Kelley Bagby

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

Feb 202013

In this month’s issue of The Highland Woodturner, we feature a woodturner with a very unique approach to his turning inspiration. Bob Ibach studied Palestinian archaeology, and finds inspiration in the graceful forms of the pottery he found in his research. Take a look at his story and the pieces he created in this month’s Show Us Your Turning column.

CLICK HERE to read the whole issue of The Highland Woodturner.

Feb 182013

Here’s a list of our bestselling woodworking plans in 2012. If you are looking for a project idea, or just a little inspiration, take a look through these:

#1: Build a Sculptured Lowback Dining Chair with Charles Brock

Charles Brock’s Sculptured Low Back Dining Chair is not only a great chair in a set for dining, it is a beautiful contemporary chair for any occasion. Every part melts into the next, giving it a flowing organic quality. The lumbar support is not incidental; it’s planned. Just slide down into it and you can comfortably sit for conversation, reading or just daydreaming.

#2: Build a Sculptured Rocker with Charles Brock

Charles Brock’s lively 103 minute DVD plus 48-page book with 72 color photos plus two 24″ x 48″ full-size patterns provide you with all the knowledge and confidence you will need to build your own sculptured rocker.

#3: Adirondack Chair/Rocker & Footstool Plan

These Adirondack chairs are graceful as well as comfortable. The shaped seat and back fit the body, making them comfortable without cushions. The full-scale plans include cutting lists and detailed construction notes, use standard lumber sizes and are designed with extra bracing for strength and rigidity.

#4: Adirondack Folding Chair Plan

These Adirondack Folding Chairs are designed with all the same features that make the fixed chair so comfortable, this one folds to only 12″ deep. When folded, it may be hung on a wall or stacked with others. Folding the chair is as simple as lifting the seat back upward out of two pockets and closing the chair flat.

#5: Modern Bench Plan

The Modern Bench Plan will provide an easy-to-follow design for building your own bench. Finished top is 24 inches by 80.5″, and the bench is structured to take any Veritas front vices at the front or end position.

Didn’t see what you want on this list? Check out our full Top Ten Woodworking Plans list and find your next project today!

Feb 152013

For those who couldn’t be at Highland for the Lie-Nielsen Hand Tool Event earlier this month, and for those who were there but want to relive it again, here are some more pictures, and some links to even more! Enjoy!

According to Mom and Dad, Tina and David, 15-month old Willie Hammond already takes his truck apart using a screwdriver! Dig those overalls!

Myers already loves tools according to his Dad, Derek. Dad says they’ve watched the Woodnews kids’ projects videos. He even grabbed that chisel from Dad – he’s ready to get woodworking!

Young Noah Pavel already owns one of these axes and hopes to collect more, according to Dad, Brett. (The other fellow in the photo is Allen Rosen, a competitive axe thrower, who they met here in front of the axe displays!)

Take a look at our full photo album on Facebook

Even more pictures here, including a few from Chris Schwarz’s Sunday class at Highland

Feb 052013

Getting started

Have you been on the sidelines, flipping through the Highland catalog and reading woodturning books and magazines? Have you been hesitant to commit to a new hobby? Well, that’s what “Get to Woodworking” week is all about — taking that first step.

Unfortunately, for some, learning a new skill can be one of over analysis and self-doubt. It can be intimidating to buy your first lathe, tools and accessories. Everyone wants to make a well-informed decision when it comes to expensive tool purchases. This can be challenging when considering a new craft, especially if one has never before used a lathe.

You are fortunate to be exploring this craft in an era of widely available information, courses and a competitive manufacturing industry. This confluence of factors means you can make a good decision, and acquire tools that will last many years.

Getting informed

Take advantage of all the available information online or in print to gain an academic understanding of the craft. However, there is no substitute for applying a tool to spinning wood. You can gain real-world experience without committing to acquiring a full setup. The simple solution is to take a class or join a woodturning club. The American Association of Woodturners maintains a database of instructors and clubs. They can help you locate your nearest club or instructor.

I cannot stress enough the importance of taking a beginning turning class. A good instructor will guide you through safe turning procedures, tool selection and various techniques. This gives you an easy way to experience turning under the guidance of a skilled turner. You can quickly recoup the cost for the class by learning what tools NOT to buy, as much as what to buy. During your first class you will have many “aha” moments. This is when the theory of tools and techniques starts to leap off the page and screen and actually make sense to you. Through this process, you will quickly start to draw conclusions about what types of turning and products you prefer.

The difficult aspect for many is the commitment to taking a class or joining a club. Classes are a no-obligation opportunity to give it a spin. Most clubs welcome visitors and allow them to attend several meetings free of charge. Clubs are typically an enthusiastic group of turners from all skill levels who are more than happy to share their knowledge and experiences. Also, joining a club is a good way to make new friends who share your new interest.

The message I want to leave with you is to take that first step and give woodturning a try. The craft has brought a new excitement and rewards to many turners. I hope you will schedule yourself for a turning class soon.

Jan 302013

We featured Dilo Fernandino’s unusually small workshop in the woodshop column in the January 2009 issue of Wood News. He recently sent us an update to let us know what he’s been working on:

I recently built this box from salvaged “braúna”, the blackest and hardest Brazilian wood (almost like marble), upon which I attached a low-relief of a Volkswagen beetle (“fusca” in Portuguese) that I carved on a board of “pau-marfim” (ivory-wood). The dimensions of the box are 18 x 15 x 6.

The piece was commissioned by a friend who is a VW Beetle addict and the box is intended to house a precious german HAZET tool set made for those beetles in the 1970’s.

Jan 282013

Congratulations to John Rinehart of Marble Falls, TX on winning Highland Woodworking’s 2012 Rikon Pro Bandsaw Giveaway!

John won a Rikon Model 10-350 Professional Bandsaw and a Wood Slicer resaw blade! We had a quick chat with him about winning the contest and how he plans to use his new band saw:

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

John: At the age of 75 I have been in and out of woodworking all my life. I started in junior high working for my two uncle’s one in home repair and one in boat repair after high school I went to work for the General Furniture company by the age of 21 I was the head supervisor of the wood department. After that I spent 4 yrs. with the State of Ohio and then 43 yrs. with the local power company. After retiring and moving to Texas, I decided to get back into woodworking as a hobby. Luckily my wife had the eye of an artist and we started to make our own Christmas gifts. Every year we make 60 wooden cards to send to family and friends – this project starts on July 1st and we mail them on Dec 1st.

HW: How did you find out about the contest?

John: I look at a lot of different wood working web sites and a friend suggested I look at yours…turns out it was a good suggestion!

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

John: I have won small prizes in the past but never anything like this and at 75 you don’t jump up and down. I was totally overwhelmed and was not sure I had even filled out the paper work right when I sent it in.

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

John: Talk about winning something at the right time – this last year we lost 10 oak and 5 mesquite trees and I was trying to come up with a way to convert all that wood into usable lumber to fit my woodworking needs and my poor old Tradesman Bandsaw just didn’t have the power to do this (now donated to a good cause).

HW: Any final words?

John: I AM GOING TO MAKE A LOT OF SAWDUST! Thank you – you made it so that I am going to have a lot of fun.

The 2013 Lie Nielsen Giveaway is ending this Thursday, January 31st, at noon. Get your entries in now!

Jan 232013

These were our bestselling books of 2012 – if you are looking for a couple of books to get for the shop, or just to pass the time after a glue-up, take a look at this list for some good ones!

#1: Grandpa’s Workshop by Maurice Pommier

Grandpa’s Workshop is absolutely the most engaging children’s book that we’ve seen about woodworking. It will be a source of inspiration and entertainment for both kids and adults, and is the perfect medium for capturing the imagination of a child you would like to introduce to woodworking.


#2: The Anarchist’s Tool Chest by Chris Schwarz

The Anarchist’s Tool Chest is an incredible resource for woodworkers of all levels. After researching lists of the core tools one needs to build furniture that were published from 1678 to 1973, former Popular Woodworking Editor Chris Schwarz made a list of the 48 hand tools that he considers essential. He sold off the unnecessary tools in his shop and focused his efforts on fewer – but higher quality – tools.


#3: Making Wood Tools with John Wilson

Making Wood Tools features over 275 photographs and 50 detailed drawings of a dozen wood bodied hand tools and nine tool keeping and holding projects, including the Home Shop workbench. Interesting stories, innovative designs, and detailed plans engage craftsmen in the age old art of making the tools you use to work wood.


#4: The New Complete Guide To The Band Saw by Mark Duginske

Many woodworking experts would agree that the first machine to purchase for a home workshop is the band saw. From simple cuts to joinery to intricate designs, chances are whatever you need to do, you can do it with a band saw. Now, from Mark Duginske, professional woodworker and band saw expert, comes The New Complete Guide to the Band Saw, the only book you’ll need to master this versatile, safe, and indispensable power tool.


#5: Keeping the Cutting Edge: Setting & Sharpening Hand & Power Saws

Keeping the Cutting Edge is a clearly illustrated booklet which covers sharpening saws of all types, from carpenters’ hand saws to circular saw blades to chain saws.


Those are just the top Five – CLICK HERE to see our list of the Top 20 Woodworking Books of 2012 and pick up a few for yourself today!