Best House Hold Cleaner for Saw Blades

I’ve never cleaned one of my saw blades.  I used to just buy what I’d call disposable blades from the big box store.  Usually Freud blades.  They are great blades and relatively inexpensive.  

A while ago I purchased two Woodworker II combination blades from Forrest Woodworking.  These blades are significantly more expense but provide a great cut and can be resharpened by Forrest.  My plan was to use one up, send it in to be cleaned up and resharpened and then just use the other blade until it needed the same treatment.  Well of course I used one blade then started using the second without sending the first one in.  Now I have two blades that are covered in gunk and need resharpening.  I’ve heard that simply cleaning the blade will bring it back to life and perhaps a sharpening isn’t necessary.  So I decided to see if any of the household cleaners I have on hand would do the job.

Check the video below to see the results.

After all is said and done, I don’t think that I’ll be waiting to send my blades in any longer!

Want to pick up your own Forrest Woodworker II blade?  

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Moving a 2,000 Pound Jointer

I recently purchased a L. Power & Co. 12″ jointer.  It is massive and made completely of cast iron.  

I got a great deal on the jointer but of course I had to move it from its current location to my new shop.  This presented some challenges.  Here is the video of the move.

To get the job done I enlisted the help of my Dad and a few friends, Gib Clark and Mark Saunders.  Gib is one of those guys who knows a lot about a lot of things and he was instrumental in getting this job done.  Mark was generous enough to let us use his truck to haul the jointer in the U-Haul trailer that I rented and my Dad was the extra muscle.

We stated moving the jointer by removing the 3 phase 5 horsepower motor and blade guard.  This just make the jointer a little easier to maneuver through the shop.  Then we slid the jointer on to a 2×12 and used a pry bar to get some short lengths of conduit pipe under the 2×12.  This allowed us to roll the jointer to the other end of the shop where the garage door was located.  

Once we had the jointer to the door we were fortunate enough to be able to use the owner’s Bobcat to lift the jointer out of the shop and onto the trailer that I rented.  

Gib brought some tow straps that we used to provide spots to lift the jointer from using the forks on the Bobcat.  Once we got the jointer off the ground, placing it in the trailer was a piece of cake.

From there is was only a 3 mile drive to my shop.  At my shop we unloaded the jointer using a chain fall that Gib attached to a beam on my ceiling with some steel rope.  We simply backed the trailer into my shop, and used the same tow straps to attach the jointer to the chain fall.  We then very easily lifted the jointer off of the trailer and drove the trailer out from under it.  

To get the jointer into its spot in my shop we lowered it on to the metal conduit pipes again and rolled it into place.

This could have been a much more difficult process and I really want to thank my Dad, Gib and Mark for all their help.  I never could have done it with out them.


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2016 Woodworking Holiday Gift Guide Under $50

2016 Woodworking Holiday Gift Guide Under $50

Every year people always ask what sort of gifts I would like for the holidays.  Of course my mind immediately goes to woodworking, as does theirs.  But buying gifts for a woodworker can be intimidating.  We all have our own preferences and gifting something that falls within those preferences can be difficult.

This year, I’ve decided to put together a list of woodworking related gifts that can be purchased for the woodworker in your life.  Or that the woodworker in your life can point you to for a little help.  The majority of these gifts can be had for $50 or less!


    • Corner Chisel – This is a super handy tool for cleaning up the corners of hinge mortises.


    • Chisels – Even the most devote power tool woodworker needs a set of chisels!

    • WorkSharp WS3000 Sharpening System – While this one is more expensive then $50 the woodworking in your life will love how easily they can keep their tool edges sharp with it.

    • Kreg Pocket Hole Jig – Not everyone uses pocket holes all the time but they sure are handy and everyone has a use for them sometimes.

    • Kreg K5 Pocket Hole Jig – This jig does the same thing as the previous one but it’s faster and easier to use.

    • Pocket Hole Screws – If you are making pocket holes, you need the screws to go with them.

    • F Style Clamps – Not only do woodworkers need lots of clamps, they need several different types.

    • Leather Strop – If you are using chisels or plane irons in your shop you need one of these, along with the honing compound to keep those edges sharp.

    • Bench Cookies – Similar to the painter’s pyramid, these are great for keeping your work stationary while sanding or planing.

    • Bench Dogs – A must have accessory for any workbench with 3/4″ diameter dog holes.

    • Hold Fasts – Along with the bench dogs, if your woodworker uses a workbench these are a must have accessory! Be sure to buy two of them.

This is just a small list of things that any woodworker would love to get as a gift for the holidays or any other occasion.  I personally use many of these very same products or would love to have them in my shop.  Buy with confidence for the woodworker in your life this year!

All of the links above are affiliate links.  That means when you purchase something, anything, through a link I’ve provided I’ll receive a small kick back from Amazon at no extra cost to you.  Thanks for the support.

Streets of New York | a Jimmy DiResta Film

An episode or two or three ago the guys at the Making It Podcast suggested that someone out there in the world make a compilation video of every time that Jimmy DiResta said “streets of New York” in his video celebrating 600,000 youtube subscribers.

I waited a little while before making the video because I assumed that later the same day that the episode was released the video would exist.  It didn’t, so I made it.

If for some reason you haven’t already, be sure to check out Jimmy’s YouTube Channel.

Enjoy the video:


Hand Cutting Dovetails – My First Time

So, I’m not known for my hand tool work.  I saw, plane and chisel as necessary but generally if there is a way I’m going to use a power tool of some sort.  I decided that I should give dovetails a try with hand tools.  I do like the way the look better when they are cut by hand.  There is a certain elegance to them.  Watch the video below to see how I did.

So, they aren’t great.  But for a first try they aren’t bad either.  I’m definitely going to continue to work of hand cut joinery.  Someday all of my dovetails will be cut by hand.

How to Mill Rough Cut Lumber

Ever wonder how to take a rough cut piece of lumber and make it usable in your woodworking project?  Well look no further, I made a short video showing how it’s done.

Of course this isn’t the only way to mill lumber, you can do it using nothing but hand tools as well.  That’ll be a video for another day though.

Woodworking in America 2015

Last weekend, September 25-27 I attended the Woodworking in America Conference. It was a blast to say the least. Here’s a short video I put together highlighting the event. 

I didn’t attend any of the classes at WIA. I went for the marketplace. This is where the vendors, tool makers and content creators hung out to sell their wares and meet people. 

I had a great time and made a lot of new friends. I got to meet and hang out with many of the popular YouTube content creators. Links to their work is in the description of the video above. 

I picked up a new tool as well. A Bad Axe Toolworks 12″ dovetail/small tenon hand saw. This thing is amazing!  And I even had Tom Fidgen break it in for me!

I had an amazing time and I really hope I get to go again next year!

A little “Press” for one of my videos. 

Every Saturday Jay Bates at Jay’s Custom Creations writes an article highlighting interesting stuff from around the web. Aptly titled, Interesting Stuff From Around the Web

This week while reading over his article I was pleasantly surprised to see that he included a video of mine on building the Extending Trestle Table!  I’d include the video for your viewing pleasure here but I want to encourage you to visit his site. So here are the links again!

Jay’s Custom Creations
Interesting Stuff from Around the Web
Thanks for reading!

Shapeoko 2 Test Run and First Project Fail!

I got a used Shapeoko 2 about two weeks ago from a friend of mine and I tried it out for the first time today. Originally my plan was to just cut a simple shape to take the machine for a spin. Part way through cutting it I decided to make an inlay for the cut out shape. This didn’t go so well.

I decided to cut out a heart shape. Then decided to cut another heart from walnut to contrast the oak and make a heart inlay. I thought maybe my wife would like it. Just a little nick-knack type of thing.  No big deal.  The first step is to set everything up in Easel, the software provided by Inventables, the creators of the Shapeoko 2.


I went through all the set up options without an issue.  Cutting the heart recess went fine as well.  While waiting for the Shapeoko 2 to finish cutting the heart recess I decided to create the inlay.  I prepared the piece of walnut and got it all set up, making a few changes in Easel to cut the outline of the heart as opposed to a recess.  This is where I must have gone wrong because when the walnut heart was cut out I attempted to inset it into the recess and it wouldn’t fit.  The walnut heart was too big for the recess.  I’m sure that I did something wrong in setting up the cut for the walnut heart.  Perhaps I changed a setting that I wasn’t aware of or maybe I accidentally changed the size without realizing it.

Even though the impromptu project wasn’t successful the test run of the Shapeoko 2 was.  And in the end that is really all I set out to do.

Shapeoko 2 CNC Mill
Cutting the heart recess
Cutting the heart recess