Buzzing around the shop

Well, it has been far too long since I've written on this blog.  I have been busy keeping up Facebook and Instagram and building things, plus handling a day job.  There's been a lot happening, even if my woodworking has been a bit slower than I'd like.

For starters, I needed to take care of a quick job for the house - building some carpenter bee traps.  If you don't have these in your area, they are a fairly large bee, that while not aggressive, will chew through all kinds of wooden structures, like our pergola and barn.  You can kill them, but more will come back.  So, I grabbed a bit of red oak, made 4 sides per box (and mitered them, because, why not!) then drilled holes in each side that will let the bees in.  Then you put a bottom on, drill a hole in and put a soda bottle in that hole.  Pop on a top, hang it near bee activity, wait and hope.  It was fun to do something simple for a change.

Also happening in the shop is a run of 13 tea/keepsake boxes with a hidden spring loaded drawer.  I've wanted to try out doing a larger run of boxes.  I started these back around February/March thinking I'd be done in about 2 months.  Well, my estimate was a tad off.  I'm closing in on completing all  the construction, maybe a few more weeks, then I can start finishing.

This has been a big learning experience for me.  I've done up to 5 of an item, but never 13.  While it's taken a lot longer than I liked, it hasn't been without any triumphs.  You get better at doing multiples and jigs become your friend.  My puzzle makers sled has gotten quite a workout and has performed very well.  Areas where my skills or shop setup are deficient are very noticeable now.  Even through I tried to make everything the same, small errors show up and then that means hand fitting parts.  Hand fitting slows things down a lot.

I'm also seeing just how tough it is to try and do this scale of woodworking with only a few hours of week to put in.  Many errors happen just because I get part way done, then have to let things sit for days, then when I come back I hope I'm doing the right things.  It's amazing how piece meal projects like this can have errors show up.  Perhaps my sweet spot might be 6 of an item, I'll have to keep considering what volume is right for me.

So, I'm going to try to do more blogging and videos in addition to my regular Facebook and Instragram updates.  I have more puzzle ideas and I'd love to write about those and how I'm making them.  I'm also on a new laptop that doesn't have my full photo library, so i need to fix that and get pictures posted again.

Keep building!

Posted on May 29, 2016 .