The Zen of Woodworking

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Blog series by BigAxe updated 01-04-2017 10:41 PM 8 parts 9538 reads 12 comments total

Part 1: The Beginning

12-12-2013 07:46 PM by BigAxe | 1 comment »

Woodworking seems to be the process of obtaining lumber taking it to my shop and converting it to smaller pieces of wood. I have a pile of small pieces of beautiful wood that I don’t want to throw away because of their perfection and because they may come in handy for some future project. They perfectly clear and straight. And they do come in handy. But I seem to add to the pile more than I take away. And eventually I have to cull it. These pieces make a great fire in the living room...

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Part 2: Steps

09-26-2014 04:07 PM by BigAxe | 0 comments »

Wood working appears to have a number a number of separate and well defined steps. Each step requires its own tools and skill set. Step 1: Go into the woods, find a tree and cut it up into boards. Allow the boards to season for two or more years. I suspect many wood workers forgo this step and head directly to a lumber yard. I know of one headstone and probably there are more which reads “Killed by the fall of a tree”. I have bought some lumber from lumber yards, but now I te...

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Part 3: Adventures with my power drill

03-15-2015 02:16 PM by BigAxe | 1 comment »

I have a Black & Decker power drill that I inherited from my father who passed away about 20 years ago. It doesn’t get a lot of use but it is my go to tool for many projects around my house. The drill must be a least 25 years old and it still works fine. It was made in Canada with the label in french and english printed in the USA. It replaced an earlier power drill that died on me for reasons I forget. The first project I attempted with this drill was to repair my bed. The morti...

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Part 4: My adventures with #4 planes

09-08-2015 03:38 PM by BigAxe | 1 comment »

I bought a used #4 Stanley in a local store. It was in bad shape but I managed to clean it up except for the Lever Cap. I decided I would use it as a scrub plane. I increased the camber on the blade and used a file to open up the mouth. It works fine for the intended purpose. I then bought another plane from another local pawn shop. This was an Award plane made in India. Identical to a #4 Stanley except for the Cap which had a screw instead of a lever. This plane was out of the box like ne...

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Part 5: Blood

12-16-2015 02:42 PM by BigAxe | 7 comments »

I cut myself again. This time with my striking knife. It happens too frequently. I guess its nature way of infusing my DNA into my work. In a story by Steinbeck (one of my favourite authors) a mechanic working on a car cuts himself and he takes as a sign the repair will go well. I wonder if this is a superstition held by woodworkers.I didn’t always cut myself. I started woodworking about four years ago using power tools and I seldom cut myself.But recently I changed over to hand tools a...

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Part 6: Respecting the wood

04-05-2016 10:32 PM by BigAxe | 0 comments »

I am in the process of cutting dovetails using chisels and a handsaw. I am not very good at it but am learning from my mistakes. I lam taking my time. No seven and half minute dovetails here.The wood came from a local maple tree which in this part of the world took nearly nearly a century to grow. Most of its siblings ended up as firewood or to feed the local pulp mill. This particular tree found its way to a small local saw mill where it was cut up into planks, stored for two years to allow ...

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Part 7: A poor retiree who loves woodworking dream home

06-04-2016 03:45 PM by BigAxe | 2 comments »

I saw this ad posted on a local bulletin board. Three bedroom bungalow for sale with large detached garage and adjacent woodlot with mature hardwood trees. Price $58000. What more could a retired man who loves woodworking want ?

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Part 8: The tyranny of numbers

01-04-2017 10:41 PM by BigAxe | 0 comments »

I have decided to build a simple dovetail box to store a set of Narex mortising chisels. I am retiring these chisels from service and decided they needed a proper resting spot.In addition my dust collection system just died so I decided to build the box using all hand tools.Now a simple box has 6 sides. This means I have to dimension 6 pieces of wood. Each piece of wood has 6 sides. Simple math tells me I have to true up 6×6 or 36 sides.Now a box has 12 edges. and each edge has 2 matchin...

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