Month: August 2009

Unplugged Summer Part Three

With the dovetails dry fit I’ll take some of my scrap wood and try to get a sense of the weight and dimension the stand should be for the piece. I want things to be slight and skinny, with a modern sensibility about it. The exposed joinery on the box will also be reflected through the stand joinery but first I’ll have to dimension some stock. This 16′ long plank of Khaya would be a dream to most but sadly it’s so warped and twisted that getting a 30″ length out of it without any kind of hollow or...

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BAD AXE

  Every once in awhile a new hand tool comes along and changes the way you work. Yes, that’s usually due to superior manufacturing and flawless attention to detail but every now and then someone steps things up a notch and not only brings the quality of craftsmanship to a new level but actually inspires the work that you do. This experience has only happened to me a couple of times before and has happened again. A few weeks ago I got a call from my local post office in Cape Breton that a parcel has arrived for me....

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The Unplugged Summer Part Two

Drilling holes in a perfectly fine bench top can be as scary as you make it; I’ve been using this style bench at my shop in Toronto and have come to find I’m much more comfortable hand planing stock with it sitting freely on the bench top surface butted up against a thin baton of hardwood. No tail vise or hold-fasts just the weight and the balance of my arms and the hand plane working together. (There are of course exceptions with this rule like cross grain work with a scrub plane) This, my summer bench has never been...

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The Unplugged Summer

Back in the city after an incredible summer out on the coast. I’m really quite excited to be getting back to work on the heritage door project but before I do I thought I’d share a little slice of the past seven weeks at home on Cape Breton, in my nice, sunny wood shop. A few quick projects and the hurdles along the way. This blog process reminds me of children starting a new grade in school…remember your teacher asking you to stand up in front of the class room – strange new faces staring, palms sweating grasping empty...

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SUMMER CRAWLS…

  Offcuts of Khaya from the boat building days welcomed me home to my shop on the coast. I left the city behind, those garbage-strike-dogs-days of summer… Timing you know, really is everything. What better time or place to unwind and decompress from the year we just had. Of course ‘we’ in this context is referring to my hand tools and I. I kicked open the door to my shop in late June to a dusty old table saw, stuffed to the nuts with sawdust and splinters- “Did I leave it like this?” It’s hard to remember now, leaving...

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