Inspiration is Everywhere… But First: Some Drivel…

“We live in a day and age where pizza gets to our house faster than the police.”

– Tim Wang



Well now, been awhile since the Drivel Starved Nation has munched on some drivel–time to fix that!


For the past month I have been immersed in the assembly process of our Precision Fence Systems. It has been so long since I actually got off my butt that I thoroughly enjoyed this respite. I must say, they came out fantastic–and this week I will install mine on one of my three JMP’s. The other two will eventually get the fence system but I have to wait for the next run (sometime next year). (We are missing a crate of extrusions–don’t ask how or why, nobody knows so we are pulling more metal to finish off the metric versions). Check with Michael’s production schedule for delivery guestimates.


I will be teaching two classes at the Marc Adams School of Woodworking next year, one on the JMP where we will put the saw, our new fence system, and your hand planning skills to the test–everybody will make a copy of my contemporary chess set that will be on display at the exhibition beginning in August. As of last week, this class is over 75% filled, I believe there are four openings remaining. FYI.


The second class is on tool making, and will be the third or fourth year for this class. Besides making some cool tools, you will get to spend some time running a vertical milling machine and working dissimilar materials. As of this writing, there are plenty of open spots. Personally, it is way more fun for me if there are only 11-12 students–so I hope it doesn’t fill up–one of the few times Marc and I disagree…


I seriously hope all you JMP owners take up the opportunity to join me in this exhibition and be part of the book. I will tell you where to send your entries at a later date, but the deadline revolves around the book printing date which has not been set yet. As a precaution, I am strongly suggesting that your entries be completed no later than March 1. I will have a more precise date when I know more.


Regarding the Special Edition Rabbet Plane; we have 12 remaining. Sometime this week we will email our entire file and then they will be gone. FYI.


I love “out of the box” thinking and the work by Designer Elisa Strozyk is nothing short of phenomenal in my opinion. I hope you enjoy the video at the end of the images.


Lastly, there is nothing more insidious than land minds–the award winning film below shows how childhood toys can be resurrected with amazing results…



13 comments on this post:

  1. Thanks for sharing that link showing Elisa Strozyk’s work. Actually, it annoyed me: I was planning on doing something similar for the JMP contest. Now it will just look derivative. I guess good ideas don’t care much who uses them. Although, I’d never thought of making clothes or bed covers out of wood…

    That’s a real bummer about the lack of extrusions for the metric fences. I wonder where they ended up? How frustrating. Still, the product is worth the wait!

    Have fun with your classes. I’m bummed that I can’t attend – this job thing keeps getting in the way!

    – Peter

  2. Looking forward to the JMP class. Got the fence installed and actually had no extra screws left!

    Would love to see some videos on tuning the micro-adjustment mechanism on the fences or other tips as you get time.


  3. I’ve been thinking more about those mine kafons. What a brilliant idea. But they have a rather small footprint. You’d think that a rolling cylinder might clear a wider swath of terrain. Maybe a series of short cylinders linked together to form a longer one, but each cylinder is articulated relative to the next so that it can still hit the ground with sufficient force to set off a mine…?

    So nice to see people using their creativity for something really important. Makes my “contributions” seem rather mundane. But at least they keep me off the street…

    – Peter

  4. Neil:

    Video in the works–likely by end of next week.


    PS-You have extra screws left–maybe one or two are loose? :)

  5. Peter,

    I think the relatively small footprint is intentional. A larger footprint would require a greater total weight, and you quickly reach a point where you can’t catch enough wind to derive propulsion.

    It’s also possible that the ground there is so hard that you really need a “point” impact to trigger the detonator, otherwise the “foot” of your device simply bridges the hole that was dug for the mine.


  6. Hey John,
    I am hoping really hoping to take the tool making class I am just waiting to see what my spring semester is going to be looking like.

  7. That land mine detonator is a great idea, here’s another: you know how people will buy a tree, goat or make a financial donation for a worthy cause in the recipients name? How about donating one of these and then they could set up a video camera and each one would have the names painted on them, then let ga bunch go and you could watch yours “walk” through the field and blow stuff up!


  8. Neils,

    Time to get creative, see if your instructors will let you use it for a project somehow.


  9. John,

    Ate too much and that parasite started burrowing around in my skull.


    P.S. I would so buy a detonator in your name!

  10. They call that a sabbatical Niels, and I think it would do wonders for your teaching!

    P.S. You could also critique John’s teaching- he’s a great teacher by the way, just don’t tell him I said that.

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