Custom Built Wood Furnishings


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Pen and pencil

Posted on May 12, 2011 at 3:09 PM

Well, almost all done the pen and pencil set. (below)

  I am very happy with the way they turned out.  I made the box first, and then the pen and pencil, all made out of cherry, even the insides of the pen.

  The pen and pencil's actually sit on false bottom's.  They can come out for additional storage of pen leds or pen refills.  Plus the two little spaces in the back for anything else, like erasers or whatever might be needed.  I am thinking of making another box like this, with just dividers for the pen bushings and drill bits that I use to make them. 

Next, I think I will make antoher set, this time out of walnut.  Or maybe bocote.  Not sure yet.

Plane it and wait

Posted on May 9, 2011 at 11:28 PM

Here is a picture of the hand plane that I made in the hand plane class.  It was so much fun, and I learned a lot.  The teacher was awesome and I hope to take more classes from him in the furture.

 The plane is made from white oak, when I was all done shaping it as I wanted, I fumed it.  Being white oak, it fumed much better than the red oak did. and I really like that colour of brown.  I then put a light coat of boiled linseed oil and then paste wax on it.  I am intereseted to see how the paste wax is going to hold up use.  Only time will tell.

Got the ok for the green man drawing and I have given the lid to the carver.  I suspect that is going to be a few weeks, but I am waiting very impatienlty to see the results.

I have also gotten myself addicted to turning.  Right now it is just pens, and so far in the last two weeks I have made 6 pens, turned the blanks for 9 more (just waiting for extra cash to buy the mechanisms) and I am in process of making a pen and pencil set out of cherry.  On the weekend I made the box and I finished it up tonight with the inside compartments.  Tomorrow I will do the turnings for the pen and pencil and assembly them.

Waiting is the hardest part!

Posted on May 1, 2011 at 12:22 AM

I sit here tonight, waiting, waiting and waiting.  In fact, I am waiting on two things.  I am waiting for the ok of a drawing that might become a carving, and then I can give the wood to the carver and get the carving done, then I will be waiting for that to be done as well.  But... WAY more on my mind right now is the waiting I have been doing for over a month, but I just have to wait a little while longer!  For tomorrow, I will be making a wooden hand plane with 8 other of my Lee Valley co-workers.  I am so excited.  This is going to be a 2" smoothing plane with a 9" long body made of white oak.  I am thinking of fuming it just to see the difference between red and white oak.  But that is something that I will have to decide when the plane is done....10 and 1/2 hours to go, thats all the waiting I have to do.  I know that it is not going to disapoint either.  I have meet the teacher now on two seperate occasions, and I am that much more excited out it after meeting him, as he is such an awesome guy.  I am planning on taking a camera and taking lots of pictures so I can make more on my own.... now off to bed, the sooner I fall asleep, the sooner it will be tomorrow and plane making day!!!

Lemon freshness!!!

Posted on April 16, 2011 at 10:20 PM

Knot box updates, here are some pictures, one of the side of the box, and one of the front of the box.


I have also been spending the last week flattening the board that will become the lid.  I took 1" thick rough wood and used my jack plane to get it to just under 3/4" I then let it sit a few days and then took more passes on each side to get it to 5/8".  And then after letting it sit again for a few days to let the board do its thing and move if it wanted, I then have been flattening it and then a few passes with the smoothing plane to give it a nice smooth surface.  It has been sitting un touched for the last few nights and will continue to do so for the next few as well.  I will then check it for flattness and if need be plane some more.   When the design for the lid is decided upon, I will then give it to the carver for the carving.


In the mean time, I fumed a test piece of oak to see how it would turn out.  I am really charged about the results.

These two pieces were cut from the same board, the one of the left is freshly planed, the one on the right is also freshly planed, but sat fuming for 12hrs.  I currently have a piece fuming and it is going to sit for 24hrs.  Once that piece is done, I will brush on coats of amber shellac that I just finished cutting (mixing my own flakes in alcohol) and see how they turn out, and once I have all the test pieces done, then Carolyn can decide on the one she likes best.  Please note, the picture of the fumed oak is not that great, the picture has failed to capture how cool the colour really is.  She will have to see them with her own eyes to make the decision.




Posted on April 16, 2011 at 12:10 AM

I am currently in process of making what I have decided to call a 'knot box'  very similar to the inlaid Bible box, but there is no inlay on the front.  Same style though, half blind dovetails on the front and through dovetails on the back.  The lid is going to have a green man carved on it.  But what has me the most excited about this box is the finish.  Im fuming it.  I am currently doing a test board to see how it will turn out.

I bought some ammonia, and in an enclosed tub, I have a tiny bit of ammonia in a small bowl, then the oak is suspended in the tub with painters pyramids and then sealed up.  Left alone over night, the oak should take on a deep dark colour.  This is the process that is currently under way, I have checked on it once, and it is well under way, and after a few hours, the colour is already turning brown.  Once the fuming is done, I am going to put coats of shellac to see how many coats it needs, and then likely top it all off with some paste wax.

I should have some pictures up tomorrow night, Sunday at the latest.

Jack of all planes.

Posted on April 3, 2011 at 1:37 PM

Well, I did it.  I bought a jack plane.  It happens to be a low angled jack plane at that.  My intended use is to use it on the shooting board, as it it quite a bit bigger and heavier than my smoothing plane that I have been using.  But I also think that it is going to see alot of use in other areas as well.  I am quite excited.  I just have to fine tune the blade and it will be ready to go.  I also bought a palm plane.  Its really small and it is just used for little things.  They are super handy.

I have a couple of projects in the works and drawing stages right now, and I also bought plans for a really cool tool box.  Of course I got it at Lee Valley, and it is the veritas tool box plans that we sell.  I am undecided about making it in cherry or walnut.  I will figure it out by tomorrow though, as I am going to buy the wood for it during my lunch break.  How exciting?  I am going to try and make the tool box using only hand tools, but I know that I am going to have to find a band saw to resaw the thick material into thinner pieces, but other than that, I think I can do it.

End tables done!

Posted on April 1, 2011 at 10:52 PM

The end tables are all done.  (see photo album for completed pictures)  And I must say they were significantly harder than I thought they would be.  Going only a picture, it was a real challenge to figure out how best to make them.  If I make them again, there are some things that I will do differently, but not much.  At times it was very frusterating to figure it out, but in all I had fun making them.  It was a real learning experiance on how to make something without plans or directions.  I ended up doing a lot of the designing and thinking in bed, and they did keep me up a few nights, but seeing them in the end, it was all worth it.  I think it would be really cool to make one and then fully distress it, to make it look like it was made in the mission era.

I spent the day cleaning my shop and getting ready for my next project, which I have not picked out yet... but I will by the end of the weekend.

End tables, Cont....

Posted on March 27, 2011 at 3:03 PM

WOO!  I am getting really close to being done the end tables.  I was able to find time this weekend to work.  I am quite happy with the results.  One of them is pretty much done, and the other is a few steps behind.  I kept them this way as I did not have any plans working with them, so I did everything on one of them and experimented, and then I did the second one.  All that is left to do on the one, is decide on a final top coat and install the little knob on the little pull out.  I am leaning towards two coats of spray clear schellac, or clear wipe on poly.  The spray would be much faster, easier and I like it more.  Looks like I just picked my top coat.

I also had some trouble deciding on the drawer pulls.  In the end I picked iron cup pulls, that I feel look really good with the 'mission' style.  And surprisingly enough, I also really like the colour of the pecan stain on the oak.  I did not know how much I would like it, but after making about 5 test pieces, I found 3 coats brushed on with a foam brush to have the best colour.  2 is too light, and 4 is getting too dark.  I am hoping to be done the one below later today, and the other one by Tuesday.

End tables

Posted on March 25, 2011 at 10:23 AM

The last few weeks has been the wildest ride so far in my career.  Since finishing the bible box, I started making two mission end tables.  The pictures looked straight forward enough, so away I went.  In the mean time, my job situation went crazy.  I decided that I was going to leave, so I started looking for a new job.  As it turns out, I got an interview at the best place in the world. Lee Valley tools.  Woo hoo.  So I put in my notice and left where I was before, and I am not two weeks in at Lee Valley.

So now that things have setteled a bit, I have been able to put more time into finishing the end tables.  I am hoping to finish them this weekend, but with a little family crisis today, that is going to last through the weekend, I am not sure if that will happen.  Thankfully my client is very patient and understanding.  If you are reading this, Thank you Ruth, I am working as fast as I can, and they will be done in the next few days.

Cherry Inlaid Bible Box

Posted on February 4, 2011 at 10:26 PM

I finished the Cherry inlaid bible box today.  It feels good to finish something finally.  I have not made anything since before Christmas, and that was the mini penn blanket chest.  I am still trying to decide what to make next, maybe I will give it the weekend and think about it, scour the net for the next really cool 18th century thing.