Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Rolling Stones Birdhouse

I love entering woodworking contests because they challenge me to get creative and come up with something new and different.  I built this Rolling Stones birdhouse for a contest hosted by Summers Woodworking.  Whenever I come up with an idea for a contest project, I will Google it to see if it's been done before.  If not, then I know I may be onto something that no one has ever seen before.  I find that exciting, and in this case, I could not find another Rolling Stones giant mouth logo birdhouse out there.  Thanks to Summers Woodworking and all the sponsors for providing this opportunity to win cool prizes and to create something I probably never would have built otherwise!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Create a Wood Bowl with a Bandsaw!

Sometimes I see a woodworking project that I just have to make.  This is one of those projects.  This bandsaw bowl is great for people who have limited shop time, and for those who like to start and finish a project in one visit to the shop.  You could even use a scroll saw or jig saw to build one.

This bowl is made up of a set of octagon-shaped rings that are stacked up on top of a center base.  All the parts can be cut from one square piece of 1x12 board, or from two 1x6 boards and glued together.  Get creative and use two different colors of wood.  Use thicker wood to make the bowl taller.  I think the hardest part of this project is deciding whether to call it a bowl or a basket.  Click here to download my FREE PDF template!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Find Woodworking Inspiration in the Scrap Bin

I snapped this picture of my father's scrap bins the last time I visited his unfinished cabin.  This explains a lot when I look at my own growing scrap collection.  Indeed, the apple does not fall far from the tree.   Most people would see trash cans waiting to be dumped in this picture, but I see bins full of inspiration.

When I look through dad's scrap, I always find pieces to bring home.  Sometimes I recognize pieces, such as the two curvy cutoffs from his fireplace mantle supports.  Sometimes I find historical artifacts with his sketches, measurements, and calculations written on them.

Scrap bins are packed full of future projects just waiting to be built.  The possibilities are endless, and many times, the shape or wood grain will make it obvious to me what a piece is supposed to become.  Sometimes I see a piece and know it's destined to be a bandsaw box, a plaque, a bookend or some sort of knick-knack.

So the next time you can't think of anything to build, raid your scrap bin (or better yet, a friend's scrap bin) with an open mind.  You might discover a piece of history or find a future project.

Monday, September 9, 2013

My Father's Shoe Shine Box

I visited my mother recently and she gave me my father's old shoe shine box.  I remember him using it to shine his shoes before going to work or church.  I dust off my dress shoes maybe 5 times a year so I won't use it much, but I do cherish it since my dad made it.  Do men still shine their shoes like they used to?

Anyway, I thought it would be fun to make one just like it.  So, I traced dad's curved details and the funny-looking foot rest on top, then built one of my own.  It was a fun project, but now I just have to figure out what to do with TWO of them.  I guess I could use one for left shoes and the other for right...5 days out of the year.

Click here for drawings traced directly from my dad's shoe shine box if you would like to make one too!