Month: December 2017

Interview with Phil(Phil Makes Things)

Interview with Phil(Phil Makes Things)

In this post we like to introduce our community member Phil from Phil Makes Things from England. We have asked him a few questions about himself and his hobby. These where his answers!

Please introduce yourself to our readers: Where are you from? What do you do when you’re not in the workshop, and where can we find you on the web?

Hello, and thank you for inviting me to introduce myself to the EWC!

I’m Phil Jarrett, from Bristol, a city in the south west of England in the UK. I’m on the web in most places as Phil Makes Things.

Woodworking & making in general is very much a part-time hobby for me. For 40 hours a week I sit at a computer in an office as a systems administrator for a college, I also do Audio / Visual installations and am the resident photography expert (digital and wet process).

I mainly put things I’m working on up on Instagram – as well as anything else I find interesting, or maybe the people that follow me will.

And my build videos go on YouTube

I’m not a heavy Facebook user, but you might see me floating about in the I Like To Make Stuff, Makers on Youtube and WoodWorkingUK groups.

How old are you and for how long have you been practicing woodworking as a hobby?

I’m 39 years old, and have been around woodworking my whole life, but have only really been practicing for the last two years or so. Before I got into woodworking, I’ve been a huge proponent of the make-do-and-mend ideal. If something is broken I’ll certainly try my best to mend it before buying something new! My father was an engineer and very good woodworker – I have inherited most of this old tools – and added many of my own. I still have many things to learn…

How did you come to do woodworking and what’s your motivation to practice this hobby?

I do it because it’s a complete antithesis to what I do all day at work, and I love working with my hands. It’s complete escapism from the tech world. For most of a week I’m in an almost entirely digital landscape, but in the workshop the only thing digital is the camera. I very rarely make any plans beyond a sketch on paper and an idea of how I want something to look when finished, and everything else is hands on.

Some might call it therapy. I don’t know about that, but I find it very relaxing, despite it something being frustrating, and at this time of year very cold in the workshop (I’d like to install a wood burning stove, but the local laws prevent it).

Another motivation is to make things for our home that will last a long time. Most of the things I make are a reaction to a need; be it a fruit basket, a blanket box or a coat stand… if we need something, I’d rather make it than buying something new.  I’m a big believer in reusing materials; there is a wealth of used wood that only needs a little cleaning up or paint removing to be used again for something else. That’s got to be better than cutting down trees? I can’t walk past a skip without peering in to see if there’s anything I can use – but always ask before you take something!

Why do you share your projects on the web?

Mainly for the fun of it. The first thing I put on my YouTube channel was a concrete USB hub as part of a challenge, and the response I got from that was very positive (it’s my most watched video!) and it only spurs me on to make more. I find the maker community on pretty much all social platforms a very welcoming place for people of all skill levels, and it’s nice to get feedback from like-minded people, both praise and constructive criticism on how something could have been done differently.

What photo/video equipment do you use and why? If you make videos, what’s your typical workflow for a video?

I use a Nikon d5100 that’s technically broken – it will shoot video but the shutter is broken so it won’t take pictures and more. There’s a distinct knack to making it work – I have to hold my hand over the lens in bright conditions before starting to record, otherwise it won’t work… but otherwise, I’m very happy with the results, but I will upgrade to a non-broken camera sometime in the future.. I use Final Cut Pro X to edit.

Generally, I add footage to a project timeline as I make it, I don’t wait until the project is finished before I start editing. I make a rough cut of all the footage I want to use, then spend a few hours editing it down, revising, and adding a voiceover if the video needs it. Like the woodworking I do, it’s something I need to spend more time doing and making it a bit neater! Practice makes perfect – I’m the kind of person that leans through doing rather than studying books or videos – but I read and watch a lot for inspiration on what to do next.

Do you have a favourite tool? If so, what do you like about it?

That’s a really hard question. I love using my father’s hand-planes which I have restored and use all the time, but at the moment I’d have to say my favorite tool is the track saw. I don’t have space for a table saw, but the track saw allows me to make repeatable cuts with a good straight edge, and they’re coming down in price to the point where it’s available to almost every budget.

Thanks for these insights and for your time! Happy woodworking!

Patrick – PaddysWoodshop (Community Admin)

Winner of the Project of the month: November 2017

Winner of the Project of the month: November 2017

With the most votes, the winner of November 2017 is foxtail_woodworks


Background story by foxtail_woodworks


Here’s his background story of the project – first in German,  further down in English.

Wow, erst mal danke an alle die für meinen Schwipbogen gestimmt haben, ich hab die Nominierung garnicht mitbekommen ??.
Ja wie kam es zu dem Projekt, jeder der meinen Instagramfeed verfolgt, weis das ich gerne mit der Dekupiersäge arbeite und kennt vielleicht auch die anderen Dekobögen die ich schon gemacht habe. Diese haben meiner Mutter so gut gefallen, das sie sich zum Geburtstag auch so einen Bogen gewünscht hat.
Jetzt wollte ich nicht noch einmal das selbe machen, also habe ich im Internet mal ein wenig gesucht.
Gewünscht waren ein weihnachtliches Motiv und eine Beleuchtung. Nach einiger Zeit bin ich auf die REGU-Laubsägevorlage „Großes Waldhaus“ gestoßen, welches mir auf Anhieb gut gefallen hat.
Also Vorlage aufs Holz übertragen und angefangen. Einige Wochen! und Sägeblätter später waren die Einzelteile ausgeschnitten und alles geschliffen. Die ganzen kleinen Ausschnitte zu schleifen hat die meiste Zeit in Anspruch genommen. Allein ein äußerer Bogen hat 87 Bohrungen/Ausschnitte.
Für mich war jedoch die Elektrik absolutes Neuland, was auch einiges an Zeit in Anspruch genommen hat. Letztendlich habe ich mich für 3,5 Volt Birnchen mit entsprechendem Trafo entschlossen. Beim Zusammenbau gab‘s keine weiteren Schwierigkeiten, da die Vorlagen sehr passgenau waren. Zuvor wurden die Einzelteile noch angepinselt, bei dem mich meine Frau und Tochter immer tatkräftig unterstützen.
Fertig war der Schwibbogen.
Trotz der vielen Arbeiten an der Dekupiersäge habe ich einiges dazugelernt.
Nichts ist unmöglich, dauert nur länger…
Damit wünsche ich allen eine besinnliche Vorweihnachtszeit, ein Frohes Fest und einen guten Rutsch ins neue Jahr mit vielen neuen, interessanten und herausfordernden Projekten.

Gruß Sebastian


English version of foxtail_woodworks’s story


Wow, first of all thanks to all who voted for my candle arch, I did not even get the nomination ??.

Yes, how did the project come about? Everyone who follows my Instagram feed knows that I like to work with the scroll saw and maybe also knows the other deco sheets that I have already done. My mother liked them so much, that she wanted to have one as a birthday present.

Now I did not want to do the same again, so I searched the internet a bit.

Wanted were a Christmas theme and lighting. After some time I came across the REGU-jigsaw template “Big Forest House”, which I liked right away.

So transfered the template to the wood and got started. Some weeks! and saw blades later, the items were cut out and all ground. It took most of the time to grind all the small cutouts. An outer arch already has 87 holes / cutouts.

For me, however, the electrical system was uncharted territory, which also took a lot of time. Finally, I decided to use 3.5 volt bulbs with the appropriate transformer. When assembling, there were no further difficulties, since the templates were very accurate. Previously, the items were still painted, in which my wife and daughter always actively support me.

Done was the candle arch.


Despite the many work on the scroll saw I have learned a lot.

Nothing is impossible, it just takes longer …

I wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year with many new, interesting and challenging projects.

Greetings Sebastian


A special Thanks to beaver.woodcraft for translating


Project of the month: November 2017

Project of the month: November 2017

This is the seventh post of our monthly series “Project of the month”.

This month, “X-MAS”

The vote will run for about a week and then we’re going to announce the project of the month. The winning maker will give you some behind-the-scences information about the project.

You can bring projects to our attention in two different ways:

We’re going to choose from those nominations but we can’t guarantee that any of them will come up in a vote because we have no idea how many projects will be sent in. The projects don’t have to be posted in that particular month.


So for November 2017, here are the three candidates

foxtail_woodworks: Schwibbogen
Palettendealer: Weihnachtsbaum Kerzenständer

Which of the following projects is your Project of the Month (November 2017)
  • foxtail_woodworks 65%, 13 votes
    13 votes 65%
    13 votes - 65% of all votes
  • 30%, 6 votes
    6 votes 30%
    6 votes - 30% of all votes
  • Palettendealer 5%, 1 vote
    1 vote 5%
    1 vote - 5% of all votes
Total Votes: 20
05.12.2017 - 13.12.2017
Voting is closed