The Plan(Evolving)

Since social distancing and shelter in place requirements seem to be impending, we here at The Tiny Shop are trying to get forward looking in our approach to COVID19.

Aside from the obvious, limiting contact, buying several days worth of food rather than stocking for the apocalypse, and generally being available to lend a hand to our fellow humans, I am also looking at the shop as a means of staying sane.

I have several dry boards of pine I can use to build something, but no hardwood to speak of once this credenza is finished.

I had planned to lay in a supply, buying a board or two at a time, to build up a nice stash. But with the possibility, or even likely hood of lots of closing businesses, the need has moved up the priority list a bit.

I mean, I now it’s not life or death, but I can see having a project to work on as being excellent therapy, and a way to stay occupied and grounded.

Anyhow, as soon as we are able, the plan is to lay in some hardwood for some of the previously mentioned projects I have on deck.

Stay safe people. Take care of one another. Be kind.

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Now what?

With the COVID-19 pandemic racing across the globe, social isolation is bringing with it, opportunity to get in the shop, and develop new designs. It’s therapy now, not just hobby or craft.

Currently, I am in the final stages of a cherry credenza I’m building for my folks. Already I am playing with ideas for new pieces. A series of clocks, a standing desk, and I also really want to try my hand at a Danish inspired chair with woven seat and back.

When all is said and done I can envision a small collection. Depending on personal health, the duration of the pandemic, and my ability to afford hardwood stock, the size of the collection will probably grow to a couple other pieces as well.

To anyone reading this, stay safe. Use common sense, and take care of one another. Be available to provide aid to those who need it, and don’t be afraid to reach out to others if you are in need.

Take the time to do something creative. It helps to focus on something tangibly creative.

Be kind.

John.

Bright idea.

As many of you know, I have often lamented the decline, if not outright disappearing, of woodworking education.

Gone are the days of a well equipped wood shop in most middle and high schools. It’s criminal.

Though, where education has failed/is failing us, the internet has provided some relief. Blogs, forums and YouTube provide a steady output of some really good (and not so good) content that helps move the woodworking needle.

I bring this up because I am hopeful. Hopeful that the ease in which this content is deliverable, will help foster new interest and growth in both the hobbiest as well as professional woodworking arenas.

We need the new blood, and we need the fresh outlook that it brings. I can’t think of a better combination than traditional skills passed down, then adopted and modernized by a new generation of woodwrights.

Potentially powerful stuff.

It is happening in small ways. New small business owners are springing up, and for some of them, wood is the medium of choice.

As someone who wants to encourage this, I have been working on several ideas that I may act on, in an effort to support the perpetuation of the craft. Actually, many ideas. Most of them centered around using the internet as a means of getting the content out there.

So, keep an eye out for discussion of this in upcoming blog posts here. I also invite you all to post ideas for this little project, in the comments section.

 

Makers &Wood Workers

Bravo I say, bravo!

So many young, and not-so-young folks throwing caution to the wind by following their bliss.

So many folks showing deep interest in making something with their hands.

Slowly, woodworking seems to be having something of a revival. Not just as a hobby either, real honest to goodness interest in making fine things from wood (and lots of other medium).

The thing is though, there is so much information out there. So many tutorials. So many project videos. So much.

I have, as any of you who have been following my blog know, lamented the lack of solid, foundational, accessable, quality education in artisan focused mediums. Wood, metal, glass, paint etc.

But now, with folks who have large followings like  Marc Spagnuolo https://www.thewoodwhisperer.com/about/

and Paul Sellers

Homepage

There seems to me to be some glimmer of resurging interest in my beloved wood craft.

Stay tuned……

Coming Soon……

knucklehead

Spring is now upon us here in colorful Colorado. Students are wrapping up their semesters and are making plans for the summer…..or not, as the case may be.

I am currently working on a series of articles for my byline at Highland Woodworking. It is a multi part interview with Don Rauh, my former woodshop teacher.

I plan to discuss the current state of apprenticeship programs, industrial arts programs, and also the future of woodworking education.

If any of my readers here have any curiosity about these subjects, or questions that they would like answered, please feel free to get them to me and I will be glad to include them.

Otherwise, be on the lookout for upcoming articles at both my online magazine byline, as well as the Highland woodworking Blog site .

Absence Makes The Heart Grow Fonder

dalai-lama-caddyshack

It has been far too long since I have contributed to my blog. I am a little ashamed to say that it has slipped from my conscious thought for several months now.

So then, I offer this little….ok, who am I fooling….this long winded update.

The kind folks at Highland Woodworking have inexplicably continued to accept and actually publish my daft ramblings. This is one reason why I have been remiss in my blogging duties. I have been submitting articles in my “Roubo bench Build With a Twist” series for the online magazine, as well as some various meandering musings for their blog. It has been a lot of fun working with an actual editor (now two editors) and I feel my writing is better for the effort.

I have done several “cameo appearances” at a few of the local shops here in town. These tend to be of limited duration and can either be really fun and rewarding, or dull and frustrating. Either way, they all help to keep the lights on, feed my tool addiction, and keep me off the streets. Even the less than positive gigs are educational and help me appreciate the work that I do in The Tiny Shop.

Speaking of The Tiny Shop, The Roubo has some fresh dings and dents now. I absolutely love the pair of benches I have in the shop. Even though they are both Nimitz class aircraft carrier size, they each have their own personality and each have their own quirks. Someday, mark my words, there will also be a Nicholson-English style bench in the shop too. However, that will need to wait until I have the actual shop space to accommodate a trio of full size work benches. Overkill? I think not.

I have been doing quite a bit of restoration and repair work from The Tiny Shop. While it is a means of keeping food in the belly, it is also a minor distraction from developing some prototypes that I continue to mull over. There are a couple of small tables, a set of small nesting tables, a chair design and also a rocker that I would like to prototype and move forward in their development. I just have not had the time or the material to get cracking on these yet. With warmer weather becoming more consistent though, I am hopeful that this spring and summer will see the return of my furniture designing and building in earnest.

On the more literary side of things, keep an eye out for an up coming series or articles I am working on. It is an interview with my former wood shop teacher and longtime friend, Don Rauh. Don has some things to say, and has always been one to “tell it like it is.” The series is shaping up to be quite interesting indeed.

So there you have it folks, just a little update on the Madcap Woodwright’s ongoing adventures. As always, I continue to work wood with joy and abandon because life is just too damn short.

OLD ‘ARN……IS THE BEST ‘ARN

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Hello, I’m The Madcap Woodwright, and I am an old ‘Arn – aholic.

Yet another year has passed and I am two days into my…..ahem….46th year here on this planet. As a gift to me for this auspicious occasion, the love of my life gave me the green light to drop a little coin on a birthday gift.

The Delta 768 10″ band saw was made between 1937 and 1943….I think….which makes this one of the more rare and very desirable machines in the vintage Delta line up.

Rare, because it was only made for those 5 or 6 years. Desirable because it is, for all intents and purposes, the exact same machine as it’s larger brother the vaunted 14″ delta band saw, but with smaller wheels top and bottom.

O.K. maybe not the exact same. But all the major components are interchangeable with the larger machine and it is bristling with all the heavy, thick cast iron that the larger capacity machine has, and then some.

Since the Delta 14″ band saw is ubiquitous, this means that most if not all of the parts that may fail on this little treasure, are easily replaceable. Nearly unheard of with a machine this old.

Add to it’s rarity and desirability that is is nice and compact which makes it a natural fit for The Tiny Shop.

Do not let it’s diminutive stature deceive you though, this machine is built … well … to last a lifetime or two. It’s just a beast for something so small in overall dimension.

I brought her home, gave her a bath, assembled her and plugged her in. As the saw ran, I began tweaking some adjustments here and there to take out some play in the blade and to see what I was dealing with as far as any needed rehab. As the machine scraped and squealed I was fearing that a total and complete strip and restoration was going to have to be done.

Imagine my joy when, the more she ran, the more smooth and quiet she became. Those old “sealed and lubricated for life” bearings were providing testimony to the craftsmanship and care with which these old tools were built before the advent of disposable tooling.

I let the saw run unloaded for a while and let her settle into a very smooth and content hum. Knowing that the blade that came with this was destined for replacement anyway, I went ahead and attempted a trial cut to see if the motor was going to have enough “umpfh” behind it, or if I were going to have to replace it. As it turns out, the thing made perfectly serviceable cuts, although at a diminished feed rate, in spite of the horribly dull condition of the blade.

Mind you, this is with the saw exactly as I got it. Un-tuned, all parts just as they came on it, and with a blade that could not cut warm butter on an August afternoon in the sun. This, not 20 minutes after having assembled the thing, rust, grunge and all.

Impressive.

Plans call for new wheel tires, thrust bearings, and some new fangled blades. A nominal outlay of dosh over and above the fire sale price that the love of my life and I paid for this.

After seeing that I was in pretty good shape here, I have decided to defer any hardcore restoration of this tool. (Disassembly, painting, parts replacement/upgrade)

The patina on her matches well with the Unisaw and the Jointer, and I can see no reason to get crazy with it’s rehab. Just whatever it takes to make it as accurate and useful as all the other tooling that I am finding a way to stuff into The tiny Shop.

Now, where should I put a lathe?

 

LET THE MADCAP-ERY……BEGIN!!!!

As promised, here is a link to the first “Official” published work by The Madcap Woodwright.

blog.woodworkingtooltips.com/2017/01/roubo-bench-build-twist/


There are actually two other bits published in Highland Woodworking’s blog.(Part one of the Roubo build being one of them. It is linked in the intro to this piece. Don’t miss it)

 I am actually enjoying two bylines via these brave souls.

 I have a spot in their blog, as well as a column in their online magazine WoodworkingToolTips.com.

 I wish to extend my profound gratitude to them for providing me with a literary outlet for my musings, as well as all the editorial mentoring and encouragement a budding writer could ever ask for.

Thanks especially go out to Kelley Bagby for rolling the dice on an untested voice.

Enjoy!

“He Who Hesitates……”

……procrastinates indefinitely.

 

It’s not that I am lazy, It’s more a case of having a lot of ideas and not knowing how to put order to them.

Since the first of the year I have been off to a good start with my level of productivity. I have discovered that I am quite adept at disgorging myself of various literary ideas now that I have cajoled an actual periodical to publish some of my ramblings. No shortage of copy for Highland Woodworking’s online magazine of blog.

Nor have I been lacking in the work to do in The Tiny Shop. Since the phonograph refinish, I have had a string of small furniture repairs and/or refinishes. Throw in another workbench build, and you are up to date with my current state of workshop projects.

Aside from a few model train display cases and the long promised step stool for my dear wife, I am starting to see light at the end of the tunnel.

Now what?

Well, that is where things are getting a little sticky. I really need to get some furniture built as prototypes and proof of concepts. I have been wanting to get some things built not only as a means of developing some design ideas, my take on some more traditional styles, but also as fodder for my photographer son to take some beauty shots of for a hypothetical website for The Tiny Shop.

Since I have yet to actually put pencil to paper in many months, I am relegated to my minds eye for developing ideas. This poses a bit of a problem, you see I tend to bounce from idea to idea and end up with a collection of fractured ideas bouncing around in my melon.

Best to choose one, and get on with it.

My intention is to build one of three ideas I have right now. The first is the glove table I had mentioned in a previous post. Next idea would be a blanket chest for my dear wife.

Last, and most fear inducing is the design and construction of a wall unit for our basement family room. Our house is on the verge of being too large for us, but with my 18 year old son having moved in with us this summer, the wall unit may be a good way of making the largely unused family room a little more warm and inviting for him during his stay with us, and an investment in our future use of the space once he moves on to his inevitable world domination tour sometime in the future.

Decisions, decisions.

yinyang