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Craig Ruegsegger

Freud to unveil new 90-tooth saw blade

In August at the IWF show in Atlanta, Freud will introduce a 90-tooth saw blade with a new tooth grind that will produce almost glass-smooth crosscuts. I got to see the blade and look it over at the end of a tour of Freud’s carbide production and blade manufacturing facilities in Udine (OO-din-ay) in northeast Italy, where the company was founded. More about the plants in a moment, but first here’s the scoop on the new blade.

Designed for smooth, clean cuts in trimwork and sheetgoods, the blade debuts Freud’s alternate shear face grind. In a nutshell, Read more

Building a home for a World Trade Center artifact

When the towers fell on 9/11, we all wished there was something we could do: to help the victims and their families, to find those responsible, to make sure we never forgot. In a very small way, I feel as if I’ve finally been able to do something to ensure the latter.  My neighbor, Pete, volunteers for the Pleasant Hill (Iowa) fire department. In July he told me that the department had acquired a remnant of the World Trade Center and they were discussing ways to display it. He said all the items they looked at weren’t quite fitting for the artifact, so he asked if I’d be interested in building something. Feeling this was a unique opportunity to create something of real value for the community, I drafted this design in Sketchup and presented it to the department. Read more

DeWalt launches hand tools, new 20V Max platform

DeWalt’s yellow power tools have long been prominent on most any job site and in the shops of serious DIYers. They’re now looking to move even deeper into tradesmen’s tool belts with a broad line of new hand tools, and a new battery platform for cordless tools. I had an opportunity to sample the wares during a recent trip to Stanley-Black & Decker University in Towson, Maryland, just outside Baltimore. (DeWalt is a division of  Stanley-Black & Decker.) Let’s talk hand tools first. Read more

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Kreg hits the deck

Kreg has introduced a new method of securing deck boards to the framing without unsightly screw heads poking up from every board. The method works similar to Kreg’s pocket hole jig. The deck jig has three holes to guide the drill bit and driver: the two outside holes sit  45 degrees to the center hole.

Kreg Deck Jig

Kreg Deck Jig

To use the jig, first place a couple of spacers (the red items in the photo below) between the deck boards to get the proper spacing. Read more

Finding a link between woodworking and motorcycles

During my vacation last week I had a chance to visit the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum in Birmingham, AL. So what does that have to do with woodworking? Glad you asked.

Advanced materials used in today’s motorcycles, such as carbon fiber, titanium, and sophisticated metal alloys, weren’t known in the early days of motorcycling. So many times parts were made of wood. Like this wheel rim:

Wood rim

Wood rim

What does it take to make a perfectly round rim like that? Read more

25 Interesting Facts about Multimedia Editor Craig Ruegsegger

In honor of WOOD Magazine’s 25th Anniversary, we posted 25 Interesting Facts about each of the folks who put out your favorite woodworking magazine. Here’s my list:

Craig Ruegsegger, Multimedia Editor

Craig Ruegsegger, Multimedia Editor

1.    My first woodworking project was a shoe-shine box for 4-H. It was built mostly by my dad.
2.    I have intersecting scars on my scalp from two separate childhood incidents; one on a toboggan, the other on a bike. Read more

The coffee timer finds a purpose!

You may remember this post where I showed how I recycled a coffee timer for use in the shop, and the subsequent post where I described its shortcoming: shutting off after 2 hours. Well, it finally dawned on me this weekend how to make that shortcoming a positive. I plugged the batttery charger for my cordless tools into the timer! After charging the battery, it shuts off automatically after 2 hours, preventing overcharging, and eliminating some of my vampire electric consumption.


TV stand in da house!

Way back in November I started designing this project:

TV Stand

TV Stand

After all the building and finishing issues chronicled here I’m glad to report that it’s finally completed.

First, here’s the problem I was trying to address: a big TV on a too-small, press-board stand, purchased from Target. Note the DVD player, VCR, and TiVo stacked on the subwoofer in the corner on the left. The Wii console is in the lower corner of this shot; it was sitting on the floor next to the stand too.

TV Stand Before

TV Stand Before

Here’s the mess o’ cords behind it.
I persuaded fellow editor Lucas Peters to help me carry the new stand in (he owed me for helping him unload a tablesaw in the middle of an Iowa February).20090507TVStandAfter-Ft2

After a few hours of untangling and re-routing cables, the new stand was in place and ready to go.
And the rat’s nest behind is now minimized and hidden from view, contained between two false backs. (Note that the silver VCR didn’t make the cut. It’s been retired to the office to start digitizing old VHS tapes. Getting rid of those analog cables helped quite a bit with cord management. HDMI and fiber optic is the way to go!) The subwoofer is tucked out of sight behind the stand.
I’ve got to be honest: This was a frustrating project and I’d reached a point where I was ready to say “If it goes inside and I don’t like it, it’s going to Goodwill.” But now that it’s in and loaded with gear, I’m able to focus on the whole, and not the tiny little things that aren’t perfect. And I think it came out pretty well. I especially like the contrast of black and cherry. All the time invested applying (and reapplying…and reapplying) finish paid off. So sorry, Goodwill, this one stays here.

Craig @ WOOD

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Project in (reverse) progress

Ever have one of those projects where you just want to throw up your hands and walk away? That’s where I am with the TV stand. A series of small flaws and mistakes has reached the point where I need to take three or four steps backward before I can move forward.

When I dry-assembled the case I discovered I’d been careless gluing up one side assembly, and the top assembly wouldn’t sit tight to it. Plus the frame was just a touch out of square. Further, the other frame and panel assembly had a bow inward. And, frankly, I wasn’t happy with the finish on the frames. So I decided they had to be rebuilt. I took them to the tablesaw, cut them apart to salvage the panels, grabbed my wallet and headed out to get more lumber.

The finishing issues I’ve discussed in earlier posts here and here. Fixes this time didn’t require such drastic measures, but I’m redoing a lot of work. I sanded down one face of a divider where finish wasn’t sticking, re-dyed it, and opened a fresh can of finish. The first couple coats seem to be flowing out more evenly than previously, leading me to think that perhaps I had some finish that was outdated or something. As for the top panel, I decided to strip the poly from it and start again. For these cherry parts, I’m switching to a gel finish, one I’ve had success with in the past.

The really frustrating part about this whole project: It shouldn’t take this long! There’s really nothing complicated about this design. It’s just a glorified box! But I can’t let myself get in a hurry, I just need to do what’s necessary to make it right, because I’ll be looking at it a lot over the coming years.


TV stand finishing issues

First, I’ll apologize for not having photos with this post. I’ve just been too preoccupied when I get into the basement to put on finish to think about grabbing the camera. So I’ll substitute a portion of my SketchUp model to show you what I’m talking about.

I’ve got the top panel and pediment for the stand completed (that’s this part):

TV Stand top & pediment

TV Stand top & pediment

and began applying finish. I was in a quandary about how to prevent finish from running downhill off of the arch. It may sound counter-intuitive, but I decided to try a thinned-down varnish. It would flow out quickly, so any runs would be immediately apparent and could be wiped away. The trade-off is that with a thinner finish, it takes more coats to get the build I want. This seems to be working well on the pediment. However, I’m having issues with the undiluted finish I’m using on the surface where the TV will sit. Bubbles, nibs, uneven coverage. This surface needs to look perfect, and I’m far from that. I’ve got two coats on, I’ll see where the third takes me. Perhaps thinning is the answer for this as well.


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