Tuesday, December 19, 2017

The Box Maker's Guitar Book

If you go to Amazon.com, you'll find my new book priced at around $65.00. If hoping to buy before Christmas, please go direct to the publisher instead using this link: http://springhousepress.com/new-products/box-makers-guitar-book

The point of this book is the making of box guitars, but in this case, the reader gets to make hi or her own box.

My box making videos

I get regular messages from beginning box makers, concerned that my box making videos are no longer available on youtube.com.  My carefully crafted videos had been put on youtube illegally to gain advertising revenue for pirates in violation of my rights and the rights of their producer Taunton Press. So while I apologize for the inconvenience, there are other ways to gain legitimate access to the information. The videos can be accessed through membership in the FineWoodworking website , or downloaded for a small fee from Taunton.com

Taunton Press is having a Christmas sale. Customers can use the code Gift20 to get 20% off on all orders. This is a great chance to save on my books and books by other great authors! In addition they are offering a special package deal on my book Basic Box Making and the related DVD for a special price of $23.94. Use the discount code of Gift20 for an even greater holiday savings.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

a minimalist router table

A reader asked where to find plans for my minimalist router table that has been featured in my books and articles over the years. It can be downloaded from the Fine Woodworking website here: https://s3.amazonaws.com/finewoodworking.s3.tauntoncloud.com/app/uploads/2009/04/06095750/Minimalist-Router-Table-Free-Plan.pdf

While many woodworkers work days to make the perfect router table, mine, which has been in use for over 30 years was made in minutes, allowing me to get right to work.

As with many aspects of my work, I'd not set out to make something different. I was simply trying to do something with what I had at hand. Yesterday I met with the elementary school teachers at Clear Spring School to begin planning our woodshop activities with first through sixth grades. Today I will go shopping for walnut.

Make, fix, create, and increase the likelihood that others learn likewise.

Friday, August 4, 2017

barbed hinges..

I was asked if there are simple ways to set up to install barbed hinges. The point is not to have a simple means but one that works, and the set up is not all that simple. As a jig for the drill press I made this:
It is made from plywood and with its built in slide, it carries the box smoothly into the cut. Stop blocks must be added to accurately and firmly position the box during milling, and it relies on a shaft and blade from the manufacturer of the hinge, Craft-Inc.

The point is that if you want to use these hinges effectively, you must make some investment in their use. It's not a matter of just buying something that works under all circumstances, and for that reason, these press in place hinges may not be the number one go to hinge for some box makers.

Once the jig is made, a process of fine turning for the right depth is required. The cut away photo at left shows how the hinge must fit the slot. And below you can see the jig mounted to the drill press and with cutter mounted in the chuck.

Make, fix, and create.

Friday, July 7, 2017

A source of supply

A student from one of my summer classes asked where to purchase 1/8 in. Baltic Birch plywood like we used in making boxes. He'd looked online, but found only very small pieces for sale and at high prices. The best option is to purchase Baltic Birch at your local lumber yard. It is available in 5 ft. square sheets, and if not on hand, they'll likely order it for you as they do for me at my local lumber yard.

My first two summer box making classes were full and are now past. I have two more coming up and  there are still openings in each. Beginning July 24 I have a week long class in making Pocket Boxes at the Eureka Springs School of the Arts.  August 7-11 I have a class in Creative Box Making at the Connecticut Valley School of Woodworking.

I frequently get questions about my teaching schedule, and these two classes are what remain. Join me if you can.

A woodworking club in Minneapolis asked if I could take a video of myself to help them sell their members on a proposed class in November. Self-produced video is out of my line, but I referred them to a video interview produced by friends, Murdo Laird and Nancy Paddock. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ymu8Mwjy8f0

The photo shows drilling a sound hole in the top of a box guitar. I first fitted and glued a circle of walnut into a hole in the cedar top, and then drilled a smaller hole through it, giving the effect of an inlay. The loose piece at the center is scrap. Some sanding of the edges will finish the job.

Make, fix, and create.

Friday, June 23, 2017

book giveaway... Tiny Boxes

FineWoodworking.com is offering a free excerpt my new book Tiny Boxes, and you can sign up for a chance of winning a copy by using the link at the end of their blog post.

The brief excerpt describes how to put a lift tab in a pen box. It presents an elegant way to open a box. The same technique is useful for other designs as well.

Good luck! I hope that one of my readers wins.  Two copies of the book will be given away.

Make, fix, and create.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

completing the new shop.

I will be at the Eureka Springs School of the Arts each day this week, continuing to assemble tools and getting the wood shop ready for our first class. The photo shows our new work benches as they are being arranged in the bench room.

As we prepare for the grand opening, I am struck by the enormity of this project, of which the wood shop is only a part. About 15 years ago, other artists and I were discussing the need that we had for an art school. We decided to build one. Not having money or resources, we decided to start as a school without walls, using various private studios in town. The purpose was three fold.
  • Allow the various artists in town to have a means to engage others in the arts.
  • Build the stature of the arts in a community that was already known for the arts.
  • Preserve and protect our community, for artists are the ones who remind us to recognize and protect cultural and aesthetic values.
We proceeded to build a school. At this point we have a 55+ acre campus and studios for pottery, jewelry making, leather work, painting, drawing, iron work, and with this new building have added woodworking.

At this point in my own life, I am in awe of a number of things. And I am mainly reminded that people can gather together and add their strength to each others to accomplish what may turn out to be great things.The long range success of the school is not assured by any means. But our hope is that it gains in credibility, others in the community will realize its value to us, and step up in its support.

I, in the course of things was lucky to recognize a few things. As a newcomer to Eureka Springs, I invited a few members of the local community to gather and create the Eureka Springs Guild of Artists and Craftspeople. Through that organization and as first president, I fell into association with a number of wonderful artists. After that organization had met and worked for many years, we closed it specifically to form the Eureka Springs School of the Arts.

Put the date on your calendar, June 4, 2017. Come join us to celebrate the new wood shop. It will not be complete, as we may be fine tuning it for years.

Make, fix, create, and assist others in learning likewise.