Sunday, June 26, 2022

Tables at ESSA

Steve Palmer's furniture design class returned to ESSA this last week as students gathered to make tables. You can see in the photo that it was a successful 5 day class, with each student making a table utilizing their own design inclinations.

Steve uses a loose tenon technique for joining parts. In that technique, a solid wood tenon is formed that is inserted in mortises cut in both parts. When properly sized and glued in place the loose tenon technique provides as much strength as a conventional mortise and tenon joint. This article explains the technique:

Make, fix and create...

Saturday, June 25, 2022

A pleasant conversation...


I had a pleasant reading, book signing and conversation at the Two Friends Book Store in Bentonville, AR today. And it was particularly pleasing that three woodworking friends came to it. I have long known that woodworkers are particularly generous in wanting to share with each other. It is my belief that attempting to make  beautiful and useful things grooms us for assuming constructive roles in society and  builds a generosity of spirit that's needed now, more than ever given the monumental challenges of these times.

Something I've noticed is that big things have a tendency to grow from small humble things. We can think of the wisdom of our hands in that light. Nourish them with good things to do, keep an eye on them and see what they can accomplish in time. The result may be no less than miraculous. 

The jig shown is one that I use for making cuts in the corners of boxes to install contrasting keys that decorate and strengthen mitered joints. The box rests in the "V" as it passes over the saw blade. The position of the cut is adjusted by simply moving the table saw fence. Having a few tools and knowing a few techniques help to do good work.

Make, fix and create... Assist others in living likewise.

Friday, June 24, 2022

Cube boxes

One of these days I'll have real boxes to share with you. I actually have two large jewelry boxes in the works, but they take time, and my work on them is proceeding at a snail's pace. Tomorrow I have  book signing at the Two Friends Book Store in Bentonville, and I hope a few friends show up. Scroll down to an earlier post for details.

The small cube box illustration shown is one that was featured on the cover of my book Basic Box Making.

It is made with a keyed-miter joint and mixing and matching woods is an ideal way to add additional interest. The design principle involved is contrast. Contrast lures the eyes into deeper engagement with the object.

Make, fix and create...

Thursday, June 23, 2022

A Jewelry Box design.

I continue to refresh my SketchUp skills, not knowing whether they will come in handy or not except as a means of sharing with you. 

This illustration is another box from my book Beautiful Boxes: Design and Technique. The most difficult thing on this project was to make Brusso JB-102 hinges to fit.

You can buy or borrow the book for additional details on making a box like this for yourself.

I remind my readers and friends of my book signing on Saturday at Two Friends Book Store in Rogers, 11 AM on June 25.

Make, fix and create...

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

A pivot lid box

I've been refining my illustration skills using the SketchUp 3D modelling program, a favorite among woodworkers. It is almost easier to make a box, than to illustrate the box, but I expect that with practice, my illustration skills will improve. If you want to get good at something, do a lot of it. 

The box shown is one that was featured in my book Beautiful Boxes: Design and Technique published by Taunton Press. It can be made with hand or power tools.

A second variation is shown here, also.

Make, fix and create. Assist others in learning likewise.

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Bentonville Book signing

I have a book signing and reading event on Saturday June 25 at the Two Friends Books Store at 11 AM. Beat the heat, browse books, and give me a chance to explain how the hands bring things together for better lives and richer communities. 

The map and address will help you find your way andTwo Friends Book Store is a place you will enjoy having discovered.

Make, fix and create... Assist others in learning likewise.

Sunday, June 19, 2022


 I checked pricing on two of my books on Amazon and learned that they've jacked the price up over the suggested retail. I don't know the reasons for it as most publishers find Amazon's strategies to be inexplicable. In the meantime, has my Guide to Woodworking with Kids, Making Classic Toys that Teach, and my new book The Wisdom of our Hands available for immediate shipping. These are the links:


There are times when Amazon offers the best price and times when you'll want to ignore them and choose to shop elsewhere. In this case Amazon is hurting my sales by pushing the prices up to their benefit, but not mine.

And I would prefer that if you are buying my books, you get them at the best price.

Make,  fix and create...