Keeping It Interesting

Is your project feeling more tedious than enjoyable? While I absolutely enjoy woodworking as business and a hobby, I have to admit that there have been times when my projects seem uninteresting.

BUT – I have come to the conclusion that the best way to ensure that woodworking projects remain interesting and challenging is to avoid falling into a “RUT”, where you use the same construction and finishing techniques.

Using different materials – like lumber and hardware – as well as different machining methods and wood finishing products will challenge your woodworking skills, plus provide a sense of greater satisfaction with your completed projects.

A perfect case in point is the cigar humidor and tabletop liquor cabinet plan models I have just completed for Klockit. I made the models with Alder, a lumber I had not previously used. While Alder is an affordable alternative to Cherry, it does present certain machining and finishing challenges.

These projects also provided me with the opportunity to re-saw ¾” thick lumber on my band saw for the first time…ever. The cigar humidor provided me with the challenge of edge gluing ¼” thick solid Spanish Cedar lumber panels. These new techniques and methods kept me focused and gave me a feeling of pride and satisfaction I had not felt on recent projects.

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.

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Sneak Peek: Cigar Humidor Case and Tabletop Liquor Cabinet

Back in April, I shared the design ideas for a cigar humidor and tabletop liquor cabinet. I have since completed the prototype models and would like to share this preview with our readers before the wood finishing is complete.

Ready-for-Finishing-003

These two items will be new woodworking plan and component introductions that are scheduled for rollout in January 2015. The humidifier component is sized for 75 cigar storage. The hygrometer component will indicate the optimum humidity to keep cigars fresh.

While these models were built of Alder wood, you will be able to select whatever wood species you prefer to work with. The cigar humidor model plan will cover lining the case and lid with 1/4″ thickness Spanish Cedar, and even show the removable tray made of Spanish Cedar.

The revolving turntable on the liquor cabinet should accommodate 5-6 bottles of one’s favorite liquor bottles, and smoothly revolves 360 degrees on the 6″ Lazy Susan.

cigar-humidor-liquor-cabinet

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.

See all our woodworking plan projects on Klockit.com!

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: Dog Treat and Leash Combo Woodworking Plan

The idea of designing this wall-mounted dog treat/leash combination came from my niece’s most recent request. She is a big dog lover and also thinks her uncle can build anything! I love her confidence in my woodworking skills, so I’m wasn’t about to burst her bubble by telling her just what a “wood butcher” I really am!

Anyway, my niece recently asked me to make her something she could hang on the wall that would have two doggie treat containers and two leash hooks for her ‘Babies” (dogs). What I came up with was what you see in the photo below.

Puppy Treat Station 001

The puppy treat are held in one pint “MASON” canning jars that are set slightly recessed on the lower plates. The top plates pivot open and close on wooden dowel hinge pins to make treat access quick and to make jar removal for refilling/cleaning easy. The photo model is made of pine and painted with a “Crackle Paint” finish.

I’m so glad my niece liked this mantel combo! Plus, several other people have already asked me to make them one, so I thought this might make a great woodworking plan project for Klockit’s woodworking customers.

The woodworking plan to make this dog treat wall combo will be released in the near future. You will find it to be an easy project and a finished product that will undoubtedly sell well at craft fairs. It will also make the perfect gift for your family and friends with dogs.

Coming soon to Klockit.com!

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.

Coming Soon: Cigar Humidor and Tabletop Liquor Cabinet

Do you appreciate sharing a great cigar and/or a glass of fine liquor with family and close friends? If so, I hope you’ll get excited as I am for these two new woodworking plan projects!

I’m currently designing woodworking plans for a tabletop cigar humidor case and a companion liquor cabinet. The cigar humidor will have a capacity of between 75-100 fine cigars and will specify Spanish Cedar lining and a lift out, divided compartment, are more! The companion liquor cabinet will feature a 360-degree revolving front panel and concealed turntable large enough to accommodate multiple bottles of your favorite liquors, as well as other items such as glasses.

Both woodworking plans will help you create the perfect gift for anyone who is a cigar or liquor enthusiast. The plan designs allow recreational woodworkers to easily complete them within a week or two.

So if you love building special projects from great Klockit plans, you will want to order these new plans as soon as they are available! Be watching for the preview of the prototype photo models later in 2014!

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: Backlit Skeleton Movement Bracket Clock Woodworking Plan

You may be wondering, “What’s the inspiration behind new Klockit woodworking plans?” The answer: our plan product ideas come from many sources, but perhaps the most frequent plan inspiration comes about as a result of a new component – clock motor, clock insert, weather-related instrument, etc. – being introduced as a potential new product.

While these new components are often very innovative and interesting, it is not always obvious how our Klockit customers could use the components.

This was recently the case when a skeleton movement insert was introduced to our new product group. Everyone agreed this item would be of great interest to Klockit customers, but there was some concern about how to best accentuate the skeleton configuration of the movement insert with its moving gears.

Then The Light Bulb Went Off

What if the skeleton movement insert could be backlit within the case using an LED tea light or candelabra light? We knew that if we could develop a woodworking plan for a small backlit clock case, our customers could not only enjoy building our the design, but they would then incorporate our backlit feature into many other clock case designs of their own creation.

Design Time

After evaluation of a preliminary clock design model, I set about drawing detailed construction drawings from which to make the formal model to be used online and in the Klockit catalog.

Next I actually constructed each part (shown in the photo) to the drawing specifications to ensure complete accuracy of the drawings that would be made into scaleable CAD plans. Last I assembled and finished the wood parts into a formal photography model using a cranberry-colored finish.

Bracket-Backlit-Clock-003

When Will It Be Available?

This particular woodworking plan product is going to be a great 2-3 day project for our Klockit woodworkers. Be looking for the introduction of this great plan later in 2014. This plan will let you build the perfect gift(s) for family and friends!

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.

A Time for Reflection

What are you thankful for this holiday season? This is the time of year when I like to reflect on the important things in life.

Thankfully, I am fortunate to have a nice home shop with machinery, equipment, and tools that are certainly adequate for the woodworking projects I do for Klockit and for my personal use.

Not unlike a lot of my fellow woodworking enthusiasts, every now and then I start to think I need bigger, fancier, or additional equipment than what I already have! When these thoughts enter my mind, I have only to look up on my shop wall at the tool-wallfew basic hand tools my father used in the 40s and 50s to quickly get back to feeling pretty good about the tools I have.

My father used those tools to build kitchen cabinets for my mom and other furnishings (bookcases, tables, etc.) for our old farmhouse.

Like myself, I would guess that a lot of our Klockit customers gained their love of woodworking from watching and helping their dads and grandfathers. I often wonder what my dad would think of my woodworking skills. Hopefully he would approve!

I am very sure he would be amazed at all of the woodworking machinery and tools I have at my disposal, and I suspect he would maybe tease me a bit about needing all the stuff I have!

Tell us:

What are you thankful for this holiday season? Leave a comment 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.

New Product: Rotating Storage Cabinet Woodworking Plan

Not fired up to complete some of the projects on your To-Do list?

Over the years, there have been times where I was not enthusiastic about a proposed product design – at least not initially.

The woodworking plan project I am currently working on is one of those instances. I actually moved this plan project down on my To-Do list a couple of times, moving other design projects ahead of it.

All that has changed, however, as I have worked on what I am starting to see as maybe the most unique and versatile piece of furniture I have had the privilege to develop.

Without giving too much away, I can only sincerely advise our amazing Klockit woodworking customers to seriously consider purchasing and building this plan piece when it is released in early 2014.

New Woodworking Plan Preview

Imagine: A three module, multifunctional, 360 degree rotating storage cabinet that stands just a few inches under 6 feet tall. This rotating storage cabinet will occupy less than 20” of floor space, but can be easily customized according to what the intended usage is and where in the home it is to be located.

The plan builder will have a variety of design options for how each side of the module is to be finished. Whether it’s a storage / activity unit in a child’s room, a storage-message-display piece in an entry way, or a space saver cabinet in a college dorm room, this piece is a great addition to any room.

All in all, I’m really excited about all potential variations and uses that this cabinet will allow. I can’t wait to complete all of the design drawings so I can build the model and unveil it! My best estimate is that the model will be done by mid to late January of 2014.

ComingSoon

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: Prairie Series Occasional Table Plan

The next woodworking plan to be introduced to Klockit’s Prairie Series has arrived! Modeled after an Arts & Crafts style, the Occasional Table is the perfect companion to the other pieces in the series.

occasional-table-model

The table model pictured above is made of Red Oak. The dimensions are as follows: 30-3/4”H x 18-1/2”W x 13”D. This table features a top drawer as well as a bottom fixed shelf and an adjustable shelf.

Design Inspiration

After constructing a mission style bookcase and sideboard table for our home, my wife requested that I design a compatible Arts & Craft Style small table. Finally, after several months, I have completed the project and it is now in our dining room as a companion piece to the bookcase and sideboard.

Click to learn more about the history behind Prairie Style design.

Availability

The Occasional Table woodworking plan is on schedule to be introduced to the Klockit product line in late Fall. Stay tuned for updates!

Tell us: Which color would you stain this piece? Leave a comment 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.