This past weekend I went to a Lie-Nielsen Hand Tool Event that was being hosted in the Bay Area. If you aren’t familiar with the company, Lie-Nielsen is a high end hand tool company based in Maine. Their tools are a bit pricey, but they are beautiful. (Or as they put it, they make “heirloom quality tools”)
Normally I’m all for getting cheaper tools. In my opinion, if you know how to use a tool properly you can make pretty much anything work. The problem for me was (is) I’m just starting out so I wanted to make sure the tool was “perfect,” that way if there were mistakes in my work I knew it was my fault and not the tools.
I wasn’t sure what to expect from the event, but I’m definitely glad I decided to go. There weren’t any official demonstrations, but they had all of their tools out for you to use, and they had plenty of staff walking around for you to ask any questions you might have. I was finally able to get some straight answers about the difference between a jack plane and a bench plane (jack planes are more versatile, and bench planes are good for smoothing near the end of a project), and have someone walk me through the proper tools and technique for sharpening my tools.
If there is an event in your area I highly recommend going.
After many long months my first project is finally complete. It’s not perfect, but I’m pretty happy with how it turned out. Plus, it feels very satisfying to complete my first project. 8 months ago I started with basically no woodworking knowledge, and after a lot work and effort I’ve learned enough to make this.
I think the next phase of my woodworking journey will be less about a project, and more focused on honing some basic skills; sharpening my tools, sawing in a straight line, etc.
Also, over the course of this project I took a lot of pictures which I plan to turn into a DIY guide of sorts. So, look out for that!
And for fun, one more picture of the arm rest coffee table, sitting in the sun right after being polished.
After all of my practice joints I had a growing pile of dovetail corners lying around. While I didn’t initially have any plans for them, one of my more recent pieces seemed like the perfect candidate to turn into a phone stand.
It was a pretty simple project, but it allowed me to use my new wood polish and also try using wood glue for the first time. Also, it felt good to actually make something for a change, instead of just practicing.
Check out the rest of the posts to see more details on how I made it.
Continue reading “Mini Project – Phone Stand”