Category Archives: Thoughts

Projects for 2014…

New Year’s Day, my wife and I are talking on the phone with my step daughter. Steph and her husband had set 14 goals as a couple for 2014. We didn’t go over them all, some were of a personal nature I was told. Oh to be young again! Well she got me to thinking about my woodworking and what I want to accomplish this year. So here goes, my 2014 goals for the Mesquite St Woodshop.

1) Roubo work bench. I got to use a Roubo bench at the Dutch Tool Chest class I took in Nov and I really liked it, especially the holdfasts. This goal will probably be one of my first this year. I look at it as a right of passage of sorts and plus I need a bench with some better holding capabilities.

2) Moxon vise. I used one of these at the tool chest class too. Definite must have. My friend Mark Glass built one recently with Bench crafted hardware and he likes it. I will probably go this route as well.

3) Additional woodworking classes. We woodworkers are a solitary group for the most part and I count myself at the front of the class. It’s good to learn on our own,but it’s also important to socialize and learn from others. I like the celebrity led classes. I get to hear from the experts and build something cool. I’d like to take two or three classes this year. So far I’m signed up for a Jeff Miller chair class in May.

4) Jewelery chest. This goal is a request from my wife, Ronda. She saw one of these a few months ago and wants one similar.

Right now I look at this chest and it scares the poop out of me. Way more complex than anything I’ve done to date. I’ve begun the research though and I’m not quite as overwhelmed. It looks doable. Might not get started on it until this fall or winter. HA!

5) Step stools. As I’ve mentioned in other blog entries, I want to be able to make these for the young couples with kids that I know.

6) Campaign furniture. Chris Schwarz has really peaked my interest in this style of furniture, particularly the trunks. Very much looking forward to his book being published this year.

7) Panel saw. They’ve always intrigued me, but I never used a sharp one until last summer. I have two, one filed rip and the other cross cut, both Disstons. I built a saw vise, got a file, and learned to sharpen a saw. I started with the rip saw and I was amazed. It cut through a 2×12 like a hot knife through butter. Well now I’m borderline obsessed with them and I want to make one of my own.

That’s all for now. Tomorrow night I’ll reveal the final 7 goals. Be safe and check back again soon.

A Swing and a Miss…Hey Batter Batter Batter….

Well fellow wood workers, production at the Mesquite St Wood Shop was non existent today. I had not one but two! plumbing problems to attend to after work today. I got wet, cold, and very muddy but I fixed one, the other I’m not so sure about.

Brian Eve, who has an excellent blog by the way, commented on my skewed rabbet plane. It got me to thinking during work today and I found a very nice short video on YouTube by Phil Edwards of Philly Planes. He talks about setting up and adjusting a wooden plane. The video’s intro music is very cool as well. I’m going to try his recommendations in the next few days and I will be sure to keep everyone up to date on my findings.

I want to close with a pic of one of my very favoritist tools, my mallet.

It’s made out of pecan from a tree in my back yard that passed last year due our 3 year drought. My kids lived in this tree and I have a lot of found memories of it. So it’s fitting that I have a piece of it. Enjoy. Tomorrow, dovetails!


Woodworking & Instagram…

If you’re like me, you’re probably wondering what in the world these two have in common. Well a lot more than you think.

My daughter was in Richmond, VA, for her 3rd marathon over the weekend and Sat AM my wife should me a pic Kate had posted on Instagram. Ronda also said in a matter of fact tone, “You really should try Instagram, you’d like it”. Well she caught me in a half asleep weak moment because I signed up for it right then. And I must say, I’ve been pleasantly surprised. It’s actually kind of fun.

Since Instagram is all about photos, I posted some about my tool chest. And then I began to search Instagram for woodworking hashtags. OMG! It’s like crack cocaine. There are tons of other woodworkers on Instagram putting pics of their work up. I was tickled to death and like a kid in a candy store. I spent a good chunk of the day Sat surfing Instagram. Found several folks doing some cool woodworking that I’ve never heard of before. I “liked” some of their work and they reciprocated. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve become more and more of a hermit. Yesterday with Instagram was a very pleasant social experience for me.

So if you haven’t taken the Instagram plunge yet, I recommend it. They’re some neat woodworking folks out there.


PS I’m @charliesimpsonwftx on Instagram.