Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Walnut Knife Strip

I sold another knife strip. It was another custom order, this time in walnut. It turned out great.

So far everyone who has gotten something has gotten a post about it. I'm going to keep that up until (and this would be a good problem to have) I have too many orders to keep it up.

Congrats on buying a knife strip man! More about it and care info after the jump...

Danggai Knife Rack 2.5 - Short Edition

Someone recently requested that I make a knife rack out of danggai for her, but she wanted it to be only 12" long. Well, here's the result...

Tuesday, July 30, 2013


Danggai - finished with butcher's block oil
This is a tropical wood from the Philippines. It's endangered, and you can only harvest it as part of a sustainable forestry project. That makes getting your hands on danggai mighty difficult here in God's Country of Wisconsin. My post on it will be brief (mainly because it's also hard to gather information on ), but read on...

Friday, July 26, 2013


Maple - unfinished
Maple - it's a stalwart wood in America. It's abundant, cheap, hard, strong, stable, and versatile in design. 

Flame Ghost Maple - finished with polyurethane
It comes in plain form, as well as highly figured varieties. "Ghost" maple, is just one variety.

More info and pictures after the jump...

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Cedar Chests 2.0

I just finished a pair of cedar chests. Aromatic cedar makes a nice rustic chest, and its powerful aroma makes a perfect box to store blankets or linens in. In fact, occasionally, you see them referred to as blanket chests.

Many more pictures and more explanation after the jump...

Thursday, July 18, 2013


Marblewood is a South American hardwood with exotic color patterning. Unfinished, it's a light tan streaked with lines of dark violet. Finished, the tan takes on lustrous golden hues and the violet darkens further.

More info after the jump:

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Reclaiming a Red Oak Plank

There was a board sitting in my grandpa's old building. Probably around 50 years old, complete with dirt, grime, and what looked to be at least one used motor oil spill, it waited patiently for its day in the sun. That day is not today; today was, however, I set it on the first step of its journey.

Today was the day I reclaimed it...

Measuring Raw Lumber

Measuring raw lumber isn't too complicated, but it has a few of its own terms. I figure if I just talk about it briefly then I can go ahead and use the lingo freely in subsequent posts.

Explanation after the jump:

Monday, July 15, 2013

Aromatic Cedar

Aromatic cedar (usually the tree is called red cedar or red juniper, but the lumber is called aromatic cedar) is a North American species that grows from the east coast through to the eastern part of the Great Plains. It's distinctive for its distinctive fresh smell; if you ever smell it, you'll know.

It ended up being grown extensively in Oklahoma. One of my family's roots runs through the red soil of that state and my great grandfather's farm was home to many red cedars, which helped serve as windbreaks during the Dust Bowl.

More on this species after the jump...

Tree of LIfe: Lignum Vitae

As promised, this is the first in a series of posts on materials. It's a touch dry, but it will be mildly informative, fill up some of my time, and streamline future posts by locating basic information about wood species in these posts.

Lignum vitae, Latin for "tree of life," is a Central and Northern South American wood that is hard. Really freaking hard. In addition to being hard, it's unbelievable heavy. It's also kinda cool looking.

A little more after the jump:

Monday, July 8, 2013

Janka Hardness

The Janka Hardness Test is a method of quantitatively measuring and comparing how hard different wood species are. It works by firing a steel ball into the face of a board and measuring how much force is necessary to sink that ball deep enough that half of it penetrated the wood. You end up with a measure of force in foot-pounds, (it's also listed in Newtons b). This allows us to say "Wood A is twice as hard as Wood B," and to say that with the weight of real measurable lab results. (I know, this is the internet and you all want arguments to be decided by who can type with the most visible anger and rage-destroyed thought processes... deal with it).

After the jump I'll put a list of woods and their Janka Hardness rating. I'll update it periodically and link back to this post as a reference point.

A Series of Building Materials Posts

I find myself commonly saying something like: "Maple, which is hard and light in color... yada yada yada." So, as a way to cut down on that, I'm going to write posts on materials that I commonly use. I won't hit everything, but this way I can streamline new posts by saying "I used maple" and link to a post on maple.

I'll probably do the same for some basics like differences between porous and non-porous grains, end-edge-face grain differences, and whatever else hits my fancy.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Chopping Block 1.0: Wedding Gift Edition

Congratulations Sergio and Jonathon (though honor compels me to suggest you swap that "o" for an "a"). Until the day comes that your wedding is just a "wedding" I get to say "happy gay wedding" (and see if I get a spike in google traffic from angry people searching for "happy gay weddings"). In anticipation, I have stocked an ample amount of Xanax for Gay Summer Weddings. Can't wait for those tickets to Italy!

But, in all seriousness, I'm thrilled for the two of you, and am very grateful that I made the cut and received an invitation. I made a chopping block for you guys. For Sergio and Jonathon, after the jump is some care stuff. For other people, more pictures and more info about the chopping block itself.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Magnetic Knife Strips for Sale: 2.1 - Birdseye, Danggai, and Marblewood

Alongside Magnetic Knife Strip 2.0, I now have version 2.1, which is largely the same as 2.0, just made from different, more exotic materials. Also, I'm selling them on the etsy. Check out the storefront here.

Pics and descriptions of the materials after the jump.

The Etsy

I'm putting some stuff up on the etsy to see if anyone out there on the interwebs wants to buy something.

Check it out: