As you might have seen on my Patreon lately, I recently got a couple of new additions for the workshop: the Eastwood mini lathe and mini mill. (So far, so fun.)

I’m working on a couple of “newbie versus” videos for them, similar to my MIG welder series. Those videos aren’t ready yet, so instead I wanted to share a quick tip about machining, and really any kind of DIY project where your hands might get dirty.

This is something I learned back when i first started working at a machine shop about 15 years ago. I forgot all about this until i started using this lathe. That’s because it seems like just about everything on a machine like this is covered in oil or grease. …

So I’ve had this giant log in my garage since 2014.

The goal was to use it as a base for an anvil for blacksmithing. At the time, I wanted to learn smithing to open up some capabilities in the workshop, like making tools and heavier-duty metal hardware. Think chisels, not swords.

But first, I needed an anvil. Lucky for me, I knew a guy who was really into trains: My friend’s Dad, Pat. …

There might be some beautiful wood hiding there.

I spent the first five years of living in my current house with a gremlin on my shoulder. In this case, that gremlin was our deck. It was wobbly, weathered, and covered with deck mold. I was advised that it was too far gone, that it had to go.

I knew the “smart” thing to do was to just replace the deck. The cost to repair it and the work involved would surely “not be worth it,” and a complete replacement is doable by handyfolk, as demonstrated in this great deck-building series by Sarah at Ugly Duckling DIY.

But geeze. That was a lot of wood to throw in a landfill. And some wood removed from the deck in a separate project seemed to be perfectly fine when used in my deckwood dump cart. There just had to be a way to save this thing, I thought to myself. …


Andrew Reuter

DIYer, Project Lab. Web-editor-type, Lee Enterprises. Dad/husband. @djnf, @theexponentnews, @uwplatteville alum. Seeking best obtainable version of the truth.

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