Saturday, June 22, 2024

A simple hold down for the sled.

I've finished the first week of my two week residency program for advanced woodworking students at ESSA. Between opportunities to help guide and encourage other woodworkers, I've been busy doing a few things to help the shop. For example I made seven new wooden mallets for student use, new backing boards for the two compound miter saws, and a newly invented hold down for use on sleds. 

In teaching I’ve noticed that not all students have the same hand strength so holding down both pieces while cutting on a sled can be a challenge. For beginners, knowing where to place their hands during the cut can be confusing at first.

The inspiration for this simple device came from Marc Adams school where students are advised to use simple similarly shaped but thin hold downs to keep fingers a safe distance from the blade when using a compound miter saw. For use on the table saw sled as shown, the tunnel underneath provides for passage of the blade without cutting the device. The outside, placed anywhere on the device guarantees that the hands are away from the blade. The extra thickness of this hold down being glued up from 4 thicknesses of MDF provides pressure over wider, thin stock as would be used in box making. It’s also useful for holding down smaller parts, again keeping the hands a safer distance from the cut.

I've submitted a tip on this device to Fine Woodworking for their consideration.

In the meantime, the August 2024 issue of Popular Woodworking arrived in yesterday's mail. It includes my 6 page article on making a Torsion Table.

Make, fix and create... Assist others in living and learning likewise.

Sunday, June 16, 2024

a box with legs

I like to finish what I start, and so a mitered finger jointed box I started as a demonstration last week now has hinges, a walnut lift tab and surface mounted hinges. An oil finish and lining will come next. I show a simple method for installing a lining on my youtube channel here:

Make, fix and create... Assist others in learning lifewise.


Friday, June 14, 2024

mitered finger joint demo box with legs

 I've taken a few minutes today to move a demonstration box from my last week's box making class toward completion. This box is assembled with mitered finger joints, a more advanced box making technique. 

Today in the shop I added a floating panel lid. I then cut the lid from the body of the box, and as you can see, I've been shaping feet to give the box a lift. 

After sanding the legs will be glued to the corners of the box. Before the lid is hinged to the body of the box I'll add a walnut lift tab to the front.

Make, fix and create...

Monday, June 10, 2024

demonstration box

These are photos of a demonstration box, one of two designs made by each of my students before the floodgates were opened for them to spend the next three days working on boxes of their own design. This box is made of white oak and cherry. The unusual color of the white oak is due to a state of decay at the center of the log before milling. 

Sunday, June 9, 2024

Five days of Box Making

I just finished a great 5 day box making class at ESSA. My 7 students made between 3 and 5 boxes of various designs. All claimed that they loved the class. 

In the past I've discussed the difficulties presented by unrestricted economic growth. That's the subject of this article in the New York Times that you can read as my gift. 

Statistics on economic growth only measure the flow of money from exercises of making and spending. I like to suggest that there are more important things than money that money offers no measure of. The care we offer each other is an example.

One simple way to gradually withdraw from the destructive economy would be to cease buying things made of plastic and to buy hand crafted things from wood instead. 

By doing so, we'll have invested in the learning and character of other human beings, and will acquire useful objects of greater lasting value.

Make, fix and create...

Tuesday, June 4, 2024

easy sharp has developed an easy way to sharpen chisels and small plane irons. I've tried it. It works. And while I had to make my own jigs to go on the drill press (I made three, one for ESSA, one for Clear Spring School and one for my home shop) Taylor Tool Company now sells the jig and supplies at a reasonable price.

Make, fix and create...