Focus on Turning Design by Working From Larger Logs

My turning ability is bound by my lathe – it has a maximum diameter capacity of 16”. That means all my accessory tools, such as my hollowing system and 50cc 20” chainsaw, were acquired because they are designed around those size limitations. The largest bowls I make with these constraints are in the 14-15” range. For years I used fallen trees with a 20” diameter as raw material. By the […]

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Live Edge Class at Snow Farm, Massachusetts – Part 1

  On Columbus day weekend I taught a live-edge furniture class at Snow Farm, a reputable New England based craft school located in the picturesque Berkshire mountains of Western Massachusetts. My six students faced a challenging task, to design and build furniture that presents a strong live-edge character, and to do so just in two and a half days of work. The weather was mostly nice and the food was […]

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Book Giveaway: Wooden Toys

Wooden Toys

Last night my kids unearthed a Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer book for a bedtime story. I desperately tried to steer them back toward our wide selection of Halloween books that I’ve arranged prominently on their bookshelf. But alas, while they’re excited for Halloween, the inevitable holiday season looms large on the horizon like the Death Star in Rogue One. Apparently I need to get my holiday planning underway. And so, […]

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Video: Circle Jig for the Band Saw

Band saws are great for cutting curves but when you need a perfect circle, you need a jig. I’ve used many circle-cutting helpers over the years and the design presented by Tom Caspar in the video below combines the best features from all of them. The jig is held in place on the band saw table using a bar in the miter slot and it features an adjustable pivot point […]

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Smart Cars Need Smart Paint

I’m sure you’re aware of the research being done to produce smart cars and trucks that drive themselves. But it may be more complicated than simply designing the sensors for the vehicles. What if there’s snow on the road? Or if the road markings have been worn off, or if it’s raining so hard or so foggy that the sensors can’t see the road? It turns out that 3M has […]

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Pop Wood Group Project: Magnetic Picture Rails

Last week, Marissa Bowers (our wonderful designer, who’s been helping us out while we seek a new permanent art director) mentioned she had been looking for a set of picture rails – and wondered aloud if it was something we could build in the shop. Ever eager for an excuse to bring everyone out to the shop, we decided that everyone in the office could use their own, and I (Brendan […]

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