Tuesday, January 26, 2016
So it's been 13 years since my dad died, and I sure do miss him.
He had the first woodshop that I ever worked in, but I don't ever remember him actually teaching me to build anything. It was more like him saying "stay away from that tool!" which I totally ignored.
He was always working (like I do) and usually too busy to do fun things (like me). But his shop was always filled with mysterious looking tools and good wood, and it was there that I built my first rubber band machine gun
or my first skateboard ramp.
Even though he'd yell if I used too much of his lumber, I believe he was proud that I was able to cobble together small projects so nicely.
So here's a tribute to the man who taught me so many things - loyalty, work ethic, family values, and how to swing a golf club.
And here's a favorite quote that comes to mind when I think of him:
People living deeply have no fear of death. ~Anaïs Nin, 1967
Sunday, January 24, 2016
Thursday, January 21, 2016
It's so easy to take ourselves too seriously. We think what we're doing is just so life-or-death, when in reality, our stuff is pretty ordinary. We're not re-inventing the wheel, or solving life's mysteries; we're just all going about our day trying to pay the bills, feed the kids and critters, and hopefully sleep well at night.
To me, it's the simple things that really make me happy. An ice cold beer in summer. Pretty tulips sprouting up in the yard in spring. Stella running up to greet me when I walk in the door.
So I've been trying to beautify things in my surroundings. Simple stuff. Check out this log - I have no idea what kind of wood it is (I may send it off to be identified)...
but it's very pretty. Yellow pretty.
The re-sawn plank is perfect for my latest project - and one of the cutoffs allowed me to make a couple of pegs.
And boom - another tool holder for the shop - this time, holding the brand new Lie-Nielsen draw knife.
Speaking of important things - have you heard about the #DStrong campaign? Now THIS is important.
Saturday, January 09, 2016
When they say diamonds are a girls best friend, they obviously weren't talking about me. As far as I'm concerned, there isn't a better way into my heart than to buy me tools!
So when I got this new hammer for Christmas, I decided to give it some special love – and hang it on the wall in my office.
A while back, we had a huge log delivery at the shop, and I saved a few smaller logs for projects exactly like this. I sliced off a few small slabs, it almost looked like I was making potato chips.
Some of the slices were actually translucent.
Once I had one that seemed perfect, I took the scrap end of the log and made a few long pegs with my tenon cutter.
I'm not sure how it happened, but the plugs were actually a little crooked. It added a lot of character to this hammer hanger!
To soften the front edge of the pegs, I put them in my drillpress and touched the edge with a little bit of sandpaper while they were spinning.
Since the plugs were half-inch diameter, I drilled a few half-inch holes in the right spot and glued the pegs in place.
Since the hammer has a little bit of weight to it – I added a few screws from behind to hold the pegs in place.
And here it is – the 15 minute hammer hammer!
I love doing little projects like this, they're creative and fun, and keep my skills sharp.
Now if I can only figure out how to hang this baby!