Saturday, March 23, 2013

Blog Entry - Triple Play...

 This week it is sort of like three posts in one, so I won't waste anymore time on the introduction.

The first thing I'd like to accomplish is providing a final update on my recent box build. It has taken me several days of stop and go woodworking to get to a point where I am calling the project complete. I won't say it was successful, but it is a box and it does have a lid, so it is complete. I finally settled for gluing a walnut lip around the inside of the lid. It is snug enough you can pick the box up off the table by the lid without it falling off, but it is loose enough lightly holding the base and the lid can be removed with minimal effort. Not the exact look I was going for, but functionally acceptable. On the finishing side of the project I also experienced disappointment. After having terrific success finishing the inside of the box with shellac I decided I would use the same for the exterior. I am fairly certain my failure lies in the drying time, or in the case of the exterior lack of drying time between application and sanding. When I did the interior I allowed probably 3 hours or so between coats. On the exterior I only gave it about an hour, if that before I would start to sand. I knew immediately there was a problem as the shellac seemed gummy and actually rolled up in balls as sanded. Not knowing how to address the issue I would continue sanding and apply additional finish. The next coat I would go through the same erroneous process. By the end, there were a few areas where the finish is obviously thinner and ridges can be seen in the finish. In hindsight I should have stopped sanding immediately and given the piece additional drying time. Then once it was completely dried I could have cleaned the areas already affected and moved on. One day I will probably make an effort to sand the entire project down to bare wood again and refinish the outside, but for now... IT IS WHAT IT IS!!!

My second subject involves one of my early sources of renewed inspiration to take up the hobby of woodworking. The Woodsmith Shop and their early internet based videos "Woodworking Online", provided me with both inspiration and the practical information to get me up to speed quickly. Over about a 3 week period I consumed all their online content and quickly turned to the Woodsmith & Shop Notes magazines for additional woodworking wisdom. This past week I had the opportunity to attend a software based training class in Des Moines, IA. The class was completely unrelated to woodworking, but provided me with an opportunity to visit the site of my early inspiration. I went on Tuesday night and again on Thursday to attend one of the seminars they put on regularly. At first I was somewhat disappointed to find out the seminar would not be technique or project based, but rather a glimpse in to the wildly popular public access based "Woodsmith Shop" tv program. Seeing I would most likely never get a second opportunity to attend I decided not to pass up the opportunity. There was an $8.00 entry fee, but I received a $5.00 coupon for any store purchase, so the net cost to attend was $3.00. In the end it was the best $3.00 I could've spent on entertainment. Everyone greeted me with kind words and a welcoming smile. I was already aware that Bryan Nelson, Managing Editor of Woodsmith and Shop Notes magazines was scheduled to be the presenter, but to my surprise both he and Don Peschke, Publisher of the magazines showed up for the presentation. For those of you unaware of the "Woodsmith Shop" tv program, Mr. Peschke is the primary host of the tv show and Mr. Nelson is a regular contributor and co-host on the program. While I didn't get the opportunity to meet them it was easy to see they are both passionate about the craft and seemed very approachable and down to earth. I really enjoyed my time in the store and certainly wished there was one in my neighborhood. I encourage anyone who has the opportunity to visit them. Thanks Woodsmith I truly enjoyed the visit!!!

And for the finale, I thought I would post a brief description of the item I purchased with my $5.00 coupon and $45.00 additional. The Wixey Angle Gauge with Level is one of those items I've thought of purchasing, but kept pushing out. With having to carry my purchase back on the plane the Wixey's small size seemed to fit the bill. I haven't had a real opportunity to use it yet, but it is such a one purpose kind of tool I highly doubt it will disappoint. I did try it on my miter station and was pleased that it appeared the saw is both level and the blade is plumb (or 90°) to the table. I wish I could get crazy excited over this purchase, but it does what it advertises. I am excited to have it in my aersenal and look forward to using it on future projects.

 Until my next post:


  1. Looks like you had a nice trip. Even better, that box came out beautifully. Well done.

  2. Thanks Dyami, I appreciate the kind words!!!