Kelley Bagby

I grew up around woodworking tools (see picture, age 4-5ish) but only recently started doing some of my own woodworking.

Jul 112012

The July issue of Wood News Online is now available. If you are suffering from woodworking daydreams while you are stuck at work, this may be just the distraction you need. Or it may just make your daydreams worse!

Steven Johnson, our Down to Earth Woodworker, has been experimenting this month to try to settle the controversy about putting finishing rags in a plastic bag – take a look at his column to see what he learned!

We’ve also got another great woodworking book review from J. Norman Reid – this month he is reading Blanket Chests – a book that he says has inspired him to ‘a higher level of craftsmanship’.

And speaking of a higher level of craftsmanship, this month we caught up with Charlie Kested, the Navy Veteran who carved the entire Declaration of Independence with his scrollsaw. See what he is doing now, and much more in our July issue! Go take a look!

Jun 152012

Have you read the June issue of Wood News yet?

Steven Johnson has a great story in his Down to Earth Woodworker column this month about a topic many of us can identify with – that friend or family member who wreaks havoc on your tools when he or she borrows them, also known as ‘The Destroyer of Tools’, according to Steve. Read an excerpt from his column below and click the link to read the whole thing – a great diversion for your Friday afternoon!

Need a place to crash? No problem, mi casa, su casa. Hungry? Come sit a spell, have a snack. Need wheels? Take my truck. Need a tool? Fuhget about it!

It is hard to say “no” to a friend…even harder with family. But loaning out a tool sends a shiver through my body and mind. My experiences have not been good. And there is one guy whose tool borrowing entreaties can actually evoke emotions that the world champion of poker couldn’t hide.

Read Steve’s thoughts and suggestions for dealing with your own ‘Destroyer of Tools’ here.

And click here to see the June issue of Wood News Online.

Jun 032012

We were happy to get a visit from the Modern Woodworker’s Association a few weeks ago. Our WebTV woodworking teacher Morton is a member, and when he was the special guest at our one day sale earlier in the month, a large group from the MWA took the opportunity to pay him a visit. Always good to have an excuse to come to Highland Woodworking!

 We love when woodworking groups visit the store – often it seems that woodworking is done solo in our own shops and basements, so we encourage you to use every opportunity to make it more social!

May 232012

Congratulations to Jacob Coulter of Waukee, Iowa on winning Highland Woodworking’s 2012 Lie-Nielsen Hand Tool Giveaway!

Jacob won a #60-1/2 Low Angle Adjustable Mouth Block Plane, a #4 Ductile Cast Iron Smooth Plane, a #62 Low Angle Jack Plane and a set of 5 Bevel Edged Socket Chisels! He took a few minutes out of his busy schedule (he just had twins!) to chat with us about winning the contest and his plans for using his new hand tools:

HW: Can you give us a history of your own woodworking? What types of woodworking do you do? How did you get started?

Jacob: I started woodworking as a child with my father. Our first real project was building 3 rocking horses, one for us and 2 to give away. After growing up, I spent most of my time on construction projects and a couple of built-ins. When my own kids started getting big enough, I decided to build 3 again. After that, I built a child’s table and benches that get daily use and helped my brother-in-law Joe build a few end tables.

I had always been a power tool user, but cutting wide bevels and fitting pieces on the rocking horses opened my eyes to how well hand tools work. I lucked out at an auction and managed to get a few nice 100+ year old planes and, after a lot of trial and error, learned how to use them. Internet forums are a great source of information for this.

I’ve been moving more and more into hand tools. I even sold my table saw!

My 14 year old brother-in-law Jack visited us for a month and we worked on several projects, digging into hand tool use – TV trays, a work-box, and a bench hook to name a few. I was able to set him up with a basic set of tools, and it is amazing to see him work with them. It brings me a lot of joy to be able to pass on these skills.

I also have 5 children of my own (not bad at 29!) and they love getting there hands into everything. Even my 2 year old love’s using a spokeshave! Hand tools allow 3 of my children to be in the shop working with me. My 5 day old twins will have to wait a little longer for shop time though!

 HW: How did you find out about the contest?

Jacob: Once I learned about decent hand tools, Highland Woodworking came up again and again so I’ve spent a lot of time on your website. I was really excited when I saw the banner add for the contest.

HW: Can you describe your reaction on finding out that you won?

Jacob: I really had difficulty believing I’d won! It is quite an awesome prize. I never expected to own tools of this quality. I’ve definitely ogled them for a while, but never thought I’d own them!

HW: What do you plan on using your new tools for? What will you do first?

Jacob: First thing will be completing my wife’s nightstand, which unfortunately is several years in the making. I couldn’t bring myself to use a belt-sander on the top, but these planes should make short work of the difficult grain.

There is some overlap between my existing tools and these heirloom quality tools. Whoever put this prize together gave it a lot of thought and it covers most of the bases for a beginner. I’m looking forward to handing down some of my good older tools to help spread the fun of hand tool use. I’ve already sent a few more to Jack who’s set up a small shop at his parent’s home.

HW: Any final words?

Jacob: Woodworking is a lot of fun, but hand tools add a completely new dimension to it. I haven’t met anyone yet who didn’t smile after a seeing what a finely set plane can do. I’ve really wanted to know what an heirloom quality tool could do, and now, thanks to the generosity of all the folks at Highland Woodworking, I have that chance!

Visit our complete collection of Lie Nielsen Hand Tools!

May 182012

Take a look at the May issue of The Highland Woodturner – it’s got some great stuff!

Curtis Turner is helping his friend Pete turn a large oak bowl. And we mean LARGE! Read about their stumbling blocks and successes in Curtis’ monthly column.

We’ve also got a piece of history this month – a 1987 article from Wood News about a Holtzapffel Lathe. Tom Frazer met Ed Hernandez, a Metairie, LA woodturner who owned one of the few active Holtzapffel lathes in the world.

Add to that a useful tip from Phil Colson on how to improvise a lathe-powered sanding drum and a beautiful series of woodturnings by Dean Griffith in our Show Us Your Woodturning column, and you’ve got a great issue of The Highland Woodturner! And don’t forget about our great deals on woodturning tools!

Check out the Highland Woodturner here!

May 172012

Click below to take a look at the second episode of The Highland Woodworker! Charles Brock takes you to visit woodworking shops of well-known woodworkers including chairmaker Brian Boggs and planemaker Ron Brese as well as Popular Woodworking editor Matthew Teague.

And keep your eye out for Episode 3 of The Highland Woodworker – coming early September 2012!

May 112012

Having a slow Friday afternoon? If so, you should make the time pass by reading the May issue of Wood News!

This month we’ve got some great entries in our Show Us Your Shop, Show Us Your Woodworking and Show Us Your Carving columns. Matthew Curry’s Bainbridge Island workshop will inspire you to start checking the real estate listings for something like this for yourself! Tyler Stokes is only 18 years old and is crafting beautiful woodworking pieces, and Richard Cheek displays a very diverse range of carving skill, including a replica of his own left hand!

J. Norman Reid unlocks the mystery of hand planes and how to incorporate them into your woodworking – if you’ve ever been unsure about using hand tools, definitely give his article a read!

Steven Johnson, our Down to Earth Woodworker, has an informative review of the Festool CT Boom Arm Set, as well as a trick for cutting dados with your Festool router. Then he has some fun with a couple pieces about how to get through a discount big box store unscathed (think woodworking) and the development of a line of specialized woodworking shoes.

We’ve also got some new video product tours by Morton, and much more. Go take a look now, and have a great woodworking-filled weekend!