Hey guys, my name is Nick and I just started getting into woodworking. I've been browsing this site for a month now and I figured I should introduce myself. I work as a software developer at National Instruments and I've decided to pick up woodworking as a side hobby.
So far I've only bought a dozuki saw and some chisels and have been playing with making dove tail and mortise and tenon joints. Right now I'm going for a low cost of entry, which makes it interesting trying to figure out how to stabilize the wood I'm working on when I only have a plastic folding table and some small clamps. As you can see from the pictures you learn how to make do.
I've since found a heavier wooden table that I can use as a bench and I've picked up some better clamps as well as a router that was on sale at Woodcraft last week. Now I'm just waiting on the router bits that I ordered to come in so I can work on some saw horses that I plan on making. While I'm waiting for those, I've been working on my first real project which is making a hammer out of maple. I'll try to post pictures as I go through it.
Hey Nick, I'm in Austin as well and it looks like we're both at just about the same experience level. Today sure is a good day to be doing some woodworking with the cool weather. I never thought I say 90F was "cool" but it sure does feel like it! If you're not already aware of it, there is a lumber yard in town, Fine Lumber (http://finelumber.com) that has decent prices on lumber. FAR better than Lowes/Home Depot, and they're open on Saturdays. There are a few other places within a 30 minute drive that have better prices, but for the convenience, Fine Lumber is well worth it.
"I think the skirt is a little long for my taste (I like seeing lots of leg)" -- frankp
I actually tried to check out Fine Lumber on Saturday, and they were closed for memorial day weekend. I guess I'll have to try again later.
Today was a beautiful day especially with the shade in the garage and the breeze. Though I can do without the wind if it would help the fire fighters contain the crazy fires around here.
Here is what I'm talking about when I say make a hammer out of maple. I guess it's more a mallet. I also decided to use Indial laurel since I like the color and it was relatively cheap. I still need to shave down the top and do some final sanding. I'm still trying to decide if I want to stain it or maybe seal it. Do you guys have any suggestions for finishing this tool?
I grabbed some clamps from Harbor Freight for $4 and $4.50 for 6" and 12" ones respectively. Those are the clamps that you see in the pictures. I know they're not great quality, but on a budget, they seem to get the job done.
One of the tricks I learned (not sure if it was on here or not) was to pour some rubbing alcohol directly onto the wood to wet it. This changes the color to look pretty close to what it would look like if you just put some poly on it. I'd suggest that you do that first and see if you like it. Personally, I prefer the look of unstained wood, especially so since you inlaid it with the laurel.