Archive for the ‘serving piece’ Tag

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.

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: Dip Servers   1 comment

I love cheese & crackers, and I’m in search of the ultimate servers for them. I keep finding new ideas that are just too good not to make.

But, one does not live by cheese alone. Sometimes, you need some dip, too.

These dip servers are 13″ square and have a 6 ounce ramekin in the corner for your favorite dip. Plus, these are 2-sided servers, so you can flip the Dip Server to the back and have a square surface for … cheese & crackers, charcuterie, or your favorite appetizer.

Knowing that the best way for me to show new ideas is with pictures of the boards in action, I was able to entice Mrs M to create some delectables so we could get great action shots.

Bonus: I get to eat the props. Here you see sourdough pretzel bites with beer cheese dip.

Double bonus: live healthy. Eat fruit & dip it in fresh whipped cream.

I’m very happy with these new serving pieces; they offer a new & different presentation. My friend, Jeff Hewitt of Culinary Woods, suggested this design was one I should make. He was oh, so right. Check out his work, here.

I have relaunched MrMsWoodshop.com so you can buy my work directly, and to celebrate this new endeavor, there are 2 promotional offers available right now. But, don’t delay – the offers expire on May 31:

  1. Free shipping on all purchases over $50
  2. Save 20% on all purchases site-wide with the promo code “MrMsLaunch”.

Here’s a direct link to the page for these new Dip Servers.

Three Chords and the Truth   Leave a comment

Harlan Howard coined the phrase in the 1950s: a Country song is 3 chords and the truth. You may know his work; he co-wrote both Patsy Cline’s “I Fall To Pieces” and Charlie Rich’s “She Called Me Baby.”

This all came to mind as I was thinking about writing these words on the search for great serving pieces, which has led me to 5 sections … and a plain side.

OK, so it’s not quite music, but the wood does sing to me at times.

Thank goodness.

The 5 Section Servers are 14″ square, and 1-1/8″ thick. You can use the side with partitions, or flip the piece over and use the plain, flat side, depending on how you want to arrange your presentation.

Some people like to color inside of the lines. Some don’t. It can work either way.

To contemplate Three Chords and the Truth, see Sara Evan’s performance, which is linked, below. To contemplate the 5 Section Servers, you’ll see the 23 new pieces below. If they sing to you, you can visit the new MrMsWoodshop.com to buy one, using these 2 special offers that are only good through May:

  1. Free shipping on all orders over $50
  2. Use the promo code “MrMsLaunch” to save 20% on all orders

Here’s a direct link to the page with these 5 Section Servers.

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The Oddity That Is A Thing   Leave a comment

A Cracker Thing, that is.

I sold so many of these so quickly when I introduced them, that I knew I was in big trouble if I didn’t make them in quantity. Back in the day, I was planning on doing 10 big events in the 4th quarter this year, and I knew I would need at least 100 Cracker Things to make it through those events.

The year was 2019. Life was good.

But the calendar turned, 2019 became 2020 and none of us will forget this year anytime soon.

Will I need 100 Cracker Things?

Forget big, will I have any events this year?

Such are the questions that trouble me. No, that’s not true. I’m not troubled. Confused, I am. I mean, aren’t you?

But some things are very clear to me … such as the look of a perfectly appointed Cracker Thing:

I’m going to stick with what I know, and let the world figure out the rest. As I have sometimes heard over the last 739 days of this never-ending quarantine, my opinion doesn’t matter. But, I do know that while that may be the case, I can find solace in the garage woodshop. And, my solace just might be your Cracker Thing!

55 Cracker Things have made it to the finish line this week, and all are now available on my new website, MrMsWoodshop.com. If you read this blog, then you might know that – just until May 31 – I’m offering free shipping for orders over $50, and 20% off everything, site-wide, when you use the promo code “MrMsLaunch”.

Here’s the direct link to the page with these Cracker Things. Enjoy!

California Bears Are Back!   Leave a comment

Alas, I cannot bring back the California Grizzly Bear, which was last sighted in 1924 and declared extinct shortly thereafter. It was hunted to extinction after the gold rush caused ’49ers to encroach on the bears’ habitat.

I do have a couple of stories about the bear that first graced the flag of the very short-lived independent California Republic. That happened in 1846 … and apparently California has been dependent ever since.

Bear baiting, where bears were put into fights against bulls, were a big spectacle in the California of the 1800s. Horace Greeley, a newspaperman of great accomplishment, saw one of these fights and observed that a bear fought with a downward swipe while a bull countered with a horn’s upward thrust. This caused Greeley, it was said, to coin the terms of bear & bull markets for Wall Street.

This wasn’t fake news (joke! It’s a joke!), but it wasn’t true. The popular term (OK, not so popular with most) for a bear market has a very different beginning, which you can read about in Merriam Webster’s article, here.

California has plenty of wild spaces where grizzlies could thrive, but efforts over the last few decades to move up to 500 grizzlies back into California have not been successful. You can draw your own conclusions about whether California is wild enough to support the mighty grizzly bear.

The bears that I make are all from Black Walnut, and measure 19″ from nose to tail. They stand about 9-1/2″ high.

These bears and everything else that I make in the Woodshop are now available on my new site, MrMsWoodshop.com. Special offers for this one-time-only launch month are free shipping for any order over $50, and 20% off everything, site-wide, when you use the promo code “MrMsLaunch.”

Here’s the link to go straight to the page for these California Bears.

Hearts Are Back!   Leave a comment

If ever there was a time when we needed a little more heart, this is it.

I’m happy to do my part.

These hearts have unique wood designs. Note that all of these woods appear in their natural colors; I only apply mineral oil and Mrs M’s Board Butter as the finish. Here are the hardwoods used in these hearts:

Bloodwood, AKA Satine. Of course. These are hearts; they have Bloodwood in them. From tropical South America.

Jatoba, AKA Brazilian Cherry. Found in the West Indies, and from southern Mexico to northern South America.

Hard Maple, AKA Sugar Maple. It’s also true that this wood is known as Rock Maple, but when used in hearts, I only think of it as Sugar Maple. From the USA.

Cherry, AKA American Cherry or Black Cherry. From the USA.

Canarywood, AKA Canary. While a heart should not be thought of as a bird, hearts do sing. From Panama south to Brazil.

Purpleheart, AKA Amaranth. From Central & South America.

Bubinga … a wood with a name so fun to say, it really doesn’t need an AKA. However, it has one … and it’s fun to say, too: AKA Kevazingo. This is a fabulous musical wood, and it belongs in hearts. From equatorial Africa.

One more thought on how I make these hearts: although every heart is unique, I do make them 2 at a time. Though different, you can certainly conclude that hearts have a complementary match, if only you can take the time to find it. The last 2 pictures in this gallery are matched hearts, just for fun.

Finally, I have launched MrMsWoodshop.com this weekend. You can now buy these hearts with a click! Through the month of May, there is free shipping on all orders over $50. Plus. PLUS! You can save 20% off of every board on my site with this discount code: MrMsLaunch.

Don’t delay long, though, as the code is only good through May 31. And I promise I will never offer this 20% site-wide discount again! Here’s the direct link to the Hearts page.

Yes, I Do Custom Work   Leave a comment

Yes, I personalize. Yes, I can customize. But, as the sign in the booth says, “Quickly? Maybe. Or Not.”

I can do things well, or I can do them quickly. It’s my goal to never move quickly if that compromises the work.

One of these pieces required a new technique: the cutting board, that was a wedding gift for Jaclyn & Spencer, had to have the board on the front edge carved on the CNC, and THEN I assembled the board. After the glue-up, I still had to do shaping & smoothing without damaging the personalization. Love the result, but it did take time to get it right. This was not a rush order for a last minute gift!

These pieces range from the aforementioned wedding gift to home decor to business gifts to special gifts for friends that have moved to the other side of the world. These special gifts are often a challenge to make, candidly. They always require special handling. But, I love the smiles on the faces of happy customers when they choose me to be the guy that makes their idea come to life.

New: Garlic Dipping Boards   1 comment

I was going to a foodie event … and I wanted to be prepared.

I talked to my buddy Nicole, the potter, and she agreed to make a batch of great garlic graters for me, in 2 shapes. My job: to find a board design that incorporated the great graters that I could live with … and Mrs M would allow me to make.

Something like that, anyway. She doesn’t get to tell me what to do, but after 41 years of marriage, she’s still trying.

She’s very trying.

But I digress.

I had to design the perfect well to put the great graters into, so I went to the CNC and started making shapes of different sizes and depths to see what would fit the samples that Nicole gave me the best.

It was not a quick process.

I finally settled on the proper dimensions, and decided to make most of the boards in the long, skinny, curvy shape you see above … that was inevitably called a surfboard by my California customers.

Dude! Not a surfboard! The nose would just dig in! But, alas, customers get to call boards what they want … after they buy them.

I ended up with 3 different shapes, and the buying process was very interactive. Customers got to choose the board they liked, then choose the great grater that either matched – or didn’t match. They got to choose their own custom set. I love that.

Here’s how they work: you peel a clove of garlic, and then rub it against the rough center of the great grater. It really pulverizes the garlic! Then, you pour in olive oil and add balsamic and spices to taste … serve with bread, and you’ve got a great appetizer!

Rub a raw clove of garlic on the grater.
I finished a batch of bread saws just for this event!
Add olive oil, spices to taste. Serve with sliced bread for a great appetizer!

I’m happy to report that the majority of these sold at the Gilroy Garlic Festival. I immediately texted Nicole to get a larger order of great graters for my Christmas shoppers. I sure hope that people buy these when they’re not in Gilroy!

Every Heart Is Unique   Leave a comment

When I design a piece, I always think about what I’m making. I mean, wouldn’t you?

When I make hearts, I know a few things to be true:

  1. Every heart is unique.
  2. Every heart has Bloodwood in it.
  3. People love to pick up a heart, turn to their beloved, and show them their big heart. Some even show their beating heart.

People have fun with my hearts, and I have to remember to keep making them. Like so many things, these have been sold out since last year … and I’m just catching up. In May.

I’m almost caught up. Almost.

Final thought: some people ask me if these are cutting boards. I always ask if they want people cutting on their heart. Making boards like these, you see, is really a philosophical endeavor for me.

Meanwhile, here are 16 hearts, submitted for your consideration.


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