From Zero to Hero #1: Headphone Stand and Catch All

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Blog entry by arvanlaar posted 03-09-2015 02:56 AM 2323 reads 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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Hey All,

So I am very new to woodworking. I decided recently to try my hand at some fine wood working after marrying into a world famous boat building family who as master craftsmen when it comes to working with wood.

I wanted to start this blog to journal my journey from basically a nobody in the grand scheme of woodworking, into hopefully a skilled woodworker who creates things that people can be in awe of one day. I have no idea how long that will take (most likely a lifetime!!!) but I would like to become relatively good at this craft.

Below are my two first projects completed this weekend:

First we have a red oak catch all that I made for my dad’s birthday. It was the very first time I used a router outside of a table stand and learned A LOT when it comes to setting up guides and stops. There was a small nick in the wall where my guide was not properly clamped down and the router jumped but you cannot see it in the picture. Overall my dad liked the piece and can’t wait to put it to good use.

Second, we have a purpleheart headphone stand I made for my sister’s birthday. I really learned a ton on this project. Here are some of the lessons:

1) NEVER not EVER use a scroll saw to cut 2” thick purpleheart. Some of you may be saying, Andrew, why didn’t you use a bandsaw? Well unfortunately I did not have one at the time so I could not do that. The piece is not nearly as symmetrical as I had drawn it out to be however after 3 hours of sanding, I got it decently close to symmetrical. I will never again attempt to cut hardwood that thick in a scroll saw ever again.

2) Wear a mask when you cut and sand purpleheart. It is horrible to get in your mouth, nose and eyes. Definitely not worth it.

3) Keep fingers clear or wood when cutting on scroll saw. If the blade catches and lifts up the wood block, it will also send it crashing down on your finger ensuring that you lose a fingernail along the way.

Without further ado, the headphone stand

Well that is all for my first post. Let me know what you all think :) I would love to have some feedback not matter if it is positive or negative! Looking forward to talking to you all again soon!

-- New to working and learning as much as I can :D

2 comments so far

View handsawgeek's profile


663 posts in 2034 days

#1 posted 03-09-2015 02:09 PM

Very nice start on your woodworking adventure! I can say that I certainly was not producing anywhere near as nice work as yours when I began woodworking!

Take full of advantage of any ‘mentorship’ you can get from your family. It will definitely pay off!

Welcome to LJs.

-- Ed

View technoslick's profile


780 posts in 1998 days

#2 posted 03-20-2015 02:15 PM

Nicks, dents, bruises, symmetry gone afoul…all parts of the mystery and magic of woodworking. Welcome to growing club of risk takers and adventurers. In the end, the only judge you have to please is the one between your ears. :)

These are fine pieces of workmanship. Sure, the camera is your friend in hiding what you know to be faults. Your family will not only not care that they are there, they will look on the imperfections as reasons for endearment. Meanwhile, you chalk up experience that will become invaluable later on.

I look forward to seeing your future work. There is no question in my mind you will be an inspiration for me.

-- -- Paul, Upstate NY

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