Author Archives: mattsanf

Campaign Stool

Recently completed British Campaign Stool made from red oak, Lee Valley hardware, copper rivets and vegetable tanned leather.  From Chris Schwarz’s Campaign Furniture book.   Used this small project to teach myself basic leatherwork.

Walnut Natural Edge Coffee Table

Wormy Chestnut and Cherry Side Table

Natural Edge Printer Cabinet

Homemade Shooting Board

Long Gun Work Station made from wood scraps and a hand screw

We’re Back

This blog has been very quiet for quite awhile.  We have continued to spend time in the shop, attend WIA 2012, and much more…but things have managed to prevent me from posting here.  I am going to try to begin posting again.  Posts will be shorter and less polished, so maybe I will do them more often.

For instance, below is a photo of a simple-stupid jig that I made to help us to reload skeet shells.  When putting lead or powder into a MEC 9000 bottle, you need three hands to hold the bottle upright while the funnel is on the top and you pour it in.  Below is a simple jig to hold the bottle upright.


Dovetailed base for Lie-Nielsen doweling plate

I made a 8:1 dovetailed base for my Lie-Nielsen doweling plate….no reason for dovetails other than to practice cutting them on the JMP2.  Worked well.

Checklist for using the Bridge City JMP2 to cut “through” dovetails

I have compiled the checklist below to make it easier for me to remember how to set up and cut through dovetails on the Bridge City JMP2.   The Bridge City YouTube video on this process helps (embedded below),

….but it is quicker for me to just look at the list below to refresh my memory without watching the video…I guess I am more of a checklist person than a video person….old school.

The checklist is written by me for me, so some of my shorthand and notes may not be so self-explanatory.  Use at your own risk.

Checklist for using the Bridge City JMP2 to cut “through” dovetails

Process checklist (version 11/25/2011)

  1. Cut tails first
  2. Set blade to 8:1 tilt and to wood thickness (tilt blade sloping up and to the right)
  3. Strike lines with marking gauge (Tite-mark) on all both faces of both pieces.  Mark the pieces as “inside and outside and pins and tails” with pencil
  4. Cut just slightly “deep” (more than wood thickness by a couple thousandths)
  5. Clamp stop block onto fence to allow for repeatable cuts
  6. Cut tails (one cut then flip block then move stop block toward center and repeat with flip)
  7. Move blade to 90 degrees
  8. Cut off shoulders
  9. Chop out tails (chop ½ way through and then flip and complete)
  10. Mark pins from tails onto 2nd piece (lay newly cut piece on top of 2nd piece).  You are marking onto the OUTSIDE of the 2nd piece
  11. Leave blade at 90 degrees and wood thickness exactly
  12. Set fence at 8:1 angle (sloping down to the right side of the JMP)
  13. Cut 2 cuts on pins pieces using marks (leave fat – cut on tail side of lines). THESE TWO CUTS SHOULD BE CUT #4 AND #2 COUNTING FROM THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE JMP
  14. Switch fence to 8:1 angle in other direction
  16. Chop out tails using fretsaw and then jig and chisels (chop ½ way through and then flip and complete)
  17. fit

Note pencil lines on saw table that make setting the fence angel for 8:1 dovetails faster and more repeatable.

Call For Help: A Fellow Woodworker in Need

Below is from Highland Woodworking regarding David Charlesworth…its legit…not a scam… I donated…

David was to be at Woodworking in America (WIA) in Cincinnati last week and could not come.  I will post more about WIA later.  Another great show this year.



We received word today, Oct. 5, that renowned English woodworking author and teacher, David Charlesworth, was stricken with a serious illness while teaching in Germany and is in dire need of our assistance.

David is in need of an ambulance flight back to England but is not in position to cover the expense of one. We would like to encourage those in the woodworking community who are able to do so to make a donation of $1 to $10 to a fund for that purpose. Donations can be made via Paypal to David’s assistant John at (through Paypal). Highland Woodworking will also be contributing to the cause.

Chris Bagby, owner

Highland Woodworking

More details:

(courtesy of Frank Byers at Woodcraft)

via Call For Help: A Fellow Woodworker in Need.

Embroidery Machine “Mystic Molly” Name Plate on Kayak

My wife has an embroidery sewing machine, and we used it to make an embroidered name and date plate for the Mystic Molly.  You can see it below behind the cockpit.

We did the embroidery on a piece of standard white fabric using standard embroidery thread.   We then used the same marine spar varnish that we used for the hull to “glue” the round piece of fabric onto the hull and then seal it and make it waterproof.

It was an experiment and it left a few bubbles that I am not thrilled with, but overall it worked well for a first try.

Mystic Molly launched!

Mystic Molly completed and christened with Fat Tire Ale in the Outer Banks of NC! More to follow soon. She paddles great!



My modifications to CLC sawhorse design for light watercraft

This past weekend I “modified” the CLC sawhorses that I discussed in my recent post.  CLC’s design suggested making the rigid top 2×4 cross-bar replaceable with a flexible strap between two dowels to allow the sawhorses to be converted to soft slings for finished boat maintenance, etc.

I took this idea and instead of making a removable sling, I permanently attached two old ratcheting cargo straps to the sides of the sawhorses.   Photos below show how I permanently screwed one strap end to one side of the sawhorse and screwed the ratcheting mechanism to the other side of the horse (then cut the strap to length).   This allows the user to tighten or loosen the strap length to allow for different boat types and uses.  Also, the rigid top bar can be placed on top of the strap without removing it.

Above is the complete unit without the rigid top bar.  Note the ratchet mechanism on the left side of the horse.

Above photo show the one end of the strap screwed to the horse with washers under the screws.

The above photo shows the ratchet mechanism screwed to the other side of the horse.

The photo above shows the completed sawhorse with the rigid top bar back in place.

The above photo shows the horses in “sling-mode” holding the Mystic Molly for a coat of poly…its almost ready for the water!

Sawhorses for small boat building

Before heading to the boat-build in Mystic, CT  last month, my son and I made two sawhorses that we sized and designed to be useful in building small boats.   We used the Chesapeake Light Craft (CLC) design from their website here:

Below is an overview sketch from CLC:

Below is a photo of one of the completed “horses” in use during our build at Mystic:

They are made from basic lumber-yard 2×4 material and they are mortise-and-tenoned together for strength.  The tops are removable so that you can just screw the strongback right onto the hoses as above and not worry about them being “sacraficial”….just replace the tops after they get too chewed up.   I am going to make the sling accessory as described on the CLC website for them so that I can now use them to gently hold the finished boat for servicing, etc.

Success with Aqua MedZyme

First off, I know almost nothing on treating Koi diseases, etc and my only other attempt at treating a sick fish (last year) resulted in a dead fish.

That said, this year I had another Koi that developed a couple of fuzzy whitish patches and lost some scales.  I found recommendations for  Aqua MedZyme natural bacteria treatment on the internet and used it to treat the entire pond (I have no association with Aqua Med products).   All fish recovered to full health. Great!  Much easier to treat the entire pond rather than try and catch the bugger and put him in a quarantine tank.  That process last year seemed to result in more trauma to the fish than the disease did.  He did not want to be caught.

The package recommends preventative treatment in the spring and fall and when a new Koi is added to the pond, and based on the ease of use and my recent success, I think that I am going to add it to my regular preventative maintenance routine.

If anyone else sees a reason that this should NOT be used as a preventative treatment, please comment below.