Wednesday, August 19, 2015

We're changing our name to Benchcrafted's House of Suede



Judging by the number of orders over night we're in the wrong business.  The coveted Box O' Suede is long ago sold out.  We're afraid to report most of you will be getting prompt refunds later today.

Who knew.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Bag O' Suede is BACK but bigger as Box O' Suede

We get fairly frequent requests for extra suede.  We don't sell the suede that comes with our vises unless you've bunged yours somehow.

In the past that's left us with a fair amount of "scrap".  We used to sell it, stuffed into a Flat Rate Padded Envelope, it typically ran 1-1.5 lbs. worth, which is more than you might think.  We stopped doing that because it was just too fussy and we have better things to do.

Well the scrap pile is getting near it's end and we want it out of here.  So we've added suede scraps back to the Store page, and the price is the same as before, $20.00 shipped in the US, only now it gets stuffed into a Medium Flat Rate box.  The Medium box holds a fair share more.  You'll get all sizes, totally random.  Some small scraps some large.

Once it's gone, that will be it...........we think.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Video and Pics: The Chest Lid Article


Last week the October issue of Popular Woodworking landed in my mailbox. Inside (among many other great articles, like Jeff Miller's slat back chair) is my article on how I made the marquetry-encrusted lid for my joint tool chest project with Chris Schwarz from earlier this year. Watch this video for a tour of the chest with Chris.

I've got a few articles under my belt now, but this one was by far and away the most difficult. The chest lid itself require many techniques, all of which I tried to cover in a thorough but succinct way. It's not easy to cram three months of work into five pages. (I made many many passes over the final draft to get to my required word count.) It is after all, a woodworking magazine, not my personal blog.

But because of the internet, I can share further details about the lid that one just can't fit into a magazine article.

I managed to take a bit of video during the construction process, all quite impromptu and rough, since I was working on a deadline, but it edited down to some interesting moments during the lid's creation.


I took 833 photos during the construction of the lid. I weeded out the bad ones and still ended up with close to 500, including some renderings and mockups of how the design developed.

I've uploaded these into a public gallery here. There's no captions or text. You'll have to read the article.

The first pics show the early stages of the design. At first I was going to do a painted medallion, but that got replaced by the tool montage. At one point Chris and I changed the dimensions of the lid, so the early pics and renderings of the sunburst show the lid a full 12" longer than the final product. I glued up the rays that size, then later cut 6" off each end before veneering the lid.


If you don't subscribe (and you should, it's an inexpensive subscription) you can pick up the issue at your local bookstore/newsstand (not sure when those are scheduled to arrive) or you can order the issue online through the PWM website.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Sweet Bench: Small Shop Roubo by Frank Strazza



We received a quick note from Frank last week about a bench he's recently finished and is now up for sale. Outfitted with C-Series vises (for that vintage look) the bench is 66" long, 24" wide and 36" high. Frank reports the top is Euro beech, and the base is drawbored m&t eastern hard maple, built from solid 16/4 legs.

Frank's work is well known around here. It can described in one word: perfect. To see more pics of this particular bench, see Frank's blog and for more of Frank's work, see our blog post from a couple months ago.

In case you're wondering, the amount of work that goes into a shorter bench like this is no different than a longer bench. This is a bench your great grandchildren could easily be using.

Full disclosure: We don't have any special arrangement with Frank. When we catch wind of any professional bench maker doing outstanding work with our vises, we're more than happy to spread the word.