It’s been my # 1 request for quite some time, and I’ve finally gotten the first batch of chess boards out of the shop. It took a while.
Each of the boards are made with 2″ squares and a 1″ contrasting border surrounding the playing area. The border is 1″ thick, and does have non-marring rubber feet underneath to ensure a steady surface for the games.
Finish is mineral oil with a top coat of locally-harvested beeswax mixed with mineral oil. Yes, that’s the same finish as my cutting boards, and there is no real reason that these chess boards should be food ready … the oil finishes the woods in a natural coating that’s easily refreshed, so I stuck with the same procedure as the 30+ food-grade boards I was finishing in the
garage woodshop at the same time.
I am not selling chess pieces currently, though Mrs. M is already in my ear about that. If you happen to know a carver or a turner that wants to make some great chess pieces for me, I’m interested!
Chess Board # 01. Black Walnut & Red Oak squares with a Cherry border. 17″ x 17″ x 1″
Chess Board # 02. Black Walnut & Hard Maple squares with a Goncalo Alves border … AKA Tiger Wood. Perfect for spirited games.
Chess Board # 03. Mahogany & White Oak squares with a Walnut border.
Ches Board # 04. Padauk & Honey Locust Squares with a Cherry Border. Note that the orange Padauk will change over time – particularly with UV exposure – and will end up a nice warm brown.
It’s the never-ending problem in my
When I finish wood, I generate dust. Great, pervasive clouds of dust.
It drives Velda crazy. When I’m sanding, she really has no choice but to give up on housework. I become my own living version of Pigpen, and she knows that dust is going to come into the house, no matter what.
No. Matter. What.
I’ve got the big dust collection system, of course, but that is for the large tools like the Table Saw or the Drum Sander. Those tools are great as I begin to shape of the boards, and then smooth the glued-up blanks … but they have no place in finish sanding.
For that, I need hand tools. For that, I need sanding by hand. For that, I’m going to generate small dust particles, and there’s little to be done to collect that dust in my shop … so I thought I’d create my Do It Yourself Air Cleaning System.
I’ve seen this idea done with a plywood box containing the entire system, with air filters both in front of and behind the box fan. That was needless, I thought. I simply put one air filter behind the box fan so dust would be sucked onto the filter, and called it good. Come on, this is as low tech as you can get. Why complicate it with building a box to contain it?
The box fan was $40, and the filters are $4.50 each when you buy a 12-pack from Amazon. Does it solve the Pigpen problem? No. Does it help? Absolutely.
Dust does float … but then it lands.
The big dust collector sits unused when I go to finish sanding.
I have a lot of sanding to do. 70 boards are being finished this weekend.
I use two Bosch random orbital sanders. The 20 is the small, lighter sander I use for edges and corners. The larger sander is the 65, which is what I use for the tops & bottoms of every board. Use them, and dust flies – in spite of their stock, on-board dust filters.
Here’s the idea: a 20″ box fan on the end of the workbench …
… and a simple, disposable, air filter is in front of the box ban, trapping any air born particles that are sucked into the air going through the fan.
Air filter, in the beginning.
At the end of the first morning session.
At the end of the first day.
At the end of the second morning.
At the end of the second day.
At the end, the filter is covered … and then you throw it away.
Despite the efficacy of the DIYACS, dust still goes everywhere.
Here’s the floor where I’ve removed the anti fatigue floor mat … leaving relatively clean floor beside the dust-covered concrete.
The new batch of boards – about 70 of them! – was finished in time for our July 4th event in Ventura. Here are the cutting boards about to get juice grooves … 10 of them. And an odd small board, too.
17 small sous chef boards were finished.
A new novelty shape, actual surfboards … 11 are finished.
4 bread boards and another odd small board got finished.
9 of the cheese servers, commonly called surfboards are done. Love this design, but it generates a TON of sawdust at every step of the process..
Another new item, chess boards, finally got out of the shop.
With a sudden burst of production (amazing what you can get done when you stop going to events!), the inventory is suddenly growing. I’ve passed 100 pieces in inventory, again.
I thought I was low with full size cutting boards … so here’s a bunch.
Thank goodness. We have a big event this weekend, the July 4th Ventura Street Fair. The event’s in downtown Ventura. Set up can begin at 3am, the directions say. I think we will be just a bit later than that.
If you’re wandering around Ventura on Saturday, come see us in booths 427/429. With a huge amount of luck, I’ll be back under 100 boards after this weekend….
That would be a good thing, right??!!
Cutting Board # 15 – 051. Black Walnut, Jarrah, Purpleheart and Honey Locust end grain with juice groove. 12″ x 16″ x 1-1/2″.
Detail of Cutting Board # 15 – 051.
Cutting Board # 15 – 052. Cherry, Black Walnut, Jatoba, Purpleheart and Hard Maple end grain with juice groove. Absolutely unique grain in the hard maple. 12″ x 16″ x 1-1/2″.
Detail of irridescent rays in cutting board # 15 – 052.
Cutting Board # 15 – 053. Hard Maple & Purpleheart edge grain with juice groove. 14″ x 18″ x 1-1/2″. This board sold the first time a customer saw it.
Cutting Board # 15 – 054. Hard Maple & Jatoba edge grain with juice groove. 12″ x 16″ x 1-1/4″.
Cutting Board # 15 – 055. Black Walnut, Cherry, Hard Maple & Jarrah edge grain. 11″ x 18″ x 1-1/4″.
Cutting Board # 15 – 056. Cherry, Jatoba, Purplehear and Hard Maple end grain. 14″ x 12″ x 1-1/2″.
Cutting Board # 15 – 057. Black Walnut, Cherry & Jatoba end grain with juice groove. 16″ x 20″ x 1-1/2″.
Close up detail of Cutting Board 15 – 057.
Cutting Board # 15 – 061. The meat eater’s board. Hard Maple end grain with juice groove – a deep, wide juice groove. 13″ x 19″ x 1-1/4″.
Cutting Board # 15 – 058. Black Walnut, Cherry & Hard Maple edge grain. 14″ x 11″ x 1-1/4″.
Cutting Board 15 – 060. Cherry and Jatoba, AKA Brazilian Cherry, end grain with juice groove. Commissioned piece. 14″ x 16″ x 1-1/2″.
Cutting Board 15 – 059. Hard Maple, Yellowheart & Padauk end grain with juice groove. Commissioned piece. 14″ x 18″ x 1-1/2″.
Another request … another novelty board.
These 2-sided surf board-shaped small boards are definitely multi-use. They might be serving pieces … they’ll help set a fun table, for sure. They could be cutting boards, as well.
All boards are approximately 7″ wide x 16″ long x 7/8″ thick.
Everybody sees what they want and will use these the way they want. That’s the way it should be.
No worries, brah!
Small Surfboard # 15 – 01. Black Walnut, Hard Maple & Cherry.
Small Surfboard # 15 – 02. Teak, Hard Maple & Black Walnut.
Small Surfboard # 15 – 03. Hard Maple & Jatoba.
Small Surfboard # 15 – 04. Black Walnut & Hard Maple.
Small Surfboard # 15 – 05. Hard Maple & Jarrah.
Small Surfboard # 15 – 06. Hard Maple, Teak & Yellowheart.
Love this board. Small Surfboard # 15 – 07. Hand selected Birdseye Maple & Walnut.
Small Surfboard # 15 – 08. Hard Maple & Purpleheart.
Small Surfboard # 15 – 10. Hard Maple & Teak.
Small Surfboard # 15 – 11. Cherry, Hard Maple & Purpleheart.
These engraved boards have proven to be extremely popular wedding and anniversary gifts. I’ve delivered many of them not pictured here … because I have to wait until after the boards are presented!
I’m keeping three designs in raw, unfinished stock, so I can deliver these boards in about 3 weeks … as long as I keep production ahead of sales. All of these boards are 2-sided, with routed fingerholds to help flip the board easily. The first 2 designs are engraved on one side (so that’s the display side) and used on the other. The third design is meant to be used on both sides.
The three wood designs are:
1. Hard Maple edge grain, approximately 7″x12″x1″. One engraving design has a last name with some scrollwork, the newest version has a pop culture saying: Best. Day. Ever. The cost is $50, plus $12 shipping.
2. Black Walnut, Cherry & Hard Maple edge grain, approximately 10″x12″x1″. This design has seen the most creativity, with people coming up with personalized designs time after time. I love the golden anniversary boards; this design has commemorated 2 of those! The cost is $60, plus $12 shipping.
3. Hard Maple edge grain, approximately 12″x16″x1″. The bride & groom’s name goes in the upper left corner, the wedding date in the lower right. A juice groove separates the engraving from the cutting surface. With the groove, that side could be used for meats and the flip side for vegetables. The cost is $100, plus $15 shipping.
One variation of the 3rd option was done with a Hard Maple end grain board with curved ends … see that board at the end of the photo essay. More of those are going to be made!
A variation of the all maple engraved board … Best. Day. Ever.
This style of board is walnut, cherry and hard maple. I call them the “est.” boards, because that’s the original design. But as you can see, many people have gotten creative.
All maple engraved board. Last name & scroll work.
Wedding boards … edge grain, hard maple, with a juice groove.
Special wedding board made with end grain hard maple. 13″ x 19″ x 1-1/4″. $140, plus $15 shipping.
The curved end of the board lends itself to a unique inset routed fingerhold.
Happy 151st birthday to Yosemite National Park! On this day in 1864, Yosemite was first protected with the Yosemite Grant Act of 1864, which set aside 39,000 acres of Yosemite Valley and the Mariposa Big Tree Grove to the State of California. This historic legislation was the beginning of not only the California State Park System, but the national park idea we know today. Pictured here is the park’s iconic Half Dome from Glacier Point at sunset. Photo by Brandon Nimon. Posted on Tumblr by the US Department of the Interior, 6/30/15.
Protestors in Birmingham, AL, gathered on the state capitol’s steps after the Alabama governor removed the Confederate Battle Flag from the capitol’s grounds. Note the last flag of the Confederate States of America, left.
The Confederate Flag is everywhere in the news right now, and I’ve taken that opportunity to learn about this suddenly controversial symbol.
Personally, I’ve never had any particular affinity for the Confederacy, nor have I identified strongly with “Southern Pride” or “the South.” I grew up a Midwesterner, I thought. When Mizzou merged into the SEC a couple of years ago, one Southern criticism was that perhaps Missouri wasn’t “Southern enough” for the SEC.
So what’s all this Southern pride in the Confederate flag really all about?
1. What everyone is calling “The Confederate Flag” really isn’t that at all.
This may just be verbal shorthand, but I think there is an important distinction here: the flag that so many people are celebrating as “The” Confederate Flag is more properly called the Confederate Battle Flag. The Battle Flag was an element of later Confederate flags, but only an element.
Battle Flag of the Confederate Army
This flag served as a battle flag for the Army of Northern Virginia. From Wikipedia:
The Army of Northern Virginia battle flag assumed a prominent place post-war when it was adopted as the copyrighted emblem of the United Confederate Veterans. Its continued use by the Southern Army’s post-war veterans groups, the United Confederate Veterans and the later Sons of Confederate Veterans and elements of the design by related similar female descendents organizations of the United Daughters of the Confederacy led to the assumption that it was, as it has been termed, “the soldier’s flag” or “the Confederate battle flag”.
The square “Battle Flag” is also properly known as “the flag of the Army of Northern Virginia”. It was sometimes called “Beauregard’s flag” or “the Virginia battle flag”. A Virginia Department of Historic Resources marker declaring Fairfax, Virginia, as the birthplace of the Confederate battle flag was dedicated on April 12, 2008, near the intersection of Main and Oak Streets, in Fairfax, Virginia.
A similar flag in a rectangular design became the Confederate Navy Jack, the flag flown from ships of the Confederate Navy after 1863:
Confederate Navy Jack
This symbol was used to rally and inspire Confederate soldiers & sailors. The purpose of those soldiers and sailors? Their job was to kill American soldiers and sailors … American citizens that were protecting the Union. That’s the origin of this symbol.
2. The Confederate States of America actually had three different official “national” flags.
The first version went through four revisions, with the number of stars standing for each state that had joined the Confederacy. However, all four of these were found to be too confusing on the field of battle: they looked too much like the flag of the USA.
Flag of the Confederate States of America (March 1861 – May 1861)
Flag of the Confederate States of America (May 1861 – July 1861)
Flag of the Confederate States of America (July 1861 – November 1861)
Flag of the Confederate States of America (1861-1863)
To create a flag that was less confusing to soldiers, a white flag with the battle flag (“stars & bars”) in the upper left field was created. This version was also confusing on the battlefield, as it looked like a surrender flag if no wind was blowing.
Flag of the Confederate States of America (1863-1865)
With that problem, the third and final flag version was created … all for a “nation” that lasted only four years.
Flag of the Confederate States of America (1865)
3. “Southern Pride” is symbolized by the Confederate Battle Flag.
This idea is very strong in some circles, and truly surprises me.
It’s fine to be proud of your heritage, and proud of where you’re from. Even the Beach Boys taught us to be “True To Your School.”
However, to take as your symbol the flag of a failed army is an odd choice. Here are a few incontrovertible facts:
- The Confederate Army lost the war.
- The Confederate Army surrendered their flag to the victorious army of the United States of America. General Robert E Lee counseled citizens of the south to stop displaying the battle flag, as he feared they would be accused of treason.
- The designer of the Confederate Battle Flag believed that it stood for the right of the white race to enslave the black race.
4. 150 years after the Civil War ended, some are confused about what the War Between The States was all about.
Some revisionists claim the Civil War (or, “The War Of Northern Aggression”) was about states’ rights. Although there is a splinter of truth in that claim, it is a gross exaggeration to say the war was about states’ rights and not about slavery.
The Civil War was, in fact, about the Southern fear that Northern states would abolish their “right” to subjugate the “inferior African race” as slaves. Secession happened because too many Southerners feared Lincoln was an abolitionist (he was!). Four states actually wrote a document that outlined why they were seceding. CivilWar.org did an analysis of those documents, and found that slavery was overwhelmingly the reason for secession cited by the state governments as they were seceding.
What you learned in school was correct: the Civil War happened because Southern states seceded so they could keep slavery. Lincoln abolished slavery, won the war, and stitched the Union back together again. There were many complications, of course, but that is the simplest view of what happened in the 1860s.
5. Some states still have the Confederate Battle Flag incorporated into their state flag. In 2015.
Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi all have state flags that have their origins in the flags of the Confederacy. Before you conclude that racism is over in our country, it’s best to check the symbology still being used today by our governments.
State flag of Alabama
State flag of Georgia
State flag of Mississippi
My Bottom Line
You want to personally display any of the flags that were used by that failed “nation,” the Confederate States of America? Knock yourself out. I believe in free speech. If you strongly identify with a flag that was created as a symbol for those that wanted to destroy the United States of America so they could keep what they believed to be an inferior race as slaves to support their area’s aristocracy, then go right ahead.
Me, I’ll just wonder what point you’re trying to make.
Full Disclosure: I come from Missouri, which was a border state in the Civil War. I have ancestors that fought on both sides of the conflict, but I have no evidence that any of my ancestors ever owned slaves. Shortly after the Civil War, some of my ancestors moved from North Carolina to Missouri … perhaps to escape from the toxic environment that was the Reconstruction Era South? We’ll never know for sure, but move away from the “Old South” to the “Midwest” is exactly what they did.
Wikipedia: Flags of the Confederate States of America
Charlie Daniels on the Confederate Flag, Restraint, and Common Sense
Yahoo: General Lee From “Dukes of Hazzard” Losing Its Confederate Flag
The Week: The Surprisingly Uncomplicated Racist History Of The Confederate Flag