Lumberjocks.com is great for general inspiration, for getting new project ideas, and for discovering and learning new techniques. The highlight, most certainly, is the “Projects” area where users share pictures and descriptions of things they’ve built. These range from rings and pendants to entire kitchens and caskets, so definitely there’s something for everyone. Some of the posts have little more that a couple of photos, while a few contain detailed write-ups about materials, tools and techniques that can be invaluable.
The site also does a very good job of making someone with only a Dremel and a couple of handsaws feel hopelessly outclassed, and it can make an itch for e.g. a band saw darn near uncontrollable. You’ve been warned!
Dremel Weekends is a website operated by Bosch, the company that makes Dremel tools. It is not overly sales-oriented, though, and can give one a few good ideas for something fairly quick and interesting to do, with or without Dremel equipment. The site includes projects that are particularly suited to all the tools in the Dremel line-up, not only their rotary tools. However, a little improvisation will let you make just about anything there regardless of which tool you have in your arsenal. Proof of this is my Bento Box, which was based on Dremel Weekends’ suggestion for the Saw-Max, but which was made with the Dremel 4000 and a handsaw.
The Visual Tools Guide is an old but still very useful thread on the bit-tech.net forums. It consists of user-submitted pictures of various tools, ranging from the simplest manual implements to the complex motorized apparatuses. Among other things, it was there that I found out the English name of the fret saw, and discovered the existence of the corner clamp – a thing that looks mighty useful for putting together frames and boxes.
Here’s something else I thought might make for a useful category of posts – pages that I have found to contain practical and interesting info for an amateur Dremel-er / woodworker / handyman / etc. First up, for no other reason than I have found it most recently, is woodsmithtips.com. Put together by Woodsmith and ShopNotes magazines, this is a site with frequently published tips and tricks for those working with wood. The current pair of tips concern trimming wood plugs with a block plane and keeping one’s chisels sharp – neither is particularly useful for me at the moment, as I have neither a block plane nor a single chisel, but interesting to see nonetheless. It is possible to subscribe to receive future tips by email.
Note: When I was browsing the site a few days ago, I somehow managed to access the index of past tips, but now can’t figure out how I did it. If you find the way, please share!