This spring I moved into a new shop, and I’m finally getting around to doing the finish carpentry to wrap up the interior work. I decided to save some money and run the base molding, door and window trim myself. Every now and again, I really like this sort of trim work, and the contractor’s budget is long since spent.
To keep things moving forward on a Saturday afternoon, I decided to purchase my window and door trim from the local home center. It’s simply off-the-shelf 1x radiata pine — nice, clean and straight material that I could pretty much sand, cut and install. Now I wouldn’t think of pine as a home center species that would come from great distances — especially another hemisphere for gosh sakes — but this batch sure did. The SKU tag says it’s from, of all places, New Zealand.
I am an expert woodworker … I just am. I have a natural talent for the craft, and I have dedicated myself to it for over 40 years. It is exacting work about which I am serious, and while I do get satisfaction from a well-made project, I would not describe making furniture as a good time. On the other hand, I do woodturning for fun. I am decidedly not an expert turner, as the letters I get from real turning experts demonstrate every time there is a picture of me at the lathe in the print magazine. (“Rob, your form is really terrible!” “Rob, it just hurt to see you using that scraper when you should be using a so-and-so gouge.” All of those comments are appreciated, have come to be expected and are taken to heart.)
I remember the halcyon days when M2 high speed steel (HSS) turning tools hit the market. No longer did we have to worry about burning at the grinder, and HSS tools held an edge forever — compared to plain carbon steel, anyway.
The last decade has seen a proliferation of turning tools made from exotic powdered steels. Powdered refers to the manufacturing process where iron, with the necessary alloying elements, is mechanically mixed in powder form, then sprayed into a furnace where the powders become plastic but do not melt. The resulting blob is cold worked to form bars for machining. Powdered metal technology allows much higher amounts of alloying metals such as vanadium (which increases edge holding) than conventional blast furnace manufacture. The price of such special handling is significantly higher, but PM steels give extraordinarily longer tool life for metal cutting.
Summer may bring dog days and busy vacation schedules, but it’s still a great time for woodworking. Our July/August 2012 issue, on sale at newsstands July 3rd, will bring you a full order of projects and tool news to keep your warm-weather woodworking fresh.
Here’s a sneak peek at what you’ll find in the issue.
Here at Woodworker’s Journal, we’ve been digging deep in our archives to put together our largest collection to date of almost-forgotten projects, articles, tips, techniques and wood science. But the archives where we’ve been digging aren’t exactly Woodworker’s Journal archives — at least, not really. Confused?
Longtime readers may remember when two different magazines — Woodworker’s Journal and Today’s Woodworker — combined into the publication you know today as Woodworker’s Journal. Once that happened, Today’s Woodworker ceased publication.
For many woodworkers, the entire purpose of a garage is to house their tools. Any vehicles are an incidental. For some, however, the bikes are just as important as the woodworking — and we’re not talking about the kind they ride on the Tour de France.
It’s been a while since we’ve posted a reader project here on the blog but that doesn’t mean there haven’t been some great submissions! This end table showcases shaping skills on the legs and top, along with a forward-thinking finishing choice.
I made this end table made from 4/4 plain cherry. I adapted the design from a wall table design. My wife “put in an order” for an end table with a European provincial look.
Top is made of 2 pieces of biscuited (#20 biscuits) cherry 13″ long x 15″wide. Top upper edges were routed with 1/4″ stem 1″ cove bit. Top overhands stretchers by 1″, overall height is 21″. Legs were sculpted using saber saw.
The was finished in Minwax cherry stain #235 and Minwax Wipe On Polyurethane. I chose poly since the top would be subjected to drink glasses. Final coat was sanded ever so lightly with 1200 just to remove any “fuzz..” So far so good!
– Stan Feinberg, Wantagh, NY
Do you have a project you’d like to share? Click here to send it in!
Over the past few weeks, I’ve been busy painting, installing garage door openers and running base molding in my new garage/shop. It’s been a leisurely process, mostly in the evenings and on weekends, because I don’t have a big project on the drawing board quite yet. But, this new shop space is going to get very busy in the next month or so, as I’ll be working on a couple of big articles for our October print issue. (Yep, magazines work that far ahead — it isn’t even June!)
At some point between coats of paint or sinking nail heads, it occurred to me: this new shop kind of brings me full circle. When my wife and I bought our first home — a cozy little place at about 800 square feet — my first “official” shop was a one-stall garage. We continued to park in that garage, so the space was really tight. Then came a move to central Ohio, and the shop grew from one stall to two. We rarely parked in that garage — or more accurately, we really couldn’t.
Isn’t it funny that two people can walk through the same town or landscape and find interest in completely different things? On a recent visit to Northern Italy as part of an editorial tour put together by Freud Tools (more on that in a later installment), I found myself strolling along the narrow lanes of Venice, surrounded by flocks of international tourists. Judging by the darting gazes and photos being snapped at warp speed, many of those visitors were taken by a great many of Venice’s charms: buildings brimming with amazing architectural history, ubiquitous canals rippled by gondolas and speedboats, etc.. Some tourists simply stood agape, staring at extravagant shop window displays or hunger-inducing restaurant menus. Many folks just wandered, soaking up the amazing scenery on a glorious day.