Please take a look at the new gallery of images of my recent work: Camp Seating. A long-running project accomplished with friend and fellow woodworker Erik Jacobson.
As Guenther Woodworking continues to grow I’ve been fortunate to be able to add new tooling to the workflow that increase capabilities, speed, and accuracy.
My most recent project involved a number of tall, narrow doors. For simplicity’s sake I opted to use 35mm Euro hinges — and a small drill press allowed me to accurately and quickly drill the hinge holes. As a house carpenter I’m always walking the line between absolute accuracy and “git-‘er-done” — in this case the doors and cabinets were fine enough that hinge holes drilled hand-held just wouldn’t be good enough.
For some reason I’ve always thought that calipers weren’t necessary for woodworkers. I’m glad that I’ve given them a chance. Excitement over the new drill press yielded a few too many (twice as many) bores for hinges. I opted to fill the extras with a square inlay and found that the combined capability for inside/outside measurement afforded by the calipers both sped up my work and allowed for improved accuracy.
The four inch double square is a sweetheart, and my new favorite layout tool; absolutely perfect size. I’ve long been aware of Starrett tools but never quite pulled the trigger. Should be a lifetime tool. I’d like to sprinkle a few of these throughout my workshop and toolboxes.
Shooting board. Another in the long list of “Wish I’d done this sooner”. Simple, quick to build, elegant, and so good at doing one thing well: creating perfectly square ends on handsaw-cut boards. I’ll add miter-shooting capability as I need it. Got my fancy new digital fire pager recently too.
There’s the goal: clean, beautiful work done quickly and efficiently. Even though inattention at the drill press created wasteful extra work, I try to approach each task with care, do it well, and learn something in the process.
Now that the temperatures have warmed to the balmy mid-twenties and the sun is shining a bit stronger day-by-day I’ve finally been able to get back to the shop and make some progress on long-delayed doors for a pair of free-standing cabinets. The cabinets themselves were installed back in November and are filled to the brim and in use already. I’m thankful for a patient client.
I’ve made several doors and cabinet face frames using my Festool Domino and feel like I’m getting the speed and accuracy I had hoped for when I made the substantial investment in the tool. There was a surprising learning curve involved with the Domino; It’s a tool that magnifies operator error.
I’ve found that eliminating variables yields more consistent results. Typically the tool rests on its base, not on the fence. I ignore the flip-stops — the folding bits that supposedly allow for easily replicated offset placements in favor of simply marking the plunge position of the initial mortise.
Here I’m using the face frame accessory to mortise the door rails. After setting the tool, and before plunging the cut, I mark through the alignment sight with a sharp pencil.
Carefully aligning the calibrated sight to a transferred mark is the easiest and most reliable method for precisely aligning the opposing mortise.
I’m more comfortable making consistent, accurate pencil marks and carefully aligning the Domino than relying on the flip stops. I’ll likely remove them permanently from the tool.
I’ve had the opportunity to revisit some carving work recently– some older, some newly created.
An attempt a copying some elements of a Thomas Dennis original. The flower on the right has been giving me some troubles. This one is the best so far.
This last is carved into a beautiful old-growth…
Really a lovely piece of framing lumber. Shame most of it got turned into stairs.