Dec 112018
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Christopher Schwarz has noticed a trend in some sections of the woodworking world: otherwise capable woodworkers struggle when it comes to using their hand tools, even when their tools are of the highest quality. Chris thinks he knows why that might be the case.

Click here to find out




Dec 052018
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Fresh on the heels of the question in November’s Poll, “Does plywood belong in fine furniture?” I was faced with the question of whether paint is appropriate thereon.

I was listening to Wood Talk, Episode 451 “We’ve Changed After Ten Years.” Here’s how Shannon Rogers handles painting in his shop: Rag on paint, sand with 220 after the first coat, apply a sealer coat of shellac, which binds each coat of paint to each other, levels out the surface and traps any powder created from the sanding. The next coat of paint will be “super smooth” whether brushed or rolled. Topcoat with lacquer, which adds depth and reflection. “Turns that nice paint job into a professional paint job.”

Paint is on my mind these days, as I paint the front door of our home. Now, no one is going to look at this door closely enough to necessitate a fine-furniture finish, paint or otherwise, but I’ll be trying out Shannon’s technique on the next project I paint.

There was nothing to do but take this door down to the wood before applying primer and then white paint. The Festool RO90, with its 3″ round, and Delta pads, was indispensable in minimizing the amount of hand sanding required.

I would have used Shannon’s steps on the storage project for our youngest granddaughter. I made this project from poplar, and it painted up nicely.

Next time I see Audrey I’ll have to ask her if she thinks this painted chest qualifies as fine furniture. She seems to like it.

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 written below in the comments section. Questions about pet care should be directed to his blog on pet care, We regret that, because of high volume, not all inquiries can be answered personally.

Dec 042018
Reusing Anti-Corrosion Paper Packaging – Tips from Sticks in the Mud – December 2018 – Tip #2
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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 know me. I throw next to nothing away. If I have to get rid of something, I first ask, “Can […]

Dec 032018
Organizing Dust Extractor Hoses – Tips from Sticks in the Mud – December 2018 – Tip #1
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Welcome to “Tips From Sticks-In-The-Mud Woodshop.” I am a hobbyist who loves woodworking and writing for those who also love the craft. I have found some ways to accomplish tasks in the workshop that might be helpful to you, and I enjoy hearing your own problem-solving ideas. Please share them in the COMMENTS section of each […]

Nov 292018
Keeping Track of Our History with the Heirloom Growth Ruler
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When my kids were 4 and 6, we decided to move to a new house. The house was in a great Massachusetts town with good schools and a friendly community, and the house came with nice, new, clean walls. Our old house, in contrast, had a doorway leading from the kitchen to the pantry that […]

Nov 272018
First-Person User Experience with a Festool Sander and Dust Extractor
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I am a woodworking hobbyist, having worked with wood the past ten years. I enjoy making large and small furniture items as well as cutting boards for home, family and friends. I recently purchased a Festool ETS 125 REQ 5 inch Random Orbit Sander. I have another 5 inch random orbit sander and a 6 […]

Nov 202018
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Not all of us have beautiful natural light pouring through the windows of our shop. And even if you do, you may still need more light in your shop. The sun does go down at the end of the day, after all, and we aren’t always done with our woodworking by sunset! If you are […]