Why handicap target practice?

Not long ago I was invited by a shooting club in my hometown to give a talk on shooting safety to a group of young people who were being trained in target shooting. What these kids had learned about shooting consisted entirely of the basic fundamentals of sighting, gun stance, holding and squeezing the trigger, and the typical gun safety routine. It was all good and essential for a novice. In fact, after watching their maneuvers and different shooting positions, I told the instructor frankly that there remained little that I could tell the students that would benefit them … Read More

The beautiful Red Squirrels

The red squirrel is a furbearer that has already made its own introduction if you’re one who can justly claim woods experience anywhere in the woods from Colorado to Alaska, from Florida to California. That could hardly be said of any other native mammal. Weasel, deer, fox, and rabbit try to espace being noticed and may succeeding doing so for weeks, even where they are fairly popular. Even the omnipresent little white-footed mouse prefers to hide whenever possible. Not so, the Chickaree, as Red is also known. They are quite apt to court attention and will actually scold till … Read More

A disaster strikes while fishing for a Musky

The sun, barely peeking over the contour of the forest, found me and my friend already uploading the pontoon with sandwiches and fishing tackle and clamping on the outboard motor. My buddy started at a slow pace but opened throttle after he was convinced of the boat’s stability. We were going to Nestor Falls for more provisions. The trip between our outpost camp at Kishkutena Lake, Ontario, and Nestor Falls is about twenty-five miles, and because five small portages interrupt the waterway, we decided to use a pontoon and out the five-horsepower motor. The pontoon would be much easier … Read More

The ring-tailed cat — a curious member of the raccoon family

Probably one of the least known but very interesting animals in the US is the Cacomixtle or Bassasisk as it is called by the Aztec Indians of Mexico. It is recognized by trappers from California and Oregon across the southern states to Texas and Louisiana as plain old Ring-tail. Although related to the raccoon, the rather rare little ringtailed cat is smaller. With its long slim body, it resembles the marten but is easily identified by the seven white bands along its black and brown tail. The ring-tail averages about thirty inches in length, with the tail being about … Read More

The peculiar story of Albino Mammals

If you’re fascinated with albinos, there is a single good book published on this topic. That is “Albino Animals” by Kelly Milner Halls. Albino animals Tracing a backward course of existence far into the prehistoric eras of veiled mystery, albino mammals and birds perhaps always have existed in Nature’s marvelous web — astounding mutations with tenacious powers of singular repetition throughout the ages. Sometimes there are outstanding individuals exquisitely breathtaking in their ghostly liveliness. Curious wild creatures that have been only partially touched by the wand that magically creates pure white when closely related family members wear conventional coats … Read More

Lake of the Ozarks fishing report 2019

If you’re an avid angler, you’ve probably fished one of the famous Ozarks lakes or streams one day in the past. You might’ve come away disappointed because you failed to catch your limit. That’s the thing Oklahoma, Missouri, and Arkansas are trying to avoid. And if you’d like to revisit your old spot, nine times out of ten you wouldn’t go away disappointed a second time. What’s happening to fishin in the Ozarks shows the tremendous interest shown in this natural, scenic, fisherman’s paradise. Make sure you’ve got solid equipment for your trip. Here’s what I’m using: Missouri has … Read More

A Roadtrip to Alaska

Round this time of year, plenty of people in the US are thinking about a trip to Alaska by the Alaskan Highway. Many tourists come back home enthusiastic, swearing to return as soon as they can. Others returned disillusioned, having expected something way different than what they found because of lack of knowledge or because the source of their knowledge was inaccurate. My aim in writing this article is to set forth expectations as the reality is. The scope To start, few stateside visitors realize the sheer size of the territory. For instance, if a map of Alaska were … Read More

Fishing for the Great Northern Pike

This white-spotted great northern pike is apparently the identical fish that inhabits freshwater lakes and streams all over Europe and Asia as well as here. At least no success has crowned any attempt to find a line of demarcation between them. This is a fish that lives in our northern waters from the Ohio River region to as far north as freshwater is found. Unless it has been transplanted there it does not live in the Pacific watershed with the exception of Alaska. In Canada, it grows to a large size, but it is said to reach even larger … Read More

Big game you should be aware of — cougar hunting in America

Cougar, panther, catamount, or just plain lion, for pure unadulterated violence is equaled by few. True, he is a killer, many times taking advantage of domestic animals, but unless there is a tremendous scarcity of wild game, the hunter has little to fear from the cougar. Generally, where the cougar is abundant, so is his chief form of food, the deer family. The cougar’s home is the wild, broken Rocky Mountain regions of the United States and Mexico, from the southern tip of South America to British Columbia. Some may also be found in Florida and the great swamplands … Read More

The 3 routers I have at my home workshop

I know many of you are just starting your adventure with woodworking, and are dreaming about buying your first router. I wanted to share my experience with using a number of routers over the years, and why I settled on these simple, popular ones in the end. My home routers are a pretty regular combination: a tiny handheld, a small and a medium. I don’t really feel the need for a large router at my home shop. The tiny one – Bosch PR20EVS This super-lightweight compact Bosch is a fun little palm router. I use it mostly for small … Read More

Router table guide

No time to read the whole thing? Here are my picks: Best overall floor table Best benchtop Value benchtop Budget benchtop A router table offers several benefits: Safety – Router table routing is safer than hand-held routing Versatility – With a router table, you can do things that are impossible to do with a handheld router. You can put an edge profile on a narrow stock or small parts, make raised-panel doors, lock miters and drawer joints. Stability – Freehand routing is inherently unstable. The slightest tip or bump, and you’ll be starting the job over. A router table … Read More

How to prevent a fire in your workshop

Like many woodworkers, I have dozens of different containers filled with flammable solvents and finishers on my shelves. I’ve read the warnings about how flammable some products are. Still, I never believed a fire could happen in my workshop. Turns out it did. One day, my buddy had just finished wiping the last coat of oil on a desk he was making. Just before closing up, he threw a few of the rags he was using into a trash can. Next day, the workshop was filled with smoke. All that was left of the trash can was a few … Read More

Sawdust collection for routers

There’s a number of optional accessories that will fit your router and will help it throw less of unnecessary particles around. An efficient way to limit sawdust output is to collect it right at the source. There is no flawless solution for sucking up sawdust, but the manufacturers are trying hard. Plunge routers will do a better job at limiting sawdust output that fixed-base routers. Depending on the kind of work you’re doing, the router will shoot up sawdust horizontally or vertically. That’s why we need a solid collection system that will suck out the sawdust both from under … Read More

Waxed vs. dewaxed shellac

When the wax is removed, these adhesion problems disappear and you have one of the most useful tools for finishing at hand. Dewaxed shellac works perfectly as a coat between finishes that are not compatible. If you want to put water-based poly over an oil stain, you need to use dewaxed shellac between them. Want to put a fresh coat of finish on an old piece? Use a coat of dewaxed shellac on top of your old coat without stripping it. Dewaxed shellac also makes a good barrier coat. It keeps the stains from blotching and colors from mixing … Read More

How to sand a surface flat using a belt sander

Check out my favorite belt sander if you don’t have one yet: It happens so often to all of us. You’re gluing up several pieces of wood to make a tabletop. Then as you clamp them together, the wood shifts and you end up with a surface that isn’t flat. One of the best ways to even it out is to use a belt sander. Leveling a wooden surface is a simple five-step process. Clean the surface Clean out the surface before doing any work. If there is any glue or unwanted paint on the surface, use a solvent. … Read More

Router cleaning and maintenance

Most people I know never do maintenance on their router. It’s a recipe for disaster. Your router needs to be tuned-up. The body You need to keep the inside of your router clean. Separate the motor unit from the base and clean both. Start with the motor housing. Don’t forget about cleaning the height adjusting mechanism. To keep the body in good condition, you should lubricate the sliding parts lightly. Use your favorite lubricant which contains either silicon, Teflon, or Wax. My favorite internal lubricant for tools has always been silicon spray. It’s the most efficient and leaves a … Read More

What to do with sawdust?

Use it the garden as mulch Sawdust makes a great garden mulch! Wood is an amazing source of nutrients for the plants. Spread the sawdust on the top of your soil, do not mix it in. If you mix it in, it will temporarily leach more nitrogen from the soil. One to two-inch shavings are perfect for the top layer. If you want to mix it into the soil, you can actually use any thickness of sawdust, but you will need to add some high-nitrogen fertilizer to prevent nutrient leaching. Sawdust prevents weeds from appearing and regulates soil temperature. … Read More

Why use abrasive pads for sanding instead of sandpaper or steel wool

If you want to get the smoothest finish on your project, you should polish in between coats. This eliminates any imperfections that can be caused by air bubbles or dust. In the past, I used steel wool or sandpaper in between coats. Recently, my buddy brought me some abrasive pads. Turns out they work really well. They don’t clog up like sandpaper all the time, so they last longer. They don’t leave tiny particles behind like steel wool, so I don’t have to clean after them. They are flexible and can fit in tight spaces really well. These are … Read More

What is the best glue for wood?

You’re beyond simple yellow glues and you don’t want a different bottle of glue for each project. You’re looking for the best glue out there. What type of glue should you use? Use a strong polyurethane glue. Gorilla Glue bonds stone, wood, ceramic, metal, foam, glass, plastics, and more. Creates an incredible solid bond and is 100% waterproof. The best glue I have ever tried, bar none. Gorilla Glue is way better than epoxy.

How to remove rust and protect your items against it

I bought an old, rusted table saw at a local auction. It was a great deal, but I was afraid the rust was in too deep. Luckily, the condition of the table was actually better than it looked on the outside. Derusting We’ve got a few options that will help restore our rusty items. I usually combine all of them as everyone has its strengths and weaknesses. Start with a wire brush Start with cleaning the item and removing loose rust with a wire brush. Scrub with it until all you have left is the hard surface rust. Rust … Read More

Best keyless chucks for drills

Always losing your chuck key? I can relate. Of course, there’s a solution to this problem. You can replace you trusty trill chuck with a keyless chuck. Essentially, all keyless chuck models work the same. You grab the base with one hand and rotate the outer body of the keyless chuck with your other hand. This will make the jaws to move and release or grip your bit. Keyless chucks for drills have double the teeth Because of their internal structure, keyless chucks can actually hold the bit better than regular chucks. There has to be no space for … Read More

How to edgeband plywood using veneer edging

One of my favorite techniques of hiding edges on a plywood project is to add a trip of edge-banding or veneer. It’s a ribbon made out of wood, that is the thickness of a thick paper piece. First, you need to be sure that your edging is big enough to cover the area that you’re working on. Always leave a bit of space for mistakes. You need to buy a veneer that will match the color of your project. Luckily, manufacturers sell veneer in multiple variations, which match all the popular wood types and colors. Edging types Veneer edging … Read More

The Workshop Book by Scott Landis Review

A concept book The book is filled with tons of creative ideas for tool and wood storage, self-made tools, accessories, workshop location, and layouts. Some of the concepts can be lifted right out of the book. Others have to be adapted to your particular case. One woodworker that Lannis documented found an innovative solution to the space limitations of a small garage shop. He cut the garage in half, rolled one half to a concrete pad, and then filled in the open space with windows, walls, and a roof. A broad scope of ideas What makes this book so … Read More