Category Archives: shop life

Shop Dog

We all know canines are man’s best friend, but do they make good employees? Handfuls of shops I’ve visited have 4-legged folk running around, so I thought I’d give it a go and bring my pup, Oso, into the mix.

He’s not great at sweeping. By the time he finishes barking and attacking the broom he typically passes out into the dust pile.

Here he is gluing up a desktop. He’ll spend the rest of the afternoon gnawing at the glue in his fur, which is better than chewing the workpiece, I guess.

At the end of the day, he typically takes credit for our projects, demanding a BoneUs [boom!], or a big stick and long hike also suffice.

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New Houzz Post // Seven Crucial Measuring Tools

Got a new post up on Houzz. It’s the first of an ongoing series of essential tools for the home woodshop. I kicked it off with, in my opinion, the tools that are most influential to the success of any project: measuring instruments. Hope you like it as much as I love my combination square…

///There’s also a bitchin’ discussion going down in the comments section about women and woodworking so be sure to check it out. Future post material? I think so…

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Spreading the Wealth

I may be young and have a lot to learn in the realm of woodworking, but that doesn’t mean I don’t already have much to share. Recently, asked me to contribute to their site in the form of DIYs and tool profiles for developing woodworkers. I’m elated by the opportunity to further combine my degree in journalism and my real world development as a carpenter.

Direct your mouse here to check out my first installment.

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A Word About Kickback

I was in the midst of whistling along to Whiskey In the Jar while cutting plywood on the tablesaw when, quicker than Jerry could pluck a banjo string, I was on my back, staring at the shop ceiling. I just been struck in the abdomen by a 10xfourteen” piece of plywood at 110 MPH.

 I had just fallen victim to the cutback. Anyone operating a tablesaw is aware of its capability to eat fingers, but what’s often forgotten (and perhaps, more dangerous) is kickback. 

 So what exactly is kickback? When milling wood on a table saw, wood is guided along a fence the desired length away from the blade. The wood is essentially pinched between the saw blade and fence, which means should the working piece be twisted or skewed, it may be grabbed by the blade and projected in the direction of the blade (which is you.) Solid stock wood can also have a tendency to bind, meaning it could pinch the blade, also causing kickback. Riving knives look like a shark fin that sits directly behind the blade and is used to prevent binding. I’ve watched this simple piece of metal prevent countless kickbacks and wouldn’t consider milling stock without it. Especially now. 

More info about KICKBACK: The Nightmare Explained 

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Shop Foreman (Lady)

My Ol’ Man would scare the bejeezus out of me as a kid by placing the Laughing Lady at the foot of my bed. He found her at a garage sale and had to have here, of course. Sure is a pleasure still having here around in the shop keeping an eye on things. Happy Halloween y’all.

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