Collaboration Progress

June 26th, 2010

First of all, here is a picture of the drawing of our box.

Closed Box

Open Box

The base is a representation so far.  The actual one will be different.  The way it works is you pull each side panel out and the gears spin and the wheels turn and cause the front panel to drop away.  Inside are three drawers.  They are delicate little drawers.  I don’t have them made yet, but most of the box panels are.  Originally they were going to be bird’s-eye maple with a border of something else.  Then I remembered some maple burl veneer i had and decided to use it.  I put on a 1″ border of curly maple around them and the drawers are bird’s-eye maple with a turned ebony pull.  I should have the box put together in the next couple of days and will have pictures.  Like I said before.  It’s not real practical, but it is cool.

Other business.  I got the dead-bolts (three in all) installed on the doors on the house down the road.  Turned out fine.  Now he wants a new screen door for the new back door.  I haven’t been able to catch him there, so I haven’t got any news about that.  The little closet for the past customer didn’t happen.  Too much money.  Oh well.  The phone has been pretty quiet lately.  I was getting a lot of inquiries for a while.  I have to take some blame for that tho because I still haven’t updated my website in a long time.

In other news, I passed 2,000 miles on my bike yesterday.  I was going to try to get out today for an easy ride, but the rain beat me.  I don’t so much mind riding in the rain, but I avoid it if I can.   The tour starts Friday.  I’m looking forward to this one.  It should be a real good one.  Tough course with a lot of heavy hitters.

OK.  That’s all for now.  I’ll keep you posted on the progress, so check back.


A Collaboration

May 26th, 2010

Hey all.

The guild is doing a show this July called Collaborations and Innovations.  The theme is that you make a piece that is either done with another crafts person, or something that is innovative; either a new direction, a new medium a new process, something different.  I chose to do a collaboration.  Last winter I got a call from a local guy I had never met, Dana Carrara, was making a gate for someone’s home and had to cut some timbers.  He is very good at metal, but not wood.  I was able to help him out and saw his shop and his capabilities.  I was impressed.  Anyway, when the guild set up this show, he is the first person I thought of.  We met to brainstorm and he was excited about it and said he wanted to incorporate motion into the piece.  We discussed sculpture and other things and decided to think about it for a while.  He was getting ready for a show then and couldn’t do any work on it  at the time anyway.  We met again and I thought about a cabinet that opens mechanically.  He jumped at the idea and made a model in Solid Works.  We got back together and tweaked the idea and settled on a jewelry box with some mechanical features.  He is going to send me a PDF of the design when he gets it done and I will post it here.  I think it’s going to be a very interesting piece.  Admittedly, not real practical, but definitely real cool!!  Keep checking back for updates.  I promise to have pictures.

Other than that, I have to say, there is not much happening.  I got the door hung and the lock set installed.  He has a dead bolt ordered and I am going to install that when he gets it.  The phone calls I have been getting haven’t panned out so far but I am not giving up hope.  I have been getting some interesting ones too.  Last week I got one asking about a bed that combines a full size and a king size.  I forget what he called it but it sounds BIG.  I did get a call from a past customer about making a closet insert for her small house.  It needs to be highly customized.  I gave her a drawing and a quote but so far haven’t heard back.

That’s all for now.  Please visit my website when you get a chance.  I still haven’t updated it in a while tho.

Thanks for sticking around.

It’s Done

April 21st, 2010

I finished and shipped the sideboard last week and I have to say it came out pretty good.  There are some things I’m not completely happy with, but there always are.Here’s a picture of it.

The finished sideboard

I have to switch gears here for a minute.  I have never put many pictures in here before because, frankly, it has always been a pain in the ass!!!  I had to take a real convoluted route to get pictures inserted.  Thanks to Tom Lichtman at VT Web, It’s now a snap.  That man know his 1’s and 0’s.  They have been hosting my site since I’ve had one and they really know their way around a keyboard.

OK.  Back to where I was.  I’m not going to say what I don’t like, because I don’t want to point out the shortcomings.  It’s things that don’t make a difference, but I know about.  The hinges ended up not being as bad as I thought they would be, but they were fussy.  There is no room for error on them.  I ended up installing small adjustable feet on it.  I found that if the floor is off level, it affects the gaps around the doors.

On another note, I got a phone call today from Virginia about another sleigh bed.  I hope they order one because this time, I am going to film the process and post it.  I learned a few things last time I tried to do that and now I think I can make it work.  He was asking about doing this one in maple.  I think that would work, but it would look a bit odd being so light colored.

That’s about all for now.  You are caught up on what I’ve been doing lately.  By the way, I just passed 750 miles for the year.  I’m aiming for 6000 this year.  So far the weather has been great.  Not too cold most days.  It’s getting really nice lately too.  Until next time, visit my website I will be updating that this week too.

Thanks for sticking it out with me.

Sideboard Update.

March 31st, 2010

Hey all.

I know, I know, I haven’t been here in forever.  It’s been a while since i posted.  When I have time, I seem to lack motivation and when I have motivation, I seem to lack the time.  Tonight I seem to have both so I’m taking full advantage.

So, work is progressing nicely on the sideboard.  Follow this link to see the original.  It is the third on down.  Tho original had four drawers and this one has two drawers and two doors.  The original was much smaller.  It was four feet wide and this one is six.  I was concerned about this at first.  That’s a lot of sideboard for four legs.  I have the carcase dry fit and I am no longer worried.  It’s solid.  I made the original from mdf and veneer.  This time i found some 6/4 bird’s-eye maple and this made all the difference.  It was expensive, but definitely worth it. I’ll have a picture next time.  It’s really some great bird’s-eye.  So far I have the carcase dry fit and the drawers cut out.  I need to get a sheet of plywood for the drawer bottoms so I can get them glued up.  I had to get two different length drawer slides because with the bow-front, the drawers are angled at the front which means one side is longer than the other.  I don’t like to use slides but in this case I can’t come up with a better solution.  I had a real problem with hinges.  Any hinges I could find that would work looked awful and any nice ones wouldn’t work.  I ended up going with knife hinges.  I’m a little scared of them.  There is no wiggle room with these.  They either fit or they don’t.  You only get one shot.  I’ll let you know how it goes.  I’m sure it will be fine, it’s just going to be a pain to fit them.

Enough of that for now.  I have had some small jobs here and there but nothing too substantial.  I have been spending a lot of time working other places too.  I’ve got plenty to do but scheduling gets a bit tricky.  One interesting job I had recently was down the road a bit.  There is an old house that has been empty as long as I can remember.  I heard it’s been about 75 years since anyone has lived there.  It’s an old brick house that’s really in good shape considering.  anyway, someone bought it and is fixing it up to rent out.  He called me because the front door had been kicked in and very badly repaired.  It’s a big door with arched panels.  He wanted me to fix it.  I agreed and took it.  I gotta say, It came out great.  Kinda scared me a little because I started tearing it apart knowing that if i couldn’t fix it, I was going to have to make a new one.  Now he wants me to fit it and install the mortised lockset.  I don’t really want to do this but I have to get to it.

Lastly, The weather is supposed to be spectacular this weekend so you know where I’ll be.  Maybe I’ll see you out there.

feel free to e-mail me or visit my website.

Thanks for reading.  Until next time.

New Order!!

December 30th, 2009

OK  The beds went out last week.  They came out real nice.  They should be delivered next week.  I used PlyCon transport for delivery this time.  They had a good rate and the dispatcher on the phone sounded like he really wanted my business.   I was happy with the two guys who picked upi the beds.  They were very efficient and careful.

I forgot to mention last time.  I got a new piece of equipment recently.  I bought a downdraft sanding table.  I’ve wanted one for some time.  It’s one of the best investments I have made in my shop.  I can sand all day and I don’t need a mask or anything.  It keeps the air clean and the dust out of my nose.  It’s a Denray, by the way.

I ended up at about 5,100 miles this year.  I haven’t been outside much because winter finally found us.  It’s been cold.  Been riding the rug lately.  I have a nice trainer, so that makes it easier.

Now, to the title of this post.  I got another significant order yesterday.  It’s for a sideboard I made some time ago.  At least it’s based on that sideboard.  we made some big changes to it.  Things are picking up lately.  I have also been picking some smaller jobs to fill in, so it looks like I will be busy for a while.  I am also supposed to go back to work for John next week.   I have tpo admit that I feel a little guilty about having so much work lately when so many people are losing their jobs.  I only wish I had enough work to put one or two of those people to work.  maybe someday, although I do have the perfect personality to work alone.

Well, I hope everyone had a great Christmas and the new year is a great one.  Keep reading.  Thanks.

Workin on the beds

November 9th, 2009

Not much to say this time.  Work is progressing on the beds.  I had to go to New Hampshire for the 8/4 red birch.  Highland Hardwoods is where I got it.  It is a real good yard with a huge selection.  It’s the only place I can always find 8/4 red birch.  It’s a long drive and not real cheap, but worth the trip.  Check them out if you find yourself in the Brentwood NH area.  Their selection of bird’s-eye left a lot to be desired though.  I went to a local yard for that.  So far, all I’ve gotten done is ripping and sanding the bird’s-eye for laminating into slats and I have about 20 glued up.  I only have one form, so it takes a while.  I need 48 and will make 51.  Always good to have a couple of extras.  I picked up a couple of small jobs to do while I am doing the slats, so I’m not bored or anything.  They are done now, so I will be starting the beds frames tomorrow.

We’re experimenting with doing a video series to post here and on Youtube showing how I make these beds.  Just experimenting so far.  No promises.  Eventually we’re going to do this.  If not this time, then next.

On another note, I am about 26 miles short of 5000 miles this year on my bike.  I’ll have that by the weekend.  we’ve been having some great weather lately.  65 yesterday.  This is the last day of it for now though.  Back to November tomorrow.

Alright, that’s it for now.  Keep checking back here and e-mail me if you have anything to say.  Post a comment here.  Check out my website too.


Things are starting to happen

October 26th, 2009

Hey all.  I was just reading some comments.  I have some legitimate readers.  Good to know.  Keep the comments coming.

OK, A lot has been happening since my last post.  Yea, It was a while ago.  First, the show went well.  I sold a couple of small side tables.  Only two people sold anything and I am happy to be one of them.  Kind of validates me to myself, if you know what I mean.  Here is a shot of the blanket chest I made for the show.

Sapele Blanket Chest

Sapele Blanket Chest

I think it came out good.  I am really happy with it.  Unfortunately, it didn’t sell but people seem to like it.

Next bit of news.  After that show, we did the Fine Furniture Festival in Woodstock.  We had a good showing but made no sales.  I’m not surprised at that though.  With the economy what it is lately, people are not spending money.

I have been working for John a lot this year.  We just finished a kitchen made from bamboo.  Now, they call this a green product.  They start with bamboo, which by itself could be considered a green product, and shred it.  They then mix it with copious amounts of epoxy and press it into sheets.  Each sheet is then wrapped individually in plastic and loaded onto a ship and sent halfway around the world.  How is this a green product???  There is more energy and chemicals in this the production process of it than you think.  I do like the look of it though.  It made a nice kitchen.  After we finished the kitchen, I got laid of.  Just in time though because I got an order for two sleigh beds to go to Aspen, Colorado.  (hence, the title of this post)  I also have been getting an increasing number of inquiries.  People are starting to peek out of their holes.  Hopefully this will keep going.

Lastly, I didn’t raise the minimum amount for the MS ride, so I was unable to participate.  Next year I am going to start my fund raising a lot earlier.  Also, the economy should be better so people will be  a bit more generous.

All for now.  I have to get back to the shop to finish up a couple of things so I can get going on the beds.  I’ll keep you posted on them.

Feel free to e-mail me if you have any questions, leave your comments and visit my website.

Thanks for reading.

Upcoming Show

July 22nd, 2009

I finished re-finishing the tables for the college.  They came out fine.  It’s amazing how a fresh finish can revive a tired looking piece of wood.  They look almost new again.  I still have to hang onto them for now though.  I have some of them in my trailer.  I can’t fit all of them without stacking them which I don’t want to do with fresh finish.  I want it to let it age for a while.  For now, I’ll just work around them.

I started a new project yesterday.  Nothing much but the Guild is doing a show in Bratleboro at Vermont Artisan Designs in Brattleboro.  This the second time we’ve done it.  It runs the month of August so come on in and check it out if you get a chance.  Anyway, I am making a blanket chest for the show.  I have made several blanket chests as spec pieces and I usually have good luck with them.  This one is made from some nice sapele,(aka ribbon stripe mahogany) and should look nice.  I will have a picture when it’s done.  I will also have the bed I did recently.  You saw it if you’re a regular reader.  Hopefully it’ll be a good show.  last year I sold a blanket chest, so, of course, Michele said she wanted another one this year.

Lastly, I have once again signed up for the MS bike ride.  It will be the weekend of August 8 and 9 and is a total of 200 miles.  I am still looking for donations, so if you want to help, click here.  Every little bit helps.  I only need a couple of hundred more to reach my goal.

Well that’s what is going on for now.  Thanks for keeping up and as always, feel free to comment, drop me an e-mail, or visit my website.

Hi Again

July 6th, 2009

I’m still here.  I’m sitting here watching stage three of the tour.  Nothing exiting, but it’s good to see it again.

anyway, I was reminded a couple of times lately that I haven’t  updated things in a while.  It has been too.  For reasons i will get into, I have some time now.  Although I have been busy lately, I do not offer that as an excuse.  The truth is, I got a little lazy.  (I also spend a lot of my free time riding my bike)  But, to the few pwople who might like to read this, I’m not being fair.

As to why I have some time right now.  Like I said, I have been working for John.  The big job we were working on ended and we were just about ready to start the next job which was a kitchen when the client got laid off!!!  I left right there because, like I said to him, he needs to give priority to his regular guys.  There is not a lot of work anymore.  I hope he can keep his regulars busy.

I have had a few small jobs and the phone is ringing a little.  I just finished a screen door for a local couple and I think I will get a small blanket chest in the near future.  Right now I am refinishing some tables I made for the local college a few years ago.  They are putting a huge addition onto the campus and had to clear out the building where the tables are used.  Since they had to do that, they asked me to re-finish them.  Those student are rough on furniture.  The tables themselves held up well, but there are stains, gum globs, ink doodles and just plain dirt.  There is also one of them that got wet and stayed that way.  The top needs some attention.  I think it’s salvagable though.

OK, last thing for now.  I promised pictures of the furniture I sent to New York.  I have a picture of one of the chairs.  The tables are so much like the other ones I do, I didn’g include them.  Here is the chair.

The new Chair

The new Chair

Came out nice, don’t you think??  Alright, that’s all I have time for right now.  Hopefully it won’t be so long next time.

As always e-mail  or visit my website,


Yes, I’m still here

February 3rd, 2009

Hi all.  Once again I have to start with an apology.  It’s been some time since I’ve been here.  A lot has happened.  To start with, I have finished the furniture that I mentioned last time.  It came out really nice.  I had been wanting to do a straight arm Morris Chair for some time and finally got to.  I am very happy with it.  I’m going to photograph the whole order this week and I will post them.  They are getting picked up for shipping on Friday.  I like the way everything came out but especially the chairs.  Unfortunately, other that that, things have been quiet.  I have been working for john a lot so I haven’t put a lot of effort into marketing.  With the economy the way it is, (scary isn’t it?) people are a little afraid to spend any money and I don’t blame them.  Michele and I are not at risk for the most part. (knock on wood) She has a great job and I have plenty to do between woodworking and driving the bus.  I hope those words don’t come back to haunt me. 

Anyway, next bit of news is, we did the charity ride and had a great time.  We raised over a thousand dollars.  I didn’t have a great day on the bike.  I hit the wall about 42 miles into it.  I think between not getting a lot of training miles and, once again, not having enough to eat contributed to it.  I have a bad habit of not eating enough.  I rode really strong for the first 42 miles though.  I was right out in the lead group taking my turns pulling.  While we were there we visited the Biltmore Estate.  Look it up.  This place in amazing.  The largest home in America.  It’s HUGE!!!!  It’s expensive to visit, but well worth it.  If you are in the Asheville NC area, make the effort to go.  You won’t be disappointed.  I also got to ride some of the Blue Ridge Parkway.  That was a great ride.  A lot of climbing, but I like going up hill.  I wish the weather had been better.  It was cold while we were there.  Not like home, but colder than normal. 

Next bit of news.  I think this is the best news.  I bought a new bike.  Well, new to me anyway.  First of all, I have always been partial to Specialized.  I found a great deal on a Tarmac S-Works SL.  Those of you in the know, know this bike.  I have demoed it and it’s an amazing ride.  It will be here on Friday from southern California and i can’t wait.  It’s a lot more bike than I ever thought I would own. 

Something i forgot to mention, I got a new air compressor for the shop.  It’s a big Ingersoll-Rand.  I’ll finally be able to get and use a DA sander.  They’re great tools and It will be good to finally have them.  Just in time too, because Michele gave me the word the other day, she’s ready to re-do our kitchen.  It really needs it and it’s going to be a big job.  I have to get started on the cabinets soon.  We’ll see how the finances go though. 

Allright, that’s all for now.  I don’t promise to be more vigilant in updating this blog, but I do promise to try.  Thanks for reading.  Please let me know what you think.  e-mail me.  Bye.