Apr 172015
 

sculpted rockerIf you aren’t familiar with The Wood Whisperer Guild, now is a pretty good time to find out about it. Our friend, Marc Spagnuolo (The Wood Whisperer), has been passionate about teaching woodworking for over a decade and with modern day technology, he has found a way to spread his teaching expertise through the Guild.

Next month’s upcoming Guild Build is the Sculpted Rocker, a project designed by Charles Brock of The Highland Woodworker. This is a project near and dear to Highland Woodworking and we’ve got all the tools you need to make this project with The Wood Whisperer Guild.

Through The Wood Whisperer Guild, Marc will provide hours of detailed video instruction to building this project. While you are building, you will be able to connect with all of the other woodworkers that are working on the project at the same time as you.

Now get building!

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Apr 152015
 

My son thinks I’m a little bit strange sometimes.  He calls me often (partially to see if I’m still living), but when he called today, I told him I was in the shop testing my new wood clamps on the old bath scale.  He says, right, sure you are.  I bought a new bath scale and I thought with nothing to lose, I could use the old scale to see how much pressure clamps could generate.

Testing Setup

Testing Setup

I have some of the new Kreg Automaxx Sliding Bar Clamps from Highland.  I set up a sophisticated testing platform and a rigid test procedure to see what they would do in a head to head comparison with some of my regular clamps.  To check out the clamps, I simply clamped the scale to the saw table and read the weight on the scale.  I guess it could have been more scientific sounding if I had changed it over to kilograms, but you will have to live with pounds.

Cabinet-Maker's Clamp at 246 Pounds

Cabinet-Maker’s Clamp at 246 Pounds

My scale is rated at 300 pounds and when I cranked down with the Kreg, I had no problem at all pushing it over the top.  I tried a traditional cabinet-makers screw clamp, a cheap pipe clamp, a nice Jorgensen clamp, and just for funsies, my new leg clamp on the work bench.

I see clamps advertised as 500 pounds clamping pressure, but I never knew how different clamps compared.  Do you really need 500 pounds — I think that may squeeze the glue out of the joint.  And if it takes that much pressure to pull the joint closed you may need to refine your hand planing technique.

As you might expect, the cabinet-maker’s clamp took the most work to generate the high pressures.  The pipe clamp pushed it up there with no problem and the sliding handle at right angles is easy to twist.  Jorgensen clamps work just fine. And then my new leg vise hit 277 pounds without even cranking it down good and hard.

My New Leg Vise with Scale Clamped

My New Leg Vise with Scale Clamped

Kreg makes some good stuff, including my router table from Highland.  These Automaxx clamps are made like vise-grip pliers, but the unique feature is that you can adjust the grip to a pressure you like and then leave them set to that value.  To adjust the pressure, there is a little screw inside the handle.  If you back that screw off completely, the pressure goes all the way up to an error message on my scale, i.e., easily over 300 pounds.  If there is a problem, it is when I back the screw off completely, my hands will not fit over the handles and I could not close the clamp.  The way to use these things is to find that right spot and then leave it there — they are designed that way.

Adjustment Screw in Center of Handle

Adjustment Screw in Center of Handle

Kreg definitely makes some sweet clamps! Click here to get some of your own.

Kreg AutoMaxx Sliding Bar Clamps

Kreg AutoMaxx Sliding Bar Clamps

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Apr 092015
 

Have you ever tried traditional woodworking? If yes, you may think the process was way too long and boring, and asked yourself why you did that when you could have use power tools. Well I’m going to tell you 5 reasons I prefer it and why I think everyone that enjoys woodworking should try it out and discover [...]

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Apr 062015
 
It’s Too Big For a Dutchman - How to design an accent inlay to cover up a huge flaw

When cutting out the parts for a project, I usually start by planning my cut list to cut around the defect, or have the ugliest side of the board face towards the back. I have also filled many knotholes with epoxy, which creates a nice affect. However, before modern day epoxies it was standard practice to inlay a [...]

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Mar 312015
 
Tips from Sticks in the Mud – April Tip #3- Using the small pieces of PVC

No Southern-fried Southern boy wants to be called a Yankee, but we share the characteristics of shrewdness and thrift.  Thus, each month we include a money-saving tip.  It’s OK if you call me “cheap.”  Useful are even the smallest pieces of PVC pipe you begged from the plumbers at the construction site up the street.  [...]

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Mar 302015
 
Tips from Sticks in the Mud – April Tip #2- C-Clamp Situations

  Do you, like me, find it annoying when woodworkers find fault with this or that style clamp? One of my favorite online woodworkers/podcasters recently said, “When I first started woodworking I bought a ton of C-clamps, mostly because they were cheap.  Now I wish I had that money back.  I never use them anymore.” [...]

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