Kelley Bagby

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

Jul 092010

Rust is always an issue this time of year, with summer heat and humidity. Of course, the absolute best way to eliminate rust from the surfaces of machines and other tools in your shop is to stop it from ever really getting started in the first place. And in an ideal world, that’s how it would work!

But just in case you are already noticing rust developing on some of your tools, we’ve got some solutions to help you remove it. Check out this great article on preventing rust before it starts and getting rid of it once it latches on, and good luck!

Jul 072010

The July issue of Wood News is out, and packed full of great articles and deals.

The Down to Earth Woodworker, Steven D. Johnson, has written two entertaining articles this month: his usual column on Down to Earth Woodworking and a bonus article about building an even more useful shooting board. Check them out!

Alan Noel provides some excellent advice on color matching in wood finishing, and Sean Headrick offers a primer on woodworking and joinery modeling basics in Sketchup. This free program is so cool, and can really add a boost to your woodworking projects!

We have new entries in our Show Us Your Shop and Show Us Your Stuff columns: this month we highlight Michael Youngblood’s well equipped backyard shop as well as Ron Norris’ impressive carvings and woodworking.

And as usual, we have tons of great deals for you, and a full schedule of seminars to sign up for – check out Peter Galbert’s week-long windsor chair workshop if you want a real treat!

Enjoy the Wood News this month, and keep having a great summer!

Jul 022010

The Highland Woodworking website has a new exciting addition – now you can search all of our newsletters, blogs, articles and woodworking tips for any woodworking topic you need help with! Our informative website just became your best resource for tips, tools and all things woodworking.

To access article search from our home page, look on the left side of the page and find the ‘search for articles and information…’ link (right above the Products Search field).

Once you click it, it will bring you to the article search page. Type in any topic you need information on, press enter, and there you go – massive amounts of woodworking knowledge at your fingertips.

Here’s to more informed woodworking. Have fun with it!

Jun 282010

We had a great response last month to Howard Van Valzah’s safety tip about wearing brightly colored gloves to help him stay aware of his non-dominant hand while woodworking and avoid scrapes and bruises (and worse!) In addition to being fun and challenging, woodworking can be a hazardous hobby, and any precautions we can take to have a more safe experience will definitely improve our overall enjoyment. It’s amazing how stopping to take an extra second makes a huge difference.

Now we want to hear from you on some of the safety precautions you take, and any little tricks you use to stay safe. Leave your ideas in the comments, and if you want to improve your safety, take a quick look at some of the safety items for sale at Highland Woodworking.

Safe Woodworking, everyone!

May 122010

It’s Safety Week 2010 for Woodworkers – a good time to consider some of your own shop safety practices and think about what you might improve. One of our customers, Howard Van Valzah, contributed this great safety tip that could be valuable to some of you. We’ve also included some links below to other blogs that are also ‘celebrating’ safety week with links and tips that could help improve your workshop safety.
Got tips of your own? Share them in the comments!
Enjoy and be safe!

A Two Minute Safety Tip
by Howard Van Valzah
As a veteran woodworker age 80 I have finally learned something I should have learned many years ago. Recently it became obvious to me that the majority of my woodworking injuries were on my left hand. The worst one was on my left thumb that wandered by itself into a table saw blade. Stitches didn’t work so a skin graft was needed to complete the cure. That happened four years ago.
Recently I have been working on some large projects and observed on completion that I had three band aids on my left hand. Nothing major like the thumb incident, but they were scratches, bangs, and nicks. And then the realization came that this seems to happen after every major project, and to a lesser extent on smaller jobs. Then I looked closely at the way my hands get work done. In most cases I found that my right hand is directing work to be done. That would make you think that the right hand might be injured more frequently. Further study showed that my left hand was often used to steady or hold the work piece putting it right in line to be struck by a slipped tool or anything else that might go wrong. The right hand guiding the tool was perfectly safe. (The hand eye coordination required to get the work performed was the responsibility of the right hand. The left hand was used in support but the operator’s eye was concentrating on the performance of the right hand, leaving the left hand unattended.)
Now that I knew that, I began to be more conscious of the left hand, but still got nicks, dings, and scratches on it. It quickly became clear that it wasn’t enough to just be aware of the problem and hope I could correct it. Just about that time I purchased a pair of bright yellow cut-resistant Kevlar gloves from Highland Woodworking. I didn’t purchase them for use with power tools – I bought them with the idea of using them when I occasionally have to hand carve a piece of work. Seeing them sitting beside the workbench one day I decided to try something. I put one on my left hand (they are reversible) with the thought that the bright yellow color might alert me to be cautious, as does the yellow light on a traffic signal. It seems to be working because I have not yet had a scratch or ding on my left hand, but I did bang it hard once, but no blood, just a severe “ouchie”. I would encourage others to wear a “yellow caution light” on their left hand as a reminder that it is an accident waiting to happen.
A couple of safety links for you
The Wood Whisperer
Matts Basement Workshop

Apr 082010

Just in time for the first week of the Major League baseball season, Jack Masten provides a step-by-step tutorial on turning your own classic baseball bat from Northern White Ash.

And that’s just one of many fascinating articles in this month’s Wood News. We’ve got a new shop featured – Jim Chandler built his workshop in a fully restored 111-year-old barn.

There’s also a nice introduction to the Power8 cordless workshop, a versatile piece of new innovation merged with good solid craftsmanship that will almost certainly make your work as an experienced woodworker or a do-it-yourselfer easier, incorporating a table saw, a circular saw, a drill press, and many other useful functions into one compact portable workshop.

Catch up with the latest news on our favorite Brazilian Woodworker – Dilo Fernandino, take a look at Mike Henderson’s quick course in shop made cauls, review the new additions to our 2010 woodworking class schedule or take advantage of some of the great deals at Highland Woodworking for Festool, Steel City, Earlex, Kreg, and many more!

Check it out!