Welcome to

My Favorite...

  • Lumber suppliers
    1. Austin Hardwoods
    2. Bohnhoff Lumber
    3. Reprise Hardwoods--I just discovered them at my annual woodworking show and they have spectacular figured grain woods.  They are able to search out beautifully figured woods from hundreds of logs destined to become paper!  I think this will become my new favorite supplier. 
  • Woodworking television shows
    1. Woodworks with David Marks--seen on the DIY network
    2. The New Yankee Workshop
  • Wood species
    1. Cherry (At first I was pretty annoyed with how easily cherry burned during saw cuts.  But after working with it all the way through a project (and seeing how it took on an oil finish), I really appreciate how wonderful a wood it really is.
    2. Maple (Quilted maple is my new favorite, but curly or birdseye grain still hold a place for future furniture designs--hopefully my first experience working with the figured variety won't be too much of a headache because I love the finished product I see)
    3. Lyptus (I scored some curly grained lyptus--still carry that fact as a badge of honor)
    4. Jatoba (Nice color and straight grain, but extremely heavy)
    5. Walnut (I've heard walnut dust is toxic, which ironically makes sense because the smell of fresh cut walnut in the shop air is rather intoxicating)
    6. Anything with curly, birdseye, or quilted grain (By far, the most amazing quilted grain I've seen was in a magazine showing quilted mahogany!   I'm sure its extremely rare and expensive, so for now, quilted maple more that satisfies my need to use beautifully figured wood).
  • Rocking Chair Plans
Hal Taylor RockersI just purchased a set of plans and other instructional items from Hal's site and can't wait to get started.  I usually never use anyone's plans let alone make my own detailed plans before I build start a project.  But I felt I needed to really save myself the time, effort, and lumber that would be required if I learned how to make a rocker through trial and error.  Let me tell you that Hal's book and dvd (a whopping 10 hours worth) are incredibly detailed and he really does share a lot of information (including tricks of the trade) that quite frankly other instructional materials do not.  I'm anxiously reading and watching all the materials and will update my progress on the rocker when I get started. 
  • Clamps:
    1. Bessey K-Body
    2. Bessey Tradesman F-bar
    3. Bessey Vario Strap
    4. Bessey Right Angle
    5. Harbor freight pipe clamp fixtures (Performance of these clamps are pretty good, but it's the low cost that makes it one of my favorites.)  These are one of the few tools at Harbor Freight that balance good quality and great pricing.
  • Router Bits:
    1. Woodline (These seem to be great bits at a decent price).
    2. MLCS (I think of these bits as my economy brand supplier that provides great value for the buck.  My first set of router bits were these bits).
    3. CMT (It must be something appealing about the color orange--they seem like premium bits--I think of them highly, but maybe it's b/c I had to pay an arm and a leg to get a couple of them).
  • Hand tools:
    1. Lie-Nielsen Low Angle Rabbetting Block Plane
    2. Ashley Isles and Marples Chisels
    3. Lie- Nielsen Low Angle Smoothing Plane
    4. Hand Scraper
    5. Lee Valley Tri-Burnisher:  I use it to create a burr on my hand scraper and also to burnish end grain--I learned this trick from school.
    6. Wooden 55 degree Smoothing Plane made in The New Chinky Workshop!
  • Magazines
    1. Fine Woodworking
    2. Wood Magazine
    3. Popular Woodworking
  • Travel

    1. Southern Crossings:  If you're thinking about visiting Central or South America, this IS the company to stick with.  I picked them because I figured National Geographic Adventure magazine wouldn't let just anyone take out an ad in their magazine.  I'm so glad I booked my trip with them.  Great service and not once did I feel like I was stuck with one of those cookie cutter, crappy tours.
  • Guitar Effect Pedals
  1. Cheaper Pedals - Great site for inexpensive guitar effect pedals.

  • Welding School
    1. Los Angeles Trade Technical College:   (I'm currently taking classes to become a welder--I guess I have too many interests, but I'm planning on somehow integrating this welding knowledge to my woodworking.  So far, I've been able to make (with the help of my welding instructor) a mobile base for my new 600 lbs. jointer/planer.  By the way, that old proverb that if you want something done right, you have to do it yourself proved true here.  My amateur designed mobile base works better than any commercial one I've bought or tested. 

This is a shot of the L.A. skyline right at sunrise.  You can make out the Staples Center on the left.  The reflection of sunlight in the middle of the photo was just pure luck.  No smog on this day!

A bunch us (students) at LATTC's welding program are currently working on a display to show what the welding program is all about.  Here's what we've got so far.  Almost everything here was welded together or fabricated in the welding shop.






















(Left)  This side view provides a nice shot of the crane.  The crane arm was made entirely out of welding rod.  The staircases were made out of sheet metal and crimped into shape by a sheetmetal "bender" (I don't know the official name of it).



(Right)  This is a closeup of the crane.  Some of my classmates did a great job fabricating the steering wheel and gear shifts.  And if you look carefully,  you'll see that the driver seat sits on coiled springs.  Look at the quarter (on the driver seat) to get a sense of the size proportion.  The axle for the wheels rotate and both the crane's cab and the actual crane arm pivots 360 degrees!











One of my contributions was this model sized basic oxy-acetylene outfit.  I welded pretty much everything out of mild steel and welding/brazing rod. 


This picture is a bit deceiving, so I put a quarter in the photo to show the model's actual size.  It was too hard to round over the tops of the oxygen and acetylen cylinders using steel, so I figured wooden dowels would be much easier to fabricate.  With a little paint, no one can really tell its wood and not metal.  And with a little creative thinking I realized that green and red electrical wire is a perfect replica of what actual oxy-acetylene hoses should look like. 

Trying to gas weld such small parts (even using a double aught welding tip) was difficult.  But all in all I'm pretty happy with how this miniature model came out. 





Here's the oxy-acetylene setup hard at work.  My classmate and I spent an afternon bending and welding nine of these stick figures out of welding rod.  It was much easier to weld steel rod as opposed to yellow brazing rod.  But I insisted that, there be at least one yellow stick figure in the display (I'm the only Asian welder in the class this semester--gotta represent the New Chinky Workshop!!!) 







This stick figure is hard at work lifting some welding rod cutoffs onto this welding table.  I really like how the arms are secured to the spine of the stick figure.  By coiling up some wire in a cross pattern, I was able to make the arms swing up and down and from left to right. 















In the end, it was about the students showing their appreciation for welding.


So what do you do with hardwood plane shavings?  Here's my solution.  One of my new side hobbies is trying to grow an herb garden.  I'm not that much of a gardener, but I really want to have some flavorful ingredients on hand during the spring/summer BBQ season.  Here I planted some thyme into the ground.  I don't have much experience growing this stuff, but I noticed its foliage tends to drape down to the ground.  I wanted to prevent other weeds, grasses, etc. from crowding out the thyme.  So my leftover plane shavings serve as free mulch.  I made sure there wasn't any walnut or softwood shavings in the mix (I've heard those varieties can be harmful to some plants). 

Special thanks:

  • For my friends who have controlled their impulse to roll their eyes when I start going off on woodworking. 
  • Julia, thanks for the help on this site and for the photos--that's some fancy digital camera you got!
  • Folks at Badger Pond--who have answered a ton of my woodworking tool purchase and woodworking technique questions.  I am sad to say that Badger Pond went out of commission.  However, I've found that has been just as helpful.
  • Thanks to my family for never complaining about my new hobby.  In fact, they were so cool about it, they even had a cake specially made for the The Chinky Workshop.




Contact me at: