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It’s probably because of our recent short leave of absence, but we haven’t seen as many new posts to the Toolmonger Flickr pool lately, and it’s getting me and Sean down. We’re inspired by your projects, and we also like to feature them here from time to time. If you get a chance, we’d love to hear about what you’re currently working on, whether it’s building something new and awesome or just fixing some crap around the house. Plus, you never know what great tips you might get from other Toolmongers. I speak from experience when I say that Toolmongers know more about project work than anyone in the world.


Building things to make life better around the home is almost what woodworking was created for. There is often no better way to make things happen than putting some timber together. In this case, Reader Litcritter has fixed his daughter up a way to get in and out of bed with ease.

It’s not only that the project looks great or that it will last a long time — it’s that Litcritter has made everyone’s life a little easier with time in the shop and a few tools. The ladder hooks over the bed frame and lets the little one run in a out of bed without fear of falling and without running down other furniture as a makeshift step-down. It’s a win for all concerned.

Well done!

Toolmonger Photo Pool [Flickr]


We are not so stuck-up here at Toolmonger that we won’t say when things are right. We talk about trucks all the time but more often than not, another workhorse of the job site is completely overlooked — the Jeep.

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Every year, long-time reader Tmib_Seattle posts up his fine work with the local scout troop, where he teaches lads how to wrangle fire and form steel. I remember my own scout days very well, except they involve wood, not metal.

It’s pretty rare that young men are exposed to this kind of workmanship anymore. Just look around in the shots on the Flickr pool and you’ll see why. Had it not been for scoutmaster Tmib and his vast array of ironworking goodness, they’d be out of luck as well. But as it sits, the boys get experience with a craft that has been disappearing over the last few decades.

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TM reader GarethBell posted some pics of this awesome little compressed air/steam engine he built. He didn’t include a lot of other information in the Flickr pool, so I’m hoping he’ll stop by here and share some additional details. But from what I can see, this looks like it’s made from machined, anodized aluminum.

Besides the photo itself, he also included a small video of a similar engine actually running. Check it out, and let him know what you think in comments.

Compressed Air Engine [TM Flickr Pool]


We like reader Flabby BooHoo’s style. He built this closet organizer out of 3/4″ melamine and it looks better than anything you could buy at the Ikea big box of cardboard Swedish origami furniture. It looks good enough to have been patterned after something he saw in the “fashion forward” section there.

Not that there’s anything wrong with Ikea stuff, but here we have a purpose-built unit that looks just like a store-bought rig and most likely made everyone’s life a little better. Mom is complaining less often about a messy room/closet, son has a bad-ass place to put stuff, and Dad is the hero of the day. A win for all involved.

Well done, sir, and those drawers look choice. Hats off and beers up to your 700-lb. organizer.

Toolmonger Photo Pool [Flickr]


I’ve heard no shortage of belly-aching over custom wood pens. They often get dumped on for one reason or another and honestly, undeservedly so. I have always been a fan of anything one can custom-make and pens are no different. Pens like these from reader rboyett2001 are a great way to spend a little time in the shop and get a sweet-looking writing utensil out of it on the other end.

The main complaint I hear is that you buy a kit and make a pen according to plan and that’s not real woodworking. Well, yes, of course it is. Case in point: A friend of mine just started making custom wood pens and once the first few had been spun off the lathe he showed them to his buddies who proceeded to crap all over his work. Telling him “anything like that just isn’t considered real woodwork.”

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Here’s the thing: I know this is going to be bad. You know this is going to be bad. Reader Jer*ry knew it was going to be bad. We know that because everyone of us has been there. Basically it’s the luck of the draw that a stiff wind, shifting trailers, or some other slight alignment issue doesn’t topple this stump outright.

If by some chance it goes well, it’ll be a funny story. If it goes badly it will be a really great story with witnesses and a hospital bill, property damage and scars. You hope it’s not, but much like the time Chuck and I managed to drop an anvil on my leg, the worse the damage the better it’ll be around the coffee machine.

Toolmonger Photo Pool [Flickr]


There are shops out there that look great and others that make us cringe when we see them. This shop picture posted by reader Phidauex makes us want to get out there and build furniture.

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I make it a habit not to hate readers. They’re our friends and often give us good tips when we get stuck with an issue. It’s a trend I have kept unchallenged — until now. Reader james_brauer designed and built this amazing nightstand from scratch and I am now required, almost by law, to hate him.

Nightstand I made for my four year old daughter. I winched the 1+ ton logs wood for this project off my mountain homesite in NC, to the sawmill, home to CO to dry for use in this project. Red oak, maple, maple plywood with a lacquer and poly finish.

Mr. Brauer not only built this exquisite piece of furniture with his bare hands. He did it for his small daughter who most likely asked for “Dr. Seuss” furniture, then daddy went out and carved it from the land. The drawers are original and the side pieces look like they were bent, not cut into that shape. To add insult to injury we bet the kid is adorable too.

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