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Woodworking Videos

Making and Using A Lumber Rule

Back in the day ... before mobile phones, tablets, computers and even hand calculators people invented amazing devices to aid in mathematics and calculations. In fact, many of these devices are still in use in some industries today because they are still as fast and as accurate and anything invented since then.
One of the items that fits this category is something called the Lumber Rule. They are still being manufactured today, though in much smaller quantities. The only real disadvantage of a lumber rule is that anyone who uses one is probably also carrying around a smart phone, which ... will do the same thing, kind-of, though often slower, and the smartphone still needs a tape measure to go with it.
I have seen these Lumber Rules listed on a different auction sites, for some pretty serious money, I guess anything that is perceived to be "old" must be expensive (???)  So I decided to make my own version of a lumber rule to help me quickly figure out the board feet contained in a board so that I can know how much that board is worth.

If you are at the lumber store and are only buying one of 2 boards, or some small quantity, who cares? ... a smartphone, or even just a tape measure will work fine. IF - however you are buying a quantity of boards, or you are wanting to compare prices of different species in the lumber store, and do it quickly - nothing will beat a Lumber Rule for accuracy and speed.

Kicking Horse River Bridge

The days of Timber Frame Construction are being kept alive and well by members of the Timber Framers Guild, a world wide organization dedicated to keeping this form of woodworking combined with carpentry, alive and active. And thankfully someone does because without some of these massive and impressive hand build structures like houses, barns, bridges and lodges, we would see this art from fade away.
One of the more more recent and certainly impressive project this group engaged in was building the impressive Foot Bridge over the Kicking Horse River in Golden British Columbia, Canada. The Kicking Horse River was so named because in 1858, Sir James Hector, who was exploring the area, was kicked in the chest by his horse while in the vicinity of the river, and so came the name, Kicking Horse River.
Although the bridge was completed in 2001, it was 5 years in the planning and the raising of funds to build it.The townspeople of Golden worked hard and making this bridge become a reality by ensuring the skilled workers would be on hand, along with a team of apprentice Timber Framers who go on-the-job training, and all of whom needed living quarters and meals provided because most of the workers on this bridge did so with out pay, and many even paid their own way from all corners of the world, just to get to Golden and the opportunity to work on this timber frame bridge.

Towards the end of summer in 2001 the bridge was nearing completion. This was also the time of the tragic events unfolding in New York City on September 11, 2001 and what come be be known as "911".  Despite this world changing event, the townspeople and Timber Framers worked hard into the fall to finalize the competion and placement of the bridge. Having been build on the banks of the Kicking Horse River, a glacier fed river, upon completion the entire bridge needed to be hoisted and positioned across the river.

This was done using 2 enormous cranes and the process lasted 4 heart-stopping days. After the bridge was placed the final component, the roof was added and thus was the completion of the Kicking Horse Foot Bridge.
anyone who has any love of woodworking, carpentry and timber framing will be in awe of this bridge as it sits over the the turquoise river ... and during the right seasons, you can watch the boat loads of rubber rafters who come to challenge these white water rapids, making one of the most picturesque and awe inspiring locations you will ever get to visit.

 

Making a Circle Jig for a Bandsaw

circle jig on bandsawI don't seem to need to cut circles very often, but when I do, I often resort to drawing them out on the wood I am cutting then cutting them out by hand with my Jigsaw. This method is ok, but the jigsaw always leaves a rough edge that is uneven, so after cutting I usually spend as much (or more) time cleaning up the cut with my belt sander. For one-ups, this is ok, but I know there are better ways ... like using my router and the circle jig I made for that quite some time ago, but there is still another way, using the bandsaw, and that's what I am doing today.

As we all do, I checked out the Internet to see what was available and there are a number of designs and all that I could find were designs that made fixed sizes. What if I want a circle made that is between those sizes? I need a variable distance circle jig, and that's what I made.

 

 I decided the best way to make a variable jig was to create a sliding center, which means 2 pieces of wood, fastened together in a manner that lets the slide move uninhibited.

Cyclone Dust Collection Upgrade

dust collector systemCollecting Dust or at least preventing the distribution of dust in the workshop has been an active topic among woodworkers for a long, long time and I expect it will continue to be as new information, changes in the industry and new methods continue to evolve.
The one thing that hasn't changed is that we all pretty confident that wood dust is not good for us to inhale. We seem to be at odds about how much is safe and which dusts are worse than others, but the safe rule of thumb is NO dust is good and ALL dust should not be inhaled. I think every woodworking shop I have been in has some amount of dust in the air, what we all do is strive to reduce this dust as best we can. One way of reducing dust is with dust collectors.

 

For smaller shops like mine, a typical dust collector is often a 1.5 and up to a 3 horsepower electric fan that draws dust from our machinery and deposits the dust it into a plastic bag while using an upper cloth bag or composite canister to filter the small particles of dust and return fresh air to the room. These are often not the best, but for many of us they are best we can afford and install, and in recent years they are actually doing a pretty good job. These units with collect and expel dust in one unit are called Single Stage Dust Collectors ...

Making a File Drawer Storage Compainion Box

I can't image how many unique and custom woodworking projects there must be in this world, millions probably, and now I am going to add one more to that list. I made this because I have never seen anything like this ever displayed or listed for sale anywhere, which mean it's a new design (at least for me).

We seem to spend a lot of our time making storage and organizational things and this is yet another item to add to that list. This particular box is what I am calling a drop box because to put anything into it you have to drop it in from the top and it also includes an upper tray for easy access to things you want quicker and easier access to. Other items for more long term storage are underneath the upper tray that just lifts out. The whole concept of this box is that if fits in any file drawer that also accommodates one of the standard metal or plastic hanging file folder stands. Often these can be purchased as single units or "half" units which leaves the other half of the file drawer empty, which of course means the single is free to slide and move around, plus there a big waste of space that could be otherwise better utilized.

There are no particular features of this box that need further explanation that the video does not already explain. For this unit I used 1/8" plywood for the sides and bottoms, then 1/2" natural wood for the ends. The only word or caution I need to pass along, some file drawers have more room in height than others so you may need to watch the height of your handle, it is possible to make it to high so that the drawer does not close ... otherwise it's another fun, easy to make and super useful little storage box you will use for many, many years.
Copyright Colin Knecht
Woodworkweb.com

Make a Peekaboo Shelf Unit

peekaboo shelf unitShelving units are very popular, and for good reason, they are a great place to display special items that we have and in so doing they also add a lot to the decor of a room. Many shelving units have backs that make them appear stronger, and perhaps some are, but in most cases they are only holding smaller items so strength is not always needed.

In this build we are build something called a peekaboo shelf unit, probably so named because it is "backless".  A very nice design that makes it appear a bit lighter and some even say "airey". What I particularly liked about this shelving unit is the cleat system that not only has a solid locking mechanism to keep it hanging firmly on the wall, the unit is easy to take down and the clean helps to add to the strength of the shelving unit.

 

For this unit I used standard 3/4" wide wood for everything except the partition between the drawers. I felt that 1/2 inch wide spacers looked better and fit the project a bit better.