Category Archives: Tools

Woodworking projects, plans, techniques, tips, materials, and tool reviews

Hayden Renews her Holzapfel Workbench Top

Workbenches are meant for work. They get dirty, stained, and tell stories with the drips and drops of finish and glue. Hayden’s workbench also tells stories: of painting with chalk by rubbing her project with chalk, then wetting them with water; glue drips; glitter from school projects; and other things an almost-eight year-old woodworker would do.

Clear versus Clean

In the shop last weekend she wanted to work on some projects with custom carpentry skills. He bench was covered in tools and scraps, and I told her she couldn’t start a new project until her bench was clear. So she diligently put tools away and when her bench was clear she decided it wasn’t clean enough. I told her we could make the benchtop as good as new with some sanding and some oil.

She thought that was a great idea.

Sanding the Holzapfel

Here she is sanding the bench with the Bosch ROS. The dust collection on this sander is great, and we had fans going. I did most of the sanding while she ran in to change her clothes.

Oiling the Holzapfel

After sanding and clearing away the dust, two coats of Watco Danish Oil do the trick. We used gloves, had the door open and fans on, and disposed of the rags properly.

Now, if I can just get her to clear off my bench.

This Woodworker’s Christmas list

[Edit #1: Hayden and I went through the planet maids because we wanted to get done this break, and she’s already added more to the list]

[Edit #2: Updating what’s done]

My family has a hard time shopping for me. I have opinions about my tools, fishing gear, and tech. So this is my attempt at publishing my Christmas list for 2014 and getting your opinion on the specific brands and models too.

What I Want Most

It’s been a busy year moving into Bluebird (our new house) and getting the shop functional. I’d like time to relax, get projects done in the shop, watch the bowl games, and spend time with my family and friends. Seriously, this is what I want most. Oh… and food. Lots of food.

But Wifey has been asking me to create a list. So here it goes…


I have a ton of projects I want to get done around the house

  1. Clean up the yard before Wifey’s party – done!
  2. Assemble the firepit for the backyard (burning shop scraps)
  3. Make some Christmas decorations for yard
  4. Hang various things for Wifey and hang Hayden’s mirror on a french cleat – mostly done!
  5. Make a bunch of wooden letter Gs in various fonts and hang on the wall
  6. Fix a couple cabinet doors
  7. Get the garbage disposal installed – done!
  8. Hayden and I need to finish our spoons
  9. Smoke some meat
  10. Go through old books and clothes and donate them
  11. Finish Wifey’s crown-moulding shelves and get them up
  12. Finish Angie’s drapery rod hanger
  13. Build a bunch of marking gauges
  14. Get the guest room closet organizers installed
  15. Get the shop blinds installed – done!
  16. Get the shop lights installed
  17. Get the shop french cleat up and start on the organization
  18. Build a sanding station
  19. Build a compressor & air nailer station
  20. Build a wall-mount First Aid Kit
  21. Build a Deneb sharpening station
  22. Take the King bed to Crescent bar and get the garage clean
  23. Any home maintenance (septic system UV light, refrigerator water line, …)
    1. Septic system – done!
    2. Refrigerator water line – done!

Woodworking Related or Gifts for the Shop

  1. A dovetail marker. Lie-Nielsen or similar.
  2. A good moisture meter. Reviews on these are old. I need a recommendation.
  3. Bandsaw wheel brushes. Highland Woodworking 189104 or similar. This one looks fine.
  4. Blinds for my shop windows. Already ordered from
  5. Router Bit survival kit from Eagle America. I find myself changing bearings on bits sometimes.
  6. A killer, awesome, fantastic, ridiculous dado set.
  7. The Easy Wood Tools midi set (all three), for when I get my lathe up and running.
  8. Bessey strap clamp, you know, this one time at band clamp…
  9. These. Lots and lots of these.
  10. A cell phone holder, like this, for my truck. Gotta work with my Lumia 1020.
  11. This delicious Incra Miter Gauge 1000HD.
  12. Hot fresh coffee. Anytime from this little Keurig.
  13. A new shop TV. Yeah, I’m spoiled like that but I like the games on in the background.
  14. A drill press table with all the bells and whistles. Yeah, I have one that I made, but it’s seen better days.
  15. A spline jig. Yes, I could build one, but I want to build furniture, not shop fixtures.
  16. Another router. A smaller one with a great base. I’m thinking this DeWalt. I have a Bosch colt, but the base is poor with bad height adjustment.
  17. A belt and disc sander. I like this one from Grizzly but the table is very small and the dust collection looks shady.
  18. A new shop calendar from Lie-Nielsen.
  19. This marker is perfect. I need a bunch of these from Lee Valley.
  20. You never have enough Robertson bits.
  21. The Mk II honing guide is deluxe.
  22. At some point I’m going to need to upgrade my Drill Press. I’d love electronic variable speed and a lot of distance between the spindle and column.
  23. If I can’t get my free lathe working well, someday I’ll upgrade that. Electronic variable speed as well. Is this really an electronic variable speed lathe?
  24. I haven’t pulled the trigger on a new cyclone yet, mostly because I’m trying to find a 5HP cyclone that will work with 96″ ceiling height.

Non-Woodworking Related

  1. Anything from Tommy Bahama.
  2. BlueTooth receiver for the stereo in Crescent Bar.
  3. Tri-fold wallet.
  4. Dopp Kit (Men’s travel kit). No men’s purses please.
  5. Cool entry mats for the house and shop would be cool.
  6. Dents and rearview camera fixed on the truck.
  7. Really good binoculars for Crescent Bar.

I don’t need anything fishing related, and I don’t need any clothes. I don’t want or need any sweaters (did you read that Mom?).

The list is long enough, it already makes me look like a needy woodworker. Lately, I’ve been thinking to contact John French Landscape Design because I want them to build a small pool somewhere on our garden area. I heard they’ve been doing landscaping experience over 30 years that’s why I trust them enough.

What’s on your Christmas list?

So tell me in the comments, what’s on your list? What websites have the best gift-guides? For the things on my list above what are your opinions and recommendations? What’s on your Christmas list?

Woodchat with Jimmy DiResta’s Revised List of Top 10 Tools

Jimmy DiResta came back to Woodchat on December 11th, 2013 to answer even more questions from Woodchatters and revise his list of Top 10 Tools, based on the best DeWalt tools set.

You can also watch Jimmy and his brother John in the DIY Network series Hammered here, for free. Woodchatters also found Matthew “Rat Boy” DiResta on YouTube, here. John and Matthew have a channel as well, here.

Jimmy DiResta’s Top 10 Tools, v2.0

  1. Band saw
  2. Table saw
  3. Festool Domino
  4. Low angle block plane
  5. Pullsaw
  6. DeWalt Track Saw
  7. Mortising Chisel (gift from Nick Offerman)
  8. 16oz Estwing hammer with straight claw (the best one, according to ContractorCulture)
  9. Lathe
  10. Heavy steel bricks used for clamping stops, etc.

Also, the Woodchat videos are now here. You can watch the December 11th edition of Woodchat with Jimmy DiResta below.