Five Woodworking Projects You DON’T Want to Try at Home!

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The woodworking universe is populated by a diverse group of people. It includes traditional project-builders like my father-in-law, who cobbled together many a fine masterpiece in his time, including barrister’s bookcases, cradles, end tables and lamp bases. Toward the other end of the spectrum is the realm of those who are far less traditional, either in the methods they employ, in their finished products, or both, and includes some practitioners of the craft whose techniques you definitely do NOT want to emulate.

One of my father-in-law’s many creations. No scariness involved!

There’s an amazing amount of stuff out there in cyberspace, ranging from mundane to weird to morbid (want to see someone die in an industrial accident? It’s out there). Our intent with this small sampling is to amuse, amaze, make you ponder a bit, and perhaps inspire you to create something worthy of a video of your own. But hey—tools CAN be dangerous; be careful out there!

Best Use of Old-Growth Rainforest

Ever had a big shindig coming up, and thought to yourself “Damn, I could really use a three-foot wooden snack bowl.” If so, here’s a guy can maybe help you out. He works incredibly fast; I’m thinking whatever he’s getting pumped in through his Storm Trooper helmet is more than just oxygen…Actually, the artist, Aaron Hammer (a fine name for a tool-wielding individual) said it took him three years to turn an 800-pound log into the finished product, hence the use of time-lapse photography. Otherwise, it would be a REALLY LONG video…Anyhow, now it’s ready; just add a gallon bucket of guacamole dip, and par-tay!

Woodworking in the Great White North – A 150 H.P. Lathe

Not everyone needs a three-foot party bowl (if you are among those who do, however, ring me up next time you plan to load it up). Up in the wilds of Canada, the population gets a bit sparse, and they can get by nicely with a much smaller bowl. Since there are no Rockler stores way up there, they are forced to get creative, often in a manner that would have an OSHA inspector reaching for a three-foot bowl of Excedrin.

As the son of a French Canadian from the wilds north of Montreal, I couldn’t help but feel a tinge of admiration for the creativity on display by the self-proclaimed Crazy Canadian, Paul Moore, in his quest for a home-made wooden bowl. It’s rare that a forklift, a crossover vehicle, and a snowplow blade can join forces in such a noble quest. As the man says, though, no matter how stupid you are, do NOT try this at home! And if you do, make sure your wife isn’t around. You might also want to be sure all your insurance is current.

Incredibly, this guy has survived long enough to make a whole series of videos. Just search for “Paul Moore Crazy Canadian” on YouTube, if you want to see more examples of how to cleanse the gene pool…

Kickbacks Aren’t Just for Politicians

The winner in the “Do as I say, not as I do” category is this demonstration of table-saw kickback.  The gentleman who made it states that there are a lot of people who will say he is an idiot for making this video, and that these people would be right.

Most of us who use power tools on a regular basis are aware that they can be dangerous, but we can tend to get lax in our precautions, taking short cuts or using a tool in a manner not condoned in the 37 pages of !!!CAUTIONS!!! seemingly contained in every owner’s manual. Do you always wear your safety glasses when you should? How about that hearing protection? Ever reach just a liiiitle bit further off the ladder than you should, rather than get down and move it over two feet?  Any protective mechanisms missing from YOUR table saw? Yeah, me too. And most of the time we get away with it. Here’s a good example of WHY all those safety warnings are in those owner’s manuals; it’s a good, sobering one to watch for anyone who uses a table saw.

So THAT’S Why They Call Them Choppers!

A few months back, I did a review of a Husqvarna chainsaw. My chainsaw skills are adequate—I can take down a tree and turn it into a nice stack of cordwood for the woodstove. My artistic abilities, however, could charitably be described as somewhere in the range of nonexistent to pathetic.

Out in the wide world beyond firewood, however, is the realm of those who look at a big tree and see something a bit sportier; a bench, an eagle, a garden gnome—or a Harley-Davidson Sportster. There may be those who would quibble and say that sculpting with a chainsaw is not woodworking. I say whether you carve with a chisel or a chainsaw, skill and a good eye (neither of which I possess) are required, and if you make something beautiful or amazing out of a raw chunk of wood, you’re a woodworker in MY book. Aside from which, I generally think it’s a bad idea to piss off people who are adept with a chainsaw…(By the way, yes, I KNOW this isn’t a chopper. It’s called creative license, dammit.)

On A Smaller Scale…

If you’re looking for somebody with bandsaw skills, this guy’s got ‘em. What’s amazing is that he also still has all his fingers. This video doesn’t appear to have been sped up, and he works so quickly, and with his fingers so close to the blade, that you can’t help but cringe. Seems like a big chance to take, considering the final product, but nobody asked me…

If these videos have inspired you to dive into a safer and more conventional woodworking project, swing by our sponsor Rockler’s local store or hop on and get equipped. Just don’t be disappointed that they don’t sell vehicle axles for wood turning, and don’t forget your safety gear!

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About Phil

Phil’s path to the pinnacle of success as HomeFixated’s Senior Writer was long and twisted. At various stages of his life, he worked as a framing carpenter, attended motorcycle mechanics school, served as an Army MP, did a hot and itchy stint installing insulation in Phoenix, owned and operated a small contracting firm doing residential renovations, and worked as an employee of a major airline (Motto: We’re not happy ‘til YOU’RE not happy). He is currently semi-retired, but continues to take on little projects, such as the total renovation of an old farmhouse. Yes, he is a slow learner. Future projects include a teardown restoration of his 1965 BMW motorcycle, and designing and building a kick-ass playhouse for his grandsons. Phil loves spending time outdoors, hanging out with family and friends, cool tools, and a cold IPA when beer o'clock rolls around.

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9 thoughts on “Five Woodworking Projects You DON’T Want to Try at Home!”

    • Hi Eric. That sounds pretty scary. Fires from heat guns (typically from paint stripping projects) are unfortunately not uncommon. Hope everyone and everything was OK.

    • Yep. A 15 minute compilation DVD of people doing scary, stupid stuff – and showing the consequences – might convince at least SOME equipment users to use common sense. Or not. At any rate, it wouldn’t cost much to make one and include it with every power tool, and might save someone’s fingers. Or eyes. Or life!

  1. Wow. These were really eye opening. Too bad the folks who want to take dumb short cuts won’t watch them. Should be required viewing for someone buying a piece of equipment.

    • Indeed. There are a lot of people out there wading in the shallow end of the gene pool. I reckon that’s why most owner’s manuals have more WARNINGS! than actual instructions; they know most people won’t read them, but at least they tried. CYA!

  2. A few of these took an extra dose of crazy to perform. Not for me; I tend to not take chances, because I’m pretty sure I’m alergic to serious injuries. Plus, I know first-hand that they can be ridiculously unpleasant.


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