Designing a Multipurpose Shelf Unit

Like the proverbial shoemaker’s children that are perpetually barefoot, my own home doesn’t have a whole lot of furniture that I built myself. I save most of my woodworking energy for building projects for the Woodworker’s Journal or when I do “pro bono work” for the Shakespearean theater company that my wife works for (the latter has consisted of mostly creating large, freestanding poster displays and a collection box).

But every once in a while, a project comes along that I have difficulty saying no to. In this case, I was recently contacted by a prominent local business owner who lives in a gorgeous house only a half a block from one of the most beautiful stretches of coastline that California has to offer. He asked me if I would consider building him a large L-shaped shelf unit that would wrap around a partially curved wall in his home office/man cave.

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Brazilian Walnut TV Stand

Sometimes the most unlikely wood combinations turn out better than you’d imagine…

This TV Stand is made from 3/4″ Brazilian Walnut tongue and groove flooring. I made the raised door panels from solid Brazilian Walnut from a local wood specialty store. Top Trim molding and bottom skirt are American Walnut also purchased at local store. It measures 52” wide, 30” high and 18” deep.

It is only finished with rub on urethane. No stain.

The end insert panel is made of luan which surprisingly matched the walnut.

The piece is actually much darker than the pictures show.

I will have tiny slivers to show for years. J

– David Rafferty; Bloomfield Hills, MI

Do you have a project you’d like to share?  Click here to send it in!

Matt Becker
Internet Production Coordinator

Console Front

Console Top and Front

Console Top and SIde

Console Top

Luckier Than I Deserve

Time and chance happen to all woodworkers — sometimes to tragic ends, sometimes to the good, and, sometimes, just to the bizarre.

Round-Over Router BitOne such bizarre event happened to me many years ago when I was working in my father and uncle’s woodworking shop. In addition to custom cabinetry, we did a fair amount of production woodworking — pattern-routed items like round picture frames, fish filleting boards and other items that would now be cut on a CNC router. Not so then. Instead, we had a huge (six feet tall, eight feet front to back, and easily five feet across) 20hp over-head automated router that had a pneumatic infeed table and a couple of hard rubber drive rollers that propelled awkward-looking patterns. This setup was state-of-the-art at the time, but if you were to look at it now and compared it to today’s CNC systems, it would be evocative of the steam era of auto transportation, compared to today’s Lamborghinis.

One afternoon, I was working my way through an interminable stack of red oak blanks, routing a full 1-1/2″ roundover on a circular plate holder. That is a mighty big router bit and a monstrous cut — but this machine could handle both with ease. Or, at least, that is what I thought.

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Red Oak Cabinet

Our international readers continue to submit some great projects.

Attached is a cabinet I made from red oak which was left over from a hotel restoration after Hurricane Ike. There are 60 mortise and tenon joints in the frame alone.

I live in the Turks & Caicos Islands where I have to import everything, including  lumber.

Seamus Day
Turks & Caicos Islands

Do you have a project you’d like to share?  Click here to send it in!

Matt Becker
Internet Production Coordinator

Oak Cabinet

Oak Cabinet - Angle

Oak Cabinet Frame

Sideways Squeeze

For the June print issue, I’m building a big plywood shop project. Several pieces in the project include some rather thick edging strips, which can be difficult to clamp tightly in place. Especially when they’re on the ends of an 8-ft. sheet of plywood.

I’ve used thicker edging before in a few projects, and each time I’ve wondered about those funky C-clamps made for jobs like these. They’ve got three screw jaws instead of just one—the most helpful being the third that runs through the spine of the clamp, perpendicular to the other two.

Well, last week I took the plunge and bought a half dozen to give them a try.

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April Issue Uncovered

Despite the snowy prospects here in Minnesota, it’s time to think spring. To that end, we’re happy to announce that the April print issue of Woodworker’s Journal is headed to your mailbox and should be arriving shortly. With any luck, it will bring us all warmer weather and longer days! Here’s a quick look at some of the great new content you’ll find inside:

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Not So Serious Business

Most of my projects don’t get many laughs. Or at least, I don’t intend them to.

I bet you’re probably in the same boat. We woodworkers spend a lot of time thinking about form, function, good technique, the right material choices, durability, safety and so forth. Most projects have an intended and practical purpose. And, I think those are all good aims. Materials are expensive, and shop time is often pretty short. Not to mention the fact that if you actually make your living—or even part of it—from the furniture or cabinetry you build, there’s not a lot of room for funny business. You follow your plans, turn out good work and move on to the next challenge. Get ‘er done.

That’s why some lighthearted woodworking is a really nice change of pace to see now and again. Take, for instance, this little YouTube gem a friend of mine sent me recently:

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Kitchen Cabinets and Island

Reader Mark Davenport sent in these great photos of his recent kitchen remodel:

This is my kitchen project. All cabinets and island were made in the shop at home. Hard Maple rails and stiles are matched with figured soft maple field for all door and drawer fronts. Walnut is used fro the face frames. It all comes together for a beautiful contrast for wood lovers like me.

The project is also posted on YouTube to see project progression. Unfortunately I made the video from still pictures taken throughout the project. This means that I forgot to take too many shop photos during construction of myself. There are some shop pics but mostly shows the project from start to finish in the kitchen.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SIv1oRqVlag&feature=channel_page

Mark Davenport
Sioux City, IA

kitchen_cabinets

kitchen_cabinets2

Do you have projects you want to share?  CLICK HERE to send them in!