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About Jesse

  • Birthday 12/22/1981

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  • Woodworking Interests
    turning, whittling, milling lumber, reclaimed and upcycled materials, cabinetry and furniture, finish carpentry, crafts, lawn sculptures, things found on the ground

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  1. I didn't see a tips and tricks forum here, so thought I would post here instead. I'm not a teacher or educator, but I hope this might help someone! I recently made a set of poplar bookshelves (conventional lumber) for my stepmother. She wanted the design plain and simple, but with an arched top rail. I thought over several ways of joining the arched rail without using any fasteners or resorting to simply butt jointing the rail to the shelf face, top, or sides. Here's what I came up with: Here's the tricky bit: Since the mortises for the rail ends are so close to the end grain, some type of support was needed to keep the short fibers from splitting off with the waste wood. I have a c-clamp with flat steel stock welded on to each pad, and this works perfectly for holding those short bits in place while chopping out the mortise. If you don't have a clamp like this, you can use some flat stock in the same way on a normal clamp or handscrew. Just be sure to spread the clamping pressure out over a large enough area that you don't indent the surface of the wood! Here's what the finished mortise looks like: And with the rail in place: And fully assembled: I hope someone finds this helpful! -Jesse
  2. Jesse

    basement shop?

    By now, you've probably got your mind set on what you're gonna do, but I'll do my best to throw a wrench in it: I do all my noisy, messy power tool work in the garage, and all my hand tool work, assembly, and finishing in the basement (with the exception of a small compressor for my brad nailer and a small drill press in the basement). I like it a lot! Minimal mess and noise in the house, and there are very dew dust nibs in the air to worry about during finishing. True, there are times when I have to bring a piece back and forth between the two, but with careful planning you can minimize that. For me, the benefit of a separate place for messy, noisy work outweighs the inconvenience of the occasional walk across the yard. Plus, you get more room for your milling and dimensioning processes in the garage without a workbench/assembly table, hand tool cabinets, finishing station, etcetera to share the space with (and vice versa in the basement).
  3. Hey yall, I haven't logged in here in a bit, but thought that I'd post a couple new shop updates. I've kinda cheated on my tiny garage shop by adding more work space in the basement (I've carved out about a 11'x8' corner and outfitted it tolerably, so I've effectively doubled my shop space!). The garage space is now for turning, milling and dimensioning only. The basement is hand tool work, assembly, and finishing. With good project planning, everything works out fine. It does get kinda hairy sometimes though if I'm improvising a design change and need to run back and forth from one to the other to custom fit something. But hey, I need the exercise Here are a few pics of the improved space: Big benchtop (this is so awesome compared to the 2'x4' table and bare sawhorses I was using before!): I added a rolling A-Frame clamp rack (and soon to build another!): And, of course, tools, tools, tools are packed into all the shelving, under the bench, up in the ceiling... So, tiny shop lessons gleaned: 1. Split your shop into two small spaces if you have them - one for messy, noisy power tool operations, and one for hand tool work, assembly and finishing. 2. Put even more things on wheels! i know this has been mentioned a lot, but sometimes there are even more things you can put on wheels that you don't even realize. 3. Bigger benchtops equals more storage space below, more room to set your tools down next to your workpiece without getting cluttered, and less need for additional benches. My current bench is 44"x80", the biggest I could fit while still having room to move around it. I would definitely have gone bigger if I could have. 4. Make sure you know what size piece you can get in and out of your shop! I recently made a set of shelves 54"tall x 42"wide x 28"deep (real deep! - for storing yoga mats and props). I definitely measured the basement steps to be sure it would go up, but still had to take the side door off the hinges just to get it out of the house! I've also drawn up a new lumber rack design that will save even more room in the garage while offering more storage than my current setup. I'll post that once it's done. Thanks yall!
  4. I just realized with some horror that pretty soon it will be too cold out for crocs in the shop... ...or will it??? Hmmm, crocs with wool socks? Might work as long as I shovel the path to the garage in my big yellow galoshes!
  5. Good stuff! Reminds me of he old timers that used to come by my uncle's farm when I was a kid.
  6. Sounds like a cool idea. I can send some cedar, fir, southern yellow pine, mulberry, apple and I may have some other stuff kicking around too. The only thing I would recommend is perhaps using thicker chunks so that you can compare the quarter-sawn face with the plain and rift sawn faces. Perhaps even mill them so that they are triangular in cross section to get a different grain pattern on each face.
  7. I would think that there is no way they could get away with calling common grade anything better than common grade, so it must be at least a bit better. However I've never heard of furniture grade being a thing all it's own. Is this an online company? Can you get in touch with anyone there for more details?
  8. Depends what your time is worth.
  9. If you have a tap and die set, no worries about gumming up the threads, just tap it back out when done. If no tap and die set, take a bolt or piece of all-thread, and cut or grind a couple notches in it to do the same thing as the tap would.
  10. Looks great! Wish I had a space like that. Where do you teach - high school/trade school/extracurricular education program?
  11. I bet you'll find a stone rhino with a watermelon already on it's horn on your way to the grocery store. And a box of T-Track to boot!
  12. From the specimens I've seen, the things are branched pretty close and they don't grow straight in any direction for more than a couple feet. I would suppose that this deters commercial mills from wanting to deal with it. But all that convolution in structure must make for amazing grain!
  13. Roger: I'd love to see how you've set that up. Could you post some pics? I've also got a pretty small workshop, and always love to see the space saving solutions others come up with.
  14. I've got ten dollars that says cocobolo comes out with a five o'clock shadow!