In contrast to the rough, stainable, and seemingly disposable wooden spoons you can snag at the discount store for $6.99 for a three-pack, a hand-carved, hardwood spoon is a practical, heirloom item that can be used and cherished for generations. But, because they do take time to create, a hand-carved wooden spoon can be pricey.
Which is why you should make one yourself.
It's my favorite material to work with, hands down. I love the way it makes my car smell when I bring it home from the lumberyard. I love that it goes from a roughly-textured square to any shape I can imagine, and unbelievably smooth when you sand it.
But the best part? Seeing the full character of the grain come through during that last step - finishing the wood with stain or oil. Not until you rub that rag over the surface does the wood truly come alive.
A fantastic, easy project for summer: add a built-in cooler to a wooden picnic table to store drinks, keep condiments cool, and, generally, be an outdoor dining, grill-dominating mastermind.
I just went downstairs to check: I have fourteen rolls of tape in various states of use, haphazardly stacked in piles and hanging from random protusions, each equally covered in sawdust and many in paint and woodstain. A few of them are repeats: I have no less than four 1" 3M ScotchBlue rolls started, likely because I wasn't able to find them when in the midst of a project. Clearly, I need a better solution.
Not a day goes by that I'm not thankful that I get to work from home. Not needing to drive anywhere, the opportunities to eat healthfully when I need to, and the ability to keep up with small household tasks throughout the day are simply awesome. There's only one drawback (well, other than the ability to get away with napping anytime I please): heating and cooling all day. Whereas most folks can simply set the thermostat to catch up with them when they get home from work, since I live in a very temperate climate I'm at mercy of the blazing hot summer days and the numbing chills of winter.
Whenever I go out of town, I'm always surprised by how different my hands feel and look after a few days off my normal schedule. I am by no means a manual laborer, but with all the cutting, woodworking, painting, cooking, instrument playing, bike riding, and other things to which I put my hands, there's always a cut, a callous, a scar, an abrasion, or non-human-skin-like coloring.
Weird Universe found these old photographs of the hands of laborers, artists, craftspeople, and factory workers that detail
Actor Nick Offerman has written a evocative meditation on his first passion, fine woodworking. "The list of useful implements that can be crafted from wood is infinite and amazing, and I am spellbound by the ancient practice of woodworking,
ManMade reader William an I have a lot in common: a love for crafting with power tools, a desire to reuse and repurpose scrap, and the goal of enjoying the trappings of classic "masculine" things like the mounted deer head, without.... you know, having to kill anything.
Alma Flamenca is a short film that condenses, "pieces of wood, love, knowledge and 299 hours of work," into three minutes, detailing the beautiful process of building a flameco-style guitar.
The work of Ohio-based artist and designer Josh Finkle ambles beautifully between the digital and the physical, the sketch, the prototype, and the manufactured product. He created these stunning hardwood toys of extinct animals, using a variety of wood species to add color and detail. He captured the creation process
If you're going to take the time and effort to learn to use classic shaving equipment like a safety razor and lather brush, then you need an equally classic box and storage system.
So thought Zorwick, a maker from the Netherlands, who whipped up this hardwood, brass, and copper shaving kit using materials from the hobby shop, and an old thermometer, copper bowl, leather
A wall-mounted magnetic strip is the best way to store and organize kitchen knives, chisels, carving tools, and other sharp objects. It not only protects the sharpness of the tools and maintains their fine edges, but it keeps your hands safe while you're storing the tools, and out of the way when you're not using them.
8-Tracks never made it, cassettes are harder and harder to find, and CDs are certainly on their way out, but the vinyl record? Here. To. Stay.
If you head to any flea market, thrift store, or charity shop, you'll find plenty of functional, yet ugly and worn out, turntables and record players. What to do? Take them home, rip out the guts, and install on a nice slice of wood.
Dutch designer Marjan Verboeket created free plans for this simple, rustic table and stackable bench. Constructed from an inexpensive single 8x4' sheet of plywood, you can have all the pieces cut to size at the hardware store, and assemble it at home with a few nails and glue.
The seats slide under the table for storage, making this a great solution
Whenever I'm at a cocktail party, get together, or other small talk-conducive occassion and I tell people what I do, the first question I always get asked is, "Okay...so how do you make money from that?" But the second question I always get asked is for a recommendation of what are my top ten essential tools that everyone should have/buy for their niece who's getting their first place/try to get their husband to use.
The answer, of course, is "well, depends on what you're trying to do with them." I usually come up with some combo of measuring devices, handsaws, clamps, and fasteners, but I always think..."maybe I should come up with a list of essentials for the average homeowner or artist/maker at some point."
Venice, CA-based woodworker Charles Lushear has completed a noble undertaking: he's built a 42" x 18.25" all hardwood coffee table in the visage of an original NES controller. Maple, walnut, and mahogany provide for natural color variation (light, dark, and medium, respectfully), and the whole case is held together by strong, perfectly cut dovetail joints.
Oh, and it also functions as a WORKING NES CONTROLLER.
If you're looking for a unique bike, might I suggest skipping metal and opting for a wooden bike? I mean, seriously, how cool would it be to ride around on a handcrafted wooden bicycle? I imagine it doesn't have the strength of its metal siblings, but dang it's cool looking.
Nick Offerman, the actor who portrays TV's current greatest character, Ron Swanson on Parks & Recreation, is an active woodworker who supplemented his income while getting established as an actor by making custom furniture.
Known for using huge, live-edge slabs of walnut in tables, as well as building canoes and fancy mustache combs, the Offerman Woodshop is as cool as you'd think it would be.
In a recent issue of Fine Woodworking, Nick tells the story of getting his start in building theatre sets in Chicago, but upon moving to LA, translated his rough carpentry skills to fine woodworking and furniture making. They shot an excellent video of the space, which is the stuff of dreams for any maker. Check it out: