Thursday, July 4, 2013

WV Woodshed - The Reboot & All the best Virginia Hardware...

Super short blurb...

Well its been about a month and a half since I last posted, but I haven't been idle in the woodshed. While my Mother's passing and other personal matters shook me to the core, shop time working on various projects is what gave me peace and the time to reflect on the whirlwind around me. While I wouldn't say I have weathered the storm well; I would say that deluge is dwindling.

It is my intention to hit the ground running with the blog again this weekend. Along with a short note on the recent Southern West Virginia and Southwestern Virginia Modern Woodworkers Association meeting, I hope to post an update on the status of previously mentioned ongoing projects, at least one new project, upcoming shop plans and other projects. Once I get through this initial update; my first project will hopefully be building a stable workbench. This won't be a Roubo by any means, but I am hoping it will be a very heavy, sturdy and functional, especially in the area of work-holding capability, addition to the shop. The significance of this project is I intend to post a crazy amount of detailed blog updates, brief twitter notes and, although my hillbilly accent may drive some folks crazy, I may even do my first video.

I am extremely hopeful that anyone reading/watching these updates will find the information interesting, mildly entertaining and opinion generating. Above all I am hopeful the increased volume of posts will generate feedback to help me build a better workbench and help with future projects and technical knowledge. Its hard living and learning in virtual isolation, so any interaction is good interaction as far as I am concerned.

Lastly, sad news for my local woodworking community, Virginia Hardware the ONLY local woodworking supply store (Rockler Affiliate Store) in our immediate area is shutting their doors after a 100+ year run. Everything in the store is on sale 20-30% off original price. I personally purchased a couple of router bits at a 30% savings, although I'd pay full price if it kept the doors opened. Ron Hart, current owner has been more than generous in his willingness to host our meetings up to the doors closing. Honestly while I truly hate to see another small local business lose the fight, the loss of Ron and his staff to the woodworking community really bites. I realize most folks reading this aren't local, but I am providing the contact information for the store below in case someone may want to contact Ron about making a purchase or other business arrangement. To everyone at Virginia Hardware all the best in future endeavors; you will be sorely missed!!!

Virginia Hardware (a Rockler Affiliate Store)
1411 N. Walker Street
Princeton, WV 24740
(304) 425-3570

Friday, May 24, 2013

First Meeting - SWV & SWVA Modern Woodworkers Association

This week's post is simply a call for participation in the initial Southern West Virginia & South Western Virginia Chapter of the Modern Woodworkers Association. The meeting is to be held Saturday, June 15th at 10:00am. We anticipate the meeting will last 1 to 1-1/2 hours.

In the area I live there are currently a limited number of woodworking resources. The few that do exist are niche' or skill specific, as in carving, turning, etc. Through my website I have met other woodworkers interested in developing a local community for all skill sets to discuss and share information about their individual passions or anything and everything woodworking.

Ron Hart, Owner/Operator of Virginia Hardware (a Rockler Affiliate Store) has generously opened his doors to host our initial and subsequent meetings. This initial meeting will be geared towards setting up the group, organizing a schedule for future meetings and creating/brainstorming concepts for meeting topics and member participation. Some ideas for topics include:

1. What's On Your Bench
2. Cool Tools Used In Your Shop
3. Technique Of The Month
4. Show And Tell
5. Just Showing Off

The address for the meeting is:

Virginia Hardware (a Rockler Affiliate Store)
1411 N. Walker Street
Princeton, WV 24740

Contacts for information:

Stephen Duffy =
Pat McNulty =

Until My Next Post...

Keep Your Mind On Your Fingers And Your Fingers On Your Hands!!!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Call for suggestions, guidance and/or constructive criticism...

I am trying to figure out what I can do to improve the content at the WV Woodshed. I get limited feedback, so my insecure side is assuming that the content lacks the intellectual mojo to entice discussion and/or the oafish ignorance to incite a verbal bashing. Either way, my original intent with publishing my experiences was to receive both positive and negative feedback, which brings me to this post.

Often I wonder what others think of the content I am posting. Is there enough detail in the descriptions of my processes, is my grammar and punctuation meeting their expectations (no language major here, for sure), are the subjects relevant, how do they perceive my (attempted humorous) writing style, are my photos successful at depicting the points I am trying to convey and the list goes on and on and on.

So here is your chance to help me give you more of what you want. Your opportunity to let me know what aspect of the site most disturbs you. It's your big opportunity to really give me the what for, send me back to school and/or go gangsta' up and in here. Whatever you think!!! I want to hear it, woodworker to woodworker or blogger to blogger. It doesn't have to be overly detailed or long winded. Just to the point and honest. Honestly, I just want to grow from both a woodworking and blogging perspective, so come on, Hit Me With All That Ya' Got, I Can Take Honest, I Can...

Until my next post...


Saturday, May 18, 2013

Current Projects On The Workbench...

Curve Balls, sliders and occasional knucklers have been crossing my plate over the recent weeks, but it seems more and more difficult to get the shed outta my head. For those of you have asked, both my wife's and mother's health have improved and I appreciate your concern. Hopefully things will remain stable for an extended period and I can focus on completing the projects I currently have on my workbench. Seeing I've been bouncing from one project to the next recently, I thought it would be a good opportunity to share the currently active list.

One of the earliest projects I started actually started right after completed the end grain cutting board back in September 2011. At the end of the cutting board glue up I had a little incident with a couple of laminated pieces snapping at the glue line. I assume I didn't have adequate glue in those joints and they failed as a result during the glue up. The cutting board that resulted has held up perfectly fine and I have no issues with other areas separating even slightly, so who knows exactly what I did wrong. Anyway it seemed like quite a waste to just scrap the remaining pieces, so I pondered how I could use them in another project. I came up with the idea of using them to create a lamp. So I drilled holes through each of the pieces and inserted a hollow metal rod through them. By the time that was done the glue had dried on the cutting board and the lamp was place on the shelf to finished as quickly as possible. So here we are going on two years later and I haven't even touched the project since. While it's the oldest project in the shop it will not be the first one completed. It will most likely be the last one complete of the ones I am listing in this post. What I am committed to is not starting any new projects until all these are deemed complete.

The second oldest project in my shop is the wave top Trinket Box. This sucker has been collecting dust in the shop since August 2012. Actually. I have picked this project up a couple times over the last year and done some quick task towards completing it. As a matter of fact this morning I finally installed the hinges I purchased for the project several months ago. My biggest stumbling blocks on this project have been edge treatment for the lid and dealing with the base. As it is currently the base is flat and to me it just seems very heavy or static. I know adding legs will lighten its appearance, but I cant decide how or what style of legs will serve the the design best. Again I have set the goal to complete this project before any news ones hit the bench, so if you have suggestions I am all ears.

I have made no progress on the live edge table recently, with all the family health related activity going on around me so I won't bore you with static pictures from other recent posts. This table is the third oldest project in the shop and will likely be the second one to be completed, as my wife has made a special request, which I'll describe last. As for the table though I still have the shaping on all the parts to complete, then I'll need to pull out the special effects kit to hide several major boo boos, followed by sanding, sanding, sanding and then finally finishing. As far as finishing goes I really haven't decided, but I am pretty firm that it will be a matte/natural finish. I have never really been a fan of the high gloss finishes, but for some reason (mainly because its what I had on hand) I've found myself stuck in the rut. Once there is progress worth posting you'll see the live edge table again.

Lastly, (sighs of relief I am sure) is my wife's special request. She ask me to make a shelf to put over the dryer to hold the laundry detergent. We use the dispenser/refillable type bottles for both our detergent and fabric softener, so she thought it would be convenient to have the dispensers placed in a location she can dispense them without having to pick them up from the shelf or dryer. Not wanting to disappoint the boss I immediately went to the doodle pad. Very simple plywood construction with dados, screws and of course Titebond II. Once the shelf is complete it will be fastened directly to studs in wall above the dryer. Below are Sketch Up models and photos of the progress through this morning. This will be the next project to leave the shop stamped complete. If Momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy...

Until my next post,

Keep Your Mind on your Fingers and your Fingers on your Hands!!!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Miter Station 100% Complete

Happy Mother's Day & Happy Birthday to my Father!!! Although he past away in 2000 his birthday is always a time for me to reflect on how luck I was to have him in my life.

Well this week has been deja vu all over again. While my Wife was released from the hospital earlier in the week my Mother was admitted late in the week. Thankfully, at least to this point, everyone seems to be on the road to recovery. So this Mother's Day is all about recovery and providing support to the special ladies in my life.

Obviously, woodworking has been in the backseat the last couple of weeks, but I have managed a few minutes of stress relieving bliss in the woodshed. Primarily my focus was on cleaning up the chaos created from the garage and basement sump pump installation and the beginnings of shaping all the legs and stretcher on the Live Edge table. Because the hospital circus came to town, I put the Live Edge table back in the inactive pile.

What I was able to do is 100% finish up the Miter Station project. I locked in the shelving storage unit and applied a gloss (because thats what I had on hand) poly finish. I removed the miter fence and installed standard Rockler Hardware T-Track on the top. I made a sliding stop block out of scrap oak and walnut and applied the same gloss poly as finish. Below are a few pics of the finished product.

I am reasonably please with my results and feel I made minor improvements in several areas on this project. The only thing I did not follow through on based on my original plan was edge banding the plywood shelving unit. The two simple reasons for not doing so are time and satisfaction with the appearance without the edge banding. This unit will never come out of the shop and the functionality is what's key.

I am not ready for the big show by any means, but I think feeling as though you've improved from project to project is the mojo that makes us all initiate that next project. From that perspective I am very pleased and ready to finish a couple of the other projects I have initiated including a Jewelry Box and the Live Edge Table.

Until my next post...

Keep your mind on your fingers and your fingers on your hands!!!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Back to the Grind...

Grind may be slightly exaggerated, its more like shaping and sanding. I am finally getting back to work on the live edge table.

I will be using my block plane and rasps to fair the corners of the legs and the curved stretcher. I am looking to eliminate all hard edges and straight lines from the finished piece.

At this point I have completed the shaping of one face (two corners) of one of the legs. It took about 3 hours to get it where I am satisfied with how it looks.

I am currently using the block plane to hog off most of the material. I create facets on corners until I get the general curve and the use the rasp to clean to the desired shape. I am thinking that a concave spokeshave would dramatically speed up the process of removing the bulk of the material, but right now its not a weapon in my arsenal.

Here is a question I have been batting around as I've worked the curves. Do I complete the entire leg including sanding to near assembly ready or do I fair all the curves and then move to the sanding? My desire (impatience) to see the finished product makes me think I should sand and then fair the next leg, but my common sense tells me to fair everything and then sand everything. Curiosity, how would you handle the work flow in this situation?

Due to my wife's hospitalization I'll have to post pictures at a later time.

Until my next post...

Keep your mind on your fingers and your fingers on your hands!!!