Category Archives: Projects

Shopsmith Repairs: New bandsaw blade insert

The aluminum bandsaw blade insert was always a little bent and one day a piece of wood pushed it it into the blade. That twisted it all up of course, and it never really worked after that.

I’ve been using it without a blade guard for a while, which means lots of sawdust and little pieces of wood fell down inside the saw.

Tonight I was going to cut up a bunch of freshly cut crab apple wood, and I didn’t want (as much) wet sawdust piling up inside so it was time to make a new blade guard.

Bandsaw insert from a sawblade
Bandsaw insert from a sawblade

I got a pile of old saw blades with a ShopSmith I bought a little while back, and it looked like the blade was about the right thickness for the space.

I hammered the old insert flat and traced it onto the saw blade. Then I used an angle grinder to cut it out, and shaped it using a grinding wheel. I used a cutoff blade for some of the interior cutting, and then a file to round out the edges.

Closeup of the new bandsaw insert
Closeup of the new bandsaw insert

It sits about a millimeter below the surface of the table, and when I push it in it snaps into place and stays in place firmly.

I expect that this repair will last for a long time.

I’ve got to make another one for the Shopsmith jigsaw, but that’ll have to wait for another day.

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Wormy Oak Spoons (work in progress)

At my dad’s house there’s a stack of firewood in the garage. It’s been there since I lived at home — dad got a gas furnace not long after I left and the extra wood has just been sitting around every since.


This summer I was at his place, in the garage, getting some wood for a camp fire and I came across a piece of oak that had a bunch of holes in the end grain. It looked interesting so I split it apart and sure enough, some worms had been very busy once upon a time.


I started roughing out the spoons with a hatchet, but the oak grain and worm paths just wouldn’t cooperate, so I brought it home and used the bandsaw instead.


I decided to make a pair of matching salad serving grabbers, which could also be used for serving rice or something like that.

I carved out the bowls using the hook knife, and used the belt sander to do a bit of shaping on the handles.


After I had the spoons shaped the way I wanted to I used a couple of stiff brushes, a piece of wire and a tiny drill bit to remove as much of the worm poop sawdust as I could from the worm trails. The trails ended up being much more extensive than I thought.


I haven’t finished these yet because I don’t know what kind of finish I want to use. I’m looked around a little bit for some food-safe glow-in-the-dark epoxy (or epoxy + glow powder mix) but I haven’t found a product I love yet.

I need something that can help fill the voids and strengthen the wood, which suggests epoxy, but I don’t love working with epoxy so I haven’t jumped to complete these yet. Maybe by the time Christmas comes around!

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Walnut and Apple Spoons and a Spatula

Like the previous post, this is a very late post about a project I completed long ago.

These three spoons were made from my dwindling supply of walnut wood. The walnut wood I picked up 3 or so years ago after a strong series of storms hit the twin cities. I cut it up and saved it ever since. I’m now down to just a couple pieces.

These were all roughed out on the bandsaw, then the bowl and decorative details carved out by hand. The top two were given away as presents. The bottom one we kept and use.

When I give someone a spoon or other utensil I usually tell them that the right way to treat it is to hand-wash only, and to re-oil them monthly or so. I also tell them that we don’t do that — we put our wooden stuff through the dishwasher and use and abuse it — and our spoon has held up well.

I like making functional things, not things that need to be coddled.


I also made a walnut bowl-scraping spatula and an apple-wood spoon. These were a present to some friends of ours, which we brought to their Christmas party along with some goodies to share (Pão de Quijo!).

The spatula is modeled after one that we saw at Caroline’s aunt and uncles house which I really liked. Ryan and I have since made one for our own home, which we use regularly.


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