Selecting the Best Wood for Your Next Woodworking Project

Like many woodworkers I’ve spent considerable time and effort setting up my shop and equipping it with the right tools to produce a wide variety of home décor items. I just haven’t been able to dedicate as much effort to understanding everything I should know about selecting the best lumber for each project. Continue reading

12 Tips to Get Your Shop Organized for Fall Projects

After some time away from woodworking due to a knee replacement, I recently ventured out to my shop to get started on some projects for upcoming fall and winter craft shows.

Woodworking Shop

I spent a couple of hours looking over my machinery and tried to find hand tools and supplies. They were not where they were supposed to be, so I decided that the smartest use of my time would be to get organized!

Most of you are probably more diligent than I am about performing shop maintenance. But if you haven’t tidied up your shop lately, I would recommend it! The tips below will help you get organized and smoothly move forward with woodworking projects this fall season.

12 tips to get your shop organized for Fall projects:

(1) Perform a thorough cleaning of your dust collection system and shop vacuum filters.

(2) Check all lighting and make sure overhead lighting fixtures are dust-free.

(3) Make sure heaters and furnaces are clean and exhaust fans are working properly.

(4) Check all electrical outlets and switches to make sure they are dust-free.

(5) Check all machinery power cords to make sure they are safe.

(6) Organize hand tools, boring bits, drill bits, saws, and files.

(7) Check all miter and rip fences to make sure all adjustment calibrations are correct.

(8) Perform test cuts to make sure power saw blades are capable of making cleaning cuts without burning or other problems.

(9) Check planer blades and jointer blades for signs of wear or damage and perform necessary maintenance.

(10) Check condition of band saw blades and blade tension. If necessary, replace worn blade guides.

(11) Make sure you have an adequate supply of lumber required for pending projects. And of course consumables, such as sandpaper, wood stains, finishes, and wood glues.

(12) Do you have enough wood clamps? Make sure your wood clamp assortment is adequate and that all clamping is in good order.

We hope these tips will help you get organized and perform at your best! Do you have any tips to share? Post them below!

Written By: John Cooper

John spent the better part of the 28 years he was employed by Klockit, designing hundreds of clock and furniture kits and plans and has continued with product design since his retirement in 2008. John’s love of clocks, his passion for creating furniture for his own home as well as for family, and his great appreciation for the beautiful finished pieces Klockit customers make from our kits and plans inspire him to continue to create still more new clock and furniture designs.

Now Available: Cigar Humidor and Tabletop Liquor Cabinet Woodworking Plans

It’s been nearly a year in the making, but we are proud to announce the launch of two highly anticipated woodworking plans!

As you can see below, the cigar humidor box and tabletop liquor cabinet look great together as companion pieces, but each can also be the star of the show on its own.

49876-77-Room-Wide

Cigar Humidor Box

Our models were built of Alder wood, but you will be able to select the wood species you prefer to work with. The cigar humidor woodworking plan details the lining of the case and lid with ¼-inch thickness Spanish Cedar wood. You’ll love that the cigar humidor box is sized to hold 75 cigars! The hygrometer component on the outside of the box will indicate the optimum humidity to help keep your cigars fresh.

cigar-humidor-box

Tabletop Liquor Cabinet

We hope you’ll also enjoy the clever design of the Tabletop Liquor Cabinet, with its lockable cabinet and lazy susan turntable. Inside, you’ll be able to store 5-6 standard size liquor bottles or a few bottles with glasses and accessories – you decide!

tabletop-liquor-cabinet

The Bottom Line

I truly enjoyed designing these new woodworking plan products, and I am confident our Klockit customers are going to enjoy building them as well. Both the cigar humidor case and tabletop liquor cabinet make for very special gifts to family or friends.

Start yours today!

Click to view the details of the Cigar Humidor Box woodworking plan and Tabletop Liquor Cabinet woodworking plan.

Written by: John Cooper

John spent the better part of the 28 years he was employed by Klockit, designing hundreds of clock and furniture kits and plans and has continued with product design since his retirement in 2008. John’s love of clocks, his passion for creating furniture for his own home as well as for family, and his great appreciation for the beautiful finished pieces Klockit customers make from our kits and plans inspire him to continue to create still more new clock and furniture designs.

Sneak Peek: Outdoor Folding Table

We are excited to introduce this exclusive sneak peek of our upcoming Outdoor Folding Table woodworking plan. This neat table is designed to be a multi purpose table with a variety of usages ranging from grilling, food serving, bar, potting station, and more!

Check out the photos below of this new outdoor table, ranging in stages from completed assembled to ready to put away.

photo-strip

There are just ten quick mount knob bolts and four leg brace wood pins involved in assembly and disassembly. The finished prototype below is made of Cedar and is finished with a Rustic Brown exterior Krylon stain.

Outdoor Finished Table

Dimensions

The fully assembled table (to include optional back upper shelf unit) dimensions are 60” in length, 18” in width and 50” height (30” table top height). When fully disassembled and folded up for storage, the complete table unit (minus optional top shelf and optional bottom shelf) measures 30” x 18” x 10”.

With the folded up top shelf unit and folded up bottom shelf unit stacked on top of the folded up table, the total height will be less than 20”. This means any storage space of 30” x 18” x 20” height can accommodate the complete table unit.

Fun Fact: This table takes five minutes to completely setup or disassemble!

Recommended Tools and Supplies

We recommend using the following tools and woodworking supplies to make the table: table saw, band saw, air nailer, woodworking clamps, drill press, socket wrench, screwdriver, wood glue, and sandpaper. All necessary assembly hardware will be available for purchase in an accompanying component package. More details will be included when we release this new woodworking plan later this year. Stay tuned!

Your Turn!

Tell Us: Would you be inclined to preserve the natural wood look with a clear seal coat, or finish this table with paint and/or stain? Tell us your preferences in the comments section below!

Written By: John Cooper

John spent the better part of the 28 years he was employed by Klockit, designing hundreds of clock and furniture kits and plans and has continued with product design since his retirement in 2008. John’s love of clocks, his passion for creating furniture for his own home as well as for family, and his great appreciation for the beautiful finished pieces Klockit customers make from our kits and plans inspire him to continue to create still more new clock and furniture designs.

Remember the Story Behind the Gift

Over the many years I have given my handcrafted clocks and other décor to family and friends as gifts, I myself had never thought of sharing the “story behind the gift” to make the item even more cherished.

All that changed last year when I started to make and give away tiny hand carved crosses, made from an old weathered chunk of wood from my past.

wooden-cross-pendant

Back To Where It All Began

In the summer of 2003, I was in the area where I had grown up and decided to drive by our old farm. I already knew all the buildings were gone. What was once a very typical family dairy farm was now a 160-acre potato field, but the place of my childhood still beckoned me to drive by.

As I approached the southeast corner of our farm, I noticed a large pile of rocks that had been removed from the fields over many years. I decided to stop and bring a few of these rocks home as souvenirs. As I was walking through the tall grass to get to the rock pile, I tripped over something and fell. I picked myself up and kicked the object up out of the grass and immediately recognized it as one of the oak fence posts my dad and I made back in the mid 1950’s to fence in a 40-acre parcel as pasture for our cows.

As I held the badly weathered, partially rotted fence post, the cherished memories of working with my dad in the dead of winter to cut down and cut up oak trees came flooding back. Thinking maybe someday I would figure out something to do with it, I brought the old fencepost home and leaned it up in a corner of my shop, where it quickly became buried and forgotten.

Oak-Fencepost-001

Appreciating The Significance

In the fall of 2013, however, while working on woodcrafts for an upcoming show, I uncovered the post and got the idea to make wooden pendant crosses to give to my family. After finishing a few of the crosses, I decided to jot down some notes on their origin to include with the little gifts. I did not think anyone would be all that interested in the story, nor really appreciate the significance the story had for me. I was so wrong!

After making many of the cross pendants for family members and friends, it has been truly gratifying to see how much the story behind the gift means to everyone. Now I always make sure my handcrafted gifts include the story behind them, and I encourage you to do the same. Remember, the story will forever link the gift to you and make it even more special as an heirloom.

Written By: John Cooper

John spent the better part of the 28 years he was employed by Klockit, designing hundreds of clock and furniture kits and plans and has continued with product design since his retirement in 2008. John’s love of clocks, his passion for creating furniture for his own home as well as for family, and his great appreciation for the beautiful finished pieces Klockit customers make from our kits and plans inspire him to continue to create still more new clock and furniture designs.

Farewell to a Beloved Customer, Mentor, and Friend

richard_dWith the recent passing of Richard Didier, Klockit lost a truly special customer and many of us, as employees of Klockit, lost a mentor and valued friend.

Rich loved building beautiful clocks and furniture items from Klockit plans and kits, as well as creating his own unique designs.

Many of Rich’s beautiful clocks and furnishings graced his home and many more of his beautiful pieces were given as treasured gifts to family and friends.

Here’s the perfect example: Rich built four 40th Anniversary mantel clocks for his friends and family for Christmas this past year. His family members are pictured below, holding handcrafted heirlooms that will be treasured for years to come.

photo-33 (1)

Invaluable Advice

Although the craftsmanship of his work was always as close to perfect as one could ever want to see, Rich was extremely humble about his work and he strived for perfection on each project he tackled.

Countless times, over many years, Rich offered up invaluable advice on ways we could design better kit and plan products.

We have enjoyed working with Rich on numerous woodworking projects, dating back to when we first wanted to incorporate information for creating “Hard-To-Make” parts like crown moldings and split columns for the Churchill Grandfather Clock plans. Rich was instrumental in confirming that our ‘Step-By-Step” plan information was accurate by actually making the parts in his shop from our drawings.

Rich completed more than 25 projects over the years, the most notable include building a Cooper Collection grandfather clock, and designing and building the Mora Grandfather Clock – which he later helped Klockit develop into a woodworking plan product. Rich also built various photography models from Klockit’s exclusive furniture plans that were used in the Klockit catalog and website.

Missed, But Always Remembered

I personally have had the honor of working with many Klockit customers, and to learn so much from them that has made me a better kit and plan designer over the past 30 plus years. It is safe to say, however, that no one has done more to help me develop my woodworking knowledge than Richard Didier. More important, however, is that I have had the privilege of having him as a dear friend.

Goodbye Rich. You will be missed but you will always be remembered.

Written by: John Cooper

John spent the better part of the 28 years he was employed by Klockit, designing hundreds of clock and furniture kits and plans and has continued with product design since his retirement in 2008. John’s love of clocks, his passion for creating furniture for his own home as well as for family, and his great appreciation for the beautiful finished pieces Klockit customers make from our kits and plans inspire him to continue to create still more new clock and furniture designs.

Sneak Peek: Harp Leg Half Table Woodworking Plan

Looking to build a small display table for your home? Then you’ll enjoy our upcoming Harp Leg Half Table woodworking plan. This plan is the perfect change of pace when it comes to lumber usage, machining, assembly, and finishing options. We are proud to announce this new woodworking plan will be introduced in early 2015.

harp-leg-half-table
Click to zoom in on detail of table.

From a Glance

The Harp Leg Half Table is perfect for indoor or outdoor application when suitable lumber and finish is used. It’s ideal for foyers or virtually anywhere else in the home where a small, stylish table would enhance the décor of a room.

The photo model below was made of recycled construction material. The top is an edge glued panel construction and stained with a polyurethane finish. The bottom is finished with chalk paint with a wax (clear and dark) finish.

Finished-Harp-Leg-Table-001
Finished photo model. Click to see detail.

Plan Specifications

This new woodworking plan will provide full-size patterns for the legs and bottom braces, and will allow the parts to be cut out on a 14”-16” band saw. As always, the plan will also include both illustrated and written assembly instructions to ensure an easy and enjoyable project for all builders.This plan will even provide useful tips on making a simple band saw support table for ease of cutting the legs, braces, and the half round top.

Basic woodworking machinery and tools will be required to complete this project, along with a table saw, 14″ to 16″ band saw, table or floor drill press, bar/pipe clamping, and miscellaneous hand tools. The finished table dimensions are 36” width x 16” depth x 30” height.

Who Should Buy?

The Harp Leg Half Table woodworking plan is an easy to medium project plan. We’re sure the finished half table will be something you’ll be proud to display in your home, give as a gift, or even sell in local shops and craft shows.

I already have 4 requests for tables and I’ve only had the model done for a few days. What have I done?!

Click here to see all Klockit woodworking plans!

Written by: John Cooper

John spent the better part of the 28 years he was employed by Klockit, designing hundreds of clock and furniture kits and plans and has continued with product design since his retirement in 2008. John’s love of clocks, his passion for creating furniture for his own home as well as for family, and his great appreciation for the beautiful finished pieces Klockit customers make from our kits and plans inspire him to continue to create still more new clock and furniture designs.