Wednesday, May 31, 2006

The Sawdust Shop

Some time ago I was in Mountain View in California and I took a class at The Sawdust Shop. This place kicks ass. They have a big workshop set up with lots of power tools where they teach you how to take a rough splintery piece of warped wood and turn it into pieces of perfectly straight and shiny wood and then turn those into something like this!

I took this class, which was taught by Vic and was amazed at the results. The finished product was almost perfect, a far cry from my previous attempts at wood working at home! I got to use a whole load of the different tools - router, tables saw, jointer, planer, various sanders, scroll saw, band saw and maybe some other stuff I've forgotten. I don't have access to most of these tools but just seeing what was the right tool for each job was great. Also, as important as seeing each tool was seeing the setup that went with it. It gave me ideas about what I needed to do to better use the tools I had.

If that wasn't enough, they went out of their way to accommodate my odd schedule, allowing me to join a couple of different classes and stay late to finish stuff off. Overall an excellent place to go if you're at all interesting in making things out of wood.

Finally, the also have the coolest table saw in the world, the Saw Stop - a circular table saw with a lot of clever circuitry that makes it almost impossible to cut yourself! Watch the Hot Dog demo on their homepage to see it in action, it's so cool!