Highland Staff

Nov 302021

For the November 2021 issue of Wood News Online, Tyler Straach shows us how he built his own wooden chess board:

In the last few months, my 8 year old son has taken an interest in playing the game of chess. He learned how to play on a cheap board with plastic pieces. Combine that with the fact that I recently learned about a new local store selling many varieties of hardwood and what you have is a pretty good reason to convince the wife that you need to do some woodworking!

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Nov 232021

Temple Blackwood was recently faced with the challenge of copying an existing 20″ antique serving platter, which had been damaged, onto a mahogany blank. For the November 2021 issue of Wood News Online, describes his turning process.

The challenge of turning large diameter, thin disks on the lathe is to adequately support the work during the turning and flattening process. Because the wood is flexible, the turning must proceed from the outside in and must be supported throughout the process. With the bottom of the blank already flat, it was fairly simple to set up a jam-chuck arrangement using my oversized (18″) plywood-with-cushion faceplate to provide the support, center and mount the work with a heavy live-center on the tailstock.

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Visit the Highland Woodworking Woodturning Department

Nov 182021

For the June 2021 issue of Wood News Online, Temple discusses the emergence of the free-form approach to woodturning and how the design and turning process leads to a turned object that may or may not have a useful purpose but is still a beautiful piece of art, nonetheless.

In my experience, there seem to be two types of woodturners, or perhaps more precisely, two approaches to woodturning. The most universal and historically correct approach is the one where the artisan/craftsperson plans to make rounded utilitarian objects and architectural features. The other approach, which has become an interesting study in emerging art over the past sixty years during woodturning’s rebirth, is a free-form approach to making a variety of objet d’art which might or might not have a useful purpose.

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Visit the Highland Woodworking Woodturning Department

Nov 092021

For the November 2021 issue of Wood News Online, Bob Rummer discusses his favorite recipes for wood finishes and how making your own finishes can help you fine tune and achieve truly customized results:

We often focus on woodworking skills like planing and sawing and marking as the hallmarks of a woodworker. But there is another set of useful skills for your woodshop that are closer to chemistry class. Instead of planes and chisels, woodshop recipes call for special measuring tools, mixing jars, careful technique, and hot plates.

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Nov 042021

For the November 2021 issue of Wood News Online, Norm Reid reviewed Issue #11 of Mortise & Tenon Magazine:

Issue 11 is like its predecessors, a bit eclectic, though focused on human-centered craft and the traditions of woodworking by hand. It’s built of a variety of interesting topics around this general theme. As always, it’s richly illustrated by generous color photographs that amplify its words.

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Oct 262021

For the August 2021 issue of Wood News Online, Temple Blackwood discussed a recent project he completed for a client that involved turning 8 similar copies of a complex baluster needed for a historical staircase restoration.

During the past year and a half, much to my delight, customers from all over the country overwhelmed my email and website looking for someone willing to make an assortment of house parts, balusters, finials, newel posts, and porch post replacements. The compulsion to stay safely home and keep busy clearly led many people to tackle delayed maintenance projects of repairs, replacements, and restoration. This, in turn, created a higher demand for architectural turnings and a welcomed load of new jobs in my shop that occasionally stressed the creative challenges for packaging, shipping, and delivery.

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Oct 212021

For the October 2021 issue of Wood News Online, Bob Rummer talked about how he incorporates “honesty” into his woodshop and projects:

It’s October and you know what that means. On Halloween, the Great Walnut Burl will rise out of a toolbox in the most honest workshop in the world. He will fly around the world bringing toys to all the good children and candy for all the grown-ups. At least something like that. In the Peanuts comic strip, Linus believes in a mixed-up mash-up of Christmas, Halloween, and Easter that is based on a vegetable garden being “sincere” and free of hypocrisy. Kind of silly and cute. But how about my version? Could a woodshop be “honest”?

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