Conservation 2016

This is a little late, but I want to share what we accomplished for conservation in 2016! If you were not aware, I donate a portion of each purchase to conservation and this year I chose to give through Rain Forest Trust. I chose them because their administrative costs are funded by private donors allowing our contribution to go 100% to protecting land, trees, and endangered wildlife! Also, they are rated 4 stars (the highest) by Charity Navigator and are well regarded among the multitudes of conservation organizations.

They allow you to chose specifically which project you want your donation to go to, and I chose to help protect land in Papua New Guinea for several reasons!

  1. this gave the greatest acreage impact per dollar given at the time
  2. the program was in partnership with heavily invested local community organizations
  3. much of the land being protected was still virgin old growth
  4. the endangered Tree Kangaroos there are just so cute!

Amazingly we were able to financially provide for the procurement of 120 acres!!!!! Even more exciting, there was a matching donor at the time who donated to triple that amount, bringing the total land purchased to 360 acres!!! 

Here is the certificate of thanks from The Rain Forest Trust:

Feel free to print and save this to remember your part in this!

I cannot thank you enough for your willingness to support my work and my efforts in conservation! I hope to do more every year and find amazing local and global organizations to support to make as large of an impact as possible as a way of remembering the amazing and beautiful resource trees are, both for woodworking, but also for the environment and for our happiness in enjoying their shade and beauty!

I welcome any suggestions for future organizations that you have an interest in supporting for this next year's conservation efforts in the comments below!

Senco vs. Milwaukee cordless nailers

If you are like me, then efficiency is everything, mostly because you don't like to cleanup! So, putting away a compressor, hoses, and oiling guns, while also having to climb over a hose while working in a shop environment can get quite annoying. I've been moving down the path toward cordless nailers for awhile now, and a few weeks ago, I won an incredibly generous instagram contest from Tool Barn (@tool_barn) and Jason Mollack of JPM Construction (@jpmcontructioninc) for a cordless Milwaukee 18 gauge brad nailer. 

I already had a Senco cordless 15 gauge angled finish nailer that I purchased from my friend Josh, who always has good tool deals available, that I've been running for awhile now and have been quite happy with.

While this is not a great comparison since the guns are not in the same class, each brand's line is similar in build and operation so I thought I'd do a side by side comparison for you and highlight the weaknesses and strengths of each for those looking into cordless nailers.

Here is a side by side of the two nailers, they are roughly similar in size, but the Senco is a finish nailer and the Milwaukee is a brad nailer.

Weight: Both of these have a 2 amp hour battery, but the Senco weighs almost a pound less.

Feel: the balance and ergonomics of the Senco are much nicer, making the weight difference seem even greater, although the MIlwaukee is not uncomfortable.

Nails: Senco recommends only using Senco brand nails with their nailers (and this is supported by user reviews), and while their cost is not any greater, you have to always plan ahead or, like me, keep several thousand nails on hand in every length. I'm in a shop environment so this is of little consequence, but for someone in the field this could present difficulties. The Milwaukee works great with pretty much any brand

Setting: The Milwaukee has a much more satisfying sound than the Senco, and the depth adjustment is very even and smooth. The Senco is a little sensitive, and it has so much power, sometimes it can't be backed off enough for lighter work and drives too deep on its most shallow setting.

Misfires: I have run about 1,000 brads/nails through each of these and have yet to have a misfire in either, that's pretty solid!

Battery life: I have not shot more than 500 nails in one run with either, and the expected number is approx. 2,000 per charge on both of these. Remaining battery life at 500 suggests they will easily hit that if not significantly more.

Belt Hook: Senco wins this by a mile, I don't mind either placement, but the thin edges on the Milwaukee seem to catch on other things and rivets on my jeans, etc. the Senco just feels better.

Nose: Milwaukee wins this by a mile, providing better site lines, softer, smaller for better nail placement. The Senco is too large and doesn't provide a good approach to specific nail placement.

Magazine: I like both, the all metal Senco feels great is super smooth, doesn't add much weight and is quite strong, important for something so exposed on a nailer to take a beating. I didn't expect to like Milwaukee's, it appears to be a glass reinforced nylon plastic, but it glides quite smoothly and the lock mechanism is strong but easy to use.

Jam clearing: While I haven't has to clear a jam yet, the Milwaukee opens much more easily and I suspect it will be easier to clear, but I cannot confirm until I experience a jam. The Senco isn't difficult but it isn't the easiest to open either.

Other thoughts: The button on the Milwaukee takes too long to turn on and off, its quite hard to depress, but holding for 6 seconds is a bit much, choose one or the other to prevent it from accidentally turning on. The Milwaukee sounds and feels much more solid and like it will hold up to more abuse in the long run, but that isn't necessarily true. Milwaukee is a complete cordless tool line, whereas Senco only has nailers and a few other things, so for some, going with an existing platform will be a decision maker.

Please let me know if you have specific questions about either nailer! Hope this helps if you are looking at some of these cordless nailers! Matt


First Women's Whiskey and Wood

This past Saturday marked the first ever Women's Whiskey and Wood and it was quite impressive! Ive hosted many Men's Whiskey and Wood nights, but because of my wife's schedule and wanting to honor her by not spending a night drinking with a shop full of women, the shop hadn't had one until now, when my wife was able to host!

I was thoroughly impressed with these women, they came to WORK! It was a small group, but they dominated the shop! Yen completed 90% of a through mortise and tenon live edge bench:

Yen using a router to cut out a through mortise.

And Kayleigh made these stave card holders for rummy:

Kayleigh's whiskey barrel card holders.

Elizabeth made a cool wine barrel stave wine rack that had somewhat of a Greene and Greene /Asian theme to it, and there were some cool children's toys made as well! The women showed up the men that come regularly and i was most impressed by their desire and willingness to learn and their readiness to work with and learn some of the more intimidating tools in the shop! I look forward to hosting more Women's whiskey and wood nights with my wife, I had a wonderful time!

Working in the shop full steam ahead! The shop dogs even had joined in the fun.

I hope you'll consider joining us for a Whiskey and Wood night in the future, a men's a women's or one of our new couples nights we will be announcing soon!

-Sincerely, Matt and Jodi