This guide helps make sure you keep your fingers (and yourself) safe when working with large power tools, via tips & guidelines that encourage you to think about the force the tool is applying to the workpiece in relation to your hands and your body, not via a listicle of obvious-and-generic pointers.
The fifth in my series of tool posts, a full shop can still benefit from some small additions and upgrades - this post outlines a number of tools that don’t necessarily allow me to do anything new, but rather, allow me to do things I could already do either more quickly or with greater quality: a track saw, a large angle grinder, a domino cutter, right angle drill, a helical cutter head on my planer.
In installing a ceiling lift for my CNC, I attempted to build an auto-leveler to automatically move the gantry to keep the table balanced. What should have been an interesting but straightforward closed loop feedback system quickly got out of hand, making me one more victim who has learned the KISS principle the hard way.
Though there’s always more tools to get (and more space that’s needed), with the two major additions of a CNC and a compound sliding miter saw (and one minor addition, the miter-fold blade), the Branching Out Wood shop is now fairly well-rounded! Additionally, this post introduces some concepts - and limitations - of a three-axis CNC, and highlights the first project, a Nixie clock, that I’ll be using it on.
In this third installment of my shop tour series, I walk through a few recent additions related to my shop: dovetail jigs, and a set of giant bar clamps. The main focus, however, is veneering - both the edge-banding and vacuum press equipment that allows me to turn a sheet of MDF into a beautifully veneered panel, and the motivation for why and when one might use veneers.
Much of what I sell requires “wall power” both to validate for the customer that it works, and to attract folks to the booth in the first place. Yet selling at booths, on the street or in a festival, I am rarely provided with power, and generators are almost never allowed. This article describes the battery / inverter / solar solution I’ve put together to close this gap.
Building on the previous Shop Tour post, this article fleshes out the smaller - but no less critical - elements in a workshop: a few key handheld power tools; good personal protection including dust collection and air filtration, push sticks and feather boards; storage solutions and good shop lighting; measurement devices; and jigs, both homemade and commercial.
While the tools you need and the level of your investment in each tool depends on what you’re making for whom (and your space and budget), there’s a handful of freestanding power tools that I could not get far without: the tablesaw and bandsaw; the planer; the drill press; and the belt / disc sander. Three more tools - less frequently used, but critical when they’re needed - round out my shop: the oscillating spindle sander; the jointer; and the three-spindle router table. This article outlines why I have what I have,
Going from a few products and the idea of starting a business, to a business ready to face the world, is a lot of steps. There’s the administrative piece related to registering the business, insurance, and the like; the workshop logistics as I go from making one or two of something at a time to a few dozen; and since I’m exhibiting at shows, the preparation for that, including figuring out your tent, tables, displays, and how to get there. While everyone’s journey in this process will differ, this article shares a few of the steps along the way in my journey to get to my first show.