Strong Oaks Woodshop – Front Royal, VirginiaMike Schmiedicke was a normal guy with a white-collar job for many years. Doing web programming and database development meant he sat at a desk and stared at a computer day in and day out. But when he came home, he went into his garage and he built things. “It was my therapy,” Mike said. “My wife and I had a deal. She would bring me a kids’ catalog with a learning tower or rocking horse in it and ask me to make it. Once I did, I could spend that money we saved on my collection of carpentry tools instead.”Back in 2001, starting a wood shop out of a hobby was nothing more than a hope and a dream – but the seeds of an idea had already begun. Mike came up with a plan to gradually transition from web development into woodworking full-time. In 2008, he started selling things on Etsy – he was actually one of the first furniture makers to ut...
A Guide to Wood FlooringHardwood floors are rustic, timeless, and aesthetically pleasing; this explains why homeowners seek out houses that possess this classic wood style. Whether you currently own a home with hardwood floors, or are looking into a wood floor installation here is an instructive guide.Types of Wood FloorsThere are three different types of wood floors: laminate, engineered, and solid wood.Laminate: Invented in 1977, it has come a long way from its Swedish beginnings. Initially the poor man’s floor, laminate now has a better appearance and performance, making these floors widely recognized and used. Laminate is the layering of material (usually fiberboard) with a top layer of a wooden board and stain. Although not real wood, laminate is the most inexpensive “wood” floor and great for those on a budget and still in want of a pleasing look.Engineered: Not quite the real deal, but a s...
The next time you listen to your favorite song, thank
a tree! Many popular musical instruments
are made out of wood – and it is not as simple as just grabbing any old piece
of wood off the forest floor and carving it.There are countless resources detailing how wood is
chosen for musical instruments. It is truly an in-depth scientific process that
involves math and physics to discover what sound the wood will produce. Suffice
it to say, it is not light reading! If
you love math and physics, there is truly an unlimited potential for delving
into their relationship with wooden instruments. One mathematical explanation for discovering
stiffness) of a material is called Young’s
Modulus, which has endless
not the least of which can be helpful when making a musical instrument. The American Journal of Botany has a fascinating abstract
in its October...
Have you ever experienced the joy of creating
something from wood? Whittling, the sounds and smells of the slice of the cutting
edge, finding a pattern and sitting down with a tool envisioning the finished
product…the hours just seem to slip by. This is a true sign of something that
you love to do.Of all the art forms available to craftsmen, wood
carving may well be one of the oldest developed skills in the
history of man. Carved designs and accents have appeared in furniture design,
the building components of our homes and places of worship, the household items
that we use every day, and of course as simply beautiful decorative sculptures.The traditional way of learning to carve was through
an apprenticeship. A parent who thought their child had some talent for sculpture
would be apprenticed around age 14 to a master
carver. Ideally, seven years later the child, usually a
boy, would be able to carve...
The long, cold stretch between January
and warmer spring months can feel interminable, especially with antsy children
cooped up indoors and coming down from holiday excitement. Woodworking is the
perfect activity to get them using their imaginations and energy for a creative
purpose. Woodworking is a great way to bond with your
children as well. With adult supervision, children can participate in fun
projects that teach them fine motor skills, coordination, and craftsmanship at
an early age. They will keep these skills for years to come, and you will have
fun creations around the home to provide hours of entertainment.The most important aspect of woodworking
with children is teaching them good safety habits. Michael Barton from Power Tools Planet writes on DIY Adulation that parents
should take proper precautions, such as ensuring a clean and safe workspace,
keeping a first-aid kit nearby, and dre...