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

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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Kids' projects

Hey, somebody made the banana hanger! George Raburn's son, Jay, liked it enough to make one himself. Nice job Jay...it's a great project for kids.

And speaking of kids, Mathew Agate is back with his second woodworking video. He took on my folding stool. Came out really nice! Plus, his dad Michael drew up some actual plans for the stool if you would like to make one of your own. Here's a PDF. And check out their web site The Newfoundland Woodworker. Thanks guys!

Monday, February 27, 2012


I wanted to post a bit more about the bamboo I used for the banana hanger. Interesting stuff. I'm not sure how the price compares with other hardwood, but I am surprised that I don't see more woodworking and furniture made with it. The grain is striking and the wood is quite hard, flat and stable.

The pieces are laminated together like plywood. The inner plies are made with bamboo too. Worth checking into.

Mere Minutes

Friday, February 24, 2012

The Cleaning Boy

Banana stand

There is actually a very simple woodworking project embedded into about 30 seconds of this video. It's a banana hanger or stand. I saw a boring plastic one at the grocery store a while back and put it on my list of things to make.

Its purpose it to delay bananas from bruising by keeping them off the counter. At least I think that's the purpose.

Last week Eric Penewell from Bamboo Hardwoods sent me a box containing a number or different bamboo boards. I have never used bamboo before, and knew it mainly to be a flooring option. I was delighted to discover that it is very nice to work with for other projects too. I'll show you more of it in a Mere Minutes this weekend. I had no idea there were so many types of bamboo.

Banana nuts

I have been a huge fan of silent comedies since I was a kid. (So much so, that my son's middle name is Keaton.) For over a year Wyatt and I have been wanting to make a silent movie, but I hadn't been able to think of a  way to incorporate it into woodworking.

Then it came together. Bananas, tropical bamboo, slipping on banana peels, banana cream pie. Sometimes things fall into place perfectly.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Porter Cable PC270 table saw

Here's a less-than-scientific review of my new saw. As far as I'm concerned, you can't co wrong with Porter Cable tools.

Zero-clearance inserts:

Friday, February 17, 2012

Knitting box

Here's a project my wife has been asking me to make for quite some time. She had very specific ideas for her dream knitting box. Making custom  projects is fun and a great reason to learn some woodworking. No store sells a box like this one.

I suspect very few of you (if any) have a need for a knitting box, but I hope you can pick up a few ideas from it. It's really just a box that can be modified for all kinds of storage purposes.

Table saw project

I wanted to build a project this week that was almost entirely made using my new table saw. I am a believer in diving into new tools with a purpose, rather than running boring tests on scrap wood. Wow, the difference between my old saw and this one is like comparing a poodle to a greyhound. I'll shoot a separate video this week showing you more of the saw.

Finger joints

Also, if you've never made finger joints in boxes, they are really simple. I've made them on my router, but this is the first time I've done it on the table saw. In this video, I'll show a quick jig you can set up on your saw and cut them using a dado stack.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Hearts, boards and a horse

Nighthawk sent over a picture of his version of my bent-wood Valentine candy box. He says it was a good way to earn bonus points with his wife and justify tool purchases. Read more about it on his blog.

Over on Facebook, Mark Martinez posted his heart. His first attempt at bent lamination.

Bill Wilson, always in the shop, tried his hand at his first cutting board. Since I've made my first, family members are putting in requests for Christmas!

Wanted to also show off some very creative pieces by Vincent Fulton that remind me of highly stylized cutting boards!

Finally, I wanted to show you a new woodworker making videos. This is 10-year-old Matthew Agate  from Placentia, Newfoundland Canada, who built a rocking horse as part of Marc Spagnuolo's Woodworkers Fighting Cancer charity build. A lot of people built these horses, but Matthew has to be the youngest. Nice work Matthew! Looking forward to more videos.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Shop cabinet

Here's a simple shop cabinet I built to store small cut-offs. Those pieces of wood that I save for all sorts of reasons. I used 3/4" plywood for most of the cabinet. Easily adaptable for any storage use.

New saw.

So yeah...I got a new table saw thanks to a bunch of really kind people who got together to buy me one. Can't wait to use it! I'm not sure what to do with my old one now. Kinda thinking about saving it for cutting crappy wood...maybe pressure treated lumber for yard projects that don't need to be precise and tend to mangle saws. Just need to find the space.

Shop pics. 

My dad has been visiting this week. His help was enormous in getting the cabinet built. I'm not sure I would have completed it in time to post the video without him. Thanks Dad! He has also been running around taking pictures of the build and the new saw arriving:

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Building a simple shop cabinet

Just wanted to get some input on this dumb little cabinet in today's Mere Minutes. Well, that and there's some stuff at the end that is mainly for family and friends. Feel free to end the video at about the 5 minute mark.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Heart-shaped candy box

Valentine's Day is fast approaching. I thought it would be fun to make a candy box, one the recipient could keep and not have to throw away after the candy is gone.

It was an interesting challenge. Thankfully, a couple people on Facebook suggested I try bent lamination to create the curves. It seemed a bit daunting at first, because I always thought it would be very difficult. In fact, it was very easy and it opens up a whole bunch of possibilities for future projects.

The only trick it to plane your wood down as thin as possible to allow it to bend. Then glue up several pieces and let them dry around a form. Plus, scrounge up every clamp you can find.


Thursday, February 2, 2012

Matthias Wandel

I'm sure most of you have seen Matthias' videos on YouTube or at his web site, Woodgears.ca  He has one of the most fertile imaginations around and is one of my favorite woodworkers. If you aren't that familiar with his work, he just released an episode of a local TV show he was on that will give you an idea of his imagination. Thought you would enjoy this: