2016 Tractor and Industrial Swap Meet

Here I am back at the annual "Tractor and Industrial Swap Meet" and as usual you never really know what is going to be for sale at these events until you attend them. Last year I picked up a great little woodworking plane, this year, I left empty handed, but I still had fun snooping around and seeing all the different things for sale.
This year there was not the volume of woodworking tools but there was a nice variety of woodworking and re-finished furniture for sale that I often use for ideas on other pieces I might want to make.

One thing that did catch my eye this year was the use of iron and wood used together for tables, mirrors and other things, something I might experiment with in the future. There is something about mixing different kinds of mediums together that can make for some interesting furniture pieces.


I am looking forward to the 2017 swap meet and in the mean time there are plenty more other swap meets around to take up my time and help cultivate new ideas ....

Making Shaker Doors Using a Router

 Making cabinet doors is easy, fun and cost effective. With wood you can purchase at any hardware or lumber store, anyone can make beautiful and functional doors in no time. The only tool you need is a decent quality router and router table, and router bits. The wood we used for these demos is just 3/4” pine that was cut to 2” widths. It is important that thickness and width of the door components is constant, otherwise you will find uneven edges on you doors that will require sanding to make even again.

After you have cut your raw wood, that is the wood for the rails and styles you will need to cut those pieces to their proper length. The length for the stiles is easy, that is simply the length of the door that you will be making. This is because the stiles are ALWAYS the full vertical length of the doors.

Cutting the rails, (the horizontal components of the door) can be a bit trickier, that is why we like to use 2” for the width of stiles and rails (plus it just looks good). The rails when they are finished will need to have tongues cut into each end to fit into the groves of the stiles and this is where knowing woodworking math is a help.

Pallet Furniture - Make a Bookshelf

Every woodworker loves to receive FREE WOOD, such as pallet wood. But like most things that are free, there is a catch and that catch is the free wood can dull or even ruin some of your good woodworking blades so special precautions are needed. Even after you have dis-assembled a pallet, and you think you have removed all the screws and nails, there could still be some left that only a woodworking metal detector will find (click read more to see links) ... OR, even worse, there are almost always little rocks and dirt that are ground into the wood that will dull or ruing a blade instantly.

I love to use pallet wood for certain projects, it gives a great look with little work, but most often when I am using pallet wood I will only use my circular saw, my jig saw and my reciprocating saw. Blades for these units are reasonably prices and easy to get. I NEVER run pallet wood through my jointer, planer or bandsaw, and only occasionally with a throw-away blade will I use my table saw.

To me, the trick with making pallet furniture is to make it look elegant, despite being made from pallet wood. In the case of making this bookshelf, in order to make the bookshelf look less clunky, we decided to change up the end pieces ....

Vintage Tool & Machinery Swap Meet 2017

Every year, in recent history, a local oranization has been putting on a "guy" swap meet in a nearby town. People come from far and wide to sell their items just as others come from long distances to purchase items offered for sale. The items as a varied as you can imagine and what shows up one year may not the next. It's a cornicopia of people and things and a whole lot of fun. This year I put out and offer ... anyone who wanted to join me on a walkabout, we would meet up at 9am at the entrance and go through together from there. Three local woodworkers showed up, 2 immediately ventured off on their own and another an myself got to wander the grounds looking at tools and other items to see if there was anything that interested us. As it turned out, 2 of the guys got a couple of great buys on some tools and I just spent the time taking pictures that were used to assemble this brief slide show of the event.

Watch this and other similar videos on YouTube - https://youtu.be/__213B-1NYs

Just like any swap meet, it's a buyer beware scenario. Some years I have purchased a good item or 2, other years I have purchased items that ended up in the electronics recycdling bin of scrap metal, but I don't talk about my lost deals. In the end, I always have a great time and it was even better this year to share the experience with subscribers and friends ... can wait until next year ...

Using Anti-Slip Accessories in the Workshop

One of the miracles of the last decade is the invention of anti-slip (or anti-skid depending on who you talk to) material. I`m not entirely sure what this material was invented for but has spawned a whole new realm of inventions and ideas. And that idea is what was the see for this article. An interactive video on what members are currently using this anti slip material for.

I remember the first time I ever saw the stuff, a friend of mine had a small pad of this material on an indent on the dash of his car that he put change in. Every time the car moved, turned, stopped or bounded, the coins would clatter together and slide around. In this little dash indentation he had laid some of this anti-slip material and or course the coins never moved.

A few days later I happened to be in my workshop and openend a drawer in my cabinet to retrieve some pliers and of course when I opened it the all the pliers and every other tool in the store clattered around banging into one another and bunching up in the corners. It was then that I vowed to line all the drawers in my work cabinets with that anti-slip material, and I did..

I found it such a great material to have around, and many other applications that now I always keep a role or two of it around for those times when I can use some sort of an anti-slip surface. I have found uses for it on the feet to benches, work tables, saw horses, roller stands, and even as the top of my clamping rack to help keep the clamps from sliding off every time I accidently brush against them.

One of our members has submitted, what I think, is one of the best ideas yet, and that  is to use this material on the base of push sticks and similar tools. What a great idea! To go along with his idea, he has also submitted a link to a drawing for making on version of a push stick, or at least in this case a push block.

But there is far more than just the anti-slip material, there are other products as well for use in the worshop ....

Still with the roll or material products there is a thicker version of this anti-slip material is sold as `router pad` and it works well for that for larger pieces (for smaller work pieces it is still best to clamp them so the router bit doesn`t fling your work piece away).

I guess I`m not the only one who has seen value in this material because Rockler has also put together some other interesting anti-slip products like their Bench Accessory Kit that also includes a roll of the anti-slip material along with some bench dogs. The anti-slip material is a perfect partner with bench dogs. The two of these together make an amzingly solid working setup.

And still with anti-slip materials, I`m not sure who invented the idea of combining the the anti-slip material with hockey pucks but the combination made yet another remarkable woodworking accessory.

I`m sure there are many other used not listed here that other woodworkers have invented or created with the use of this anti-slip material. I`t an amazing product ... and we would like to here from our woodworking readers what uses they have found for this material in their workshops and projects

Copyright Colin Knecht



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