Saturday, June 16, 2012


This is an old-fashioned wheelbarrow I made from scrap wood I found around the rental house where we live:

It's meant to be very rough, so I didn't adjust the one higher side to be even with the other side because that would've involved a rip cut or planing it down, when I wanted it to be rough.

A profile pic might've been better -- so I added this photo:
 A detail of one of the legs, which I fitted to the body with a sort of rabbet joint:

Here's the wheel assembly, which is some sort of old buggy wheel (?) I bought at an antique place, with a bolt for an axle, and two maple saplings for handles:
The wheel is really awesome; it's got ball bearings and everything.

Here's one of the handles:
I had started to strip the bark off the maple when I changed my mind. Oops.

I plan to use it to haul things around the yard, obviously -- though everyone who's seen it keeps telling me I should use it as a planter. I don't really like to build something that could be useful but then use it as something decorative; that seems like a waste of a good tool. You often see this kind of barrow used as a planter in people's yards, but I think those were made for decorative purposes, not for actual use. This barrow is more sturdy and should stand up to some good gardening usage.

I especially like the fact that it only cost me about $12 to make -- the cost of the wheel and the nuts and bolts to hold the handles on and to serve as the axle. The rest is either scrap or maple sapling.

Coming up: focus on hand tools!

Saturday, June 9, 2012


I've been a woodworker for some time now, but I've never received any kind of training or help. When I say I'm an amateur, it's because my efforts are amateurish, if a little ambitious.

Here are a few things I've built in the past:

This is probably the most ambitious project I ever took on: floor-to-ceiling, wall-to-wall built-in bookshelves with a carcase cabinet on the bottom (with doors) and a window seat in the center. This is a lo-res photo, so I apologize for the quality. It's the only photo I have of this project, which I called the Taj Mahal, a gigantic labor of love for my girlfriend at the time. I built it into the living room of the house we once owned.

I also built us two nightstands:
Another cabinet with a door and a curved-front base, top, and little shelf. Again, lo-res photo.

Both those projects were built with a combination of interior-grade (beech veneer) plywood and solid white pine. The Taj Mahal probably took a month from start to finish; the nightstand was done in a day.

I've also been trying to learn woodcarving. Here's my first-ever project:
It's a gnome, carved out of a cedar garden stake.

More to come!