September 2011

First Attempt at Relief Carving

Jay Oyster's picture

I've been meaning to try relief carving for a couple years now. I used Mike Henderson's vastly useful tutorials over at Mike's Woodwork. I decided to try to do the five petal flower, for a couple reasons. It seems easy enough for a first try, and the design has some personal significance to me.  Given the amazing work that's been posted here lately, including lots of fabulous carvings, I'm a bit tentative about posting my humble effort.

Anyway, this is a five petal flower cut in a piece of old poplar I had lying around. Here it is about half done. All together it took me about 2 1/2 hours. (I was being very careful and deliberate. (Dave Diaman could probably build three lowboys in the same amount of time.) The basic shape took me about an hour to rough in on Wednesday night.


Luis SatBox Table

Small table for my father-in-law's TV electronics

In a way, this is just a re-dimensioned version of the Hall Table I did a couple years back. The aprons are wider and the top is smaller, but it's the same structure. The aprons join to the legs with mortise and tenon joints. The top is attached by screwing up through corner blocks in the base. The legs are all tapered on two sides, starting just below the aprons. 


Friday, July 15, 2011 to Sunday, July 31, 2011

Finished project?: 


Adriana's Cabinet - Georgia Construction work

After moving our entire family and all of our possessions from the house in Florida to a rental house in Rosewell, Georgia, I set up my woodworking shop in the basement of the new house and slowly got back to work. There photos are of the case and leg construction that was done after I got up and running again, starting in the Fall of 2012.

Plant Gravel tray in Applewood

Gravel tray for watering plants, apple wood

In 2009, I drove up to my parents' farm in Ohio and salvaged a bunch of lumber out of their old dairy barn. One of the more interesting finds were a couple of planks of apple wood. We had a few apple trees on the farm when I was a boy. Before I was born, my father and grandfather actually milled wood on the farm using a tractor with a belt drive and a large spinning blade (a la "The Waltons"). I'm fairly certain that this lumber was cut by them. I still have a couple pieces that I'm hoarding for some good use.


Thursday, August 20, 2009 to Friday, September 4, 2009

Finished project?: 


Silver Maple Roubo Workbench

July 2017 - Bench top mated to undercarriage. Recesses created for tail vice hardware.
A Roubo-style hand-tool-centric woodworking workbench with a Benchcrafted wagon vice on the right front corner and a green Woodcraft leg vice on the left front leg. Built from silver maple lumber milled from a tree that grew in the front yard of my parents' Ohio farmhouse.

I'm prone to overthinking things, and Sketchup just exacerbates that tendency. I didn't want to overthink this, so I sketched up the basic dimensions on paper and went from there.  I'm planning to have a deadman on the front and a leg vise on the left front leg. I've already ordered the simple screw hardware for that from Lee Valley. I'm planning to install the Benchcrafted tail vise as a wagon vise on the right end, but that will have to wait for a retrofit. I can't swing the $350 pricetag of the Benchcrafted hardware right now. (Too much money sunk in quarter sawn sycamore, cherry, and hardware for Adriana's jewelry cabinet to be very spendy on this bench, this season.)


Saturday, September 3, 2011

Finished project?: 


Workbench Build

The Sunlight Foundation - Great Juxtapositions

Jay Oyster's picture

I absolutely love the Sunlight Foundation. They do all the research to provide some 'light' into how the U.S. federal government actually works. The absolute best thing that they do is, when there is a particularly interesting hearing or session occurring, they broadcast it live, overlaid with information about each speaker as they are speaking. I love seeing each congressperson or senator with a list of their top 10 donors across the bottom of the screen as they speak.

An Introduction

My name is Jay Oyster. By trade, I'm a manager in the IT industry, but by inclination, I'm a woodworker. This site began as a place for me to share my projects, my ideas about design, and my commentary on the world of woodworking. But since it's my site, I occasionally use it to talk about other things, such as politics, religion, pop culture, science, the space industry, and literature. Basically anything that catches my interest.

My thought processes, and my projects, are very Ent-like. They take a long time to develop. I take forever to finish large things. But I occasionally erupt in periods of intense activity, even becoming, dare I say .. . "hasty". 


The State of Furniture Design

Jay Oyster's picture

I'm a print design guy (and tech writer) by trade. And my urge in my woodworking (as a hobbyist) is to design pieces and build them . . . slowly, as it happens. But I find myself noticing a certain . . strange, mis-alignment between what woodworkers design and build these days, and what people put in their homes.

Status of Ben's Mill after Hurricane Irene

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Ben's Mill prior to restoration work, as it was in the 1970s

Anyway, Ben's Mill sits right next to the Stevens River near Barnet, VT. A foundation was formed to restore the mill to working operation so it could be used as a teaching tool to show how woodworking and water based machinery worked in 18th and 19th century New England. The movie is fascinating. (A portion of it is available for streaming on the FolkStreams website (see attached).) They've done some good work cataloging all of the old machines and restoring the old penstock (wooden tube that feeds water to the turbine), as well as the blacksmith area and the foundations. They still have permitting issues to deal with before they can rebuild the dam that finally washed away in the late 80s.