Archive for the ‘Woodworking’ Category

Large Cheese & Cracker Servers   Leave a comment

That’s what I call them.

Most people see them, and say, “Those look like surfboards!” While that may be true, now that I make boards with actual surfboard shapes, it seems wrong to call these pieces surfboards.

Because they’re not.

In my personal lexicon, though, I call them large surfboards, because that’s less cumbersome than Large Cheese & Cracker Servers.

Which is more accurate. As if that matters. If it walks like a duck, and talks like a duck….

You call them what you like. These pieces are a unique design that I’ve developed. The underside of each piece has massive “cove cuts,” which are made on the table saw by running the board not through the blade, but across the blade at an oblique angle. The curves underneath the boards, therefore, are the shape of the saw blade as it passes through the wood.

These cove cuts allow the piece to sit very lightly on the table. Combining the oval shape with the curved handles underneath result in curves going in multiple directions with this piece; it’s very pleasing to the touch.

All of these serving pieces are 12″ x 20″ x 1-1/4″. As with all of the pieces I make, the finish is food safe: mineral oil and board butter, which is mineral oil mixed with locally-harvested beeswax. All have rubber feet, held on with stainless steel screws.

The first one shown, and the last two shown, all sold in their first showing.

Powerful Words Can Be Pretty, Too   1 comment

I’ve been making my word blocks, and saw that natural wood was not the only way to go. It’s time to switch it up.

For the first time, I’m offering painted wood for sale. That’s a big idea for me.

In this case, I’ve made the 3 dimensional carved words on the CNC, just as I did the original batch that premiered last month. Those words were made from Cherry, and finished with mineral oil. These new words are made from Redwood, and I’ve teamed up with a couple of artists to help me paint them.

I’ve helped the artists by making frames for their fine art canvases … they’re helping me by bringing their sense of color and composition to the Woodshop.

It takes a village.

Here are pictures of the frames that will soon be adorning the homes of the discerning art collector community. They’ll be covered with canvas, of course: these are not art, no matter what a woodworker might think!

But I digress.

These new words are unique; no two are alike. I think you’ll agree that these unique expressions have power. After all, words do.

 

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New: Powerful Words

The Chess Board Solution   Leave a comment

As I contemplated what I needed to build for our fall events, it should surprise no one that chess boards are on the list.

High on the list.

After all, it’s my # 1 most requested item. It’s a wonder I don’t make more of them … and that begged the question. Exactly how many chess boards have I made?

The easy answer: not enough.

The complete answer is I’m averaging about 5 chess boards each year. No wonder people are clamoring for more: I’m just not making enough.

In an effort to fix that problem, I’ve (finally) completed 8 chess boards for our December events. I’ve never had this many chess boards before!

All of these chess boards are unique: it’s what I do. They have a contrasting wooden keyline surrounding the tournament-quality 2″ playing squares.

Rubber feet complete the chess boards. All that’s missing, of course, are the playing pieces, and those will be supplied by the new owners of these boards.

The Big Push   Leave a comment

Preparing for our biggest event of the year has necessitated many long hours in the shop. Late nights. Lots of sawdust.

And I mean lots. I actually plugged the dust collector’s filter a couple of times, and that’s never a good thing.

But the good news is that products have flowed out of the shop in significant quantities. Cutting Boards are a lot of what Mr M’s Woodshop is about, and I’ve gotten a bunch to the finish line as I’ve pushed through the past couple of weeks.

But is it enough? Nope. I am still behind on special orders, and I have that big deadline of the holidays looming. Have no fear, I will be caught up. I have to be: I have now accepted two orders that are due in January.

But that’s a problem for another day. Time to celebrate the new boards that are finished!


It’s Southern California, After All   Leave a comment

Surfboards are a thing.

Everyone knows someone who likes to surf.

Deal with it.

And, with surfing a significant part of the Southern California culture (Yes, I just said Southern California has culture. Deal with it.), it’s inevitable that people celebrate the passion with boards like these.

I know some are used as cutting boards. Others are used as cheese & cracker servers. And, I know that some of the surfboards I’ve made were purchased as wall art. I’m OK with that now. Honest.

Whether these are to be displayed or used in a different way, here are the latest surfboards from the shop, finished just in time to go to our next event … on the edge of the Mojave Desert.

That’s also a part of Southern California culture. Deal with it.

Susans On The Go   Leave a comment

I am at the Hillside Farms Holiday Boutique. This is my first product post from an event.

Therefore, this is a dramatic device called foreshadowing. This is not The Board Chronicles for this event. But, I do have time – at an event I am working solo – to do this post. Unfortunately.

I made 9 Lazy Susans this week … and the good news is I sold 3 of them before I could take pictures at the event. Sorry that I missed the photo op, but whachagonnado?

Meanwhile, here are the 6 new Susans that are still in inventory.

These will next appear at Santa’s Art Shop in Ridgecrest next weekend. See you there, hopefully!

Mr M’s New Booth: #4 (Part 2) – Going Vertical   2 comments

Necessity is the mother of invention.

I was on a clock. Why is it that making display pieces for our booth requires me to be on a clock? But … I was on a clock.

We were double booked last weekend, and some of my small display pieces had to go to the 2nd venue. These simple oak & dowel pieces hold a cutting board and a cheese board or 2 vertical on the table. These are the only verticals I have, really … and I only have enough for one booth.

So, I either needed to make more of those little holders, or I needed to finally build the piece I’ve been designing in my head for 2 years. It’s a big piece.

And you know me: go big or go home. So, I went big. I wanted to make a vertical unit to take over my side table, giving people easy, vertical viewing from either my corner aisle (which we always get), or from inside my booth. After thinking about building a freestanding unit and eliminating a 6′ table – and the storage underneath – I had sanity return, and I built a table top unit. A big table top unit.

After 2 years of cogitation, this is my design, in all of its glory:

I know.

From that oh-so-humble beginning, this is what got built in the shop over most of a day:

This piece gives me 24 linear feet of display space, all of which is unencumbered by smaller boards standing in front. Previously, I had no such space.

This piece will display serving trays and large cheese & cracker servers without having to stack them. Previously, I had no such space.

It doesn’t have a name yet, but the new display is 70″ long. It folds down to 35″ x 8″ x 70″ for transport. It fits perfectly into the trailer, right behind the rolling shelf unit, up against the rear gate.

After living with it for one weekend, I’m 100% happy with the new verticality in the booth. My only quibble is that I’ve built a wall … so that when people are looking at boards from the aisle, I can’t make eye contact with them. I can walk outside of the booth to stalk engage them, but I am seldom that aggressive with shoppers.

So, I may try and be a bit more aggressive when people are talking & touching the boards outside of the booth. And, by aggressive, I mean that I’ll approach them and say, “Good morning. Let me know if you have any questions.”

Well, do you?

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Mr M’s New Booth: # 4 (Part 1)

Trays To Serve   2 comments

I’m calling this a win.

I started out making 3 serving trays, as a reaction to my failure as a teen-aged woodworker. You can read that story, here.

Those 3 serving trays sold at 2 events. That’s a fairly good result for a serving piece … especially a serving piece made by someone with a checkered past making a serving tray, like yours truly.

So, there was nothing to do but go back to the shop and make some more and see if I could replicate the success. These 10 serving trays were the result. Now, I have 2 different styles of handles and a wide, wide range of woods featured in these 10 boards. There are woods from 5 continents being used!

I’m enjoying making these serving trays, and I’m hopeful that the teen-aged me didn’t make an appearance when I was making these in the shop. If that happened, the result could be less than ideal.

Somehow, I’m not worried.

If any of these catch your fancy, you’ll find all of them this weekend at Santa Clarita’s Fine Craft Show in Old Orchard Park. Hours are 10a – 5p on Saturday, and 10a – 3p on Sunday. Hope to see you there!

Cutting Boards, Bears & MBOs   2 comments

It’s go time.

The holiday season is UPON us, and the shop has been humming to try and keep up.

I’m failing, mind you, but I’m doing my best.

This week, I’m focused on cleaning up loose ends, and moving things to the finish line as QUICKLY as I can. And, again, I feel like I’m failing, but I’m doing my best.

I’m staring at 5 weekends of events. Every weekend through 12/17 is booked … 8 events in 5 weeks.

I think I’ve earned my crazy, how about you?

And, that doesn’t include the corporate gifts and movie industry general purpose boxes (“apple boxes”) that I’ve agreed to make, either.

So, I’m a bit wacky these days. I’m counting down to 12/24 … and praying I don’t miss any deliveries too badly. Just about everything has to be delivered by Christmas, and I’m focused on making that happen!

New: Powerful Words   1 comment

When I decided to buy a CNC, this was one of the first ideas that I wanted to make.

After spending most of my career in journalism, I have an affinity for the written word. And I’ve always been struck by the complexity and beauty of the type setting machines first employed by newspapers. (See what I did there? Struck by typesetting? Humor, coming at you!)

Words are powerful.

These word blocks are 3-dimensional carvings. Each requires about 30 minutes on the CNC, which uses 2 different routing bits when I make them. All of these shown are all made from Cherry, AKA Black Cherry or American Cherry. There’s a 2nd batch now in production made from Redwood … but that’s a story for another day.

I’ve made over 30 words, which I have in stock. You can buy these, or you can order your words as well. I can still make special orders for holiday delivery.

I struggled with how to price these (by the letter? by the inch?), and finally settled for simplicity. Each block is $35, regardless of length. There is a volume deal: 2 words for $60, and 3 words for $75.

 

Posted November 16, 2017 by henrymowry in Woodworking

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