- Check out the first episode: Monkey Moment #01 – Giant Moving Cart
- I also have additional creators lined up to create content for this series.
Arizona Woodworking Conventions
2017’s Date – Feb 11th & 12th
The Desert woodcarving Show & Sale is an annual show that brings all of the carvers out of their hiding places. It wasn’t a very large convention but there were some cool things to see like carved animals, scenes, figurines as well as plenty of tools and carving blanks to purchase. I actually had no clue this was going on until a coworker sent me some pictures and told me about a gathering of old guys at some wood fair thing. I immediately looked it up and made plans to attend the next day. I coerced my wife and kids into joining me for the 15 minute drive to the Mesa, AZ convention center and spent another 15 minutes walking through the entire convention. As I said, it wasn’t a huge thing but plenty of interesting things and I’m sure I would have spent much longer if I were a little more into hand carving.
2017’s Date – TBD (Usually the end of February)
The Desert Woodturning Roundup is another convention I had absolutely no clue about until I saw it on the convention calendar when looking up the wood carving show. I was a little more excited about this one since I recently got a lathe and have been wanting to start putting it to use. I didn’t have enough time to sign up for the classes offered this year but did make it during lunch and ended up purchasing a tool from Thompson Lathe Tools which they custom engraved. I’ll definitely be going next year and hopefully will be attending more than just the show floor.
I’ve been trying improve my audio/video quality and have finally bit the bullet and purchased some new gear. I’ve always ran my Canon T3i with a 18-200mm lens and for a while have been using a headset converted lav mic and cell phone for recording audio. This hasn’t been bad per se but there was definitely room for improvement. I recently upgraded to a wide-angle 10-18mm lens and an external Zoom H4N with a Rode shotgun mic. I’ve also got some UV lens filters, a lens hood a GoPro Hero 3 Silver and have moved all of my editing over to Adobe Premiere. So far I’ve shot a few videos with the new equipment and edited some with the new software and am very pleased with my purchases. (Hopefully the improvements show.)
In the Shop
I recently posted a video showing the process I use to cut, stabilize and dry large end grain slabs. I ended up cutting 15 carob wood cookies for the sawmill and kept two for my own purposes. It’s still weird to me when the sawmill calls me up to cut some wood that is too large for their saws.
Large Barn Doors – Commissioned
I recently took on a commission with a friend to build and install two large barn doors for somebody in my neighborhood. One door was 6×8-feet and the other was 8.5×8-feet. We picked up nearly 300bdft of alder and manufactured all of the hardware from scratch. Each door had 12 inlaid brackets which bolted together with countersunk flat head bolts. I will be releasing a video of the inlays and might write an entire article on the doors as I definitely have enough pictures for one. I drive past these every weekday on my way to work and am very proud of what we accomplished. Now if I can never do it again I will be happy. These took up WAY TO MUCH ROOM!
I have always been cautious when it has come to getting involved with the lathe as I know it can quickly become an entire hobby all unto itself. After attending the Desert Woodturners Roundup I got the bug and finally started playing around when the barn doors were complete. I dumped out my bag full of pen blanks and kits that came with the used lathe and with the help of a late night video chat with Sean Rubin, I figured out what all the parts and pieces were. So far I’ve turned a handful of pens and a couple bowls.
Urban Milling – Silky Oak
I was contacted in early January by a local follower who asked about my availability to mill up some silky oak in his back yard. We discussed size, quantity and decided that we would split the wood in half and he would provide lunch and additional labor. He also sent a picture of the logs with a boot on them which I still get a kick out of every time I see the “reference boot”. A little over a month later I spent a few hours milling up all his lumber and I came home with some beautiful silky oak. So in 1-2 years time I guess we can all expect something purdy to come out of my shop.
Reviving old Tools
Late last year a friend and I got lucky and had an opportunity to save a bunch of great tools from going to a garage sale. Since then we’ve pretty much divided the lot and the two biggest things I wanted was a 8-inch Generational International jointer and an 18-inch Jet Bandsaw. Both of these tools have sat in my shop for months until I recently needed them for a project and have brought the them back to life by fully disassembling, cleaning and reassembling them. I can’t even start to explain how much of a life saver the 8-inch jointer was when I started milling up nearly 300bdft of alder for those barn doors.
I haven’t made much progress on my coming up list from the last video but have added a few projects.
- Slide Away Table – The next video release will be a counter balanced slide away table for my X-Carve. I’ve been working on editing this and it’s a beast so it’ll still take another week or two to get done.
- Metal Fence – As soon as the rest of the money comes in for the barn doors I’ll begin ordering the material for the metal fence surrounding my property.
- Clamp Storage – Yup.. still need it really bad!
- Pen Turning – I have not turned a few pens and will be making a video and releasing it in the very near future. (I want to make sure I get into James Green’s pen turning challenge!)