Sunday, December 13, 2015

Dice Tray

Let your geek flag fly

The guy who I built this wine rack for commissioned me to build him a dice tray, which, I learned is a enclosure for containing rolled dice. It's used in tabletop gaming, and it turns out that there are lots of places that sell these things. This one is made of a tropical wood called black poisonwood, or chechen, and the bottom is lined in red felt. More info after the jump.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Black Poisonwood, or, Chechen

Finished with gloss polyurethane
This is a material called Chechen, but it also goes by Black Poisonwood, which is an order of magnitude more badass, so we're gonna go with that.

Brief post on the material after the jump with limited pictures. I plan to get a few better pictures to update the post with (when I do, then I'll delete this note).

Monday, December 7, 2015

Sharpening Chisels

Hopefully this is a post that I can write with razor sharp wit... okay bad start.

For those (probably few) who are interested in how to prep a chisel from out-of-the-box-new to wood slicing sharpness, read on. For the rest (most) of you, feel free to just ignore this one.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Cyber Monday, or, Guy Who Sells Stuff Regardless of Fancy Day

So I'm not Amazon and have no brick and mortar nonsense either, but I do have some stuff for sale if you want to give someone a bitchin' Christmas (Hanukkah, or secular-gift-giving-occasion) gift. I threw it up on the etsy: My store. Send me a message and if you're in the Milwaukee area we can avoid going through Etsy and save you the shipping costs.

I've got:

Edge grain maple cutting boards for $55, $65, and $75 (medium, large, and x-large)

End grain maple cutting boards for $75, $85, and $95 (um... same thing)

End grain walnut cutting boars for $95, $115, and $135 (yep, same as above)

And, of course, knife strips starting at $70, but negotiable depending on your desired size and material.

Hit me up via email and let me know. The sooner the better for the looming holiday (or secular-gift-giving-occasion; I'm inclusive!).

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Mission Style Wine Rack

I was commissioned to build a wine rack in a different style than the ones I've made in the past. The woodwork in this house fits into the "Mission" style, and thus the design matched the period, style, and materials of Mission furniture. Details and pictures after the jump.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Walnut End Grain Cutting Board

What I built
I ended up making a chopping block for my fiance's friend's impending nuptials. This is how it turned out. More after the jump...

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Dozuki - Japanese Hand Saw

This, in addition to looking really cool, is a Japanese hand saw known as a dozuki. Specifically, this a dozuki designed to crosscut, to cut across the grain.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Adirondack Chairs

Adirondack chairs, as we commonly consider them are classic fixtures of deck, beach, or other summertime outdoor seating. They also pretty universally suck. Don't get me wrong, the design has some good things going for it. They have a pleasing curve across the top; they lend themselves to painting, staining, or clear coating to match your personal taste. The wide arm rests make a great resting spot for your summery hootch of choice. They have a rugged, durable, character that makes them just fit on a deck or dock by the bay.

Really they only have one problem, but in the art of chairmaking it is the most important characteristic (assuming, of course that you have any intention of actually sitting in the chair): They're uncomfortable. The issue is that the seat angles up, making you want to lean back, and the chair back angles back for you to recline against. The seat angle makes it uncomfortable to sit forward, and the chair back angle is too often too much of  recline.

Solution: Reduce the chair back angle. Also, build eight in one big Chairapalooza.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Chairapalooza: 2015

Over Memorial Day Weekend, my brother, brother-in-law, dad, and I built eight Adirondack chairs. I've got a more detailed post about the chairs in the works, but in the meantime here are a bunch of pictures from Chairapalooza: 2015.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Ghost Maple Side Table

For Christmas, my brother and sister-in-law gave me an eight foot long, 11" wide, 6/4 thick piece of highly figured ghost maple (exciting, I know). I struggled for a while on what to do with it, and ultimately I opted for simplicity and mixing media in a way I hadn't before.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Java Gel Stain

It's a can of stain!
General Finishes Java Gel Stain has gotten a pretty hard push on social media lately (Seriously). I was making a frame for someone's college diploma recently, and she wanted dark wood but did not seem too thrilled with walnut. To achieve the desired aesthetic I could have held true to my tendency not to use stain and built the frame out of something like ebony, but that would have been ridiculously expensive (and really, kind of wasteful; that's not what ebony should be used for). This scenario is ideal for using a stain to darken a cheaper, lighter-colored, wood.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Bloodwood Nickel Pen

I've been turning a few pens recently. I'm doing it in no small part because it helps keep some rudimentary lathe skills sharp and also because unlike building complex furniture that takes days of labor, I can finish a pen in one work session. I had a small quantity of bloodwood leftover from my bed side stand, it's my all-time favorite wood to cut, and I thought, why not turn it into a pen. This is what I ended up with. More pictures after the jump.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Danggai Pen

We went to Arizona recently, and a friend of ours was kind enough to not only let us crash in his place in Phoenix, but also to borrow his car (on which we put a few miles; thanks again Brian!). Anyway, one of the ways we thanked him was by giving him this:

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Bubinga Pen

We recently got a lathe, which is the tool used to turn spindles, bowls, or, in this case, pens. Basically, you put a square block of wood on the lathe, spin it on its long axis rapidly, and poke at it with a chisel until it becomes round. This pen is made out of an exotic hardwood called bubinga. More after the jump...

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Stain Match 1.0

Okay. This is going to be tough. It's also a post that is going up mid-construction. Here's the deal: A commission requires me to make new furniture match this color...

Here's the problem. I don't have either any more of that stain or any ability to add 25ish years of UV exposure and general aging that I can just whip up. That means we've gotta just, ya know, wing it.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Knife Strip With Knives

Look at all those knives
A fellow out in sunny California bought a knife strip from me and wanted it extra long. He was kind enough to send me a picture of it it installed and with knives on it. Just in case anyone was curious if the magnets were strong enough to really hold a bunch of knives I present photographic evidence. Those cleavers look awful heavy.