Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Bora Combination Square

  I have not used a combination square on a regular basis for years. The first combination square I bought was cheap and inaccurate and so it never found a spot in working method of work. In fact I threw it out years ago.
Bora 12 inch Magnetic Combination Square

 A couple of weeks ago I bought a Bora Magnetic Combination Square on a  clearance sale.  I know Bora to make good tools so I gave it a try I love it.

Check out the video: Magnetic square

 Don't wait 25 years before you get a good combination square like I did.

  Learn from an 'ol fart', it is cheaper and less embarrassing than making your old mistakes.

 cheers, ianw

Friday, August 8, 2014

V belt vs. Link Belt

Check out what has to say about belts.

I like the link belt on my drill press but haven't tried one on a table saw.

  A blog with some information worth considering.


Monday, August 4, 2014

Clever Wood Workers

  It is pretty hard to have a wood shop with out lumber.  Wood turning doesn't need sawn lumber but everything else starts easier and progresses faster when you start with dimensioned lumber.  Here is Canada there is no shortage of available lumber.  In the GTA (Greater Toronto Region) where I live there are plenty of places to buy both rough and dressed wood.  

  The history of the saw mill is a history of innovation and danger. Recently I was sorting wood in my shop and thought of a video I'd seen a couple of years ago, and began to think of sawn lumber.

   I am always impressed by the power of the human spirit and the mechanical genius shown by my wood working brothers.

  From horse power to mechanical detail, wood is impressive and so are woodworkers.



Monday, July 28, 2014

Little projects, Big satisfaction

 It sometimes seems as though I have no real shop projects to share on my blog.  I work in my shop fairly steady but many of the jobs I do are basic carpentry not projects worthy of sharing with the Internet World.

 For example, we are doing some landscaping in the back yard so I have made a couple of raised flower beds, out of left over and found wood. The flower beds will be filled with lovely flowers and add to the pleasures we enjoy in our yard. Making the frames was a real basic saw and screw together sort of job.

 There is another project from my shop this weekend. It took longer to decide on the photograph from the net and draw the plan than it did to knock it out on the band saw. There is a hull of sorts underneath the flight deck but again hardly a major project.

 To go with the aircraft carrier I was asked to make some stealth bombers. I left one unpainted, the owner of the boat can paint one to suit himself.

  While projects like this aren't high art they definitely have their place in my workshop. Each of these things was made easier because I have the right tool to make the job easy.  I try to make the garden frames square, all the edges are sanded and shaped slightly on the kids projects and I try and do my best regardless of the nature of the project.  

  I use sanding sticks like these when working on small things like the planes. These belt sander sticks seemed like overkill, until bought one, it makes getting into cracks and corners and controlling the sandpaper much easier than anything else I've tried.

  I guess the mortal of this story is: make stuff.

cheers, Ian W

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

TED Lecture - Start with WHY

  I have been known  in the evening to surf the internet. I love my work shop but I am also a information junkie, I'll watch a documentary on anything. One thing I go looking for are TED lectures-ideas worth spreading.

  Last evening I watched a a TED lecture that talked about business models and how to make your business successful.  

  My shop is not really a business and it is pretty much as successful as I want it to be but...the idea of Why being the starting place for your actions I think works in more than just business.

Start with WHY

  I think that many organizations not just businesses make the mistake of not thinking about 'why' and so suffer in the long run.  In my shop I make mostly projects for friends, family and myself, that is why I have a shop, and why I make things that could be purchased more cheaply at a Box Store. However I also make cutting boards and wooden toys that I sell at a local craft store, and sometimes making a bit of money obscures the real reason for my having a shop.

  It took me several years to arrive at a clear idea of 'why' I have a shop and I need to remind myself of that 'why' sometimes. My shop connects me with a family history of wood workers, boat builders and carpenters, not cabinet makers or specialised craftsmen. when I started out making stuff I was a wood butcher, now I am a carpenter. Since I grew up around saw dust it is how I express myself, and how I find pleasure. It really isn't about the money.  That is the 'why', everything else just follows on from that.

  Why do you have a work shop? Is it for the money, or is the money a happy by product?