Reflections on My Craft

A woodworker's open letter to himself.

Leave a comment

Well, There’s Your Problem, Right There!

I have a DeWalt 734 planer that has been snipe-free and amazing since the first time I saw it run in the cabinet shop of a carpenter who was selling it to generate some income for his failing business.

I mounted the planer on a flip-top cart from the pages of ShopNotes and have used it on every flat-boarded project since then. For the past six months or so, which actually means three or four projects, this wonder planer has begun to slip and burp when I was feeding lumber. I estimate I’ve run miles of lumber through this planer, Continue reading


Leave a comment

Menno-rigged: A Bottle Stopper Mandrel

So, I didn’t have the money in my account for a dedicated bottle stopper mandrel, though it would be the nicest way to turn some bottle stoppers, which I’ve wanted to do for a while. When I received a bottle-stopper tap for my birthday just a few days before Christmas, I knew I had to find a way to make it happen.

Enter the latest “Menno-rig.” (Sounds a lot better than any other term that could be used for this and would probably be racially charged or culturally offensive. And “hack” hasn’t quite been done to death but it is on life support.)

So I present, the Menno-rigged Bottle Stopper Mandrel.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Back at It

So, after my wife’s 5 months of vomiting and seven months of feeling bad during a nine month medical condition, we have four in our family. less sleep and free time and expendable income than before, and a new year in which I can work towards my hope of some day becoming a professional woodworker.

To those ends, I have begun a list of goals for 2016. I figure that if I document them here, it is more likely that I will work towards them. So here goes.

Continue reading