Example of the Advantages of a Simplified Woodworking Shop

After I simplified my shop, I had so much more room to work.  I knew where everything was, including my wood.  When mother’s day was coming around the corner, I could not think about what to get my mom.  So, I asked myself, “What can I make that she could use, and make it quickly (since Mother’s day is around the corner).”  I don’t like buying something that she may or may not use.  I build this stool for her in just a few hours on a Saturday and then finished it during the course of the week.


Here was the process  . . . 

I went to the basement and saw an old stool I had, and then  I remembered her mentioning something about wanting a stool to sit on while she worked in her garden.  I pulled out a left over piece of my slab from my desk.


Using my table saw, I cut the slab piece into three pieces.


Then I took a No. 62 Low Angle Jack Plane with a special iron to flatten the slab.



In my rush, I never thought about what I was going to use for legs?   I was moving as inspiration hit me and letting the creative juices flow.  It is amazing what you can think of when the only sound you hear is that of you plane flowing across your board.   I wasn’t sure if the bed my Delta Midi Lathe was long enough to turn the legs I wanted.


Walking stick


That is when I saw the branches  from the Maple that fell in my back yard a few years ago sitting in the corner of the shop (I had kept them because I make walking sticks for cub scouts from time to time and give them away as gifts).





I had previously striped off the bark with my 5″ Curved Blade Drawknife.   So, I got to cutting them.7






Then I cut Tenons on the pieces I cut with a 1” Power Tenon Cutter that I received for Christmas.  The Veritas brand I purchased appears temporarily unavailable on Amazon (it may be available elsewhere), but the Lumber Jack Tools TTR1000 Pro Series 1-Inch Radius Shoulder Tenon Cutter is still available.


Using my one inch Forstner Drill Bit, I cut the round mortises into my slab.

From another fallen branch, I cut stretchers and shaved the bark off with my 5″ Curved Blade Drawknife


Then, using a 5/8” Forstner Bit, I cut mortises into the legs.

I dry fit everything, and then I glued it all together with my Titebond II Premium Wood Glue.  It was a tight fit, so I did not even use nails or screws.  Once the glue dried, I sat and stood on the top of it to make sure it was solid.  Since I weigh about 270 and it did not move an inch, I figured it was solid enough to avoid putting any screws or finishing nails in it at this time.    By the way, this was the first time I used my Glu-Bot Glue Bottle
and I loved it.  I now buy glue by the gallon, and just refill my Glu-Bot Glue Bottle
when needed.  That way I don’t have to worry about running out of glue.

Then I finished it with Waterlox.

IMG_5383 IMG_5384 IMG_1402IMG_1397 IMG_5382

My Mom loved it.    Other ladies in the neighborhood think it is so unique, they want one too.  Only problem is that I have several other builds that I have already promised my Wife, so it will have to wait.  Of course, I need to try to convince their husbands to keep it in mind for a future birthday present in case they wanted to order a custom, one of a kind present for their wife.

I have Amazon affiliate links to most of the bits and tools I used above.  I am so busy, that I have become a huge fan of Amazon.  I signed up for Amazon Prime a couple years ago and have not looked back.  Here is an offer for a 30 day free trial:

Amazon Prime

For me, the yearly fee of $72 is well worth it.  Among other things, it gives you 2 day free shipping (even on heavy items) on many items they have.  You also get free video streaming on certain movies like Netflix.   So, you are probably asking . . . “What does Amazon Prime have to do with Woodworking.”  I will tell you with a true story –

Every year, the kids and I buy my Wife a really nice kitchen knife for Christmas.  I am talking about the ones that are over $100 per knife (but worth every penny).   We were on our way to the Williams Sonoma store to buy a new knife for her slowly growing collection.   The only problem was that we were sitting in traffic that was moving at about 2 miles an hour on a Saturday.  It was awful.   I checked the radio and it sounded like the traffic was simply bad everywhere.  Translation, my one hour round trip to the store was going to be about 4 hours, most of which would be in the car.  To make matters worse, I had two pens to turn for Christmas present orders and not time to turn them on Sunday.  I pulled out my iPhone (at this point I was not even moving) and checked Amazon for the knife I was looking for.  It was $105.  I called the Williams Sonoma store, and they had the same knife for $115.  That was it.  I turned around, got home in 15 minutes (traffic was fine going the other way), ordered the knife on Amazon with no shipping costs.  Like the iTunes store, my Amazon Prime account has all my information saved, including my shipping and payment information, so the purchase took all of two minutes.  I saved money not just on the purchase, but on the gas I was going to waste sitting in traffic all day.  More importantly, the kids were happy because they could play Xbox, my Wife was going to be happy with a new knife under the Christmas tree, and I was in the basement turning my pens.  Wahoo!

So . . . that is what Amazon Prime has to do with Woodworking.   It allowed me to quickly take care of some shopping so I could get back in the shop to make some presents for others.

Hope you enjoyed this post.

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