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Woodworkers of Head Case unite!


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15 minutes ago, VPI said:

Bonus question. I have now 6 orders for chairs from locals. Is anyone here using Section 179 to write off their equipment and setting up official businesses for tax purposes?  I could use a Naaman level CNC and Hammer Jointer. 

Yes, set up a LLC with the Secretary of State, get an EIN, and get an account with you state sales tax devision.  Also look up any other county/city licensing requirements. Probably could skip everything minus the EIN but if you want to stay safe with the local government I would do it all. Keep in mind you do have to be a profitable business in the eyes of the IRS. I believe you have 5 years to be profitable.  Otherwise they will consider it a hobby and want their $. 

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So, two woodworkers, both with incredible skills. One known for reasonable deadlines, the other known for projects that span the length of Halley's comets orbit around the Earth. Both known for biting off a lot. 

One of them is flying to the other, with a project in mind. The project? A simple fireplace mantle. Timespan? A few days.

Absolutely no news so far!

Tune in next week for the dramatic next episode in our serial...

"Here, hold my wood."

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Well, it seems one person is anxious for this report on the simple mantle. The original idea was to make a mirror to cover a niche over the fireplace that had been occupied by a Madonna and Child sculpture for many years at Claire's family place in Michigan. The other idea was to incorporate decorative tiles made by a local artist that Claire's mom had collected. I built the mirror up here using vintage mirror glass that was in a basic frame and had Sat in the attic for decades. I milled some curly walnut from a chunky board I bought locally and also some nicely figured walnut from a chunk that was in the shop here for many years. Here is the mirror, with one place holder for a tile we have to add later:




I didn't like how high the mirror Sat in order to cover most of the niche. Doug was here visiting for a few days so we decided to make some kind of mantle to add to the fireplace. I was thinking about walnut like the mirror but ultimately felt it did not match the simple room or the paneling that is pine, fir, or cedar or something in the soft wood family. The winning idea was to match the paneling to blend it in.

In the shop, Doug immediately pointed out a 2 x 12 that was 6.5' long. I never would have thought about it but we used that to make the mantle. It was *just* wide enough and long enough to make a 6" deep top and the tapered legs. We drew out the legs on opposite ends of the remainder and used a jigsaw to separate them before using a tapering jig screwed to a long board to run it through the table saw. I also managed to get Doug to use the Kreg pocket jig and pocket screws to attach the top to the legs and the mantle to the wall. 


I still felt the mirror was too high. Claire and Doug separately suggested flipping the paneling boards above and below the niche so that the longer bottom boards were on the top and the pierced boards were on the bottom. Hard to explain without a before photo but here is the niche after I flipped them and made a new middle board from the former ledge shelf. I also really like the metal low profile French cleat I got for the mirror.


So here's the mirror and the mantle as it is now. We are debating a little stain for the mantle versus waiting until it ages a bit, and secondly whether to chamfer the mantle edges or perhaps make a miter cut across the front to give the simple mantle a little visual interest.




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And the idea to swap the boards above and below the niche was spot on. Everything is proportionate and balanced now. I also love the simple look of the mantle, with the elegant tapered legs! 

Personally I would avoid staining. It never matches quite right, but I like how the lighter mantle kind of mimics the frame around the hearth tiles.

Really nice design!

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I like it as is but for any additional interest I would go Mitre across the front and some finish that won’t see the wood non-uniformly darken with smoke for my vote. 

I found a woodworker neighbor that used to have a cabinet shop. He is offering my choice of these for a set of chairs. Both older models but fairly heavy duty and appear to be in good shape. 

I typically have about $450 invested in a pair of chairs at this point so either would be worthwhile, just not sure if I want anything that I have to try to track down helical heads for. 



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Agree. Helical heads are nice, but not necessary. People jointed boards for a long time without them. The shopfox is 2x the hp, has more knives, and has some other features that might be worth having. Either should be great.

7 hours ago, Voltron said:

Well, it seems one person is anxious for this report on the simple mantle.

I think the simplicity belies the amount of consideration and thought that went into it. We went through a lot of design ideas before coming to this. Minimalism is harder than maximlism.

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6 minutes ago, Voltron said:

Listen to Doug, he actually looked at more than the name.

You should look more into Shop Fox.   They are typically the more expensive versions of all the Grizzly stuff. That is why I have 4 things from them in the shop now. 

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