Archive for the ‘hardwood’ Tag

Hot Stuff Needs An Air Gap   1 comment

I’m often asked if a Cheese Board can be used as a Trivet. Or a Cribbage Top. Or a Cutting Board. The answer, sadly, is no.

Not without risk of the heat from the dish melting the glue in the laminated piece, and, uh, deconstructing it. That would be a bad thing. A very bad thing.

So, I make Trivets.

Trivets are designed with air gaps so the heat can escape without tearing the laminated wood piece apart. That also makes them very light, unusual … and interesting to look at.

Or so I’ve been told. Some people like to hang these trivets on the wall. That works for me!

Chrome Or Black?   Leave a comment

I didn’t sell out of Cheese Slicers at my last event … but I only had one left at the end.

Honestly, at that point, it’s almost as if they were sold out. Only one means no selection was available: it was strictly take it or leave it. Variety is a primary driver of the Woodshop, from every perspective.

Variety it is. Not only do I have a wide array of new wood designs, I once again have 2 colors of slicers: chrome & black. It only seems right!

Once again, you get to choose!

I Did Bad   Leave a comment

It’s a common morning greeting among vendors … “we’re going to sell out today!”

I never think that. I know that if I sell out … I’ll have nothing for my next event. I don’t want to sell out, I think to myself.

Which is not right, of course.

However, at my last event, I certainly did sell out of Cracker Things … and that was bad. I could have sold several more: I actually had customers coming to the booth and asking for them by name.

I did bad. Very bad. I sold out of Cracker Things.

So, nothing to do but get to it. Dr H visited a couple of weeks ago, and he helped me make a bunch of bases for a new batch of Cracker Things … I actually had 95 bases in process! Only a fraction of that number made it to the finish line, though.

That’s OK. I’m no longer out of the item that customers ask for by name!

For those of you that have no idea what I’m talking about, that’s OK … here is a Cracker Thing, properly appointed with a wide array of crackers:

Each Cracker Thing is about 10-1/2″ long, and will hold quite a number of crackers, as you see. The sides are 2″ wide, so your typical Milton’s cracker (one of my favorites) fits very well, indeed. Most of the Cracker Things have a chaos base. The pieces that hold the crackers are often mismatched woods.

What would you expect from a Cracker Thing?

Doing Less Can Be Better   Leave a comment

I’ve got 6 sanding machines I regularly use. I know the woodworkers wanna know … so if you are a civilian, just hang on for a bit.

The six machines are:

  1. A Jet 16-32 drum sander, which allows me to smooth wide pieces like the Lazy Susans
  2. A Jet 6″ belt sander, perfect for smoothing rounded edges … I thought
  3. A Jet Benchtop Oscillating Spindle Sander – the only good way to work on concave curves
  4. Festool ETS EC 125/EQ … a Random Orbital Sander (ROS) … the 5″ model for edge sanding
  5. Festool RO 150 FEQ … another ROS, the 6″ model for sanding the tops and bottoms of boards
  6. Festool DTS 400 REQ, a triangular sander for reaching nooks & crannies
Here are the hand sanders I use, all by Festool. When I use them, they’re connected to a Festool “Dust Extractor” which absolutely minimizes dust in the air. When I bought these, my air got cleaner and my life got better.

Lazy Susans are cut on the CNC, which means that I screw down the work piece to the sacrificial board, then have to remove the tabs that hold the piece in place as it’s cut out. That’s done on the band saw … and then I have to sand the tab stubs smooth. Typically, I’ve done that on the belt sander.

And that was wrong.

With this batch, I’ve confirmed that I can avoid the belt sander altogether … as it leaves vertical scratches around the entire circumference of the Lazy Susans. Instead, I used my 5″ Festool ROS (Random Orbital Sander, or the ETS EC 125/EQ), and that removed the tabs nicely … and I didn’t have to then clean up the entire circumference of the Susan. That’s 4″ of sanding, instead of 55″ of sanding.

Oh, I still had a bunch of sanding to do, and I still sanded the entire circumference – twice – before these pieces reached the finish line. However, by avoiding the belt sander, I had an easier time of it.

Less is better, in this case.

Posted February 24, 2020 by henrymowry in Woodworking

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Cribbage Is My #1 Game   Leave a comment

Cribbage boards are a top seller for me. That’s a wonderful thing … but it created a problem over the holidays. I sold too many.

So, I had to make more.

That solves the problem, pretty much.

The problem is that my inventory needs to be broad, my time is precious … and I’m yet to catch up with anything. I’m still behind with cribbage boards: I have 3 special orders to do, as well as holes in my existing inventory that need to be filled.

It’s always something. And that, my friends, is a wonderful problem to have.

In Search Of New Signs   Leave a comment

At most events, people tell me about signs that I SHOULD make. Usually, they’re wrong.

I make signs about Food. Family. And, Wine/Beer/Liquor.

That’s it.

I don’t make signs about pets. I don’t make signs about politics. I don’t make signs about how awful my wife is: I don’t lie. My signs are truthful, from my perspective. My signs are family friendly … because they should be.

I will custom make a sign for people; no problem. But the signs that hand in my booth are about food, family, & drinking. Good times. Good people.

That’s it.

These signs are replacements for those sold late in the year, plus a couple of new ones: the quotes from George Carlin and Ernest Hemingway.

All of these signs will be at my next event … in 3 weeks, at the Fresno Home & Garden Show. I hope to see you there!

The Rest Of The Stuff   Leave a comment

When the shop is humming, I make a wide variety of things.

Oh, I do most of my pieces in batches … I might make 24 cheese slicers at once, or perhaps 6 large cutting boards. But when I start a new batch of things, I typically do 50 or so glue ups (which takes a couple of days). Since some glue ups (what I call “blanks” before they are cut to final shape) are cut into 2 different pieces, I often end up with about 75 pieces being worked on in the shop at the same time.

One blank makes 2 Cheese Boards. One blank makes 4 Coasters. One blank makes 6 Cracker Things. Cutting Boards are always made one at a time, as are handled boards (“Sous Chef Boards”), Cribbage Boards, Signs….

I always like to take what the lumber gives me … which means sometimes I’ll find a board that tells me exactly what I have to do with that piece RIGHT NOW. That’s how the Black Walnut Charcuterie with live edges got made: I found the unusual and perfect board, and I had to make that singular piece.

Other times, something will happen that makes a piece fall out of the production cycle. Perhaps it has a problem that has to get fixed, I run out of time to get everything to the finish line, or maybe it just gets forgotten amidst the chaos.

It happens.

In any event, here’s a collection of recent pieces that made it to the finish line. To quote Bill Murray in Groundhog Day: “I’m versatile.”

Handles Are A Good Thing   1 comment

With this new batch of boards, I’ve accomplished 2 goals for 2020:

  1. I’ve got a beginning inventory – again – of handled boards.
  2. I’ve put together a good photography indoor set up that I can use.

I was most disappointed in the photography for the last post. Just like with these photos, it was done indoors … but I used a white background that was totally over-exposed when I did the shots. Having dark boards in front of a very light background is not good … this set up was much better, and the colors of the individual boards are very realistic in these photos.

Thank goodness.

All of the new handled boards will be at this weekend’s event in Lake Havasu City, AZ … Winterfest. It will be my 3rd annual trip to this event, and I hope to see you there!

A Charcuterie Board   Leave a comment

I recently read in a woodworker’s forum that the reason to use the term charcuterie is just so you can charge more for the board.

Hogwash.

When I started making boards, I didn’t even know what “charcuterie” was. It’s a French term for prepared meats, such as bacon, ham, sausage, etc. And, in reality, any board can be used for charcuterie, just as any board can be used for cutting, cheese & crackers, fruits, or what have you.

Any of my boards, anyway.

These boards are my choice for charcuterie. I love the curvy edges. The board just feels right in your hand.

Your mileage may vary, of course. Buy one of these, and you can call them anything you want!

Getting It Handled   3 comments

These aren’t a new idea.

These aren’t really a new design … but they are definitely a bit different. The handle is longer. There’s a juice groove on most of them. Not quite new, I think, but definitely different.

I’ve got a plan, you see.

I call these boards Sous Chef boards, as I think they are mobile. Give one to your assistant to chop an onion … and then they can carry the board to their workspace, chop away, and then return to you so the onion can be added to your work.

It’s good to have help. And, a mobile board works best with a handle, I think.

So, here’s the first batch in a long time of handled boards. But, wait, there’s more.

I’m making 3 other related designs with handles, and combining them with a 4th serving piece/cutting board that’s going to be my next post. When all 5 of these boards are done, I’ll be making a new interactive display to hold them all.

Big display. Big idea.

So you see, it’s all in process, but I’m going to get it handled.

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