Joggling board

Since I’ve been doing more woodworking lately and there is one piece of furniture that is unique to South Carolina — I thought I’d make one.

It’s a Joggling board. As you can see it rocks from side to side. 

I’d seen them around at some of the historical sites, so I thought I’d made one for our front porch for my wife’s Christmas. Mine (6 feet long) is not as large as an official board, since those are 10-16 feet long. My porch just couldn’t pull a real one off.

It is also not painted the ‘official’ Charleston Green (which is really closer to black than green). I added some large cup holders on the end — after all it is the 21st century.

There are a variety of stories about its origin, such as:

Also from a flexibility perspective, if I put some chocks under it, it could also be used as an outdoor buffet. 


Crafting a Cantilevered Wine Holder

You’ve likely seen these around:IMG_20180822_070319596

Cantilevered wine holders are a decorative way to display a bottle. We were doing a fund-raising activity, so I made a number of these and decided to document in detail the process to build the wine holder. Only a few bottles were killed during the creation of this document

If you make one, let me know. If you see anything you’d do differently, I’d like to hear about that too.

Laser scribing for Woodworking

Recently, I’ve started a new area of experimentation – laser scribing inserts for woodworkers. Below are a few examples of my initial efforts:

IMG_20180810_051946406These are one inch wooden slugs that have been laser scribed with an image and some text.  My neighbor and I invested in this device together and in order to get our investment back, we’re planning to charge $1.50 per wooden coin for those using an existing design. If someone wants their own graphic, they can send it to me. It will be an additional $15 (one time) for me to set it up. If they want exclusive use of that graphic, it will be $20.

Embedding a wooden coin like this into the back of a project can really set it off and show the pride in your work.

It has been a crazy month

Since the last time I blogged, I have become a board member and performing the role of Advanced Training Director of the Sun City Hilton Head Woodworking and Modelmakers Guild. These are volunteer positions, but that doesn’t mean they don’t keep me busy.

There are over 800 members of the guild. We are in the process of rolling out Eventbrite to manage the scheduling of our training classes. By my best estimate (just for Advanced Training), there are approximately 140 training sessions, across 45 classes and 25 unique topics, before the end of the year. It’s a pretty active group.

A simple, collapsible, decorative wood bowl

Since I’ve moved to Sun City Hilton Head, I’ve done a great deal more woodworking than I have every done before. I’ve modeled most of these efforts in SketchUp or Microsoft 3D Builder before tackling anything too difficult.

The following are a couple of simple designs I’ve created for those getting started in woodworking. They look interesting, without being too complicated.

One is a Pineapple shaped bowl and the other is a bowl shaped like a Pumpkin. Both use the same technique to use a single piece of wood (about an inch thick) to form the handle and a spiral cut piece that can be expanded to form a bowl. When made properly, the piece can me laid flat or expanded into a bowl. Pegs can be used to attach the handle to the bowl.

Here is the Pineapple:

pineapple bowl

I’ve found it works best to print the design on an 11×17 piece of paper. Tape it to the board. Cut out the design with a scroll saw or sabre saw. Then align the parts and determine where the holes need to be cut for the pegs, so the handle can fully extend and expand the bowl. You may need to cut the handle down to fit.

Here is the Pumpkin (I am going to try this one on an 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of paper):

pumpkin bowl

Here is what an Apple bowl looks like fully extended – my wife got that when she was teaching and it inspired me to create the other designs.

Apple bowl

Woodworking and Yard Dice

diceAn interesting game my daughter recently showed me was Lawn Farkle or Lawn Yahtzee. For these games, you’ll need 5-6 lawn size dice. When I looked on-line, these dice ranged from about $30 up to $100 for a set of 6. Naturally, I thought I should be able to make these with stuff I had lying around. It did turn out to be a bit more work than I expected.

This post is a summary to make these (not so little) gems. I have a more detailed version (with pictures) if anyone is interested.

1)      First, you start with a 24” 4×4 or two glued together 2x4s to make about 24 inches that are 3 ½ inches on a side, since we’re going to turn them into 3 ½ inch wooden cubes. Be aware of where the knots in the wood are located, since you may need a longer piece of wood to work around these flaws.

2)      If you are using 2x4s.

  1. If you have a joiner, join the two faces of the 2×4 that you plan to glue together. This will enable an almost seamless connection.
  2. Glue both faces of the 2x4s you plan to glue together to ensure a strong seam. Make sure there is smooth even coat of water proof glue, since the dice will be used outside.
  3. Clamp them together and wait about 24 hours for the glue to set. You may need to clamp in two dimensions to ensure that boards are aligned. You may want to look at the grain of the wood and how they come together before you glue, to make the desired grain pattern. The end grain of the glued together board formed a pattern like this: )( Essentially, forming an X.

3)      If you have a joiner, clean up the side of the wood to make it smooth, square and ready to rip. The joined face is the one that will be placed against the fence of the table saw.

4)      You’ll need to rip the board (based on their shortest dimension) to form the square cross-section. Measure the smallest dimension and use that to rip the other dimension to the same size. If you made this out of 2x4s glued together, you’ll end up with a 3×3 (approximately) board after ripping. You may be tempted to use a ¼ inch roundover router bit right now to round off the edges, while the board is still large, but wait — since you’ll likely need to resurface the edges later.

5)      Measure the board’s width and use the smallest dimension to cut the board into cubes, using a chop saw. I found it best to measure again after each cut, don’t try to make all the cuts at once, since the saw will take out some of the wood each cut.

7)      Next, find a set of dice and use one as a reference and mark the wooden cubes with a pencil, where the faces should be. Use an awl and mark the cubes, where the spots should be located. The following illustration should useful.



8)      There are several ways to tackle placing the spots on the dice. You could use a ½” Forstner bit, wood burning, paint, epoxy… This description, will use the Forstner bit to make the hole and then put in a contrasting colored plug.  Keep in mind, you’re going to need a large number of these plugs since each dice has 21 spots.

9) Drill the holes in the cube where the awl marks are located. I used a drill press to make the holes and made them about 1/8” in depth.

10) Next you’ll need to use a ½” plug cutter to make the plugs for dots. In my case, I used some scrap walnut strips. The wood will need to be a bit longer than the hole depth cut in the previous step. Keep in mind, you’re going to need quite a bit of whatever material you choose. Go slow when cutting the holes, since it is easy to tear out.

The other choice is to use an appropriately sized dowel and cut plugs to the correct length using a scroll saw. This was much faster than making the plugs.

11) Place some glue in the holes of the cube and insert the plugs you’ve cut. You may need a hammer at this point. I recommend using a waterproof glue since these are going to be used outside.

12) Next, you’ll likely need to trim off the excess wood from the plugs (with a band saw) and sand the face until smooth

13)  Finally, you can route the edges with a ¼ inch roundover router bit.

14)  You can stain the cubes and use polyurethane or Danish oil… to protect them from the elements. Since two of the faces will be end cut, you may want to use some glue size on these surfaces to minimize the amount of stain that’s absorbed. If you don’t, these faces will be significantly darker. You can either buy glue size or just make it by diluting your wood glue by 90% and painting it on the ends, to fill up the end grain.

15) To roll a set of dice, you’ll need some kind of bucket, large enough to hold them all.

Tools required:

  1. Pencil
  2. Table saw to rip the boards into square boards
  3. Chop saw to make the cubes
  4. Band saw to trim the spots on the cubes
  5. Drill Press
  6. Drill ½” bit or equivalent for the spots (and dowels or a plug cutter if you’re going to fill them in with wood)
  7. Sander
  8. Sand paper
  9. Tape measure
  10. Rubber Mallet
  11. Waterproof glue
  12. Joiner


And pretty much any other dice game you can think of.

Introduction to 3D printing class

After my recent move to South Carolina, I’ve been refreshing my skills in woodworking. To get started, I’ve been creating some fairly simple cutting boards (see below) with my wife:

cutting boards

As a way to give back to the group, I pulled together an Introduction to 3D printing class that I’ve also loaded out on slideshare. The material includes a number of examples on how 3D printing and the related design tools can be used in a woodworking shop.

Hopefully, this will enable a greater understanding for the group of the possibilities of additive manufacturing — since woodworking consists mainly of subtractive manufacturing. 🙂

Just thought I’d share the presentation here, as well.