Woodworking as Therapy

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Blog series by Betsy updated 03-18-2012 09:46 PM 20 parts 98172 reads 126 comments total

Part 1: What's old again is new again

10-30-2011 01:35 AM by Betsy | 22 comments »

I”M BACK! Sorry – I should not have shouted so loudly. I’ve been lurking in the background for quite some time and have from time to time posted a stray comment or two. But I’ve not been very active in actual woodworking for quite some time. I have had some false restarts and stops and so now I’m starting again and hoping this will not be another false start. Some of you “old timers” will know that I was at one time quite active on the site an...

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Part 2: Need some help coming up with a solution

11-05-2011 02:39 AM by Betsy | 11 comments »

Well – I managed to spend about an hour this week in the shop. Not bad considering my work schedule. I’m trying to set up my drum sander to sand down my cutting boards but I’m finding I have an issue with the clamp that holds the end of the paper. I’ve never been able to squeeze the clamp by hand – I had to use pliers to open the mouth of the clamp. Now my hands are such that trying to do it makes them spasm – I need to avoid that. I’ve tried us...

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Part 3: learning how much I've forgotten!

11-08-2011 06:01 AM by Betsy | 3 comments »

I was able to spend a whole hour non-stop in the shop tonight! I know that doesn’t sound like a lot, but for me it’s way, way, way a lot. :-) I’ve gotten the boards laminated for the tray bottom and have it and the sides down to my 5/16” thickness. The bottom did not come out as nice as I would have liked, I think the glue slipped a little more than I noticed when I tightened the clamps so the rays are off a little bit. Still looks nice though. I need to read up aga...

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Part 4: Still trying to figure out my drum sander issue

11-09-2011 04:11 AM by Betsy | 13 comments »

Well despite some good suggestions I’m still having trouble getting my drum sander loaded with paper by myself. I’ve tried to take a better picture of the set up but not sure I did it justice. The problem with using a lever to push open the paper clamp is that the drum rolls – imagine that. I put a stick between the edge of the cabinet and the drum and that keeps the drum from rolling – but I have to hold onto that stick to use another lever to open the pape...

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Part 5: The more I do the more I realize that I used to do with no thought

11-10-2011 04:40 AM by Betsy | 3 comments »

So tonight I decided the cut the notches for my serving tray. But what I forgot to do was change my blade to my flat top instead of the v-shape blade so as you can see from my picture I have a little bit of cleaning up to do on the bottoms of my notches. I decided to leave that for another night when I can sit and do it a tiny bit at a time. The good thing is the notches fit the 5/16” boards just perfect. I went ahead and cut the rabbit on the edges of my bottom piece and with...

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Part 6: Moving along on my serving tray - but have question

11-17-2011 04:55 AM by Betsy | 2 comments »

I’ve managed a couple hours in the shop this week. Yeah! I’m starting to work more on my serving tray for my boss. I’ve got my sides together and you can see I did not get the bottom exactly right – but I can fix that with a nice strip of matching wood. The inside angle is correct according to the text and my measurements. Tonight I used my band saw for the first time in a very long time – made me very nervous so I cut way outside the line and ...

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Part 7: Frustration does not equal therapy :-(

11-20-2011 05:25 AM by Betsy | 9 comments »

Frustrated—- can’t find my camera to show my issues—rats and double rats. First I still can’t get my handles for my serving tray to come out right – they just don’t fit – arg! So I start to think to myself—okay Betsy – you just can’t do anything but square things sooooo off I go to my cutting boards. Well that’s not so good either. I sanded all 6 of my cutting boards—- they feel good to the touch, sanded through ...

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Part 8: Sanding done -- and found my camera!

11-23-2011 03:38 AM by Betsy | 2 comments »

Found my camera—- it was a victim of the “someone’s coming over – clean up quick” syndrome. Not that I’m slob but I do have a clutter problem – when friends come over sometimes things just get shoved here and there to look better. Alas—- the camera is found. So here are my cutting boards all sanded and ready for finishing. They don’t look half bad. The really tall one is a special order—- a friend wanted one a littl...

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Part 9: Do not try this at home!

11-28-2011 03:00 AM by Betsy | 5 comments »

So now you married and/or attached folks do not follow my lead and try this at home! Being single and having a crappy kitchen counter makes this an easy place to do finishing work. Those are four of my cutting boards getting all finished up and ready for giving away. I hope you all had a very nice Thanksgiving. I had dinner with 60 of my closest friends. We have a group that goes camping every Thanksgiving. Of course, camping, for most of us now means RVs and lodges – but w...

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Part 10: Cleaned up the shop a bit and found unfinished projects to do.

11-30-2011 05:11 AM by Betsy | 4 comments »

I just wonder how many unfinished projects we all have laying around in our shops. I know I get started on one, either get bored with it, get stuck not knowing how to do the next step, or get frustrated because I can’t get the project to look like that darn magazine picture. :-) While cleaning I realized that I had not finished a set of child size Adirondack chairs for friend of mine. That’s what I’ve been doing tonight. I’ve managed to get both seats done and one ...

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Part 11: Small discoveries

12-04-2011 06:39 AM by Betsy | 2 comments »

Raining and dreary outside in North Texas today so it was a good day to be inside playing in the shop. I spent quite a lot of time working on my child’s size chair set for my friend. I’ve discovered that working on the floor is a pretty good place to be for someone with balance issues. It actually works really well. I put a piece of mdf on the floor so it was a flat surface to work on and just plopped down and started my assemblies, painting and some sanding. I got a lot done and ...

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Part 12: First generation cheese board

12-05-2011 05:13 AM by Betsy | 5 comments »

Slow day in the shop today but was able to cut my first generation board cut. I can certainly see how these can be addictive to make. The design possibilities are mind boggling. Have not quite figured out the second and third generation cuts yet – but will get there. Here’s my board just clamped with no glue at this point. I imagine I’ll only glue up two or three sections at a time, you get off kilter just a little and it would spoil the effect. I’ve also alm...

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Part 13: Slow and easy wins the race....

12-12-2011 02:00 AM by Betsy | 4 comments »

I heard that once never believed it though. Now perhaps I’ll take it more to heart. Spent most of yesterday having a blast in the shop and have spent most of today recovering! I’m certainly going to have to learn to pace myself a little better if I want to stay in the shop at all. It’s a funny thing this better-living-with-chemistry idea. It can really curb my symptoms but it gives me a false sense of wellness at the same time. I am having trouble getting used to the idea th...

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Part 14: In progress first generation board

12-14-2011 06:01 AM by Betsy | 8 comments »

I’m almost done with my first cheese board. It’s been an experience. I’ve never done anything quite like the chevron. It was a little bit of a challenge but I think I did okay. I’d like your opinion on whether or not I should round off my corners or just break the edges. Also the artistic side of my mind (which is not exercised very much – so it may be wrong here) wants to put in some fancy diamond shaped inlays on the sides, just small 1/4” diamonds in ...

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Part 15: First generation board with first coat of oil

12-16-2011 04:57 AM by Betsy | 3 comments »

Well here it is, I’ve just put on the first coat of oil. I think it looks pretty good. I rounded the corners and broke the edges just a little. Now I’m working on my second board. This board I cut at 30 degrees. I was going to make this into two boards, but I’m thinking of doing something different and I’d like your opinions. The idea is put a strip of maple in the middle of the two boards and then surround the whole board with walnut.Do you think it’s ...

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Part 16: This is the best of all therapy!

02-25-2012 10:37 PM by Betsy | 6 comments »

I started making this set when my boss with about 6 months pregnant. Lou Lou turns 2 next week and I just got the chairs done. Needless to say this was a slow going project. But despite some of the parts not being the best (I made them when I probably should not have been making them) the set turned out pretty well. The look on Lou Lou’s face was worth the wait. Enjoy. Thanks for looking.

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Part 17: Ruminating ideas for projects

03-04-2012 03:58 AM by Betsy | 3 comments »

So I’m quickly coming to the close of my Adirondack chair blog class (just the final assembly to go), my sun room addition is now complete (just got the French doors put in today) and I’ve managed to put up some shelves Sis wanted in the laundry room (nothing major – haven’t decided if I’m going to put doors on them but they are framed so I can add doors if I want to), so now my mind is turning towards some new smaller projects that I can do. I’ve purcha...

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Part 18: Hand tools

03-07-2012 04:46 AM by Betsy | 10 comments »

So I’ve been lamenting that my use of some hand tools is limited due to strength and cramping issues when I hold things. I sold almost all my planes because I no longer have the arm strength to use them, but I’ve hung onto my nice chisels and dove tail saws. The tools just sit there staring at me begging to be used. So I’ve been thinking of some work arounds. For my chisel handles I’ve been experimenting with the pipe insulation that comes as a tube with a slit in i...

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Part 19: Hand tools bulking them up.

03-12-2012 12:56 AM by Betsy | 5 comments »

So I’m working a little on getting my chisels to the right size that will keep my hands from cramping. Taking some of the advise my fellow LJs provided I’ve gathered a few things to work with I went to my neighborhood bike shop and they were kind enough to give me a trashed inner tube. As an aside, I had forgotten how nasty those things smell. Yuk. I also got some athletic tape and some of the under wrap to use with it. I also bought some new plumbing insulation to play with. ...

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Part 20: Relearning Google Sketch Up

03-18-2012 09:46 PM by Betsy | 6 comments »

I started this blog quite a long time ago to learn Sketch up and to take everyone else along for the ride while I was recovering from a health issue. Quite a ride it was. I actually kind of got the hang of it. But, alas, you know the saying, “you don’t use it you lose it” well that’s where I’m at right now. I’m going back reading through my own blog to teach myself SU again, I’ve also been going through videos tu...

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