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

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Monday, July 30, 2012

More trivets

Thanks to all of you all who joined in on the live show Saturday. It was certainly an interesting experiment. If I do it again, I'll try to smooth out the rough edges!

Wanted to share this. George Raburn made a bunch of trivets on Saturday after watching the show. That's fast! Plus, it's never too early to begin thinking about Christmas.

Mere Minutes

Friday, July 27, 2012


Here are two really simple trivets you can make. I'll make the third trivet tomorrow on my live show. Hope to see you then!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Whirligig winners and live show anouncement

Laney and I were both thrilled with the variety of entries in Whirligig Wars. Some incredible creativity. Thank you all for participating! Here are the winners:


WWMM live hangout. Saturday at 9:00 AM PDT

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Contests and more on the spinning top. It really spins!

Mere Minutes
After my less-than-stellar attempt at making the top yesterday, I wanted to show you that it actually does work. I just needed a larger space for it to spin. I think a sharper point would help too.


Whirligig contest.
There is still time to enter! Here's the original video with all the details. There are over $1000 worth of great prizes, so get on it. Enter over on A Simple Design of Ocala.

Here's an update video from Laney:

Picture frame contest.
This looks like a fun one. Brian over at Garage Woodworks is running a picture frame contest. He's giving away a Woodpeckers 12" Precision Woodworking T Square. Enter here.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Make a toy top

I rarely use my lathe. Probably the main reason is that I hardly ever have a need for turned pieces. But this week I decided to use it to make a simple toy top. It was the first time I have ever used the faceplate on my lathe, too.

Well, what should have been a completely simple project turned into a frustrating one!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Promo video

I recently shot a video for eReplacementParts.com and thought you might like to see it. They are also offering up a nice prize from DeWalt to one of my viewers. More details on that soon!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Build a stomp box

Soon after I made my cajon last year, someone mentioned that I should consider making a stomp box. I had never heard of a stomp box before, but after looking at lots of examples, I was intrigued. I really like projects that can take on so many different interpretations.

In addition to providing a cool beat-box for my son, I wanted to add my own spin to the instrument. Eventually I came up with this box that can be played electronically or acoustically. It serves as a mini-cajon, a hand-held drum, a tambourine, and of course, a stomp box!

If you are interested in making one,  you will need a Piezo Transducer (an electronic pickup). There are various types available in many places such as Amazon.com. If you want to buy one locally, here's one you can get at Radio Shack.  You will need a 1/4" phone jack to hook the box to an amplifier.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Whirligig contest

Laney over at A Simple Design of Ocala was inspired enough by my whirligig project to set up a whirligig-making contest and asked me to help him out. He's managed to secure some really cool prizes from Laguna Tools, Rockler, and others. All you have to do is make your own whirligig.

Here's a video we put together with more info. Visit A Simple Design of Ocala for all the details. Hurry...contest ends July 23!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Mallets and step-stools

Bill Akins sent me over this picture of a quickie "Thor's Hammer".
"After the movie came out, my son was with me in the shop. I was rooting through my cut off bin and pulled out a hunk of 4x4 posts and a closet dowel rod. I held them up and said, “Look Tyler, Thor hammer!” He just had to have one, being the super hero fan that he is. The handle is recessed halfway into the head, screwed from the top and glued in. The handle is wrapped with saddle string." 

Justin Thomas is deployed in Kuwait and built this maple and walnut.mallet to use when he gets back home. It looks too nice to use! Update: Justin informed me of something special about this mallet...it's filled with Kuwaiti sand! Thant's pretty cool.

Here's a solid oak mallet Bill Bumpus made. No added weights added to the head.

George Raburn is the guy who sent me the beetle-kill pine that I used in last week's project.  Here's his son who made one with the same wood. Looks exactly like mine!

Periklis Therrios was FAST. He built this step-stool hours after I posted my video! It only took him two hours using pocket screws.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Benches and biscuits.

Catching up on some viewer projects. I think I've had more people make versions of my mallet and garden bench than any other projects lately. I love seeing the way you modify and personalize them! Today I'll start with the benches.

Jason Crumley from Alabama changed the garden bench into a garden swing.

The garden bench was John Barnes' second project after a picnic table. I like the enclosed area beneath the seat.

Jim Jarvis seems to be cranking out benches. Here's one with arms and one without!

Je Maslowski made these adorable child-sized versions, complete with table.

Mere Minutes
A little more about the step stool project. Plus, a bit about biscuit joints. Do you use them? A large number of people seem to think they are useless. I'm not sure.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Easy 2-step step-stool

I mentioned in my recent Mere Minutes that I was working on a stomp box for this week's video. I ran into a few complications and had to delay it until next Friday. Instead I decided to make a step stool using some more of that beetle-kill pine. I am really happy with the way this turned out, considering I didn't start to even design it until yesterday!

If you'd like to make one, here's a PDF template you can download.


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Independence Day!

Just some pictures from our local parade this morning.

Pini Hardware. I practically live here!

Pini's toilet car.
The employees in the background are the plunger brigade.

There is some basset hound group with exactly three gazillion
dogs in the parade. I don't think they like it. Bassets are kind
of the slackers of dogs. 


Gotta love the druids. Didn't they build Stonehenge?

Wine barrel car!

Mere Minutes