A lot of materials being prepared here!

Several days of material preparation and several large bags of shavings later I can start building a few things. Next in line is a small piece, a reproduction of a wall shelf that I think is interesting. I’m thinking this can go in so many directions in style and size that could be a unlimited possibility.

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The work.

It’s going to be a busy fall and I’m starting late. September I’ll be teaching one class and demonstrating at the Stoke Stomp with North Carolina Woodworkers.

In October I’ll be presenting at Jamboree in Stokes County, and I’ll be demonstrating with the North Carolina Woodworkers at the Klingspor Extravaganza in Hickory North Carolina. So for now it’s stock prep and lots of it.

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It’s time to start again

I haven’t been writing as I should and from rereading what, I have I need to really go to work. I just finished reading another blog with some great advice on writing. It is and was the same advise I received while in school. So if I’m going to do this, I must;

Do it often.

Be honest with myself.

be consistent.

Use an economy of words.


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New project! A table with benches. Lots of fun!



Last summer I had a customer ask for a kitchen table. I was glad to discuss this project with them with the caveat that I work this project in aside from my regular kitchen cabinet installations.

So after more than a few conversations about design, size and materials we came to this. The type of table will be a trestle table with two benches to match. The tops will have bread board ends. The materials will be southern yellow pine, I know some will ask why SYP. and I say this in responds, 1. It fits the customers budget, 2. It’s strong and durable., 3. It works well., 4. It’s historically correct for the south. So with that said, make all the cheap shoots you want.

So it took a while, but the first week of February I drove up to Madison to purchase the lumber for this project.shop pics table 042 I started breaking down the stock that day. flattening the stock every evening that week and the weekend. 150 board feet of 8/4 stock worked with hand tools only that’s one heck of a fun challenge. It’s also one heck of a lot of shaving, and shavings, and more shavingsTable 001.Table 002

Oh, I started rambling about shavings a forgot the design didn’t I. Ok, so for the size, the table will about 3′ wide by 80″ long with a height of about 28 to 29 inches. The benches about 14″ wide the same length as the table and about 17″ tall. I want the table frame to have tusked tenons with white oak wedges.

The benches will be similar, but there will not be any tusked tenons because I want the cross member to act as a strong back for the bench top. I do have an idea for making this work that is strong and will look good as well. I just haven’t worked it completely out in my head as of yet.

The thickness of all this material for all the parts will be the highest yield I can get Table 004from the 8/4 stock so that could be anywhere between 1 5/8″ to 1 3/4″ depending on how this stock seasons over the next few weeks. I have no idea how much movement I’ll see after I finish breaking things down and doing some flattening. After this I’ll let things set for a week  and see what happens. I do expect to see some movement but with some luck it will be small. I’ll keep my fingers crossed on Table 008that one.

The last thing about this design is the finish. The customer wants something dark. With SYP. that can be problematic. And to be plain honest I hate stain. I work with it on a day-to-day basis but I still prefer natural colors. I plan on working out some samples of some colors for these folks choose from and I hope, and I mean deep down that I can steer them to the light of natural color. If nothing else at least something that will not hide the grain. So everyone cross your fingers for me will ya.

This is first coTable 009mmission I taken for a while now and that brings with it a lot to consider.

The first is, can I truly deliver a proper finished product? I mean a truly masterful furniture piece that the customers will be happy with long-term. This is a Table 011consideration that will stay with me every step made in this journey.

The second consideration is time. Can I dedicate the time and maintain focus that this project deserves? I figured that this will more than likley take about 200 hours give or take to complete. I truly will have to make the most of every hour.

Table 013

The third consideration is space management. My shop is a 200 square foot single car garage. That means there ain’t much room in here. things could get crowded and that will be unproductive. I must work with in my space limits.

The fourth and the most important consideration is what in the heck am I going to do with all themTable 014Table 015 shavings. I mean man, I see lots of fire starter there baby!

Any how I have lot to post soon and I hope all who read will enjoy.

And did I mention the shavings?



Table 017shop pics table 053shop pics table 049shop pics table 045

starting to break down
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handsaws and little surprises

once in a while your just tooling along thinking you know how things are going to turn out. And then low and behold life steps up and slaps you on the forehead. So, I’m working on a few saw plates and while sanding one plate thinking this one is an inexpensive saw and would not tell much of a story.  To my little pea brain this was just another exercise in restoring, tuning, and sharpening a hand saw. Don’t get me wrong, I need this exercise, I get better with every tool that crosses my bench. Not to mention I enjoy bring these tools back to life. The first thing I found strange  was the tooth count was very high for what I thought was a two foot panel saw.


15 PPI  for a saw with no back is high, however the plate was covered with paint and rust and was in need of a good cleaning. So after removing the paint and most of the rust I found this, C. E. JENNINGS & CO,  NO 10,(in between the NO and the 10 there is an arrow with a J) Metal Cutting Saw, For copper smiths metal workers & carpenters, This saw can be filed, New York.  There is my answer to the tooth count and I had no clue that any manufacture made a metal saw of this nature. I also have found very litle information on the company. So far a short absract from the Davistown Museum and a few items and comments scattered about.  I really don’t want to continue with the saw plate until I find out the proper set up for this saw. I really would like to stay true to this saw. If anyone has any good info on this saw I’m all ears. Thanks until next time.

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A big thanks to Matt Bickford and Lost Art Press

Ok, it’s Saturday morning, and I’ve managed to worm my bench and hand tools back into the garage. I decided to clean up a couple of saws from a nest I picked up a while back. While admiring the etching that surprise me (C. E. Jennings & co. No. 10). I was totally floored. It was about then the postman showed up and handed me a package. I’ve been looking forward this all week. Matt Bickford’s book finally.

I very quickly cleaned up the shop and headed for the easy chair. I opened the book and thumbed through quickly and began breaking the spine. I quickly noticed the layout of the chapters had a distinctive purpose in presenting the material. I found that to be most enjoyable. What I also found very enjoyable was the content is a reference for the woodworker to create, reproduce, moldings that are attainable and repeatable with practice. I also enjoyed the look into Matt’s journey. We all fall into this working in wood our own way with our own reasons and it was quite kind of Matt to share all this with us. I’m sure he never envisioned all this.ImageImage

So, without any further ramblings, Thank you for your good work, and thank you for wanting to.  

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What to do next?

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I have just was given notice that my parking agreement with a local business is ending. Not from anything that I have done but because of other less respectful folks have done over the past year. So the parking space that I have been paying for and been reliant on for several years will be gone at the end of this week. That said I have to give up my work space for a …. car. Their are some people who think a garage is for parking cars. What a bunch of dumb m#%her &*ckers. So, for the fifth time in my life I am found with no place to work at what I really love. I will continue to post on what I am doing in the field but until I find a place to set up shop I will be working only on design ideals. I want you to know right now I’m so mad I could spit bullets and fart lightening.

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A cherry set of saw horses

These saw horses at present are being used to support my bench top. They were a fun build.

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Built from 8/4 cherry featuring draw bored mortise and tenon joinery along with wedge tenons for the cross members. The result is a very strong set of saw horses. Yes, I enjoyed featuring the knot hole on the outside of the foot. Thanks for looking enjoy your day.

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A little 10″ dovetail saw

I was looking for one of these and as luck would have it Josh from http://hyperkitten.com/blog/ had posted this little fellow in his list of old tools for sale. I placed the order and he sent it out very quickly. I received it and before I sent the payment I had cleaned and sharpened it. I put it through its paces and it performed wonderfully. Here are a few pics.

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A fun little project for a friend’s pool hall

I had a friend of mine who is a local pool hall owner approach me about building a small trophy shelf. He stated, he wanted just a couple of shelves on a particular wall. To be honest with you he would have been happy with two shelves on brackets. However, I felt that single unit would be the best and he agreed to my design. Although, I did not give all the details of the construction I had in mind. It was enough to get the job.

The materials are red oak with mahogany wedges. The wedges are actually what holds this piece together. I mounted the piece to the wall with a french cleat. The finish is a penetrating stain the owner had on hand, not my favorite color. The wedges I ebonized using old steel wool and vinegar. All of which I topped of with three coats of a satin lacquer rubbed out and waxed.

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 This is a very easy project and lot fun as well.

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