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UNBOXING AND ASSEMBLY – This saw made a great first impression.

Once all the snow shoveling was done around here, I finally got a chance to put together my latest shop purchase – the SawStop Professional Cabinet Saw. In this first video, I’ll go over my experience unboxing and setting-up a SawStop model table saw.

Today I cover the assembly process and take a peek at the mechanics of the blade safety features that make the SawStop models unique. So far, this saw looks well thought out with easy-to-follow instructions and excellent fit & finish. I was a bit disappointed with one major component though – the plastic locking knobs. Unfortunately, I’ll have to wait for my electrician to upgrade my service before I can really try the saw out.

I’d love to hear what other SawStop owners think of their saws’ performance. If you’ve have some experience with these saws, feel free to leave a comment below. And once I’ve got some power to this saw, I’ll share my thoughts on ease of use, milling performance and those famous blade brakes.



HOME BAR: Woodworking Income Project Preview

by Jim on November 28, 2014

BUILDING A BAR FOR CUSTOMERS – Sneak peek of a new design.

I wanted to share my progress on this fall’s woodworking income project. In this video, I’ll take a quick look at the design, materials and joinery used to build this three panel bar. This is the third project built to help folks start a part-time business from their home workshop.

Once the bar build is complete, I’ll have a full set of woodworking plans and marketing materials available here on the site. And I should have more detailed videos on the bar’s construction along with some sales and marketing tactics ready in a few weeks.

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WOODWORKING INCOME DISCUSSION – Feedback from this summer’s video survey

So, folks sent in some great responses to the income survey. I’d originally asked if there was interest in more information on the following part-time woodworking business topics:

  • Income projects
  • Marketing tactics
  • Customer referrals
  • Promotional materials

Almost everyone who left a comment seemed to be interested in these topics. I also got plenty of additional suggestions. Check out the video for a rundown of the popular comments that came in. Based on the feedback, I’m planning on creating a new series of business-focused woodworking videos this fall, along with a new income project idea.

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Building a Potting Bench for Customers

by Jim on August 24, 2014

AN OUTDOOR GARDEN PROJECT – Completing the base for the new bench

With the sign long-since done, it’s time to finish-up the potting bench build. Today I’ll go over the steps for building the cedar bench with dowels, pocket holes, stainless steel screws and laminated legs.

Like I’ve mentioned, this bench can be a good woodworking project to build for yourself or for customers. If you’d like to give this project a try, you can check out the plans and marketing kit at the link below.

Garden Bench Woodworking Plans


MORE TRUNK DETAILS – Revisiting my first part-time income project.

Since the original tack trunk video was a little short on details, I put together an updated version of this woodworking income project. The new video should give you a better look at the trunk design and provides more specifics on the build process and material costs. I’ve also updated the hardware and recommended sales price for this trunk.


PART-TIME WOODWORKING BUSINESS – Ever think about selling your projects?

If you’ve ever considered launching a part-time woodworking business, I’ve got a quick survey for you. I’m checking in to see what topics you’d be interested in learning about before you launched your business.  

So, if you’d like to hear about tactics for starting a part-time operation, leave a comment on any topics that might help you get rolling. If there’s an interest in the business side of woodworking, I’ll put together a follow-up video with the results of the survey later this month.


MORE HANDY SHOP GEAR – The rest of my tool picks for a new woodworker.

In today’s post, I’ll go over the rest of my favorite tools to outfit a new workshop. This video covers tactics for getting a good price on woodworking clamps, picking out a router and a good quality sander. Together with my table saw recommendations from part one, you should be able to get a new shop started for under $500.


BUDGET WORKSHOP TIPS – Here are my top tool picks for a new woodworking shop.

If you’d like to build a brand new home workshop, here are some tactics to help get you started. I’ve just finished part one of the First Workshop videos. In this video, I cover strategies for finding a good-quality, used table saw with a $150 budget.

In the next video, I’ll share a few recommendations for clamps, a low-cost router and sander.


BUILD A WORKSHOP ON A BUDGET – Tool recommendations and buying tips

I’m working on a new video to help first-time woodworkers set-up a basic home workshop. With a budget of $500, I’ll get a small shop up and running. I’ll go over my top picks for the milling, sanding, gluing and finishing gear you’ll need to get started.

I’ll include advice on buying new as well as used tools, what to look for when shopping for you first table saw and where you can save a few dollars on Craigslist purchases. With a $500 budget, you won’t have a shop quite like Norm’s but you should be able to build a few fun furniture projects.

The new workshop video should be ready early next month.


COMPUTER DESIGNED SIGNS – Make a DIY template on your home PC

Here’s a follow-up to my last sign carving post. In this video, I share the techniques I used to create the paper sign template on my home computer. This is a fast way to try out an unusual typeface or layout.

After a couple of tries, I was able to create this template in just a few minutes using the Microsoft Publisher program and an old laser printer. If you want to create a truly unique sign for your next woodworking project, give this method a go.