Rockler

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Notes from the Workshop: 20101207

I've found that blogging about my time in the workshop helps keep me focused on a project.  Documenting the process as you go slows you down, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing.  Slowing down makes you think more about each step, working it through in your head and figuring out how you're going to explain it.  Also years down the road when you wonder how you did something, you can come back to the blog.

It's still hard to stay with a project to the very end.  Often once you've figured out how to do something, it loses it's challenge and becomes busy work -- especially the sanding and finishing stage. Trying new techniques and products during this stage helps, but it's still no substitute for discipline.  I still find myself starting new projects before I finish the ones I'm working on.

Talking about new projects:

Domino Setter


I've been playing dominoes with my daughter lately, because they are using them in school to teach adding.  Although how my daughter's Dora Dominoes which only have pictures help in this respect is beyond me.  It's still a good game to learn because you need to plan ahead.  Once we get bored with the game, we like to set up the dominoes and knock them down, which is where my son starts getting interested in what we're doing.  Both my son and my daughter have a hard time setting up more than a few dominoes in a row before they accidentally knock them down, so I'm always the one setting them up.  I thought there had to be a quicker way. Read more »

Tools: table saw

Tags: dado, domino, notes, Rockler, toys

Materials: bloodwood, cumaru, red oak

Notes from the Workshop: 20101027

RSS Feed

I really hate sites that put a teaser or even just a link in their RSS feed rather than the whole post, so you have to click though to the website.  I understand the reasoning, that they want to drive more people to their site so they get more hits, but I think there are better ways to drive people to your site like offering good content.

Imagine my horror as I looked at my feed and discovered I was doing it!  Oops.  So sorry to all of you who are following my site via RSS.  I have it fixed now. 

Block and Marbles

Read more »

Tools: table saw

Tags: notes, Rockler, RSS, toys

Materials: bloodwood, mahogany

Creating Wooden Train Track

We bought my son an Imaginarium train table for his birthday this summer.   We've all had fun playing with it and making new and interesting track configurations, but the table was missing one critical piece to finish many of the layouts -- a female to female piece.  Usually are you progress along the track all the pieces got from male to female or vice versa, but if you use the roundhouse, or switches sometimes you end up trying to connect to male or female ends together to complete the loop.  The set came with a male to male piece, but no female to female piece.

Now I know that i can buy specialty pieces either online or at the store, but I though it would be fun to try and reproduce a piece of track.  Companies like MLCS, Rockler, and Hartville Tool sell special bit sets, but they cost quite a bit and would be overkill for producing one piece of track.

On the following pages you'll see the process I went through to build the special piece.

Update: Making the double female track is now just one section of this project; I've added a new section about creating a double male track connector.

Tools: router, table saw

Tags: Hartville Tool, Imaginarium, MLCS, Rockler, Thomas and Friends, toys, wooden train