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When I started collecting pictures and trying to figure out what has happened since Monkey Talk #08, I had so much content that I was surprised that it’s only been three months. I keep saying I need to get better and release more of these so I don’t have so much to talk about but so far I haven’t been listening to myself…
Many of you saw the collaboration video (5 Awesome Vacuum Chamber Experiments) I did with my cousin Grant Thompson AKA The King of Random and I’m sure some of you are here because of that. Not only was it fun working with him but it was extremely beneficial to my YouTube channel. To be honest, this is one of the reasons I haven’t put out a Monkey Talk in a while because I wanted to provide some quality project videos to my new subscribers. I think I’ve gotten over that and hope to get back to business as usual.
Last year I decided that it would be a good idea to make projects around each holiday. Not only because they are a little different from my norm but I also wanted to create some content that would be highly sharable every year. I did pretty good for Halloween and then my plans fell apart… at least so far.
If you’re interested in some fun Halloween projects, check out my CNC Tombstones & the Wooden Ax for a Desert Lumberjack. The tombstone project comes with some project files that can be imported right into CNC software.
New Member of the Family
Did I mention I’ve been busy? Meet the 3rd addition to our family, Landon. He showed up about a month ago and is just one of those things keeping me on my toes. For anybody curious, everybody is doing wonderful and he’s doing what babies do. Eating, sleeping & you guessed it, pooping.
IN THE SHOP
Stabilizing & Casting
I’ve had my vacuum chamber done for quite a while and finally got around to casting some of the stabilized blanks. I made a few mallet sized blanks for a future project and a bunch of pen sized blanks, one of which got turned into a marking knife. On my first attempt to cast a blank I made a huge mess but luckily, it was on my already messy shop table. A couple of the other things I’ve stabilized recently were some mallet heads that Braxton Wirthlin is providing to The Dusty Life podcast for their Bench Build Off Challenge. Sean Rubino also sent me some creosote bush burls that I tossed in with the mallet heads and noticed that they quickly turned my stabilizing resin to a dark raspberry tea color.
I’ve had a lot more completed projects than shown below but some of them will be in the Just Out section or just not shown. The last project I’ve completed was a built in cabinet with cathedral style raised panel doors. This was a commission project and even though I think it turned out great, I was glad to see it leave my shop. (I don’t like building cabinets….) Between this cabinet and the next project, I got around to turning a couple lidded boxes and a winged bowl on the lathe.
New/Old Bench & WOOD
I’ve always wanted to build a nice solid workbench but keep putting it off. Because of this, I’ve avoided getting a cheaper model like the Harbor Freight bench but my friend dropped his off for me to use. I immediately picked up a different model on Craigslist for a little over $100 so I could get a front vise. I don’t know why I’ve waited so long! Even though these are lower quality benches, I have gotten a TON of use out of them and can’t believe I didn’t spend the small amount of money on one much sooner.
I’ve also gotten a few new types of wood to play with. I recently brought a large slab of mesquite to Idaho and came home with a load of burls to use for casting. Last Monkey Talk I mentioned Kimball Cody coming to help dig the footer for my rolling gate, he also brought me some ironwood to play with. The last bit of new wood I recently got is some Indian Rosewood also known as Sissoo. A friend and I picked this up to mill and I turned a few of the smaller pieces into turning blanks.
OUT OF THE SHOP
I recently finished digging and pouring a footer for the rolling gate, trenching and installing electrical for the gate motor as well as installed the last of the cinder block. Now I just need to stop taking on large commission projects so I can make four man gates and one large rolling gate so I can call this one complete.
I recently had the opportunity to do a collaboration project with my cousin Grant Thompson AKA, The King of Random. Check out both of our video’s if you want to see some fun with scorpions and some pretty cool experiments using my home-made vacuum chamber.
Want to get into stabilizing wood and casting your own turning blanks or knife scales? Check out this video and article on how I made my own vacuum chamber.
Every aspiring fine woodworker needs a marking knife and will most likely find that you get what you pay for. In this article I show how to make a high quality marking knife out of high-speed steel with a handle that was stabilized & cast during the project.
One more organizational project in the can! I did my best to come up with a universal method to store my clamps that would also be easily adjustable for those times that my collection of clamps grows.
VIDEOS TO EDIT
- Making a Pressure Pot
- Stabilizing Wood
- Monkey Moment – Circle Cutting Bandsaw Jig
- Casting Wood
- French Cleat Tool Storage
- Carpenter Bee Trap
- Walnut Farmhouse Table