Five Good Reasons to Get Framed

Now that our daughters are old enough to travel well, my family has spent several vacations in our national parks. (Our parks are extraordinary, by the way…well worth the road trip.) As mementos to those visits, we’ve been collecting a series of “woodcut” prints that don’t fit standard sized picture frames. Lately I’ve been building six matching frames to get our collection up on the wall. As you know, there’s a lot of repetitive work that goes on when you’re building a half dozen of anything, so I’ve had some shop time to think about the virtues of picture frames as projects. Continue reading

Workbench You Can Build in an Afternoon

If you're looking for a quick project this Memorial Day weekend, or any other for that matter, here's a low-cost bench option for you.

A couple weeks ago, I reported on my trusty old, cosmetically challenged workbench. The goal, really, was to support those of you out there who are more concerned with utility in your shop fixtures than high style. In other words, you build sturdy workaday shop fixtures so you can get on with more important projects. And, that’s okay in my book; I do it, too.

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Taking Skids to a Whole New Level

I know, Teri, this is skid abuse... I should have my shop keys taken away from me for a week!

Last fall, I wrote a post to pick your brains about what you do, if anything, with skid lumber. You followed through with some really good ideas and funny commentary! Since then, we continue to get new followers that happen across that post and add their own comments. Much appreciated!

Well, just the other day Teri Kent posted what has to be the longest project list for skid lumber I’ve ever seen! It deserves downright accolades in my book, and when you read it, I think you’ll agree. Teri is the Zen Master of Clever Skiddery.

Here it is:

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Skid Row

What's in a skid ... trash or treasure trove? You decide.

What's in a skid ... trash or treasure trove? You decide.

In a manner of speaking, I’ve hit the skids.

Well, hit them, tripped over them, shoved them around the shop and eventually, piled them just outside the door here. My stack of skids come from various places. Sometimes two skids arrive with a tool shipment, but only one goes back. Other times I’ll order a load of lumber, and the only thing left when the lumber is gone is the skid. The pile keeps growing…they don’t seem to go away on their own.

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Are You Scrap Savvy?

Woodworkers are no strangers to burgeoning scrap bins. What's your favorite way to thin this heard??

Woodworkers are no strangers to burgeoning scrap bins. What's your favorite way to thin this herd?

If you’re a regular eZine reader, I’m sure you’re familiar with our rather dubious but always proudly delivered “April Fool’s” edition. We staffers look forward to putting that together every year, even if some of you wish we didn’t! Last time around, I poked fun at what I’ll call our collective penchant for hoarding scraps—and I’m definitely including myself in that roast. Maybe you missed my announcement for a new support group for “stick” savers, so here’s a link:

I hate to throw those little offcuts away, just as much as you probably do. And, these days, I’ll wager my next paycheck (thankfully I’m still getting one…) that we’re all keeping a bigger pile of them around the shop than ever before. The corollary problem to keeping too many bits and pieces, however, is not using enough of them. I suffer from this one, too. My pile under the miter saw just keeps on growing.

So, here’s the question for you: How are you turning scraps into useful projects?

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