Category Archives: Build-Alongs

Follow my progress as I build various projects of my own design. Some are simple and some are complex.

One Last Bedstead

When my youngest child–my only son, R.–finally outgrew our old toddler bed (which I had originally built for his older sister, and which had then been passed down through the siblings to him, and which I eventually gave away to … Continue reading

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How to Build Carpenter Bee Traps (That Look Nice)

Down here on the Gulf Coast, we have a lot of insect problems–mosquitoes, termites, fire ants, you name it.  Another common pest here is the carpenter bee, which is not at all aggressive, and a good pollinator to boot.  But carpenter … Continue reading

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Building A Frame-and-Panel Interior Door

If I had a backup career in woodworking, it would be making doors and windows for historic homes.  It’s not that I especially enjoy making such objects more than others.  (I’ve never even made a window sash.)  It’s that it’s … Continue reading

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Build A Simple, Wooden Storage Crate in an Hour

One of the tests of a competent woodworker is the ability to make a simple, sturdy box to order.  Just this afternoon, my wife was cleaning and reorganizing, and she asked me to make her a crates to help her … Continue reading

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Fairy Furniture You Can Make on Your Front Steps

After a big tropical storm made a mess of my daughter K’s fairy garden, she decided to do some remodeling. First on her list was new fairy furniture, so we thought up some simple designs for a table and chairs.  … Continue reading

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How to Install Hardwood Flooring without Power Tools

Can you really install hardwood flooring in your house without a special pneumatic nail gun and an air compressor?  Yes, you can.  We did it, and with a few tools and some skill, you can, too. First, the back-story.  (If … Continue reading

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How to Make a Tobacco Pipe with Hand Tools, Part 4: Stem-Bending, Staining, and Finishing

On balance, I would say that half of pipe making involves sanding. It’s not exactly the fun part of making a pipe, but the results are worth the care and effort. Theoretically, rasps and files are used to establish the … Continue reading

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How to Make a Tobacco Pipe with Hand Tools, Part 3: Shaping with Rasps and Files

When we left off last time, we had a stem inserted into a drilled block of briar wood.  Now, you could smoke this block if you wanted to (I’ve seen it done!), but you probably want to do some shaping … Continue reading

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How to Make a Tobacco Pipe with Hand Tools, Part 2: Drilling the Briar Block

In my last post, I explained how I prepare a stem to be fitted to a pipe.  In this post, I will show how I drill the holes in the block of wood itself. This stage of the pipe-making process … Continue reading

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How to Make a Tobacco Pipe with Hand Tools, Part 1: The Stem and Tenon

Five years ago, I wrote here about making a tobacco pipe with hand tools.  That post assumed you were starting with a “pipe kit,” i.e. a pre-drilled block of wood with a stem pre-fitted into it.  I still think that … Continue reading

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