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Thursday, September 27, 2007

Woodworker's Prayer


Woodworker’s Prayer

Oh lord,

So far today I’ve not cut myself nor anyone else. I’ve not coveted my neighbour’s tools and I’ve not damaged any of my own. For I’ve not been tempted to buy one of those fancy laser guided clamps that Norm uses on the New Yankee Workshop. I’ve not messed up any of my projects, nor had any cause to take thy name in vain.

For this I give thanks.

But lord... I’m going to get out of bed soon and then I’ll need all the help THAT you can offer.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The Woodstock Wood Show

The Woodstock Wood Show took place on September 28,29,30 in Woodstock, Ont. This is one of my favourite shows all year. I don't know if it is the time of year or just the size of the show but I do look forward to this weekend each year. I went with the wife this year as she too enjoys the show and between weddings and funerals this past weekend we made it to the show on sunday and the weather was spectacular. The show was not as busy as I thought it would be seeing how the weather was so nice.

The show as always was full of vendors selling and displaying everything from tools and wood to jellies and fudge. I am not liking the trend though of seeing so many non woodworking vendors but I suppose to keep everyone happy you need them there too. In case you were hungry there was plenty of food vendors too from sausage to ice cream you certainly did not have to go without while at the show. Seminars and demonstrations are held inside two large tents and run every 90 minutes. Of the seminars they had I only caught the one which was on bowl turning and found it to be a little too much of the audience just staring and less interactive for the instructor did not not communicate what he was doing and said but maybe a dozen words during the hour long seminar but the crowd seemed to enjoy it.

Time to do some shopping and I of course brought my list or wares that I needed and got nearly everything but left the show with a bigger list of new items I wanted. For instance Freud was there to show off the new router table and router combo with integrated switch that can turn on the shop vac when you turn on the router. I am so due for a new router table! Steel City Tools had a large display of there goodies all of which I am liking more and more every time I see a demonstration. Nice to see the Home Depot at the show for the first time displaying the latest and greatest from the Ridgid and Milwaukee lines. All in all I enjoyed the show especially the portable saw mills.......I could watch them all day long, I just gotta get me one of those!!!

Here are some pictures I took at the show:

This is an interseting segmented turning piece

Here are some large pieces of furniture that were in the competition

This took a best of show award in the carving category.

This also took a best of show award... and it is a working model!

This beautiful piece took best of show in the furniture category

I enjoy going to wood shows as they keep me creative and get me inspired to make something great. So I look forward to seeing you all out at my Woodworking Show on November 3rd at the Home Depot St.Catharines.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Labour Day "Log" Weekend

This is a 100+ year slab from a maple tree in Port Dalhousie that had been cut down. This slab is 4" thick, 5 feet round and weighs I'm guessing about 200 pounds. Here it is in the van when I got it home.

Here the slab is out of the van and propped up on sawhorses. I am going to smooth out all the chainsaw marks on both sides and make a table out of this gorgeous piece of history.

As you can see the slab was cut just prior to the crotch of the tree and has three piths or centers. I have counted the rings and have determined the tree was somewhere between 123 and 127 years old. I have used Pentacryl to help stop the checking but because I was working out in the driveway and under the sun and exposed to the wind I have some small cracks from the slab drying irregularly. I have set up a small "tent" around it and am using a dehumidifier to extract the moisture like a small kiln you might say. Keep your fingers crossed that not too much movement happens and the cracks and checking are minimized.

This will officially become a coffee table so now I can start planning out the legs. When I was at the mill this morning looking for ideas I posed the question to the owner and suggested some ash branches say about 4-5 inches in diameter and use four of them with the bark left on. I had not thought of that and am not totally convinced but he is getting me some anyway. I had originally thought of a three leg configuration using chunky say 6-8 inch square maple and distressing it. So as you can see the jury is still out but I can not do anything until the slab gets to about a 8-9% moisture content. When I got it home it was 34% and now 2 months later it is at 18% so I have some time to decide yet.

I will keep updating on the "Log Table" as it progresses