Making a Garden bench (part 1)

It's been laying outside for almost one and a half year now, this Eucalyptus tree, cut in to four slabs. The two outer ones will at some point be used for some stools or little tables, one is so "turned" that I will have to cut it up in short pieces, but...

this one seems pretty straight. It is very wobbly, because it was just cut with a chainsaw while the last part of the tree was still standing. Using a hand or electric plane to get it flat is no option in this stage, so.. the first action is to flatten one of the sides with a router.

The slab was about 12 cm thick, now the first side is flat (more or less) there's about 9 cm left.
Time to take a nr.5 and start using some muscles. The dark space on the right is what's left under the height of the router jig, it's also the part that has to be rounded, to make it more comfortable to sit on.

It took some time, but the treatment with a hand plane seems to do the job. The split at the end will stay, it will be a creative feature on the seat of this garden bench to be...


Less of all the bad we saw and more sawdust!

Now don't take this to seriously! Yes, the twin-brother is back.
Wishing you a happy new year with less of all the bad we saw and more sawdust!


Something Different: A Blues song...

Yes, it's been a while. Still we wouldn't want to skip on our annual Christmas song! Well, more a song about why the world doesn't deserve Christmas this year, so it's a blues... For the first time Mirjam (the lady of the Casa) plays the Satellite dish bass, I'm singing and playing RBG (recycled box guitar) my twin brother plays slide on another 3-string RBG and our long lost brother came to visit us from the USA and well... plays some bells. All the instruments were build in the Not Just Sawdust workshop, and only reclaimed wood and recycled materials were used. In all, a very different video than our normal contributions to te world of woodworking and recycling... Happy Holidays !!


The old carpenters workshop

Whenever there's family or friends coming over to Portugal we invited them to "O Electrico", a restaurant beyond any imagination. A building and "art"park, made totally out of recycled materials where they serve the finest of local Portuguese food at a fixed price for all you can eat and drink (we Dutch like that) in a surrealistic surroundings full of creativity.

Another reason to take people to "O Electrico" is the museum. Inside you'll find the Portugal of a few centuries ago. They show how people lived, went to school, how they worked. Next to all kinds of trades, including the workshops of a blacksmith and hairdresser who also was the local dentist, there's an old carpenters workshop situated in one of the rooms. Going back a few hundred years, it's a woodworkers paradise when it comes to antique handtools... (it's hard to take pictures from the little door-opening, you should see it in real life!)

 O Electrico is located at Rua da Chã, Relva, Sao Miguel, Vila de Rei, Portugal


Going to an auction..

There's an auction twice a year in a village nearby. All profits go to a good cause, so it's a matter of looking for one or two things between all the goodies that mostly would have ended on the skip, if it wasn't for the opportunity to donate it to charity. I did find a few items which I thought at least would be usable and became part of the bidding wars. Well, no, as a matter of fact it was more a case of helping out the auctioneer begging for a raised hand among the chatting and laughing crowd. I bought an antique little mantelpiece clock for 3 Euro's, some coloured sand...

However there were 3 items that were marked in my 1 euro stenciled catalog. They made me spend money...
 Yes the first 10 Euro's went to a saw, needs sharpening, but one with the quality of days gone by.

The second 10 Euro went to a tenon saw, and it's of an excellent quality, same brand and just needs sharpening.
 And well, at the bottom of my wallet a found some more to spend, 14 euro's this hand drill went for, it came with a few really good, sharp and well cleaned bits, of which one is adjustable. No, it's not metric but who cares.....


Natural edge wooden buttons...

About 2 years ago I sliced up a branch from our fig tree and put them in a jar to dry. Over time I made buttons out of them and as I came to the last ones here's a way of colouring them to match the sample of wool I got. Of course they were sanded an had a few holes drilled in to them...

Step 1: black wax
Step 1: black wax

Step 2: cleaning up

Step 2: cleaning up

Step 3: smoothing surface with very fine "scotch pad"

Step 3: smoothing surface with very fine "scotch pad"

Step 4: making them shiny with a soft cloth..

Natural edge buttons that go nice with the wool...


Artisan Fair, Delivery of a Desk and a new shop dog!

Every now and than we'll attent an Artisan market or car boot sale. Most of the times that means loading up the old soapy green van with all kinds of secondhand stuff, tables, sunshades and of course the items made in the workshop. This time we tried a different approach by taking the latest project we finished a some smaller workshop items. The Desk, for a schoolgirl, made out of a recycled old panel door, some hardwood door frames and loads of other reclaimed wood was the base of our mini exhibition. The buyer agreed that we put it on display before delivering it to her house, after the fair. Business cards were handed out and nice conversations ended with the hope of getting a few orders in the future.

Going to a Artisan fair combined with a flee-market brings you in contact with lots of people, all kinds of little opportunities to expand the toolbox and sometimes something special. This time we went home with something very special; a new family member.

After trying out if our almost 20 year old Fatih could cope with a 10 week old wild little creature for a few hours at the fair, we decided to take Ella home. She comes from a nest of nine and her foster parents saved Ella (named after a famous jazz-singer) and her brothers and sisters from a certain death, because their mother, a stray dog, just could not feed al nine of them. It's a decision made from the heart rather than with any common sense, since our 19 year old little man needs a lot of attention also these days. Luckily Ella is a fast learner. I already taught her the essence of having a siesta. I hope soon she will learn how to fetch and understand the difference between a mallet and just some piece of wood, something a "shop dog" should know!


A Rock n Roll Birdhouse!

Yes, it's this time of year again! Challenges! Sadly we couldn't find a 2x4 for the yearly challenge this time, but we made an entry for the Summers Woodworking Birdhouse Challenge 2016!

And here's the video on the making of: