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Free woodworking plans. Easy woodworking projects. Fun woodworking videos. Woodworking for Mere Mortals.

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Saturday, June 26, 2010

Make a Heart-in-a-heart picture frame. Aww...

Seems as though I have been on a picture frame and bandsaw kick lately. Well, here's a frame design I've been fooling around with for a while. I finally settled on something that will work and is easy to make. So once again, here is another super easy woodworking project that can be made in a couple of hours.

It would make a nice gift for that special lady in your life. Or even your wife!

If you would like to make your own, here is my design template of the Heart-in-a-heart picture frame.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Gluing and Clamping: IN 3D!

Another Mere Mortals woodworking quick tip.

When you get into woodworking, you soon learn that gluing stuff together is an essential process. In fact, most of my projects are assembled using wood glue and not mechanical fasteners. Believe it or not, modern wood glues — such as TiteBond— create a bond stronger than the wood itself. Woodworking is about glue.

But how should you use it to its fullest? Here's a video showing a few of my techniques. And get out your 3D glasses. You will see some amazing effects. Almost like you are actually there.

Friday, June 18, 2010

World Cup Fever and Twitter

Every web site on the internet seems to have something to say about the World Cup, so I thought I had better do my part and catch the fever! Have you caught it yet?

Don't worry, I think many of us are immune. Now don't get me wrong, I can understand excitement in sports of all kinds. I totally get caught up in football (not futbol) every Autumn. I watch the Niners when they suck. (Since 1992, I think) That's devotion.

It's funny how soccer is the world's most popular sport, but seems to be primarily a sport for children in America. I rarely meet anyone who played the game beyond middle-school. Aside from aficionados, we really only hear about soccer every four years, when the World Cup occurs. That's when Americans become all abuzz about it. Suddenly everyone is a fan! When it's all over we forget about it for another four years.

I do the same thing with curling. (It's the world's most popular broom-related sport, ya'know) I get fascinated by it during the winter Olympics and vow to give it a shot myself. It looks like bowling: the kind of game anyone can play and drink beer at the same time. Unfortunately, there are about 2 curling rinks in California. So after two weeks of Olympics, I forget about curling for another four years.

So while soccer is not to my taste, I applaud all of you who are into it! I fully understand sports "fevers". Thankfully, most fevers go away shortly with a little bed rest and plenty of liquids.

Now let's see. Oh yeah, Twitter. Well it seems I am late to that party too. I tried a while back but didn't really get it, so I am now jumping into the fray again. I think I may actually be able to get more than a few followers now...enough to make it interesting! So if you are on Twitter, dial up my handle: MereMortalsWW. Totally lame username, but someone already has MereMortals. I like the spontaneity of Twitter and the fleeting nature of posts. Should be fun!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Bandsaw Hero! New Mere Mortals junk you can buy!

Time for another lame-o self-promotion! Here's something every Mortal woodworker needs to feel all warm and fuzzy inside and show the world that you totally shred in the woodshop!

Guitar Hero was okay, then came Band Hero. Yeah, they rocked, but nowhere near the ear-splitting challenge of...

Visit the Mere Mortals Shop to be the first on your block with a
BS Hero T-shirt or coffee mug! Hoo yah!

I know, I know...you wanted something that had more to do with Dance, Dance Revolution.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Build a digital picture frame!

Hi guys. Technology amazes me because I lived in an age before VCRs. I can remember having to get up off my ass to change TV channels. And adjust the rabbit ears. I can actually remember when my dad bought his first Texas Instruments calculator. It was amazing: it added, subtracted, multiplied, and divided! We played with it for hours. I'll bet he paid close to $100 for it.

My dad was an early techie...back before anyone conceived of that word. I'm talking early computing back in the 1950s and '60s. They didn't really have a name for a programmer, but he jumped into it as an opportunity.

I can remember one time when I was about ten, say 1976, having to accompany Dad to the central computer center in Denver in the middle of the night. Some sort of emergency call.

I have no idea what the problem was...my brother and I just hung out in a very white room, drawing with crayons on reams of used dot matrix printer paper...the back side. The front side contained nothing but jibberish: lines of code. My dad read through those front sides. Page after page in seconds each to determine the bug.

That computer occupied several floors. It was a monstrosity. I have no doubt that Mountain Bell invested millions of dollars in it. Today, the same power can be purchased for a dollar.

Which brings me to this video. I picked up a digital picture keychain for $10 at Target last week. It's a disposable prodect! It absolutely blows me away that somthing like this (if it were ever possible) would have cost thousands 20 years ago.

Ah well, here's the video. Find cheap crap and make it special!

Here's a PDF of my template if you want to try it out.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Measuring things without a tape measure.

Say, what's a tape measure done for you lately? After many years of woodworking, I discovered that I was using tape measures less and less. When I can, I don't use one at all, opting for memory sticks or cutting notches in a board at whatever length is needed. In other words, using unitless measurements based on the actual lengths needed. It's actually far more accurate than a tape measure.  

But there I times when I just need to calculate a few rough estimates. There are countless ways of measing stuff without a ruler. Let us know if you have some more ideas! Here are a few that I use:

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Dude! It's a new chair! And I'm glowing Gobel!

Hey y'all! Remember when I mentioned my other chair for the Main County Fair? Well, here it is, in all its Georgish glory:


Update: Mark just sent this link in the comments section so I thought I'd post it here. Thanks Mark. And without further ado, here is George Gobel in all his smoke-clouded goodness:


Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Finish your finish

There are many ways to rub out a wood finish once your lacquer or polyurethane has dried. You could literally spend days creating a french polish or rubbing up to a high-gloss piano finish.

The important thing is that most finishes really need to be smoothed out once they have been applied. Here's a really simple technique I've been using for years on most of my projects to get a nice satin finish that just "feels" right. Not a lot to it, just rub it down with a scrubbing pad or fine steel wool!

Again, this is a very basic hand-rubbed finish. If you want to go for a high-gloss finish, it's a bit more work, but well worth the effort. Here's a video I made showing that process.