A New Year With a Site Announcement

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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

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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!

Hand Tool Cabinet Drawers Followup

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drawersI know I said back when I did the video of the drawers I was going to do another follow-up video.  I will be honest, in many ways, I felt that video is a bit of a disaster, so much that video prompted me to retool my video production capabilities a bit.  However, I am ready to move on to other projects and videos, so I decided to finish up the drawers without the eye of the video camera.

knobThe first thing I worked on was the pulls.  I went through several design ideas, including sometime on the lathe, band saw, and shaping with hand tools.  In the end I went with simple square pulls that taper inward.  I did this by ripping a couple of strips of maple on the band saw, with the table set at 15 degrees.  Keeping the fence and table in the same position, I crosscut each strip to the square pulls.  I sanded them down thoroughly, and glued them on to the drawers.  After the glue dried, I put a good coat of boiled linseed oil on each drawer.  I let them sit and cure for a week.  I then sprayed them with several coats of shellac, and then gave them a light sanding to smooth out the finish.

full_cabinetWhile completing the drawers for the hand tool cabinet is a significant milestone in its build, I will not call it done.   As my hand tool collection grows and evolves, new additions will be made to the cabinet.  I will of course document them here and on video as well.

When I posted the pictures of the drawers out on social media, I got quite a few comments about the Asteroids sign on top of the tool cabinet.  The sign is an old marquee off of an Asteroids game cabinet that I bought via E-Bay.  When I was a bit younger, and not yet married, along with some coworkers, I set out to start build an arcade cabinet.  I built a control panel, but never got beyond that.  I had the marquee lying around, so I built a small case for it, and put a light behind it.  Skip ahead a few years, after moving out of thatasteroids house, getting married, going back to school for my masters, and several job changes it had been put in a corner of the garage and gotten forgotten about.  When I hung the hand tool cabinet, I did a fairly extensive clean out of the garage.  A lot of junk gotten thrown away, when I came across that sign.  I found that the light still worked, so I put it on top of the cabinet, and plugged it in with the shop lighting.  It now displays proudly whenever I am out working in the shop. While the sign has nothing to do with hand tools or woodworking, I often think back at what I had when I made that sign.  I was still living on my own, and had a very modest amount of tools, mainly for home renovation.  I didn’t have anywhere the woodworking tool capacity that I have today, but yet I was able to build a simple piece that has held up well over the years.

What a journey its been, and will continue to be!

Video 9 – GRR-Rip Block Storage

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jointer_grripblock_storageLike most jointers, mine came with two basic push blocks.  While they are safer to use than nothing at all, there is a better alternative out there.  A couple of years ago I bought one GRR-Rip Block at a woodworking show, and loved how it worked on the jointer.  I ended up buying a second one, and both are now dedicated for use at the jointer.  Since I no longer use the standard push blocks, and I didn’t want to start the new ones on the jointer tables, I decided it was time to change the storage on my jointer to accommodate the GRR-Rip Block.  I used scarp material from around the shop to put this together.  Since I got all my measurements off the blocks and jointer, I don’t have and any drawings on this one.  Just make sure that the bottom board is wide enough to accommodate both blocks as well as the two side pieces.  For the length, make sure it is long enough for the back support and the length of a block.  The new storage solution for the GRR-Rip blocks works very well to keep them out-of-the-way when they aren’t needed, but are easily grabbed when I am ready to face joint a board.

Painter’s Easel

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easel_complete The artist of our family is most definitely my step-daughter.  As her skill and talent develop, she needs a true easel, rather than books propping up a canvas on the kitchen table.

The construction is a basic a-frame style easel.  The center rail has a rabbet running down each side of it, forming a reverse t-track.  This allows the bottom shelf and the top clamp to be adjustable for both height and various sizes canvases.  The two movable parts lock in place with a couple of star knobs which essentially clamps them in place.  The support leg is adjustable so that the easel can tilt at various angles.  easel_inuseThis is accomplished  by using two lengths of wood, one of which has a through groove ran down most the length.  The other has a knob to hold the two pieces together.  A third piece links the to the lower length of wood and to the main a-frame of the easel.  This makes for a very stable support leg.

I decided to keep the wood unfinished.  This is because I honestly didn’t see the point of finishing it.  With being used to paint on, it is going to get messy.  Also, there is a good chance my daughter will want to paint it to make it her own.  She is the artist after all!  For this reason, I used poplar for the wood, both for the economy as well as it takes paint nicely.

This was a fun project to build!  In addition to that, I am looking forward to seeing the wonderful works of art my daughter will create on it!