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Jewelry Chest

The doors were made of a piece of claro walnut from the tree's grafts site, resawn to 1/8" and then vacuum veneered to a solid walnut core. The curved side supports are black walnut with a mild curl...

Jewelry Box in Curly Maple and Padauk

The lid inlay is colored epoxy. It is a design taken from a medallion on a serving table excavated form the Midas Tumulus, ca. 800 BC, in Turkey. My goal was to make an elegant yet functional jewelry...

Recent comments

Re: Screw Threads in SketchUp

Dave, even though I have no need to be able to draw anything like this, there are still a lot of great tips that will come in handy. Thanks for the great tutorial.


Re: A Step Stool With Box Joints and Loose Tenons


I have been using Sketchup for about 8 years, and I still learn at least one or two tricks or shortcuts in your videos and tutorials. Perhaps the most valuable lessons pertain to workflow, and this project is an excellent example of putting the basic Sketchup tools to work in and efficient and logical manner. Thanks for all of your efforts, and keep them coming.


Re: Details -- Inserting an Ebony Spline

Outstanding tutorial, Dave. I do a lot of G&G work, and making these splines and the associated geometry in Sketchup has always been a little tedious. There are some great tips and tricks that you have shown that simplify the process considerably. Now all you have to do is make the splines in the shop, and that is an entirely different matter. (-;


Re: Set-up for Cornice Cove Cut on Table Saw

Tom, that is a really slick and simple way to set up the table saw for a cove cut. I don't do this often, and it has always been a fussy operation , but no more. I have used Sketchup for other table saw setups, and will add this to the armamentarium. Thanks for the tutorial.

Re: Checking a Plane Angle - in SketchUp?


Thanks for this tip. As a handplane user for 35+ years, I have always known that skewing the plane resulted in a decrease of the cutting angle, but I never took the time to figure out how much the angle actually changed. I have used Sktetchup in a similar fashion to solve shop problems involving compound angles.

With regard to the tear out issue that you raised, in my experience skewing the blade actually decreases tear out. This is counter intuitive, since the cutting angle is decreased as you noted. However, skewing the blade also changes the angle of attack of the blade relative to the grain direction, producing a shearing cut, a more grain friendly situation I believe. I have noted this result with skewed rabbet and block planes.

Thanks for again demonstrating the versatility of Sketchup as not only a tool for design, but also as a shop problem solver.


Re: Lessons From A Delivery Guy: How to Build Durable Furniture

It seems to me that the title of this topic implies that there is a lot of furniture out there that is poorly constructed. If a piece is constructed in the right way, with well fitted, quality joinery, and properly finished, what else can one do? One of a kind, or limited production custom furniture should be built without compromise. It is not reasonable to alter the design simply to make it sturdier or stronger. If the work is delicate, then it simply needs to be prepared for shipping properly, and this means building a custom crate or box.

This all seems so straightforward to me, but maybe I'm missing something.


Re: Are CNC machines ready for Fine Woodworking?

I have been woodworking for over 30 years, and I design everything that I make myself. I have had a ShopBot for about 3 years. I use it like I use any other tool in my shop. If something is best done by hand, I'll do it by hand. If the band saw, table saw, or router is best, I'll do it that way. If the CNC will do it best, I'll use it. My point is that the CNC machine is simply a tool. It only does what the operator tells it to do. It doesn't design, and it doesn't substitute for craftsmanship. I think there is the mistaken impression that you can stick a few pieces of wood on the machine, and presto, you have a piece of furniture.

What's the difference in making mortises using a router with a template, a Multi-Router, a mortising machine, or a CNC? When you think about it, there isn't really any substantive difference. Sure, you can chop the mortise by hand, and if there is only one to do, I'll do it that way. But if you have to do over 50, as there are in a sideboard that I'm currently building, using the CNC machine is far more efficient. Once everything is assembled, no one will see the mortises anyway. Even if they could, would they be able to distinguish them from other machined type mortises? I doubt it.

I enjoy hand woodworking. I like the peacefulness associated with it, and the pride that skillful work brings. But, I also think that being practical has it's place. I think that by any measure, my work would be considered "fine woodworking." The fact that some operations employ CNC technology has nothing to do with it in my opinion. How many woodworkers actually build using hand tools alone, and I mean from the felling of the tree with an ax all the way to the finished product. I would propose that there aren't too many. The point is that most of us use power tools to some extent. They are an extension of our capabilities, and a CNC machine is simply one more power tool.

Any tool, no matter how simple or sophisticated, is no better than the workman using it.


Re: Custom box

Good work, very creative and imaginative. I like the finials, and the "drip spot" below.


Re: Jewelry Box in Curly Maple and Padauk


Thanks for the compliment. I did the inlay recess with a CNC router, ShopBot to be specific.


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