Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Rustic Wedding Card Crate

My lovely spouse had the idea of having people drop cards off at our wedding into a box that looked sort of like an old-timey beer shipping crate. She found an example on etsy, and I gave it a shot.

Friday, November 25, 2016


Bowtie joints go by many names, butterfly keys, dovetail keys, bowties, or Dutchman joints. They have two big uses: First, they look awesome. Always err on the side of awesome. Secondly, they provide mechanical stability to a joint, and, especially in situations where wood is checking, splitting, or cracking, a butterfly joint can inhibit the expansion of that problem.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Wedding Guest Bench

In the words of my wonderful wife, we will chair-ish it forever.

Hire these people if you want photographs that look this good:

I wasn't joking:

Yup, still not joking:
This is a live edge sitka spruce slab bench that we used in lieu of a guestbook at our wedding. Construction details and more pics after the jump.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Steak Knives Part 7 - Display Boxes

After spending 7 posts worth of effort making these, they really needed a good display box. And, so we have this break from knife making to discuss the making of mitered boxes with a sliding lid.

Steak Knives Part 5 - Sanded, but Unfinished v.1.0

I've been going through all of the steps I took to making these steak knives, and this post is essentially just a photo album showing what each species looked like after being sanded to 1500, but before the finish went on. Pics after the jump:

Friday, November 11, 2016

Steak Knives Part 4 - Shaping Knife Handles

As part of the steak knife project, I needed to contour the handles into something that feels good in the hand. That means moving from square corners to rounded contours. Pics along the way after the jump

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Steak Knives Part 3 - Testing Finishes 2

Okay, so I discussed what finishes I selected, now this post is essentially just to show and discuss the results of my little finishing experiment.

As a reminder, this is what I did;

1. I sanded a piece of scrap of bubinga, leopardwood, wenge, Carribean rosewood, redheart, and paduak. and zebrawood to 800 grit.
2. I finished one side of each with Tru-Oil.
3. A few days later, sealed the other side with dewaxed shellac and used Tru-Oil.
4. Formby's on a piece of each.
5. Lastly, I took a final piece and tried the submersion technique.

Results after the jump:

Steak Knives Part 2 - Testing Finishes 1

Since I've embarked on the adventure of making knife handles, I realized that applying a finish to a knife handle poses different challenges than I'm used to. First off, I hit up The Dusty Life for some suggestions.

A knife handle is different from something like a table top in a couple big practical ways.

1. It's going to be *handled* as in, subjected to both being in a hand (so needs to feel good there) as well as the wear, tear, and natural oils that are present on a human hand.
2. It's going to be near food and also will get wet when you wash it.

This means I needed to do a little more research.

Steak Knives Part 1 - Prototype

So I set out to make some steak knives. How hard could it be, right? Cut handle wood to the shape of the tang, epoxy and rivet the handle on, sand it a bit, and voila, no? Yeah. No.

After tracing the shape of the tang onto the handle material (or "knife scale"), I cut it out with a scroll saw, drilled holes for the rivets on a drill press, epoxied it to the knife, and then used a belt sander to contour the handle to the tang. It... uh... did not go super great. So, commence prototype v. 02. This time with less abject failure!

Monday, November 7, 2016

Steak Knives Part 6 - Gallery

Okay, so this is going to be a bit strange. I recently got married, and made steak knives for the gentlemen members of our wedding party. I've mad a multi-post series about *how* I made them, but since most people aren't going to be nearly as interested in how I picked the finish as they are in the finished product, I'm going to post the gallery pictures first, and the process posts next. So, without further ado, enjoy Steak Knives Part 6 (the first to be posted).

Sunday, November 6, 2016


Pyrography, which is an awesome name, is basically using a heat source to burn a pattern into something, often leather or wood. It can vary from pretty straightforward (e.g. some letters) to super intense, like this thing:
Just in case anyone was fooled, that picture is not of my work.

I picked up a Pyrography Pen and decided to give it a shot. My results were less dramatic, but functional: