Grand Plan Deferred

Rob Johnstone photoBelieve it or not, some of my favorite memories of my time in the shop were projects that I had high hopes for and then simply was not able to execute. I have mentioned previously the rocking horse I made many years ago that my wife dubbed a “rocking doggie.”

Another minor fiasco that comes to mind from time to time was my chopstick failure.

It was the middle of December and I was planning to create a custom-made set of chopsticks for every family member. I had a stockpile of highly figured scrap stock, and I could see them in my mind’s eye as the most beautiful chopsticks ever made! My plan was to turn them on the lathe and use them for stocking stuffers. I carefully cut matching blanks from my precious stock, with each pair of blanks perfect. Then I stepped to my lathe and proceeded to break every other blank or so — my lathe skills were just not up to the task. Some bad words were spoken as my carefully curated collection became a mismatched miasma of mourning.

(Years later I bought a Bridge City Tools Chopstick Maker at an auction…so there!)

All this is to say, hang in there holiday gift makers! Just remember that regardless of the outcome, ours is a noble and rewarding effort.

Rob Johnstone, Woodworker’s Journal

Gift Plan: Rustic Candle Centerpiece

Three piece candle centerpiece

A simple project made from some natural wood scraps, this centerpiece is attractive and simple to make.

Tools, Techniques and Tips for Carving a Spoon

We visited Vevang Studio in Minneapolis, Minnesota, to learn about traditional hand tools and carving techniques used to make a wooden spoon. Erik Vevang demonstrates how to properly and safely use a few carving knives to make a beautiful and useful spoon.

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Free Shipping on Orders of $39 or More from Rockler

Are your benchtop power tools throwing dust all around your shop? Chris Marshall demonstrates how to install your own custom dust collection system using pipes, hoses, fittings and blast gates to permanently connect your tools and keep your space tidy so you can work safely. So give your broom a rest — dust collection is the best!

Dust collection for benchtop power tools

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