Building a Bar for Your Home

by Jim on February 5, 2017

HOME BAR DESIGN & CONSTRUCTION – Looking at the bar build using a SketchUp model.

If you were interested in the bar project I’d shared a couple years ago. I finally put together a more comprehensive build video. Using a SketchUp model in today’s video clip, I’ll take a close-up look at each bar component – from the inner frame & panels, to the layered top, to the laminated bar rails.

This bar is one of the bigger projects I’ve tackled and I’m pleased with the final design. But sorting out the details was a real challenge. The project inspired me to get into SketchUp and, after working with an expert, I’m going to start posting my own SketchUp videos of upcoming project builds.

I’d love to hear what you think of this build demonstration, so drop a comment below to tell me what you think of the new video format featuring SketchUp demos.


Woodworking Workbench Construction

by Jim on November 12, 2016

BENCH BUILD – Easy-access tool storage makes this bench more useful in the shop

Here’s a way to keep your favorite tools handy when working on a project. This mini bench combines some pegboard and a small shop vac to cut down your tool hunting time. Today I’ll go through the design and construction steps.


TRUNK PROJECT BUILD – A little router work helps liven-up this simple trunk design

Here is a more detailed demonstration of the construction of this tack trunk project. Today, I’ll take a look at the glue-up, router work and jointery of the trunk and accessory tray. I’ll also share my recommendations for hardware and finishes for this project. Using solid pine for these trunks adds a bit of time to the build compared to plywood but can give you more options for jazzing up the design.


TACK TRUNK WOODWORKING PROJECT – Revisiting a favorite weekend project.

Since the original tack trunk video was a little short on details, I put together an updated version of this project. The new video should give you a better look at the trunk design and provides more specifics on the build process and materials used. I’ve also updated the hardware selection and included all building costs.


Another Look at Freehand Sign Carving

by Jim on July 29, 2016

POTTING BENCH SIGN BUILD – Creating your own custom letter templates

With a couple sheets of carbon paper and some practice, this carving technique lets you add a custom sign to your next project. Here’s an overview of the potting bench sign I created, starting with a paper template drafted on the computer.

Thanks to Jim Bartz for sharing this freehand carving method. Using Jim’s carving tactics, you can add almost any style lettering to your signs. If you’d like to personalize a project, freehand sign carving gives you the freedom to build something truly unique.


Building a Potting Bench for the Garden

by Jim on July 24, 2016

A FUN OUTDOOR PROJECT – Completing the base for the cedar bench

With summer in full swing, I thought I’d revisit the potting bench project from a couple summers back. Today, I’ll go over the steps for building the bench with dowels, pocket holes and laminated legs.

Next week, I’ll take another look at the build for the upper shelf and the routed sign that helps personalize this project.


LEARNING SKETCHUP – A Little Pain Goes a Long Way

As a brand new user, here is my two cents on SketchUp and what it can do for you when designing an involved woodworking project. This bar was a real bear to get build using my usual graph paper drawing method. After working with a SketchUp expert, I’m sold on learning the software this year. Love to hear how long it took you to get decent on SketchUp.



In the last part of my SawStop table saw review, we’ll get a bird’s eye view of the saw brake in action. I’ll also take a good look at what you need to do to get a SawStop running after an incident.


WORKING WITH THE NEW SAW – Testing out the traditional features With the electrical work in the shop complete, I’ll fire-up the new saw and test out the blade settings, safety guard, premium fence and miter gauge.


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.