Archive for the ‘Surfboard’ Tag

Ends. Odds. Other.   2 comments

One of my pet peeves is when a person enters my booth, looks at my work, and says, “this is a good way to use scrap.”

In a cooler moment, I can reflect on the word “scrap.” In a cooler moment, I can say without reservation,

I. Do. Not. Use. Scrap.

At. All.

It’s all in the definition. Some people call anything that’s not an 8′ board … scrap. To them, you use lumber to make a table or build a house … and when you cut a piece, what’s left is scrap. Every time.


When I get hardwood to use, the first thing I do is cut it. Typically, I cut lumber (which is generally somewhere between 9′ and 16′ long, and 4″ to 10″ wide) into 6′ lengths, which are easier for me to process and store. When I’m ready to cut those 6′ lengths (or the shorter lengths I get when I cut a 10′ piece into 2 pieces), I cut them into pieces no longer than 24″. Those are easiest for me to work with in my small shop.

I collect pieces that are between 18 and 23″ long in one cabinet, and those “end cuts” or “off cuts” are eventually made into pieces like these surfboards, Lazy Susans, or trivets.

They are not scrap.

I save shorter pieces, too, down to 12″ in length. The smallest pieces go to Dr H, who turns them into pens that are gifted to people around the world. And anything shorter than 12″ and narrower than 3/4″ … well, that’s scrap, because it’s too small to use.

I don’t use scrap. I start with lumber, and I end up here:

Surfboards: Mr M’s Epic Quiver   2 comments

I’ve stared at a surfboard display for 4 years.

We go, every year, to a party in Carpinteria … it’s the California Avocado Festival. It features the world’s largest vat of guacamole.

Vat. Guacamole.

But I digress.

Every year, our booth is opposite a shop that does surfboard rentals, and they display their quiver of boards in front of the shop.

That display has been working on me for 4 years.

I had been displaying my surfboard-shaped cutting boards … in a crate. This is one step up from a display where you just throw the boards out on a table & call it good.

I call that the vomit display. I hate those.

I knew I could do better, and I finally spent some time thinking about the surfboard display I’ve been staring at all of these years.

The California Avocado Festival is this weekend, and I’m excited to have a new display for my new surfboards. I’ve got 2 shapes in 3 sizes: in addition to the traditional (for me) flat bottomed board, I also now have fish-tail boards.

Hope to see you in Carpinteria!

The new display will have its debut this weekend!

It’s Southern California, After All   Leave a comment

Surfboards are a thing.

Everyone knows someone who likes to surf.

Deal with it.

And, with surfing a significant part of the Southern California culture (Yes, I just said Southern California has culture. Deal with it.), it’s inevitable that people celebrate the passion with boards like these.

I know some are used as cutting boards. Others are used as cheese & cracker servers. And, I know that some of the surfboards I’ve made were purchased as wall art. I’m OK with that now. Honest.

Whether these are to be displayed or used in a different way, here are the latest surfboards from the shop, finished just in time to go to our next event … on the edge of the Mojave Desert.

That’s also a part of Southern California culture. Deal with it.

Christmas Boards   1 comment

Mr-Ms-Logo---LargeI’m always amazed as I look back to see what I’ve made … and how quickly they are gone!

These are the last few boards I made this month for pre-Christmas delivery. All are now with their new owners. I’ll have another post in the next few days, as well as an update to my other site (Mr M’s Woodshop), to show the personalization that I’ve done on many boards also sold & delivered over the last few days. It’s become a thing!

As the year draws to a close, I am so appreciative of good delivery services! I only hand-delivered one of these, bringing my annual total to 3 boards that had to be delivered by me, or else I would have disappointed some people that deserved better. I’m sometimes slower than I would like, which a few of my customers definitely agree with this time of year!

Today, I only have 3 more boards to finish this year (!), and then I’ll have a nap. And then, see a movie. Eat some popcorn, too.

I think.

Then the new 2017 energy will come into play, and I’m going to make a whole lot of new stuff.

Next year.


The Real Surfboards   4 comments

Mr-Ms-Logo---LargeWell, the real surfboard-shaped cutting boards, at least.

Surfers love these.

The families & friends of surfers love these, too.

I struggle to keep enough of them in stock, which must mean my priorities are off. After all, if you can’t manage your priorities properly, then you’ll not have time to hit the beach.

These 6, when added to my current inventory, will not get me to Christmas. Translated, that means I have no time to hit the beach. No time.

After all, I have surfers to help!

Small surfboards are 7″ wide, 16″ long, and 3/4″ thick. Medium surfboards are 8-1/2″ wide, 20″ long and 3/4″ thick.

Oh, and for the record, I don’t make full-size surfboards. I have not yet made a surfboard-shaped bottle opener, either, though that is an increasingly common request. They would need to be smaller, and I already make “small surfboards” … so those would be “really small surfboards?” This whole naming thing can get very confusing if you let it. Perhaps it’s better to leave some product categories alone, don’t you think?

Boards: Small, Cutting, & Cheese   1 comment

Mr-Ms-Logo---LargeWhen I started making cheese boards and cutting boards, I learned that people really want boards in all shapes & sizes. It doesn’t matter what size I think they should be … everyone has a different kitchen layout, a different amount of counter space, and a different way of working in the kitchen.

So people want different things. Who knew?

Here are my definitions:

Cheese Boards are typically thin and relatively small. These boards are less than 3/4″ thick, with dimensions under 9″ x 11″.

Small Boards are a bit thicker, but not necessarily larger. Small boards are up to 1-1/2″ thick, with dimensions under 12″ x 14″. Small boards are sometimes square, but sometimes the width is as much as twice the depth (so, 6″ deep by 12″ wide).

Cutting Boards are at least 1″ thick, and at least 12″ x 14″. My standard sizes are 12″ x 16″ x 1-1/4″, 14″ x 18″ x 1-1/4″ and 16″ x 20″ x 1-1/2″.

I make all of these boards to be used as cutting boards: some people like really small, light weight boards for cutting a sandwich or slicing a tomato. So, one person’s cheese board may be another person’s cutting board, no matter what size the board is.

That’s fine, and I make all of these boards to be used as cutting boards, serving pieces, or, (to my continuing chagrin) display pieces. The buyer gets to choose.

Bread Board Ends   Leave a comment

Mr-Ms-Logo---LargeOne frequent request is for a “big enough” cutting board to be lighter. The only way to do that is for the board to be thinner … and as a board gets thinner, it is going to be more prone to warping.

I have a way to help prevent that. It’s called “bread board ends”, which are boards on the end of the laminated piece that are attached with tongue & groove joinery. These end pieces run perpendicular to the rest of the board. The cross-grain orientation help ensure the board will stay flat, even though the board is as thin as 3/4″.

This kind of board is often used as a pastry board (hence the name); a variation of the pastry board includes a “counter hook” that grabs the edge of the counter. This way, the board doesn’t creep away from you as you roll out the dough. But I digress.

Bread board ends are also a feature of well-made “in counter boards” which are a feature in many kitchens. These boards fit into a slot in a cabinet, and slide out when a cutting surface – or just more counter space – is required.

Due to a change in the building code, these boards are now difficult to find in LA County. Replacing older boards can be very difficult – and essential.

These are the latest 4 boards out of the shop with bread board ends. 3 are commissioned pieces, and the 4th is the first ever cutting board with bread board ends I’ve made to sell in the booth.


Boards: Cutting, Small & Clip. And A Bear.   1 comment

Cheese & Crackers, Anyone?   Leave a comment

I introduced my seldom-called Elegant Cheese & Cracker Servers just over 2 years ago, and they continue to be a big hit.

But when people see them, they called them surfboards.

As you probably know, I eventually started making boards shaped like actual surfboards, but that hasn’t stopped anyone from calling these serving pieces surfboards. Bowing to the inevitable pressure of the marketplace, I now informally call these pieces large surfboards.

Surfboard Cheese

The big batch I made of these last November are now gone, so, it’s time to go back to the shop. I do these boards in very large batches, as they require special and unique setups. To make the sweeping “cove cuts” underneath the lips of the board, for example, I’m making oblique cuts over an unprotected saw blade moving at over 100 MPH (yes, I’ve done the math), and Mrs M won’t let me do that very often.

She just hasn’t trusted me much since that trip to the ER back in ‘aught six….

Links below show you how the production process works on these unique pieces, and also show you the dangers of being near a table saw blade operating without a blade guard.

If you would like to order a special surfboard Elegant Cheese & Cracker Server, then now’s the time. Lumber hasn’t been ordered yet, but I anticipate local delivery in November. I’ll have loads of time to deliver these to you & yours before Christmas. Want some? Please let me know.

Elegant Cheese & Cracker Servers are 12″ x 19″ x 1-1/4″. Prices are $75 – $100, depending on wood selection. Shipping is $15 within the US, or you can pick up at the Woodshop for free! Engraving is also available for personalized boards.

So that you can see what all of the fuss is about, here are some of my favorites from previous makings. I really can’t choose a favorite, but the struggles I had making 15-26 out of warped, twisted, cupped 4/4 Bloodwood through six glue-ups will never be forgotten:


Cutting Sideways = Curves

Kicking Back

From The Shop: Making 24 Surfboards

Odds & Ends. And A Lazy Susan.   Leave a comment

Mr-Ms-Logo---LargeIt’s summer. Thank goodness.

The Spring Fling is but a memory, and now we’re moving on to one of our few summer events.

Very few summer events. Thank goodness.

This week, we’re going to Lompoc (never been there!) for the Lompoc Flower Festival. No clue what awaits us, but Lompoc has been considered a key source of flower seeds for the world, I’m told. So, they have a Flower Festival, and we’re going.

After all, it’s forecast to be 30* cooler there than it is in Santa Clarita this weekend, and we are SO in.

As is my tradition, a few boards got finished just in time for this grand event. Some are off cuts. Some are special orders, and a few are actually added to my constantly shrinking inventory for this event.

After this weekend, we’re back in SoCal for next weekend to make more stuff … for the July 4th event in downtown Ventura. Hope to see you soon!