Dan, Eagle America’s founder writes:
“Giving these old chairs a new look was simple and fast with the Earlex sprayer. Within a half hour I sprayed 4 chairs, one table and one ottoman. By using the sprayer, it deeply penetrated the wood grains and gave it a clean uniform look. I used Sherwin Williams water based solid stain.”
Recently I took a vacation with my family to South Carolina, and while my wife and kids indulged in beaches and ice cream, I gawked at the amazing live oak trees, imagining their woodworking potential. These are some of the photos I took on my walking tour of Beaufort, S.C.
The huge and stately, live oak trees stud the terrain of the Deep South, providing a sense of majesty to the lawns and streets over which they spread their branches. Called “live” because they do not shed their leaves in the fall as do deciduous tree species, they remain green through the cold seasons. These trees often provide a home to Spanish moss, which cascades from them in light green garlands.
One of the densest, heaviest hardwoods, it is excellent for support beams and for use in the shipbuilding industry. It also makes good fuel, but because of its density, is difficult to split.
Eagle America’s Creative Director
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Florida Forest Trees:
Have you ever had a problem with streaks in your finish? We found this really great post from our friend “The Wood Whisperer” which has a lot great information about finishing techniques that will help you get that great finish you have been looking for!
“After 142 years, our church steeple had to be removed because it had begun to dry rot and the brick bell tower was turning to dust. We were told it would last until the next 80 mile an hour wind came through Painesville! After “shopping” for steeples, we realized we could build the steeple at a considerable savings. It helped that many of our church members are woodworkers and one was an architect. The architect graciously designed the new steeple and completed the blueprints.
The steeple framework was built in a huge warehouse in three sections. Once the framework was complete, the 3 sections were moved by flatbed truck to the church parking lot. Then, each of the 4,000 cedar shingles were cut to size, shaped, dipped in stain and laid out in the church parking lot to dry. They were then fastened to the outside of each section.
Once the brick bell tower was rebuilt, the refurbished bell was installed into the bell tower. Each of the 3 sections was lifted up one at a time by a crane. The first section was secured to the tower foundation the additional two sections were lifted into place and secured to each other.
Finally, the star and copper ball from the original steeple built in 1862 were lifted up into place. The steeple was complete when the last few shingles, trim work and lighting was installed. The steeple is 142 feet from its base to the top of the star. The project took about 9 months to complete.”
You can see the steeple at First Church Congregational, 22 Liberty St, Painesville, Ohio. http://firstchurchcongregational.org
“Walking canes are not hard to make, in fact, they are very easy, enjoyable and rewarding. It depends on how much detail or carving you want to put into your creation. The sticks I use generally come from the woods in my back yard. I find them in the winter time when the leaves are off the trees. All you need are a few tools: a measuring tape, hand pruning cutters, and a hand limb saw. Not to mention, a creative imagination!
Before you determine the length of your cane, you might want to get a store bought cane as a sizing guide. A standard size cane is approximately 36” to 38” long and the diameter is 1” with a slight taper towards the foot. Also, before you start cutting away at the trees, you will want to look for the handle-to-be and think about the amount of carved features and shapes you will want for the handle: an angle, a ball, short or long angle, a curve or some other unusual form.
The limbs that seem to work the best for me come from Crab Apple, Hickory or Hard Maple trees. The limbs should dry for one season. Rasps and hand files can be used for shaping your handle, making sure to sand off any sharp edges! The foot of the cane can be completed with a brass or rubber end cap. To finish your cane, you can leave it natural, stain it or spar varnish can be used to protect your completed piece.
I hope this little story helps inspire woodworkers to try cane making. It really makes for a fun project!”
Happy Cane Makin’
George “The Cane Maker”
“Not being able to find a set of plans that satisfied me, I searched the internet woodworking forums, blogs and historical sites for shave horse designs. I boiled my choices down to six different versions but none of them flipped my switch.
Not wanting to spend a lot of money on this project, I searched around my shop and found just enough scrap to build my shave horse. Eventually, I decided to incorporate some of the design features I liked online with some of my own.
In the end, I came up with this very friendly shave horse which is very adjustable and allows me to maintain a nice height while pulling my draw knife through the material, regardless of the stock thickness. Not bad for a weekends work in the shop!