Checking For Square

A quick video showing one technique for checking and correcting for square.

Published in: on July 29, 2010 at 4:42 pm  Leave a Comment  

Center of a Circle

Here’s a quick video on finding the center of a circle.

Published in: on July 28, 2010 at 12:14 pm  Leave a Comment  

Kerf Bending Plywood

Here’s a short video on a technique to bend plywood.

Published in: on July 26, 2010 at 5:49 pm  Leave a Comment  

Quick Project: Boot Brush

Here’s a quick project that’s nearly free of words: Chief’s Shop Simple Boot Brush. Click on the image to access the plan.

It calls for a 2×10, but you can get by with a 1×10 or 2×8/1×10 depending on the size of brush you can find.

I made one similar to this 2008, and it’s still going strong (it stays outside on the patio).

Make some sawdust!

Published in: on July 20, 2010 at 3:57 pm  Comments (2)  

Scrap The Scrap

Flipping through channels the other day I happened upon one of those shows that examines the lives of hoarders. Immediately, I jumped up and headed to the shop.

I have a hoarding problem when it comes to lumber. Not new, complete pieces of stock, but scrap.

Yes, I’ve written multiple times about the many uses of scrap lumber, but there are limitations. And exceptions – I recommend keeping scrap pieces of exotic wood, no matter the size. Even miniscule pieces can be used for accents, etc.

Back to the shop. I started surveying the space. I keep a relatively clean and organized shop (it is after all, shared space with the rest of the family), but it could be better.

Scrap has a tendency to creep into places it shouldn’t and take over otherwise perfect open space. I find scrap in odd places at times – any area I worked briefly on a project where I used a piece as a spacer for example. Perhaps I just forgot it was there, or I had some grand plan for that little piece.

Ah, there is the crux of the matter. I recall that brief couple of minutes of watching the hoarder. She begged her husband to be careful when moving part of a 4-foot-high pile because something in that pile could be used one day. She didn’t know what, or when, but some day…

And there’s my point. Yes, someday I may use that piece of scrap as one little component in a project…but today, I need to keep the clutter at a minimum. It’s depressing and overwhelming to see so many little bits of clutter, especially to non-woodworkers. I see the potential, but it’s not healthy to work in that environment.

So what to do? As long as it’s not pine, fir, cedar, or has a finish or glue on it, burn it in the fireplace or use it properly in a bonfire. Check with friends and coworkers to see if they need lumber for a project. Check with fellow woodworkers. Have a garage sale and put the lumber in a bin with a sign reading “Free” – or even put it out by the curb (if you neighborhood allows). I’ve had great success with eliminating scrap lumber by putting it out by the curb.

But the best step is to toss scrap when you create it. I “try” to follow a “catch-and-release” policy. If the scrap is smaller than a certain size, it gets thrown “back” – simply tossed.

Published in: Uncategorized on July 19, 2010 at 9:48 am  Comments (5)  

Chair Vote

Don’t forget to vote on the chair you’d like to see in my next video. Option A is beating the pants off of Option B (65% to 35%), so I have a pretty good idea which one I’ll be making.

Take a minute to vote and fill out the survey on the video and project at

And, you can still download the instructions here: ChiefsShopSimpleBench

And of course, here’s the video:

AND, I’ll have a lot more new blogs coming up, starting this weekend.

Make some sawdust!

Published in: Uncategorized on July 15, 2010 at 3:53 pm  Leave a Comment  

Repairs With Pocket Holes

This weekend I worked on modifying a piece of furniture for a co-worker, and the Kreg Pocket Hole jig was a major timesaver while working on the piece.

It was a desk that could be completely disassembled. The co-worker want the depth of the desk to be cut down from 33 1/8 inches to 24 inches. Easy enough to do on the edge-glued solid birch top – I just ripped it on the table saw. But the end aprons presented a challenge.

These parts were notched near the ends (as were the front and back aprons) to accept a corner block used to attach the desk legs. The corner blocks were attached to the aprons with screws. My original thought was to simply cut the aprons to length, then re-cut a v-notch for the corner brace. But rather than having to pull out the router with the appropriate bit and test cut on scrap, I decided to go a different route (pun intended).

I measured out the rough distance I needed for the aprons after attaching the front and back aprons on the top and after I had cut the top to width (the aprons are attached with corner braces). Then I determined how much I needed to remove from the end aprons, marked slightly less than I needed on the parts, and cut them in two. I test fit them just by placing them cut side to cut side, and kept cutting away (sneaking up on the fit) until they were the right length.

Finally, I drilled two pocket holes on one of the parts (I could also have drilled one on each part, alternating their placement), and joined the two using glue and pocket hole screws.

A bit of sanding and touch up paint and I had a perfect fitting end apron.

Published in: Uncategorized on July 11, 2010 at 3:05 pm  Leave a Comment  

Bench Feedback

Thanks for viewing and downloading the instructions for the Simple Woodworking Bench! You can download the instructions here: ChiefsShopSimpleBench

I’d like to know what you think about the instructions and video for the project, so please take a minute to visit and complete a survey about it.

And don’t forget to let me know which of these chairs you’d like to see next.


Published in: Uncategorized on July 6, 2010 at 12:40 pm  Leave a Comment  
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