Work Zone Compressor

Aldi is selling a 50L compressor for $149. It’s a 2.5 hp motor, perfect for home use only. I reckon this thing would last many years, probably even your lifetime. I know you can’t buy one this cheap anywhere and I never said it’s awesome quality either but I think it’s worth having a look. I’m in Aldi looking at it now.

For the Aussies living on the Gold Coast you’ll find it at Helensvale Westfield shopping centre.



There is an acronym that may change your perspective. Fear is:


How would your life change if you approached fear this way instead of allowing it to be the driving force in your life?

This article is for me, I’m writing about me, I’m thinking aloud and sharing my inner deepest darkest secret; Fear.

Writing articles is the most difficult thing I’ve ever done. It’s much simpler to build than to write.  I’m competing with professional journalists and writers like Christopher Schwarz and Meghan Fitzpatrick who is also or was a Professor teaching literature and a former editor at Popular Woodworking.  Does it mean I know less? No, it means they are better at wording it and so writing an article is simple for them whilst for me it’s a daunting task.

The thought of them opening one of my magazines and reading an article or two is intimidating and an honour for me if it happened.

I’ve produced videos of poor quality but packed with sound information that proved to be useful to some people who shared their appreciation and seal of approval with me. The thing is, you don’t need a lot of money to contribute. You don’t need professional cameras and lighting to contribute. You need none fancy introduction or gimmicks to get your thoughts out there. What you need is compassion for people, a willingness to do it and be rid of one major obstacle that stands in most people’s way and that is “fear”.

Fear is the driving force why many people are deterred from writing. What will people think? What if they don’t like my writing? What if I’m ridiculed and criticised? There are far too many “what ifs” It’s risky to put yourself out there for all the world to see. But what if you turned those fearful “what ifs” into something positive? What if your pain is the path to another person’s healing? What if you could change, even save, someone’s life? What if you help someone who is without hope? What if writing actually helps to heal you?


Announcing our March 2017 Workbench Idea

Lake Erie Toolworks Blog

We have a truly unique and amazing Workbench Idea for you that comes from Gerald L. who hails from Carlin, Nevada.  Carlin is near the Carlin Trend which happens to be one of the most productive gold mining areas in the United States.  Clearly, more than one type of gold can be mined in Nevada as Gerald truly hit the mother lode when he created this phenomenal workbench.
Lake Erie Toolworks, Leg Vise, Wooden Leg Vise, Tail Vise, Roubo Workbench,Lake Erie Toolworks, Leg Vise, Wooden Leg Vise, Tail Vise, Roubo Workbench,Lake Erie Toolworks, Leg Vise, Wooden Leg Vise, Tail Vise, Roubo Workbench,WB-March2017-4-WebWB-March2017-5-Web

Built this bench in 2015 inspired by all the beautiful benches @ work bench of the month (on Lake Erie Toolworks Website, now known as “Workbench Ideas”).  I don’t consider it a certain style, just the size for area I had to put it, w/accommodation for items I wanted it to store.

It’s white oak w/pine drawer boxes. leg vice w/Lake Erie maple screw which I sleeved w/oak to match bench and scissor for alignment control. Shoulder vice w/Lie Nielsen slide hardware…

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I love my craft but

I got several back-and-forth emails from a fellow who believes I shouldn’t charge for the magazines and that I have an ulterior motive, that is to profit from them. He believes that if you truly love the craft and you’re passionate about working with your hands, then it should all be free.

Ok how and where do I try to comprehend such crock.

First, in the beginning it was free, and no I had no intention of charging for it. Yes, I wanted to do this for free. The idea was to build and write about the build and other topics in my spare time, but I got over zealous and begun taking time off work without pay just to get it done. Would anyone else do what I did? No, they wouldn’t, but I did.

As you all saw people said “charge for it.” And after clearing it with you guys on how much I should charge I affixed a price to it.

The first three Issues downloaded reached into the tens of thousands ,and I thought, if I can get over 10k downloads in the fourth issue, I can quit my job and work the magazine professionally on a full-time basis. That mean’t I would then run it as a business. Well, as it turned out, I never got that many downloads and didn’t make much money at all. Yes, I was disappointed, but that’s life ain’t it. So, I haven’t quit my job and I haven’t quit the magazine either.

What I would like to know is this. How does making a living from the craft make a person love the craft any less? Does Paul Sellers who is making a fortune love the craft any less? Richard Maguire sells videos online and made workbenches at one time. Does he love the craft any less? I included Richard because he is a knowledgeable and talented craftsman.  What about Christopher Schwarz? He owns and operates Lost Art Press. Should all his books he published be given away so tight arses like yourself “MATE” can sit on their backsides and enjoy the fruits of someone else’s hard labour for your pleasure? Just where does one draw the line to such unreasonable requests? Does anyone go to work and say’s to their boss, “from this day forth I do not want to get paid.” Then why in the world do you expect that of me or anyone else for that matter?

I think most people don’t think like this schmuck. I think most people know we all need to work to earn a crust, and if given the opportunity to earn from our craft, and if one desired to do so, then one should. What’s wrong with doing what one’s passionate about? Isn’t it better to work a job you love than having to work a job you don’t? Some people just never cease to amaze me.

I think I should take an anti depressant before opening my next email.

It’s a slow process

It’s just raining and raining for weeks on end. They’re seems to be no end to it. It trickles then pours and repeats itself repeatedly.


At least I can’t say the same for my moulding plane set build. It is a slow process, but it’s coming along steadily.


Not many left to complete and some in working progress. Here I have a pair of no. 9


And some in the finishing stage.


So yeah, it’s a slow process and there’s heaps to go through, but its all worth it. My dream of owning a complete set will come true and it won’t cost me $5000 to turn a dream into a reality.

Earn your living through handwork

How many times have you heard this statement; “You can’t earn money from hand tools alone.” This isn’t true. Let me ask you why are you interested in hand tools at all? What is it about labouring over timber that get’s you so excited to get into the workshop and begin? For me its soul satisfying, it brings gratification and astonishment when I see a piece come together. When it’s complete, all the frustrations of making mistakes, the aches from back pains and neck pains no longer matter; you stand there and marvel at your creation. You feel good and you feel fulfilled. You made this! I made this and your family and friends recognise you as a craftsman. When they sit on your chair or at your table or display your clock on the wall, the whole meaning of the craft takes on a new form, beyond the ogling and marvelling. It performs a function that serves the needs of those intended for. Your current job if it’s not fulfilling becomes meaningless. You wonder if you can make a living from this. Is it possible? Suddenly you experience freedom, you see that “conveyor belt” that Paul Sellers has so often mentioned and you want off of it. Your life has a purpose, and this is what the craft should be to everyone. It’s not just about earning an income because you’re earning an income now and you’re wishing your elsewhere. It’s about doing something meaningful, creative, artistic, opening a whole new chapter in your life.
Don’t let the words of false marketers tell you, you need machinery to work wood to make money. If this was true, I wouldn’t of been making clocks for 18 years,

4250the boys at Mortise and Tenon magazine wouldn’t be living from their craft as we speak if a shred of what marketers say is true. There are far too many people that are known and unknown that earn their living through handwork and you can too. A friend of mine from Universal visited me the other day and said something that struck me; “Only optimism can speak into existence.” All it takes is for you to make the first step. Now I’m not telling you give up your jobs and work the craft. I’m saying make the first baby steps towards it. “Learners are earners” Jeff Walker say’s and through learning and continual practice will your skills develop and be nurtured to make you into a craftsman.
All it takes is baby steps and  one day this could be you.


Baby Steps

At one time or another we were all beginners, I still classify myself as a beginner even though I got my first taste of working wood when I was 7. You would think I have all the answers right? Wrong. No one has all the answers. No one can say they know everything about anything, but we strive to learn something new or reinforce what we know every day. This is what I do, this is how I try to elevate myself within the craft. We already have enough dumb asses in the world why add one more? Why not separate ourselves from them and make an effort for our families, for our craft, for ourselves.

Do you fear failure?
Don’t, it’s ok to fail. Every successful businessman failed. You learn from failure; you grow from failure; you become more knowledgeable and experienced from failure. Eventually you’ll become a success.

It will take time to build a business and I have too many bills to pay.
It’s true it will take time to build a business, but Rome wasn’t built in a day. The Earth was fashioned over time even though in the scriptures it reads God said “Be and it is” it didn’t just appear ready fashioned and ready for use. No it took billions and billions of years of molding it, fashioning and perfecting it. It took billions of years for the earth to be this perfect creation by God yet it took us only 100 years to bore a hole in the ozone layer. And that’s the same with your business. It can take years to build a viable business and then burn it overnight, it’s that simple.

What can I make that hasn’t been made already?
What you make is better than the in store imported stuff. Make what the markets want not what you want and people will buy. For every product there is a buyer. For every miser there is my foot print on their backsides.

People make a lot of excuses not to get off their backsides and take charge of their lives. They will make a lot of them and some are valid real excuses like health issues be that physical or mental like depression. We all know our limitations, but I know we carbon based life forms, human beings have none. There are people with no arms or legs, sight, hearing work art, cook beautiful foods and even install roof tiles. I’ve seen this chap in the US on TV with no legs climb with his hands up the ladder and go to work on the roof. He said I’m not going on welfare, there’s nothing wrong with me.
My doctor said if I don’t give up woodworking by hand I will end up in a wheel chair. So do I give up my craft, my only passion, hell no. I might as well make myself a box and bury myself alive because that’s what I would be doing if I gave up my craft. You never ever give up. You push yourself everyday to become better and better. You go to work and you don’t waste time. You work hard and make yourself the most valuable employee to keep your job while you grow your own business on the side. You take small incremental steps towards your goal and if you fall, you brush yourself off, pick yourself up and move forward again until you achieve your goals.

If you want financial freedom or just knowledge or both knowledge and skill or all of the three then you have to work hard for it. You must motivate yourself daily and you must read, watch, listen and then practice to learn.
Always be honest and true to yourselves and to the world. Work honestly, trade fairly, if you can afford it hire someone to help you and train them to be as good or better than you. Be humble, you don’t know everything and you never will. Remember it was God and your hard work that put you there and arrogance and there’s plenty of that in the business arena can take it all away.

Don’t take the easy way out, if you want carvings on your next project, don’t go out and buy a cnc machine, learn how to carve. There are plenty of great teachers out there that will teach you not how to eat fish, but how to catch them. There is so much information on the World Wide Web  that no one has an excuse. I write the magazine not because it’s fun, not because I’m bored,but because there’s value to it. I build and learn and pass what I’ve learn’t along the way. Christopher Schwarz went to Europe to learn about historical workbenches which he then passed that information onto you through his new book “Ingenious Mechanicks” even though he built hundreds of various styles of work benches throughout the years. This is what it’s about, learning, gathering to pass that knowledge on.

There are no limitations on what you can do. Be the best you can and go and build something beautiful.