Dugout Chair Part 4, Cut the Arms

I laid out the shape of my my dugout chair in chalk. Then it rained. The next day I laid out the shape of my dugout chair in lumber crayon. Referring to my CAD drawing (below), I drew in the seat at 17” from the ground. Then decided to put the arms 8” above the seat and have them slope back about 1/2” or so. The depth of the seat […]

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Perfect Jigs (Which are Handcuffs)

After I learned to make stick chairs in a class, I returned home and set about to build jigs that would let me reproduce every aspect of the chair we built in class. I spent an entire week planning and building the jig shown in the photo above. Though it looks like a platform for holding Roman candles, it actually allowed me to drill four legs in a seat blank […]

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Dugout Chair Step 3: Draw a Chair

After removing the big chunk of wood that was to become the front of the chair, the next steps on the dugout chair are the tricky parts that require more thinking than straining. I needed to chainsaw the bottom of the stump level to get the thing so it had the stance of a chair. This is tricky because the stump is an irregular cone with no right angles. So […]

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Modern Gateleg Table – Free on the Website

The cover story for the October 2017 issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine – a Swedish gateleg table – can be read and downloaded for free here. No catch. No gimmicks. No registration. Just click it and read it. I built this gateleg table earlier this year and based my version on dozens of examples I dug up from the historical record. From looking at the table, you might think that the […]

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Dugout Chair Step 2: Lose 200 Ugly Pounds

I can roll this rotted log around my driveway for the dugout chair. But danged if I can lift it by myself. So the next step is to start chainsawing away the majority of the bulk that is not part of the finished chair. With my tiny 16” electric chainsaw I spent a good hour wasting away the first two kerfs on this chair. This activity attracted the attention of […]

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Dugout Chair Step 1: Get it Out of the Truck

After picking up the rotted stump for my dugout chair, I parked my truck in front of my shop and then went inside to ponder: How do I get it out of the truck? Sure, there are lots of redneck methods involving wax paper, Wesson oil and chains. But I wanted to avoid damaging myself and trashing my truck. I could rent a forklift or other machine to make it […]

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Success Isn’t at the Bookstore or the Museum

When my first book, “Workbenches: From Design & Theory to Construction & Use,” was released, I played a game that many first-time authors play. I looked for my book on the shelves of any bookstore I visited. After a few years I gave up. I’ve never seen the book for sale anywhere except online. But I do have something else that I’ve decided is better: Hundreds (maybe thousands) of photos […]

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Yes, a Moisture Meter is Essential Equipment

A moisture meter is a device that lets you see the future. It allows you to avoid mistakes where your furniture will – literally – fall to pieces. But convincing woodworkers to buy one is like trying to push water uphill. This weekend, Brendan Gaffney and I were each working on some chair projects and got on the topic of moisture meters. Brendan has an idea for how to make […]

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The ‘Dugout Chair’ Begins With a Rotted Stump

For as long as I have been writing about woodworking, I have wanted to build a dugout chair. I first encountered the form in one of the many furniture books we had a Popular Woodworking Magazine. Soon after I started working at the magazine in 1996 I began poring through the books whenever I had a spare moment – attempting to get up to speed with all the different furniture […]

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Eco-Friendly Kitchen Floors – Go Green in the Kitchen

Who says you can’t go eco-friendly for kitchen flooring? Sure, kitchen floors have specialized requirements for durability and moisture resistance, but there are plenty of green options that meet these criteria.

Options vary widely in cost, hardness and other variables, so consider your budgetary and physical needs carefully before making a decision.

Cork

Cork is possibly the perfect flooring for kitchens; it’s naturally antimicrobial, hypoallergenic, fire retardant and resistant to mold and mildew.

Cork is soft and warm, perfect for standing for long periods of time preparing food or washing dishes. Your back and knees will thank you.

Best of all, since cork material comes from the bark of a tree, harvesting does not kill the tree. Suppliers in the Mediterranean carefully strip the bark only every few years to keep the supply coming, and every bit of the bark is used to produce cork products.

Concerned about the environmental impact of shipping the cork from Europe? Don’t be – the World Wildlife Federation isn’t. Since cork is being used less and less for wine bottles, the land it is on is becoming less valuable and is at risk of being cleared to accommodate growing human populations. The WWF encourages the purchase of cork products to help preserve the cork oak forests and the ecosystems they support.

Available in tiles or planks and in lots of different colors, cork is the preferred flooring choice of many consumers.

Linoleum

Surprise! Linoleum is actually very eco-friendly, because it’s made from all-natural materials: linseed oil, tree resins, ground limestone, wood flour, cork dust and pigments. These resources are pressed onto a jute backing, which is often made from recycled materials.

What many of us think of as “linoleum” is actually vinyl sheeting, which replaced linoleum in popularity in the mid-20th century – but are high in toxic VOCs (volatile organic compounds).

Modern linoleum is naturally antimicrobial, and is available in tiles, planks or sheets. It is also easy to install, relatively inexpensive, and will last a long time with occasional waxing.

Glass

Glass tiles have been used to beautify homes for millennia; why shouldn’t you continue the tradition? Glass provides a visual depth and shiny beauty that no other material can match; it doesn’t stain, wipes clean and resists mildew and allergens.

Purchase tiles made from 100% recycled post-consumer and post-industrial glass; if you can find some that are locally produced by using sintering (a low-energy alternative to conventional melting), then you’ll score even more green credibility.

One drawback to glass flooring is that it can be slippery when wet – consider a non-slip sealant or creating a pattern with grout to keep slipping to a minimum.

Reclaimed/Salvaged/Engineered Wood

Repurpose existing wood into flooring and enjoy its natural beauty without worrying about contributing to worldwide deforestation. Wood can be salvaged from remodeling or demolition projects – get in touch with local excavators and contractors and see if you can’t take some wood off of their hands.

Engineered wood is made by pressing together several very thin layers, making the planks more stable and less susceptible to warping than solid wood. Look for products that are formaldehyde-free and certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. The FSC only certifies organizations whose forestry methods responsibly provide environmental, social and economic benefits.

An Added Note

On any of these floors, use sealants that are labeled “low-VOC” or “non-VOC” – the lower the volatile organic compound content, the less toxic or fume-y the sealant will be.

Want more eco-friendly ideas for the kitchen and bathroom? Watch this space – we will be providing more green options in the months to come!

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