Highland Staff

Jul 272021

For the July 2021 issue of Wood News Online, Bob Rummer discusses cognitive spatial ability and how it plays a role throughout the woodworking process from mentally designing and planning to actually putting pieces together.

While I grew up playing with Tinker Toys, Erector Sets and blocks (all good spatial training), my formal education in spatial skills really came in junior high shop class. Mr. Westphal taught the first shop course, Mechanical Drawing, in 7th grade. We learned how to write block letters and use triangles and T-squares. However the key skill development was how to visualize objects.

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Jul 222021

For the April 2021 issue of Wood News Online, Temple Blackwood wrote about the different types of spindle turning tools, and how they all work together with a woodturner’s skills to create something (or many things) both beautiful and functional:

One of the most satisfying reasons to hone spindle turning skills is the confidence the turner gains when turning multiple sets of chair and table legs to complete a project or turning stepped candlesticks, thin finials, or five to several hundred balusters.

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Jul 152021

For the June 2021 issue of Wood News Online, Temple discusses the emergence of the free-form approach to woodturning:

Another approach to woodturning, 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. The impressive emergence of the American Association of Woodturners, the Center for Art in Wood, dedicated galleries, shows, woodturning schools, and a number of new museums that celebrate woodturning artist/sculptors and the variety of blended or multi-media turned art forms is testament to the creative excitement.

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Jul 132021

For the June 2021 issue of Wood News Online, Norm Reid reviewed The Workbench Book:

The Workbench Book, a survey of many workbench types as designed and used by their builders, is a classic in woodworking literature. It gives the reader an encyclopedic view of the possibilities for creating a workspace tailored to one’s own requirements and so much more.

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Jun 232021

For the June 2021 issue of Wood News Online, Kevin discusses how he came up with the best proportions for his own trestle table design:

While thinking about this project, I couldn’t help but run across many of the trestle table designs available on internet image search results and videos. I noticed so many of the pieces had slightly different dimensions. Almost no designers or builders used the square block design. Their measurements were nearly arbitrary, yet many looked nice. How did they do it?

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Jun 152021

For the June 2021 issue of Wood News Online, Bob discusses the smells of the woodworking workshop. He analyzes how some of those aromas are created from the wood we work with, and shares some fond nostalgic memories brought on by those scents:

Recently, a client was picking up a piece of furniture at my house. As they were leaving, they commented, “Does your living room always smell like wood and finish?” People often comment on the smell of the shop — “I love the smell of wood shavings!” or “This reminds me of my grandpa/dad.” We appreciate wood with our senses, but we often focus on visual character (color of the wood, grain patterns) or tactile perception (smooth and glossy or textured) rather than smell.

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Jun 082021

For the May 2021 issue of Wood News Online, Temple Blackwood discusses his preference for ‘best-tool-in-the-box’, the Fingernail Gouge:

My natural preference for favorite tool is the skew chisel, But if we’re talking “best tool in the box” – my tool-for-the-day is the versatile and dexterous fingernail gouge, which in my shop comes in three different sizes: 12mm, 8mm, and 6mm.

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