Thursday, December 18, 2014

MWA Podcast Episode 66 - The Last Minute Elf






It's only a week before Christmas so if you are like us you are scrambling in the shop trying to get those last minute gifts completed. This episode Tom and I discuss some projects we are working on and some ideas for project that you might use. 

With the support of our sponsor Gorilla Glue we are running The Last Minute Elf until the 28th of Dec. If you have a project that you are making for Christmas send us an email at iggy@tomsworkbench.com or send us a picture on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook and we will enter you for a chance to win. 





It is hard to believe we have almost finished another year hear at the Modern Woodworkers Association. It has been a great year and we really look forward to what 2015 has to offer us and the community. We would like to wish you all a very Happy Holidays and New Year. 

We would love to hear from you, send us an email or better yet leave us a voice message at 828-484-1874. Leave us a comment or question and we'll play it on air.  

Thanks again for listening!



Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Tablet Holder


Working from my desk I find that I have really started to rely on not just my computer but also my tablet and smart phone. I use the to quickly look things up or display notes that I am referencing. The issue I have always had is how to display them without just propping them up. With this in mind I started researching tablet holders and found some wonderful examples of everything from a space in a standard desk organizer to a slot in a rustic live edge board. 


In designing mine I decided to use an old piece of Locust that I've had for years and love the look of it just barely cleaned up. I wanted to keep the construction fairly simple to allow the wood to be the main focus. There are two slots, one for the tablet and another for my phone. I experimented on the width of the groove and depth to work best with my tablet and phone. I wanted them to be at about the same angle while in the holder. I roughed the grooves out with a drill and cleaned the rest of with a chisel and router plane. I wanted the bottom of the groove to by black so I tinted Gorilla Glue epoxy black, it worked great and looked exactly like I hoped. 


To give the holder a little more interest and purpose I added two slotted brackets morticed in to hold a couple of pens. The brackets and legs on the bottom are both made of Wenge. The great thing about this project is that you can personalize it to whatever you like. It was fun and will serve me well. 



I used Gorilla Glue wood glue and epoxy in this project and want to thank them as our sponsor. Be sure and check out there great line of products. 



Monday, December 8, 2014

The spirit of the season

This year, we commemorated the 100th anniversary of the War to End All Wars, World War I. Looking back at the carnage, it's amazing to think that the small actions that took place in Sarajevo in July of that year would lead to four years of misery, death and destruction on a scale that could hardly be envisioned.

And, yet, there was an act that took place in the trenches along the western front that defied logic. Early Christmas morning in 1914, British soldiers heard Christmas carols being sung in English - coming from the German lines. Wary of a possible sneak attack, the British soldiers held their positions until they could see their adversaries leaving their trenches unarmed. What happened next was nothing short of a miracle as soldiers from the warring nations exchanged gifts of cigarettes and plum pudding and sang carols together. There was even a documented case of soldiers from opposing sides playing a soccer game.


While this is an extreme case of what the holiday spirit can do, we are invited each year to do something meaningful for those we care about - or maybe even those we don't necessarily like. Oh, sure, we can easily shop online for the trendiest and most expensive gifts out there, but as woodworkers, we can do something that many others can't - we can give gifts that represent care, thought and our very own time.

Through our woodworking projects, we show our care for those who are special to us. From the thought that goes into design or selection of an appropriate plan to the choice of wood to the skill we put into making our joinery tight, each step of the crafting process reminds recipients that a real person who cares about them took the time to make something for them. 

A cutting board I built as a gift a few years back - it gets used for nearly every meal.
It will be a tangible reminder of that person every time it the gift is looked at or used. From a hope chest for a daughter, a picture frame for a newly married couple or a cutting board for a talented cook, those gifts will speak to them years into the future, and may become part of the family legacy that will outlive each of us. 


That's what the Last Minute Elf is all about - taking the time out of our busy schedules to get to our shops to make those memories. No, the projects don't have to be fancy they don't have to be elaborate or expensive. By being hand-crafted and a representation of our care, they become priceless to the recipients.


So, get out into those shops, woodworkers. Make those memories for the special people in your lives. And know that one day, many years from now, the recipient will look at your work and smile, knowing just how much time, care and love went into making that special gift for them.

Remember, we are looking for your Last Minute Elf submissions, ideas and tips - the best ones will win prizes courtesy of the Gorilla Glue Company. Be sure to send them to iggy@tomsworkbench.com.


Thursday, December 4, 2014

MWA Podcast Episode 65 - Just Around the Shop




Show Notes:

Hello, everyone and welcome to this - the 65th edition of the Modern Woodworkers Association online discussion about all things woodworking. I’m Dyami Plotke of penultimatewoodshop.com and I’ll be your host today.

This episode of the Modern Woodworkers Association podcast is sponsored by The Gorilla Glue Company - for the toughest jobs on planet earth.

What’s in the shop?
  • Chris
    • Is abandoning his shop for a tool bag
      • Chris has been making spoons
    • Chris is cutting a block of wood to hold a touch screen. He calls it a “tablet holder”  
    • Seems to think tools need to be sharp
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  • Dyami
    • Step, what step?
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    • The Dust Collector is about to suck
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  • Tom
    • His new saw is on the way
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Blog post that piqued our interest
  • This year, Marc is combining his traditional Holiday Giveaway Bash with his new The Wood Whisperer Live meetings.
  • Join him on Friday, 12/6/14 at 8:00 pm eastern

Goings on in the MWA
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This year, mark your calendars for the week of December 7 – 13 for the fun. This year, we are looking for you to submit some creative ideas for easy to build projects for the holiday season.   We are looking for you to show off your absolutely awesome ideas for holiday gifts can can be built quickly, finished easily and shipped in time to make that special someone tickled to be the lucky recipient.

We are coming up with some special prize packages for the best ideas for some different categories, including:
  • Best Turned project
  • Greenest project (using recycled materials)
  • Best project that will fit inside a large USPS flat rate shipping box (12 inches x 12 inches x 5 1/2 inches)
  • Best gift for a child
  • Best gift for an adult
  • Coolest tip to build a holiday project on time
If you think you can build something to fit one of these categories, we want to hear from you. Be sure to submit your entry – photos included – to iggy@tomsworkbench.com with the subject line that reads:  Last Minute Elf Entry no later than December 28 (we figure that you will be rushing to get the project done by December 25 or 26, and will want to spend some time with your families instead of posting pics to us… thus, the extra days!). Once we get the entries, we will read the tea leaves and pick ourselves a few winners.

Community Conversation
  • The old man is older.
    • Happy birthday to our resident shop monkey, Mr. Tom Iovino.
  • The Modern Woodworkers Phone Number
    • (828)484-1874
    • Leave us a question, comment or knock-knock joke.

Where you can they find us:
If you’re missing us already, you can subscribe to the show on itunes. Just search for the Modern Woodworkers Association. Once you’re subscribed, you’ll be sure never to miss an exciting episode. While you’re in iTunes, please leave us a 5 star rating. It helps our rank so others can more easily find us.

If you want to find out more about the Modern Woodworkers Association, be sure to visit modernwoodworkersassociation.com, follow the MWA on twitter @MWA_National, like the MWA on Facebook or circle Modern Woodworkers Association on Google+. While you’re there, join the MWA Google+ community for project sharing, discussion and loads of woodworking banter.

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Saturday, November 22, 2014

MWA Podcast Episode 64 - John Steffen





Show Notes:

Hello, everyone and welcome to this - the 64th edition of the Modern Woodworkers Association online discussion about all things woodworking. Today’s special guest is John Steffen of John Steffen Restoration. Before we get to him, let me introduce our usual panel. I'm Tom Iovino of Tom's Workbench dot com, and I'll be your host for this program.


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This episode of the Modern Woodworkers Association podcast is sponsored by The Gorilla Glue Company - for the toughest jobs on planet earth.


What’s in the shop?
  • Chris
    • Sold his shop to the man
    • Spooning in the shop with the man
    • Building a tablet stand that will display coins Chris received from the man
  • Dyami
    • The Cyclone Has Landed
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  • Tom
    • Planning a sleepy time bed build
    • Gotta start thinking about a hope chest for my niece Katie
      • Got a piece of wood from my trip up to Maryland a few weeks back from a tree she loved... going to inlay it into the lid
    • Did a video for the Gorilla glue sponsorship




Blog post that piqued our interest
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Goings on in the MWA
  • David’s a vibrant MWA member, so what the hell . . . we’ll put this wonderful news in this section
  • Today, November 19, 2014, is Todd Clippinger’s Birthday. He’s many years old.
    • http://americancraftsmanworkshop.com/


Main topic
  • John Steffen www.johnsteffen.com
  • You’re bio on your website mentions that your family’s been in the antique business for over 120 years. What is the history?
    • Grandfather had a store in England
    • Parents had stores in U.S.
    • Antique & New Furniture
    • The stores are not closed, but since 2000, they’re doing restoration
  • Describe your work at Steffen Restoration?
    • Start with pieces that are totally destroyed and falling apart.
    • Do re-finishing
  • Learned out of desperation
    • With the store, it was important to be able fix pieces
    • From there he learned woodworking
    • Went to England to learn finishes from a company that build and finished furniture professionally
  • Do you build new pieces, or just restore old pieces?
    • Mostly restoration due to customer demand
  • Is there detective work in figuring out how to restore a piece?
    • You have to be a furniture historian (conservator) in order to figure it out.
    • Start by studying furniture, then as you carefully take it apart, it will make more sense. Finally it will become habit.
  • Do about 500 to 1000 pieces per year
    • Works on about 5 pieces a day. As one piece is waiting (glue up, finish drying, etc), they move to another piece.
  • For shipping
    • They try to use their own trucks if possible
    • If a shipper is used, it is the customer’s responsibility
  • What’s your favorite type of piece to restore? What’s the most challenging?
    • Carving is the most challenging
    • His favorite are the simple pieces, shaker and craftsman
  • Using the RO 90. Sounds like your favorite sander. Do you like it?
    • I find it (and my RO 125) to be overly grippin in random orbit mode. Do you find that too?  Switched over to the Granat paper. It lasts the longest and doesn’t grab.
    • John uses the 6” Mirka RO sander. Does wet sanding with Bosch 6” Abralon sanders
  • John Steffen Restoration on Facebook


Community Conversation
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Where can they find us
If you’re missing us already, you can subscribe to the show on itunes. Just search for the Modern Woodworkers Association. Once you’re subscribed, you’ll be sure never to miss an exciting episode. While you’re in iTunes, please leave us a 5 star rating. It helps our rank so others can more easily find us.


If you want to find out more about the Modern Woodworkers Association, be sure to visit modernwoodworkersassociation.com, follow the MWA on twitter @MWA_National, like the MWA on Facebook or circle Modern Woodworkers Association on Google+. While you’re there, join the MWA Google+ community for project sharing, discussion and loads of woodworking banter.


I'm Chris Adkins of highrockwoodworking.com and @highrockww on twitter


I’m Dyami Plotke of penultimatewoodshop.com. I'm @dyamiplotke, that's @-D-Y-A-M-I-P-L-O-T-K-E on the twitters.

I'm Resident Shop Monkey, Tom Iovino of Tomsworkbench.com, and @tomsworkbench on twitter. We wish happy sawdust.