Thursday, April 26, 2007

Birthday Wishlist

Stephen’s Woodworking Wish List

Stores:Woodcraft in Birmingham and Nashville

Online: www.amazom.comand www.ebay.com and www.grizzly.com and

(1)Better Table Saw Blade, 10”:
Forrest Woodworker II Thin Kerf 10” Saw Blade only $80.00 at http://www.forrestsawbladesonline.com/product_274_WOODWORKER_II_Saw_Blade_3_32_THIN_KERF__Dampener_Stiffener_.html
Make sure it’s the Woodworker II – combination rip + crosscut blade

(2)Router:Porter Cable 7518$300 - $350
Porter Cable 3 ¼: Model #:7518
Buy it at Woodcraft in Nashville (exit 69) or www.amazon.com

(3)Router Bits for the 7518 router above - 6 Piece Cabinet Set
** Best Deal by far: Found a 6pc. Cabinet set for making raised panels for $109.95 at Woodline.com or call 1-800-472-6950

(4)Shop Fox G9850 Quick Release Vise – 7” Jaw

Nothing fancy, anything is better than nothing.
Harbor Freight miniature dust collector, $80 - $160
Lowe’s carries Delta Dust Collectors, or www.grizzly.com

(6) Japanese Dovetail Saw – Dozuki 8-1/4” Igarashi $34.55
Click the link below:

(7) Chisels and other cool things from:www.thejapanwoodworker.com

$19.90 12oz Dai Dogyu Chisel Hammer: http://thejapanwoodworker.com/dept.asp?dept_id=12907
$16.75 ¼” Japan Woodworker Bench Chisel http://thejapanwoodworker.com/dept.asp?dept_id=12769
$17.75 3/8” Japan Woodworker Bench Chisel http://thejapanwoodworker.com/dept.asp?dept_id=12769
$ 43.12#F70 Henry Taylor ¼” Swan Neck Mortice Chisel (Or a cheaper mortising “chopping” chisel from Woodcraft would be fine. http://thejapanwoodworker.com/dept.asp?dept_id=12803
$23.95 #T06 Joseph Marples 1-6” Rosewood Try Square

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Cradle Pictures #2

March 8, 2007

Well, I didn't quite finish the cradle before Houston was born, but it's done now and he is sleeping soundly in it. I completed it two weeks after his birth. I'm not going to stain it until he outgrows it since it would be toxic until the finish cures. I plan on using General Finishes Oil Stain followed by 3-4 coats of General Finishes Arm-R-Seal Top Coat, after testing the finish on some scrap. I have three different stains to test, all from General Finishes: Salem, Antique Cherry, and Danish Teak. You can see the color here:


I'm pretty nervous about applying the finish. I worked so hard on this and it is priceless to me now. I think my head would explode if I messed up the finish, so I've been researching everything I can find on the subject. I sanded everything from 80-120-150-220 grit, but since learned that with Red Oak, you should stop at 150 grit. Any smoother and the wood won't take the stain. I guess it will be ok to just sand with 150 to rough it up a bit before I start. I'll post the final pictures after that.

Until then, here's the current pictures of the naked cradle...Enjoy!

The last pieces I cut out since my last post - uprights, stretcher, and feet. I got a Delta 9" Bandsaw after almost messing up on some of the curved cuts. It made things MUCH easier and reduced the amount of time needed to perfect the rough cuts with chiseling and sanding.

The square holes you see marked out in the uprights are for the tenons that will be cut on the end of each stretcher, then a mortise will be cut through the top of the tenon for a wedge pin which will secure the assembly. This allows it to be "knocked down" for storage/moving.

End View of the assembled cradle. Raised Panel, Mortise and Tenon joinery, Beaded Roundover edge routed around uprights...this proved to be the most difficult portion of the project. I could have simply made the end one solid piece of wood, but knew this would be more rewarding in the end.

More views of the assembled cradle:

And finally, the cradle in use:


AWWWWWWWWW!!!! You can tell he likes it!!!

One more thing...Houston has taken up a new hobby. He's pretty good for his age!

heh heh I couldn't help myself after seeing this picture:

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Woodworking Wishlist

Stephen’s Woodworking Wish List

Stores:Woodcraft in Birmingham and Nashville
Home Depot

Online: www.amazon.com

Freud Premier Fusion Saw Blade: Item# F410
10” diameter 40 tooth 5/8” Arbor
-------------------------------------- OR -----------------------------------------------------
50 tooth 10” diameter Thin Kerf Avanti Combination Saw Blade: Item # TK906

Porter Cable 2 ¼ Peak HP Multi-Base Router: Model #:893PK

Also buy a raised panel router bit set, such as the one found at Woodcraft Storesshown here: http://www.woodcraft.com/family.aspx?FamilyID=8207 (other cheaper sets available online, ebay, and Amazom is GREAT for low prices)
**Found a 6pc. Cabinet Set for making raised panels for $109.95 at Woodline.com or call 1-800-472-6950

And Woodpeck Router Table and fence http://www.woodpeck.com/lepackage2.html
Woodpeckers LE Router Fence Package #2 for $318.95
Also available at Woodcraft Stores

Shop Fox G9850 Quick Release Vise – 7” Jaw

Clamping Miter Gauge for Table Saw from Rockler

DUST COLLECTION!!!Nothing fancy, anything is better than nothing.
Harbor Freight miniature dust collector, $80 - $160

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Houston Nicholas Clem

Melanie gave birth to Houston on February 5th, 2007 at 2:23 PM. He weighed 10 pounds and 0 ounces! Mother and baby are both doing fine. I tried to finish his cradle before he was born but didn't quite get it done. The basket portion is complete and assebled and he's been sleeping peacefully in it from day one home from the hospital. I am about 90% done with the base. It should be finished by the end of this weekend. I will have to wait until he outgrows it to apply the finish though, since the fumes are toxic until it cures. Although I might go ahead and finish it and let him sleep in his Pack-and-Play bassinet for a month or so. Anyway, enjoy these pictures of Houston. I will send out an email when I update this blog with pictures of the completed cradle.

"...tiny toes"

Friday, January 26, 2007



I just got into woodworking after making a doghouse for Jak, and basically got instantly hooked. It's a very rewarding and productive hobby, and while the initial investment can be high I'm sure my work will pay off in the long run. After gaining confidence in my new trade building a deacon's bench, picnic table, and doghouse, I decided that I would make a cradle for Houston (due in February). I order the plans, full size patterns, and the spindles from www.woodcraftplans.com. I like this design because the feet are flat, yet it still rocks because it will hang from the two end stiles. Also, it can be pinned at the bottom to keep it from rocking.

I purchased SAS Red Oak from Lowe's and went through every single board they had and picked the boards with the most beautiful grain figure. The board at the bottom is especially striking, so I am going to use it for the end stile that will be facing the entrance to the nursery. As of today, I am about half way done. For finishing, I plan to sand it down just as nice as I can, and use multiple polyurethane coats to bring out the natural beauty of the Red Oak.

After cutting all the boards to length, I began by making the end panel frames for the raised panels. The curved top and bottom pieces have 1" tenons that fit into mortises on the side stiles. A 1/4" slot was cut around the entire inside edge for the raised panel. It took a lot of sanding and touching up to get it to line up just right.

Next I made the raised panels. I started out by edge glueing four 1"x6"x15" cuts to make each blank. I traced out the panel onto the blanks using the bottom curve of the frame's pattern as a guide for the curve of the panel top. Next, I cut them out with my Jig Saw and sanded it down so it looks like one solid piece of wood. The next step was difficult. I had to make it into a raised panel that would fit into the slot of the frame. To do this, I could have bought a $100 bit for my router, but decided just to use the table saw beveled to 7? and fitted with a special jig. When I cut the curved top of the panel out of the blank, I kept the waste side and used it to make a special jig for my table saw. I mounted it to a scrap piece of plywood and attached it to my table saw fence as shown here. The idea was to use the curve as a runner for the panel so it goes through the blade as if on a pendulum. I tested this out on a number of scraps before I risked ruining the oak. It worked perfectly.

Next, I just flipped the plywood over and camfered the 3 straight sides by feeding the panel straight through the blade. I was very impressed with the results.

Here's what the raised panel looks like inside the frame. I will round the edges with a 1/2" roundover bit in my router, then cut the 3 holes to mount it to the sides and 1 in the top to allow it to rock from the end stiles. Finally, I will trim off the "ears" so the bottom is flat.

Now I'm off to go drill 44 holes for the spindles in the side frames below. Notice the glue up on the floor next to me (on a flat piece of plywood). That's the bottom where the mattress goes. All the wood in this project is one inch thick except the bottom. To make it, I glued five 1/2" x 3" pieces together and will cut to length later.

I also wanted to show off the zero clearance table saw insert I made out of a scrap piece of Red Oak. Dad and I were ripping a very thin piece to width on the table saw. When it was almost through the cut and the bottom reached the blade, the wood fell down into the space between the blade and table top. WHAM! I read online somewhere that many Table Saw accidents happen this way. I knew this would happen again when making the raised panels, so I had to stop and make this. There were many notches, grooves, slopes, etc around the blade opening, so it was quite an accomplishment when I finally got it to fit flush with the top. It looks like a topographical map on the underside. The blade can be beveled to 10? with the way it is now. I only needed 7? for the panel camfers.