All posts filed under: Process Improvement

I Should Have Done This a Long Time Ago

It’s not like the Alabama Woodworker’s Guild is a new organization and I jumped in right away. It was formed in 1983 which is about the time I started woodworking. I would hear mention of AWG from time to time but it was not until Christopher Schwarz begin conducting seminars there that I seriously thought about becoming a member. That was about a year and a half ago. Today I finally joined – 32 years after the organization was formed. Not only are there mentors available to teach a variety of basic and advanced woodworking skills, there is also a full size, professional quality workshop which I now have access to. It’s killer… There is a lesson to be learned here. If you want to learn woodworking, don’t wait 30 years before you check out the closest woodworking guild or club. I have already made a connection with one mentor about learning better sharpening skills. I’ll start on this ASAP. One of the many workbenches there is a Nicholson. I’ll build a new workbench later …

Window Seat Bookcase: Making the Back Slats

Mistakes happen with every project I build. During the more than 30 years I have been a woodworker, I have made a lot of things, which means I have made a lot of mistakes. Sometimes these errors are very minor and some are so bad that a board becomes useless. Errors are part of what makes successful woodworking challenging. I learn from mistakes which is good, but I hate making them. 🙂 Fortunately, I have had very few problems with the bookcase I am building, and the mistakes so far have been minor ones. Then there was this past Wednesday night. After finding thirty minutes of shop time here and there at the beginning of the week, Wednesday night was my first big block of woodworking time in a while, and it was Wednesday night that the biggest mistake of this project came to be. Resawing is the process for splitting one board into two or more boards. The photo above shows that I am not a pro at resawing my one inch thick cherry boards into …

Rockler 3-in-1 Bar Gauge Simplifies Measuring

A skill which every new woodworker should master is the ability to make case work which is square. Being square might seem like the first thing you’d learn in woodworking school, but this error can sneak upon the most seasoned woodworker from time to time. I remember a woodworking project where after assembling the case, I could tell it wasn’t square simply by looking at it – a big disappointment. With my window seat bookcase project, ensuring a square interior was a tricky task. The easiest way to determine square is to measure the diagonals. When the measurements are the same, the case is square. Getting a ruler in there and getting an accurate read had me contorting my 54-year-old back and neck to a point where I simply gave up. A quick search at Rockler.com provided a solution. I ordered a Rockler 3-in-1 bar gauge. This is an inexpensive measuring tool which enables the woodworker to easily determine diagonal measurements as well as interior distances. The tool also comes with the ability to mark circles. All the …