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.

Enter my domino setter.  I made it from a 12" long piece of scrap oak I had lying around.  My daughter can set up 11 dominoes in a row without worrying about knocking them down.  It also allows more advance setter like me to set up a whole box of dominoes quicker.

To make the domino setter, I just marked a line on the scrap oak every inch.  Then using my miter sled I made a cut at the line, moved the board over a little less than the width of the blade, and made another pass.  After about 3-4 passes I had a dado about the width of a domino.  I'd check to make sure the domino fit loosely in the dado, fine tune it if the fit wasn't right, and move to the next line.  It would have gone much faster if I had a dado blade set up.


Thinking about dominoes, wouldn't a bloodwood end grain domino with brass dots look really cool?  So I headed over to Rockler to see if I could find some bloodwood that was over an inch thick.  None of their stock fit that description and the guy in the back said that I'd probably have to special order it on the internet.  I didn't want to go home bare-handed so I picked up some Cumaru which had some really contrasting light and dark end grain.

I did a quick mock up using using some 1/8" diameter brass rod as the dots and 1/16" bar stock as the divider.  The domino isn't the right size, the dot's aren't centered, and I had a heck of a time cutting a 1/16" recess for the brass bar as you can see in the photo, but it's a start.

I figure that I can make a template to precisely drill the holes for the dots, but I still haven't figured out how to carve a 1/16" wide dado.  

New Links Section

You may have noticed a new tab at the top of the website.  I'm trying to put together a comprehensive list of woodworking websites on the web.  I want to collect them all whether it's a blog, magazine, store, or manufacturer.  I know it's a lofty goal, there have to be thousands of sites out there.  My goal is just to add one per day (actually more like 7 per week).  We'll see how far that gets me.

Right now you can select the sites by what they have to offer.  For example if you're looking for more woodworking people to follow on Twitter, select twitter from the drop down list and click "Apply" to see a list of sites that also have twitter accounts.

Tools: table saw

Tags: dado, domino, notes, Rockler, toys

Materials: bloodwood, cumaru, red oak


Tom's picture

Thanks for the tip off to the links section. I usually just read your RSS feed, so I hadn't noticed it. Also are you taking nominations?

Benjamen Johnson's picture


Sure if you have any good sites that you'd like to share I'd be happy to add them, just make sure they are mostly dedicated to woodworking, tools, or DIY skills in general.