Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Cradle for our son.

This was a fun project. My wife and I were expecting our second child, and my shop was pretty well setup to do something major. I say major because this project involved lots of classic joinery, with no mechanical fasteners (except for how the crib sits on the pedestals.)

My only regret about this project is that I didn't have my shop setup to make this for our daughter when she was born. I'd have loved to make her something and then hand it down to her brother. Instead, I made her a wonderful Noah's Ark Toy. She has started to have an interest in woodworking and we will make something together.

The cradle was from a plan that I found online. I wanted to make a crib, but finding crib hardware in Canada is impossible. I came across the cradle plan on It's all mortise and tenon joinery.

I made the crib from red oak. I had honed my skills with my jointer, planer, tablesaw and bandsaw on my daughters Noah's Ark project. I was ready for this. It's finished with three coats of amber shellac and resides in our sitting room upstairs. My son was not a sleeper. He slept about 45 minutes out of every 2 hours for the first 9 months of his life, and thus didn't spend much time in this cradle. It was still fun to make and maybe it will be handed down to grandchildren.

Here is the link to the photo of the construction at picasaweb. Cradle Project.

Monday, February 28, 2005

Noah's Ark

I was dying to make something for my daughter. I came across a neat toy plan at This is a version of Noah's Ark. It is made from red oak and was my first test drive of the new jointer and planer. I really found the limitations of my little delta bandsaw on this job. It's going to have to go before I do anything bigger.

This plan was several pages of measured drawings and patterns. As it was constructed of layered laminations of the hull and was two symmetrical sides, I decided to gang up the sides and make two pieces at once on the bandsaw. This led to ultimate demise of my little saw as it wasn't prepared to cut 2 inches of red oak. I'm sure if I knew anything about tuning it, at that point, I might still have it.

After making the pieces and sanding them on the spindle sander, I realized that the tolerances of joining the sides to the centre spline were greater than what I had allowed for when bandsawing the pieces. I got clever, and after gluing up the sides, I decided to run them across the jointer to flush the ends up. This worked great, except when I joined them together, the top didn't fit anymore. Rather than cut the top, I used a trim router and template to cut a rabet that the top fit into.

This little piece has a gazillion little animals all scroll sawed out of red oak. That was really not fun to do. I have a crappy scroll and occasionally the blade would grab the piece of wood and pound it into the table at an excessive rate of speed until I could turn the saw off. I tried a bunch of different blades, but ultimatly got to work on a Dewalt scroller and realized my saw is crap. I've tried tuning it, but it's just not a great saw.

The ark is finished with three coats of watco danish oil and holds a premium spot on the mantle in our family room.

Thursday, January 6, 2005

My Little Shop

I work out of a small basement shop in, you guessed it, my basement. When we bought the house about 9 years ago, it had a little woodworking shop in it. I was an avid model airplane enthusiast and had built some giant scale aerobatic planes while living in Oregon, and thought that the little shop would be put to good use. Over the next few years, I built a bench, added a few tools, but soon after we bought the house, our first child was born. With that, I lost interest in things that took me outside the house and my model airplane hobby went by the wayside.

Soon after our first was born, I started watching a show on TV. The New Yankee Workshop. I had seen episodes of it in previous years and was always amazed at the furniture that he made and the shop he had. I was hooked.

So, over the next few years I started gathering more tools. Then with the birth of our second child, I was heavy into woodworking as a hobby.

I have included a link to My Shop and Projects album at Picasaweb. I have made a few things more than I have listed but didn't take pictures of everything. I got onboard the "blogger" thing late and now have taken a liking to recording contstruction and finishing of my projects. I share them with those that care to look, but I really posted them more for me to go back and look at the process so I can remember. I have never done a piece that wasn't for someone I cared about, so the photos of construction and comments that I make, help me remember the process.

I'll add stuff as I do it. I hope to add some video to this blog as well. That is, if I do anything worth filming.