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The 900th Cutting Board   5 comments

I have a plan. I STILL have a plan. Pandemic, be damned.

The main way that I sell my cutting boards, serving pieces & such is by vending at craft fairs, street festivals, holiday boutiques … and even an occasional foodie event.

Until 2020 hit and all of those events – all of them – canceled. I haven’t had an event since January.

However, the nation is ever-so-slowly beginning to open up, and I have an event next week.

The plan is coming together.

When events started canceling, I just went to the shop & made more stuff. I always intended to build inventory in the first part of this year: I had big events scheduled for the 4th quarter. Last year, I had my biggest event ever, and sold 100 pieces at a single event. This year, I’ve already booked 5 additional, similar events with the same promoter. Plus I’m returning to the great event from last year, as well. Hope they stick.

The plan was simple: get ready. Build a LOT OF STUFF & put it on the shelf. Make it so replacing inventory is as simple as opening another container. That’s why I’ve built 105 Magic Bottle Openers. 68 Cracker Things. 147 Coasters … the list goes on.

Today, I add 15 cutting boards to the inventory, and that puts me over 900 pieces in stock. I’m ready to sell 100 pieces at an event … for a few weeks in a row.

Now, if the events will come back as they plan to in the 4th quarter, things will get a bit better. And, if they don’t … well, part 2 of the plan was the launch of the website, accomplished last month. If you haven’t checked it out, please visit MrMsWoodshop.com.

Now, here’s the newest eye candy. Or premium kitchen tools. Or, just perhaps, both. You buy one, you get to decide.

More

The 800th Cutting Board (6/12/2020)

The 700th Cutting Board (5/19/2020)

The 400th Cutting Board (1/28/19)

The 350th Cutting Board (8/16/18)

The 300th Cutting Board, 3rd Time ‘Round (4/27/18)

The 300th Cutting Board, 2nd Time ‘Round (4/4/18)

The 300th Cutting Board (2/9/18)

The 250th Cutting Board: Back In The Pig Business (10/13/17)

The 250th Cutting Board (4/8/17)

The 200th Cutting Board, 6th Time ‘Round (2/9/17)

The 200th Cutting Board, 5th Time ‘Round (11/30/16)

The 200th Cutting Board, 4th Time ‘Round (10/7/16)

The 200th Cutting Board, Third Time ‘Round (8/5/16)

The 200th Cutting Board, 8 Months Later (4/9/16)

The 200th Cutting Board (9/18/15)

New: Sectioned Dip Servers   Leave a comment

There are 2 stories about this new thing I’ve made … and I’ve only just made them. Stories are like that sometimes.

#1. I often post pictures of my work when it makes it to the finish line. The finish line is usually a row of tables and a chunk of melamine set up in the driveway, so the finish line is about 50 square feet of stuff. These new Sectioned Dip Servers made it to the finish line this week, I posted pictures, and 2 sold before the oil was dry. That’s not unprecedented, but it is unusual.

Sometimes, things just work, y’know?

#2. At the finish line, food contact products get a coat or 3 of mineral oil. Most of them then get a coat of Mrs M’s Board Butter, which is mineral oil mixed with locally-harvested beeswax. And it’s at this point, that the tale takes a dark turn.

I placed a few dobs of Board Butter in one particular Dip Server, picked it up to hand rub the finish … and the board flew out of my hands. I tried to catch it, touched it … lost it.

The brand new, almost-finished Dip Server found the driveway, and that was that.

Sometimes, things just don’t work, y’know?

The rim was cracked for about 6″, in addition to the chunk that was broken out entirely. Back to the shop to make another!

The, uh, surviving dip servers are 14″ in diameter. They have a center circle, holding an 8 ounce ramekin for the dip du jour. The rest of the piece is divided into 4 sections to help you organize your presentation.

Flip the piece over, and you’ve got a smooth, circular space for charcuterie, cheese & crackers, or whatever. You serve what you like … just send me a pretty picture, OK?

Note that this is the 2nd Dip Server I’ve made recently. There’s a smaller, square version as well (which being the creative type, I call “Dip Servers”); a link to that post is below.

The 8x Sectioned Dip Servers that remain in inventory will be traveling with me to Prescott, AZ for the Arts & Crafts Fair on the courthouse square that’s associated with Prescott’s World’s Oldest Rodeo. It’s July 3-5, right by Whiskey Row. Hope to see you there!

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New: Dip Servers

New: Tear Drops & More   Leave a comment

I’ve got this thing for boards with holes in them. They should hang on a wall, I believe.

Or perhaps not. I do understand I don’t get a vote on a cook’s kitchen decor.

At least, not in my home. But I digress.

I felt the need to make boards shaped like tear drops. Water drops. Whatever. They have a work surface that’s about 8″ in diameter. These boards would be perfect for appetizers for 2, I’m told. I think they are perfect for smashing & chopping the stinkin’ rose: garlic.

Can’t wait for people to buy these and tell me how they’re going to use them! I’m just the maker here….

Also at the finish line this week are a stash of handled boards. The larger ones have a 9″ x 12″ work surface, and a 6″ handle. The first 2 pictures are of smaller, squarer handled boards that have an 8″ x 10″ work surface.

The 800th Cutting Board   1 comment

Another milestone.

This pandemic has been good for almost nothing, near as I can tell. When all of my scheduled street fairs & craft festivals canceled beginning in March and continuing through October, at this point … I kept going back to the shop.

Every day.

When you’re a maker … it’s what you do. So, I did.

My total inventory is now, for the first time, over 800 pieces. And, for the record, I’m not stopping. I will take a pause soon, however, as I have an event over the July 4th weekend. The only problem … is I have to leave California to do the event. California is still closed, but luckily, Prescott, AZ, is my destination. To see all the current schedule of events for Mrs M’s Handmade & Mr M’s Woodshop, click here.

But, this post is the story of this board, which was actually a special order through MrMsWoodshop.com: a Father’s Day Gift! The order was for a large cutting board, made from Black Walnut.

There is nothing like Black Walnut; I love working with it, every time. Unfortunately, though, Black Walnut can be a challenge to work, as it’s very difficult to get good Black Walnut lumber in Southern California.

I’ve found.

I actually set out to make 2 of these large Black Walnut cutting boards, which would require about 12 board feet of clean stock. Unfortunately, to get the 12 board feet of finished lumber, I went through 20 board feet of lumber. Here are the boards for the 2 cutting boards that I’ve “picked & processed”, ready for glue up:

Those are good looking boards. The problem is the waste. For a cutting board, I need clean boards, free of knots, voids, bark inclusions, shakes and cracks. Here’s what that the process waste looked like:

The very thin pieces are normal waste from the edges of the boards; they get recycled. The larger pieces with knots in the middle will get cut into smaller pieces to remove the knots and will eventually be used … after I store them long enough to gather enough small pieces that I can make something with. Unfortunately, that saving process can take years, and I end up chasing buckets of small cut offs around the shop until I’m ready to start that process.

But I digress.

This is the story of one of my favorite boards: a large, end grain Black Walnut Cutting Board. This beauty is 16-5/8″ x 21-1/4″ x 1-1/2″.

And the normal finishing touches, of course:

  • Non-skid rubber feet, held on with stainless steel screws for long life
  • Routed finger holds for easy pick-up
  • Finish is mineral oil, with a topcoat of Mrs M’s Board Butter
Cutting Board 20 – 508. Black Walnut. End Grain. Commissioned Piece.

More

The 700th Cutting Board (5/19/2020)

The 400th Cutting Board (1/28/19)

The 350th Cutting Board (8/16/18)

The 300th Cutting Board, 3rd Time ‘Round (4/27/18)

The 300th Cutting Board, 2nd Time ‘Round (4/4/18)

The 300th Cutting Board (2/9/18)

The 250th Cutting Board: Back In The Pig Business (10/13/17)

The 250th Cutting Board (4/8/17)

The 200th Cutting Board, 6th Time ‘Round (2/9/17)

The 200th Cutting Board, 5th Time ‘Round (11/30/16)

The 200th Cutting Board, 4th Time ‘Round (10/7/16)

The 200th Cutting Board, Third Time ‘Round (8/5/16)

The 200th Cutting Board, 8 Months Later (4/9/16)

The 200th Cutting Board (9/18/15)

Custom Work   1 comment

I get all sorts of odd requests when I’m out rubbing elbows with people at craft fairs.

Ah, memories.

Some of those requests I bring to life, as you can see from the unique projects below. Some are personalized, some are just personal.

Boards can be engraved with names as gifts for yourself, for weddings & anniversaries, for real estate closings ….

If you would like to order a special item for a special someone, email me and we’ll develop the idea. Some projects can be accomplished relatively quickly (like the board with “Hall” on it; that can be delivered in a very few days as I keep the blank boards on hand). Some boards require me to buy specific species of lumber, glue it up, smooth it, carve it, finish it … and when I’m busy that can take weeks. Months, even. But whatever the time frame may be, I’ll give you an estimate in advance and will always keep you informed of where I am in the process.

So, what have you got in mind?

Pizza Servers   Leave a comment

Some things just need to be made.

And … I get to choose what I don’t want to make, too.

I make Pizza Servers. I don’t make Pizza Peels.

That might seem to be an odd choice for someone with a pizza oven in the backyard. I stoke the fire with the wood defects and even some mistakes that happen in the garage Woodshop. Pizza is very important in our home.

But, I don’t make pizza peels, which are the boards you slide the raw pizza off of when it goes into the oven. Not my thing.

My thing is to help when the pizza’s done & ready to serve. Some day soon, you’ll be able to have people over for pizza.

Those times will come again.

And to be ready … you need a way to serve your pizza. It’s my pleasure to help.

My pizza servers are 16″ in diameter: large enough to take an extra large pizza (and yes, I’ve researched this point. Extensively.). There’s a sturdy 6″ handle that’s pre-drilled for hanging, if you’re so inclined.

Final thought: some use these round serving pieces for things other than pizza. That’s OK. I like things other than pizza, too.

My new website is now up. If you would like to buy a Pizza Server, or browse the latest things that have come out of the shop, then go to MrMsWoodshop.com. Free shipping for orders over $75. As you look at the below pictures, note the file name of your favorites. The format will be “Pizza Server 20 – 9xx”. Put the number of your favorite in the notes of your order, and I’ll make sure you’ll get your choice, assuming that you’re the first to ask for it!

Here’s a direct link to the page with Pizza Servers!

Posted June 9, 2020 by henrymowry in Woodworking

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The Last Day!   Leave a comment

Today is the LAST DAY of the launch discount on Mr M’s Woodshop.

Please understand; I don’t discount my work at events or when people come by the shop to buy a board. So, my offering a blanket discount on the website is really unprecedented … and won’t come around again. Truly.

Buy today, and you get 20% off of everything with the promo code “MrMsLaunch”. Plus, there is free shipping on all purchases over $50.

Beginning June 1, the promo code goes away. I will continue to offer free shipping, but the minimum will increase tomorrow to $75.

So, to summarize, on MrMsWoodshop.com:

  1. TODAY ONLY, save 20% with the promo code “MrMsLaunch”
  2. Free shipping for all purchases over $50

Thanks to all for the incredible support I’ve received with the launch of my website. I couldn’t do it without you! And since the proof of the pudding is in the eating … here’s some eye candy for you. All of these action shots were provided by proud owners of boards from the Woodshop.

Posted May 31, 2020 by henrymowry in Media, Woodworking

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The Magic In The Bottle Openers   Leave a comment

Putting the magic in the bottle openers is the hard part.

As you would expect, yes?

You see, there are 2 kinds of magic: the kind that catches the caps when you open your favorite bottled beverage, and the kind that magically attaches the bottle opener to your attractive refrigerator.

No, the magic doesn’t work if your refrigerator isn’t attractive. Sorry; it’s really not about my judgement of kitchen appliance beauty. It’s the magic.

Putting the magic into the bottle opener requires multiple steps. It requires social distancing between the bottle openers. Chemicals are involved. It requires time.

All MBOs are about 5″ x 11″ and are easily wall-mountable. MBOs with extra magic can also mount on your fridge … if it’s attractive. Them’s the rules!

With this group of MBOs now finished, I have over 100 of them in inventory. That’s something I’ve never accomplished before. Now … time to move on to the next batch which will be a really pot pourri. Already picked & processed in the shop are a batch of large handled boards, cutting boards, cribbage boards, signs, custom orders, serving pieces….

If you would like to purchase a Magic Bottle Opener, a complete description is on the newly reformatted MrMsWoodshop.com. Act quickly: time is running out! Just for the next 3 days, you can get 2 promotional offers:

  1. Free shipping for any order over $50
  2. 20% off all purchases with the promo code “MrMsLaunch”.

If there is a specific MBO or two that you’re interested in, hover over or click on the photo to reveal the name of that particular piece. Wall mount MBOs are in the format of 20 – 1xx, and Fridge mount MBOS are 20 – 2xx. Put the numbers of your favorite(s) in the notes section of your order form, and I’ll make sure that I pull the one that has the magic just for you. Here’s the link to go directly to the MBO page on MrMsWoodshop.com.

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Magic Bottle Openers Are Back!

Magic Bottle Openers Are Back!   Leave a comment

It’s been 2 years since I’ve made a Magic Bottle Opener. 2 years since I stopped making what was my top selling item – at the time I stopped making them!

What happened?

I went to a show, and there were 4 vendors there selling cheap & ineffective bottle openers that were merely pretending to be MBOs. Just like that, I lost my muse. I moved on.

Now, honestly, that’s no excuse. My quality didn’t change. My sales didn’t change. But, somehow, I felt I needed to move on & make other things. I stopped making MBOs.

Wrong, I was.

For those of you new to the Woodshop, you may be wondering, WHAT IS A MAGIC BOTTLE OPENER? Here’s the MBO that hangs on our fridge:

Here’s a action video answer, courtesy of MrsMowry:

There are 2 kinds of MBOs. In the video you saw a “double magic” MBO: it is magically stuck to the refrigerator, and it magically catches the cap when you open your favorite bottled beverage. I also make a “single magic” MBO, which mounts on your wall or cabinet, and then catches your cap.

All MBOs are made from hardwood, both domestic & imported. All MBOs get a hand-rubbed urethane finish, so your magical device is protected from the fizzes and spritzes that can happen when a bottle opens.

You know me: when I commit, I don’t waver. My muse was BACK, and I was going to make MBOs. I put over 100 MBOs into production in the shop, and 56 of them have made it to the finish line.

If you feel the need for a little magic in your life, the MBOs can be purchased on the newly reformatted MrMsWoodshop.com. Plus, for the rest of May I have 2 special offers going that just might work for you:

  1. Free shipping for orders over $50
  2. 20% off of all purchases with the promo code “MrMsLaunch”.

Here’s a direct link to the page where these MBOs are for sale. Below, there are pictures of the newly minted MBOs. Hover over or click on a picture, and you can get the number of the MBO. Wall Mount versions will be numbered “20 – 1xx” and Fridge Mount versions are numbered “20 – 2xx”. Choose the one(s) that you like, and give me those number(s) in the notes with your order. That way, you’ll get to choose the magic that’s just right for you!

The Rest Of The Batch   1 comment

By the time I was to this part of my flurry of finishing, my hands were tired of vibrating.

Even with the best of hand sanders – which I have invested in – hours of sanding results in me, uh, feeling it. And as much as I don’t like that, I absolutely love getting to a glass-smooth finish on my cutting boards.

It’s one of the most satisfying things I do in the shop, truly.

The end grain boards are smoothed first with a drum sander that sands across the entire board in one pass, giving me a flat surface. Each of these boards was smoothed, top & bottom, with the drum sander. Then hand sanding began on both the edges and top & bottom surfaces of each board. 5 grits of paper are used: 80, 120, 180, 220 and 320. After the wood is smooth, then it gets oiled & waxed with Mrs M’s Board Care Kit.

There’s nothing like a hand-rubbed finish.

And, don’t forget … it is my pleasure to re-finish your board as needed. A cook will leave a knife mark or three over the years, and I’ll restore any board you get from the Woodshop to like-new condition. No charge. It takes me about 8 minutes, but you may have to wait for the right day when the shop is set up for finishing.

All of these boards are now available on the newly improved MrMsWoodshop.com. In the month of May, there are 2 special offers:

  1. Free shipping for all orders over $50
  2. 20% off everything, site-wide, when you use the promo code “MrMsLaunch”

Thank you for your kind attention. Now, with the boards finished, the photographs taken and the websites updated, it’s time to get back to the shop!

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