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Best Practices for Exterior Trim Not as simple as it was 'back in the day'
Calavera 5# Gear Bags A new organizational offering from a new company
How I Designed and Built... ...a Traditional Flying Portico
Curved Stairs Part Two
BIG News Festool Purchasing SawStop!
Adams County Tech Prep Building Trades program
Woodcarving Where the Past Meets the Present

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Woodcarving—Where the Past Meets the Present

I love how people can’t resist jumping to conclusions—as if they can’t live without a firm judgment, a conclusion to every question, no matter what that judgment is.

For instance, people always ask me what I do. I tell them I’m a musician. Honest. And every time I say that, without exception, I’m asked: “Can you make a living at that?”

No, I can’t. Few musicians can. But I make a good living as a woodcarver. And I love my work. When I tell people that, they always respond with shock, as if there’s no connection between music and wood. Read the full article…

Curved Stairs: Part Two

In part one of this article, I explained that if you’ve built a straight stairway or two then you’ve already mastered most of the skills you will need to build a curved stairway. Tasks like setting hardwood treads, installing newel posts, and assembling the handrail parts are all very similar. There are really only a few things about a curved stairway that are unique. First is creating the curved skirt boards, second is making the tapered treads to fit your custom stairway, and finally bending the curved handrail to follow the rise and run of your stairway. There are a few tricks to learn along the way, but I’m certain that once we have walked through it, you’ll realize there’s no mystery—just a little extra work. Read the full article…

Calavera 5# Gear Bags

I have organizational envy. When it comes to a well thought out shop, trailer, jobsite or truck, I’m easily impressed. Even though (or perhaps because) I’m usually somewhat disorganized by nature, over the years I’ve tried to spend extra time and attention attempting to overcome this shortcoming as it relates to my business. I’ve tested many organizational systems for tools, hardware, and fasteners. Read the full article…

My Living Room Wall: Part 2

In “My Living Room Wall: Part 1,” I documented the design concepts, the firewood box, and the stone mantel-shelf; now we’re onto the cabinets and shelves.

Installing the tops and trim, the face frames and doors, as well as the tapered columns, took a lot of thought and a lot of time. Other than baseboard molding, I didn’t want to install any scribe molding or trim on top of the face frames, so the wood tops had to go in first. After calling around to a few local lumber mills, I found two 8/4 x 14-in. pieces of old growth Douglas fir, one 16-ft. long, one 14-ft. long. I bought them both: one advantage—besides world-class steelhead fishing—to living in Southern Oregon. Read the full article…

Dressing-up Roll-up Doors

I designed my new shop to look like an old horse barn, so it would blend in with the rural area of Southern Oregon where I now live. Being from Los Angeles, I went all the way with insulation and energy efficiency when I designed and built the shop. I even put in a radiant slab so my timid feet would stay warm in the cold, cold winters (it gets down in the low 20s here; sometimes even below 20 degrees!). So when it came to the 12-ft. wide x 9-ft. tall roll-up door, in order to get a good R-rating, I knew I had to use an insulated steel door. I found one rated at R-17, but it looked like something you’d see on a commercial building. Read the full article…

My Living Room Wall: Part 1

I’m fortunate not to be a packrat. I know many people who are. My father would never throw away anything! Which is probably one reason I’m so averse to saving stuff. I’ve even thrown away a few things I had to buy again! But there is one thing I’ve always had a problem with—books. My entire life, I’ve collected books. In fact, I still have most of my favorite first reads from when I was a kid. Read the full article…

Lonestar Restoration

Be careful what you wish for!

I’m sure you’ve all watched shows on HGTV or DIY and, like me, you’ve probably wondered if the hosts know anything about building, if they know anything about flipping a house quick and cheap. Now here I am about to have my own show; it’s my turn, and suddenly I understand the challenges of TV land. Read the full article…

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