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Mar 20, 2012

Shwood and Bushmills Team Up to Make Whiskey Barrel Sunglasses

Portland, OR-based wooden sunglass makers Shwood have teamed up with Boston boutique Bodega to create a line made from 100-year-old Bushmill's whiskey aging barrels.  

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Feb 17, 2012

6 DIY Workbench Projects You Can Build in a Weekend

created at: 02/12/2013

No matter what you make, you've gotta have a place to do it. And while you're dining room table might work for light projects, I say any serious maker, crafter, or artist needs a proper workbench.   

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Feb 08, 2012

Wood is Good: Candy, Sandwiches, and Other Hardwood Must-Haves

Designer David Stark has recently collaborated with Haus Interior to produce, "Wood Shop," a temporary collection of all-wood art, accessories, and...you know, basically everything you want made our of hardwood.

   

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Feb 06, 2012

That One Time When I Injured Myself with the Table Saw...

created at: 02/06/2012

So...if I had my preference, I would never admit this to anyone that hadn't seen me in bandages. I'd keep it as my own little secret, and try to come off as a professional, and never have to be vulnerable online. Cause that's what you do with embarrassing information, right? Curate it out of your internet identity, and only take photos of your house when its clean and full of interesting items and cups of tea?

Except...I don't really believe that. I believe in authenticity, and telling the whole story, and being willing to geek out over something amazing and admitting you're not too cool to get obsessed with new ideas, and all that stu

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Feb 01, 2012

A Look at Tool Rolls

Core77 takes a in depth peek at tool rolls, that time-proven storage solution of craftsmen everywhere. The roll protects your tools, keeps them organized, and can be a safe and convenient way to store tools with sharp edges, such as carving or turning tools.  

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Jan 31, 2012

How to: Make DIY Record Crates (from Scratch!)

Physical music media have gone through a curious century. The vinyl album dominated for nearly 75 years, than gave way to a ten-year success of the cassette, which was left behind by the CD, with all the 8-tracks and mini-discs and other less successful technologies mixed in. And now, at least among those who are serious about music - a mix of the two extremes: digital, either as actual files or subscribed up the in cloud somewhere, and the original vinyl LP, still reknowned for its warm fideiity and large cover art.

Of course, modern furniture isn't built to house LP collections. They don't fit in contemporary milk crates, and most of those little flatpack cube-storage units are just a half-inch too small. So, it's time to build your own.   

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Jan 30, 2012

Shwood and Huf Make Cool Sunglasses from Recycled Skateboards

Shwood, makers of handcrafted wooden sunglasses, teamed up with San Francisco clothing company Huf to spend a day skateboarding through downtown Los Angeles. When one rider broke his deck, the Shwood craftsmen took the trashed plywood, laminated up, and created these amazing recycled skateboard-version of their awesome sunglasses design.

They film the whole process, showing how these beautiful pieces are glued up and made by hand. Accompanied by T. Rex's "Mambo Sun," this video's a must watch.  

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Jan 09, 2012

How to: Make a DIY Glass Bottle Cutting Jig

created at: 01/09/2012

Bottle cutters were everywhere in the 1970s...tucked in with the macrame and string art kits, they allowed hands-on folks to create recycled vases from wine bottles, or drinking glasses from jars, cool lamps and lighting fixtures, and all kinds of upcycled goodness, like this great project by my friend Tyler Goodro:

Unfortunately, the kits are increasingly rare and growing more expensive on eBay, so it's a pretty big investment if you're just interested in learning and not planning on cranking projects out in bulk.  

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Oct 26, 2011

How to: Make a DIY George Nelson-Inspired Outdoor Slat Bench

created at: 10/26/2011

When my neighbor, Gina, moved in next door, a standalone porch swing appeared on our shared patio. The thing was at least thirty years old, and had been outside for just as long, and showed the wear of snowy winters, blazing hot summers, and all the rainy days in between. Not that it was likely much to look at when it was new.

It was, in every way, an eyesore. 

But, my goodness, if that thing wasn't useful. I'm sure I sat on it a good fifty times more often than she did. I took to enjoying my breakfast on it, and built a little morning routine around sitting outside, reading the week's New Yorker before I started my day. I used it to prepare for my bike rides: changing shoes, making adjustments, etc. And my friends and I would eat dinner out there, and watch thunderstorms. Boy, it was ugly, but it made me appreciate my patio, and got me out there frequently.

Then, Gina did the unthinkable: she got married, had a baby, and moved away. And, with her, away went the porch swing. And though I love my current neighbor (Hi Jillian!), she brought no shared furniture to the arrangement.

So, I figured it was time to make some outdoor seating of my own. For inspiration, I turned to the most iconic of mid-century bench designs, the Platform Bench by George Nelson (1946). It was created from easy-to-find 1x6" cedar decking, making it quite inexpensive to build, and safe for outdoor use. 

Wanna make one, too? Okay, here we go... 

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Oct 21, 2011

The Carpenter, A Short Film

created at: 10/21/2011"The Carpenter," is a beautiful two-minute short by Greek design and art studio Deep Green Sea. This entry is "the first of a series of short films regarding the art & science of professionals working with their hands."

It's really lovely stuff, and has got me feeling super motivated to clean up my workshop (still devastated from a recent major build, which'll be posted next week), and make something amazing.

Click play to watch the video:    

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Sep 30, 2011

The Studley Tool Chest

The Studley Tool Chest, built by piano and organ maker Henry O. Studley is surely one of the greatest records of U.S. craftsmanship. Built in the early 20th-century, this masterpiece is only 39x20x9", built stows and organizes more than 300 hand tools.

Check out this video tour by New Yankee Workshop host Norm Abrams:  

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Sep 19, 2011

Handmade Wooden iPod

created at: 09/19/2011

No, no. That's not a protective case. And it certainly isn't CNC-milled or cut with a laser. It's a handmade wooden iPod Nano.

When Josh got a new iPod for Christmas, he couldn't just throw the old one away. So, he did what anyone would do - made it a wooden enclosure, complete with contrasting click wheel.  

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Sep 13, 2011

Typographic Birdhouses

created at: 09/13/2011

Not only does this go in my "Why didn't I think of that?" file, it belongs at the very top. I've often made cool, mod places for birds to hang out (like this contemporary birdhouse, a more complex mid-century modern one, and this minimalist bird feeder). I love making stuff with a bold, typographic punch, and I certainly have all the tools and knowhow to pull these off.  

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Sep 02, 2011

How to: Build a Custom Craft Table

created at: 09/02/2011

My friends Lish and Nick are one of those couples that just make sense. They're a great fit - he's a hacker, she's a crafter - and you can tell they really just like each other. Their home has gotta be just one of those places you wanna hang out, especially now that they just built this custom crafting table to house and work on all their projects.  

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Aug 30, 2011

This Weekend I Made: DIY Magic Wands, a Table from Trash, and Some Seriously Tasty Kimchi

I was lucky enough to escape town on Thursday and Friday, and get in a tiny trip before the official end of summer and at least pretend like I got to go on vacation. So, after a day of seriously awesome roller coasting and generally ignoring work related things, I came home rested, refreshed, and ready to make stuff. So I did.

created at: 08/30/2011

Magic Wands. A few months ago, my uncle picked up a very old lathe from a friend who's dad owned it before he passed away. My uncle offered it to me, and it took a bit to get things working again, but I finally got it running and all the collets and morse tapers figured out, and fired it up. 

It should here be noted that I have never used a lathe, and had zero idea what I was doing. So, I started with some blocks from the scrap bin, and just started learning to use the tools. I wasn't really ready to turn something useful, so I just took my time spinning down different spindles and tapers, and just learning what's possible. By the time I was done, I had some pretty thin cylinders that, well, resembled a magic wand. So, though I'm no geek crafter or con attender, I thought my niece and nephew might like to have a wand each to stupefy and expelliarmus each other, so I finished 'em as such. You guys, turning is fun, and delightfully messy. Expect more projects soon.

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Jul 20, 2011

How to: Build a Rustic Wooden Coffee Table (from Scratch!)

I know, I know. Your $20 Ikea coffee table is fine. But, the thing is, I'm old now. I just turned 32, and 32-year olds have beautifully crafted, handmade, coffee tables. I think it's something we're legally compelled to do. Look it up on Wikipedia.

created at: 07/20/2011


To start out our project, we needed some pretty wood to form the top and second shelf of the table. While at an antiques fair in Massachusetts, my lovely wife found three sets of wooden cigar rollers. Since they came in sets of two, we'd have three for the two levels of coffee table goodness.

created at: 07/20/2011

Next, we needed the rest of the crap to put it all together. It's best, when doing a build from

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Jul 14, 2011

Funny and True: The Generic, Post-Industrial Snobby Hipster Craftsman

created at: 07/14/2011

Comedian Russ Armstrong profiles Stevenson Birtch, a character he created to explore an emerging stereotype: the flannel-wearing, loft-meets-workspace living post-contemporary craftsman who does things like, "make woven belts out of reclaimed Civil War horse saddles," and builds all his own tools using smaller tools, that he also made himself. And you know, whittles his own toothpicks, and pulps his own toilet paper.

You know the type.

Watch the video. It's funny.  

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Jun 02, 2011

How to: Make a Wooden Beer Mug

What's more fun then drinking beer on a warm summer evening? Drinking it from a handmade wooden stein you whipped up yourself!

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Jun 01, 2011

How To: Make a Longboard, a Simple DIY Skateboard

The craft of skateboard production is no small potatoes: steam-bending plywood, custom wood laminating, great mechanics, awesome art. Not surprisingly, a well-crafted deck can also net a few hundred bucks. And for good reason.

But, what if you just wanna try it out? What if you just want something simple to cruise around the neighborhood, or to misbehave with a few buddies, a scooter, and some rope?(I'll tell you that story another time).

You make your own, from simple household materials.

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May 25, 2011

How to: Make a DIY Wooden Pennant

created at: 05/25/2011

Last week, my friend Kelly shared these awesome wooden pennants on her site, Design Crush. I loved the way they evoked such a classic shape, but avoided the cheap felt look, and opted for woodgrain.

The designs there weren't really my style, so I decided to have a go at making my own.

You should, too! Here's how.  

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