Oct 232014

No Southern-fried Southern boy wants to be called a Yankee, but we share the characteristics of shrewdness and thrift.  Thus, each month we include a money-saving tip.  It’s OK if you call me “cheap.”  

You can buy a non-slip “router pad” from any number of suppliers.  It’s great stuff and will grip your work on one side and the table surface on the other side with amazing tenacity.  Cheapsters like me, though, look for folks who have changed out their carpet with new underlayment (pad).  Just keep your eyes open on garbage day and you can find a gold mine like the one pictured.


You can pay a fortune per square foot for a “router pad,” or you can have this for free. All it costs you is your pride! And, if it’s wintertime, just wear your ski mask and your neighbors will never know it’s you!

Take more than you need and store the excess in your attic or share it with your woodworking buddies.  Cut a variety of sizes to accommodate jobs small to large.  When rolled up, it stores in a small area.


I keep some “router pad,” used carpet underlayment, stashed in various places around the shop.


Some here, some there.


Even if I’m not routing, it makes a terrific scratch-free surface to work on.

Jim Randolph is a veterinarian in Long Beach, Mississippi. His earlier careers as lawn mower, dairy farmer, automobile mechanic, microwave communications electronics instructor and journeyman carpenter all influence his approach to woodworking. His favorite projects are furniture built for his wife, Brenda, and for their children and grandchildren. His and Brenda’s home, nicknamed Sticks-In-The-Mud, is built on pilings (sticks) near the wetlands (mud) on a bayou off Jourdan River. His shop is in the lower level of their home. Questions and comments on woodworking may be sent to DrRandolph@MyPetsDoctor.com. Questions about pet care should be directed to his blog on pet care, www.MyPetsDoctor.com. We regret that, because of high volume, not all inquiries can be answered personally.


Print Friendly
Oct 222014
Google HeaderA “Maker Faire” in Atlanta happened a few weeks ago.  Maker events happen all over the globe and they help celebrate and promote the creative process. Long-time wood turner and Highland Woodworking customer, Mark Sillay, was on hand turning tops and letting kids color them in with a marker.  Mark handed out our Highland Woodworking catalogs and jazzed the crowd showing the fun of woodturning as a “maker” hobby. Highland Woodworking was in attendance at the event at the request of the Decatur Makers since they wanted “working wood” to be represented.  You can find out more information about the Decatur Makers here: http://decaturmakers.org/


It was a great weather weekend for the outdoor event that spanned a large area of downtown Decatur.  It was estimated that over 25,000 folks came through the city of Decatur during the 2 days of the faire.  Mark said the kids had a grand time and he experienced a “first-time” event as a wood turner and demonstrator when he knelt down to help a 6 yr old girl put an eye hook onto an ornament that Mark had just turned. He was showing the turned ornament to her and apparently the fried dough she had just consumed did not sit well in her stomach and she “tossed” the dough as they say, just missing Mark by inches.  Mark has decided he now has another reason to wear a face mask shield at demonstrations. He has also found a new use for wood shavings!

Other than the one upset tummy, the weekend was a good time for all.

Here is some more information on the Atlanta event: http://makerfaireatl.com/

Print Friendly
Oct 212014
Frank Klausz at Highland: Watching a True Master at Work

On Sunday the 19th of October, I was able to sit in on a class taught by Frank Klausz, one of the woodworking world’s luminary figures. Frank taught a seminar on hand-tool joinery and covered the three major types of dovetails: open, half-lap, and sliding, along with mortise and tenon joints. Frank demonstrated his techniques for [...]

Print Friendly
Oct 202014
The Highland Woodworking Fall 2014 Open House: <br />A Review

This weekend I had the pleasure of attending the Highland Woodworking Open House and Hand Tool Extravaganza. The event was an enormous amount of fun. A whole bunch of woodworking knowledge was passed around, stories were told, and a bunch of wood shavings were made. There were some great woodworkers in attendance, including Scott Meek, [...]

Print Friendly
Oct 172014
The October issue of The Highland Woodturner now available!

This month’s issue of The Highland Woodturner is full of different project ideas including several for the upcoming holidays! Curtis Turner’s column features an “extremely easy project” on Creating a Stropping Wheel, which is helpful in touching up knives and turning tools. Curtis lets you know the materials you need and gives an overview of [...]

Print Friendly
Oct 162014
Quick, Easy, and Great-looking Turned Christmas Ornaments - Part 3 -The Christmas Tree Light Bulb

In the most recent issue of The Highland Woodturner, I gave the step-by-step instruction of turning a wooden snowman ornament. In Part 2 you can find out how to turn a wooden bell ornament here on the Highland Woodworking blog. Finally, here in Part 3 I will turn a wooden Christmas tree light as seen below. [...]

Print Friendly