Last Minute Elf 2013: Tuesday

The Last Minute ElfHold on a minute… is this thing on?

OK, you have to forgive me. I’m just a trained shop monkey, and Tom left me in charge of the blog today during his big holiday building event.

Can we talk?First, let’s get one thing straight. He recently ‘finished’ the new workbench. But, as with everything he tells you, that’s not 100% true. In fact, I drew up the plans, shopped for the lumber, cut everything to size, cut the mortises and tenons, screwed the thing together. Yeah, so it’s ‘his’ bench only in the sense that it resides in the house he pays mortgage for…

Since he’s supposed to be busy building projects – but he’s inside, watching some kind of random sporting event on TV, it’s going to be up to me to get this building stuff done. So, the theme is something quick and easy, ready to be given to a lucky recipient in time for the holidays.

The wine bottle and glass caddyI know Tom knows a lot of folks who like wine, and he can’t push any more of those silly wine bottle balancers on his poor, unsuspecting family… So, I decided to ask our good friend David Picciuto of the Drunken Woodworker if it was OK for me to build one of his totally awesome wine bottle caddies. He said yes (probably because I asked, not Tom).  Thanks, David.

Choosing the woodNow, to pick out some choice hardwood for this piece. I’m thinking these two pieces of mahogany and tiger maple may do the trick. Fortunately, these projects don’t take a lot of material, so I can probably get a few of these babies out of these two boards.

The planes are tunedWith my hand planes tuned to the finest level, I threw on my Santa hat (I had to get into the spirit), put some Bing Crosby crooning Mele Kalikimaka on the stereo and set to work. I’ll show you my results later this week…

But, I would be remiss if I didn’t pick today’s winner of a Last Minute Elf reader submitted project. Today, we have a pair!

Tree OrnamentsFirst up, Charlie Baker put up an Instructable on how to make tiny tree ornaments using a band saw and a plug cutter. For a simple little project, these things make some awesome ornaments! Charlie – how would one of Infinity Cutting Tools’ six-piece router bit essentials kits look in your shop?

Christmas in a boxAnd, let’s give it up for Cindy Schmid. Her project is very heart warming. When her son was stationed in Korea, she wanted to build something for him to be able to celebrate the holiday far from home. So, she built – get ready for it – Christmas in a box.  Basically, it was a way for her son to decorate his barracks area to have a bit of a homey touch. She didn’t include a drawn out plan per se, but she did a write up about the project you can find by clicking here.  Cindy – you are going to love your prize.. because it comes from someone hairier than me.  Marc Spagnuolo is going to send you a copy of his latest book, Hybrid Woodworking, as well as a copy of his book on finishing. Hope you enjoy!

Steve Ramsey is in the holiday spirit

Today, I wanted to post a special link to someone who has taken the spirit of the Last Minute Elf to heart for years. In fact, I told Tom to check out Steve Ramsey’s (Woodworking for Mere Mortals) stuff from years past to inspire the mook. Steve has posted some awesome plans for this year that you won’t want to miss:

The best part is that he’s coming out with a new plan just about every day! Be sure to swing by his busy shop to see what new and off-the-wall ideas he has.

Remember, if you have posted a Last Minute Elf idea on your site, or see one posted somewhere, be sure to send the link to so he can post it here this week!

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