Back from the Dead, a New Project, and Other Shop Musings

Published on by Mike  (Leave a comment)

What?!?!  A new post?!?!  It’s been over a year!  It has been far too long since I have written a new post for the blog.  Fear not, I have still been in the shop, making stuff, however most of the documenting of my projects has been on social media.  While that does give brief glimpses into what is going in my shop, it doesn’t go in to near the detail of what I have written about on the blog.  

First off, a status on videos.  I have footage of several projects that I have not yet edited, that someday I will edit them and release them.  The biggest hold up for the video is the editing process.  Unfortunately the laptop, or more specifically the video car in the laptop that I currently own is simply not up to the task of editing video in an efficient manner to get them out on a regular basis.  Until I get a better laptop, my video production is on hiatus.  

In the meantime, I do want to get my blog back up and going again, especially as I prepare for an upcoming project.  That project being a home made CNC Router!

Why a CNC?  First off, do not think for one minute that I am giving up traditional woodworking, as that is simply NOT the case.  I look at it is the next step in my journey as a woodworker.  Just as the table saw, jointer, planer all are tools that simplify or make possible certain tasks, so to is the CNC.  For example, one of the things I want to start doing is bent laminations.  A CNC can help me make the bending forms that are needed.  This will give me more time doing the actual woodworking, rather than spending time making jigs.  Also, I am a computer guy.  My day job isn’t woodworking but rather it is Information Technology, and as a result I am a bit of a technology enthusiast.  Getting a chance to build a piece of technology for me is exciting.  A big reason I am coming back to the blog is that I am going to document the process of the build.  I am debating on whether I will shoot video or not.  As I mentioned video production is not my priority right now, and if I do shoot video, it will probably be awhile before I get it edited.  

Finally, before I sign off, I did make another change to the technology I use in my shop.  As I have written about in the past I keep a computer in the workshop.  I recently replaced that computer with a Raspberry PI 3.  So far, I have been very impressed with what its capabilities are.  Since it is pretty much always running, I now stream my shop much more regularly when I am working.  Plus, getting to play with Linux again has been a lot of fun.  I did just say I am a computer guy(coughgeekcough)  ūüôā

That is it for now, I will have the first CNC post out shortly.  I also have a couple posts that I started last year, that I will try to finish up and get published as well.  Happy and Safe woodworking!

March 2015 Shop Update – Redesigned Website!!

Published on by Mike  (2 Comments)

logo So if you haven’t noticed yet, I have completely redesigned my blog! ¬†Before I get into too much detail, there is a group of people, that are in The Woodwhisperer Chatroom that I need to give a shout out to. ¬†First is Travis (aka SynCro) he took the photo that I use as a logo, and made it into a more usable image for me, and his advice went a long way in coming up with the header design. ¬†He did a great with it! ¬†Next is Jason (aka Beamer) as he gave some great design advice as well helping me debug some Javascript and CSS. ¬†Another shout out to Gary (aka EI). ¬†He also did some treatment to my logo that I hope to eventually turn into a t-shirt design. ¬†A big THANK YOU to you guys! ¬†Finally, one last thank you to the entire chatroom. ¬†The feedback you guys gave really inspired me to reconsider my ideas of web design.

There are a few features I want to highlight on the redesigned website.  First, the fresh look is a huge improvement over the old one.  The new look was long over due.  Next, I have made it easier to find the various avenues to subscribe to my content with the social network bar under the main menu.  More links will be coming soon as I am expanding those options as well.   Another improvement is that I made the comments links more apparent, in hopes that more comments are left.  The last new feature I wanted to highlight is the Video page.  Since I am planning on making videos a more integral part of my blog, there is a video page where my most current videos will be nicely laid out.  Over the next days & weeks I will likely be making tweaks as I go, so if you seem something out-of-place, let me know and I will get it fixed.

2015-03-30 23.56.33On the topic of videos, yes it has been too long since my last video release.  The good news is I have footage for two more video projects that are ready to be edited.  The delay in getting them edited was a result of getting the website redesign going.  Now that is complete I am going to circle back and get those videos edited and posted.  I really do want to get to a point of where I can post these weekly, but that may take a while to build up to.  Right now, especially since the weather is improving, I am hoping to get them out every other week.  If you have an idea of project you would like to see a video, leave your idea in the comments, or send it to me via the contact link.

kimmyLast, I mentioned a couple of updates ago that I quit drinking pop just after Christmas.  It has been 3 months now and I am happy to report that my beverage of choice is still water!  I have not touched a can or bottle of Coke or Pepsi at all since then.  I have lost around 10 pounds as a result, and have found I have a lot more energy.  Now with the weather warming up I try to take a daily walk with our dachshund mix, Kimmy.  The next phase is also trying to take the bike out a couple of times a week as well.

Until my next shop update, happy and safe woodworking to all!

February 2015 Shop Update & Tool Gloats

Published on by Mike  (Leave a comment)

We are about¬†half way through winter, and that rodent saw its shadow, so we still have 6 more weeks of winter. ¬†The good news is that the winter so far has been mild, and I have been able to get some shop time! ¬†I have completed a couple small projects that I have completed, and they have been put on¬†video! ¬†Keep your eye out here on the blog, or on my YouTube channel for when the video’s are released. ¬†I am not to a point where I can get a video out on a weekly basis, but I hope to get one or two out a month.

new_cameraOne thing I need to do is apologize for the last video, the audio was horrible. ¬†The camera I have used for the first few videos was a small sports camera that has a microphone that isn’t very good. ¬†The next video coming out I was able to improve the audio level, and there won’t be background music while I am talking. ¬†However, the audio quality suffered a bit. ¬†The good news is, I bought a new video camera! ¬†I found one that didn’t break the bank but also has the ability to accept an external microphone, which will be a future purchase. ¬†I ran several test videos with it, and even without using external mics, the audio level is significantly better. ¬† I can even add back in the background music and voices will still be easily heard and understood!

tool_gloatThis past weekend I attended The Woodworking Show while it was in Columbus. ¬†As always, they have classes and seminars their, and those were pretty good. ¬†I was a little disappointed in the deals they had. ¬†I have actually found that most of the deals are actually priced the same as retail locations. ¬†Thanks to the power of mobile Internet, I researched each of my purchases to help determine if it was a good deal or not. ¬†Probably the best deal I got was a new Bosch Random Orbit Sander. ¬†The Bosch booth had an okay deal on it, but made it a great deal by also giving a Visa gift card right on the spot. ¬†Of course I activated that immediately and used it at the show! ¬†ūüėÄ ¬†With that I bought another Grr-Rip Block. ¬†This one is #3 and will be used mainly at the router table, though it may find its way over to the band saw on occasion. ¬†I also bought several lengths of T-Track that will likely be used for a drill press table I am planning on making soon. ¬†I also bought some 1/4″ 20 star knobs.

That’s all I have for this month’s update. ¬†Until next month’s shop update!

Shop Update Jan 2015

Published on by Mike  (Leave a comment)

2013-04-19 22.45.53_enhancedI hope everyone had a great holiday season, as well as a great New Year!  I am hoping to have a new video and related blog post up in the next week or so.  In the meantime I wanted to get out a quick shop update.

I am finally building the 3 drawers for my hand tool cabinet.  Even though I am hand cutting half blind dovetails (a first for me) I thought this would be a quick project, and a great one for doing a video on.  Overall, the video aspect has been working at well, as I have been editing as I have footage done.  However, I have had a few set backs on this project that has not allowed it to go as quick as i had planned.

Set back #1.  This project sent me to the ER.  I was remaking one of the drawer sides and on one of the last cuts the saw slipped off the work piece and right into my finger.  I was lucky in that all I needed was 5 stitches.  It could have been far worse had it cut a tendon or nerves.  Fortunately today all I have is a scar that is still healing, but otherwise full use.  I have been thinking of ways to further address this injury, either in a video or a post, so keep your eye out for it.  However I did loose 2 weeks of shop time.

Set back #2.  I got sick.  With the first set back, it put me into the holiday season.  Fortunately I planned on taking two weeks off from work.  The first week I planned on finishing my Christmas shopping and help where needed.  The second week I planned on spending time in the shop to get the drawers done.  I got one day in, then I got sick with the flu.  I am feeling better now, just in time to go back to work!

Fortunately, I am close to finishing the drawers, so I am hoping to have them done fairly soon now! ¬†No more set backs!!! ūüėÄ ¬†After the drawers are complete, I have been thinking through the next couple projects. ¬†I hope to get an update out on those soon.

On a personal note, I did make one New Year’s Resolution. ¬†I have given up drinking pop. ¬†At this point I have not had a drink of pop in a week. ¬†It was a challenging week as going through caffeine withdraw while sick is absolutely not fun. ¬†While it is a woodworking blog, I am going to use it to help keep me honest with keeping this resolution, so you may see an occasional update on this.

Until next time, go make something and stay safe!