Tulip Poplar Burl Bowl

Here is another bowl i turned, however this one is much smaller.  To begin, i used a faceplate to secure the bowl for rough turning.  Once the bowl was true, i turned a foot on one side of the bowl and made a recess for the chuck to grab onto.  The wood wasn’t that green, so i decided to turn it to its final stages.  Hollowing was quick and easy with this wood, and overall it was a pleasure to turn.  Next, i sanded the bowl from 60 grit to 400 grit.  For the finish i used Mineral oil with paste wax.  I like to use this finish because it is easy to apply and isn’t very glossy.


hand tool shelf construction

I wanted to make a storage unit to store some of my planes, saws, and sharpening equipment, so i came up with a simple but strong way of making shelves.  I used all scrap wood for this project, so it isn’t pretty but it gets the job done.  I started by cutting 3/4 inch poplar to my desired length.  I used a hand saw to do this, and then i ripped that board into 2 pieces using the bandsaw.


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Here are the sides cut

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Now for the joints.  I glued each of the joints and used brads to help hold them in place.  The brads are not for strength but they will help line up the holes for screws later.

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Next, i pre drilled holes for the screws.  The screws and glue are what makes the joint strong.

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After that, i added the screws.  The pre drilled holes help guide the screw so it doesn’t veer off course.


After you do this on all four corners, you can add the shelves and the back.  Thanks for reading.

First wood turned bowl

I rough turned this bowl out of walnut a while ago, and i waited about 4 months before i final turned it.  It started out as a wax sealed walnut bowl blank that measured 5x5x2.  Rough turning was easy, and the blank still had a lot of moisture left in it.  I put it in a brown paper bag and pierced holes in it to slowly let the moisture out.  I learned this technique from a man selling bowls at a farmers market.  Other options are to seal it in wood sealer, or even letting the bowl sit in a mixture of water and dish soap.  I have never tried the dish soap method, but i read about it on woodweb.com, and i think i may want to try it in the future.  The bowl cracked a little while drying, but they sealed up on there own later.  Once dried, i final turned it and sanded it to 400 grit, and then finished it with mineral oil and buffed it with dome finishing wax.  I plan on making many more bowls in the future.

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In progress: canoe paddle

Since i am currently building a canoe, i felt that i needed to make a proper canoe paddle for it.  I went out to the lumberyard and bought 4/4 cherry and maple for the project.  I decided that i would use maple for the shaft with cherry blades.  So far, i have cut out the shape and have tapered the blades.  I used my Stanley block plane to shape the blades and a Kunz spokeshave to shape the shaft.  I planed the blades down to a quarter inch, and i will sand them later.  I will use fiberglass and epoxy resin to make the paddle very strong .  In addition, i will sand the shaft so that it is more like a cylinder.  This will improver the grip i have on the paddle.  I have learned many new skills making this paddle and if you haven’t made one, then you should try it some time. Photo on 1-24-13 at 3.00 PM

The blue center line will be sanded off in the future.

Bandsaw blades

I use a variety of different bandsaw blades in my shop.  I use three main blades, which can accomplish most of the work i do.  Usually, i keep an Olson quarter inch blade on for general purpose cuts.  This blade has six teeth per inch, so it isn’t very aggressive but still will cut through wood fast.  For scrolling type cuts, i use a 3/16 inch blade with about 12-14 teeth per inch.  The high number of teeth and thinness of the blade will allow me to cut tighter radiuses.  If i wanted to cut an even tighter radius cut, then i would use a scroll saw.  The last blade i use is a 3 tpi, 5/8 inch blade.  This blade is very aggressive, and is perfect for resawing.  The wider gullets on this blade carry away sawdust quicker, and allows the teeth to continue cutting.

“Cheap Canoe” build part 1

The “Cheap canoe” from bateau boats is a very simple canoe that you can build in a couple of weekends.  Essentially, the whole canoe is made out of quarter inch plywood with fiberglassed seams.  Measuring about 14 feet long, it only takes two sheets of plywood to build.  So far, i have measured out the panels and cut them out.  I used my bandsaw for the curves with a little help from a circular saw for the straight cuts.  An alternative is a jig saw, which probably would be easier to use considering that the panels are about 7 feet long.  After cutting, I ordered fiberglass tape, epoxy resin, and a product called woodflour.  Woodflour is a powder-like material used to thicken epoxy.  It should be about the consistency of ketchup when mixed, and will be applied in the seams and gaps in the hull.  The paste hardens into a very strong skeleton which gives the canoe a sturdy construction.

you can download the free plans here

Review: Grizzly G0555

This 14″ bandsaw has quickly become my favorite tool in the shop.  With aluminium wheels, a sturdy cast iron table top and roller bearing guides, this is definitely a high quality tool.  After unboxing the saw, it took me about 5 or 6 hours to set up completely.  All of the parts were working out of the box, and so far i have seen absolutely no problems with the saw.  The 3/8 inch blade that comes with the saw was decent, however i bought a 3 pack of Olson 93 1/2 bandsaw blades for the saw.  These blades have worked exceptionally well, and you can achieve most bandsaw operations with the 3 blades.  The saw cuts through one inch cherry and maple perfectly, and I have also resawn some 4 inch pine with it.  The saw cuts through it effortlessly, and i am very happy with it.

Review: Stanley 12-920 6-1/4-Inch Contractor Grade Block Plane

I decided to buy this plane after reading many positive reviews on amazon.  While it is on the cheap side, you can definitely make it perform like a high quality plane for a little money and time.  Out of the box, the bottom of the plane was surprisingly flat, and after a little lapping with 150 grit sandpaper the bottom was good to go.  However, some people wrote on amazon that their plane took 3 or more hours to flatten.  I have found that the vertical and lateral adjustors work perfectly, however the blade was a different story.  the cheap blade that comes with the tool was not flat at all, however i managed to get it flat enough with sandpaper.  Even after a sharpening on oil stones, I could not get it sharp enough to produce I clean cut.  I looked for a replacement blade and I found a high quality IBC blade that fit perfectly with my tool.  The new blade worked like a miracle, and made the plane perform like a higher quality block plane such as a Lie Nielsen or Veritas.  I ended up paying only 70 dollars for both the plane and the new blade and i am very happy with the result.