You Tube Woodworking Video: Automatic Blast Gates

Wood Shop Projects

Here's a great You Tube video by Jim Halbert of . He shows how to constructing two different blast gates; one powered with a drill motor and the other with a solenoid. According to the video you can build either of the blast gates for less than $75. 

In the first example Jim uses a Harbor Freight Cordless Drill for an actuator and the second example he uses an electric solenoid. The construction of automatic blast gates is a bit of a specialised project, however for the larger shop with lots of machines automatic blast gates are essential parts of dust collection.

You might also enjoy another from our YouTube woodworking series :

You Tube's Most popular Woodworking Video 

Charles Neils woodworking on  Youtube 

You tubes Woodworking Videos | Recycling Old Pallets

If you think old wood pallets are garbage, think again. Heres some great inspiration for all us woodworkers. Pallets are a cheep source of wood for your projects -just watch out for the 6" nails! This short video gives us some great project ideas reusing old pallets.

The Canadian Wood Pallet & Container Association has launched a campaign to encourage people to recycle and reuse wood packaging material.

So now sit back and enjoy one of You Tubes most popular woodworking videos of all time, with 1,149,557 views.  To find out more about the Canadian Wood Pallet & Container Association see their website:

You might also like: Charles Neils woodworking on  Youtube

Top 5 Tips for Buying Used Woodwork Machinery

This guest post is by Ron Mack Machinery

Offering substantial savings over purchasing equipment new, buying used woodwork machinery must be approached with caution. After paying for repair costs, purchasing equipment that is not in good working condition will often end up being more expensive in the long run than buying tools new. Before buying used equipment, here are the top 5 tips for buying used woodwork machinery.

Inspect the Equipment in Person
Great deals can be found online, but always examine the equipment in person before buying. The only exception to this rule is if you are dealing with a long established and reputable dealer with a solid reputation and track record. Be sure to ask about the inspection and return policy, shipping information and get all details in writing before you buy. Never buy used woodworking machinery from a private seller if you cannot inspect the equipment beforehand.

Examine the Motor

The motor is the most important, and most expensive, component on any piece of woodworking machinery. Run the equipment, under load, while listening to the motor for any abnormal sounds, such as loose bushing or grinding bearings. Feel the motor casing, with your hand, both during and after testing. The casing of a motor that is in good condition will be barely warm to the touch. If the casing is very warm it is an indication of potential problems. A hot casing is a tipoff that repairs are in the near future.
Reconditioned Equipment

If buying used woodworking equipment from a dealer, ask if the machinery has been fully reconditioned, and then ask exactly what the reconditioning process involved. At the very least the motor should have been dissembled and all parts inspected and any worn parts replaced. A through reconditioning should also include inspection of the wiring and switches and well as the equipment housing and stand. Professionally reconditioned equipment should come with a warranty comparable to new machinery.

Maintenance Records
If buying used woodwork machinery from a professional woodworker or woodworking shop, insist on reviewing service records that will indicate how often the machinery was serviced and any repairs that have been made, including replaced parts. Look to see when the equipment was first placed into service and how many hours it was used between scheduled maintenance.

Age and Quality
Old does not always mean inferior or worn out. There is a lot of truth to the axiom, "They don’t make them like they used to," and while most new quality tools are made to last a lifetime, many older woodworking power tools were literally built to last forever. Additionally, if buying used machinery from a weekend woodworker, equipment may not have been used very heavily and still be in like-new condition.

For quality CNC machinery and other metalworking tools, Ron Mack can help. They install every machine they sell and also stock a wide range of woodworking machinery.

Woodworking Projects: Bird Houses

Building wooden bird houses is a great way to attract a variety of birds in to your garden, and it also makes a fun low cost weekend project. In my garden I have several bird houses, It gives me a lot of pleasure each year to watch the birds nesting. Below are links to sites with some free plans and instructions.  

Birds in Bloom 
Birdhouse for Beginners.With its classic good looks, this one-board birdhouse will fit anywhere.

50 Birds
Plans for houses for 70 different species of North American birds. Also plans for feeders.

RSPB Advice: Making a Nest Box
A Royal Society for the Protection of Birds guide to making nest boxes, including hole sizes for many UK birds and a PDF plan.

Top Tips for a Great Bird House
It is best to not to use any paint on your bird box, leave it to weather to a natural silver finish, however softwood boxes (such as pine) can be treated with water-based wood preservatives and apply only to the outside of the box, and not around the entrance hole. Whatever you use, make sure the box dries and airs thoroughly before putting it up.

  • Don't put a perch under the entrance hole, putting a perch will give a predators somewhere to sit.
  • Drill the proper entrance hole size for the bird you are trying to attract.
  • Use galvanised nails or screws. The inside front surface should be rough - this will help the young birds to clamber up. A drainage hole in the base will stop the box getting damp inside.
  • Hinge the lid with a strip of leather or rubber (an old piece of bicycle inner tube would do). Don't nail the lid down (because you will need to clean out the box in the autumn). Instead, use a catch to keep it closed.
  • Once you are done building, you will need to find a good place to put the bird house. A good location will be somewhere in your land that does not have to much human activity. The bird house should be hung on a tree, or mounted to a pole or tree, at least 4 feet off the ground, if it is less, young birds might be scooped out by a cat!

 Hope This post has inspired you to build a bird house, let us know how you get on in the comments below.

Woodworking Sites: Blue collar Woodworking with Stumpy Nubs

Heres a great up and coming woodworking site  Blue collar woodworking with Stumpy Nubs.
"Stumpy is a regular woodworker, with a regular shop, who uses regular tools to make regular projects. The kind of guy most garage woodworkers can relate to. But he's also different in some very important ways.."
The site is in a Vblog  format, its more about life in the workshop than about the projects. Stumpy teaches us  how to do things in the workshop efficiently, what tools are best for each job, and how we can get the most from our shop time. The videos are filled with interesting ways to save money. If he can make it himself, he'll do it, and show you how! 

To illustrate this below is a great You Tube woodworking video from his site. It shows how Stumpy upgrades a Worksharp sharpening system, and allows the attachment of Tormek Jigs.

This site has lots of  really creative ideas. The videos are really well made, informative and even funny in parts.  This site is a must see for all woodworkers especially those on a tight budget!

If you follow Blue Collar Woodworking or even if your visiting for the first time today, we would love to Know what you think about the site in the comments below.  

 This site has Just become a Woodworkers Guide Top 100 Woodworking Site