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Woodworking blog entries tagged with 'gary rogowski'

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A Strategy for Woodworking #50: Do Good Work

05-05-2015 07:01 PM by Gary Rogowski | 5 comments »

How can anyone afford to do good work these days? Isn’t the strain of surviving enough to make mediocre work good enough? As that famous poet once said, You gonna have to serve somebody. So who’s it gonna be? Your landlord or the voice inside you asking you to do it right this time. I can’t choose for you. I can only choose for myself. These were the standards I said I had to adhere to and if I couldn’t meet those then it wasn’t worth doing. Yeah, some days those standards were higher than...

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A Strategy for Woodworking #16: Making Time

08-08-2014 02:00 PM by Gary Rogowski | 5 comments »

How do you make time? How can you make time? How can you stop long enough to realize the value of turning your eyes away from your computer screen, your thumbs away from your mobile device, your self towards doing something with more lasting value? Making time. This is a curious concept. It is the one thing we are always running out of, or we have none of it for that thing, or someone is wasting our small resource of it. Time. Precious. And yet when we spend our time working on something t...

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A Strategy for Woodworking #35: Work

11-10-2014 04:17 PM by Gary Rogowski | 5 comments »

Work with your hands. As a result, work on yourself. Spend time alone with your thoughts away from the clamor. See what you can make of the time at the bench. I can think of no better elixir for the cacophony that makes up a day in the world today. The Northwest Woodworking Studio

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A Strategy for Woodworking #52: Taking Down a Tree, Part Two

05-21-2015 01:53 PM by Gary Rogowski | 5 comments »

The tree is down. No ceremony was performed for it. As a street tree, this maple had a pretty good long run. I was sorry to have to remove it but seeing it fallen over on top of a car would have made me a bit sorrier. It was half dead as was plain to see this spring and rot would soon take over the trunk. So. It was actually pretty cool to watch how the arborist, Aaron, took it down. He roped up and started dropping limbs, both dead and alive from the top on down. When he got close to the ...

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A Strategy for Woodworking #26: Wood & Water

09-16-2014 12:48 AM by Gary Rogowski | 4 comments »

Don’t be afraid of wood & water. Wood loves the stuff. Most of the tree is water when it’s standing. It’s why they’re so heavy when they come down. It’s all that water inside of them. Once I had a 1/2” thick maple table top, 20” square, all shaped and sanded. I decided to raise the grain and sand it off. Wet sanding I call it, although I wait for the water to dry and just sand off the fuzz raised up by it. Well I wet down this top and it cupped...

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A Strategy for Woodworking #15: The Work

08-04-2014 04:23 PM by Gary Rogowski | 4 comments »

Fine woodworking is not crafty. It is craft. It takes time, effort, and a commitment to excellence. It requires persistence and a willingness to overcome failure, repeatedly. It takes practice and patience and then more of both. It is as rigorous and as rewarding as learning a musical instrument or teaching your body ballet or the tango. It is formal and full of expression. There are rules to follow and rules that bend. It is cumulative in its knowledge and yet so vast that no one can know al...

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A Strategy for Woodworking #51: Taking Down a Tree

05-14-2015 02:32 AM by Gary Rogowski | 4 comments »

I hate cutting down trees. As much as I love the wood that comes from them, there is still something about cutting down a tree that seems to me an affront. A crime against the sky. Certainly it is a loss of some valuable shade in the heat of the sun. And it changes a landscape, a street view. But it was half dead and once cut, discovered to be rotten inside. It had to come down now in a noisy if controlled fashion rather than taking out someone’s car some chance day. It was a good sized tr...

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A Strategy for Woodworking #30: Quality

10-16-2014 02:49 PM by Gary Rogowski | 4 comments »

Dream all you like. Think about what it would be like to be skilled in a craft. But skill is gained only by work. Mastery comes after years of study, the rewards through discipline & sacrifice. Sigh. Quality work does not come through an afternoon’s study. It is the work of a lifetime. And why not? What great skilled worker learned their craft in a weekend? What musician became masterful in a few hours of study? It is this very process of learning your skill, of practicing you...

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A Strategy for Woodworking #37: The Right Saw for the Job

12-01-2014 04:30 PM by Gary Rogowski | 4 comments »

Choose your tools wisely for the job. For a plumber, the sawz-all is king because demo can be fast and messy. Not so much for dovetailing. That requires a different touch. I have many tools at hand. Which one I grab depends upon many factors. When I cut dovetails, how picky do I want to be? How do I want the joints to look? How much noise and dust can I stand that day? And for me most of all, how late is the project? I have many options to use from my Japanese dozuki to my Lie-Nielsen back...

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Trestle Table #32: Table Top's Bevels Cut with Circular Saw Cutting Jig

11-03-2016 11:28 PM by HappyHowie | 4 comments »

Today I completed making the circular saw cutting jigs. I have one jig that is 60 inches long for cutting the 45 degree bevel of the sides of the table top. The other jig is 36 inches long for cutting the 30 degree bevel on the ends of the table top. After fixing the fence to the top of the jigs with screws, I then cut the bevels with my Rigid circular saw. Once I had the jig trimmed to the saw blade with that angle, I was able to lay the jig on the top side of the table top and alig...

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