The Woodshop at Joe's Basement

This is the current page, posts from 11/15/18 through today.
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February 7th, 2019

Posted by Paul

Even though we don't sell anything, (we give things to friends and to charity sales) we still call it payday when we have several things to finish at once. Today we brushed polyurethane on two slide-top boxes, a step-stool and a set of shelves. The shelves are for our friend Dee. She once gave us a beautiful old-growth yellow pine board. We won't forget that generous and perceptive act. The step-stool is for Marcia's grand-daughters, so they can reach the top shelf in the bathroom. The slide-top boxes will go to a charity sale, perhaps.

February 7th, 2019

Posted by Paul

In the background, behind the steady stream of boxes, crates and totes, we usually have a major project. Last October we started on a kitchen hutch for Marie. The base is coming along, and then we will build a set of shelves to go on top. It is in cherry, mortise and tenons with floating panels. The cherry is easy to work. It's not surprising that it has been a favorite wood for American furniture makers for many years. This is a complex, difficult project for us, and it is taking a lot of time. Today we managed to glue up the case and get the lower shelf installed, which feels like a real breakthrough. I told Joe we should have it finished by Christmas. I hope we finish it long before then.

February 4th, 2019

Posted by Paul

Another look at Joe's mahogany box.

January 31st, 2019

Posted by Paul

This box is something Joe has been working on for quite a while, and as of today it is finished - although he will rub a coat or two of wax on it once the polyurethane finish is thoroughly cured. It is made of mahogany that he found - free - on craisgslist. The top design is laminated mahogany and maple on a mahogany base. He plans to donate it for sale or auction to benefit the firefighters through his burn survivor group. A lot of work out of the shop goes there.

January 29th, 2019

Posted by Paul

I have many albums of prints that were taken by my friend Gordon Burgess. The pictures document the work of Piedmont Appalachian Trail Hikers maintaining the Appalachian Trail in southwest Virginia. I have posted scans of hundreds of these pictures in an ongoing project to preserve the images and the club history they document. As far as I can determine, Gordon shot mostly Kodacolor, but he would have slides made from some of the negatives and present slide shows at club events. The slides were all stored in Kodak Carousel rotary trays. I think the days of slide shows have passed, since digitized images can easily be displayed on big-screen TVs and monitors. The trays are bulky and hard to store, so I decided to pass them on to Goodwill. Perhaps an antiquarian or Luddite photographer might find them there and get some use from them. I'm not quite ready to throw away the slides, so Joe and I built a slide-top box to hold them for long-term storage.

We had some nice cherry off-cuts, scraps and resaws from a project. We used them to cut out and glue up parts for two standard 8x10 slide-top boxes. When we were done, we found that we had enough left over to build another box of about 4x6 inches out of second-order scrap. What was left we threw in the fire so we didn't get stuck in an endless recursive loop of building smaller and smaller boxes.

January 21st, 2019

Posted by Paul

I'm working on a side project at home, a model of a New York pilot cutter from the 1870s. I started it years ago but quickly decided I was in over my head and set it aside. After working in the woodshop for several years I felt I had built up enough skills and confidence to proceed, so I got it back out and resumed work. So far it is going good. The hull is almost finished and the next step will be the deck houses and fittings, then on to the masts and rigging. While much of the hull work is best done with the model in hand, the later steps are easier with the boat right side up in a cradle. So we built one at the shop out of scrap wood. Once the model is finished we will build a permanent stand out of some nicer stock.

January 4th, 2019

Posted by Paul

Joe built this laminated fishing net for his occasional trout-fishing trip on the Watauga River near Boone. It is very similar to one I built at Dale's shop 40 years ago.

January 3rd, 2019

Posted by Joe

Here are a couple of projects that I have completed for some friends. The maple cutting board is for D'Ann, the ends are tongue and groove so to stave off splitting, and the pine toy box is for Liz's new baby daughter. I used the stacked alternating corner method that we have had so much success with and there is no top to pinch fingers. I welcome requests sometimes as I lack inspiration frequently.

December 23rd, 2018

Posted by Paul

This simple, small box came out nicely. We fitted the hardware and rubbed on a final coat of finish today. It will probably go to one of the charity auctions next year.

November 15th, 2018

Posted by Paul

This box is one of Joe's projects, though I had the pleasure of helping with it today. It is made of mahogany that Joe found on Craigslist, free from a man who had some left over from a project. Now, a lot of things are called mahogany these days, very few of which are the traditional Cuban or Honduran mahogany, the furniture wood of choice in America and England during the Colonial period heyday of fine furniture. Cuban and Honduran mahogany are endangered species that are almost unobtainable these days. Sapele, Luaun, Utile, all are marketed as mahogany. The closest thing to traditional mahogany is African mahogany, which is in the same genus and has many of the same characteristics. My guess is that this box is made from African mahogany. This wood is beautiful, with attractive grain and color, and is very easily worked. We are lucky to have a chance to use it, since it is under heavy pressure itself, and will probably become endangered in our lifetimes.

This box is getting an inlaid top with ash as the light wood. Joe had completed constructing the bottom and sides as well as the sub-base for the top. Today we started cutting and glueing the inlays onto the base.

This is the current page, posts from 11/15/18 through today.
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