A New Year With a Site Announcement

Published on by Mike  (Leave a comment)

madermadeit_website_tpHappy New Year all!  As a new years are about new beginnings, I am making a new start with my blog.  Often with new beginnings, changes occur as well.  As you may have already noticed, I made a pretty big change with my blog.  Sawdustnewbie.com has now become Mader Made It.

As you may have noticed, I have been away from my blog and video production for a little while now.  There are a couple reasons behind it.  As you may recall in some of my previous posts that I gave up drinking pop a year ago.  The result of that has been extremely positive, and I have had considerably more energy.  To help get myself in better shape, I spent a lot of time working in the yard this past Spring and Summer, which took time away from the woodshop.  Also, earlier this year, I did a complete site redesign which overall I am happy with.  Unfortunately, I had some other significant technical issues come up with the website, and while they have all been resolved, I did get a little burnt out from its upkeep, so I decided it was best to step away from it for a little while.  The good news is, I have been in the shop for a while now, and have several projects that I will be writing about.  Also I have been shooting footage of many of the projects I have worked, and hope to soon resume producing videos as well.

I hope everyone has a safe and happy new year!

Still Alive, Doing A Bit of Retooling

Published on by Mike  (Leave a comment)

Hey All,

I am still alive and well, but have been away from the keyboard a bit.  I have more videos coming down the line as well as many more blog posts. I had some technical difficulties earlier this summer, and after resolving those decided to take a step a way and take a little break.  I have been out in the shop and have at this point 3 projects videos shot and ready for editing, as well as many more planned!

Before I start releasing new content, I am doing a bit of retooling, both for my videos and for the blog.  I think it is going to be an exciting set of changes.  Be sure to check back this fall!

Just a few thoughts

Published on by Mike  (Leave a comment)

pennythoughtsOne of the many things bloggers thrive on is the feedback they receive on their various blog posts.  Recently Tom Iovino, on his blog tomsworkbench.com, listed my blog as his blog of the week!  I have met up with Tom at this year’s and last year’s Woodworking in America shows.  He has a lot of energy and passion when it comes to woodworking and the online community surrounding it.  He is also one of the hosts of The Modern Woodworker’s Association.  Thank you Tom for all you do!

Also, as comes to feedback, I make an effort to reply to every comment that I receive on my blog.  One thing I realized  is that a commenter doesn’t necessarily see my replies without having to select to see all future comments.  I have made an update to the blog software that an email notification will be sent to commenter that I have replied to.

Right now the weather is starting to turn cold, and while my shop isn’t year round climate controlled, it doesn’t mean the woodworking stops for me.  I am planning on some Christmas projects and I still have the drawers for the hand tool cabinet to make.  So from a project standpoint, I have more coming.  I am also working on trying to post more tips and tricks as I come up with them.

Thank you for taking your time to read my posts!

Site Updates!

Published on by Mike  (Leave a comment)

The last few days I have been working on making some major updates to the site.  The biggest being the header.  I think the new one has a cleaner look, utilizing a picture I took awhile back to use as my avatar for various social network sites and forums.  My background is I.T., and for many years I did side work doing websites, while working closely with a graphic artist.  While I don’t have the funds to pay a graphic artist to design my site, I knew I could do better.  There was also a lot of unfinished aspects of the site that had been bugging me since I brought it up, and just haven’t taken the time to fix it.  The theme I am using is custom, with me doing my own html, css, and php for it.  I did use one of the built-in themes as a starting point, but there is very little of the original theme left in it.

The site updates include:

  • New header
  • Some color changes
  • Cleaned up comment layout
  • Cleaned up some of the side bar elements
  • New About Me page
  • Update page and individual post layout, now match rest of site
  • Fixed paging issues
  • Improved menu layouts
  • An indicator in the header when my stream is up
  • Various other CSS elements cleaned up

As always, if there is anything you would like to see on my blog, comment, and let me know!

Shop and Site updates

Published on by Mike  (2 Comments)

First, I wanted to mention my newest shop update.  I had been finding myself more and more carting my primary laptop out to the the shop.  Now, a shop isn’t the best place for a computer, especially when it is being placed in any available flat surface.  The first problem is that it would get covered with sawdust.  I don’t know how many times I would come back in, and have to work on getting a piece of saw dust  jammed under a key, they having to clean it out.  Next, their was risk to the computer itself.  First, my shop is in a garage that door is typically open in the warmer months while working.  While I live in a good area, there is always risk that the computer could walk away.  Next their was always a risk of the computer getting damaged or destroyed by either a projectile off of a saw or getting knocked on the concrete floor.  After thinking it through, I decided to resurrect an old laptop that needed a hard drive.  Fortunately I was able to get one very cheaply.  I got it on there, and got the OS reinstalled on it (plus 200 windows updates to go with it!) .  Software wise, I put on the chat client I use for The Woodwhisperer chat room, current browsers, SketchUp (I draw all my project plans on that now), and ustream producer, so I can stream while in the shop.  (Believe it or not, people DO watch!)

Between the mouse click of getting everything installed on that computer, I built a small shelf out in the garage for it.  The shelf is up high, probably 6’5″ off the ground.  The was to address, a protecting it from flying objects and to help keep it away from the dust.  It will still get dusty, but I will hit with the shop vac to help with that.  Next I had an old 17″ flat panel laying around, along with a wall mount arm for a TV which we ended up never using.  So I mounted the monitor up on the wall, up high as well, for the same reasons as the computer, but also so I can see it comfortably while standing (I am 6’2″).  Finally I setup some old speakers (bought them for college nearly 15 years ago) so I could have some music from Pandora.com playing while I am out working.  Finally I got a cheap wireless keyboard and mouse.  Frankly they are junk, but they are good enough out the shop.  I spent well under a $100 for the setup, and it is well worth it!  Plus, with everything being old or cheap, if anything disappears or gets destroyed, I am not out a whole lot.

One quick site update, it was pointed out to me today that comments were not working.  I did not realize this, because commenting on my site is like calling my own cell phone, I never do it.  Most of the comments I get here are spam, and I have spam filters in place, and I just assumed that it was working.  Anyway, I figured out which plug-ins were causing it, and they have since been deactivated, so feel free to leave a comment on any of my posts!  😀