Recent comments

Re: Axes in SketchUp

Hi Dave. What happened to the video that used to be here?


Re: Shop Talk Live 45: Taking the Fun Out of Fine Woodworking

This was the first podcast I listened to and I admit that I walked away about halfway through to do some sanding because it seemed more interesting.
I guess I am with rupps and WoodworkingDaddy - but then I am not complaining because when I don't like something, I just don't tune in again. So you may not be getting this comment very often simply because those who don't like it are not listening.

Re: Templates Aid in Cutting Big Bowl Blanks

Those are kevlar shorts, right?

I am one with OneWithWood. All that care taken to keep the log from rocking on your 'v-block', to make sure it ends up balanced on the lathe and then no care taken whatsoever to protect your legs when using a chainsaw. You got the head part right, now get the leg part right, because that's the most likely place that chainsaw is going to go.

Re: Unplug Your Tools and Work by Hand

The video has nice imagery but unfortunately says nothing about what the book is about. Another book of plans and projects?

Re: Announcement: Release of CutList 4.1.6

Thanks Dave! Now I am committed to the 'soonish' timeframe.
Note that v4.1.6 mainly fixes the issues that people were having with the latest versions of Sketchup.
The html code used by the plugin had finally become outdated compared to the level expected by Sketchup and it was preventing layout from even running at all.

carlbeck - based on what you wrote, it should fit on 2 sheets as you indicate. I haven't made any changes to this part of the plugin in this release and there are still some cases which not optimize correctly - I think that is one of the cases. The reasons would bore you.
Until I can perfect this little quirk (and even after that), I do advise to use the cutlist layout as a tool. It gives an excellent starting point. My algorithm, which tries to simulate how we would ordinarily go about optimizing a layout, falls short due to the much higher cognitive ability of our brains and eyes to spot optimal! Stay tuned - it is one of the improvements on my list !

Re: Make a rabbet with a handplane

Hang on to these historical tidbits as 'woodworking in the 18th century' will soon be 'woodworking of the 21st century'

Re: MIT Students and Professor Invent Handheld CNC Router System

btw, more technical discussion available here:

Re: MIT Students and Professor Invent Handheld CNC Router System

Useless - you still have to hold it. Why not attach a gps unit to it and just program using coordinates? And it only does flat sheet goods. let's see, my woodworking consists of exactly - yes - 0 use of sheet goods requiring perfect cutouts.

I wonder how he went from wanting to make a picture frame to developing a router as a CNC device? I think he still has not solved his picture frame problem.

Re: Stephen Colbert Takes the Sizzle Out of SawStop

I've invented a sawstop for handsaws and I would like to see all handsaw manufacturers be mandated into incorporating this revolutionary product. I'm also working on a French knife stop and the butterknife stop. No one should have the right to cut their fingers off 'if they want to'.

Re: Brian Boggs Branches Out

I met Brian Boggs 6 years ago when he kindly gave me a tour of his shop in Berea and even allowed me to steam bend one of his experimental chairs. Brian is innovative, creative, a kind and generous person and a master chairmaker. It's great to see him branching out. And to any doubters out there, once you've sat in one of his chairs, you will understand how comfortable and beautiful a chair can be. Everything else you've ever sat is in a bench.

Re: AWFS Tool News: Rockler Rolls Out New Crop of Innovations

Criticism is just as useful as so called 'innovation'. If nobody likes it here, nobody will be rushing out to buy these things and product manufacturers ( ahem, do they actually manufacture anything?) - product designers will have to work harder. Product designers want this feedback, so why lighten up? American manufacturers used to be tops at innovating and producing high quality tools. I won't spend money on things I can make for myself and that were invented hundreds of years ago.

Re: Where Will You Put Your Dreamshop?

Nice tips, Dave. Too bad where my shop is going, out in the country, google maps or earth doesn't have the level of detail I would like. My shop ends up a small spec on top of a hill but it still might be useful for establishing scale relative to other structures I have in mind.

Re: AWFS Tool News: Rockler Rolls Out New Crop of Innovations

I hardly think a push stick is an innovation or anything else listed here for that matter. Mostly just commercialization of ideas that others had probably self produced to meet a need.
Lots of plastic things.

Re: Cartoon Marquetry

Dennis, many of us know your work from other forums. It's always top notch and first class and everything you do is worthy of Fine Woodworking. I'm glad to see this project here. It shows the versatility of what is possible with marquetry, having a little fun while still executing it with precision and skill. No need to ever ask permission to post your projects! Keep 'em coming...Steve

Re: Cutlists are a waste of space

Cutlists are not a waste of time, but including cutlists in magazines is probably no longer necessary if you were to provide the sketchup plans for free to subscribers.
Then, there is a range of free tools which can be used to automatically produce cutlists, board ft calculations, layouts, exploded dagrams, reports, etc.

I am the author of the free cutlist plugin for sketchup and there have been over 30,000 downloads of it in the last few years it has been released in its enhanced version.

I say computers should handle the heavy lifting of doing calculations, leaving ample room for discussion about design and construction techniques in the writeup. The digital site and accompanying data should be a companion to the printed version.

As far as cutlists go, they should be used as a guideline and they have their use in estimation and layout but I would never cut all my pieces to final size and expect it to all go together!

Cutlist for sketchup can be downloaded here:


Re: UPDATE: DVD Giveaway: Surface Preparation and Staining by Hendrik Varju

Wow, sounds like a great dvd set!

Re: CutList 4.1.1 -- A More In Depth Look

Hi DaveS48,
The first box is for the number, the second is for the units. So, for 3/32" type in 3, then select 1/32" units in the second box.

This way, any kerf size is possible ( because there are no standard kerf sizes!).

You can also use this feature for say, rough dimensioning of your parts. If you need to add extra width to your pieces to account for planing and dimensioning plus the kerf, make this even bigger. The layout still shows the finished size pieces but leaves enough space for whatever kerf you have specified.


Re: BOOK GIVEAWAY: 500 Tables (Updated with winner)

Ever since the accident, Gregory was happy just to hold a power tool.

Re: Spalt Your Own Lumber: Nutrient Supplements for Spalted Wood (e.g. beer)

I agree that nothing needs to be added and you only to create the perfect conditions if it doesn't already have it naturally.

I always get spalting on my NZ beech if left in the forest. We have a temperate climate (mild temperature) with high humidity (high MC) in the forest. High rainfall in 3 seasons out of 4 encourages moss growth which retains water like a sponge and releases it slowly keeping humidity levels high and constant throughout the year, even through a hot summer. A fallen tree will lie under the canopy ( ie: so it is in a darkish place) and spalt without any help. My only skill is to try to rescue the wood at just the right time before too much spalting takes place and it gets punky.

Re: UPDATE: Book Giveaway: Made By Hand by Tom Fidgen

Always keen to learn more about hand tool work. When the last coal fired generating plant is shut down, we'll all wish we had too!

Re: One editor's day on the road - in 28 seconds

Interesting story and good to see that the authors are woodworkers as well as the photographers but, other than proving what you say is true, the video is not that informative or interesting.

Re: Dovetail Joints in SketchUp Made Easy

Nice! This one has been in the back of my mind for some time. I imagine with a little thought and some more coding, the plugin could also do the push-pulling for you. I'll definitely have a look at this plugin!

Re: Where'd the Woodworkers Go?

Well, it's not summer everyone in the world. Here in the S. Hemisphere we are facing down the barrel of short days and cold nights. If you want more readers in the 'summer', you have only to appeal to those of us who are experiencing winter. Actually, my summer activity IS woodworking. Perhaps this is true for other people as well. In the winter, the lighting is bad and the shop is unheated so not much time is spent there and instead it's spent doing virtual woodworking online.

Steve/New Zealand

Re: Inexpensive furniture woods

Not a suggestion for a particular kind of wood or a way of getting inexpensive materials ( though many good suggestions have been presented of which I've used many ) but rather when you do get a hold of some nice wood, it makes sense to make the most of it. A bit of free technology can be used to use your materials efficiently.

I've helped develop a free plugin for Sketchup which takes your model and produces a cutlist and a cutting diagram for your selected material sizes. This could be used to minimize waste and maybe squeeze another project out of your precious stock. It works equally well on the free version of Sketchup as the pro version. So, total investment is $0.

You can learn more about it here http://steveracz.com/joomla/content/view/45/1/ and more info and discussion at http://lumberjocks.com/jocks/daltxguy/blog/5143

Re: A Quick Dovetailed Box

Hi Dave,

I can't believe no one has automated this yet with a plugin. Shouldn't this be possible? Select the ends of the components to join, specify angle, number of pins, etc and have the plugin do the rest. That would seem easier to me.

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