Category Archives: Woodworking
Welcome to my home wood-shop! Yes, I know…it’s just my garage, but to me, it’s as much a shop as any. Here is a virtual tour of the tools around the shop, and why I picked them.
Hitachi 8″ Miter Saw
This saw has a compound slide, so it can cut material up to 12″ wide. It has a pre-notched miter box, that is easy to setup for angled cuts in things like crown molding. I replaced the stock blade with a 60-tooth, teflon-coated freud blade. I had trouble with the coarser blades kicking back on very dry material, or during deep cuts. I’ll tell ya….nothing scares the crap out of me more than a saw kicking back.
DeWalt 10″ Contractors Saw
It came with this handy, folding stand, so it is easy to tear down and put out of the way when not in-use. Only thing I would change about this saw is the bed and fence size. It is tricky to feed a 4×8 sheet of plywood through it nice and straight. I bought a few portable feed-rollers that I place strategically around the saw when cutting long pieces.
Dremel Scroll Saw
It can cut with straight or spiral blades, it has adjustable tensioning, and a tiltable table for angled work. It has a built-in work light, and an air blower to keep the chips out of the way. I love this saw for hobby work. It is excellent for working with lite-ply or balsa.
Delta 12″ Drill Press
This is one of my latest tool additions to the shop, and I love it. My wife is super for getting me this for my birthday! For a bench-top press it is excellent. Now that I am getting into metal working, I have just recently ordered a drill-press vise, so I can do both metal and wood on this press. I also have a mortising attachment for this unit that seems to do quite well for cutting mortise joints.
Delta 12 1/2″ Portable Planer
This planer works very well, considering its small size. I can buy relatively inexpensive lumber, re-saw it, and put nice faces on it now. I have used this machine to make a number of excellent projects so-far, including a new work bench. I also have some video of it hogging off about a 1/16″ from a drawer face.
Woodtek 1hp Dust Collector
My wife wants to keep my lungs clear of dust. Christmas before last, this was sitting under the tree. Isn’t she awesome!?! I think she likes the woodshop as much as I do…:-)
I have made my own PVC ducting system to bring flex-hose to the various tools. It’s mounted up in the rafters of the garage so it is out of the way.
Grizzly 6″ Jointer
Santa Claus brought this new toy this year. Now I can do even more to make inexpensive, warped wood, into something that works well for projects. It is a heavy beast, with a wicked cutting head. I mounted it to a delta mobile base, so it can be wheeled around. The mobile base was a little too large, so my first project with the jointer was to make inserts to make it mount snugly into the base.
C&H Extreme Compressor
Every shop needs central, compressed air. Not every shop (like mine) has room for a big, bulky compressor. This thing can deliver LOTS of air. I guess that’s why it’s called the “extreme” series. Only problem is, it takes every last ounce of a 20A breaker to get started. I had to rewire the electrical in the garage with more circuits to be able to keep the auto-start feature enabled, or it would just pop the breaker when it kicked on.
Here are some various woodworking projects I have completed in the last year. I will try to outline the various construction techniques I used.
Baby Changing Table
This baby changing table is made out of 3/4″ solid pine. All the edging was done using a beveled router bit, and a scroll saw. It took approximately 2 weekends from start to finish. It was my wife’s idea to build a baby changing table from scratch. She gets the credit for designing this one, and doing most of the finish work. It is painted to match the trim color of the room, so it fits in with the rest of the decor super. I have had lots of people emailing me with interest in how this project was actually constructed. I never drew up any formal plans for it. It was constructed from some rough sketches off a piece of binder paper. However, if you are looking for lots of interesting woodworking plans, check out this site Swingplans.com.
Pool Pump-House Door
This door was constructed to look rustic, and outdoorsy. This was my first project at milling my own lumber from crummy, scrap wood. The front of the door is made from cheap, rough, redwood fence boards that have been single-faced on my portable planer, and squared up on the table saw. The interior of the door is a Z-shaped, 2×4 frame to provide structure. I found some inexpensive, iron gate hardware at a local hardware store to make it look very rustic. Each of the boards has been edge-routed with a 20 degree bit, to make for a nice V-shape between each board. I made a template of the brick door top, and cut to shape using a jigsaw. Hinges are mounted into the building using deep, masonry mounts.
Small Camellia Trellis
We recently re-landscaped a portion of our backyard. We needed some trellis work to handle various plants, such as camellias. I wanted to further my experiences using cheap garden lumber, home-milled to my own specifications. My wife designed the trellis, and helped me with the milling process. This trellis is a box frame, with an internal, overlapping lattice. I found some 10′ 2×12 rough redwood pieces used for building garden edging or retaining walls that was super cheap. I was surprised to find that the wood was not terribly moist, and would probably work well without significant shrinkage. I re-sawed the 2×12 boards into 2×2 pieces, and then planed them down to 1.75×1.5. The interior was made of 1×3/4″ strips of redwood, glued, and tack nailed using a brad nailer. Two of these trellis were built.
This trellis was constructed from the same materials as the first, although it is much larger and used beefier stock. 2×3 pieces form the main supports, with lap-jointed, 1×1′s. The lap joints were deep and wide, and quite difficult to cut with a 3/4hp router. I did not posses a 1×1″ cutting bit, so I had to cut the joints using multiple passes. It was time consuming to say the least, although the final result was worth it. Two of these trellis were built, and it took about 2 full weekends to do the work, not including painting.
Wooden Workbench with Storage
My wife decided we needed to get the garage more organized. What an excellent excuse to build some cabinetry! Here is the first part of getting organized, a workbench. This is constructed using a 3/4″ plywood frame, and a 2″ thick MDF top, with a poplar edge. Drawers are made from 3/4″ plywood, and glued together using 1/2″ dovetail joints. Drawer faces, are home-milled redwood, made from old fence boards again, with a bullnose, routed edge. The rolling scrap-bin is also made from 3/4″ plywood, with 4″ casters. I just love how when you mill off 1/8″ from some old fence boards how it exposes such beautiful redwood.
Wooden Overhead with Removable Box Storage
More storage! This is a plywood-framed overhead cabinet. Each storage bin is a separate box made from, you guessed it, old fence boards again! They are milled down to 1/2″, and dovetailed, with cedar bottoms (cedar is from old fence boards too!). 3/4″ poplar edging makes it look really pretty, and goes well with all that red, wood.
I needed a sturdy bench to hold my metal lathe so it wouldn’t move around. Any vibration in the work surface means that the parts I create won’t be accurate. This followed a similar design to the other workbench, using self-milled redwood fence boards for drawer faces.
Dog Crap Box
My friends all laughed when I explained this project. The goal is to train the dog to crap in only a small portion of the yard, and not muck up the lawn with land-mines. It was my wife’s idea to make the dog a little garden of her own. This is constructed as a simple redwood frame, filled with dirt, and covered with bark. I shot the basecoat of exterior latex using the air sprayer, and she painted all the pretty flowers on it. She also constructed the cute little sign to mark it as “Zoe’s Little Garden”. The dog does look happy sitting in it…I think she knows we made it for her.