General Woodworking Videos

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 ...

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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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Making Table Saw Blade Rack

Storing larger 10" and 12" table saw and mitre saw blades can be a bit of a hassel. I have a number of table saw blades and I change blades quite frequently depending on the job I am doing so finding blades is a common task.

Almost every power saw blade these days is tipped with Carbide. The reason for using carbide is that it is very hard and it resists heat very well, and that is why carbide retains it's sharp edge for a long time. The problem with Carbide is that because it is a crystaline type of structure, it can ... and does, fracture easily if bumped against another carbide tipped blade or bumped against steel. (for example, laying a carbide tipped blade down on top of your steel-topped table saw can often chip or even knock a carbide tooth off, and once this happens, blades should NOT be used as they are now dangerous, ALWAYS lay carbide tipped blades down on softer materials like wood, cardboard or some other softer material)

This is why it is important to have a good safe place to store you power tool, table saw and mitre saw blades, and either plastic or wood are idea. If you have a number of blades, a quick glance will tell you which one you need to grab and install on your power tool, so being able to see all your blades at the same time is beneficial.

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