Production Upgrades

April 26th, 2017

Wireless Lavalier Microphone

I recently upgraded my video production equipment to include a wireless lavalier microphone (lav mic) and an external monitor.  I purchased the lav mic for dialogue segments only to reduce/eliminate reverb (which was a big problem for me).  I have both my wireless lav receiver and my shotgun mic camera mounted and I can easily switch between them depending on what I’m shooting at the time. For woodworking steps w/o speech I’ll use the shotgun mic.

External Monitor

A while back I purchased an external monitor for playback and for setting up shots, but unfortunately I haven’t been able to use it until now.  I needed a good way to mount the monitor on my crane. Initially I tried mounting the monitor on top of my camera, but this produced too much weight which needed to be counter balanced at the other end of the crane.  I could easily counter balance the weights fine, however the large weights on either end of the crane created too much camera shake (it took too long for the camera to stabilize after moving it).  I decided to instead mount the monitor at the fulcrum of the crane so that the weight of the monitor would not be a factor.  This required me to purchase an HDMI coupler to connect the video out from the camera to the center of the crane using an additional HDMI cable; the HDMI cable travels through the top square tube of the crane.  An added benefit of the monitor is that it has an audio out jack for headphones which will enable me to monitor the audio from the wireless system for any problems captured during dialogue.

Just like my woodshop tools, my production equipment continues to evolve.

Tilting Drill Press Vise

April 16th, 2017

There have been several instances when I needed a tilting drill press vise in the past, but I didn’t have one.  After searching the web for examples I came across a steel version that I really liked, so I used the design as a starting point for mine.

With the exception of the screws and metal threaded rod, mine is made entirely from wood.  I purchased a 1″ tap and die several years ago and I still keep finding uses for it, and this project is another example of its usefulness.  I made the vise in two days, including filming, from scrap lumber that I had on hand.  You can watch the build video here.

If you’d like to build your own I have the plans available for a small fee that might make things a little easier for you.  If I inspired you to make your own without the plans, please consider purchasing the plans anyway as a means of supporting what I do here at GW.

Chisel Bevel Gauge

March 26th, 2017

Out of sheer laziness and cheapness I decided to make a bevel setting gauge for my chisel honing guide.  In the past I would place the chisel in the honing guide and eyeball the correct placement in the honing guide for my bevel; it was usually hit or miss and would require readjusting.

The bevel angle setting gauge was designed to work with my honing guide and the basic idea was taken from commercial examples.  I will most likely draw pencil lines for my most commonly used bevel angles alongside the ‘chisel stop’.

A 1/4″ channel was created in a piece of hardwood for a ‘chisel stop’ to travel.  The ‘chisel stop’ has a 1/4″ slot with a 1/4″ piece of wood glued in place which will travel in the 1/4″ channel.  A piece of threaded rod was placed through a hole in the ‘chisel stop’ and inserted into a threaded insert in the ‘chisel stop’ (two nuts were used to lock the ‘chisel stop’ onto the threaded rod).  A nut on the opposite side of the channel component (epoxied into a piece of wood for a knob) will lock the setting.


Pencil marks next to the ‘chisel stop’ will define my most commonly used bevel angles: