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Woodworking Videos

Wine Carrier / Wine Rack

wine carrier wine rackGetting free lumber isn't always as free as we might think, especially pallet wood. Wood from pallets is often pretty nasty stuff. It's often been kicked, dragged, smashed and driven over before we get it. It's almost always embedded with tiny rocks and gravel, hardened nails or screws and who knows what else. All of these unwanted elements go a long way to dulling, damaging or even ruining jointer and planer knives and even saw blades. Still, it's fun to get, but even more rewarding is getting lumber that already has some character to it. All this means is that you need to treat pallet wood differently than you do virgin wood from the lumber store. The fact that it does have all these embedded nasty elements is the reason we use it.

 I have found the best tool to use for pallet wood is either a circular saw, or a table saw with a circular saw blade installed. Circular saw blades are much less expensive than 10” table saw blades. If you are going to use a jointer or planer, sanding the wood first, or brushing it off with a wire brush, then using one of the hand metal detectors to check for metal is a must. Of course the problem with doing this is that you are often destroying the patina of the wood, but ... we do what we need to.

 The purpose of this project is to make a decorative wine carrier, that can also double as a wine rack. We decided to use some “character” pallet wood. There is no reason that wood from the lumber store or other sources cannot be used, the only real requirement for the sizes we made is that it be 3/4 inch stock material. Before we give out some dimensions, it's important to note that there is no standard in wine bottle sizes of shapes. The bottles we selected were of similar size and shape so that they would interchange with one another.

 The size that worked best for us was 11 inches wide by 15 inches long and 13 inches high. The end pieces were both made from 3/4 inch stock, the sides and bottoms were cut in half from 3/4 inch stock so were approximately 5/16 of an inch. Making a cut list is pretty easy for this project, in consist of ...

Natural Edge Wooden Serving Platter

This was supposed <supposed !> to be a quick, easy project. I had no idea going into this project it would take as long as it did, and be as complicated as it was. After all, it's only a simple wooden serving platter.
It started off easy, I had a piece of wood with natural edges that had been sitting around in my wood storage room for several years because I didn't know what to do with it. I started off by selecting a section of it that would be perfect for the platter ... even sawed it off with a hand saw to be safe.
Next I planed the thickness of the board to around 3/4 inch, just thin enough it was easy to handle but still showed off enough of the natural edge to make it look great.

 

Now, unbeknown to me, the hard part started. How to you prepare the edges of this board without destroying it's natural look. It was quite craggy and rough and needed to be smoothed down but still retain the natural edge look. I decided to start off with a tiny wire brush on my rotary tool. To my delight it worked great ...

Gifts for Woodworkers

This video could also have been named "Colin's List of Favorite Tools" because all the tools I show here are tools that I love to use, not that there are not lots of others, but for tools that fall in the "gift" category, this was the most likely bunch of candidates.

So let me start of with the least expensive and easily the most used tool in my work shop, the lowly tape measure. As you can see in the video I have a box full of tape measures but the only one I ever use is the LEFT hand tapes that I got from Lee Valley. They are small, easy to read and inexpensive at around $6.00 As you can see on the video, for all of us right-handers, having a tape that we can read the number the right way up when we hold a pencil in our left hand, to me ... is very important. I still make mistakes in measuring but I can honestly say they are MUCH fewer now that I don't have to try and read numbers up-side-down. This is a no-brainer for me.

 

The next 2 items are also available at Lee Valley, the first is a steel engineers square. I use this nearly as much as the tape measures. I also have one of the fancy (expensive) wood and steel squares, but I discovered that depending on the moisture level - it's not always accurate, because of the small amount of wood movement. I want a square the is accurate ALL THE TIME and these engineers ...

Using a Doweling Jig

I love it when there are pleasant surprises in woodworking. Thanks to a few of our subscribers who have asked about using doweling jigs after a number of videos we released on using pocket hole jigs. Pocket hole jigs are great but, but there are alternatives. Not everyone loves pocket hole technology ... for a few reasons: 
1) it leaves visible holes (that can often be placed in the back or underside of the build, or they can be "plugged")
2) on rare occasion the screws will crack the wood
3) it can be difficult to match the plugs colors to the main wood.
There are also advantages to pocket holes, like ... you can take the project apart to repair, rebuild or re-use. The alternative to pocket hole technology is doweling, which has been around in one form or another for, well ... hundreds of years, and it works as well now as it did then.

There are 2 main advantages of doweling technology
1) joints can be completely hidden within the wood
2) the strength of the dowels is every bit equal or exceeding pocket hole or in many cases even mortise and tenon type technology.
I thought it was high time I got up to speed on doweling jigs.

As a bit of a newcomer to doweling technology, and after un-packaging my Dowelmax jig, I was very impressed by the quality of the jig. The number of well thought out accessories and add-on components was also impressive. It did take me a bit of practice to really understand how the jig worked but once I got on to it, with each joint I made, the jig continued to impress me ... what a pleasant surprise ...

Knife Making

Having a desire to make something and knowing how to go about it can be quite and experience. I have often looked at custom knives in awe and amazement with what can be done but have never ventured into the knife making world.

Recently I met someone who is an artist and craftsman when it comes to making knives and all you have to do is look at his work to see why. Peter Demmer is a Canadian knife maker who has brought his European Craftsman skills to the art of knife making. Peter makes all sorts of knives from custom Chef Carving Knives, to hunting, fishing and survival knives and even to everyday utility type knives, you can see more here www.terrierblades.com
Recently I invited myself to his workshop to make a video for our viewers on the art of custom knife making and Peter walked us through the entire process from beginning to end.

He started off by showing me how the shape of the steel is cut with a high-speed water jet tool, to create the basic shape of the blade and handle. The material he uses is special stainless steel that he purchase in large sheets. Once the basic shape of the knife is set out, the next step is to temper the steel which requires a special technique ...

Making Simple Wooden Storage Boxes

Making simple wooden boxes is easy and fun and you can make them  in no time. For someone starting off in woodworking it's a great way to get stated, and you end up with some cool little boxes to store things in, but don't forget to make plenty of them because when people see them they all want them because everyone has little items they need to store and keep together.
I happened to walk past a house construction a few weeks ago the they were just finishing up putting the roof on. In the driveway of the house was all the plywood off cuts from the roof, all sorts of different angles and sizes, but all construction grade 1/2 inch plywood. Not much anyone could do much with ... well, except a woodworker. I gathered up as much as I could carry with the idea in mind that these pieces would be perfect for making little wooden boxes.

I used the same principal for making them that I used in making the One Piece Box video from a couple of years ago but this time using the table saw. The only real trick is to make sure all your pieces are square and accurately cut, I did that by ....