Molly Bagby

Sep 292015
Top Ten Reasons You Might Be a Woodworker

Top Ten Reasons You Might Be a Woodworker

2015 marked my 4th year attending Woodworking in America (also known as WIA or in the case of this year #WIA15). Despite the fact that Highland Woodworking hasn’t had a booth during any of these years, it is still fun for a few of us from the store to be able to attend the event to network with everyone and learn what’s new in the world of woodworking. It is a great opportunity for those who have a passion in woodworking to come together during one weekend a year and just hang out, while getting to learn more about their passion.

Five of us from Highland Woodworking attended this year. Me (Molly), Chris Bagby, Kelley Hibberd, Blair Downing, and Cooper van Rossum. This year we all had various agendas, which revolved around attending classes, speaking with vendors (both old and new), socializing with woodworkers, and trying to get as much of the action into video and photo form.

This year’s event was held in Kansas City, MO for the first time. Lately, WIA has been traveling to a different city each year and I think with Kansas City being a very central location it allowed a lot of woodworkers to attend who haven’t been able to in years past. One of the coolest parts of the event being held in Kansas City meant that on the Thursday night before the event, we were graciously invited to the museum home of William “Bill” Robertson which was filled with beautiful antique tools, as well as a variety of exquisite miniatures that he is well-known for building. Also in attendance were several of our artisan toolmakers, including our newest vendor, Chris Vesper from Vesper Tools, who also helped organize the event.

The gentlemen from Modern Woodworker's Association (MWA) recording their show with Mike Siemsen from Mike Siemsen's School of Woodworking

The gentlemen from Modern Woodworker’s Association (MWA) recording their show with Mike Siemsen from Mike Siemsen’s School of Woodworking

Also on Thursday evening, our friends from Modern Woodworker’s Association (MWA) hosted a get-together at the hotel restaurant/bar, which allowed us and a lot of other woodworkers in attendance to reunite with old friends who had met at past years WIA’s. This is a great opportunity to discuss the current projects being worked on back home, which tools you are excited to purchase in the marketplace, and whose classes you are eager to attend.

Friday and Saturday were the main 2 days of the event, and were chock-full of classes, vendor demonstrations, tool buying, BBQ, and overall fun. I was able to attend bits of several classes including The Kerfing Plane & Resawing by Hand with Tom Fidgen, How to Make a Magazine with Megan Fitzpatrick from Popular Woodworking, Caring, Feeding, & Use of Marking Knives with Dave Jeske from Blue Spruce Toolworks, 3D Shapes with Rasps with Scott Meek, Chair Design with Jeff Miller, and The Unwritten History of Workbenches with Chris Schwarz, among others.

Roy Underhill teaching his Roubo Bookstand class to a full house

Roy Underhill teaching his Roubo Bookstand class to a full house

Down in the Marketplace we got to visit with several of our vendors including Earlex, SawStop, Festool, Woodpeckers, Knew Concepts, Sterling Tool Works, Texas Heritage, Hamilton Woodworks, Bad Axe Toolworks, Lie-Nielsen ToolworksLost Art Press, and more!

Chris Bagby taking a look at the beautiful Bad Axe saws made by Mark Harrell

Chris Bagby taking a look at the beautiful Bad Axe saws made by Mark Harrell

One of the cool parts about the Marketplace is that almost every hour they feature a special “ShopTalk” session, which either involves a live demonstration of a product, or a discussion about current woodworking industry news. I was able to attend several of these sessions including HVLP Spray Finishing Basics with Earlex, which involved in overview and demonstration of the Earlex Sprayport, a great tool for giving an even coat of finish to your projects.

The start of the Roy Underhill/Stumpy Nubs interview

The start of the Roy Underhill/Stumpy Nubs interview

One of the most anticipated ShopTalk sessions was on Saturday and featured an interview of Roy Underhill, conducted by James Hamilton (Stumpy Nubs). I learned a lot about Roy in this interview, including the fact that he was a theatre major in college (hence why he began the interview session quoting Hamlet), and the fact that when he was pitching The Woodwright’s Shop for a 2nd time to PBS, he decided to bring his axe along with him just for a little bit of extra motivation for them to sign him. As you can see it was a very entertaining and insightful interview, which also provided a little extra pitch for his newest piece of fiction, Calvin Cobb – Radio Woodworker.

Overall, it was a very fun-filled 2.5 days and I think it really helps to bring out the camaraderie that can often be found in the woodworking world. I think one of the highlights for me was on Friday night when a group of 10 of us went to the famous Jack Stack Barbecue (one of the many highly acclaimed restaurants in the Kansas City BBQ scene). It was a 1.5 hour wait for a table so 8 of us ending up getting their takeout and went back to the hotel lobby to eat it together. It was pretty cool to be able to eat dinner with master craftsman, Jeff Miller!

CLICK HERE and HERE to see our WIA 2015 Photo Albums.

Aug 132015

Recently, Master Carver Sabija Mutjaba collaborated with Scott DeWaard on a huge triptych carving for the Marian Chapel in the All Saints Catholic Church in Knoxville, TN. This project was a huge undertaking and the beautiful video below captures the creative process from start to finish.

Video produced by Joan Karpeles (
The video has gotten a lot of feedback and we wanted to share some of the thoughts and comments it has received so far:

  • It was a real pleasure to watch such wonderful skill.  Thank you. Best Wishes, Brendan.
  • That’s about the finest woodworking project video I have ever seen.  Excellant work and craftmanship.-Bill 
  • Jaw dropping skill.
  • Beautiful craftsmanship, If I could do two thumbs up I would. Thanks for the video.
  • Takes the phrase Master Craftsman to an all new level. Thank you for sharing your creation Sabiha and Scott.-Anthony
  • Breathtaking.  Absolutely incredible talent!-Robin
  • Beautiful design, multi-material work, and excellent finish in the wood, paint, and gold. Worthy of the designation: made by a master. – Annie
  • That was not only beautiful but inspiring.-Gabriel
  • So wonderful to see a creation of such art today…seems like a lost art, doesn’t it?…we need more people with so much talent to continue creating such beautiful relics to enjoy for many years to come…God Bless you for your talent and contribution to so many…LJK
  • A true labour of love.
  • Absolutely beautiful artistry and craftsmanship!!! I watched several times and must say I admire your work! Thank you for sharing!
Jul 172015

hwt52We just released our July 2015 issue of The Highland Woodturner with articles and tool specials aimed specifically toward turners.

This month’s issue includes:

Helpful Accessories for Turning– Curtis shares some accessory ideas for your turning shop including task lighting, a center punch, edge protectors for your skews, and more!

The Sailing Vessel Solution– Living in Castine, ME, Temple Blackwood works on a lot of turnings for sailboat repairs, including the recent repair he did on the Schooner Timberwind out of Belfast, ME.

Chris Ramsay, Hat Turner– In this classic blog entry, Phil Colson discusses a visit from Chris Ramsay to the meeting of the GA Association of Woodturners, where he did a live demonstration of turning a cowboy hat!

Show Us Your Woodturning– This month we’ve got the beautifully turned platter made by Les Campbell, who made the project for the widow of his friend that gave him the wooden slabs.

Sizing Bowl Gouges– Phil has a useful tip on how bowl gouges are sized depending on which country they were made in.

All of this and more in our July 2015 issue of The Highland Woodturner.

Jul 072015

No Southern-fried Southern boy wants to be called a Yankee, but we share the characteristics of shrewdness and thrift.  Thus, each month we include a money-saving tip.  It’s OK if you call me “cheap.”

What are you going to use to mix your different woodworking concoctions in?  The underside of a plastic food container makes a great mixing surface for two-part epoxy.

If the only plastic box around is full of cookies, you have no choice but to eat them before turning it over to use for an adhesive-mixing surface.  If you get in trouble for that, just say, “Jim Randolph said I had to!”

If the only plastic box around is full of cookies, you have no choice but to eat them before turning it over to use for an adhesive-mixing surface. If you get in trouble for that, just say, “Jim Randolph said I had to!”

Nothing, however, beats the underside of an aluminum soda pop can.  And, they are still recyclable after you finish your project!


Allow the aluminum to achieve ambient temperature prior to adding glue ingredients.  The can, glue and project would/should all be the same temperature.  A cold can will likely interfere with curing and/or sticking properties of the glue.


Jim Randolph is a veterinarian in Long Beach, Mississippi. His earlier careers as lawn mower, dairy farmer, automobile mechanic, microwave communications electronics instructor and journeyman carpenter all influence his approach to woodworking. His favorite projects are furniture built for his wife, Brenda, and for their children and grandchildren. His and Brenda’s home, nicknamed Sticks-In-The-Mud, is built on pilings (sticks) near the wetlands (mud) on a bayou off Jourdan River. His shop is in the lower level of their home. Questions and comments on woodworking may be sent to Questions about pet care should be directed to his blog on pet care, We regret that, because of high volume, not all inquiries can be answered personally.

Jun 042015

wn118It’s almost time for summer woodworking and in this month’s issue of Wood News Online, we’ve got some great project ideas, woodworking tips, and tool specials for some summertime fun.

This month’s issue includes:

Project Idea: Goodrich Step Stool– Mark Miller’s Great Uncle started a generational project of building a wooden step stool for every child in the family. After his passing, Mark decided to continue the tradition and in his article he discusses the story behind the step stool and also gives us design and building instructions.

Using the Sun in Woodworking– Jeff Fleisher recently discovered a great way to fix a warped board by using the power of the sun. Find out how in his educational article.

Handworks 2015– We have a full report of our recent visit to Handworks this past month in Amana, IA, including a write-up, a photo gallery, and a video of the hilarious Roy Underhill performing Calypso’s Gift.

Our reader-contributed “Show Us” series includes:

Show Us Your Shop– This month we are featuring Jim Draper’s woodworking shop in Rice, WA. Jim gives us a full description of his shop including a detailed account of each of his major tools.

Show Us Your Woodworking– Don Stevenson shows off his beautiful, replicated to scale, historic buildings, including the Rob Scronce Barn, Martin’s Queen Truss Covered Bridge, Thomas Jefferson’s Honeymoon Cottage, and more.

Show Us Your Carving– Santa Claus is coming to town in this month’s carving column, featuring a variety of Santa Claus carvings made by Tom Pritchard.

This month’s woodworking tips include:

2 Minute Safety Tip– This month we’re introducing our new Safety Tips Map, which includes an archive of all the 2 minute safety tips that have been featured in previous issues of Wood News.

The Down to Earth Woodworker– Steve shares his favorite brand of cleaning rags to use in his shop, discusses the beginnings of making a custom knife handle, says goodbye to an old woodworking friend, and continues his working on his 5S compliant wall cabinets.

Tips from Sticks in the Mud– Jim has a tip on making sure you incorporate high standards into your woodworking, as well as a money-saving tip on protecting your tools from different weather elements.

Finishing Tip– Alan Noel has a tip on using Epoxy Putty Sticks and how they are an ideal choice when you need to repair your wooden furniture.

Ask the Staff-Cutting Green Wood– This month, Jay asks if it is okay to use a Wood Slicer to mill logs into lumber. The answer is “no,” but read more to find out the solution.

This month’s product reviews include:

Book Review: Virtuoso– This much anticipated publication documents and fully illustrates the famous Henry O. Studley Tool Cabinet and Work Bench, recently seen on display in Amana, IA.

Tool Review: Texas Heritage Woodworks Classic Canvas Apron– Jeff tries on this beautiful apron from Texas Heritage Woodworks and explains how this is a top-quality wear to protect you in your shop.

Video Product Tour– David Picciuto takes us on a video product tour of the Festool Vecturo Oscillating Tool, the ultimate multi-tool for your shop.

All of this and more in our June 2015 issue of Wood News Online.

PS: We are always accepting submissions for Wood News and its sister publication, The Highland Woodturner, so if you have a shop to show, a project to share, or a tip to explain, we would love to include it! You can send your submissions to

Apr 222015

hwt49frontHappy Spring! We’ve got a great project-filled April 2015 issue of The Highland Woodturner.

This month’s issue includes:

Turning a Garden Dibbler– In this article, Curtis discusses his process for turning a Garden Dibbler, which is used for making perfect holes in the soil to plant seedlings. This makes a great spring project and can be used by kids of all ages!

An Improved Knockout Bar for the Lathe– A knockout bar is a very important accessory for your lathe and in this article, Rick Morris discusses how you can make your own. This design specifically incorporates a slide-hammer into the handle and a brass tip on the striking end for easy and effective use.

When Ordinary Won’t Do– Terry Chapman recently connected with Clark McMullen, a woodturner who makes a living out of turning urns. But his urns are no ordinary urns and they incorporate a variety of design elements that “turn” them into beautiful pieces of art.

Show Us Your Woodturning– This month we are featuring several bowls turned by John F. Hayes Jr, who enjoys using “gnarly” wood that adds a unique design to each of his bowls.

Phil’s Tip– Phil’s April tip is a great one for those who have found it hard to keep their turning wood from drying too quickly while turning over the course of a few days.

All of these stories plus some great product deals and discounts in our April 2015 issue of The Highland Woodturner.

Mar 172015

hwtmarch2015If you’ve just started woodturning or you’ve been turning for most of your life, our March 2015 issue of The Highland Woodturner has a variety of projects, tips, and stories to motivate your craft.

This month’s issue includes:

My Favorite Tools and Accessories: Curtis Turner has been contributing to The Highland Woodturner for several years and this month he is sharing his favorite woodturning tools and accessories that he uses in his shop.

Porch Column Repairs: Temple has been turning porch columns for several years and is often called upon to make or repair columns for local businesses in Maine. This month he discusses how he makes those repairs and the tools and products he uses to help him.

Repurposing a Hock Spokeshave Blade: Our blogger, Lee Laird, recently turned new handles for his Hock Spokeshave that allow him to make controlled cuts during his frequent instrument builds.

Show Us Your Woodturning: This month we’re sharing the woodturning projects of William Kaufman who uses a variety of woods and incorporates carving techniques within his turnings.

Phil’s Tip: This month we’re sharing an oldie but a goodie with some of Phil’s safety tips when it comes to woodturning. If you’re new to turning, make sure you read through these tips before you get started!

All of this and more in this month’s issue of The Highland Woodturner.