Saturday, December 27, 2014
Sunday, May 25, 2014
If you're interested in learning more about mason bees I found a lot of great information on this site.
I have no idea why but doors are always the part of a project that slow me down. I go gangbusters on the main part of the project and then when it comes time to do the doors, I make every excuse to not get started on them.
This particular project actually started early last year. I typically start gardening in March so it's usually best if I get a project done before the end of February, otherwise it can get stuck. That was definitely the case with this one. Majority of the piece was done quickly but I just had the doors remaining. I'm not even sure why I procrastinate on them. They're not overly difficult and if you mess them up you can always start over without losing too much time or material. If I had to guess it's probably from some of my shop projects. The doors always came last since the rest of the project was already functional without them. That isn't the case for a finished piece like this set of book shelves.
Saturday, January 4, 2014
Whenever I went to my aunts and uncles houses as a kid the thing I always enjoyed was playing with the old games they had. I'm thirty six and my Dad was the youngest in his family so some of his brothers and sisters had kids that were 20 years older. This meant a lot of vintage games. This Christmas I decided to start a new tradition for my kids. I would build a vintage game for them each Christmas. The plan is to keep them hidden for most of the year and bring them out around Christmas time so they can rediscover them each year.
The first project was somewhat complicated but comes as a kit from Lee Valley. It's based on a table hockey game by Monroe and this particular version dates to about the 1950's. The instructions were fairly complete but could definitely have benefitted from a few more pictures which is why I've included multiple views of the finished project in this posting. I searched online and there weren't very many images to be found so hopefully this post helps someone in the future. (Feel free to point out anything I might have gotten incorrect.)
I kept to the plan for the most part however I made the sides a bit beefier. I want this to last a long time. The finish is milk paint and shellac.
The kids really enjoyed playing with it this year and when they seemed done I tucked it away under a bed for us to find again next year.
For now it's being used to house my daughter's Lego Friends Heart Lake City but it could easily convert back to a kitchen table when she's done.
Although I enjoy the complexity of putting together larger pieces of furniture sometimes it's nice to do smaller projects just so you can leave the shop saying you've finished something. These projects all fit the bill. The first is a wooden mallet. I've always wanted one but didn't want to pay for it. I wanted to make it. (Let's ignore that it took about $1500 of turning equipment to get the point where I could make it.) It's a simple design from a recent article of Fine Woodworking. Wood is white oak and the finish is boiled linseed oil. This was my first turning project and was done in a single session.
The final project was a clipboard for my wife who is a teacher. I purchased the hardware at Lee Valley and the quilted maple came from my cousin. I believe he got it from a neighbours firewood pile. The wood down the centre is walnut. Boiled linseed oil and shellac for this one. I was amazed that I could get two coats of oil and four coats of shellac on in a single day. If I had to list one lesson for new woodworkers it's to avoid the fancy one function tools, finishes etc. and try the traditional aspects of woodworking first as there are definitely good reasons they were used for so many years.