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Woodchat with the Wood Whisperer: Woodchat Transcript July 18th, 2012

Tonight we were joined by Marc Spagnuolo, the Wood Whisperer for a great #Woodchat. Marc discussed many things with us including his entry into woodworking, the shop he’s building, his free site and plans for the Guild. If you haven’t joined the guild, you really should. Learn everything you can and then get out in your shop and give it a try.

Woodchat Transcript July 18, 2012

@FlairWoodworks: Welcome to #woodchat! Video will be going live momentarily.

@FlairWoodworks: You can follow along with the video and #woodchat Twitter feed at http://t.co/6KYmlfiP

@JimAAshley: Evening everyone! #woodchat

@mlehikoinen: evening ladies/gents! #woodchat

@uppercutwood: welcome everyone! #woodchat

@DozersWorkshop: Evening all! #woodchat

@WatkinsWoodWork: Howdy howdy #Woodchat

@phlday: Evening everyone! #woodchat

@CoolToolShed: Hey everyone! #woodchat

@FlairWoodworks: Good evening, all! #woodchat

@mamader: evening all #woodchat

@allenworb: No more #gorillaglue prize packs for you after this week Dozer! 😉 #woodchat

@uppercutwood: Discussing what’s on the benches in each of our shops right now – Chris wiped Enduro Var on his maple table #woodchat

@superdav721: Hello everyone #woodchat

@mlehikoinen: I find the water based poly thick and sticky for ragging 🙁 #woodchat … too hard to thin

@allenworb: @uppercutwood Watco danish oil on mine. #woodchat

@WatkinsWoodWork: Just finished last coat on the sewing boxes tonight. #Woodchat

@FlairWoodworks: Here’s a picture of my table with some finish on it! #woodchat http://t.co/8eK6rTcF

@woodshaver101: I use precat lacquer and spray it with a accuspray gun and get great results #woodchat

@DozersWorkshop: Cleared a spot for a tool review for @toolselect contest http://t.co/pmuVjzuQ #woodchat

@jimabbruzzese: evening everyone #woodchat

@WatkinsWoodWork: RT @FlairWoodworks: Heres a picture of my table with some finish on it! #woodchat http://t.co/ljSOw0Rc Gorgeous Chris! #Woodchat

@FlairWoodworks: @mlehikoinen I found that with enough finish on the rag, it’s okay. If the rag’s too dry, it’s a different story. #woodchat

@asliceofwood: Hello all! #woodchat

@FlairWoodworks: @asliceofwood Hi Tim! #woodchat

@JimAAshley: I sprayed some lacquer on a test piece for first time. Look fwd to doing so on final project. #woodchat

@mlehikoinen: @FlairWoodworks what kind of rag did you use? I found cotton soaked up way too much #woodchat

@allenworb: Festool “ton of stuff” including a big dent in wallet! #woodchat

@DozersWorkshop: so @woodwhisperer, hows the build coming? #woodchat

@asliceofwood: That table looks awesome Chris. #woodchat

@FlairWoodworks: @mlehikoinen I used a cotton rag. It worked for me. #woodchat

@DozersWorkshop: and my contest link should have been for @toolselectmedia #woodchat

@lucaspeters: Hi woodchat. Looks like I’m late to the party. #woodchat

@FlairWoodworks: Thanks, Tim! RT @asliceofwood: That table looks awesome Chris. #woodchat

@FlairWoodworks: @lucaspeters Glad you made it, Lucas! #woodchat

@asliceofwood: @lucaspeters better late than never! #woodchat

@SMeekWoodworks: Hi guys! #woodchat

@FlairWoodworks: @SMeekWoodworks Hi Scott! #woodchat

@BillGriggs: Good evening woodchatters. #woodchat

@ToddInMontana: Hoy Hoy from the American Craftsman Workshop! #woodchat

@mlehikoinen: @SMeekWoodworks Hey Scott, long time no chat! #woodchat

@FlairWoodworks: We’re talking about @WoodWhisperer’s new workshop! #woodchat

@FlairWoodworks: @BillGriggs @ToddInMontana Hi Bill! Hi Todd! #woodchat

@FlairWoodworks: @Garth_TW2 Did you make it to #woodchat tonight?

@kring_l: whats up everyone sorry im late #woodchat

@BillGriggs: @FlairWoodworks Hi Chris. Todd. #woodchat

@ToddInMontana: what time did this party start? #woodchat

@FlairWoodworks: @kring_l Good evening, James! #woodchat

@Garth_TW2: I made it for the first time! Glade to be hear #woodchat

@MBWPodcast: So this is what happens on a wednesday night? #woodchat #woodchat

@FlairWoodworks: RT @MBWPodcast: So this is what happens on a wednesday night? #woodchat #woodchat

@BillGriggs: @ToddInMontana About 14 minutes ago. #woodchat

@TimChilcote: @SMeekWoodworks Unrelated to #woodchat, I never found my fireplace mantel. Need a 7-foot long, 20-inch deep piece of walnut. Thoughts?

@allenworb: damn @woodwhisperer the shop that Powermatic built?! 🙂 #woodchat

@WVWoodshed: Been a while since I made it! Hope everyone is well!!! Looking forward to #woodchat!

@BillGriggs: @TimChilcote Build it up from smaller pieces. #woodchat

@FlairWoodworks: @WoodWhisperer’s future shop: #woodchat http://t.co/NaSc0WKK

@FlairWoodworks: @WVWoodshed Hi Stephen! Good to see you again! #woodchat

@SMeekWoodworks: @TimChilcote I’ll try to ask around to see if there are any massive Walnut pieces around here. #woodchat

@asliceofwood: What was the reasoning for @WoodWhisperer to build a new shop? Did he move? #woodchat

@lucaspeters: @MBWPodcast Yep. But it’s a party now that you’re here! #woodchat

@allenworb: @woodwhisperer, how many sq/ft? #woodchat


@MBWPodcast: @asliceofwood @WoodWhisperer ‘s old house finally sold & he had to go. #woodchat #woodchat

@uppercutwood: @allenworb 1800 sf of beauty new shop #woodchat

@MBWPodcast: @lucaspeters you poor souls if my presence makes it a party LOL! #woodchat #woodchat

@asliceofwood: @MBWPodcast ahhh. I’ve been trying to keep up, but just getting little bits here and there. Thanks #woodchat

@Tumblewood: Sorry I’m late. was at G+ #woodchat

@FlairWoodworks: @MBWPodcast He’s just fluffing your feathers 🙂 @lucaspeters #woodchat

@ToddInMontana: @MBWPodcast Yah, I keep thinking that YOU are the one everybody wants at a party to insure that it stays lively;) #woodchat

@mlehikoinen: nice to have a house sell on the first day! #woodchat

@DustyDeveloper: #woodchat what up gang

@Tumblewood: You guys will be fine, Marc. #woodchat

@MBWPodcast: @WoodWhisperer …where will the build in fridge full of Grape Soda be located? #woodchat

@woodshaver101: @Tumblewood hey vic I bailed off google plus to #woodchat

@FlairWoodworks: @WVWoodshed Thanks! I’m glad to hear that. #woodchat

@BillGriggs: @Tumblewood Hi Vic. #woodchat

@MBWPodcast: We’re practically dinosaurs in the podcasting world LOL #woodchat

@Tumblewood: I really like it better over there, but this page is well set up #woodchat

@SMeekWoodworks: Had bluetooth in the rental we had. So great for streaming content in the car!! #woodchat

@Tumblewood: Chris, your table is beautiful..very nice design #woodchat

@woodshaver101: what does the woodwisperer do for a living,is he a pro woodworker #woodchat

@MBWPodcast: @ToddinMontana I hate quiet moments LOL so it’s a matter of just keep talking. #woodchat

@lucaspeters: @WoodWhisperer Dish the dirt on @MBWPodcast #woodchat

@Tumblewood: @BillGriggs Hello, Bill. How’s the evening going? #woodchat

@FlairWoodworks: @WoodWhisperer: Call ins will be a bigger part of Wood Talk Online in the future. #woodchat

@Tumblewood: I took the rest of the week and Monday off. Gonna play a bit. #woodchat

@Black_SheepWW: Hey everyone! #woodchat

@MBWPodcast: Actually we were thinking of puppets to re-enact questions and techniques. #woodchat

@BillGriggs: @Tumblewood Great the Poly finally dried. Tomorrow I carve. #woodchat

@uppercutwood: Get your woodworking questions ready for some Q&A – got challenges and need answers? Ask @Woodwhisperer #woodchat

@SMeekWoodworks: @MBWPodcast Yes!!! lol #woodchat

@Tumblewood: Matt, your sounds isn’t steady. Goes to quiet and back to good, then quiet #woodchat

@WatkinsWoodWork: Yaaaay puppets! RT @MBWPodcast: Actually we were thinking of puppets to re-enact questions and techniques. #woodchat

@Tumblewood: @MBWPodcast puppets?!?! I F$*cking LOVE puppets #woodchat

@MBWPodcast: @lucaspeters he’ll just tell you about ALL my manopause moments. #woodchat

@allenworb: @woodwhisperer, start more content syndication through established networks #woodchat

@FlairWoodworks: @Tumblewood He’s running new hardware or software. #bugs #woodchat

@superdav721: Marc you have been putting good content in the free site. We appreciate it. #woodchat

@ToddInMontana: @MBWPodcast was thinking I might stop by & install electric cords on your hand planes while I’m out that way #woodchat

@mlehikoinen: Question 🙂 If you’re routing a groove in a table top for inlay (curved), how would you go about it to fit the inlay 2 the groove? #woodchat

@MBWPodcast: @Tumblewood I’m thinking Team America style…or just retired muppets. #woodchat

@superdav721: @woodwhisperer do you still live feed from your shop? #woodchat

@SMeekWoodworks: Have the website attacks abated for Marc? #woodchat

@Tumblewood: @MBWPodcast Awesome! #woodchat

@Black_SheepWW: Todd, that would be a good April fools joke. #woodchat

@WatkinsWoodWork: @MBWPodcast Both are good #woodchat

@asliceofwood: @MBWPodcast I’d go team america #woodchat

@MBWPodcast: @ToddInMontana I’ll start buying extras for when I cut through them. #woodchat

@ToddInMontana: @Black_SheepWW Oh that would! #woodchat

@SMeekWoodworks: Props to @Underscorefunk! He rocks the designs! #woodchat

@ToddInMontana: @MBWPodcast yes, that can be a problem:) #woodchat

@allenworb: @woodwhisperer @uppercutwood there seems to be a correlation between woodworkers and digital media people folks. #woodchat

@Tumblewood: John is just a great guy in general, as is Marc. A big reason I like this community is the quality of the people. #woodchat

@MBWPodcast: @WoodWhisperer if you were a Festool tool, which one would you be? #woodchat

@uppercutwood: Ha! RT @ToddInMontana: @MBWPodcast was thinking I might stop by & install electric cords on your hand planes while Im out that way #woodchat

@mlehikoinen: it’s about 3/16 #woodchat

@WVWoodshed: Where or what is the best method for following along at #woodchat? I am trying to utilize my iPhone!

@FlairWoodworks: Here’s what an inlay kit looks like: http://t.co/bsMndvzf #woodchat

@FlairWoodworks: @mlehikoinen You could rout the groove, then bend it to fit in if the curve isn’t too severe. #woodchat

@MBWPodcast: @uppercutwood that could be shocking with my metal bodied planes LOL!!! #woodchat

@BillGriggs: @woodwhisperer How many people in your film crew? #woodchat

@FlairWoodworks: @WVWoodshed From here, with a computer: http://t.co/XwSA87MB #woodchat

@mlehikoinen: @FlairWoodworks Thanks Chris … always nice to get a 2nd opinion 🙂 #woodchat

@Tumblewood: @WVWoodshed http://t.co/GFx6s6Aj #woodchat

@SMeekWoodworks: @MBWPodcast I could help you with that metal problem. 😉 #woodchat

@superdav721: @woodwhisperer What type of Japanese Chisels do you own? #woodchat

@FlairWoodworks: Good one, Scott! RT @SMeekWoodworks: @MBWPodcast I could help you with that metal problem. 😉 #woodchat

@MBWPodcast: @BillGriggs probably the same as at MBW…3…me, myself and I CHORTLE #woodchat

@JimAAshley: I wonder if our facilities dept would allow dog holes in my cube desk. #woodchat

@uppercutwood: RT @Tumblewood: John is just a great guy in general, as is Marc. A big reason I like this community is the quality of the people. #woodchat

@FlairWoodworks: @JimAAshley Call them holes for wires? #woodchat

@Black_SheepWW: @MBWPodcast @uppercutwood Matt, just wear some heavy rubber gloves, you’ll be fine! #woodchat

@MBWPodcast: @SMeekWoodworks I think I could sell the safety aspect to the wife if that was the case. “I won’t get fried if I use them…” #woodchat

@Tumblewood: XL700! Duh #woodchat

@MBWPodcast: @WoodWhisperer a big hairy domino at that!!! #woodchat

@JimAAshley: @FlairWoodworks there you go… mulit monitor setup requires proper cable management #woodchat

@woodshaver101: how long as marc been he donewoodworking and what training has #woodchat

@MBWPodcast: @Black_SheepWW stand on a rubber mat too and I’m all set. #woodchat

@SMeekWoodworks: @MBWPodcast That is a winning argument my friend. So which should fill out the order for? hehe #woodchat

@asliceofwood: @JimAAshley put in an end vise and hidden tool chest? #woodchat

@DustyDeveloper: #woodchat anyway to get the video feed on an iPad?

@Tumblewood: @woodshaver101 Mark, he has a good bio page that covers that. In case they don’t talk about it #woodchat

@BillGriggs: @uppercutwood Tell the story about how you nearly got killed. #woodchat

@FlairWoodworks: It sounds like @uppercutwood is saying “Ross”. What he means is ROS = Random Orbit Sander. #woodchat

@MBWPodcast: @SMeekWoodworks yes #woodchat

@FlairWoodworks: Can anybody answer this? RT @DustyDeveloper: #woodchat anyway to get the video feed on an iPad?

@woodshaver101: @Tumblewood thanks vic i will have to check it out #woodchat

@Tumblewood: @DustyDeveloper I don’t know if this broadcast over youtube, or just posts after #woodchat

@JimAAshley: @asliceofwood you bet… disguise it as a typical cubicle file cabinet… vise might be more tricky. #woodchat

@sleepydogwood: I almost bought a 608 bedrock at an auction last weekend but got out bidded #Woodchat

@MBWPodcast: A mess up when you’re solo filming is extremely frustrating! #woodchat

@uppercutwood: @FlairWoodworks @dustydeveloper iPad doesnt’ support Flash, and youtube is currently all Flash #woodchat

@FlairWoodworks: @WoodWhisperer has been woodworking for 10-12 years. How long have you been woodworking? #woodchat

@uppercutwood: @Tumblewood broadcasting on youtube now #woodchat


@asliceofwood: @JimAAshley Hide it behind a tall trash can #woodchat

@FlairWoodworks: Because there’s nobody to blame? RT @MBWPodcast: A mess up when you’re solo filming is extremely frustrating! #woodchat

@Tumblewood: @uppercutwood well..there ya go #woodchat

@BillGriggs: @MBWPodcast Tell me about it. #woodchat

@allenworb: @woodwhisperer what is the price range of building a separate building like that? #woodchat

@uppercutwood: Yes RT @FlairWoodworks It sounds like @uppercutwood is saying “Ross”. What he means is ROS = Random Orbit Sander. #woodchat

@mlehikoinen: @WoodWhisperer miserable … that sounds familiar … then I was laid off and started being my own boss … Love it! #woodchat

@MBWPodcast: @FlairWoodworks Nope…because you keep telling the idiot making the mistake to knock it off and he never listens! #woodchat

@ToddInMontana: @uppercutwood How do you broadcast a text chat on YouTube? #woodchat

@uppercutwood: @ToddInMontana text isn’t broadcast on youtube, video is. text + video at http://t.co/Dmt3o9XS #woodchat

@Tumblewood: @ToddInMontana I think he’s putting the text in as the cc language #woodchat

@JimAAshley: @asliceofwood good idea, gotta find one tall enough… or maybe call vise handle laptop bag hanger. #woodchat

@uppercutwood: Yes. I wrote a custom app for that RT @Tumblewood: @ToddInMontana I think hes putting the text in as the cc language #woodchat

@superdav721: @woodwhisperer for advanced studies where do recommend starting? #woodchat

@asliceofwood: @JimAAshley haha a laptop bag hanger…..thats got to work. #woodchat

@SMeekWoodworks: I recommend that @woodwhisperer come out East to Asheville for a class at #GPDAcademy #blatantshill #woodchat

@ToddInMontana: @superdav721 Time In YOUR SHOP! #woodchat

@FlairWoodworks: RT @ToddInMontana: @superdav721 Time In YOUR SHOP! #woodchat

@Tumblewood: @SMeekWoodworks Good luck getting him to fly there. He don’t like that! #woodchat

@superdav721: @ToddInMontana you have that right Todd #woodchat

@asliceofwood: I second that RT @SMeekWoodworks I recommend that @woodwhisperer come out East to Asheville for a class at #GPDAcademy #blatantsh #woodchat

@WatkinsWoodWork: I agree wholeheartedly. Classes are good but will never replace practice. RT @ToddInMontana: @superdav721 Time In YOUR SHOP! #woodchat

@MBWPodcast: @WoodWhisperer a book report #woodchat

@JimAAshley: @asliceofwood I’ll go with it! lol #woodchat

@ToddInMontana: @superdav721 I hope you didn’t think I was yelling at you I was merely being emphatic 🙂 #woodchat

@mlehikoinen: Not just practice, but pushing yourself to try new techniques as well #woodchat

@Tumblewood: @WatkinsWoodWork Once I was able to have a hands on class, I will definitely do more. #woodchat

@superdav721: @WatkinsWoodWork I am running into dead ends on the learning. I need new paths. #woodchat

@Tumblewood: The new guild will allow you that #woodchat

@allenworb: @woodwhisperer evolve the guild into some sort of co-creation format with other enthusiasts #woodchat

@Black_SheepWW: @Tumblewood @WatkinsWoodWork I took a few classes with Jeff Miller and it help out a lot. #woodchat

@SMeekWoodworks: @superdav721 @WatkinsWoodWork I’ve learned more through teaching WW than I feel that I ever learned when being taught. #woodchat

@superdav721: @ToddInMontana Todd none taken. We are all friends here. #woodchat

@FlairWoodworks: @allenworb That’s a really interesting idea. #woodchat

@Tumblewood: Marc is a really good critical thinker, which I think is half the battle in doing good woodworking. #woodchat

@SMeekWoodworks: superdav721 @WatkinsWoodWork Hopefully that made sense… #woodchat

@ToddInMontana: @superdav721 Oy! #woodchat

@asliceofwood: @superdav721 How long have you been woodworking? #woodchat

@uppercutwood: RT @SMeekWoodworks Ive learned more through teaching WW than I feel that I ever learned when being taught. #woodchat

@BillGriggs: RT @Tumblewood: Marc is a really good critical thinker, which I think is half the battle in doing good woodworking. #woodchat

@allenworb: @FlairWoodworks @woodwhisperer integrate guest experts into the guild build. Jeff Miller for design or lamination work for example #woodchat

@superdav721: @asliceofwood since I was a teenager. I am now 43. #woodchat

@WatkinsWoodWork: Sure did RT @SMeekWoodworks: superdav721 @WatkinsWoodWork Hopefully that made sense… #woodchat

@uppercutwood: RT @Tumblewood: @Woodwhisperer is a really good critical thinker, which I think is half the battle in doing good woodworking. #woodchat

@superdav721: @SMeekWoodworks I shall test that with my grandson #woodchat

@sleepydogwood: He™s my woodworking podfather #woodchat

@superdav721: @WatkinsWoodWork it did #woodchat

@Tumblewood: appreciated…very much #woodchat

@Tumblewood: Tom Buhl is incredibly talented. Fantastic design sense. #woodchat

@sleepydogwood: Podfather – 1st person you follow on twitter #woodchat

@BillGriggs: @Tumblewood Well deserved. #woodchat

@allenworb: @woodwhisperer check out Jeff Miller for chair design and bent lamination stuff. featured tons on @pweditors #woodchat

@Tumblewood: Tom’s shop is very well thought out. #woodchat

@SMeekWoodworks: Hurray for the small shop! #woodchat

@Tumblewood: Yes..Belize..100yr old mahogany #woodchat

@mlehikoinen: I’ll always have a special place in my heart for my starting shop (200 sq ft), but I have to grow to a bigger shop for my business #woodchat

@Tumblewood: Journey Don’t Stop Believing by a polka band..lol SERIOUSLY!! #woodchat

@SMeekWoodworks: @mlehikoinen That’s great that you are growing! #woodchat

@mlehikoinen: @SMeekWoodworks thanks 🙂 hoping to have a lease agreement in my hands by Friday #woodchat

@FlairWoodworks: If you haven’t seen @WoodWhisperer’s temporary shop while his new one is being built, watch this video: http://t.co/FOMp5nps #woodchat

@Tumblewood: At this point in your career, would you even consider a TV offer, other than to advert the TWW? #woodchat

@superdav721: Thanks everybody, great show, thanks Marc and thank you hosts. #woodchat

@Tumblewood: I would have paid about 120K for my shop..but, I chose to spend a lot of years building. Wish I’d paid up front. #woodchat

@BillGriggs: @woodwhisperer Do you plan to add CNC? #woodchat

@Tumblewood: That wasn’t my question. #woodchat

@sleepydogwood: I rent a building in the end it works for me #woodchat

@woodshaver101: my shop is 100 yrs old carriage house with a upstairs work area and a machine room below,small but works out #woodchat

@uppercutwood: @Tumblewood did it get answered in this discussion anyway? #woodchat

@DavidJUlschmid: RT @WatkinsWoodWork: RT @FlairWoodworks: Heres a picture of my table with some finish on it! #woodchat http://t.co/ljSOw0Rc Gorgeous Chris! #Woodchat

@HighRockWW: #woodchat sorry we missed tonight but it looked like a great chat!

@ToddInMontana: @superdav721 @WatkinsWoodWork I will admit on many things that live instruction is quite helpful when information is laid out well #woodchat

@asliceofwood: Thanks Marc! #woodchat

@mlehikoinen: great show this week guys! Thanks @WoodWhisperer and the #woodchat hosts 🙂 Respect!

@ToddInMontana: @superdav721 @WatkinsWoodWork Plus it is inspiring and energizing to be around other woodworkers & guys really “doing it” #woodchat

@FlairWoodworks: RT @mlehikoinen: great show this week guys! Thanks @WoodWhisperer and the #woodchat hosts 🙂 Respect!

@asliceofwood: Night everyone #woodchat

@SMeekWoodworks: Thanks for hanging out in #woodchat @woodwhisperer! #woodchat

@kring_l: great show thanks everyone and to @woodwhisperer see you on the guild when i sign up in a week or so #woodchat

@woodshaver101: great woodchat tonight,thanks guys see you next week #woodchat

@BillGriggs: @woodwhisperer Just let me know buddy. I can help you with CNC. #woodchat

@Tumblewood: LOL! #woodchat

@superdav721: @ToddInMontana I have been thinking of classes, i guess that will be my next step. #woodchat

@WatkinsWoodWork: Catch u guys later #woodchat

@superdav721: @ToddInMontana I agree #woodchat

@ToddInMontana: @superdav721 I have never taken a class I think it would be fun #woodchat

@JimAAshley: Great #woodchat tonight guys! Thanks Marc @WoodWhisperer!

@CoolToolShed: Good content and good times! Thanks! #woodchat

@phlday: Later everybody #woodchat

@JimAAshley: Have a great night everyone #woodchat

@BillGriggs: Great woodchat tonight. #woodchat

@Tumblewood: Great show Matt and Chris!!! Thanks for showin’, Marc!! Good interview. #woodchat

@lucaspeters: Later guys! #woodchat

@Tumblewood: Night all #woodchat

@FlairWoodworks: Thanks for coming to #woodchat!

@superdav721: @ToddInMontana I will need to stick to the east coast. I dont like flying. #woodchat

Video Post #6: USFA Trophy Bases: Cutting the Miters and Clamping Square

I’ve made a lot of progress on the Trophy Bases this week, as you’ve seen in my recent posts. After ensuring my miter gauge was perfectly square to my blade and my blade was 45° to my table it was time to batch out the sides for the trophy bases. These are just 8” x 8” boxes with mitered corners. After laying out the pieces on the board, I numbered them to keep them in sequence and rough cut them to length with the miter saw. Then I mitered one end on the table saw using a stop block to ensure the piece didn’t slide along the miter gauge fence. When that was done I moved the stop block to the correct length, flipped the pieces around, and cut the other miter.

IMG_0733

Here’s a tip: after you rough cut the pieces they may be different lengths. When you cut that first miter, you’ll want to use a stop block for extra precision, but you don’t want to move it for every piece. In your stack of four boards, find out which is shortest, and set the stop block for that piece. You can then cut the miter on all four pieces precisely without moving the stop block.

Clamping Square

To clamp the pieces I lay them out on my bench, inside face down, in sequence. I then use (lots) of blue painters tape to pull the edges together tightly. When the pieces are held together I stand them on edge and check the dry fit and make any adjustments. You can tell you’ve made the tape tight when they sort of snap or pop into place. After the dry fit I lay them back on bench, this time inside face up, and brush glue onto all the miters. The whole assembly then rolls up and the last joint gets taped. I check for square and twist, and while I go cut the miters on the next box, I clamp the box to a board held in my bench vise. This helped keep the assembly square while the glue set.

IMG_0740

When the next box was ready for glue up, I removed the previous box from the clamps and stacked it on the jointer table.

IMG_0738

Here two boxes are done and waiting for their glue to dry so they can get cleaned up.

IMG_0743

After going through lots of blue tape, all six boxes are done.

Tight Miters

So how did they turn out? Check out the video to see a nice, tight, grain-wrapped miter, and please – leave a comment it would be great to hear from you!

Out-takes from the Upper Cut Woodworks feature on Tom’s Workbench

Recently I had the honor of being featured on Tom Iovino’s blog, Tom’s Workbench. Tom and I had a great conversation and I thought I’d share some outtakes.

Q: Did you ever take shop class?

I did take a wood shop class in Junior High, but I had forgotten about it until you asked. I don’t remember one thing from that class. I never took shop class in high school because the shop teacher was also my wrestling coach and I figured that I had enough of him at wrestling practice. If you met him, you’d agree.

Q: What was your first “real” woodworking project?

I built my first “real” woodworking project when I was young, married, broke, and in college. Our bathroom was small and had no storage, so I built a little over john cabinet. My father-in-law at the time was good with tools and built all the fixtures and furniture for his wife’s retail flower shop. He let me use the tools in his garage including his old table saw. The cabinet was built of pine with two shelves, a towel bar, and a little cupboard for storage. When I graduated and moved out I sold it to the next family that moved in.

Q: What is your shop like?

My shop is in our three car garage here at the house. I share the space with my wife’s car and some household storage, so I get a section that is about 25’ x 20’. I’m lucky that there are no posts so the space is wide open with two big windows for natural light. I bought this house new and when I moved in I had the walls insulated & painted, the floors epoxied, lots of lighting and outlets installed, and a little gas stove installed for heat. I take most of my time off from my real job in the winter, so it’s great to have a warm and well-lit shop to work in. I’ll spend time this winter working on a shop redesign to utilize the space better. I’ve been thinking a lot about the flow of work, materials, and projects in the shop. I’d like to have an efficient setup that allows me to work on multiple projects. I’m getting ankle surgery this winter to repair a tendon split and remove a bone spur so that might slow me down a bit.

Q: What’s in your power tool collection?

Here’s my power-tool list, I’m getting ready to do some upgrades especially for the jointer and planer:

Q: What’s in your hand tool collection?

My first important acquisition for hand tool use was my big Sjoberg’s Workbench that I’ve had for ten years. I also have some quality hand tools from Veritas and Lie-Nielsen and some great old Stanley Everlasting chisels that I got at this year’s Woodworking in America conference. They have been a joy to use and are accurate and fast. Here’s some of the hand tools I use most often.

  • Lie-Nielsen progressive pitch dovetail saw
  • Lie-Nielsen crosscut saw
  • Old Stanley planes that are in various states of being restored
  • New Stanley Sweetheart #4
  • New Stanley Sweetheart block plane
  • Veritas router plane
  • Stanley Everlasting chisels
  • Tommy MacDonald marking gauge, mallet
  • Starrett comination square

What do you hope your readers get from your blog?

When I think about my readers, I put them into different buckets and have different goals for each:

Woodworkers
I hope woodworkers are inspired to start their own business & blog, find some of the information they need to be successful, and spend more time in the shop trying new things. Many woodworkers have great build skills, but don’t know where to start when starting a business: S-Corp, LLC, or Sole Proprietorship? How do I get a bank account? How do I get discounts on materials? How do I keep the tax man off my back? How do I define and build a brand and what does that even mean? What is the deal with Quickbooks?

Potential Customers
I want potential customers to understand all the advantages of working with small woodworking shops: co-designing their piece; custom dimensions; selecting the materials, finishes, fixtures, and hardware; the quality and safety of the materials and finishes; the ability to make changes during the build; watching the build as it progresses; and even visiting the shop. I would like to see families buy furniture from skilled local woodworkers. I think that’s better for the economy and environment, and those families will get better products as well. And after they understand all of those advantages, I want their business!

Current Customers
Current customers get to watch the progress of their projects with blog updates. I’m only posting text and pictures, but in the future I’ll likely add video. They are participating in the design and watching the work progress from material selection to finishing, they are already writing the story about their future heirloom. All of this adds value to the piece and the customer relationship, and I want the customer relationship to be ongoing and span many years and many projects.

My next target customer is tool and accessory manufacturers. I have a lot of experience building software projects and thinking through user scenarios. Almost every tool I use – cheap or expensive – could be improved. Instead of getting into the tool review business, I’d like to partner with manufacturers to refine their tools before they take them to market. There are so many tools that could really go from good to great with just a little bit more refinement. I can list some examples if you’d like.

Q: Now that you are a member of the online woodworking blogger community, how has that affected the way you work?  Do you find yourself building projects or doing techniques specifically for the web?

I haven’t built or bought anything just for the blog yet. I try to only build projects for myself or for customers, and I try to buy materials, supplies, or tools only when I need them for a project. That’s new for me, in the past I would by the popular tools even if I didn’t need them. I’ve been slowly selling off or giving away that stuff. My biscuit jointer is next to go.

The business and website have affected the way I work in some small ways. Because I want to produce content for the web on a fairly regular schedule, I need to set aside shop time every week and also set aside time to update the blog. Sunday night has been shop night for me and I often post later that night. Blogging has also affected how clean and organized I keep my shop. You can’t take pictures or have customers in the shop if it’s messy. I’ve always struggled with keeping the shop clean, and I can hear my Grandpa in my ear telling me to clean up, so I’m glad that blogging helps me put things away.

I do have a reader that has asked me to explain how I build and use my router sled, so I will blog more about that. I’ll build a new router sled to document the process, and I might shoot video as well. All those guys buying straight bit sets of various sizes, including those sized for plywood, are wasting their money. You can create perfect dadoes of any size with just one router bit.

Q: What do you enjoy most about woodworking?

I believe that we’re intended to work hard and enjoy it. But work can get frustrating when you don’t feel like you’re making progress. So I break the work up into steps and work through them. I build software all week, and you can’t hold that in your hand, see it, or smell it, so I really enjoy how woodworking feeds my senses. When the work is flowing smoothly and you’re making progress, nothing feels better. It’s pretty cool to see a pile of rough lumber turn into a beautiful table or chest of drawers. Someday I want to start from a tree.

Q: What do you enjoy the least about woodworking?

I used to hate finishing. It involved too much sanding, filling screw or nail holes, putty & wood filler, blotchy stain, and bubbly or brushmarked top coats. I hated it so much I had to change things up, and that meant either hiring someone to do the finishing work or figuring out how to do it well without all the frustration. So I’ve changed the way I work, with better woods, better techniques (so fewer screw holes and no putty), and a finishing process that works for me. Marc Spagnuolo’s blog and podcasts were really helpful, and now I really enjoy that last step.

So now the part I hate is what I call the Woodworker’s Squaredance. When you have a smaller shop and share it with a car and family storage, and you combine that with a suboptimal setup, you are forced to do the dance. In Computer Science we call this switching cost. It’s the time you spend not doing work, but changing context by moving tools, materials, or the project around. It slows down the work, interrupts the flow, and can lead to mistakes, compromises, and potentially unsafe situations. When I can’t get into the flow, I stop and do something else

Q: What does the future hold for you, Matt?

The immediate future is about refinement – taking small deliberate steps to improve the business, the blog, my shop, and my work. I attended Woodworking in America this year for the first time and loved it. I want to connect more with my craft and understand the history including the tools and historical figures. I want to contribute more to the growing woodworker community. And I want to explore more styles and designs and begin to develop my own style and signature design elements. I’ll be experimenting with new and more unusual materials like Kirei board and I’d also like to try some reclaimed woods, high end woods like those from Artisan lumber, and veneers. Neil Lamens has posted great videos about veneering and now I’m really inspired to look into it. Although I don’t think I’ll be using MDF as a substrate – I hate that stuff.

I am a bit worried about the CPSIA and the impact it could have on small shops. I’ve signed the Handmade Toy Alliance petition and joined up as a member. I hope the laws can be improved to keep customers safe without smothering small business. I don’t want the CPSIA to be expanded and push small shops out of business. We need a woodworker in Congress.

When my skills are ready and I can dedicate the time, I’d love to take on some larger and more detailed pieces. Tommy MacDonald has done some amazing reproductions, and I really like the way he works. I’m interested in the Federal and Prairie styles, they are totally different, but both are very American and very cool. I was introduced to Frank Lloyd Wright and the Prairie style while working on my first project at Microsoft (a multimedia CD-ROM title called The Ultimate Frank Lloyd Wright). Eventually I’ll develop my own style, but for me that begins with exploring other styles and trying things out.