Saturday, December 22, 2012

New Product With Photos! Home Decor at its Finest!

Hey Stitchers!  Nick the Stitch here and glad you are too!  So, how'd that apocalypse thing go for you?  Guess I shouldn't've told my neighbors where they can stick their... well, anyway.  It's been a great day for me, because I finally got to making something I've been dying to build since I was running Custom Glen Woods last year.

And there's PHOTOS!  Howsabout that? :D

I'm sure you'll agree with me, that corners in almost any room of a home, apartment, or office are probably the most under-used part of the place, right?  I mean, it's hard to find good decor that fits easily, stores small knickknacks, framed photos, momentos, etc. really easy, and best of all keeps the flow of the room's layout consistent in an out-of-the-way manner.  You can't really find it at IKEA, and Hell-Mart doesn't have anything that is sturdy enough for puppies, roommates, or weekends at Bernie's.  What is one to do?

Well, I have the answer... Corner Curio Bookcases.


(approx. size: 42"H x 10"D/side x 14-5/8"W/front)

The CCB is conveniently sized for maximum storage with minimum space impact, and offers three 12" tall spaces and a sturdy top panel.  This particular version is the economy model, but we do offer other versions (like birch, pine, and yes we can do cedar for the executive-class-type shoppers).

In addition to the convenience, the CCB also offers...


...shelving slots in both side panels, one at the end and the other in the middle of each panel, to ensure stability and weight distribution without the fear of saggy shelves.  I've had stuff from Office Depot and Hell-Mart that I paid a king's ransom for, and those things couldn't handle a bunch of DVD cases.  THIS, however, is literally embedded into the sides far enough that it simply won't bend.

Don't you just hate when things fly off to parts unknown, and you have to go under furniture and bookcases and coffee tables to find it with a flashlight and a Sherpa guide?  We hear you...


...and have you covered, with a dovetailed kickplate!  (approx. size 4"H x 13-5/8"W)  It slides into the top and is practically flush with the side ends on the front.  Plus it literally goes to the floor, so very little will ever get into that space.  Plus you can always take the kickplate off when you need to move the CCB!

Which brings me to the best part...


...the mark of a true woodcrafter or carpenter is that he or she builds stuff that doesn't need glue or screws in order to stay in one piece.  And with the CCB, we've done it!  Using a simple low-tech wood engineering trick, the parts fit together perfectly and tightly snug, and can be taken apart with a little elbow grease.  No glue, unless you feel you need it.  No screws, either.  Just simple basic carpentry tricks that allow you to pick the CCB up by the top panel, and not have the CCB fall apart!  It literally is built to contain itself against itself!

Which does bring us to one particular thing of noting... because the wood pieces are so tight, if you want to paint or stain the CCB, we highly recommend you assemble it completely before doing so.  Paint and stain will cause the pieces to expand to the point you cannot assemble it afterwards, and also you will not be able to disassemble it afterwards either.  But considering the light weight and the openness, if you needed to move it, it conveniently cubbyholes stuff in a moving truck as well!

So if you've got a lot of chotchkies or cherished items that need a comfy place in a sunny corner, or any corner, we'll be happy to ship the Corner Curio Bookcase to you!  Find out more by either hitting the Second Chances Art webstore, eBay, or contact us by email at PaperRoses352@Gmail.com for details.  We'd love to help you have a more awesome new year, so let us know how you want to roll things.

Stay awesome and happy holidays from Ocala, Florida!

--Nick The Stitch
NickTheStitch@Gmail.com
614-321-5009

Friday, December 21, 2012

What Difference Does It Make Which Tool Woodcrafters Prefer??

Everything.

There's a LOT of tools out there, especially for woodcrafting and carving.  I know this for a fact because there's a Lowe's just south of me that is my second home... and a True Value with a lumber depot just north of me that is getting pretty close to it.  Also, I'm on a couple trade product magazine catalog mailing lists, so I have a pretty good idea how amazing technology has made tools these days.

I mean, you can get a Dremel drill that has wi-fi, a laser sight, and can peel potatoes from 20 paces.  Serious!  And that's the smaller one, you should see the size of the one that changes your oil in Russian and can explode large watermelons from another city!

Okay, okay, so I made it up.  It does canteloupes, not watermelons.  Still, it WOULD be pretty awesome.

But I'd like to make a tiny observation, if I may.  It involves the difference between a good power tool and a good hand tool.

There's a lot of push for the electronic stuff, and I use a lot of them.  I have an amazing 8" drill press that makes perfectly straight holes through wood, which is awesome if accuracy is required when making something like the Whackadoo v.02....


...if only because I don't have the ability to stay perfectly still with a power drill or an impact drill.  Granted, my drill press IS electric, but it is brutally effective and efficient at what I need to do.

Another power tool I use regularly is the saber (aka "jig") saw, which can cut curves and straight lines.  The only problem with it is that the blade cuts about 1/16" across, so I have to cut the wood just outside my lines.  This is what a saber saw looks like...


For what it does, tho, it does good stuff.  And it turns mid-cut on a dime.  Plus the bevel feature helps a lot.  The only downside is that it doesn't do well with small-piece cuts, because even when I use my tabletop jig station, as soon as the wood is cut all the way through, the saw kicks... not every time, but I can't tell when it will.

I picked up a coping saw from Lowe's a month or two back, for $8 and another $2 for a set of 8 blades.  Here's what one looks like, from Kobalt...


It's relatively simple, it can adjust the angle of the blade, so if you can't do a straight-cut, you can parallel-cut (in other words, cut like you normally would, but the C-holder would be to the side), and you can also cut from inside the wood piece.  So if you were to, say, cut a window into a wood block car, you simply drill a starting hole, thread the blade through, secure the blade, and then go to town on it.  After you finish, you unlatch the blade, pull it out of the wood hole, and then re-secure it back into the handle.
 
Now here's the meat and potatoes of what I'm trying to get to, so I do appreciate your patience.
 
As I mentioned, the saber saw (usually starts at about $45 for a basic model) is electric, has beveling capability, and can turn on a dime for curves and stuff.  I like it for the big stuff, like the Dippy Ducks I made....
 
 
...because I can cut a lot of wood, fast.  But... the downsides are plenty.  It's loud (I do wear protective gear), it cuts a 1/16" swath (which may not sound like much of a problem, but then it does mean I have to shift where I actually run the blade), I've already blown the bevel gears on one model (that went after about 16 months of working with it), and also it's typically now made as an "orbital" saw (which means it's not straight up-and-down, but slightly forward-back too) so the "down" side is rougher than the "up" side.  And I have the basic model, without that fancy laser thingy telling me where I already know to cut.
 
Now, the coping saw (starts somewhere around $8).  It's hand-powered so it's relatively quiet aside from the typical light-sawing noise.  The blade is 1/8" but cuts somewhere close to 1/32" or 1/64", essentially hair-thin so that means I don't have to move the cut far to get where I need to go.  Also, when I have to drill a hole inside the wood to get the blade through for an internal cut, I only need a 1/8" drill bit instead of the 1/4" for the saber saw (so a smaller pilot hole means less potential damage and a LOT more accuracy).  And remember how I said the saber saw turns on a dime?  The coping saw can literally turn on a pinhead, if not tighter.  So I don't need as much real estate to curve my cuts.  Add to that the ability to shave bumps off and that the coping saw isn't orbital so there's not rough finishes, and you can see some advantages.
 
In fact, you can make small stuff really easily (because it's designed for fine work, not tree-cutting), like these...
 
 
...relatively easy (that's an orbital sander, btw).  Plus, if you look closely at those pieces, yes, they are in fact dovetails, another bonus for the coping saw.  Don't get me wrong, saber saws can do it too, and I did try it.  But it's like using a nuke to wash your car... just too much power for the detaling.  It's one of the reasons I'm enjoying making my Corner Curio Bookcase with a coping saw, because I know I can get the tight fits I need.
 
There are times when I fall back on power tools, because there's simply so much to do that a hand tool might not be as time-effective due to scope.  And I do love them, I really do.  But even with all those amazing things out there (and it'd be easy for me to blow my paycheck in a heartbeat), I just feel more connected with what I build, and less like an assembly line, with a hand tool instead.  And yes, I do still use hammers and screwdrivers (though for hard woods, I do use a drill.  There are times when blood, sweat and tears isn't enough to get through pressure-treated woods and plastics!)
 
Then again, there are a few woodworkers out there who will swear by power tools, and they do quite fine with them.  They do some amazing stuff with those.  But it's kinda like the difference between preferring between hiking and Nascar races.  You're going to find a lot of people with toned legs and a lot of people with tanned legs.
 
So my best advice to you, should you be interested in any particular hobby, is this... don't be entirely set on one type of tool or another at first, experiment.  Feel how the tools fit and move in your hands.  Get a sense over what "feels right" and listen to your intuition!  If the back of your mind says, "I like it, buuuuuuut y'know what?" then figure out why it says that and research.  Hit the library, Youtube, Google, whatever.  Hell, talk to the shop staff, other carpenters and wood hobbyists, learn everything you can reasonably absorb.  But also, remember that you do have physical limits as well, so don't get something more powerful or bigger than you can handle on a bad day, when tired, or when distracted.  Safety first!
 
Okay, that's my thoughts for now, so I do appreciate you listening.  I hope this helps you feel not so weird about what you like about tools and woodworking because honestly, we've all been there and we all keep learning with every project.
 
Stay awesome, Stitchers!
 
--Nick The Stitch

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Dippy Dudes, New Whackadoos and How DO You Do!

Hey there, Stitchers!  Nick the Stitch here and very, very much better since this past weekend (at least sleep-wise).  I hope you're enjoying this number-12-obsession day, and staying productive.  Things here are pretty awesome and they're looking better every day.

So here's some stuff you might want to know about...

Renningers: It was fun, the other vendors were amazing (I was right across the walkway from a guitarist named Mel Jenkins, if anyone knows if this guy really did play with other major bands, PLEASE email me the link so I can read it... he challanged me to Google and YouTube him and -- like a retired research librarian -- I Googled, YouTube'd and Wiki'd him, nothing showed up) and the variety of stuff sold was wide.


All in all a good time, sold a couple small things.  The weather was beautiful.  And we really were waiting for you to hang out with us.  By "we" I mean myself and Tuna Lick from Project Asylum.


I hadn't decided about coming back this weekend, but after I sat down with my collab effort partner Marylin from Second Chances Art, we are ready to roll when Renningers calls us back to set things up.  At this point, we may have two different booths (one Saturday, one on Sunday), but hey, if I can get back there, that'd be great.  And hey, even if you don't buy from SCA or NTS at the market, just come out to Mount Dora anyway, there's plenty to see and do.

Whackadoo v.02: Back in early September or so, I built a toy that I loved when I was really, really young, like 5 years old or so.  Essentially, it was a raised platform with a couple colored pegs that you hammered into the platform, flipped the platform, and hammered them again, and repeat.  Personally, I thought at the time it was the neatest thing since sliced bread.  My dad, however, might've disagreed with it... especially after a hard day at the office.

So I'm bringing back the traditional hand-eye-coordination-boosting toy for the 21st Century, the Whackadoo Version 2.  And it's a blast to build, especially now that I have a drill press that drives some pretty tight holes compared to Version 1.  At the moment they are ready to roll, but here's a raw-assembled pic to give you some idea of it...


We'll definitely be having these guys at the next booth event, either this weekend (if the stars align properly) or next weekend (if the world doesn't end first, which unfortunately for Pat Robertson, it won't).

Dippy Ducks: The name alone inspires the bygone days of Hoppalong Cassidy and wonderful wooden kid toys, usually pulled, pushed or ATV'd.  They are, in fact, ducks.  They do, thanks to simple engineering, dip.  And they stay, very happily, upright.  Back at St. Theresa's Kris Kringle Festival, there were a couple kids who had animal pull-toys, but they only rolled and they usually fell over at the slightest turn.  So Marylin and I got together and we figured out a more exciting and interactive toy, hence Dippy Ducks.

One of the things Tuna Lick and I noticed at Renningers was the sheer number of kids and young kids there.  So, especially with the holidays coming up and we all know a couple parents who are looking for an inexpensive and captivating toy to get, we're banking on the success of that appeal to help save the holidays.  And... if the Ducks are as successful as we hope they'll be, there will definitely be MORE Dippy Dudes.

I don't have a good photo of them right now, as they're in assembly stage, but tomorrow evening I should have an update for them.  All I can say right now is wow, I can really rock a saber saw.

On that note, I'm going to call it a night.  Thank you all for your patience, and if you get a chance just hit SCA's store and just give me feedback on the various products there, what you want gone, and what kinds of things you might like to see on there.  No sales pitch -- I would just like to hear what you have on your mind.  That's all, thanks.

Stay awesome!

-Nick The Stitch
NickTheStitch@Gmail.com
614-321-5009

Friday, December 7, 2012

Quickie in the Workshed

Hey Stitchers!  Nick The Stitch here with a quick blog, since I have to get up at the ungodly hour of 5AM tomorrow.  However, there apparently will be coffee, so it'll be good.

I mentioned yesterday that I had a couple new toys available for fun and profit.  I just finished varnishing and burning them with their respective designs.  They're very useful, here's...


...the Carpenter's Business Card Caddy!  Handy!  Dandy!  With dovetailed joints and an inviting burned design wanting you to remember the person you just met!  They come in one piece (I have a pair in the pic to show with and without cards) and are protected against major elements, bumps, bruises, zombie apocalypses, and so on.  Available through Second Chances Art's webstore (or if you're going to be in Mount Dora, Florida this weekend, come by Booth H16 and say Blogspot sent you), approximate size 2.5"H x 3.5"W x 2"D.

And then there's this guy, he's a real help...


...the Playing Card Pal!  Ever have those occasions when you just can't hold all those cards in your hand, or need an easier and more convenient way to organize them?  This guy is perfect for kids and adults alike, are woodburned and varnished for poker-room action, and comes in a set of 4 Pals and a deck of cards!  Available through Second Chances Art's webstore (or stop by Booth H16 while I have a set to offer, but don't worry, anything you see on this blog site is available for orders!), approximate size 0.75"H x 10"W x 2"D.

So that's the new stuff you'll find in our booth (H16) over in Renninger's Flea Market and Antique Fairgrounds in Mount Dora this Saturday and Sunday from 8AM-4PM.  We'll also have our cedar and reclaimed clocks (outhouse AND birdhouse), holiday decorations, and much, much more.  We'll also have our 10% discount program (powered by Square).  I hope to see you there, but if you miss this weekend fear not, there will be more opportunities!

In the meantime, stay awesome and have a great evening!  Thank you Stitchers!

-Nick Moore
NickTheStitch@Gmail.com
614-321-5009
http://www.etsy.com/shop/secondchancesart

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Event: NTS is Hanging Out at Renningers!

Hey there, Stitchers!  Nick the Stitch here along with my partner in crime, Second Chances Art, and I know it's been a few days since I posted on here.  Don't worry, I wasn't dead.  Not entirely, at least.  Though coffee is an excellent potion to restore life in a person.

Anyhoo.  Getting off topic.

I wanted to post on here when I had something to post, and being that I had an event to do and a lot of production to do, I wanted to offer a heads-up.  So here it is.

St. Theresa's "Kris Kringle Festival":  Yes, they did upgrade my booth to right across the aisle from the main hall.  However... they only had about 7 or 8 total vendors for the festival, and it drew such a low turnout that even the clowns were paying the kids to take their balloon animals.  But that's okay, because we still had a great time and the crowds we did get were definitely in the holiday spirit.

Hey, sometimes it gets slow!  That's just how these things go, it's not all Sawgrass Mills all the time.  And SCA and I did excellent, considering there was a previously-unknown-about yard sale going on right behind my booth with about 15 vendors.  Personally, though, those guys were an animal shelter and, having a pound puppy myself, I do wish we had had a bigger crowd to help support them.

Upcoming Event Notice!: Yep, just as the blog title says, we're going to be hitting Renninger's Flea Market and Antique Fairgrounds this Saturday and Sunday, December 8th and 9th (and with a little luck, the 22nd and 23rd) from 8AM to 4PM.  This weekend we'll be at Booth H16 in the covered pavillion, just look for something like this...


and this...


hell, just look for this... you'll know you found us!


Could that *gasp* possibly be... Nick The Stitch?

Only one way to find out!  Hit Renninger's Flea Market and Antique Fairgrounds in Mount Dora, Booth H16, this Saturday and Sunday (Dec. 8/9) from 8AM to 4PM and see for yourself!  And if you can't wait for that event, and you want some awesome stuff, or just want to see some of the crazy stuff I make from brainstorming with SCA, just hit our webstore.

A huge thank-you to everyone who has patiently waited for me to pop up like a whack-a-mole.  I will have another post tomorrow night, because I may have some new products.  Let's just say I might get a little philosophical about tools, but if you are someone who uses tools or knows someone who does, it might be interesting.  And dangit, if you like what you read in the posts, comment!!  I don't bite off people's heads for that (at least, not unless it's before my morning coffee....) so fire away!

In the meantime, stay awesome and be good because it's Santa season.  And I will leave you with this one deep thought...

"I hate being bi-polar... it's AWESOME!"

-Nick The Stitch
NickTheStitch@Gmail.com
614-321-5009

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Leveling-up in Woodworking

Hey Stitchers!  Nick the Stitch here and really glad you're here with the gang.  It's been a pretty good day and the weather was warm and sunny and absolutely perfect for building wood stuff and stuff.  SCA and I have been working hard to get enough merchandise ready for St. Theresa Roman Catholic Church's "Kris Kringle Festival" coming up on Saturday and today is no different.

Except today, I made my first complex dovetail, and my first dovetail ever.

For those who might be new, I do a bit of building small things out of wood.  I recently finished about 24 wood clocks (12 outhouse clocks, 12 birdhouse clocks; 6 of each were out of reclaimed wood and another 6 of each were out of red cedar so fresh it was still showing a bit of sap in the grains), and in the past I've done about 5 or 6 oil bottle storage boxes.

One of the things I was really looking forward to building, when I was running my previous company Custom Glen Woods, was a corner curio bookcase for home decor.  It was 42" tall, 10" on a side with a 14-1/8" front.  Unfortunately I never got a chance to build it then, because of financial hardships of relocating, my truck blowing up more than Buster from "MythBusters", and life in general.

However, the Universe has been kind to me over the past several months and now that I can breathe a little in my life, I am building bigger and more complicated stuff now.

Like... my corner curio bookcase.  And today I achieved something I've been itching to do for a long time, a complex dovetail.  Like this....


...you're looking at the kickplate dovetailed into the bottom shelf.  And that was my first dovetail ever!  Took a crapload of math, as I did have a template for the pieces but they were all general-sized, not including the dovetails, which I had to mentally do the math as I drew the teeth.

Best part is, it was very nicely snug.  And if there's any wiggle in the whole structure when I get finished cutting the shelf slots and putting it together tomorrow, a coat of paint will fix that.

And yes, that is plyboard, but if you want I can do it in birch too.  In theory I could also do it in red cedar, but that's not for the financially timid (though you could brag to your friends and coworkers!)  If you want to order a corner curio bookcase (or two, or however many), hit up Marylin at Second Chances Art with an email and tell her Nick The Stitch sentcha.

Oh, one more thing... aside from a couple pilot holes drilled for access to cut out the shelf slots, I've done the entire thing with a saber saw.  No glue.  No screws.  Just a saber saw.  It's a damn good saber saw.  Well I did use a sander to smooth the surfaces, but it's cut entirely by saber saw and needs no glue or screws... unless you feel you really need it.

Will have more photos tomorrow night in my pre-festival lineup, so until then, stay awesome!

-Nick The Stitch
NickTheStitch@Gmail.com
614-321-5009
http://www.etsy.com/shop/secondchancesart

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

I'm not dead! Yet, at least....

Hey there, Stitchers!  Nick the Stitch here, a little tired, a bit cold and sore but super awesome thanks for asking!  That is correct, I'm not dead.  I have been working really hard on a collab effort with Second Chances Art on some really cool, handcrafted products for the upcoming festival this Saturday at St. Theresa Roman Catholic Church.

St. Theresa is a little community-center church and school nestled in Belleview, on 301 just west of 441/27.  We had an opportunity to work with them as a vendor during their Fall Festival and had an absolutely great time.  If you haven't been to one of their events, and you're out of ideas on what to get friends or family for the holidays -- whether it's Xmas, Hannukah, Kwanzaa, Solstice, or any other occasion or reason, even to just treat yourself to something nice -- then you have to hit this event.

We'll be at Booth #73, right across from the Main Hall, and yes there's plenty of parking, food and music, and awesome stuff to buy.  Also, yes, we will still be running our famous 10% discount when you pay for your entire purchase by credit/debit card (courtesy of those crazy cool guys at Square).

What will we have at this event?  Let's see... where to even start?

  • Wood clocks!  These beautiful handcrafted clocks go great on a wall or on a desktop, in either a birdhouse- or outhouse-style design.  Adding to the luxurious nature, they also come in either reclaimed wood or rich red cedar wood so fresh it was still purple when we got it.  They're varnished, have a battery-powered clock motor, and come with a battery in it as well as hands.
  • Doorstops!  Two-toned in rich red cedar and creamy pine, and varnished, these babies can take a beating and still hold the door open for you like the gentleman who makes them!  They come in 5-inch and 6-inch lengths.
  • Wood tree angel decorations!  Cute, country, a bit abstract and so heart-warming that you simply have to see them to believe it.  Ready to hang right out of the bag.  Best part is these angels are merciful on the environment, using wood that would've ended up in the landfill if we hadn't rescued it.
  • Scenery fences and woodpiles!  Great for the train scene or table landscaper in your family or friends, made of real tree branches, decorated and varnished for extra appeal and durability.  Don't just tell them you like what they do, add to it with a personal touch!
And if I'm really, really lucky....
  • Corner Curio Bookcase!  42" tall, 10" on a side, easy to assemble and disassemble for maximum portability, extremely light but cohesively stable thanks to a low-tech, simple trick in carpentry that requires no glue or screws!  (That is, unless you want to use some on it.  Point is, we make the CCB so that you won't need it.)  4 shelves, with three 12" tall spaces and a 4" kickplate.
  • Red cedar cubes and chunks for home decor!  Excellent, natural and effective bug repellant for closets, dressers, storage units, or general ambience.  We had quite a bit of leftover cedar wood after building all the stuff we've built in the past month that we couldn't just throw it away, so we got out our band saw and chopped these awesome-smelling pieces for ease and convenience.
If any of these sound like stuff you could use, stop by St. Theresa's Roman Catholic Church this Saturday (Dec 1st) from 8AM-2PM, or better yet why not email Second Chances Art for queries and prices?  Tell them Nick the Stitch sent you, everytime they hear that they give me an extra ration of bread and circuses.

Until next time, stay awesome.  Photos will be in the next day or so!

-Nick The Stitch
NickTheStitch@Gmail.com
614-321-5009
http://www.etsy.com/shop/secondchancesart

Friday, November 16, 2012

Wood Chisels -- FTW!

Hey Stitchers!  Nick The Stitch here and boy has it been a fun day!  Got a lot done, and a bit more to do before we get to the final assembly stage of the grandfather-style wood wall clock.  Hope you're having an awesome weekend so far, and feel free to crack open a cold one for me.

No, seriously, give me a beer.  I'm in the mood to celebrate.  And I'm not using power tools right now, so I'm safe.

Anyhoo.

Managed to get the side slabs chiseled out, courtesy of those wonderful three tools I got at Lowes for $10 and a hammer I've had for years.  Okay, here's something you should probably know right off the bat about them.  It's not exactly a good idea to use a normal hammer on a wood chisel handle end, because apparently it does a great job of marring and denting the handle butt.  However, given that the chisels were $10 for the set and I needed firepower, it worked out fine.  But if I could find a wood mallet capable of doing the same job, the handle butts wouldn't be so badly spanked.

I mentioned that I used to coping saw ($8 at Lowes, $2.50 for a set of 6 extra blades) to clean up the notches on the horizontal slabs, so here's what it looks like all pretty and everything...


...which looks a lot better than what I started with, after the saber saw.

Now, about the chisels... they may be cheap.  They may not come in big sets.  But when used properly and with a LOT of patience, they can be very, very good at what they do... see for yourself...


...plus, here's what it can look like with a better perspective to show depth control....


Here's a handy tip, if you decide to do something like this... if you have a piece that you're going to chisel (if you don't have access to a router) all the way across, after you mark where the sides of the slot are going to be, use a backsaw (otherwise known as a miter saw, you should be able to pick up a saw/miter box combo at Lowes for about $12-15) and PATIENTLY work the cut to your desired depth.  Then just chisel out the slot straight through (preferrably with a jig or a jig workstation, like the one I have or something you can set up with 2 C-clamps).

You could also do that if you weren't going completely across, but it's a bit more time-consuming -- but it can be done!  Patience and focus are key.

So tomorrow I get to paint and stain the slabs, weather accomodating of course, after I clean up the slots with a sanding block.  Don't get me wrong, the chisels do a great job at what the do, but sometimes things fit better when the surfaces are really smooth and even.

Hope you're enjoying this as much as I am.  Can't wait to get started on that computer desk in the next week or so... that's going to be fun!  In the meantime, stay awesome!

-Nick The Stitch
NickTheStitch@Gmail.com
http://www.behance.net/projectasylum
http://www.etsy.com/shop/nickthestitch
614-321-5009

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Thoughts and Lessons About NTS

Hey Stitchers!  Nick The Stitch here, a little tired from working today along with the gloomy grey weather, but highly energized about tomorrow's to-do list!  What a day, and I'm glad to spend a little of it with you.

It's been a fun week, making this grandfather-style wall clock, especially since I'm learning a lot about hand tools and what I am actually able to accomplish even when learning on the fly.  There is no better experience than trial by fire... unless that fire happens to be anywhere near wood, but just work with me here on it for a moment.

If you've been following this blog, you've probably seen some of the cool tools I've used -- like a saber saw, a jig tabletop workstation, and a vintage electric pad sander.  And while they're fantastic tools, don't get me wrong, there's one tool I've been itching to take for a test-drive...

...my wood chisels.

Well, today I really worked out with them, pushed them and did some great stuff.  I learned why there's a flat side and a beveled side to them (and that the beveled side isn't just to make it fuel-efficient), plus how to etch sides of the areas where you're going to dig out wood, as well as how snugly the wood slabs can fit into the grooved slots.  It was really, really fun and extremely productive.

I don't have any photos today to show off, but there will be at least 2 or 3 tomorrow.  But there is one thing I mentioned yesterday, about the coping saw and why I like it...

While a saber saw is amazing at cutting wood, it's not 100% guaranteed to cut exactly the inside-depth or straightness you might need, especially if you're notching a piece of wood to slide into a slot with a flush front.  But with a coping saw, the cut itself is pretty close to 1/32" wide, and can give you the cleanest, sharpest edges you could hope for, as well as turn on a pin's thickness.  Which makes it a perfect tool to do dovetailing with, either squared or angled.

I did use a saber saw originally when I cut the slabs, but I cleaned up the notches beautifully.  And they work well with the slots in the vertical wall pieces, so I think this will finish by Saturday if I account for staining and varnishing time (which is probably not going to be quick, if the weather doesn't have sun in the next day or so).

By the way, I wanted to remind you that I will be hitting the St. Theresa Roman Catholic Church's Kris Kringle Festival (Booth 73, right across from the main hall) in Belleview, FL on December 1st from 8AM-2PM.  If the response to our various wall clocks and other stuff is positive, we might be hitting Renninger's in Mount Dora, FL sometime around mid-month and once a month after that.  But I will keep you posted on how that goes.  If you need more info or details, email me at NickTheStitch@Gmail.com and I'll throw it to you.

In the meantime, stay awesome and have a great Happy Hour.  Until next time........

-Nick The Stitch
http://www.etsy.com/shop/secondchancesart
http://www.behance.net/projectasylum
NickTheStitch@Gmail.com
614-321-5009

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

A woodcrafter walks into a bar...

... and says to the bartender, "OW!"

Okay, Stitchers, so that wasn't as funny for you, but I was the bartender!  ROFL!  Hey, you have to have a sense of humor to get through life, I mean cmon it could be worse, look at the platypus!  What is it, a duck?  A beaver?  A mammal?  Don't ever give him a multiple-option question, he'll be at it all day!

Anyhoo...

So yesterday, I promised photos of what I had done with the grandfather-style wall clock, except that the Powers That Be decided not to let my phone download them directly to my computer and instead I had to email them from my phone.  That sucked.  The work didn't.  In fact, take a peek at the pre-sanding of the wood pieces...

 
 
...and yes, that is a late-70's/early-80's-era, B&D electric pad sander.  Two-handed capability, though it was nimble enough to respond to one-handed use (but it does amazing stuff if you use two hands).
 
I got my hands on it when a neighbor's son a few years older than me was cleaning out his dad's old workshed that had a lot of powertools that apparently were kept in good running condition.  So Roy was seeing me struggling the week before to cut stuff with a mere saber saw off the concrete patio and was like "oh hell no, this ain't gonna work for him", and he gave me a bandsaw, the sander, the jig station you also see in the photo on the far left, and some parts like washers, pegs, and a huge storage bin with more types of things in there than I can figure out.  So Roy, if you're reading this, your dad was an amazing woodworker and I will do my best to make sure to keep them running well enough to hand down to another kid starting out.
 
Ever wonder why you see workers who are sanding concrete, stone, clay or wood always wearing a dust mask or respirator, even with a great ventilation system?  Check out the post-sanding pic...
 
 
Yep.  A LOT of dust and particulates.  And when you're reclaiming wood, you have no idea what's in the dust either, so if you do anything with that type of wood, either do it outside and wear a mask or just WEAR A MASK.  You do not want to be coughing up this crud for several weeks.  I did that once right before I quit working with clay, and now anytime I do stuff like that, I wear the masks.
 
So tomorrow, I plan to shoot my next stage (already in progress, due to my phone's insanity) where I'm using wood chisels to route grooves the various parts will fit into.  Oh, and I might photo my coping saw along with a part that I used it on to clean out the corner notches.  When I make the dovetails for the computer desk, that coping saw will be perfect, and I will explain why in the next post.
 
In the meantime, stay awesome and keep getting your groove on!  Until next time!
 
-Nick The Stitch
 

Monday, November 12, 2012

Grandfather! You're a big, bad...

...CLOCK!  rofl...

Hey Stitchers!  Nick The Stitch here with some tasty goodies and about time, wouldn't ya think?  In addition to needlecrafting, I do dabble in building some cool stuff in wood.  Granted, I'm not a contractor nor am I a school-trained carpenter, so if you want me to build a house.... yeah, don't ask.

BUT!  If you want something small, cool, and useful, then we'll talk.  I do custom stuff, so hit me an email and let me know what it is and I'll figure something out.

For example... I will be hitting the St. Theresa Roman Catholic Church's Kris Kringle Festival on Dec. 1st from 8AM-2PM EST.  And I will be bringing the birdhouse clocks, outhouse clocks and a couple Grandfather-style wall clocks that have key hangers (plus train and holiday wood decorations, the Whackadoos for the kids, and hopefully a few wood block cars).

At the moment, I've gotten from Stage 1... with the raw materials and my trusty saber saw....


...to Stage 2... pieces cut and ready to sand and chisel...


...which is on tomorrow's to-do list.  The parts are also going to be sanded and stained/painted, and if I do the whole jigsaw puzzle thing right, it will actually end up looking like an old-school grandfather clock you can hang by the front door.  At least, that's the theory.  Approximate size: 26" tall, 12" wide, about 4-1/2" deep.

So that's what I've been up to today.  And tomorrow's going to be dusty, dirty, and thirsty work.  But I believe it's a good day when I go home tired, sweaty and covered in sawdust.  What are some of your best types of end-of-workdays?  Sound off!

And stay awesome, because you are!

-Nick The Stitch
NickTheStitch@Gmail.com
614-321-5009

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Outhouse Clocks...

...because any time is a good time for a bathroom break.  ROFL...

Hey Stitchers, Nick The Stitch here and totally wiped.  So I'm going to keep this short but inspirational.  I hope you're having a great weekend so far.

Today was a gorgeous day to work outside and build clocks out of wood.  It was in the high 60's to low 70's, sunny with a little breeze, and very low humidity.  In fact right now, if you threw me into a pool, I would beat Bounty as "the quicker picker-upper", that is how dry my body feels.  So I'm rehydrating with water and tasty coffee.

Had to do a little touchup work on the Rustic Birdhouse Clocks being sold through Second Chances Art on Etsy (a collab project), and then just whipped out my saber saw and the wood planks and just tore them into Rustic Outhouse Clocks, complete with little crescent moon on the upper half of the "door" that I demarcated with the wood chisels (the moon I cut with the saber saw, which has a curve-cut feature).

I promise I will have photos, but I am just so exhausted from being outside and exposed to the low humidity all day that I simply don't have the energy to shoot them (plus I still have a little touchup to do, and there's 3 outhouses).

A huge shout-out to my neighbor Roy, he gave me a tabletop workstation that his dad used to own and it came in handy, especially with cutting thin strips of wood from a 1x4.  I have never had such straight-cut results in my life.  Thank you, Roy, I honestly hope Santa gets a hernia with all the good stuff he will put in your stocking.

And a good night to you as well, Stitchers.  Many blessings and stay awesome.

-Nick The Stitch
NickTheStitch@Gmail.com
614-321-5009

Friday, November 9, 2012

Holiday Wishes and Caviar Cabinets....

Hey Stitchers!  Nick The Stitch here to share some wisdom and insight on some woodworking things you may or may not be wanting to know.  What do they have to do with me?  Not only do I want to know, I want to use them and I'm fairly sure someone out there in Radio Land does too.

So here goes...

Okay, as some of you might know, I do dabble in woodworking.  If you have seen my Rustic Wood Clocks (now being sold through Second Chances Art, a collaborative effort), you know I can throw some wood together, yeah, so what, right?

Well, here's what you may not know about stuff I've built.  For one thing, I used to build and carve oil bottle storage boxes for my former company, Custom Glen Woods, down in Dania Beach, Florida.  Before I left South Florida, I also had a half-decent Foredom carving drill.  Since I moved up here to North Florida, I've built garden borders and planters, as well as decorative trusses, and the other weekend I devoted an entire day to cutting, laying and drilling plywood flooring in the front foyer room (which is not as easy as it looks, but then it's not exactly something I do regularly).

Now to the point of this post....

I have a shopping list of things I plan to build over the next few months:
  1. a computer desk with drawers and a cubby space;
  2. an art desk with a hideaway easel;
  3. apparently I'm being commandeered to enclose the front porch in screened windows and a couple doors;
  4. I'm also being commandeered to lay CDX plywood flooring for said front porch as well, preferrably BEFORE I screen it in; and
  5. a cedar footlocker/blanket chest for sale.  As in entirely in cedar.  Which is great against bugs.
Here's what I've been knocking around... you CAN actually DIY screen windows and DIY screen doors, and you don't need those god-awful metal railings, especially if it's for the outdoors where things won't be pressing against them easily to gain access.

Plus, when I get the birch 4x8 sheets and map out the pieces for the computer and art desks (and the cedar for the chest), well, let's face reality right now.  I am very good with a saber saw (which is also called a "jig saw" except that a jig saw is a different saw than a saber saw, it does the same thing but finer cuts), I am getting good with a coping saw, and I'm half-decent with a circular saw.

But I'm going to be needing something a bit heavier-duty to cut that much bulk wood, plus the 2x4s and landscaping timbers.  I could do it with what I have now, but I need a tool that has a guide bar to it, so I know I can get the accuracy I need ("Our door was built straight, but our door frame is out of line slightly.  And you can't just build a door out of line slightly!")

So I'm going to give myself a huge present on Thanksgiving weekend (probably closer to Sunday than Friday)... I'm going to be hunting deals, and when I find a good one, I am going to get....

...a portable standing table saw.  I know Lowes has deals all the time, but let's face it, when it comes to the uber-cool toys, there is no better time to buy than the holiday season.  A few weeks ago I saw a decent-powered one for just under $100, and the heavy-duty portables go for $150-190 right now.  But I'd be willing to bet I could get a heavy-duty for less than $150, even as clearance.

And why not?  I already have a drill press.  I already have a band saw.  I already have a two-handed pad sander.  I already have pretty much all the tools I can get away with.  Don't get me wrong, I'd love to get a router, but I can use my wood chisels for that.  Now all I'd need is enough wood to Get It Done.

The only question left is... what do I build first?  Expect a crapload of photos of the porch, the patio, the wood, the various stages of building, and the finished product.  Bob Vila would be so damn proud.

Okay, nighties all!  Stay awesome!

-Nick The Stitch
NickTheStitch@Gmail.com
614-321-5009

Monday, November 5, 2012

Tool Product Fire Warning!!

Hey Stitchers!  Nick the Stitch here with a Fire Warning for a tool you might consider getting for things like doing coring in wood planks.  I had the rather unfortunate experience with it and although it didn't burn down North Florida, I did at least want to let you know it might not be a good tool to get.

Okay, so here goes.

There are times, like when I make a Whackadoo Set or a Rustic Wood Clock, when I need to drill a 1" or larger hole in a plank of wood, and I simply don't have a regular drill or auger bit to do it.  So I use a coring bit.

Essentially, a coring bit is a serrated-edged, short metal tube that can be attached to a drill bit (which is usually included) and secured to the drill bit by a spring-lock (like a Lencor) or, in the case of this tool I was using (Porter-Cable), a removable nut that is screwed onto the back of the drill bit.  Either way, the bit has a hexagonal shaft that goes into the collet of a power drill or impact drill.

I had a set of Lencors, they do very well, but they didn't have the sizes I needed for what I was doing.  Mind you, the Lencor set, 6 pieces and the shaft, was about $50.  Never had a problem with them, even though using them strips the paint off but as long as you can read the impressed size demarcations, you're okay.

Unfortunately, when I went tool shopping with my dad, he saw the Porter-Cable 6-piece set for $20 and said, "I'm buying that, it's cheaper than the Lencor and it has what you need."  And unfortunately, my dad is not one who debates or considers other people's points, even and especially when the other people are, shock and horror, correct.  I had told him that the Lencor, which was $90, was a better brand and I like using Lencors because of the quality.  Needless to say, I didn't get Lencor.

So this weekend, I used the Porter-Cable bits.  Here's what happened...

1) While using one of the bits, the cutting end got so hot that the metal -- not just the paint, but the metal!!! -- had burn marks.  Not scorch marks.  Burn marks.  And it burned and smoldered the wood while I used it, and I wasn't going full-speed either, plus I was using it on old, flaky pine 1x4s.

2) When I used a second bit, the entire bit got so hot in 1 minute of medium-speed use that it melted the part of the base past the nub on the drill bit keeping it in place.  I could not remove it, that was how bad it warped.

Lowes refused to issue a safety warning on the bits, telling me to contact Porter-Cable and let them know, but they were nice enough to give me store credit.  My dad was surprised the bits failed but said to me, "Oh well, guess they aren't good!"

So here's the rule I live by when I shop for anything important, that I also recommend for others: If it's a really important item you will be using a lot and putting through a lot of hoops, just spend the extra money for a more reliable one.  The more you pay now, the less you'll pay later.

Okay, so that's my good deed of the day.  I cannot find the listing on Lowes' website, but it's in the Tools Department at the drill-bit set section.  Please be safe and stay awesome!

- Nick the Stitch
Nickthestitch@gmail.com
614-321-5009

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Welcome to November...

...now support the local craftsman in Summerfield, Florida, since the holidays are here and I've got too much stuff to store and you need something OTHER than fruitcakes or regifted garbage from last holiday season to give your loved (or not-so-loved) friends and relatives!

Now I know what you're thinking, Planet Earth... "Why should I get anything from a local craftsman in Summerfield, Florida, when a fruitcake or garbage I can regift from last holiday season is so much easier -- and cheaper -- at Wal-Mart?"

Well, here's your sign... QUALITY!  You won't find at Wal-Mart the high-quality care and craftsmanship I use in my products.  Hell, you won't even find ANY care or craftsmanship at Wal-Mart, because THEY don't use Americans to make the products they sell -- in addition to Chinese slave-labor, they don't even give their employees health care or vacation/sick time!  I'm a red-blooded American, born and raised in Florida, and while I may not be Bob Vila or Bob Ross or Bob Your Buddy, I care about making sure MY products last longer than the batteries that run them.

And let's be honest... when was the last time a big-box store slave -- err, employee -- not only knew where the products you were looking for were located, let alone even knew what the product you were looking for was without having a 20-minute search for an assistant manager to access the UNIVAC that had the map in it?

If you want to be re-invited to a party next year, get the gifts that will tell them, "I care enough about you that, while I spent a few bucks more on Nick The Stitch than the fruitcake at Wal-Mart would've cost, I think you'd appreciate some genuine, handcrafted American talent."

Shop away, I will be thrilled to make more.  And if you want, yes, I will in fact drop-ship and even mass-ship.  Just email me at NickTheStitch@Gmail.com or call me at 614-321-5009.  I can even take credit/debit over the phone, thanks to the boys at Square.

Why are you still reading this blog????  SHOP!!!  Support the AMERICAN Economy!

Oh... and stay awesome!  Thanks for all you do.

-NTS

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Back to Work, You Lazy Corpse!

Ahhhhh, how I miss the "Dilbert" TV series from the late 90's.  Gotta love the Elbonian management!

Hey Stitchers!  Nick the Stitch here and tired as all hell, hope your day has been crazy productive too.  Got a lot done today too, so I'm happy.  Tired, but happy.  But enough kvetching, let's get to the nitty gritty!

First, I am not dead.  Things here got nuts at the shop, but it's all good and (relatively) back to normal.  Which is good.  I think.

Okay, now for that event announcement I promised, it took some negotiations but I managed to nail it... I will be hitting St. Theresa Roman Catholic Church for their "Kris Kringle Festival" on December 1st, from 8AM-2PM (11528 S. E. US Hwy 301, Belleview, Florida 34420) for Nick The Stitch.  They were really nice letting me come back to cause more mayhem, and even put me at Booth 73, right across from the Main Hall.  So look for the big blue gazebo tent with really cool looking clocks and other home decor wood stuff.  There will definitely be some clocks (including a second version), some holiday ornaments, even stuff in case you're looking for something to put on your holiday or train scenes.  As always, yes, we'll take cash... but we'll still be offering a 10% discount for all purchases paid entirely by debit/credit, courtesy of those awesome boys at Square.


And last but not least, I am building a big-a$$ wood desk for a family member who has a disability and can't use her current desk due to a new computer completely changing her desk's layout.  Got most of it designed, just need a miracle on the wood but there's a place up 441 from me that is a lumber wholesaler (sorry, Lowes, but you're just too small and expensive for this) so I might be able to score some good half-inch pine sheets.  This will also be my first time dovetailing, although they will be square-sided, not geared as I'm not ready just yet for that.

However, I will be taking a LOT of photos throughout the process, and if you like what you see, I should be able to make a similar one for you (I will have to figure out the shipping, which in all likelihood will not be cheap, but will worry about that later.)

So that's what I've been up to lately, but know it wasn't that I was bailing on you.  Sometimes things get hectic, and I do appreciate what you offer me as support.  Have a great evening and stay awesome!

-NTS
http://www.etsy.com/shop/nickthestitch
NickTheStitch@Gmail.com
614-321-5009

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Drill, Baby, Drill!

Hey Stitchers!  Nick The Stitch here, it's getting a bit nipply out here in North Florida but y'know what?  It sure beats 95+ degree low temps in Miami!  And what a great day it was too!

Got my 8" drill press today, got a chance to look it over, and it's amazing!  Five speeds, adjustable height and angle (really cool!), weighs a friggin ton but has the moves like Jager.  Just without the Jager, but with coffee instead.

YouTube was also very educational on some tips and tricks involving using the band saw, which will come in handy once I get the feed guard from the store so I can see if the blade needs adjusting or if it's just me (which it could be).

I will have an event announcement on Monday, and hopefully by this time next week I will have another one for you as well.  Really looking forward to it, because this event organizer was really good at running the show a few weeks back and they upgraded my booth this time.



One last thing... I made a good friend this week, "+Starfox Dreamsinger", and we jammed at his place earlier.  Fox plays sax, and although he's a bit gun-shy and has a habit of stuttering and having his thoughts go faster than he can speak, he is a really cool cat.  And from what little he knows how to play, he has a knack of taking his intensity and controlling it into the notes.  If you get the chance, look him up on Google+.  Might have another jam session soon, depends on how quickly I can locate more cheese.  Apparently Fox is crazy about Brie cheese.

Until next time, stay awesome and keep doing ROAKs... you never know when you'll be in need of one.  See you Monday!

-NTS
NickTheStitch@Gmail.com
614-321-5009

Friday, October 19, 2012

Updates on ROAK Technology and Halloween

Hey Stitchers!  Nick The Stitch here after a long day with a lot of really cool things done today.  It's just been an amazing time today, and I wanted to share an update on the equipment a neighbor gave me yesterday from a ROAK.  After the update, I do have a reminder about something important for Halloween, but...

...let's get to my new toys, shall we?

Last night, I sprayed the screws and bolts on the 20" Craftsman band saw and the B&D two-handed sander (it's got the usual long handle, and the other handle is a knob on the front top that you can grab for extra oomph) and let them soak til morning.  Figured it'd help loosen them up, and it did pretty good.

So in the morning I took the band saw apart, toyed with some of the stuff on there and got acquainted with it.  Turns out that a band saw isn't necessarily like a table saw, in that it's more like a scroll saw with a bit more power and stability for curves.  That's okay, because I can definitely work with that.  Going to be doing a LOT of practice this weekend to get the hang of it.

The sander is simply the badass-est one I've ever taken for a test drive.  I could do some serious damage with it, especially with the table-top workstation that can hold onto it a lot better than the ground-standing workstation I have now.  It will come in handy a LOT when I make more Whackadoo Toy Sets, especially for upcoming events (which I may post about on Monday for at least one of them).

In addition, I'm getting an 8" drill press from another neighbor on Wednesday at a helluva deal.  He uses his older, cast iron press more, so knowing I'm working on building my capabilities, he sold this one to me.  Best part is, it not only takes drill bits, but augers and core bits too!  No more worrying about alignment of the holes!  Super awesome!

The only downside today was that my saber saw's bevel gears failed on me, so I have to go get another one on Wednesday.  But that's fine, because believe me, I've got PLENTY to do til then.  And considering that thing lasted almost 18 months (about 6 with my dad's abusive usage) and it only cost me about $45, and all the things I've cut with it, I can't complain.

So now... onto the reminder about Halloween...


Halloween is fast approaching, and we know you've got some kids who might want a really cool pin...


...or reversible hair elastic to wear for the season.  We've got you covered.  In fact, we've slashed prices and shipping costs like Freddy, so there's no excuses as to why you can't spook things up with style.  Just hit the Etsy Store under "Halloween" and grab them while you still can!  They're going faster than a hungry zombie at a "Jeopardy!" convention!  Plus we have more stuff for games, home decor, and Goddess only knows what else!

Well, I gotta get going, so I will see you tomorrow.  In the meantime, stay awesome and hey... if you have tools or stuff that you don't or can't use anymore, and you happen to know someone or someplace that might be able to use them, why not commit a ROAK yourself and give those items to them?  You might inspire that person or organization into greatness, and you get extra karma points.

Just sayin'.

-Nick The Stitch
NickTheStitch@Gmail.com
614-321-5009

Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Difference of Folks on ROAKs

Hey Stitchers!  Nick The Stitch here with a really cool story to share with you, because it's just more important than any product release or anything technical that would just bore you to tears otherwise.  So I'd like to share a ROAK (random act of kindness) that happened this morning, courtesy of a really cool neighbor.

I have to admit, I am a city folk.  I lived in hustle and bustle, the rush and flow of the now now now, always chasing the buck.  Don't get me wrong, I've experienced country life and camping, but not as much as I'd like to.  In fact, if I had the chance, I'd find a small, comfy house surrounded by about 2 square miles of pure forest, just to get away from the world.

Circumstances made me relocate from Fort Lauderdale, Florida (a hub of hubbub) to the restful area of Summerfield, FL; my now-ex-fiancee was reneging (sp?) on a lot of promises she made and focused everything she and I did around her son, who physically assaulted me without getting punished, and also my folks needed an extra hand around the house and gardens.  So on a pure whim, I packed up and headed to North Central Florida back at the end of January.

Over the past 9 months, I've learned a lot of things about real people.  Granted, everyone keeps to themselves around here, but they also keep an eye for when a neighbor or friend needs help, whether it's building something, taking down something, maintaining something, stepping up to bat for a sick neighbor, that sort.  They do it without thinking twice, and they know who's got credibility and who doesn't.

In the country, a man's reputation is his credit score.  In the city, it's the opposite.

So what am I talking about with this ROAK from this morning?  Glad you asked.

I've been wanting to get some major power tools -- namely a band saw, scroll saw, table saw, drill press, better work table, etc. -- for several months, but having a limited income with a lot of debts to pay off (which I'm not complaining about at all for two reasons: 1) I made the debt, it's mine to deal with, and 2) Robert Kiyasaki of "Rich Dad Poor Dad" once said he enjoys having creditors because it gives him a reason to get up and work every morning) it's not easy but it is doable.  All in all, I was looking at about $1200 of equipment, new.

So I was talking to one of my neighbors, Ray, whom I have helped on numerous occasions moving stuff and watering his huge gardens while he was OOT for 3 weeks, and he offered me his drill press that he wasn't using (he had a cast iron one that he was using instead) for $20.  Something like that goes for a lot more, and he also offered some of his templates and scrap wood if I needed.

This morning, at breakfast, another neighbor, Roy (there's like 3 R's as neighbors, and at one time two Dee's), stops by and over the course of about an hour, traded me several pieces of his dad's equipment and building parts for helping his mom with raking up the leaves in her yard.  Apparently he had seen me making the Rustic Wall Clock and figured I could use a band saw and a sander (which actually, yes, I could), and so he wanted the machines put to good use since he didn't need them.

At this point of the day, I'm letting the WD-40 soak into the gears so it'll lube up, and in the morning I'm going to finish refurbing the machines.  But just the idea that Roy and Ray would do what they do, no questions asked, no prodding, just because they like how I operate, it's really, really giving me hope that maybe humanity isn't entirely cold at heart.

I'm just having a really great day, and I thought I'd share it with you.  Sound off if you've had a tremendous ROAK happen that helped you with the things you do.

In the meantime, stay awesome.  And love thy neighbor, because they might return the favor someday.

-Nick The Stitch
NickTheStitch@Gmail.com
614-321-5009

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Daisy Dukes Has Arrived...

...and always on time!  But then she was pretty much the only reason anyone watched.

Hey Stitchers!  Nick The Stitch here and back from an impromptu modem failure, not to worry though because I have been keeping things running in the meantime.  A huge shout-out of appreciation to everyone who still checked out the NTS Blog and the Etsy store, hopefully you got a chance to check out the Whackadoo Toy Set while you waited for the newest member of our product crew...


...our Rustic Country Upcycled Radial Wood Clock!

Yes!  This clock is hand-built from upcycled garden wood that would've otherwise had a sad fate of being thrown out.  Hey, NTS is all about reducing waste and carbon footprints, and if we can make a really cool item out of stuff, that's simply how we jellyroll.

Plus, the Rustic Clock makes an awesome conversation piece for friends and neighbors to admire or envy, even if you're nowhere near the countryside and are stuck in New York or London.  With an included 1 AA battery, clock motor (installed), and a self-aligning sawtooth hanger, it's ready to hang straight out of the shipping box!


Every grain, every nail or screw, every hole, all tell a wonderous story about where this wood's been and the things it's seen.  And now you get to own a bit of history, courtesy of Nick The Stitch.

You can either order from our Etsy store for just $49.99+S/H (U.S. only), or you can order directly from Nick The Stitch by emailing us or calling 614-321-5009 between 10AM-10PM EST (we can take credit/debit over the phone courtesy of the boys at Square, or PayPal if you really want to use them).  It's a win for you no matter how you slice it.

Feel free to check this and our Whackadoo Toy Set and Classic Solitaire Board Game on the store, and please know we are developing stuff all the time and can do custom work too.  On behalf of myself and the entire company of Nick The Stitch, thank you for everything you do and all of your support, we wish you a really awesome rest of the week.

-Nick The Stitch
NickTheStitch@Gmail.com
614-321-5009

Monday, October 15, 2012

Product Sneeky Peek: When Daisy Duke met Marty McFly..

Hey Stitchers!  Nick The Stitch here, so glad you made it and I really hope you're having as awesome a week as I am.  Normally I try to post stuff every day on the NTS Blog but there's really two days I don't, as policy... my birthday, and Sundays.  I mean if Tim Tebow can work on Sundays, then I can slack off because he doesn't work the other 6 days (and I do), it all balances out.

For the most part.  Anyway, back to the matter at hand.

Saturday night I uploaded the Whackadoo Toy Set on my Etsy shop, and the response has been amazing and inspiring.  If you have no fartin' idea what I'm talking about, check it out and see the awesome kids' toy.  It's simple, educational, skill-buildable, and really affordable especially with the holidays coming up and you don't just want to buy your kid another iPhone (they don't make apps like this!)

So, in the follow-up of the Whackadoo, let me introduce to you....

...the Rustic Handmade Birdhouse Wall Clock!  Made of upcycled wood that would've ended up in a landfill, it reduces the carbon footprint, is battery-operated (1 AA included), and is NOT found in Wal-Mart.  But only because it's too awesome for them.  Plus, even if you're really bad at hanging anything evenly, we've got you covered with our handy self-balancing sawtooth hanger on the back.  Here's a 3/4-shot of it....


(Dimensions: 11.5 inches / 29.25 cm wide -- 11 inches / 27.5 inches tall -- 3.5 inches / ~9 cm deep)

We'll be putting this baby on the Etsy shop under "Rustic Clocks" tomorrow by noon EST (link activation to be made then), at the low low price of $49.99 plus S/H.  This is only the first in a series of different designs, and looks great for that country-esque chic you've been looking for to have when the Kardashians or Honey Badger come to visit.

And even if they don't, you'll still be the envy of your friends.  If you're looking for a really cool gift for a friend or neighbor who's into unusual stuff, email me or give me a call between 10AM-10PM EST for ordering.  I have a Square, so yes I can take credit/debit, plus I also have PayPal (but only if you REALLY still use PP).  Ships out in about 3-5 business days.

So I will see you soon, got a few more surprises this week for you.  Until next time, stay awesome!

Because hell yeah, I BUILT THAT!

-NTS
NickTheStitch@Gmail.com
614-321-5009

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Introducing... the REAL Project Shark Jump Fail!

Hey Stitchers!  Nick The Stitch here and enjoying the beautiful weather here in North Florida, it's below 80 right now and looking to hit around 60, just a fantastic night.  Hope your weekend's been productive and above all else fun as playing Monopoly with an ATM stuck on "withdraw".

So I've been running some blog posts all week about this really cool kids' toy that I am making for the Etsy shop, and been giving you some hints and teasers about the official product.  So, being as how it's the end of the week and I've cleaned up the mess, here's.....


...the Classic Handmade Wooden Whackadoo Toy Set! (aka "Project Shark Jump Fail", size approximately 8" tall, 9" deep and 12" wide)

What does the Whackadoo whack-a-do?  You put the panel on the ground or other sturdy surface with the yellow legs, take the green hammer, and whack the bare-wood pegs through the panel until they're flush with it.  Then... you flip it over and do it all over again!

In addition, it also comes with the 6 bare-wood pegs and the hammer (replacements are available for ordering in the event you lose them).  It does NOT come with the black clipboard, that's my art drawing board.




Trust me, it's an educational skill-building toy -- it teaches hand-eye coordination, dexterity, and imagination.  And don't worry, the under-5 crowd can go for hours with this thing without wanting to stop, if you let them.

The only thing I really need to let you know is: the misuse of any parts of this product -- the panel, the legs, the pegs, and/or the hammer -- could result in personal/animal injury or property damage.  Therefore Nick The Stitch recommends adult supervision while children use it.  Nick The Stitch will not be responsible for any injuries or damages caused by improper use or abuse.

You can find everything on our Etsy store, under "Games", and at killer prices.  Holidays are coming up, and these make excellent gifts for both boys and girls ages 5 and under.

Have a whackin' good time!

-Nick The Stitch
NickTheStitch@Gmail.com for orders and questions
614-321-5009 for phone orders