Archive for the ‘serving piece’ Tag

New: Garlic Dipping Boards   Leave a 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.


The Return Of LSPs   1 comment

It’s been almost a year since I made Large Serving Pieces, or LSPs. I sold out of them months ago, of course, but I never quite got around to making more.

The set-up to make these is unique, and the nibbling away at the underside of the board to make the cove cuts that I’m so happy with … well, it takes awhile. And, today, it’s probably the dirtiest job I do in the shop. I made 15 of these LSPs this time. It took most of a day to do the primary shaping, and I covered the shop in dust.

Detail of Large Serving Piece 18 – 05.

The cove cuts are done by taking the work piece across the blade at an oblique angle … and that launches the dust to the left of the blade before the dust collector has much of a chance to get it. Further, these are open-faced cuts, so the above-the-table dust collection that I’ve recently added is disconnected. This cut that can only be done with the blade fully exposed.

Dust flies. A lot of dust flies.

That’s just a hazard of what I do. While making the cove cuts, I used a very large pushing device to keep my hand away from the cutting edge. I wore hearing protection and eye protection … next time, I’ll add a dust mask, too.

Because, you see, there will be a next time. I really enjoy making these unique pieces – even though birthing that unique design creates a bit of disruption on the shop!

All LSPs come with non-skid rubber feet held on with stainless steel screws. They have a food-ready finish: mineral oil + board butter, which is made with locally harvested beeswax.

Protecting Stuff Since 2017   2 comments

I need better signage.

I started making trivets to protect tables & counters – and food! – soon after I got my CNC. They continue to be a top seller … even though they confuse many people who don’t understand what this odd looking thing is when they pick it up in my booth.

Maybe I’ll have more time for that soon!

Trivets are 8-1/2″ square, with heat vents in a diagonal pattern across the top and bottom of the trivet. Each trivet is 3/4″ thick, and they nearly always feature a fun color pattern of hardwoods. I do occasionally make trivets with just one species of wood, though I’ve found most people prefer the colorful versions.

Meanwhile, I am now making coasters with cork inserts to protect tables & desks from hot & cold drinks – and condensation.

Everyone knows what a coaster is, thank goodness!

These have always been colorful. I’m yet to try a single species of wood for a coaster. Hmmmm. Maybe next time.

Commissioned Pieces   Leave a comment

I do a lot of wedding & anniversary gifts. Here you see several different styles … as well as a couple of other special orders thrown in.

I have a love/hate relationship with special orders, honestly. Keeping track of them, their individual deadlines & extra steps required for the personalization is another record keeping system that I have to maintain to stay on top of these orders. It’s a wonderful thing, truly – who wouldn’t want to be a part of a wedding as a gift supplier? Lots of love there, and that’s a good thing.

A very good thing.

Also shown are a sign for a restored car’s dash (the Beach Bug sign). It’s a carved sign with painted letters. Similar techniques were used with the making of the final piece, that shows the longitude & latitude for the happy couple’s meeting, engagement & wedding.

Cutting, Display or Serving?   Leave a comment

OK, I’m behind.

Way behind.

I’ve been making stuff, and even taking pictures … and then hurriedly going to events so I have to make more stuff. This cycle has been repeating for 3 months now.

3 months.

So, yes, I’m behind. Many of these items were made months ago, and have already sold! … but I’m just now showing them to you here. Sorry about that.

This includes the very latest stuff for the holiday boutiques, as well, so please enjoy the pretties … because they will be gone soon, I trust!

Protecting Hot Stuff   Leave a comment

There’s hot stuff out there, and I intend to protect it.

It’s an important task.

We remodeled our kitchen several years ago, and were hosting a dinner party soon after. Mrs M had cooked a vegetable lasagna, as I recall, in a glass 9×13. She took the dish out of the oven and sat it directly on the counter. The hot dish touched the cool stone counter, and the glass dish cracked immediately.

The dinner party was fine, but this dish … not so much. It broke, for wont of protection.

These trivets were on display at our last event, and the last pair on this page are made from Hard Maple. Only. They are noticeably plainer than most of my trivets … but I do like to shake it up for those that want a simpler design. In any event, one customer picked them up and said, “These just look like a mistake.”

To each their own. If you like them plain, or if you like them “stripey,” I am here to help protect your hot stuff.

These trivets are 8-1/2″ square, 3/4″ thick, and made from a wide variety of hardwoods. Finish is mineral oil.

Yes, You Should Have A Big Heart   Leave a comment

I see it all of the time.

People see my hearts on the table. They smile. They hold one over their own heart, look to their significant other, and smile some more.

Nothing wrong with a big heart. Nothing wrong with showing your heart.

Such is the human drama I inspire when I go a-vendoring. Who wouldn’t love that?

I’m sometimes asked if these are cutting boards. Well, yes, they could be. However, I believe cutting on hearts is not something we should want to do. Surgeons, perhaps. Cooks? Not so much. I think these are serving pieces, not cutting boards. Buy one, and then you’ll get to choose who gets to cut on your heart.

This weekend, I’m going a bit far afield as I go a-vendoring. It will be my first out-of-state solo event for Mr M’s Woodshop! I’ll be at Faire on the Square in Prescott, AZ. I’m leaving Mrs M at home so she can work at her “job,” and I’m doing a holiday weekend road trip.

Pulling the trailer. Putting up the big canopy, solo. Running the booth, solo. Staying at an AirBnB, bachelor style.

Who wouldn’t love that?

 

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.

Just Finished: Large Serving Pieces   3 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.

More

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

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