pretty obvious. But some hand skills help you in unexpected way. For example: Working with a lot of nails makes splitting green wood for chair parts much easier. Both skills benefit from dead-on accuracy with a striking tool – a […]

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Breadboard End Cutting Board

by David Picciuto pages 50-51 From the April 2017 issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine Practice a centuries-old technique on this small contemporary piece.  Found on everything from refined 18th-century highboys to muscled Arts & Crafts tables, breadboard ends are a handsome and time-tested way to prevent wooden panels from warping over time. Correctly made, breadboard ends not only keep panels flat, but also allow them to expand and contract with […]

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Friday, August 4, 2017

Man Cold – Friday Live!

Today, Marc is feeling sick and Nicole thinks it’s funny! Of course we have the usual Q&A rundown:

  • 1:05 – Cremona is coming for the Denver Maker Meetup
  • 3:08 – Any tips to keep control of the router when doing freehand routing?
  • 5:19 – Is there a ratio or rule of thumb when making bowtie inlays?
  • 8:28 – If you’re building a cabinet with a face frame and no doors, would you make the frame the same thickness as the carcass?
  • 11:22 – If I’m using side mount drawer slides in a cabinet, is there any point in incorporating web frames?
  • 14:23 – I can’t seem to get the backs of my chisels flat, any tips for flattening?
  • 17:57 – Can I buy guild projects in payments?
  • 19:42 – Does the diameter of a pattern bit affect the cutting ability?
  • 20:48 – Are mineral spirits food safe to thin salad bowl finish?
  • 22:22 – Is there a good caulk to put in joints to mitigate joint cracking on furniture?
  • 23:16 – What’s Marc’s favorite takeout restaurant?
  • 25:03 – I have a 2 year old can of pre-cat lacquer, is it still good?
  • 27:12 – How were the Tim Tams?
  • 28:13 – Can you go over your latest screw purchase and go over the sizes that are good to have?
  • 31:00 – How do you determine chisel quality of unmarked chisels?
  • 33:00 – New Patreon Supporters!

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Book Giveaway: Contemporary Furniture

Contemporary Furniture

When I think about the furniture in my own house, I guess the best word to describe the mix of stuff we own is eclectic.  We’ve inherited period furniture from grandparents, picked up interesting pieces at odd home emporiums and have our share of IKEA stuff. So when adding a piece of furniture my wife and I often lean toward contemporary furniture – something simple in design that could go with […]

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Bandsaw Jigs for Better Resawing

bandsawjigs

A well-tuned bandsaw is a perfect tool for resawing. Adding a few jigs to the process makes resawing better, safer and easier. The thin blade on a bandsaw doesn’t waste much wood, eliminates kickback and is very stable. By adding jigs such as a tall fence, a stabilizing block and some infeed and outfeed supports for even more stability, you can get a smooth resawn board that won’t require very much […]

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Thursday, August 3, 2017

A Full Month Past But What Memories!

In the last month I taught workshops in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, Israel, filmed a new multipart series that fully updates my most current version on building my home woodworking workbench, taught a nine-day workshop here in the UK (just completed) and indeed kept up with the day to day of keeping all of the …

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Popular Woodworking Magazine – Sept./Oct. ’17 Issue Now Available

The September/October 2017 issue mailed today (digital subscribers, please check your email; the print version should be arriving in mailboxes shortly); you’ll find all the online extras at http://ift.tt/2vmDglI. Here’s look at the table of contents (yes, I could tell you what’s inside…but why write it twice?!): And, this issue is now available in our store for single-issue sales (but if you don’t already, please consider subscribing!). — Megan Fitzpatrick

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CAD to CAM to CNC: Part Two. A Dedicated Jig for Two-Sided CNC Work

In my previous post about making the BARN workbench vise chop, I shared the basic CAD design work for the project. In Rhino3D, I created the curved 2D design – the chop and a simple box representing the blank stock it’s milled from. The chop profile is a simple curved shape. But, when it comes to design, don’t take “simple” for granted. Managing simplicity is a key skill for good design. That curve is […]

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Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Adam’s “Finishing Booth” Workshop

Right off the bat I’m sure you’ll notice this isn’t a “shop” per say, but rather a garage that transforms into a year round finishing booth. The reason I’m sharing it is to maybe inspire those in a similar situation as myself. I am of course a woodworker first, finisher second. It dawned on me shortly after I began completing pieces of furniture for around the house, that I really need a good “system” to finish.

Not having the space (or the means) for a dedicated spray booth, I have what you see today. After some trial and error, I have to say, it works excellent! The exhaust fan and filter portion is really a plywood box on wheels with a Dayton 16in. tubeaxial fan atop of it. Attached to the fan is a 90 degree elbow that sticks out of my garage window about a foot and a half. The filter portion of the box is 48″wide X 84″ tall. Above the work area is a combustion research “Serengeti” infrared 80,000 btu gas heater for the cold winters here in upstate NY. The last thing I put up was the curtain wall; this made all the difference in the world! For make up air I simply open the window next to the booth and by sectioning the garage off with the curtain, it really creates a nice draft to carry the overspray away. I get my compressed air from a compressor in the basement that I piped in with “rapidair” piping. All of the spray guns I use are manufactured in Colorado from a company called C.A.Technologies; really nice stuff. I don’t worry about explosion because everything I use is waterborne. When I’m all done I pack it all up and sick it in the corner. The foot print is less then 6ft. wide by 4ft. deep when its all collapsed. I could certainly condense that more if I really wanted to. I did do most of this on a budget, buying the fan off of craigslist and making the lighting fixtures from inexpensive photography lighting tripods. The real money was in the heating and then the curtain wall. But even that I’m sure you could find a budget solution for. I hope this helps somebody!

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Suggested Saw Makers

One or two of you have suggested I consider looking at some different makers of the age, those who are investing time and effort to develop new handsaws. Thank you for your input. As yet the saws I have looked over are replications of what’s existed since the late 1700s and therefor the result of …

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8 Articles on Nails: You Might Consider Using Nails in Your Next Project

We released a video on YouTube yesterday all about nails. Christopher Schwarz presented a short lesson on the various types of nails available and why we might use them in different applications. To continue the conversation, I thought I’d pull together some of Chris’s posts on nails from his years of blogging on the subject. Check out what I found and leave a comment about your experience with nails in […]

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Notes on a Steam-bending Jig

I do only a little production work in my shop, so I don’t have a lot of jigs and fixtures. In fact, I think I can count them on one hand: a sliding table for my table saw, a shooting board/bench hook, my doe’s feet for my workbench and a V-block for planing objects to octagons. But when I build a jig, I want it to last. This week I […]

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