Corbin’s Workbench: Gas Lifter Arms

This morning me and Corbin installed the gas lifter arms on his workbench. Now the top shelf door auto-opens and stays in play on its own. Here’s a little video of them working:

Next we’re going to install LED lighting on the the door to light the work surface. Corbin came up with a cool idea concerning switching the lights—install a door jamb switch. That way, whenever the door opens, the lights automatically come on. Cool. I’ll put an override switch to ensure the lighting can be turned off when he door is open.

Never Would Have Believed It

My brother-in-law, James came up with the idea of getting my father an E-Z-Go cart. My dad is pretty conservative and, therefore, I was reluctant to believe he’d like the gift. We bought it anyway.

Happily, my brother-in-law was very correct in his belief that Dad would like the cart. It’s the most smiling I’ve seen my dad do for a long time. Here’s a picture of Dad driving the cart:


Clinton’s Book Rack

Since I gave it to him this morning I can now blog about Clinton’s Book Rack. This is a really cool modification on the Ira Griffith design found in his book from 1912, Advanced Projects in Woodwork, plate #6.

One of the features of the original design is keyed through-tenons, but Clinton isn’t a fan of the keyed tenons. I wanted to build this project for him as an accessory to a later barrister shelf project so I modified the design to fit his preference.

What’s better than being able to customize a project to fit the specific preferences of the recipient? Here’s a picture of a Book Rack as it was originally designed (right) and the modification (left):

A lot of folks have seen the modified design and, interestingly, prefer it. I like both. I’m very happy with the results and extremely happy to built for my family! Here’s on last photo of Clinton’s Book Rack:

20131225-092337.jpgMerry Christmas, son.

Wall-Mounted Workbench Mounted

Tonight we—Cole, Kyle, Corbin and me—mounted the workbench to the wall in the garage. It’s pretty great that the installation went so well. It was a lot less difficult than I expected. Only took about 30 minutes to install it.

All the instructions (from ShopNotes #14) worked perfectly. Maybe it’s suspected, but I don’t think a certain someone knows it’s a Christmas present yet. I hope he really likes it and enjoys it!

Toy Guns

Wendy wanted to give some of the boys wooden toy guns for Christmas. After I finished working on Grandma’s picture frame this morning I started working on the guns.

Me, Corbin and Cole started an assembly line construction of them. We made (8) rough cuts and (6) survived the router table. Once we got them built we decided they’d be the primary gift for the boys.

Nearly all the gifts we gave at the party were handmade and all of those were a hit. There’s something very pleasing in making and giving a gift; it’s more personal and expressive.

As simple as these little wooden guns are they end up being enjoyed and cherished for years. They tend to be the things the kids don’t want to lose. A handmade gift expresses care, live and value to children no matter how simple the gift.

Here’s a picture of the toy guns:


Grandma’s Frame Completed

I stayed up late last night staining the frame so it would be ready to lacquer and wax this morning. Early this morning I applied the lacquer and BriWax. Then I buffed the wax with a random orbital car buffer.

The results of the finish are exceptional. The quarter-sawn white oak has really beautiful rays in it that change as the angle of view changes.

Wendy took a photo of the kids and I mounted it into the frame with a glass face.