Molly Bagby

Jan 092014

woodnewsjanuaryFor the first Wood News issue of the new year, we’ve got a great collection of tips, projects, and submissions from woodworkers all across the country! This month’s issue includes:

Making a Zero Clearance Insert for a Table Saw-Frequent contributor, Rod Scott, discusses how to make a custom zero clearance insert for your table saw, in order to reduce chip out and cut very thin strips.

Woodworking as Functional Art-Stephen Winer began his career as an artist, and then wanted to express his artwork as functional pieces of furniture. He discusses his background and process of creating these pieces in this article.

Workshop Design Part 3-In the last part of a three segment article, Phil Rasmussen finishes up his discussion on designing a workshop in order to better utilize your shop space, by discussing storage options, electricity, and HVAC.

My Last Shop-In part 9 of his series, Mike Smith gets the final shop inspection from Rick, the inspector. Mike discusses the inspection process and what he needs to do to make it into a proper shop.

As always, we have our ‘Show Us’ series, which we are always accepting contributions for!

Show Us Your Woodworking-This month features the life-like wooden sculptures made by Martin Rosen, who has been woodworking since he first started making wooden hall passes in grade school.

Show Us Your Woodcarving-Donald Straka shares a variety of his carvings, from nautilus shells to trout, Donald carves using a somewhat abstract method, trying to not be 100% realistic.

Show Us Your Shop-We’ve got the Hendersonville, TN timber-frame shop of Greg Pennington, who is an assistant to Curtis Buchanan and Peter Galbert. He also shows off some of his beautiful windsor chairs.

We’ve also got a variety of tips from our regular contributors:

Tips from Sticks in the Mud-Jim Randolph shares two tips with us including his creation of an alert system when guests are entering his shop, as well as an easy and effective way to light up your shop in order to navigate without having to turn on the overhead lights.

Two-Minute Safety Tip-This month, John Nelson offers up a tip on Table Saw safety and making sure you are patient and not in a hurry when trying to use it.

The Down to Earth Woodworker-Steve, our Down to Earth Woodworker, always has a variety of tips and stories from his own woodworking experiences. This month he discusses glue-ups, jigs, dust collection systems, and being courteous to those who deliver your woodworking tools in the New Year.

Finishing Wood with Alan Noel-This month, Alan gives us some tips on using wipe-on varnishes, and how to achieve a nice finish with little effort.

We’ve also got reviews on both the Wixey Digital Protractor and Marc Spagnuolo’s (The Wood Whisperer) recent book, Hybrid Woodworking.

All of this, as well as some great tool deals make up our January issue of Wood News Online.

Dec 202013

This week’s #FollowFriday is George Brown, whose “manshed” was featured in the Show Us Your Shop column in our December 2013 Issue of Wood News. One of George’s favorite things to do is to build things for his friends and family.  He sent us pictures of several of these projects, which are featured below:

The first three pictures are vases that George made as Christmas presents this year. Two of them are made out of Redwood, while the third is made out of Oak.





A Lazy Kate that George made for his youngest daughter who works with wool and yarn. It is used for plying yarn.


A headboard made out of Oak and Maple for George’s wife, which he originally said he would make for her 10 years ago. Now that he has his new shop, he had no more excuses to put it off and so it was finally time to make it.


Drawer cabinets made for his son. He stores belt blanks that he will finish to fit a customer at the renaissance fair site. George used to have a phobia about making drawers when these were started, but apparently that got worked out by the time he was done!


A Traditional Wooden Mallet for his son who does leather work at renaissance festivals.


———————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————–Fridays on the Highland Woodworking Blog are dedicated to #FollowFriday, where we use this space to further highlight a woodworker or turner who we have featured in our monthly e-publications Wood News and The Highland WoodturnerWould you like for your shop to appear in our publications? We invite you to SEND US PHOTOS of your woodworking along with captions and a brief history and description of your woodworking (Email photos at 800×600 resolution.) Receive a $50 store credit redeemable towards merchandise if we show your shop in a future issue.

Dec 172013

hwtpictureHighland Woodworking has two monthly online publications, Wood News Online, which encompasses all things woodworking, as well as The Highland Woodturner, which focuses solely on woodturning. Today, we released Issue #33 of The Highland Woodturner with the following stories:

A Coffee Tragedy: Our regular Highland Woodturner contributor, Curtis Turner, focuses this month’s column on turning a wooden lid for the top of his coffee storage container after the original ceramic lid was dropped and shattered. He explains the process within his column and shares the beautiful final product.

Book Review-Woodworker’s Guide to Turning: Wood News Book Reviewer, J. Norman Reid, recently reviewed John Kelsey’s Woodworker’s Guide to Turning. Kelsey is well-known as the first Editor of Fine Woodworking Magazine, and for the month of December, we’ve got this title 33% off!

Show Us Your Woodturning: Our monthly column featuring the “how did you do that” square bowl turnings of Bob Ducharme. If you haven’t seen these unique bowls, make sure to it out!

Phil’s Turning Tips: Phil discusses the Flex Arm Magnetic LED Work Light, which adds the perfect amount of light to help him in his workshop.

We’ve also got several featured products as well as the Woodturner’s Holiday Gift Guide. There is still time to share your wish list, and if it is too late, you can always ask for a gift certificate and use it on these great items at a later time!

Dec 122013

woodnews100December 2013 commemorates our 100th issue of Wood News Online. Before we started our online publication in 2005, we had several different printed publications with similar content, including the original Wood News, published between 1977 and 1978, before Highland Hardware (our old name) even came into existence! Be sure to check out our full Wood News Archive Gallery with copies of all of our printed issues that came out prior to our online publication!

Besides this being our 100th issue, this month we’ve got some great woodworking articles and deals, which include:

Holiday Gift Guide-Still working on your  last minute holiday wish list? We’ve got you covered!

Workshop Design-Part 2- In the 2nd part of this 3-part article, Phil goes over “Work Zones” within your work shop and the best ways at going about setting up the different sections of your shop.

Snazzy Wood Ties- Alf Sharp, a long time woodworker, has found a hobby in creating bow ties out of wood, which you can actually wear!

Of course we’ve also got our monthly contributors with their great woodworking tips including:

Tips from Sticks-In-The-Mud Woodshop– Jim Randolph has 2 tips on how to hang a coat hook as straight as possible, as well as an awl-somly good tip on the sharpening and upkeep of awls.

Finishing Wood with Alan Noel– Alan goes over 8 tips on reversible vs. non-reversible finishes and how to go about using them together.

The Down to Earth Woodworker-As always, Steve has a variety of woodworking knowledge and excitement, including his trip to the Fine Furnishings Show, tips on being a good “shop-host,” and much more.

As always we’ve got our regular monthly ‘Show Us’ columns:

Show Us Your Shop– Featuring the “manshed” shop of George Brown in Milford, OH.

Show Us Your Woodworking– The beautiful sleds and other woodworking projects of Ron Wiling, who donates many of his projects to several local charities.

Show Us Your Woodcarving– We’re featuring the exquisite power-carvings of Joe Duket.

And lastly, we’ve  got some featured reviews on a few of our products, including:

The Veritas Double Edge Flush-Cut Saw

The Lie-Nielsen Large Shoulder Plane (073)

The Woodworker’s Guide to Turning

All of this and more in our 100th issue of Wood News Online!

Nov 212013

woodturnerblogimageThe November 2013 issue of The Highland Woodturner was released this week and has some great tips, articles, and tools all dedicated to woodturning. Highlights include:

-Curtis Turner’s article A Mallet Makes for a “Fun”ctional Project, which gives a great overview on turning your own mallet. Whether you’re a beginner or experienced turner, this project is an quick and easy gift idea.

-Curtis also continues his Video Product Tour of the Oneway Wolverine Jig. In Part 2 of his tour, Curtis goes over the multiple jig attachments including the Dressing Attachment, the Vari-Grind 2 Attachment, and the Skew Grinding Attachment.

-Our recent guest contributor, Temple Blackwood, continues showing off his impressive and dedicated woodturning with his Adult Beverage Series, featuring several different goblet and bottle assortments turned from wood.

-In our monthly Show Us Your Woodturning column we’ve got the turnings of Randal Weber, including his beautiful Spalted Maple Vase.

Phil Colson’s Monthly Turning Tip focuses on the Mirka Sanding Block, which has helped make his work easier, faster, and better.

-With the holidays coming up, we’ve got our Woodturner’s Holiday Gift Guide, full of some great turning tools and accessories that you can add to your own wish list, or purchase for your favorite woodturner!

-This month’s featured woodturning products include the Galbert Woodturner’s Caliper, which is great for spindle turning. We’ve also got an excellent publication Woodturning Christmas Ornaments with Dale Nish, which includes ornament designs and step-by-step instructions.

All of this and more can be found in this month’s issue HERE. Happy turning!


Nov 152013

In this month’s issue of Wood News Online we featured the woodworking of Jim Chandler who has a passion for creating Massachusetts Shelf Clocks. Jim recently finished the restoration work on a tall case clock for his own collection and described the process below:


The clock was originally made by John Spinney out of Blandford England circa 1737. On the brass dial there are two rather interesting engravings. The first is an hour glass with a set of wings signifying that time flies. There is also a beehive and that has had different significance throughout time. In the early 1700’s it represented a social order. We all had a place and function in society and working together we could be a successful community.

Twenty years ago the clock was dismantled for restoration. Once it had been taken apart the owner passed away. The clock then sat for nineteen years at which time his spouse also passed away. The heirs to the estate sold the clock at auction, dismantled and missing some parts and pieces.

When I purchased the clock the lower door was off (hinges and lock cylinder were missing), the upper door on the hood was missing, both pillars on the hood were missing, and the clock had been stained a very dark color. The case was so dark that you couldn’t see any of the wood grain or inlay. I carefully sanded the case back down revealing the inlay and exotic wood grain. I discovered that there was a section of molding that was missing. At some point the molding must have broken off and the owner at the time decided to mask the missing molding by staining the case a very dark color, hence hiding the exposed secondary wood and all the nail heads.

The molding I replaced with a piece that I had made using hand planes and a spoke shave. For the upper door on the hood I was able to locate some old growth Honduras mahogany. I did a mortise and tenon joint held together with wood pegs. I decided to inlay the two sand shaded fylfots for the broken arch top. I then purchased handmade brass hardware from England, which replaced what was missing.

I didn’t use any satin on the case and simply finished it off with shellac and then applied wax and buffed by hand. What you see in the picture is the natural color of the wood. It is really amazing that such a wonderful piece of history had slipped into disrepair and almost forgotten.

———————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————–Fridays on the Highland Woodworking Blog are dedicated to #FollowFriday, where we use this space to further highlight a woodworker or turner who we have featured in our monthly e-publications Wood News and The Highland WoodturnerWould you like for your shop to appear in our publications? We invite you to SEND US PHOTOS of your woodworking along with captions and a brief history and description of your woodworking (Email photos at 800×600 resolution.) Receive a $50 store credit redeemable towards merchandise if we show your shop in a future issue.

Nov 142013

20131102_111215The weekend before last I headed down to Highland Woodworking and attended Jeff Miller’s Designing and Building Chairs class. It was a two day class covering Jeff’s three pillars of chair making: Comfort, Structure & Appearance. For a successful chair, you have to balance all three.

In the class we discussed what makes up comfort, structure and appearance. There are some common factors to comfort, but it is best determined by experimenting with prototypes and mockups. Structure is determined by sound joinery. While this can seem complicated (and sometimes is), it is always made simpler by breaking down the joints and simplifying the processes by methods Jeff demonstrated. The final pillar of appearance is the most subjective and therefor the hardest. Jeff described how he often starts with information on comfort and then works with a full scale drawing or model as he works out what he finds to be a nice appearance.

A sketch of one of Jeff's rockers.

A sketch of one of Jeff’s rockers.

On the foundation of these pillars, the afternoon of day one and the morning of day two were spent reviewing specifics and methods. Among the specifics we discussed were methods for cutting and shaping, various jigs Jeff uses to provide flat reference surfaces on narrow & curved parts and multiple ways to create each necessary joint.

The afternoon of day two was spent as a group activity putting all that we had learned into practice. The class worked together to design a chair from initial sketches to a prototype we could actually sit in. While there would still be much work left to make an actual chair, it demonstrate how the lessons we had learned worked in practice and showed how achievable an actual chair was.

Throughout the entire weekend Jeff was a wonderful teacher and a fun woodworker to hang out with. He was always approachable, answering everyone’s questions and providing design comments to all who showed him their work. He was even nice enough to join a few of us for lunch and dinner over the weekend.

After reading Chairmaking & Design, I was excited to sign up for Designing and Building Chairs. The class and instructor lived up to all I had hoped for and made the trip from New York well worth it. I’ll certainly travel to see Jeff teach again and I’d recommend anyone interested in learning to make chairs does the same.

The "finished" product.

The “finished” product.

CLICK HERE to see more photos from the class on the Highland Woodworking Facebook Page .

Jeff's signature on the instructor's bench at Highland.

Jeff’s signature on the instructor’s bench at Highland.


Dyami Plotke is a Woodworker at home, blogger at The Penultimate Woodshop, and the Long Island Administrator and Podcaster for The Modern Woodworkers Association.