Happy Holidays Drivel Starved Nation!

Drivel Starved Nation!

I miss you!

I’ve had an insane year here in Portlandia and I want you to know that you will be hearing from me more frequently in 2022 beginning in March. More on that in a subsequent post.

First, two weeks ago I received a pre-production prototype of the DJ-3 Drilling Jig and it is an incredibly made improvement over version 2. The major design changes were in the bushings, the arm locking mechanism, the adjustable stop system and the overall robustness and versatility. I don’t know about delivery but it is one sweet jig that really is a drill press in a box.

As you may, or may not know, I am in the process of building a 2000 sq ft building on my property. The bottom 1000 sq. ft. will be a woodshop. The upper 1000 sq. ft. will be partly storage and a painting studio for my wife. Our plan upon completion is to open a free school for kids with the primary goal of teaching them that making things, and or, drawing and painting, is way more fun than a cell phone. I hope it works. I am not a fan of cell phones in general but particularly with kids. I think they are a destructively addictive, life sapping device that parents struggle to control. I want to teach them how to make things that will make their Moms cry, and their Dads proud. For me, this is as good as life gets. And I know you all know the feeling you get from making things. Especially with cool tools!

My absence from this Totally Awesome and Worthless Blog is due to Covid and my photography hobby. I had two trips that were canceled in 2020 that came to fruition in 2021, combined with my existing planned trips for the year. So I have been on photography trips to Botswana twice this year, Costa Rica, the NY/Jersey shore, Yellowstone and Glacier national parks, and a bird workshop on the Rio Grande in Texas. The result is approximately 180,000 images where 99.9 percent are pure crap. Below are a couple of the better ones from Botswana this past November…

I hope you all stay safe, healthy and are able to enjoy your families, friends and of course, your favorite Tool Potentate! I for one am really excited about 2022, and I hope you are too.

Warm Regards,


PS: Somehow, the link that I used to receive regarding comments no longer works. Since I don’t check this blog everyday like I should, rest assured, your posts will get approved.

And my favorite image of Hanky and Panky doing the Hanky Panky!

10 comments on this post:

  1. Wow, John! Those photographs are absolutely amazing! You must have had so much fun on your trip to Botswana.

    Your shop/studio is such a wonderful idea. FYI, we would not allow our daughter to have a cell phone until she had been accepted into a college. She actually thanked us for that, some years later. How does one get insured for a woodworking shop for kids? I know that almost everyone who took 7th grade woodshop with me ended up with a scar of some sort…

    I’m pleased that the new drilling jig has turned out so well. I doubt I’ve built anything in the last 10 years that didn’t involve a BCTW tool. Just yesterday I was using my Centerscribe to mark a plank for resawing. Your tools always bring me such pleasure: they’re beautiful, they work, and I like that I’m friends with the person who designed them.

  2. Thanks Peter.

    Regarding insurance, it’s a detail for sure that needs to be worked out.

    Actually, if I was single, and without family, I would move to Botswana, it is just an incredible place that I cannot put into words, it is an emotional connection.


  3. Hello John,

    Joe Whisenand (joe@livingdesignfoundation.org) at the Living Design Foundation here on Whidbey Island WA took over part of an empty middle school compete with a “Home-Ec” center and a large wood shop. Joe has invited woodworkers of all ages to come to the shop and make things, including kids. You might contact him to find out what the experiences have been with the younger “Dustheads”; spoiler alert: Great!
    -Bob Johnson
    Coupeville, WA

  4. Hi John,
    I live on Pete’s Mountain and my daughter, son-in-law and two grandkids live in Lake Oswego. I absolutely love your idea about teaching kids. Cell phones are a disaster. I have a basically unused JMP 2.0 that I would donate to the kid’s school/shop you are forming. I also have an extra Jim Byrnes model table saw in perfect condition up for adoption. No cost, just need someone to pick them up. Obviously, you have access to many tools. It would just feel good, for me, to help with your great endeavor. If you don’t need them for your project, maybe you know someone in the area that could put them to good use. I love all the Bridge City tools in my shop. Have a Merry Christmas and enjoy your busy retirement.

  5. Dude,

    You don’t seem to have this problem:

    Yasuhiro Wakabayashi, the photographer known as Hiro, epitomized a mentor’s mantra: “If you look into the camera and you see something you recognize, don’t click the shutter.”

    Happy holidays to you and yours.


  6. Tom,

    What a generous offer!

    My shop is at least 9 months away, so check your inbox when you get a chance and we can discuss this further via email.


  7. Hi, John. What is the correct bushing size and type for the DJ-2.

    Best, Dave

    P.S. your company email seems not to work now.

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