Episode 45 – 2010 Build Challenge

Click here to play Episode 45Click here to play Episode 45

Hey everybody! This is a heads up that the 2010 Sawdust Chronicles Build Challenge is looking for entries. Here are the rules to the contest, and the project to design and create will be revealed on the first day of the Challenge.

Something I don’t mention in the podcast: I know that there seems to be a lot of contests, build-offs, and other woodworking competitions going on right now. If you feel like you want to compete in other contests and not the Challenge, I completely understand. If you sign up for the Challenge, but find out that with your other commitments that you don’t have time to finish the project, please tell us right away so we don’t keep bothering you with emails about submitting your project photos and story.

I believe that what the TSDC Build Challenge offers is much more than what you will receive elsewhere.
What sets us apart:

  • Our genuine concern that you understand the competition and the rules/restrictions
  • Our willingness to have experts help you along the way
  • We are focused on getting novice woodworkers familiar with design, and the scheduling/planning of a build
  • We are concerned with the ideal use of your time and effort
  • Our Challenges are set within strict time restraints to help simulate a real life commission example
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Rough Cut Woodworking With Tommy Mac – The Trailer!

Hey everyone! Here’s the trailer we’ve all been waiting for. Our great friend and supporter, Tommy MacDonald’s trailer for his new show with WGBH is here. This will be my first attempt at embedding a video from another source, so I’m not sure how well this will work, but please go here if it doesn’t.

Cheers!

OK, so, embedding didn’t work. Please go to the link above and check it out 🙂

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Episode 44 – Jeff Miller

Jeff Miller's Studio

Jeff Miller's Studio

Click here to play Episode 44

This past Spring I had the opportunity to sit down with Jeff Miller and talk about his career and where he is going with his custom furniture business. You can find Jeff Miller’s website at J Miller Handcrafted Furniture

Jeff Miller

Jeff Miller - In his workshop


Arch Table - Winner of the Distinguished Furniture Design Award from the Chicago Anenaeum Museum

Arch Table - Winner of the Distinguished Furniture Design Award from the Chicago Anenaeum Museum


Arch Table - Winner of the Distinguished Furniture Design Award from the Chicago Anenaeum Museum

Arch Table - Winner of the Distinguished Furniture Design Award from the Chicago Anenaeum Museum


Laminated base glass top table

Wee Sat at this table for the discussion


Laminated base confluence

We sat at this table and discussed it's construction.


We discuss 'invisible lamination'

We discuss 'invisible lamination'


Laminated Cantata Chair

Laminated Cantata Chair


Simple Dovetailed Oak Bookcase

Simple Dovetailed Oak Bookcase


Screw Chair

Not sure what Jeff named this chair, so I'll call it the Screw Chair - Surprisingly comfortable!


Timpani Table

Timpani Table


Timpani Table

Timpani Table

And now, a little tour of Jeff’s work shop. I kind of just spun around in a circle and took pictures…

Unfinished Kayak

Unfinished Kayak


Workshop - Templates

Workshop - Templates


Workshop - Huge Bandsaw

Workshop - Huge Bandsaw


Workshop

Workshop


Workshop - Wide Jointer

Workshop - Wide Jointer


Workshop - Huge Jointer

Workshop - Huge Jointer


Workshop

Workshop


Arch Table in the making

Arch Table in the making


Tools!!!

Tools!!!


This is the rocking chair that Jeff was talking about

This is the rocking chair that Jeff was talking about


This is a detail of the rocking chair that Jeff was talking about

This is a detail of the rocking chair that Jeff was talking about

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Minwax Community Craftsman Award

What’s this? Another woodworking contest that supports widespread communities by offering prizes to woodworkers for assisting others? Sounds similar to last years The Sawdust Chronicles Fall 2009 Build Challenge.

Well, you know what I have to say about that…

Good for you Minwax! I think it’s great that I’m not the only one promoting woodworkers helping out their communities. I haven’t done much (meaning anything more than 2 minutes skimming the website) research about the Minwax Community Craftsman Award, but from what I have read, it’s a great program.

Please take a few minutes (or more) and check out their program and how it can beneifit you and your community. If you enter the contest, please let me know. Maybe we can get you on the show and you can talk about the experience?

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You can’t win ’em all

You can’t win ’em all. I hear that usually from people who are on the losing end of some game, project, or generic life situation. I wouldn’t have thought that I’d be saying it to myself about this situation that my Boy Scouts Troop is in.

Here’s the nitty gritty. Our Boy Scouts Troop (T181, Downers Grove, IL) has an annual budget of about $3000, and more than $1000 of that is spent on a storage locker at one of those massive garage mazes. We store tools, gear, humanitarian effort supplies and much, much more. The storage locker is much too small for our needs, but we can’t afford to rent another one.

Luckily, the VFW post that is our sponsor (Post 503, Downers Grove, IL – of which I am a Lifetime Member) has agreed to lend us some of their land on which to place a shed. We have the dimensions all worked out to get it in under the village requirements for a building permit, and it turns out that both Lowe’s and Home Depot sell a shed with VERY similar dimensions.

Our first inclination was to build the shed ourselves and try to get a little bit of the lumber and supplies donated to us by Home Depot. I piped up and mentioned that with my popularity online, I might be able to get HD to donate the shed kit to us. A little emailing back and forth and we had a deal. We would agree to wear Home Depot aprons, pose for pictures, get the local newspaper out for pictures and a story, and we would mount a plaque on the shed recognizing Home Depot’s generosity.

When it came time for execution, our contact at Home Depot stopped returning emails and phone calls. Time for plan B.

Plan B: Contact Lowe’s and see if we could get the same deal from them. This was much more corporate and formal than Home Depot. Immediately I was put off. But, I got the proposal submitted, and waited. It took a few days, but received my rejection letter this morning. Apparently they only support Eagle projects. Good to know for the future, but it doesn’t help the Troop out as a whole.

So, as it stands, it looks like we’re going to have to do some fund-raising and purchase the lumber and supplies ourselves, and build the shed by hand. At least the Scouts will qualify for the Carpentry merit badge once we’re done. Oh, and this’ll mean no more cool events until next fiscal year.

Oh, if you’re so inclined, you can find me on Twitter at @splinteredboard, Home Depot is at @homedepot, and Lowe’s is at @lowes. I know that I’d be happy to hear from you.

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Rough Cut Woodworking with Tommy Mac

Hey everybody!

Guess what?! I just (and I mean less than 5 minutes ago) got off the phone with Tommy MacDonald. If you are reading this you should be ashamed if you don’t already know that Tommy is one of the first people to ever successfully turn a freely available podcast into a national television show.

Tommy was very excited to tell me that Woodcraft just signed on as the exclusive underwriter of Tommy’s new show, through WGBH, called ‘Rough Cut Woodworking with Tommy Mac.’ Where, up until now, there were still some loose ends to be tied up that may have hindered the show’s existence, Woodcraft’s signing on as the underwriter has solidified the deal.

I want to add something that perhaps many of you do not know. ‘Rough Cut Woodworking with Tommy Mac’ was signed to a 3 year contract. This just doesn’t happen with unproven shows on PBS. WGBH found something, something we are all familiar with, in Tommy that showed he was definitely the person to make this show work. And with a 3 year extension, I’m sure he’ll make it work for a long time to come.

Shows are expected to begin airing around October 3rd, 2010.

I can’t happier for Tommy, Eli, Al, Rachel, Neil Lamens, David Pruett, Scott Oja, the local 207, and everyone else that has supported Tommy’s efforts and made this a reality.

Good luck Tommy! And Congratulations!!!

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Episode 43 – Denis Rezendes’ Pie Crust Table

Click here to play Episode 43Click here to play Episode 43

Denis Rezendes shows off his beautiful pie crust table made from a single giant slab of bubinga. This video was lost in my archives from the New England Home Show this past February. My apologies go out to Denis!

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