I’m excited to see my article on building a Japanese writing box in the June 2019 issue of Popular Woodworking. Despite it’s small size, the project offers the chance to practice a variety of joinery and offers an attractive variation on rabbeted joinery, elevating a utilitarian joint.
I first encountered Thos. Moser’s interpretation of a Shaker side table in the second edition of his How to Build Shaker Furniture in 1999. At the time I wasn’t equipped to build it (I had just started building simple pieces with jigsaw, circular saw, and drill, working on a flat roof or kitchen that could be easily swept out after building), but could still admire the graceful taper of the legs and and the beveled top. The table’s design makes it perfect for the side of a bed or couch, the embodiment of Shaker simplicity captured in the compact package. Continue reading
After much debate, we landed on Totoro as the subject of our pumpkin carving this year. It may be a better choice than Betsy, but it may not be a better carving.
I spent a fair amount of time this summer stripping the front of the house to prepare it for painting using a variety of techniques, including chemical strippers and infrared heat. When I mentioned the project to a co-worker, he offered to lend me Makita’s Paint Shaver Pro. I gladly accepted the offer. The Paint Shaver Pro is an angle grinder with a carbide cutting head that grinds paint (and wood if you’re not careful) as you move it across a surface. Paint removal with the tool is fast, especially compared to other stripping methods, but that speed comes at a cost. Continue reading
I try not to hoard wood, though odds and ends do accumulate. I did buy some wide fir boards circa 2015 for a solid version of the Juhl coffee table. The death of my jointer-planer put a stop to that build, so the stock, most of it still rough, lingered on a shelf.
A new commission for a compact media stand caused me to revisit that fir, and with the dead machinery banished from basement, I was forced to surface it by hand. I don’t enjoy jointing or thicknessing by hand, nor do I recommend it. But it is a viable option for board too wide to fit a powered jointer and planer. And whoosh of a sharp blade across a board and the scent of fresh-cut fir do offer a certain pleasure. Still, I was more than happy to finish stock preparation and move on to the build.