As the covid year unfolded, everyone gradually accepted lockdowns, self-isolation in shielding and then a mass of other self-monitoring systems of distancing and safety margins. Mask-wearing for those of us working wood all day long and on a daily basis was not new at all, yet it was those wearing them for the first time that focussed on how the five-minute imposition of wearing one to buy a snack would make life impossible. That’s a bit of an exaggeration, of course, but you did see those rebels who dipped into a shop and refused to wear one when picking up their newspapers.
It was in May that I came up with these, a full set of marking gauges with interchangeable stems matching the different mortise sizes and custom-sized to the chisels you have and use. They were made from scraps of mesquite wood I had and cost just about nothing except some sweat-equity. Notice this set includes a cutting or slitting gauge stem with a two-directional knife cutter.
This small saw holder for saw sharpening simply slides in between the vise jaws and solidifies the saw during filing and setting. It is simple and making one will take only a few minutes. I have used one for decades now and have three sizes that cover all of my saw sizes.
There are other saw chocks we use for this task too. I’m thinking of including a different one in another series I am trying to pull together for 2021.
I made a series of sewing trays for starting my seeds. These innards have half housing joints for easy removal and separation of roots. I might cover that in this series if I get the chance.
Not a free project but a great one to learn a variety of new things from was making a shoji screen. It was in many ways new to me too and yet it presented no difficulties at all. With 27 half housings all within a few inches of each other, accuracy was of course paramount, as were the six double mortise and tenons followed by 24 other mortise and tenons intersecting the main frame.
I made a pair of them so that they could free-stand by hinging the inside corner.
With my garden flourishing in its second year I needed a garden shed and built one using sheetrock pallets for the walls and roof. It came out fine and now it is in daily use.
I clad the outside with treated wood as featheredge boards, but is did save considerably on time and money.
In the late Spring I pulled together a bird feeder stand for my granddaughter who loves birds as I do. It wasn’t a how-to project, just an act of love and granddad indulgence.
Hard to believe it but i bought some inexpensive sharpening plates from an Asian supplier to trial them for my audience. That was unbelievably 3 march 2020. So I have been using these for one year to date on a daily basis and they show no signs of deterioration at all. If I recall the cost then was under £10 for the three
The spice shelf was one of the earliest pieces in the lockdown and we filmed this three-part series in a single day. I did not film it. It comprises many sliding dovetails, tine M&T joints and was a fun piece to make.
If you remember, I retrieved many lengths of the wood used from a skip.
There were several other things that we filmed during the year, after we worked out how to keep everyone safe.