Are you a Microwave Maker or a Crockpot Creator?

Guy walks into a bar, sees an unfamilar pretty girl, sits down next to pretty girl, and asks her to marry him. We all know how this story ends, with a laugh and hopefully not a restraining order.

That said, let’s talk about something everyone asks about, brand relations. How does one strike up a conversation with brands that we all see when we walk into Home Depot, Lowes, etc. Does it look like the guy walking into the bar or is there more to it? To figure this out, let’s talk a little bit about life and meal prep.

From day one of Gingerwoodworks my goal was to be me, in all the oddly unique ways that God has put me together and shaped me. I never dreamt of anything more than simply to showing my kids how to work hard, set goals and achieve them. Success here for me is defined simply by remaining true to whom I was from Day one.

I wanted to become what I Like to refer to as a “Crockpot Creator”, placed on simmer and slowly taking in all of the various flavors of social media. I wanted to always be trying new things, exploring my talents, finding my areas for growth, and ensuring I was working to grow them. I wanted to build relationships with other makers, understand what makes them tic. I wanted to engage with brands, understand what their story was and the direction they were headed.

I always wanted to avoid being a “Microwave Maker” who was here today, gone tomorrow. Quick to interact with a brand, and even quicker to move on to another. Much like a microwave, used for convience and a quick meal. It is not in me to be in a space such as social media without building relationships with other makers and brands on a personal level.

All that to say this, when it comes to partnering with brands, do a few things for yourself right now.

  1. Identify who you are and the direction you want to take your pages
  2. Research the brands that you are spending money on and commit to building relationships with them the old fashion way, using their products.
  3. Focus on becoming a “Crockpot Creator” not a “Microwave Maker

In the end, the guy at the bar could have introduced himself in so many more ways. Taking a chance that the person he was is what she was looking for. Work on figuring out who you are, because when you begin a relationship with a brand they want to know its the right fit and you are here for the long haul.


To Haiti and Beyond…

Influence can be defined simply as having an impact on someones character or behavior. Each post that comes from me through any of my feeds is carefully considered. I consider what brands I partner with, the language I chose to use, and the message I wish to convey. That being said, Gingerwoodworks swag has always placed my heart in a proverbial pickle.

For a while now I have resisted the urge to create and promote Gingerwoodworks swag. I didn’t want to make money selling various swag. All that changed in January when I realized that I could support my oldest sons Mission Trip to Haiti with any profit from the swag. You see, in June of 2019 our son, along with a group of High School Students from The Chapel at Crosspoint will be headed to Haiti.

Each dollar from the Bonfire campaigns in January and February has already been committed to funding his trip. Each dollar raised from the sale of Shirts through Joysofthread will also be used to fund his trip.

That being said I have also worked within the community of makers as best as I could to ensure the swag being made was also a blessing to a fellow maker. Below are a few links to some swag that has been created with my logo on it. Each item can be purchased through these talented makers and will only serve to profit these makers or at this time my sons Mission Trip to Haiti this summer.

In closing today I urge you all to spend your days using the influence you have to do great things. Be safe out there!

Rusty River Leather has created this wonderful Leather Logo Mug
Joysofthread has created this wonderful T-shirt also available in a Tank $10 from each shirt going towards my sons Mission Trip
Mancrafting has created these sweet Yeti mugs as well, which $5 of each will go towards my sons Missions trip

Atlas46 Gear

Raise your hand if you have used a tool belt and spent the rest of the night wondering why your hips and back are killing you in spots you didn’t know existed.   How about spending countless hours looking for your tools that you “just had in your hand” and now they have mysteriously disappeared into that same world your socks must go to the second they enter the laundry bin.    Between sore hips and missing tools I had enough!

The first thing I needed to do was check out the Atlas 46 feed and decide which gear would suit my style and my projects.  I quickly fell in love with the Aims Saratoga NSN Kit.   This kit came with all the basics to get started, the drill holster, a magnetic patch, a fastener pouch, and a multi-purpose pouch.   I added an Atlas 46 flag patch because I liked the look, a pencil pouch, and the magnetic drill bit patch.

Upon getting my Saratoga Vest It took me a few days of working in the shop to get my AIMS attachments in places that seemed functional to me and didn’t leave me stabbed by a pencil when I leaned over.  I was able to quickly adjust the side straps so the vest fit nicely over a sweatshirt or a t-shirt.  I recommend wearing a Sweatshirt when adjusting the straps to give yourself a little room.  Side note, once your wearing a t-shirt and have just had a decent sized lunch, your vest will still fit nicely.

Whether I am working in the shop or out of the shop, having all of my essential tools on my person has been a real time saver.  I’ve lost less tape measures, pencils and drill bits.   My overall work flow is substantially better, not having to spend time searching for lost tools or heading back to the shop for more tools as I can fill my vest at the start of the project with whatever I need.

One night a couple weeks back I decided to do a little experiment and not wear my vest.  I simply left it hanging 10 feet away.  After about 30 minutes of wasting time walking back and forth to my vest for everything from my pencil to my Kershaw Knife I keep on there I had to put my vest on or risk going crazy.

Atlas 46 has been one of my favorite brands to partner with since day one for many reasons, but the real hook that sunk its teeth into my heart strings was when my Saratoga Tool Roll showed up in the Declaration of Independence box that Atlas uses.   In my shop, I try to make an effort to support as many small businesses, American Made and community minded companies as I can.

Here are a few links to my Affiliate page and my Instagram Account to check out my gear…. As always have a wonderful week!

Atlas 46 gear Affiliate Account

Action Shot of Saratoga Vest

Building a Table Top

Trampoline Assembly with Saratoga Tool Roll

Ginger Challenge 2018 Project Video

 

 

 

Kayak Storage Build with Bora Tools

Last fall, I was faced with a huge problem, three problems to be exact. We had 3 kayaks in the garage/shop and once the snow started flying I needed all the space I could get in the garage to work. For the winter, I was able to store the kayaks in our shed with all our other bikes and outdoor gear, but that wasn’t suitable come spring. Many of us are working around bikes, toys and watercrafts, so needed a solution that was fitting for 4 seasons.

Come spring I started measuring and sketching out some plans in my Log and Jotters. By May, Bora Tools jumped on board with me to make this project a reality, and Spax Screws sent some screws out to be part this party!  So, armed with my Centipede supports, WTX edge Cut guide and 50 inch clamps it was go time!

First I created a work space top for my Centipede Support using some 1/2 inch plywood.  I ripped that down using the WTX Cut Guide right at the job site.   Once my work space was set up, I was on to the project.

Building behind my shed had some limitations as my neighbors fence line is fairly close, leaving little room to work with.  That being said, I decided to build face frames for each end of the Kayak rack.  This allowed me to place each face frame at either side of the shed, and then assemble my Kayak rack in its permanent location.

Once the Face frames where complete I was able to run the 117 inch 2 by 4’s from one face frame to another.   I used 4 runners on the top and the bottom and 3 in the two middle sections.

Here are a few links to my Instagram feed depicting this process.

Centipede Support work space

Face Frame Build with Bora 50 inch Clamps

Kayak Storage Pictures

Kayak Storage Usage

 

Materials List:

19- 2x4x10 Treated lumber

6- 10 foot deck boards- treated

2lbs of Spax 3 1/2 inch exterior screws

50 pack of Blue Kote Kreg Screws

 

Cut List:

Cut the 2×4’s as follows

8 – 32 inches (horizontal beams for face frames)

4 – 80 inches ( vertical beams for face frames)

3 –  34 inches ( joist support for roof)

14 – 117 inches ( runners between face frames for frame/kayak support)

 

Deck Boards- leave at 10 feet

 

 

 

 

Any questions message me here or at Gingerwoodworks@gmail.com

 

 

 

Carbide Create Software

Once you assemble your CNC the next step is learning the software.  After about 3 weeks, I can say that learning the software and how to convert files to SVG has had its difficulties but for someone who isn’t currently using these programs for my employment its fairly straight forward.  First off, SVG stands for Scalable Vector Graphics and for most of us our picture files show up as JPEG.  SVG files are 2-dimension files which allow for carving and cutting.  Like many of you who are currently considering buying a CNC machine the learning curve on the software weighed heavily on my mind.

My approach from the beginning of this journey with my CNC has been simple, learn it in stages, get better each day.  I of course got giddy when I realized I could carve my own logo, which I happened to already have the SVG file for.  So, the first thing I did out of the box was launch Carbide Create, input my logo, set the tool path and feel like a complete failure when nothing looked remotely like the Ginger Wood Works logo we all know and most of us love.

At this point I stepped back, reevaluated my skill set, and reminded myself of my plan to learn on each project.  I took a look at the sign that was mangled and realized it was way to small, and my bit was too large.  More on Bits in a future blog.  Next I decided that I was going to design some local themed signs that maybe my friends and family would be interested in supporting this new hobby.   I found a Buffalo silhouette and went to town creating some unique Buffalo NY designs.

My theory was correct, make some local signs, offer them up to friends and family and test the market.  I did this while learning how to design, upload, convert and carve each of these different designs.  Here I was learning the software, while showing myself that there is surely a large market just with your aunts, uncles and High School friends.

Stay tuned, because in the next couple blogs I’m going to speak to carving bits, new ideas I have coming, and how I am going about making this machine pay for itself, a topic I know many of you out there want to hear about!

 

 

 

 

Shapeoko Assembly

When my Shapeoko XXL arrived on my doorstep I was both excited and anxious. Now that it had arrived it was time to assemble it. The first thing you notice when you begin opening the large box your machine is in is that its filled with smaller boxes which are clearly labeled. There is no confusion as to what is in each box.  Here is a link to my Instagram showing the boxes lined up.    Once the boxes were laid out, I went to work assembling the base and each axis.  The instructions provided by Carbide 3d are impeccable.  Each Step has detailed instructions, Pro Tips, and things to be cautious about.  You can take a look at the instructions here.

Assembly for me took around 4 hours total, which was mainly because I was taking my time, learning the machine, the parts, really diving into the directions so I knew what I was working with.  This came in handy in the next phase of assembly.  I will refer to this as the period of time where I was able to test out the Carbide Support teams ability to help me troubleshoot some electrical problems the machine was having.  Out of the box, it was determined that I received a bad power supply, which Carbide is aware of and is quickly working to rectify a bad shipment of power supply’s they received from a vendor.  In my case, it ended up damaging the control board which the Carbide Support team of Meg and Will were able to identify simply from my videos and pictures of my machine.

Once the power supply and controller where replaced the machine struggled to find home.  For those not familiar with this process, consider the Claw machine at your local Game Room, each time you have finished trying to grab the prize, it returns to the starting location.  The culprit was simple, the X and Z axis motors had been accidently packaged wrong.  Jorge at Support quickly identified the symptoms and gave me an easy fix to this, swapping the X and Z wires in the controller.

Its always been my opinion that in every product there will be things to work through.   Although eager to get cutting and some frustrations grew as I worked through the trouble shooting, I was impressed by the Carbide Support teams ability to diagnose and fix my assembly problems.   I should note that each time Carbide3d identified a faulty part they overnighted me the parts to rectify my concern.

In closing, the assembly process is pretty fool proof.  Carbide3d pre-assembles the motors, has the wiring harnesses ready click into place, and as stated everything is labeled clearly.  Having watched others struggle with CNC machines built by other companies I can say that I did not feel I needed an engineering degree to get my cutter up and moving.   I must note that this machine was sent out to me by Carbide3d with the opportunity to review and use this machine.

 

Here is a link directly to the Shapeoko XXL for your to check out the machine I have. 

 

 

 

Mobile Planer Stand Scrap Wood project

Every piece of equipment in my shop has to be mobile, and multi-functioning. I also enjoy using scrap wood to make cool storage and work spaces. With those things in mind, I created the mobile planer stand. This things got wheels, lights and a whole lot of space for #stickerswap fun. The plan is to store the planer underneath when not in use to give myself an additional space to work on. Below are the scrap pieces I used, as well as some links to grab the parts I did actually pay for.  This Mobile stand was created using Kreg Jig Pocket holes to join the pieces accurately and effectively.  For questions on assembly, feel free to connect with my on Instagram and Facebook both links are on my home page! Happy Building.

 

Here is a link to check out the Kreg Jig products and get started on this build.   https://www.kregtool.com/store/c13/kreg-jigsreg/

*4 pieces either 2 by 4 or 2 by 6 wood for the vertical frame.

* 3 pieces of 17 inch long 2 by 4 for the under side of the cart

* 2 pieces of 24 inch 2 by 4 also for the under side of the cart.

* 1 sheet of 1/4 plywood to cover the outside and the bottom shelf- cut into three pieces of 24 inches, by 19inches. as well as 1 piece for bottom shelf that is cut to size.

* 24 inch by 24 inch piece of 3/4 inch plywood for the top of the cart

* 4 wheels, with brakes- http://www.homedepot.com/p/Everbilt-2-in-Soft-Rubber-Swivel-Plate-Caster-with-90-lb-Load-Rating-and-Side-Brake-49509/203661074

* LED lights- https://www.samsclub.com/sams/accent-lights-multi-color/prod19542442.ip?xid=plp:product:1:1

Privacy Garden Planter- Kreg Jig

In the early spring I was asked by a friend to solve a problem. You see, this friend lives on a corner lot, with a fairly short chain link fence. When you spend time enjoying your backyard you want some privacy. So he and his wife asked for some privacy Garden Planters. He wanted them tall enough and large enough to let he and his family enjoy a nice meal without feeling like the whole neighborhood was joining the feast.  The framing of this planter is put together entirely using the K4 Pocket hole system by Kreg jig and 2 1/2 Blue Kote screws designed for indoor/outdoor use.   This Planter was done using treated lumber, once it dries, it can be painted or stained.  If Cedar is available in your area that would be a wonderful option as well.  Using only 4- 2x4x10’s, 13- 6 foot Dog Eared fence posts, 1 piece of Lattice and some screws you can add this nice piece to your backyard oasis.   So whether its privacy or adding another spot to cultivate your green thumb, make sure to check out my plans which are sponsored by Kreg Jig at BuildSomething.com.

 

To check out my all of the products that Kreg Jig has to offer including the K4 system head to  https://www.kregtool.com/store/c13/kreg-jigsreg/

 

 

To check out my Build plans, head here

https://www.buildsomething.com/plans/PF7D8AEFFB1999389/Garden-Planter-

 

 

 

 

Router magic

When I get new tools, the first thing I do is watch endless YouTube videos by guys like Adam at LazyGuyDIY and Zach over at Southern Ginger Workshop to figure out what sort of cool things I can do with them. One of the most recent adds to my tool collection is a Compact Router, which I like to use for making signs. So, why not share the fun and give you all some tips on using your shiny new compact Router. Go grab yourself a 1/8 inch by 3/8 inch Carbide Straight Router bit at Home Depot for about 18 bucks (plus tax) and let’s get carving!

 

1. Insert the bit so you have about 1/4 inch in depth for cut.

2. Print a sweet image on your everyday, handy-dandy printer.

3. Glue the image onto your surface using Titebond wood glue, let sit a few hours, preferably overnight. (leaving it sit will allow the glue to fully set, thus avoiding parts of your image from ripping off)

4. Using your compact router with your bit already set, trace the image with your router, counter clockwise to keep it nice and clean (as always, make sure to use your favorite goggles for protection).

5. After you have finished routing out your image, use 60 grit sand paper (I prefer Gator Finishing) to remove the remaining glue and paper.

6. Clean out the image using a small chisel.

7. Grab a handy can of black/dark colored spray paint and spray the image.

8. Once the paint is dry, remove the excess paint on the surface with 60 grit sand paper.

9. Once you have sanded the sign, stain, paint, or finish it to your desired preference!

 

*Bonus step: Tag @GingerWoodWorks in a post with your finished product so I can check out your efforts!

Sponges Aren’t Just For Dishes Anymore

Raise your hand if you are sick of cutting sandpaper to fit your sanding block, or a 2 x 4 that you’ve fashioned into a DIY sanding block. The struggle we all have is that the paper rips after about three seconds. Enter sanding sponges. I use the Gator Finishing line myself. Mostly because they hold up longer, offer a protective coating which stands up to the heat of sanding, and they don’t offer those silly honeycomb shapes that another nameless brand patented. Speaking of that honeycomb shape, I prefer my sanding to be even and seamless, which you get with Gator sponges. They have an angled edge which is helpful in reaching those tough spots deep in the corner. One of my favorite uses of the sponges are for smaller, more delicate projects that lend themselves to more careful sanding. I have been working on a custom display box that presented me with the need for Gator sponges. I didn’t think going at it with a beastly orbital sander was going to leave my piece happily smooth. If you have seen these sponges in any of my pictures or Instagram stories and are wondering where to pick them up, I will end the blog with some places you can find them. As always, if you are not certain about where you can find these products or wish they were available in your area, make sure to send Gator Finishing a message on Instagram!

 

Happy Sanding.

 

Gator Finishing products are available at:

Walmart
Ace Hardware
Lowes