Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Islands - Finished Jewelry Box!

A one of a kind hand-made, heart-shaped jewelry box.  This custom made, large ring box is turned from a Manzanita burl (number 5 on the wood density scale). This is the only piece I make that starts with a chain saw and ends with a high gloss.

The piece was first turned on a lathe. The natural voids have all been hollowed and then lined in pure silver. The voids were then filled with a resin colored to an off white/ pearlescent to achieve the cloud effect.

The entire piece was then hollowed by hand before finishing.

A custom made silver heart with 5 Garnets was then inset into the top.

Sunday, September 25, 2011



Well I finally went and did it. I went and entered a contest. Many may not see this as a big deal - a lot of people enter contests, and I'm working on my Masters project so I'm supposed to be good, right?...uh huh

Let's back up 30 yrs ago when I started this....as a kid I was told don't bother it's not worth it...so I didn't - EVER , until now. Then I didn't just enter any old contest either. Not being one to ever go 1/2 way, I entered the LA County Fair. One of the largest county fairs in the country!

What a way to start huh?...all or nothing!....well I'm still telling all of you about it, so I didn't come in last place, lol.

What I entered was a hand plane...

Not just any old hand plane mind you...it was obviously hand made by me (contest rules after all) but it was also made for my masters project. It was 1/2 of a matched pair. A standard angle (the other is a low angle but otherwise the same) 22" smoothing plane. With Jatoba scales on the sides (the low angle uses Jara)and as the "body of the handle as well as accents on the forward knob. The main body is fiddle back maple and the sole is made of Lignum Vitali.

With the physical description out of the way....It's not just 1 plane...as a matched set they make a total of 10 hand planes! 5 per body. consisting of a European style smoothing plane, a European stile scraper plane, a pull style Japanese smoothing plane (remove the knob and handle),a pull style Japanese scraping plane (remove the knob and handle), and a shooting plane if i put both knobs onti the side if 1 plane. all of this made ergonomically to MY personal body style and size.

I have about 60 board feet of olive tree almost dry (just a few more months) just waiting for this plane to be done to begin, in earnest, the masters project.

So I had to get this plane done early in order to enter it as once its used its not eligible to enter into the fair and I can't wait another year....this project is already taking years! I can't purposely set it back by a full year.....Besides while I did not take the best of show....I would have had to wait a whole year more to tell all of you that ...

I DID win the BLUE RIBBON AND JURORS CHOICE!....not bad for a first try :)

Thursday, May 19, 2011

May 21st Fair in Buena Park

We will be at a Fair this Saturday in Buena Park for a WONDERFUL cause.

May 21st, 10AM - 3PM
Ehlers Community Center - Buena Park

8150 Knott Ave
Buena Park, CA 90620

There will be 40+ vendors!

Woodworking (my Doll/ Dog Beds and more), Handmade Paper Crafts,  Handmade Jewelry, The Lilac Leaf, Scentsy, Avon, Thirty One, For Every Home, Trinkets & Treasures, Cookie Lee, Beady I's, Gold Canyon Candles, Priscilla Rose, The Pampered Chef, Mary Kay, Lil Mamas Creations, Sarahs Tolepainting, Jewelry by Janel and more.

About the Cause: Matthew March is a 16 ½ year old young man who is smart, caring and determined. Matthew at the age of 3 was diagnosed with Aspergers, a form of high functioning Autism. Matthew was placed in special classes and he didn’t like that. So, determined not to be different he worked very hard, studied and after a few years he was able to be slowly reintroduced in main classrooms. Since then there has been no looking back. Matthew has learned to play the Guitar, Bass, manage the sound board at Church, and be very active with his youth group weekly as well. He is training for his high school swim team and is loving every moment of his normal life.

His new goal that he is determined to reach is to go Cross Country with his youth group on a Grand Mission Trip leaving: June 27 – July 14

Leaving from California going to New York and back, they will be stopping at all the major tourist attractions along the way: Mount Rushmore, Yellowstone, Washington Monument just to name a few. But they will be stopping at every Calvary Chapel along the way to meet up with fellow youth groups and do various activities, This is a ONCE in a lifetime opportunity for Matthew, for any 16 year old really so any help would be a Blessing to us.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Right Tool

     Use the right tool for the job!...How many times have we all heard dad tell us that!? (Even as he was pounding nails into the walls with the back of a screwdriver LOL)
     Lets face it he was right and now its our turn to scream at our kids(WOOT!). Even still we often DON'T use the right tool. No matter how we try, because as simple as it seems it's often more difficult than it seems to do.
     Many people think that a pencil is all you will ever need in a wood shop. To a large degree they are probably right.

The question is "Which pencil???"

I use a lot of marking implements in my shop. A standard old #2 pencil is great MOST of the time, however. I work in 128ths of an inch every so often and a #2 pencil no matter how sharp, just wont do the job. So in that case I use a marking knife. When I am marking walnut in irregular shapes (I actually do this quite often) a Pencil just doesn't work at all - it doesn't make enough contrast to see the line when cutting on the bandsaw - I use a green pencil (or even better -shocker- a PEN, ink and all LOL) because they create more contrast against the browns and reds of the walnut. When I'm marking the center of a hole (for drilling) I like to use an ice pick - Its simple and does the job. Lastly, remember those big square pencils grandpa always told you was the only pencil you will ever need because is a 'carpenters pencil'? Well I even have a use for that one - Sanding. Yup I said  it right , SANDING. When I'm doing a final sand on a job and I'm looking for all previous grits scratches a square carpenters pencil is what reach for, its big and lays down a lot of graphite. Which makes scratches easy to see, then I just sand it until the graphite is all gone and more often than not - so are the scratches.
     So you see I went through and wrote this whole blog asking and telling about our sample of a pencil as a tool and still never answered which one is the RIGHT one for the job, as I stated earlier its not such a simple question. All I can say is you know when you are abusing a tool and dad also taught you this - Take care of your tools and they will take care of you.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Worked Wood Wednesdays

This customer had some furniture with an Egyptian feel - so we designed CD cases based on Obelisks to fit right in.  

We built them and then the customer spent some time in the shop to learn the basics of finishing and finished them himself!    
Imagine what you could do. .

Sunday, February 27, 2011


     A MASTERPIECE!...Inspires thoughts of a beautiful creation doesn't it? Maybe a painting, or a poem or even to some extant a fine meal. Well honestly any or all of these may be true, but how many can one man (or woman) make in their lifetime? 5? 10? dozens? hundreds? The answer contrary to most beliefs today is just 1.

   You see there is no problem with my answer...or even with the question. The problem is with the proclamation: Masterpiece. A masterpiece is actually never made by a master believe it or not. A masterpiece is made by someone attempting to be proclaimed a master. Think of it as the final test of a tradesmen.

     In the old-world way of teaching there was no (or very few) 'centers of higher learning' available to the masses, where one could go to class and study to earn a 'masters degree'. The way it was done is you were sold. That's right sold. As in indentured servant. A recognized master craftsman would 'buy' you from your family at about age 7, give or take. You were then kept by this master for an average of 20 yrs while he taught you his trade. At about the 19yr mark this master was expected to give you the materials (and to have given/taught you to make you own personal tools along the way in your training)  to build YOUR MASTERPIECE. When you were done with this piece it was presented to your master. Who then judged it to either be the work of a master , or not. This was a make or break test - pass or fail. So you pulled out all the stops, used all the tricks and techniques you knew, spent all the extra time you could. Because if you passed this test you would be recognized as a 'wandering master' able to build your own business in just 4yrs time, but if you failed this test - you would never be a master. You could not 'retake' this test, there were and are no 'do-overs'. So even though after this point you may hold the title 'master', because of the time and tears involved you probably never made a piece of this magnitude again. Quite honestly , you never again have a need. By the time you are again producing pieces of this stature and grandeur- you have apprentices of your own to help. So you see, a masterpiece is not merely a piece made by a master but instead a piece made by someone begging to be recognized as a master...

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Wood Work Wednesdays

. . And This Just Sold
Figured I'd work both in with one shot tonight.  We just sold one of these adorable Doll Beds (also bought as a Dog Bed) on Etsy! 

Sturdy for child's play and built to last to pass on to generations!

It's solid cherry wood with a cherry veneer deck.  And we have more!  Just e-mail to ask or click the image to heck out our Etsy site!


Related Posts with Thumbnails