Archive for the ‘Woodworking’ Category

Custom Orders   2 comments

Yes, I do custom orders!

Special engraving. Unique wood combinations. Oddball requests. You name it.

To be fair, I often turn down oddball requests for special one-time constructions. I have trouble making enough pieces just to keep up with my totally out-of-control hobby, after all. Adding ideas that take extra TLC to make it to the finish line usually doesn’t make sense.

But who said I have to make sense? Adding the occasional odd request does help me use my creativity & expand my skill set. At the right time, doing a unique project can be fun. Since that’s why I’m doing this, I try and help people with fun projects as much as I can.

And, no, I still don’t make backgammon boards. Or rolling pins. Or toaster tongs.

But, apparently, if you want a Fire Pokin’ Stick, then I’m your guy.

New: Bread Saws   3 comments

Sometimes it just takes too long for me to complete a good idea.

I made a bread saw prototype in 2016, and promptly sold it as part of a wedding gift. You would think I would use that success and motivate myself to make more … but no.

I did buy the necessary hardware, which has sat in my cabinet for more than a year. You would think that would motivate … but no.

But, when a Lady walked into the booth last month and asked me to make her not one, but two Bread Saws, I couldn’t say no. She told me she had been searching for them for years.

Just like me & my motivation.

These Bread Saws are made from various hardwoods. The handle helps you cut each slice to the same thickness. Each handle is cut from a single piece of wood with an ergonomic shape that feels very good in your hand. The saw blades are stainless steel, and are so sharp that each saw comes with a protective shield.

Each piece is about 16″ x 2″. The saw blade is 8″ long.

Bread Saws in production. They are curvy.

I took all of the Bread Saws with me to my weekend event, Jackalope Summer Nights in Pasadena. Sold one almost immediately. The buyer had also “been looking for one for years.”

And then she found me. That’s good, right?

 

Just Finished: Large Serving Pieces   2 comments

It’s a good thing I like making these … Large Serving Pieces.

The name is a problem for me. When I started making these, uh, LSPs, people started calling them Surfboards because they have a curvy shape … and we’re in SoCal.

We have surfers here, you see. Deal with it.

So, these were called Surfboards for a couple of years. Then I thought that they weren’t really shaped like surfboards – especially when I started making true surfboard-shaped cutting boards, so I started calling these Cheese & Cracker Servers.

Which is true … but limiting. Some people use these to serve the entree. Or the dessert. Whatever. They work great as Cheese & Cracker Servers, of course … but that’s not all that they are. So, for now, I call them Large Serving Pieces. You can call yours whatever you want!

Making this batch of 19 LSPs put a lot of sawdust into the shop, because each edge of each piece has to go across the table saw blade at an oblique angle multiple times. There’s no saw guard to help with dust collection when I make these “open faced” cuts. Plus, the work pieces go across the saw blade, not through the blade,  which means that a whole lot of sawdust gets made to shape those elegant curves under each edge. Those curves are actually made in the shape of the saw blade as the work pieces go across the blade. These cuts are called cove cuts, and you rarely see them used these days.

Which only means I’m old school. Or something. In any event, these LSPs are individually designed, hand shaped, hand rubbed, and they are now ready for your inspection!

I must note that they are one of the rewards in my current Kickstarter campaign which is almost over. The campaign ends July 31, so you have until then to become a Backer and select the reward that you would like to receive. Yes, you can receive one of these LSPs if that’s your choice. It’s one of the most popular rewards, though, so you may have to get in line if you like one of these Large Serving Pieces!

Each piece (except for the one that’s a bit wider) is about 12″ wide x 19″ long x 1-1/4″ thick. All are finished with my standard food-ready finish: mineral oil, with a top coat or my “Board Butter,” which is locally-harvested beeswax mixed with mineral oil. All pieces have non-skid feet held on with stainless steel screws for long life.

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My Kickstarter Campaign

The Woods In The Woodshop

Kickstarter: Coasters

Kickstarter: Trivets

Kickstarter: Cheese Boards

Kickstarter: Handled Cutting Boards

Kickstarter: Large Serving Pieces

Kickstarter: Carnivore Boards

Kickstarter: Best Cutting Boards

Cutting Boards, Coasters & Small Boards   Leave a comment

Ah, the finish line.

I tend to make boards in batches. That makes it easier to cut lumber to size, and that makes me a bit more efficient.

Which would be a good thing.

After our successful Spring Fling, I was out of 12″ x 16″ cutting boards – my most popular size! That’s just not OK, so I made a few to get ready for this weekend’s event in Camarillo.

In the process of making the Cutting Boards, I made a few Small Boards, as I call them (usually about 8″ x 12″ x 1-1/4″). One cheese board got finished (9″ x 11″ x 5/8″). And then I finished a couple of sets of coasters, as well as a quartet of 3D-carved Wine Bottle Coasters. A little variety makes the whole working in batches thing a little more fun, in my estimation. I can’t make too many of one thing, or I go crazy.

As you can see here, every cutting board is unique. That’s a goal!

And speaking of goals (again, a very smooth transition!)….

My Kickstarter campaign is now 87% funded. I’m $611 from my goal of $5,000. Please consider becoming a Backer – and getting a cool reward from me in time for holiday giving. Note the clock is ticking: the goal must be reached by July 31. Check out the options here: Handmade Cutting Boards & Wooden Serving Pieces.

Kickstarter: Carnivore Boards   8 comments

If you are a meat eater, or know a meat eater, then these boards might tickle your fancy.

I designed these boards for 2-sided use, which is unusual for me. I believe cutting boards benefit from having non-skid rubber feet, so most boards I make have one good side … unless there’s a compelling reason to do it another way.

Which brings us to the Carnivore Board.

The side everyone comments on is the one with the oval ridges forming a dish in the middle of the board. Those ridges are designed to hold the carcass of the chicken or turkey in place while it’s being carved. Surrounding those ovals is a giant juice groove that will hold 2 cups of juice.

I have some experience carving turkey. I know what you’re up against.

Flip the board over, and you’ve got a nice cutting board, again with a nice juice groove, for beef or pork carving. You can take a tri tip off the bar-b-que, put it on your Carnivore Board, and serve it on the board.

All of your meat carving can be done on this one board.

The Carnivore Board, in action.

All of these Carnivore Boards are made from Hard Maple, which is the gold standard for cutting boards. Dimensions are 14″ x 19″ x 1-1/8″. Finish, as with all of my food ready boards, is mineral oil, with a top coat of my own Board Butter, which is a mix of mineral oil with locally-harvested beeswax.

Here I show you 4 Carnivore boards that just got finished. They are all the same … except for the grain of the Hard Maple boards. Every piece of lumber is different, so every one of these Carnivore boards is slightly different.

Carnivore Boards are one of the rewards offered in my current Kickstarter campaign, which will end on July 31. If you would like to become a Backer of my campaign, then receiving a Carnivore Board for your reward is an option. All of the reward options are explained here: Handmade Cutting Boards & Wooden Serving Pieces. Note that the campaign is 82% funded as I write this, with a goal of $5,000. If I don’t make the goal, then nothing happens. Help me make the goal, though, and I’ll deliver your reward to you in time for holiday giving. Thanks for your consideration!

 

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My Kickstarter Campaign

The Woods In The Woodshop

Kickstarter: Coasters

Kickstarter: Trivets

Kickstarter: Cheese Boards

Kickstarter: Handled Cutting Boards

Kickstarter: Large Serving Pieces

Kickstarter: Carnivore Boards

Kickstarter: Best Cutting Boards

New: Charcuterie Board   2 comments

You pick up ideas everywhere.

When you’re looking.

And me, I’m always on the lookout for a good cutting board. When a client told me they wanted me to refinish their favorite cutting board, I was all in.

This, then, is my homage to their favorite cutting board. It’s 9″ x 20″ x 3/4″. It’s curvy. It has softly rounded edges. It’s made from Birds Eye Maple – which is highly figured Hard Maple – and this board feels elegant in your hand.

I call it a Charcuterie Board, but it’s really a cutting board, or whatever you want it to be.

Mrs M saw the prototypes and loved them. She decided that one of them would be perfect to hold my birthday dinner’s appetizer, and I, of course, had to get some photographs during the “golden hour” on the patio. I call this board a Charcuterie Board, but it’s an Appetizer Board, too.

What, I’m going to tell the Lady what board she has to use to serve the most excellent food she makes? That’s not going to happen. And the recipe is linked at the bottom, just in case you’re in the mood for a wonderful treat.

So, I call this a Charcuterie Board. Yes, it’s a Cutting Board. Yes, it’s an Appetizer Board. Yes, it’s a Cheese Board. Yes, it’s a Bread Board.

You get to choose!

Finally, I am running a Kickstarter campaign RIGHT NOW to help me expand the workshop’s capabilities. If you are interested in backing my campaign – and getting some cool stuff as a reward – then, please, click here: Handmade Cutting Boards & Wooden Serving Pieces.

Here’s the latest to make it to the finish line from the Woodshop!

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Velda’s Bruschetta

New signs   5 comments

These signs have been a total surprise to me.

Honest.

My goal was to decorate the booth. Add some color. A little sass. Personality. Verticality.

Apparently, I’ve done that. And while doing that, I’ve created another product category: CNC signs. This batch of 31 signs completes all but 1 that I have designed; I didn’t have enough wood to do that blank in this batch. What I have done is replaced all of those sold at the last event, and then some.

These signs include thoughts from some of the great philosophers of our society. Some of the great food experts of our society.

Hippocrates. Julia Child. Shakespeare. Mark Twain. Miss Piggy.

You get the picture.

All of these signs will be on display this weekend at the next event for Mr M’s Woodshop, the Camarillo Fiesta & Street Fair. No clue where my booth will be … so, look for my banner and find me!

But, if you don’t find yourself in Camarillo next weekend, I have a solution for you. I am running a Kickstarter campaign RIGHT NOW to help me expand the workshop’s capabilities. If you are interested in backing my campaign – and getting some cool stuff as a reward – then, please, click here: Handmade Cutting Boards & Wooden Serving Pieces.

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My Surprise: People Buy My Signs

The Rest Of The Litter   Leave a comment

I’m committed to the Pig Business.

It took me several decades to get there … but I believe in the power of the Pig.

Last weekend, I heard yet another story from a lady that had received her Pig cutting board from a relative, who gave them to everyone in the family.

She loved her Pig.

Though I can’t share in the love, I do understand. These are fun cutting boards, charcuterie boards, whatever … and there are family traditions of support for them.

I’ve met one lady who will only cut on Pig cutting boards, and she just ordered her second one from me. That one will be in a new, smaller size. I resisted that idea, at first … but pigs do come in many sizes.

And I’m in the pig business. This current batch came in a litter of 12, but only 6 were finished at a time. The first batch is linked below. Also linked below is the story of how I first got into the pig business, 50+ years ago. Enjoy!

Oh … and if you haven’t heard, I am running a Kickstarter campaign RIGHT NOW to help me expand the workshop’s capabilities. If you are interested in backing my campaign – and getting some cool stuff as a reward – then, please, click here: Handmade Cutting Boards & Wooden Serving Pieces.

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Half Of The Litter

A Litter Of Pigs

My Surprise: People Buy My Signs   5 comments

I blame Delinda.

She’s our friend; she runs Sweet Spot Home Decor. She has retail experience, and knows a thing or 3 about merchandising and retail presentation.

Something I had never done until I got roped into going a-vendoring. I blame the Mrs M’s.

Yes. I blame.

So, back to Delinda. She stared at my booth, and had opinions. She got in my head. I had to add color. I had to go vertical. I had to be better.

OK, that sounds like me. So, I got creative and printed some pictures of my boards in action. Most of these pictures were taken in our back yard, in front of the pizza oven. They are good photos, if I may say so myself, and seemed to be just what the doctor Delinda ordered.

Then I got a bit more creative, and decided to make some signs. They should have a bit of sass, I thought. They would be about food & drink … just like the things I make. The signs would complement the photos, and complement the cutting boards and wooden serving pieces. I got a bunch together, and they made their premiere at Bishop Mule Days. They’ve since been seen at subsequent events in Montrose, Palos Verdes, Lompoc and Ojai.

And people want to buy them.

It was never my intent to make more things to sell! I was just trying to decorate the booth, up my game, and get Delinda out of my head. I did all of that, thankfully, but now I’m working to keep signs in stock as people choose new decor for their kitchen, family room, man cave or whatever.

I’m good with that. Here’s the latest batch!

Oh, and one more thing. I am running a Kickstarter campaign in the month of July to help me expand the workshop’s capabilities. If you are interested in backing my campaign – and getting some cool stuff as a reward – then, please, click here: Handmade Cutting Boards & Wooden Serving Pieces. Don’t delay, though: if I don’t reach my goal by July 31, then the project fails and nothing happens. I don’t want to be that guy!

 

Yes, These Are Lazy Susans   Leave a comment

I have a lot of fun making Lazy Susans. And it’s a good thing: they are a consistent seller.

They are never a huge seller, mind you, but I sell one or two at almost every show. The Lazy Susans I make are unique, colorful, robust … and most of my customers have never seen anything like them.

Families love Lazy Susans. When they can keep the little boys and girls from spinning them so fast that things fly off, that is. But that’s the joy of raising little ones, I believe. I was one once, after all.

Building a memory about a spilled bottle of ketchup: priceless.

I work to keep my Susans unique and fun. I do make simple ones now and again, and they do find happy homes. The Susans that sell quickly, though, are the ones with colors and a bit of flash. This batch belongs to that category; my next batch will have more simpler designs.

If you’re out and about this weekend, come see the Susans, Mrs M and myself at Ventura’s 43rd Annual 4th of July Street Fair. Come on out, and if you’re star spangled, you’ll fit right in.

Oh … and if you haven’t heard, I am running a Kickstarter campaign RIGHT NOW to help me expand the workshop’s capabilities. The campaign runs through July, and is currently 69% funded. If I reach or surpass my goal, then all is well. If I don’t reach the goal, though, then it’s as if nothing happened. No boards get made, no expansion happens. If you are interested in backing my campaign – and getting some cool stuff as a reward – then, please, click here: Handmade Cutting Boards & Wooden Serving Pieces.

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With All Due Apologies, Susan

 

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