General Woodworking Videos

Making a Coffee Grinder

grinder_tmbIt's not very often that such a small woodworking project requires so many different tools and requires number of skills from the woodworker. In this video we made a working coffee grinder, well actually we purchased the grinding part from Lee Valley tools and made the wooden base that the grinder sits on.

It sounds like a pretty easy project but we decided to make all the corners of the box as box joints. Inside the outer box is a drawer that catches the ground coffee bits as the handles is turned and beans are ground. Then, there is one last element, so that many of the coffee grinding bits do not fall between the drawer and the outer box there is an inner lining that makes sure the ground beans all fall nicely into the drawer.

The first element is to make the outer box. We adhered to the instructions packaged with the grinding component and found them easy to follow and accurate, so why not make things easy and follow their instructions. Since we decided to make box joints for the outer box we needed a box joint jig (which we also needed for other upcoming projects too) so we made that first of all (see our other videos for details on this).

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



Workshop Renos and Woodworking Tips

That old saying that "necessity is the mother of invention" was never truer that doing home renovation projects or working in the workshop. As a rule I don't mind doing home reno projects, but I like to work at them at my own speed. This is because the always take at least four times longer for me to complete that what I calculated they would take. Not long ago, after having an "Energy Audit" done on our house, it was deemed that several areas of the house needed to be redone, including some previously un-insulated concrete walls and all the windows in house, to name only a couple of the projects.

Both of these projects required major renovation work to be done in my woodworking shop which meant it would be out of commission ... and guaranteed, for longer than I would expect, since two of the walls needed complete rebuilding, insulating and re-surfacing. I was fine with doing the work, and have done this kind of work before, but I am slow at it because I am not a pro at doing it.

This combined with the fact that the walls would need to have all pieces custom cut, and that I had to work around all the existing power and shop tools as there was no other place they could be stored. Next I knew would be the dredded re-surfacing ...

A Woodworker's Tour of Historic Fort Steele

Most woodworkers love looking at the works of other woodworkers. I often think there is some sort of inspiration that happens when you have the opportunity to view someone else's work. When it's old, antique of classical furniture it's even better. Well, we had the opportunity recently to visit a historic site in Western Canada, not too far from the city of Cranbrook in British Columbia, called Fort Steele. The town was originally called Galbraith's Ferry as it was beside the Wild Horse River, and was settled around 1864 during the time of the Gold Rush that started in California and ended in Alaska in the late 1800's.

The name change happened in in 1888 when the general tone of the residents of area became tense and Superintendent Samuel (Sam) Steele of the North-West Mounted Police  was summoned, along with his troops, to come to the area and to try to resolve the unrest between the Ktunaxa and the white and Chinese settlers who were relatively new to the area.

Today Fort Steele is national historic site with buildings and furnishings either restored, or rebuilt as near as possible to their original state, and that's exactly what we came to see.  Original buildings from the 1880s and furniture from the period.

We located some fantastic finds as we toured the site, trying to keep out of the way of other tourists but still trying to capture all different furniture pieces as well as the building structures such as log buildings and antique furniture.

Click read more to see other photos of what we found ...

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