Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Rockler Dish Carving and Cove Router Bit Review

This is the first board that I have made on the west coast. My old man purchased a couple of router bits for me when he came to visit. overall I am happy with the grain work in the board and I also feel that the well and juice groove add a nice touch. I got the router bits from rockler they worked like a charm very smooth. I have a variable speed router and found that at to high a speed it will leave burns, I turned it down a notch and burns went away. Overall this was a fun board to make I got to use new equipment, and do something different on the boards that I have been making. Let me know what you think.

Knife Blocks for a Custom Order

These are some pictures of a few knife blocks I made for a custom order. I was to make a knife block that could hold a knife with a heavy handle. The guy they were for, removes the handle of the knives and replaces them with precious stone. The work that he does is really beautiful. The first design I made for him was an enclosed block, it didn’t really work out. The handles were to heavy and lifted the block off the table. So I tried to stay simple with the block and I came up with this. At first I intended to have the knives just be staggered but when a friend saw the block he lifted the center knife and flipped it around. Ended up being a cool design due to how you could rearrange the knives. I am sending the blocks out tomorrow, hope they are a success. Let me know what you think about the design and if you have ever seen any knife block like this.

Kitchen pieces from memory

I was thinking of different kitchen items to make so that I could help generate more sales on my website. I was talking to my parents and they gave me the idea of a pair of salad tongs they once had. I remembered which ones they where talking about and had a faint picture in my head of what they looked like. In my attempts to recreate them, this is what I have come up with. They are designed to fit on most salad bowls and are shaped to fit comfortably in your hand. Although it is a relatively simple design its very functional. I think they are pretty close to the original pieces. While making them, I found it hard to make exact duplicates, each paddle of the tongs has its minor diff. I made these using a band saw, orbital sander and a lot of hand sanding. Overall I really like the way they turned out, I am most definitely going to keep a pair for myself. Let me know what you think about the design.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

New Boards for Sale Take a Look

These are a bunch of new boards that I have been working on. You can find them at my website www.zlsboardworks.com I made these in preparation for mothers day this Sunday. I will be at the point loma farmers market from 9:00-2:30 everyone should come down and see the new boards that I have to offer. I also have wooden spoons, sushi boards, coffee spoons, and various other handcrafted kitchenware.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Collapsible Display tables for Farmers Market

After a long look at a bunch of different blogs I found there isn’t much out there on collapsible tables. I found tables with legs that folded up, but I didn’t find any tables that folded in half and had the base collapse, except for the plastic ones you can by for $45 dollars a table at home depot or target. I don’t have that kind of money to spend on one table, so I decided to make them myself. At first I had a particular design in mind after a failed attempt I had to reevaluate, so I started over, did that a couple of times. Had a problem with the center of the table not being able to hold weight, It caved in on each design that I tried, until this last one. After all materials where bought I had only spent $65, with two sheets of Luann and a bunch of 2×4 I made 3 tables, two 6’ x 32” and one 2’ x 8’. I needed to make these new tables for use at a farmers market I have become a vendor at. I was using a 7 foot door and a set of saw horses along with a 5 foot IKEA table. Putting everything in the car was a real pain.The loading and unloading process takes forever and the car just becomes overloaded. The new tables are collapsible they fold at the center and the legs fold up in the table after break down. During the construction process I tried various designs for stability and how compact I could make them. To make the table strong I used half laps for all the joints. I also half lapped the cross member joints, it makes for easy assembly. I also made a groove in the center of the cross member so that the center of the table could lock into place. As you can see in the pictures I used a yoga mat sling to hold my four 4 foot cross members together. I found that this design suited all my needs, its compact and is nice and sturdy. Ideally I would have liked everything to have fit inside the table, but this is the best I could come up with, without losing the integrity of the table.I will be putting handles on them soon, I tried to finish them before the market tomorrow but I guess I can deal for one time. Let me know what you think. Thanks Zachary L Swain

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

To start of this is a great little orbital. I have used others in the past and have found this one to be the best, or the one that I like the most as of lately. I was at one point a really big supporter of the variable speed porter cable orbital, I was able to use them on a daily basis. At the shop we used to really beat the hell out of those sanders, but they never seemed to quite. I mean some of them did but most of the time they just kept on chugging. Only problem with the PC though is that they vibrated like crazy, and if sanding for long periods of time it would give your hands a work out. I have also used the Dewalt orbital. I didn’t have it but two days before I sent it back, it was absolutely terrible. It made this loud rumbling/rattle while you where using it, also like the porter cable it to seemed to vibrate quite a bit. This new orbital that I have now by Bosch, def takes the cake when it comes to how quiet it operates. Ive beat it up a bit and it doesn’t seem to be waring, its holding up to daily use. The vibration with this sander is very minimal and it produces a great swirl free finish. The only downfall that I see with this orbital is the micro filter dust system. Not really necessary in my point of view. If it had a canister like the PC it would top all other sanders in my opinion. I am still a firm believer in the porter cable sanders but for now I prefer the Bosch. If you are looking into orbitals these are the two that I would choose from. If there are others out there that do or do not feel the same way about these orbitals let me know I would love to hear what other people have to say about the orbitals that are out on the market today.

Monday, April 16, 2012


Just finished my first farmers market here in sunny San Diego. The market takes place every Sunday between the hours of 9 and 2, and is located at the intersection of Canon and Rosecrans. I had a really great time, the vendors next to me where very helpful. They could tell that I was a newbie. The market is great has all sorts of locally grown produce and crafts. The day was a complete success granted it was my first showing. I was very happy with the appearance of my booth. I do have some changes that I will make for next time though. You can get more information at Birans Farmers Markets about the market.  You should also come down next week and give my booth a look, I would love the support.  Check back tomorrow to see whats happening in to shop.