Week in Review for 11-25

This week in the shop was different than most. I had helpers for an extended amount of time. It was fun, challenging, and new but all in all it was great. If you take a look at our Youtube channel you will see that this weeks two episodes of Get Kids Woodworking didn’t have me personally in them much. I figured that the two oldest boys 14 and 10 would be ok doing the how to sections. They actually did great (in my totally biased opinion). It was kind of nice being behind the camera for most of the action. There were a few bloopers and forgotten lines on their parts but it was a good time. ¬†We hope that you can find some time this weekend to get in the shop and build something.

Thanks for visiting.

 

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What has been going on?

Well I haven’t made any posts recently because honestly I haven’t had much time in the shop lately. A few weeks ago we went up to Kansas City to the Woodworking Show. My two oldest sons and I hit the wood working show while my wife and her mother went shopping elsewhere. It was a fun show and my sons enjoyed watching several of the presentations. They were amazed at the pen turning demonstrations as well as joking around with Chuck Bender and Glen Huey from 360 woodworking. In my mind this was another way to “Get Kids Woodworking”. The boys learned that once you start woodworking there are many, many facets of woodworking you can head towards. I had the privilege of talking to a young(er) woodworker there about a university in SE Kansas that is offering a woods program that sounds like a great program. I have to say I wish every university would offer a program like this one. I would be proud if one of my boys wanted to attend the Wood Technology Program at Pittsburg State. I feel extremely pulled to encouraging woodworking with kids. I have been trying to ramp up my Youtube channel with the Get Kids Woodworking videos. Just recently I was given many many cedar scraps that I am coming up with a couple projects for. I’m hoping that I can get some more time in the shop over the next couple of weeks and get some videos produced. I am trying to create these videos on a shoestring budget without great equipment and I have to say it is a challenge. I’m hoping my Patreon page will find a springboard soon so that I can invest in a camera and some upgraded software. I would really appreciate it if everyone would share the link to my page and help get the ball rolling.

Thanks for reading and have a great Mothers Day.

Rolling, Rolling, Rolling

Good evening and happy Easter to everyone. As some may know I recently purchased a lathe for the shop. Now I have been watching guys do lathe work for many years and I even turned a couple of projects in middle/high school. I won’t say how many years ago that has been but will summarize in saying it was a long time ago. That being said I’ve spent the last week playing, re-learning, and studying up on how to use the lathe properly. If you mix in a few failed attempts and 1 project blowing into pieces it would summarize my week on the lathe. Finally today I felt comfortable enough to try my hand at a project for the market. I laminated up some oak and walnut, Eased the square edges and got to turning. The rolling pin you see below is what the finished project came out as. I’m stoked because I feel like I am finally getting in touch with sharpening, using, and controlling the set of 8 Marples chisels that came with my lathe.

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Thank you for reading,

Steven Ukena

Dovetails and Dadoes

 

The chair for charity!

When I started on this project it was just a culmination of ideas running through my head. I wanted to keep a simple chair. My lovely bride accuses me of having a chair fetish. If we are walking through antique stores I always stop and inspect every chair to see if it is something that I would be interested in. I love chairs! I have always said that it is perfectly acceptable to have simple chairs sitting around for people to use. I wouldn’t want a simple shaker chair to sit in all the time but if I go to visit someone I don’t expect to have a chair like I have at home for me. Everyone has their chair.. you know the one that has formed itself perfectly to your behind, the one that has character, the one that speaks to you. Personally I have a Morris chair in the basement that is my comfy chair. That is not what I was going for here. I was going for a simple chair that could be used when all the other chairs are spoken for. I wanted something small, comfortable, and lightweight. I have always been fond of shaker furniture for the functionality of their designs. I prefer a squarer look in chairs than the traditional shaker design. There was a second thought in my mind while designing this chair. I have played guitar for years and everyone knows that a stool works well for playing guitar. I wanted a chair that would allow for changing positions and to accommodate a guitar player better than the typical chair. This is why I narrowed the front of the seat. In doing so it also made the chair more comfortable for short folks and tall folks alike. There isn’t a seat to determine where your legs should be. I have observed my sons who like to hang their legs off the sides of a chair, with this one it makes it comfortable to do so.

As I was finishing up the little unique chair I decided to do something different with it. I talked to my bride and the family and we decided to auction the chair off and all proceeds would go to the Wichita Childrens Home. The boys loved the idea of shopping for kids that could use a lift me up. I think these kinds of actions are what will help create character in my sons for the future.

I was very pleased with the outcome of the project even though I know it is funky and different than most chairs. At any rate if you would like to help out the Children’s home you can bid on the chair on our Facebook page. The link is below.

Thanks for reading and I hope you like “Steves silly strung shaker inspired stool seat”..

Bid on the chair by clicking below.

https://www.facebook.com/dovetailsanddadoesAndoverKS/posts/386576704867818

The funky chair on the porch

The gang got busy..

A couple of days ago I had my youngest son (4 years old) in the shop with me. He pretty much walked around asking questions about this and that and making observations about my tools. He is a very sharp 4 year old and he seems to be a building type of personality. He goes crazy with the lego sets we have purchased. The other day we bought him a box of jigsaw puzzles that we figured would keep him busy for awhile. He blasted through them very quickly and Liz and I were amazed at how fast he put 4 puzzles together that had 48 pieces each. Anyways after I had got done building the sign blanks for Liz to paint he wanted to start building a birdhouse. I mentioned to him that we would need a floor for the birdhouse. We got busy and glued up a couple of pallet pieces for a birdhouse floor. We left it in a clamp overnight for the glue to dry. A couple days later I was leaving work and I saw a pallet down the alley that caught my eye. It was a simple pine pallet but it was sitting in a way that I could see a bunch of live edge wood on it and that it was in good shape. My mind quickly envisioned the outside of the birdhouse. I skidded to a halt and threw the pallet onboard for the commute home. Last night My oldest son and I spent some time in the shop figuring out how to cut 45 degree angles for the peaked roof and figuring out how to make the live edge lumber sturdy enough for the birdhouse while keeping the live edge. We got all of those issues figured out and it came time to cut the entry hole. I was stoked about this because the day before my lovely bride had presented me with a Porter Cable jigsaw for my birthday. It worked well and I wasn’t too careful because I didn’t want the hole to be perfect. After I drilled and sawed out the hole Kolton used the Dremel to clean it up and remove some splinters. We assembled the pieces and then called it a night. I have to say that I have know idea if the business will ever take off and be a success but it doesn’t matter. I am totally happy having my wife involved and being able to introduce the boys to the joy that can come from woodworking. As for the birdhouse pictures are below. I think with the efforts made by the boys on this one we will have to keep it around the house. I have enough of that pallet left to maybe make one or two more. I am really enjoying the fact that if you grab a pallet and then build something out of it you are not 100% sure what to expect. I have several pallets that are mixed species and have different levels of character. I have seen many pallets in dumpsters headed for landfills and I guess that bugs me a bit. Why throw it out if you can make something useful out of it while spending time with the people you love and doing mother earth well.

The live edge just adds a little something to it.

The live edge just adds a little something to it.

All we need is a twig perch and a way to hang it. It reminds me of a tiki hut.

All we need is a twig perch and a way to hang it. It reminds me of a tiki hut.

The silver lining

As our morning routine progressed today our youngest son got sick. As the morning progressed I became bored and proceeded to the shop to work on a couple projects. I decided to build a project that my bride wanted to help on. It is a reclaimed welcome sign hand painted by her. It was very nice having her in the shop with me. I guess that is finding the silver lining out of a sick kiddo!

Hope you like it. Thanks for reading!

The beginnings

As I take this adventure I have no idea where it is going. The only thing that I am certain about is that I truly enjoy working with wood. I find wood amazing as it is a natural product that seems to have almost eternal life. While a tree is in full life it is constantly changing, growing, providing shade, fruit, and a place for tire swings. Once a trees life is deemed over this fine medium still has life. It changes according to it’s surroundings and amazingly finds a place in our hearts by being used for building homes, furniture, treasure boxes, or a table that the family sits at to eat dinner. Like humans wood changes with age, it grows character, and as it ages it tells stories of days past.

I’m not sure where we are headed but I hope to keep my woodworking as alive as the wood I enjoy working with. When I get older I promise to tell good stories as well.