October, here in Canada, is the time for special thanks-giving and I, for one, am giving thanks to Martin for the new feature at LumberJocks.com!
How many times have you felt a tinge of frustration when trying to post a photo in your blogs? Well, not any more! Now, you can upload a photo directly from your computer into your posting. No longer is a third party photo storage site necessary. AND .. the photos will automatically be sized to fit the LumberJocks' pages.
This is a great time saver (and frustration saver) that Martin has added to the site. Just a caution, though, there is a cost for this service and with 20,000+ members, well, just as Martin states in his blog, here, I, too, hope it isn't abused.
Now, on we go to the eMag. As always I look forward to reading your comments about the newsletter. You can post your feedback here.
18 gadgets and "kitchen treasures" were blogged about for our "create and share" challenge and we have some very happy, lucky, winners... read more here..
(Thanks to Rockler for the generous prizes!)
Thanks to our extraordinary members we have many, many tutorials posted at LumberJocks.com, sharing the process of making different woodworking projects.
Taking these tutorials to another level are the in-depth step-by-step blog series where our members work along with the craftsman, learning a new skill - just like in a classroom.
The Art Box Class
Last year, Andy had several students take up the challenge of creating an "art box" ( lessons begins here.) Some of the finished projects are tagged as "art box" - check out these amazing boxes.
If you participated in the box making class, make sure your finished project is tagged as "art box" so we can see the results of the hard work put into the process by you and by Andy.
The Shoe Carving Class
This fall, Jordan is teaching a LumberJock class on how to carve a shoe. (The class tutorials begin here.) The goal is for all of the projects to be completed and posted by mid-November. Of course you can begin at any time and share your shoe when you get it finished.
If I have missed any other classes please let me know so I can share them with everyone.
Also, maybe you are considering teaching a class here at the LumberJocks shop. March, following our Winter Awards, would be a good time for another group of students! (Hint Hint.)
And... I've received an email asking about woodworking plans on our site. If you post plans, if they are in a tutorial or not, tagging the blog or project as "plans" would be helpful to our fellow woodworkers. Thanks.
A prize-winning jig
Safety, safety, safety - it should be the number one focus at all times while working in the shop.
Many woodworkers have stories to tell about close calls, injuries and even tragedies. Although freak accidents may occur, most injuries can be prevented.
In the shop especially, something can happen so quickly that changes our lives forever. Caring for your equipment, taking your time, and focusing on the task at hand can prevent 99% of the dangers. And, don't forget the dangers that are happening slowly - those "I'm only doing a little job" situations that add up, slowly damaging our bodies- for example, breathing in fine sawdust. Strategies and equipment can and should be put in place to protect our hearing, our eyes, our lungs, and our fingers.
One strategy to help prevent injuries is the use of jigs. From experience, I know that certain tasks can be awkward. A jig can do a lot of the work, holding the pieces of wood secure, eliminating much of the safety concerns.
One of our members, Wrangler55, has created a jig that was one of the winning entries in a woodworking contest. Congratulations, Wrangler. In his description of the jig he talks about the need to do jobs faster. Jigs allow this to happen without rushing and losing focus on what we are doing.
For more tips on shop safety check out the following links:
Our Safety in the Woodworking Shop Forum
One of the "Hot Projects"
(For the "most discussed' projects this past month, click on the "Hot Projects" link on the Projects Page's toolbar) and don't forget to check the "silent projects" that are waiting for some feedback.)
And speaking of "waiting for feedback", there are forum topics that are unanswered, as well.
The following are some other projects posted by our fellow LumberJocks.
This month we head to Nebraska, USA to the shop of Dennis Zongker.
I asked Dennis what he would change about his workshop. (Have you seen his photos? I can't imagine it needing anything to be changed!). But, as with most of us, there is always something that could be improved upon.)
Dennis answered, "My shop is located in an old beer brewery. The building was built in 1859. Most of my shop is in the cooler, where the walls are made of two feet thick concrete. If a bomb went off we wouldn’t feel anything. There are only two things I would like to change; the first would be there are no windows so it would be nice to have a few to have the natural sunlight beaming into the building. Second, the floors are made of concrete and red brick, I would like to have wooden floors it would be easier on our feet, legs and back. If you drop a chisel or a carving knife it wouldn’t chip the nice sharp edge like it does when it hits the concrete."
I also asked him for advice to woodworkers setting up a shop space for the first time. His advice was, "I think the most important things are to set up your shop to where you feel comfortable. For example, the layout of all your tools should be hung on peg boards or tool racks to where you can see every tool. This way it makes it easier to locate what you need and you won’t forget if you have any particular tool. Try hanging inspirational pictures, this will inspire you to strive to always continue to be your best, and to never stop wanting to get better.
And what about woodworkers who are becoming more serious about their woodworking path? "I always try to stay organized and clean up every day. It makes a big difference when your shop is clean. When things are a mess it is easier to slip or to bang something into your work. I find that if you clean as you go, by putting your tools or clamps back where they belong, you will stay organized. I know this can be difficult. There are times that at the end of my day when I look at my progress only to see a huge mess, as if a tornado went through the shop…"
Dennis also said, "Having plenty of working space in your shop is very important. One of the best ways I have found is to have as many of your woodworking machines on movable carts with locking casters. For an example, our band saw drill press, drum sander, large band saw, miter saw, and chisel mortis machines are all on a cart with locking casters, so that when you are done using any of these machines they can be moved and stored out of the way. This helps keeps the main working area clean and provide you with more space."
Thanks Dennis for these great tips and for letting us take a peek into your workspace. (Learn more about his shop, here.)