Wednesday, July 26, 2017

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frontpage "Frog Shop Make-Over Part 2" Building a new shop starts by cleaning out the old one.

The first part of the Operation was the purge. This part was not well planned, because frankly I didn't know it was going to happen until I had about of a third of the items pulled out of the garage. I went out to work on some redwood furniture on a Saturday morning – not unlike many Saturday morning before it. I looked around and just couldn't stand it anymore. I had to step over a pile of lumber to get to the band saw, four bicycles consumed four different sections of my work space, and shelves of camping gear and old hobby items were spread across the back wall eating into precious tool storage space. I had to move the jointer to use the router table and the drill press set in the middle of my workbench. I was done!

Read more: 19 Jul 2013 Make-Over Part 2

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frontpage “Buy the Tool & Build the Jig” The right tools & a good jig makes the project easier.

Woodworking provides a wide spectrum of challenges depending on you experience and training. If you are new to woodworking a basic mortise and tenon joint can provide an adequate challenge. If you are an experienced woodworker a free-hand cut inlay might be a good challenge; there are hundreds. For me, while I consider myself a pretty good woodworker, there are many basic woodworking techniques that still provide a challenge. Even the perfect fitting tenon is occasionally elusive.

Even though this is an old craft steeped in tradition, there is always more to learn. The right tools go a long way to simplify most woodworking challenges. After purchasing my first dado stack, the perfect tenon was much more achievable. In some or many cases cost may inhibit your ability to purchase specialty tools, but when you can, buy the right tool to do the job. The end result will make the purchase worth it.

Read more: 12 July 2013 Woodworking Challenges

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frontpage "The Shop Remodel" Making the best of my small space.

In Sep 2008, I retired in Utah from the Air Force after 20 years of moving around the world. By Dec I had landed a new job in New Mexico, and by February we were living in a small apartment in Albuquerque. After what seemed like forever, we found the perfect home for us, and it just so happened to have a three-car garage. I was pretty excited because that meant my shop tools could have a permanent home, and I could have a small work space. I could even pull the truck out and have more space when the project called for it – or so I thought.

After we finished the walk-through and the keys were ours, I decided to pull the truck in to see how it looked in its new home. It didn't fit – I even backed it in all the way to the wall – still no good. What?!? This is New Mexico, they drive trucks here – are you kidding me! Well the only solution to this problem was to create a woodworking shop. I immediate identified the positive side of this situation.

Read more: 6 Jul 2013 Perfect Woodworking Shop

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frontpage “Levels of Woodworkers” When do you transition from hobbyist to craftsman?

I have always liked my heroes to be humble. Because I view humility as a great quality, I found it difficult to call myself a craftsman even after I had spent most of my life playing with wood. After I retired and put together a reasonable shop in my garage, I began dreaming of the day I could make a living in the shop; so I started a little LLC and started taking customers. When people would call and ask me to build something I wasn't 100% sure of I would often say, "I'm just a hobbyist..." After about another year, I finally stopped calling myself a hobbyist.

Read more: 23 Aug 2013 - Hobbyist or Craftsman?

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