Archive for the ‘Woodworking’ Category

The Golf Course Project   4 comments

Collaboration can be a good thing.

My engraver, Teri Diamond of Lavene & Co, likes what I do with wood, and I like what she does with a laser. It all works. She developed this project for the Sand Canyon Country Club, formerly known as Robinson’s Ranch. Their new owner is re-developing the property, and is re-imaging the golf course. He wanted new hole signs, and Teri saw how we could do this together:

  1. I shaped and stained the wood.
  2. She engraved and backfilled (painted) the engraving. She added a 3D element, with an appliqué of the SCCC logo, as well. Finally, she marked where each hole should go for mounting each sign.
  3. I drilled the mounting holes, and then put a topcoat of polyurethane on each sign.
  4. We installed them together.

Today, we installed 18 holes of signs on the course, bringing the total installation to 56 of the 84 signs made so far. There’s more to come … but we are well on our way.

This project taxed my capacity in a few ways. Completing 81 pieces at one time (the first 3 signs were done separately) is a challenge in my small shop. Importantly, finishing 81 pieces at one time is a huge challenge for me. It took over our driveway and front sidewalk, as you’ll see below. Then, the last batch of signs to get the poly topcoat needed for that to happen as summer temperatures climbed above 90 … and you can’t apply poly above 90 degrees, nor in direct sunlight. Lucky I just happen to have pop-up canopies handy….

Here, then, is a look at how this project went from being a pile of lumber on the driveway to informational signs at the Sand Canyon Country Club golf course.


From The Shop: Planning To Be Wasted


The Woods In The Woodshop   Leave a comment

I work with 21 kinds of wood currently. All are selected to be excellent hard woods for cutting boards, or, in some cases, serving pieces. I can source all but one of these woods locally in Southern California, though they grow around the world. Here are pictures of each of these woods in pieces I’ve made, along with a few key facts about each of these woods.

I’ve shown the rating for each wood on the Janka hardness scale; this is a measure used to compare the hardness of many substances, including woods. Remember, the FDA says a wooden cutting board in a commercial kitchen should be Hard Maple or its equivalent. The Janka rating for Hard Maple is 1,450.


  • Grows: Eastern North America
  • Janka Rating: 1,320
  • Description: One of the most common hardwoods used in North America. Often used for tool handles. There are a handful of species in the Fraxunus genus that are often sold together as “Ash,” including White Ash, Green Ash, Oregon Ash and European Ash.

Cutting Board 16 – End 042. Spalted Ash, framed by Jatoba. End Grain. 10″ x 12″ x 1″.

Birdseye Maple

  • Grows: Northeastern North America
  • Janka Rating: 1,450
  • Description: Birdseye Maple is not a species, but rather a specific figure found in some Hard Maple lumber. It is thought that the figure is caused by poor growing conditions for the trees, and they try to adapt by growing a large number of buds that eventually form the distinct figure in the wood.

Chess 17 – 304. Bloodwood & Birdseye Maple playing surface surrounded by a Black Walnut frame. 18″ x 18″ x 1-1/2″. Sold in its first showing.

Black Walnut

  • Grows: Eastern United States
  • Janka Rating: 1,010
  • Description: The dark color and wonderful smell of this wood when it is being worked are one of the pure pleasures of woodworking. There’s just nothing like Black Walnut.

Bear 16 – 01. Black Walnut. 12″ x 20″ x 3/4″.

Bloodwood, AKA Satine

  • Grows: Tropical South America
  • Janka Rating: 2,900
  • Description: Brittle and very dense, this wood is a challenge to work. Every piece I get seems to cup, twist and bow. To make the cheese & cracker server, below, I had to cut and re-cut the pieces in order to get a result that ended up being rather spectacular, if I may say so myself.

Large Surfboard # 15 – 26. Bloodwood.


  • Grows: Equatorial Africa
  • Janka Rating: 2,410
  • Description: The beauty of this wood is reward enough, but also getting to say the name of the wood means I like to use it a lot. It has a wide variety of grain patterns and a wonderful red color that is a highlight on any piece.

Cheese Board 16 – 017. Bubinga, African Teak & Black Walnut. 8″ x 11″ x 3/4″.


  • Grows: South America
  • Janka Rating: 1,520
  • Description: The colors in this wood are unique: yellows, reds and browns intermingle in breathtaking patterns. Plus, when I cut the wood I smell cinammon in the air. Love this wood!

Clipboard 16 – 009. Black Walnut, Canarywood, Honey Locust & Purpleheart. Letter size. 1/2″ capacity clip.

Caribbean Rosewood, AKA Chechen

  • Grows: Dominican Republic, Cuba, Jamaica, Guatemala, Belize, and southeastern Mexico
  • Janka Rating: 2,250
  • Description: Not a true Rosewood, this wood is often substituted when an affordable alternative is required. The wood’s color has a wide range: red, orange, and brown are often beside darker stripes of blackish brown. Color tends to shift to a darker reddish brown with age.

Magic Bottle Opener 16 – 195. Purpleheart, Black Walnut, Cherry & Caribbean Rosewood. Double Magic.

Cherry, AKA Black Cherry or American Cherry

  • Grows: Eastern North America
  • Janka Rating: 950
  • Description: The softest wood that I work with, Cherry has been a favorite of American furniture makers for hundreds of years. The color of the wood darkens when exposed to sunlight.

Cherry server, Black Walnut end grain cutting board insert.

Goncalo Alves, AKA Tigerwood

  • Grows: From Mexico to Brazil
  • Janka Rating: 2,170
  • Description: Pronounced “Gon SAW lo Al Veez,” the high contrast black stripes in the wood make it a favorite of furniture makers and flooring manufacturers. Mrs M loves her cutting board which is primarily made from this wood.

Cutting Board 13 – 03. Mrs M’s primary cutting board is made from Goncalo Alves, Jatoba, Cherry, Honey Locust & Black Walnut.

Hard Maple, AKA Sugar Maple or Rock Maple

  • Grows: Northeastern North America
  • Janka Rating: 1,450
  • Description: The best cutting boards use Hard Maple, according to the FDA. If you’re looking for a generational board that will be a real workhorse in your kitchen, get an end grain cutting board made primarily from Hard Maple. The # 1 wood that I use, by far.

Cutting Board 17 – 401. Purpleheart, Jatoba & Hard Maple. Edge Grain, Juice Groove. 16″ x 20″ x 1-1/2″. Commissioned Piece.


  • Grows: Eastern United States
  • Janka Rating: 2,140
  • Description: Several species in the Carya genus are marketed variously as Hickory or Hickory/Pecan. Hickory is among the hardest of woods native to the United States: Hickory is denser and harder than either Hard Maple or White Oak. In Missouri, Hickory was often found as corner fence posts on the farms in my area. Today, I find the white sapwood combines with the golden heartwood to make fascinating patterns in some of my best cutting boards.

Cutting Board 17 – 402. Black Walnut, Hickory & Bloodwood. End Grain, Juice Groove. 16″ x 21″ x 1-1/2″.

Honey Locust

  • Grows: South central & eastern United States
  • Janka Rating: 1,580
  • Description: The one species I use that I can’t buy locally. The unique orange hues and wavy grain pattern means I keep paying a premium to use this wood, in spite of the difficulty in working this very dense wood.

Sous Chef 17 – 906. Bubinga, Honey Locust, Padauk & Purpleheart.


  • Grows: Australia
  • Janka Rating: 1,860
  • Description: Formerly used as flooring in colonial homes in Australia, Jarrah is one of the Eucalyptus species that is just gorgeous. It’s crimson tones are spectacular.

Cutting Board # 15 – 014. Hard Maple and Jarrah, with just a spectacular grain pattern. End grain, of course. 12″ x 16″ x 1-1/4″.

Jatoba, AKA Brazilian Cherry

  • Grows: Central America, southern Mexico, northern South America, and the West Indies
  • Janka Rating: 2,690
  • Description: The color of Jatoba has little to do with Cherry, though that is a common association. It’s medium brown color approaches that of Black Walnut, but its hardness makes it a much better choice for edge grain cutting boards, as well as end grain! The 8/4 thickness is difficult to source currently, but this is a great wood for cutting boards.

Medium Surfboard 16 – 02. Jatoba & Hard Maple. Sold in its first showing.


  • Grows: Cuba, for “true” Mahogany, but that’s not available due to over-harvesting decades ago. Today, Mahogany may be from Honduras, Africa or Asia.
  • Janka Rating: somewhere around 1,000, depending on the specific species
  • Description: This is a very pretty wood, but the sourcing makes the wood very unpredictable. Most mahogany is too soft to be a good wood for cutting boards, but the grain is very pretty for serving pieces.

Magic Bottle Opener 183. Jatoba, Mahogany & Cherry. Single Magic.

Oak – Red

  • Grows: Northeastern United States and Southeastern Canada
  • Janka Rating: 1,220
  • Description: The most popular wood in America, red oak is widely used for furniture and appears in most American homes. There is not a “red oak” species, but rather a group of species that characteristically share a reddish patina, and are marketed together as, simply, Red Oak. Extremely porous, this wonderful hardwood is not suitable as a wood for cutting boards.

Lazy Susan # 15 – 049. Purpleheart & Red Oak. 17″ diameter x 3/4″.

Oak – White

  • Grows: Eastern United States
  • Janka Rating: 1,350
  • Description: Like Red Oak, White Oak is an array of different species having similar characteristics, all being sold as “White Oak.” The lumber is most commonly associated with Mission-style furniture. It’s a good American hardwood, though I seldom use it in cutting boards because there are prettier options. In my opinion.

Clipboard 16 – 017. Purpleheart, White Oak & Birds Eye Maple. Legal Size, 1/2″ clip. Commissioned Piece.


  • Grows: Central and tropical west Africa
  • Janka Rating: 1,970
  • Description: When I cut this wood, it’s pumpkin orange. With exposure to UV, the wood changes to a nice warm brown. Padauk is perhaps the most frequently misspelled (and mispronounced) wood species, with Padouk, Paduk, and Paduak being common misspellings. A common pronunciation is puh-DUKE, though the google machine tells me that the proper pronunciation is puh-DOWK.

Lazy Susan 17 – 12. Padauk & Birdseye Maple. 18″ diameter.

Purpleheart, AKA Amaranth

  • Grows: Central and South America (from Mexico down to southern Brazil)
  • Janka Rating: 2,520
  • Description: Without question the most requested wood that I use due to it’s striking purple color, Purpleheart will eventually fade into a grayish dark eggplant color that’s almost silver with prolonged UV exposure. Some pieces have a striking rotten smell when cut, so it’s hardly my favorite wood to use – but it is the most requested.

Pig # 16 – 02. Black Walnut, Cherry, Hard Maple & Purpleheart. 12″ x 19″ x 1″.


  • Grows: Native to southern Asia; now widely grown on plantations throughout tropical regions of Africa, Asia, and Latin America.
  • Janka Rating: 1,070
  • Description: This expensive wood is a favorite of traditional outdoor furniture makers, but the plantation grown teak that’s currently available is too soft for cutting boards. I do use Teak in serving pieces, and it is a very pretty wood.

One of my favorite pieces, made from Yellowheart, Teak and Walnut. I was able to piece this together out of scrap, and the results were very unique.


  • Grows: Brazil
  • Janka Rating: 1,790
  • Description: The most striking and consistently colored of hardwoods, Yellowheart often flouresces when cut properly and shown in proper lighting. If you like yellow, you will LOVE Yellowheart!

Small Sous Chef 16 – 024. Quilted Yellowheart & Canarywood. 9″ x 16″ x 3/4″.

From The Shop: Planning To Be Wasted   2 comments

I recently got a large custom order for golf course hole signs (who knew that was a thing?). I’m sizing the pieces, finishing and installing them. My engraver, Teri, is going to paint and engrave the pieces – 81 total signs.

The signs are to be 3/4″ thick, and in 3 sizes: 8″ x 24″, 6″ x 24″ and 18″ x 24″.

Wood comes in varying widths and lengths, and is sold by the board foot. That’s an industry standard; a board foot is a piece of wood that’s 12″ x 12″ x 1″. That’s great, but you never bring home a piece that size from the lumber yard.

Rather, with hardwood, you buy wood that is rough cut at the sawmill to 1″ in thickness, and then kiln dried and surfaced smooth on the top and bottom sides (or “S2S”) to 25/32″ thick. The wood is in seemingly random lengths. Boards are at least 8′ long but may be longer, in 1′ increments. Commonly, you’ll find hardwood in 9′ or 10′ lengths, but boards may be as long as 16′. If the yard does consumer business, they may be willing to cut boards shorter for customers, leaving a 4′ minimum … but today, I’m not buying shorts; I’ll just be making them.

Here’s the lumber in the driveway. The 6″ minimums are the larger stacks. Time to make some sawdust.

The wood that is actually cut off as scrap when I rough cut for length is very small – usually no more than 1″ per board.

I need 27x pieces that are 8″ x 24″. Hardwood lumber is normally not sold in standard widths (what you can buy at Home Depot, AKA Big Orange, is an obvious exception, and their pricing reflects that customization). Rather, lumber is normally sold “SL1E” or Straight Line 1 Edge. That means the board is ready to go on a table saw to be ripped to final width, with the other edge of the board left rough. However, the  width of the board is measured at the yard and rounded up to calculate the board feet. So, a board that’s charged at 8″ wide will actually only yield a 7″ finished width.

Here I am after 20% of my final boards are cut to length. The short stack of boards are those with defects that are unusable.

And I only need 8″ wide. A board that’s 7″ wide will not work for these 27x signs.

I need to buy a large quantity of hardwood – by my standards. But how much?

I called my pal Richard at Peterman Lumber, and explained my situation. He was happy to work with me, and place the order for lumber that would be usable to me. To get my 8″ width, I need to buy “premium wide” lumber that’s generally 7″ – 9″ wide minimum … but a 7″ finished width won’t work for me. Richard had a solution: he would tell his guys to select boards for 8″ yield, and only sell me those wider boards.

There’s trust involved here. One reason I like working with Peterman Lumber is that they deliver good lumber to my driveway. I’m currently working with 21 species of wood, and they deliver 20 of them. So, I don’t pick the lumber I buy – they pick it and deliver it. I get the privilege of unloading their truck and paying for the wood they selected. Richard assured me that his guys would select the right boards so I could get my minimum yields.

Except, that’s a minimum yield. If they select a board that’s 10″ wide (and gives a 9″ yield), I still have to pay for that extra 2″ of width, 1″ of which is actually usable lumber, but I can’t use that 1″ on this project. That means I’m going to have some randomly sized cutoffs to store (which I so need in my garage woodshop – I haven’t had a big wood cascade in a few months now).

So, that’s my situation. How many board feet of lumber should I order? OK, go.

The client for this custom order expects me to know the answer, bid the project, and deliver in a timely fashion. Buying the right amount of lumber means you have to know the lingo and have the math.

If I have zero waste, I only need 167 board feet of lumber. We already know that’s not the right answer.

I ordered 2 widths of lumber, and here’s the order as placed:

  • 190 board feet of 25/32″ FAS Eastern Hard Maple S2S SL1E. Special instruction: Please pull 6″ and wider clean flat stock.
  • 60 board feet of 25/32″ FAS Easter Hard Maple 8-1/2″ & WDR SL1E. Special instruction: Please pull 9″ and wider clean flat stock.

They actually shipped 193 board feet of the 6″ stock in 10′ and 11′ lengths, and 66 board feet of the 9″ stock, all in 8′ lengths.

In the case of the wide stock, those 66 board feet translated into 9x boards. Since I’m cutting them into 2′ lengths, I have a maximum yield of 36x pieces, and I need 27. OK, so I have 9 extra, right? Nope.

The National Hardwood Lumber Association has set the standard for lumber grading, and here is the rule for the best grade of lumber, “First And Seconds”, or “FAS”:

Grade Minimum board length Minimum board width Minimum cutting size Min. area of clear cuttings required
FAS 8′ 6″ 4″ x 5′
3″ x 7′

The best grade of lumber is sold with the knowledge that over 16% of the lumber will have defects in it rendering it unusable – and only leaving a minimum cutting size of 4″ x 5′ or 3″ x 7′, neither of which is big enough to help me. At all.

These boards are not usable for this project, but will be cut into smaller pieces for other projects … someday.

In this specific case, I cut the 9x boards into 36x pieces, and found 29x of them to be usable. Good thing, as I needed the extra 2x to get the 108x pieces of 6″ widths that I also needed.

In the end, my 259 board feet of lumber got me:

  • 15 board feet of lumber that was only 5″ wide, and so unusable for this project. Good thing Hard Maple is the # 1 species that I use. I will use this wood, just not now.
  • 29x pieces, 8″ minimum x 24″
  • 105x pieces, 6″ minimum x 24″
  • 27x pieces of all widths that have major defects in them and are unusable for this project

The 27x unusable pieces are not totally scrap. I’ll have to cut out the knots, or the splits, or the voids, and then I’ll be able to use what’s left. It’s a good thing I make MBOs and Sous Chef boards that need smaller pieces. After doing this project, I’ve got’em.

So, if you’re keeping track, you’ll see that I ended up being 1 piece short: I still needed one more 6″ minimum width piece to get my 108x pieces. Luckily, I had one in the lumber rack (I am never out of Hard Maple!), so that filled the order.

So, how’d I do ordering lumber?

I got lucky.

The front stack is the 8″ minimum. The next 4 stacks are 6″ minimums. The back stack … defects.

Mr M’s New Booth: # 4 (part 1)   3 comments

Change is a wonderful thing … but creating change is a challenge.

Last year, Mrs M’s new booth premiered to hoopla and huzzahs. The proof was in the pudding: her sales went up significantly when we began using her purpose-built booth.

And it’s not that I got jealous, but I did feel that Mr M’s Woodshop was being left behind. I needed to up my game … I have done a few display pieces and stitched them together into a booth display, but have never actually had a unified display for the Woodshop. By summer, that will be remedied.

Meanwhile, here’s where we started, so you know I have only one way to go. Note the vomiting of cheese boards across my table with the lovely table-cloth. Note the custom laminated sign. Note that I don’t rate being in the picture.

Humble beginnings.

Mrs. M and Mrs. M, before they opened on their first day. Smiles on faces, and that is a very good thing!

For the 2nd iteration of the booth, I had graduated to making display pieces … but never enough, it seemed, and always with issues in the execution.

I should get better help.

The 2014 booth included vertical towers that didn’t come apart and step units that did. Neither choice was correct.

By the time we hit 2015, I had learned from some of my mistakes. The step units now had removable posts to hold the product in place … but those removable posts all-too-frequently were removed when you picked up a board to look at. The non-folding towers were gone, but a purpose-built display for my engraved boards did make an appearance … and died later that year, since I assembled it with hardware not meant for multiple uses. I used wood screws, not machine bolts, and the red oak screw holes lasted for about 20 put-togethers, and then they were done.

See those sous chef boards hanging on a rope? They looked great most of the time … but if people leaned into the table to look at a board, they often hit their head. After a few months of that, I finally decided that people hitting themselves on my display was a bad idea. I’m quick, you’ve got to give me that.

That was my approach to product display for the first 3 years of Mr M’s Woodshop. People have put up with my shortcomings, but it’s time that I should act like a pro and build a display that’s as good as my cutting boards. I’m actually building a few more pieces, but these are 2 of the 3 major pieces for my display. Mrs M will eventually get a couple of new cabinets to match mine. All told, the entire booth should be upgraded & complete in time for Mountain Fest in Tehachapi this August.

August, he said? I can barely control my chortling, how about you?

Meanwhile, here’s  a photo array of part 1 of my new booth that premiered last weekend. Note these features:

  • 4 drawers in the big cabinet to hold product, accessories and who knows what else.
  • Both pieces are painted with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. There’s also a wax topcoat. We’ve got a 2-tone color scheme, with the top of the big cart a darker color than the cabinetry. The custom mixes of the paints were also combinations of 2 colors, interestingly. Everything came from Refined by Cindy Rowley. Cindi was a huge help consulting with me on how to do this properly – it’s the first time I’ve done distressed water-based paint since building sets at Mizzou! Highly recommend you check out Cindi’s store when you get a chance … you’ll even find some of my boards for sale there. Cindi’s now begun her 2nd year selling boards from Mr M’s Woodshop!
  • Each cart has a removable skirt that’s velcroed in place. The skirts cover up the wheels; we couldn’t have those unsightly things visible. Some events even require that! Kudos to Jan Sandstrom who finished the skirts in record time, and even brought them to us.
  • It takes a village.


Mrs M’s New Booth: # 4

Mrs M’s Handmade: The Booth, 10×24 (# 3)

Mrs M’s Handmade: The Booth, 10×12 (# 3)

Mrs M’s New Booth (# 2)

Things I Learned At The Street Fair (# 1)

Your Move   Leave a comment

I’ve had a love/hate relationship with chess since SJ kicked my butt in the 6th grade. I’ve never been a student of the game, but I have learned enough to make tournament-quality chess boards.

Good thing, since it’s my # 1 most requested item. To my chagrin.

However, I’ve battled my demons, worked though my shop chaos, and have now brought these boards to the finish line.

Each of these 5 boards has the playing surface mounted proud of the frame.

Because that’s how a chess board should be, I believe. Proud.

Each of the 5 are different, of course, because too much repetition doesn’t make for a good game.

One is a commissioned piece, but when the buyer saw this collection, he bought 2 more. The remaining 2 will be at this weekend’s KHTS Home & Garden Show at Central Park in Santa Clarita. We’ll be in the front of the “KHTS Marketplace; their section for vendors with handmade goods. It’s right by the free tree giveaway in honor of Arbor Day, sponsored by the city of Santa Clarita. This event is our only Spring Fling in Santa Clarita – for updated event listings, just click on the menu link for “Mr & Mrs M’s Upcoming Events.” Hope to see you at one of these events.

It’s your move.

Mrs M’s New Booth # 4 (part 2)   Leave a comment

It’s been a long wait for me to complete Mrs M’s 4th booth.

But then, I ought to know that it’s never easy getting to the finish line.

Mrs M was promised these display pieces last year. Foolishly, I got busy making new product that was selling, and didn’t make time have a chance to finish these pieces until someone was beyond frustrated with my prioritization of products that sell over one-off projects that just sit on the table.

Hmmm. Maybe my priorities were off. Ya think?

With these 2 pieces to hold Mrs M’s Lip Balm as well as the spectacle that is ZooSoapia, Mrs M’s booth is now complete with her purpose-built display.

Except for the rolling cart for the testing station.

And except for the rolling cart for the wrap station.

Those shall wait for another day, another season, and a time when I don’t have too many things that must be done looming over my head. Those frustrations, however, are for another time. Today, we celebrate the new stuff!


Mrs M’s New Booth: # 4

Mrs M’s Handmade: The Booth, 10×24 (# 3)

Mrs M’s Handmade: The Booth, 10×12 (# 3)

Mrs M’s New Booth (# 2)

Things I Learned At The Street Fair (# 1)

Wanted: Attractive Refrigerators   Leave a comment

It’s wit.

In my opinion.

Magic Bottle Openers stick to your attractive refrigerator. If your refrigerator isn’t attractive, then the MBO will still wall mount. And it doesn’t care how attractive your wall is, because it’s pre-drilled and I’ll give you the mounting hardware.

MBOs continue to be my # 1 seller. I now use 6 different colors & styles of bottle openers mounted on the seemingly infinite combinations of wood possible when you work with 20 different hardwood species.

Mrs M is even helping me make them now, as its best if I have help when we’re gluing the magic into the MBOs. Double Magic MBOs have 7 pieces of magic, and it gets pretty exciting when those pieces start, uh, attracting each other, and flipping into places where I don’t want them.

Magic has to be contained, you see. If it’s allowed to run rampant, then unforeseen things could happen, and that’s just not what I’m about.

Here’s the latest from the garage woodshop!

One Size Does Not Fit All   Leave a comment

One of my key discoveries since I started down the path of becoming a serious woodworker hobbyist is that people like a lot of different things.

I started using 7 woods, and thought I had a nice variety.

I was wrong.

Now I use over 20, and still get requests for woods I don’t use (and if you can find olive wood for me, I’ll be happy to use it!).

The size of cutting boards is another thing that has surprised me. Some people want a sandwich-sized cutting board, and that’s all they need. For some, that’s because it’s in their small kitchen in an RV (who knew?). For others, they simply don’t want a board bigger or heavier than my smallest cheese boards.

That’s why I make sure every board in the shop is made to be a good cutting board. I may think a board is a cheese board … but I may be wrong. If it’s intended use is to be cutting, then that has to be OK.

Here are the latest cheese boards, small boards and cutting boards to make it across the finish line. That’s what I call them, anyway. You get to call them what you want!

Ugly Enough To Use   Leave a comment

One of my favorite stories from making cutting boards happened 2 years ago at the California Poppy Festival. This weekend, you’ll find me there, again, along with Mrs M.

But back to the story.

I call them Sous Chef boards: small handled cutting boards, made to be mobile. Give one to you assistant, and have them chop an onion, or whatever, and then bring the chopping to you so you can add to whatever you’re doing. I make 2 sizes, and they were on prominent display at our first Poppy Festival.

A guy came into the booth, liked them, and bought one as a present for his wife. All good. I love being a part of a happy home.

The guy came back in the afternoon, saying he’d been sent back to buy another sous chef board. His wife loved the first one … but it was too pretty to use, and it was going to be hung on the wall. He’d been sent back to buy a second board that was ugly enough to use.

Whether you think these are too pretty or just ugly enough, here’s the latest from the garage woodshop.


Round = Spinning   Leave a comment

I sit right by the Lazy Susans in the booth layout I’m using these days, and I’ve gotten used to the look in the eyes of customers on the prowl as they stalk them.

They’ll walk into the booth, soak in the mise en scène, and spy the Susans.

“Are those Lazy Susans?” they ask.

I don’t say a word. I just give the top one a spin. Words are not necessary.

One thing I’ve learned is that any round board is assumed to be a Lazy Susan. I did round cutting boards for a time, but I got tired of explaining that my 1-1/2″ thick round, slope-sided cutting board was not a Lazy Susan.

So, I stopped making them. If having a round board that does not spin is confusing, then I won’t have them.

Confusion is not my goal. The marketplace has spoken, and I listened.

Since I started making Lazy Susans – at the request of a client! – they have been one of my more consistent sellers. I like to make them in batches, but I had let my inventory dwindle so this latest batch is overdue. As always, I celebrated with some very unique color and grain patterns. Please, enjoy!

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