Archive for the ‘Woodworking’ Category

New: Soap Drying Racks   Leave a comment

I blame Mrs M. Of course.

She had me make her the original Soap Drying Rack when she became a serious Soaper … and as soon as other Soapers saw the rack, I began to hear a clamor.

If you are a maker, then you know soap needs a drying rack. Until today, I’ve never offered racks for sale.

These racks have 7 removable, wooden slatted trays to allow for plenty of dry air circulation during the suponification process (I listen when Mrs M speaks!). The footprint of the piece is 23″ x 23″, and the rack stands about 30″ tall. Add the optional 4″, locking wheels if this will be on the floor, or no wheels if the Rack will sit on a table or counter.

Shelves are spaced to allow for bars as tall as 3.5″. Depending on how large your bars are – and if you dry them flat or on edge – total capacity for each unit is as much as 450 bars.

Buy a 2nd unit to double the storage capacity; units can stack 2 high. With wheels on the bottom unit, total height will be about 64″.

Construction is all wood, typically of Poplar, Pine & Baltic Birch Plywood. The wood is left raw: this is a soap maker’s tool, not a piece of furniture. All surfaces are sanded and splinter-free, but this is not a fine finish.

Each Rack ships in 2 boxes. There is a minimal amount of assembly required; all holes are pre-drilled and hardware is included. Instructions for the simple assembly are here.

NOTE: this piece is not always in stock, and does take a few days to build. If I’m already committed to other projects, delivery might take a few weeks. Email me first if you’re concerned about timing.

You can purchase these Soap Drying Racks directly on the upgraded Mr M’s Woodshop site. Here’s a direct link to the Soap Drying Rack page.

Pictured is the solid version of the 7 tray Rack, which could be picked up directly from the Woodshop. If I’m shipping to you, the joinery will change a bit, and those pictures are still not done.

Juicy Small Boards   Leave a comment

We are getting control of our home.

I am getting control of my business.

And, by doing that, I found these 17x boards. See? Organization is a good thing. You just have to embrace the pain!

The whole story is that, at long last, we’re remodeling our home. We’ve lived here over 30 years, so it’s simply time for changes to be made. The first floor is getting paint, flooring & lighting. Upstairs, the master bathroom is getting remodeled out to the studs: new shower, vanity, plumbing, mirror, etc. New. New. New.

For far too long, you see, we put up with the problems in our home because … well, it wasn’t a priority. Money was tight. We had no time. And, it all worked, in a fashion.

Now, though, the kids are gone and we had an opportunity to solve some long-standing problems with our home. Like, how it was always dark in the living room. And, storage for Mrs M & Mr M was a CHALLENGE that we had no real solution for. The result: storage containers of soaps, lotions, cutting boards & serving pieces lived in the downstairs hallway between events. House Beautiful, it was not. But we had a plan….

And that plan began with lighting being installed, and that meant all of the stuff being stored in the hallway had to move. Some went upstairs into the guest bedroom (a problem for another day, when we’re allowed to have guests!). Some went to our new, larger storage space. And some went to the Family Room until we got a bit more organized. All good.

Except, during the upheaval, a container of new small boards that were awaiting branding by my laser engraver got moved & misplaced. They moved to the Family Room at the bottom of a stack of containers and I didn’t find them until I moved that entire stack a few weeks later. Now, I’m happy to report, those boards have been branded, oiled, waxed & photographed.

These Juicy Small Boards are all 11-1/2″ x 11-1/2″ x 7/8″, with a juice groove that’s 1/2″ wide and 1/4″ deep. More of a crumb catcher, really … but also perfect for you to corral your juicy food while you serve a ribeye, slice a tomato or deliver a sandwich for an after school snack.

You’re an adult, you get to choose. These Juicy Small Boards are a perfect complement to your larger counter top board that’s central to meal prep. As with all of my cutting boards, these boards have non-skid rubber feet held on with stainless steel screws, along with routed fingerholds so they are easy to move to wherever you need them.

If you like what you see, you can purchase these on the upgraded Mr M’s Woodshop site. Just hover your mouse, or click on a photo & get the file name of the one(s) that you like. The file name will be in the format, “Small Board 20 – 2xx.” Put those numbers in the notes section of your order, and I’ll choose those for you if they are still available. And, yes, I recently upgraded MrMsWoodshop.com so you can buy directly and easily. Here’s a direct link to the Juicy Small Board page, and here are the latest boards that have made it to the finish line:

First Question: What Size Cutting Board Do You Want?   Leave a comment

It’s the most basic question once someone tells me they want to buy a cutting board. OK, what size?

There’s no wrong answer here.

I’m now making boards as small as 6″ square, and counter-top boards as large as 17″ x 21″ x 1-1/2″. I’ve made even larger cutting boards … but I don’t carry them to & from events.

Carrying is a burden when the boards are large, you see.

“Cheese Boards” are what I call cutting boards that are less than 11″ in any dimension. They can be used for cutting, of course, but in my head, these are for serving cheese & crackers or other appetizers. I know many buyers love these small boards for one purpose uses, such as dicing fruit for after school snacks. The smallest of these are what I envision as “Bar Boards” for slicing lemons & limes. Dicing garlic or onions on a dedicated small board might make sense to some that like to separate the stinkin’ rose from other vegetables.

Here are the “Small Boards” that were just completed. These are all edge grain boards, meaning you cut on the edges of the lumber. They are all 11″ x 11″ x 7/8″, and have a juice groove. Routed fingerholds & non-skid rubber feet complete these boards (and all of the boards on this page) that can be cutting boards, serving pieces for ribeye steak … or you get to choose what to do with yours!

Finally, I get to my favorite cutting boards, which are end grain boards. These are the most difficult to make, show the least wear, and are the best for your knives. Made like the classic butcher blocks, these end grain boards are the centerpiece of any well-appointed kitchen. I seldom make these smaller than 13×17.

Cheese Slicers   Leave a comment

The world is full of cheese … and I’m going to help you slice it.

Such may not be the makings of an empire, but it is a part of my dogged search for the perfect cheese & cracker servers. I’m getting closer every day … and a well-appointed home will have a cheese slicer for those moments when a block appears that must become bite-sized pieces.

Each of these slicers is approximately 8″ x 11″ x 7/8″, with the wired slicer having a 5″ radius. That’s actually the largest size available in the US. I carry slicers with both black and chrome handles, though all of these are black. Each slicer has non-skid rubber feet to ensure the tool doesn’t move when you are depending on it!

If you are particularly enamored of one of these cheese slicers, just hover your mouse, or click on a photo & get the file name of the one(s) that you like. The file name will be in the format, “Cheese Slicer 20 – 4xx.” Put those numbers in the notes section of your order, and I’ll choose those for you if they are still available. And, yes, I recently upgraded MrMsWoodshop.com so you can buy directly and easily. Here’s a direct link to the cheese slicer page, and here are the latest slicers that have made it to the finish line:

Odds. Ends. The Rest Of The Batch.   Leave a comment

Most of these are single items that got finished after the main batch was done for some odd reason. The MBO just got misplaced. The Cracker Thing needed another end cut. The sign (I actually made 6) was one that didn’t get made when I “completed” the rest of my inventory of signs.

For whatever reason, here are 8 different kinds of items that just finished.

A few notes on the bread saws, as I made a very large batch of them:

  • There are 7 different kinds of woods here – Sapele, Hard Maple, Padauk, Purpleheart, Goncalo Alves, Cherry & Osage Orange.
  • My biggest injury in months was when my driver slipped and the bread saw blade went into my thumb. I actually used a band aid. These blades are sharp!
  • These pictures have the blade guards installed on every saw except for the one featured in the picture of the Purpleheart Bread Saws. Safety First!
  • A few of these Bread Saws have cord tied around the bow holding the saw blade. That’s how I identify left handed models.

The Trouble With Trivets   1 comment

First of all, I was reminded last week that anyone that gets the Star Trek reference in the title of this post is a true nerd. If you want to see some clips from the memorable episode, the link is at the bottom of this post.

As pleasing as the alliteration is, there are a few problems associated with trivets. Luckily, they don’t threaten the Starship Enterprise as the Tribbles did … but I digress.

Trivets are made from a laminated assembly, a “blank” in my terminology, that is then cut 8-1/2″ square. That piece is then put on the CNC with sturdy hold downs to make sure the workpiece does not move as the slots are cut into the blank. After one side is done, the assembly is flipped and the other side is cut with the same pattern.

The process … makes saw dust. A LOT of saw dust.

So, my first problem is that I have a lot of saw dust to clean from the CNC after each and every side of every Trivet gets cut.

The 2nd problem … trivets are now one of my more popular items.

And that, my friends, is a wonderful problem to have.

Here’s the latest batch of trivets, ready for my event that starts this weekend in Prescott, AZ. If you’re not going to make it to the mountains of Arizona to see me, then you can always order trivets on my retail website, MrMsWoodshop.com.

In celebration of my “troubles,” I’m offering a special discount on trivets purchased through the website. Buy 4, get one free. Plus, you’ll get free shipping with your purchase. Just put 5 trivets into your shopping cart, and the site will automatically make the 5th trivet free. The holidays are coming, and these make great gifts, I’m told. Let me know, will you?

If you are particularly enamored of certain trivets, just hover your mouse, or click on a photo & get the file name of the one(s) that you like. The file name will be in the format, “Trivet 20 – 1xx.” Put those numbers in the notes section of your order, and I’ll choose those for you if they are still available. Here’s a direct link to the trivets page, and here are the latest trivets that have made it to the finish line:

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Yes, I Make Cribbage Boards   1 comment

I mean, I must. I buy cards by the case and pegs by the hundreds.

Things just sort of sneak up on you, sometimes.

However, when I’m at a craft fair (ah, memories….), it’s very common for me to be asked if I make cribbage boards. So yes, yes, I do. And since I’m working feverishly (but without fever, in case you intend to test me for everyone’s favorite virus) to round out my inventory for the coming holiday season, it’s best if I make some round cribbage boards.

Here’s the latest batch, including some special orders that prompted this flurry of making.

There are a couple of 3 player bases at the bottom of this post, and several 4 player bases. There are many, many carved tops for both styles that are already made. Here is how they work:

  • The tops & bottoms work together. Choose the bottom you like, pair it with a top, and you’ve got your own set.
  • Each round bottom is for a 4-player game (or 2-player or 3-player!). 2 decks of cards & 3x pegs in 4x colors are included.
  • Store your cards & pegs in the bottom; the top covers that storage compartment.
  • The oval sets are for a 3-player game (or 2-player!). 1 deck of cards & 12 pegs are included.

These are all available for purchase on my retail website, MrMsWoodshop.com. All cribbage sets ship for free! Here’s a direct link to the games that are currently available.

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Cribbage Is My #1 Game

The Cribbage Obsession

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.

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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.

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