Hello! My name is Rex.

I like making things ... and writing about what I make.

When people ask me what I like to make, I usually answer "sawdust" or "chips" depending on what tool I'm using at the time. Other valid answers include:

  • Tools
  • Machines
  • Parts for tools or machines
  • Jigs and fixtures to hold tools and parts for tools ...

It's a very meta hobby.


I started with woodworking shortly after getting married. My wife is Japanese and we lived in the Osaka area for a while, so I grew interested in Japanese wordworking tools (大工道具) . Embarassingly, it took me a few decades to actually learn how to use the the Japanese tools I'd acquired.

At some point I also started to dabble in instrument making (though I've only actually finished a couple of ukuleles, I'm still hopeful that I'll eventually finish a matched pair of Weissborn lap guitars before I die.)

At some point, I started making a few tools to assist with making instruments. This led to my interest in metalworking: machine tools, metrology, and machine rebuilding in particular (I've participated in a few of the wonderful classes that Richard King holds periodically).

This in turn introduced me to a bunch of like-minded metalworking hobbyists in the Sacramento Valley Hobby Machinists group. Those reprobates led me further down the rabbit hole.

In addition to a bunch of woodworking machines (tablesaw, bandsaw, 6" jointer, and tabletop thickness planer) I've somehow managed to acquire a 1947 Montgomery Wards (Logan) Lathe, an offshore benchtop vertical mill, and a sixties era Gorton P1-2 pantograph engraver. That last has become my favorite machine of all.

More recently, a friend finally taught me how to tune up my Japanese handplanes (). This rekindled my interest in Japanese woodworking tools and especially measurement/layout techniques (called 規矩術 or the art of measurement).

About the site

This site was built using svelte and SvelteKit. I created it originally with Astro but decided to rewrite it entirely in SvelteKit once 1.0 was released (nothing wrong with Astro, I just like tinkering).

I stole some ideas from a template by Maxi Ferreira and the Pico CSS Framework, though I've recently switched entirely to Open Props.

The source code for this site is available in this github repository for anyone that might like to poke around. I wrote a bit about the site in my inaugural blog post.

Contact info

I'm not much for social media, but I can be reached at rw@pobox.com. I'm also @wrexrrw on X (née Twitter).

I am occasionally active on the Hobby Machinist forum, and can be found under my own name. That's probably the best way to reach me if you wish to discuss anything on this site with me.