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2019 Year in Review

This has been a busy year all around. The first half of the year ended up as mostly a wash. After hand surgery, I wasn’t able to get any substantial work done in the wood shop for several months. In that time, I was able to acquire lumber to prepare for several of the builds that were documented throughout the year.

The Great

These five projects took up much of the time in the work shop throughout the year. The Roorkee chair and trestle table, in particular, were multi-month builds from lumber acquisition to finish application. They were good exercises in wood selection and milling, as well as cutting joinery and processing large table tops. The bookcase and the plant stand were both furniture requests from family, allowing me to play with designs that I’ve seen elsewhere. I was also able to find two excellent sources of lumber going forward.

Any time I get to spend time at the lathe is a treat. Making kalimbas was a lot of fun. I’ve seen them made from boxes, flat boards, and gourds in the past. However, I haven’t seen any that were turned bowls. I plan on making several more of these in the next year, including playing around with segmented bowls to allow for larger resonating chambers.

The Good

I completed several projects that were not documented on the website. I was able to finish building out the workshop earlier this year, including adding lumber storage, building shop fixtures, building new shop storage, and setting up new cabinets. Lots of work was done clearing the yard of years of overgrowth. I also build a temporary solution for some of our rainwater management (I have plans for something much nicer next springtime). In addition, I spent a good amount of time helping out on a building renovation.

Other builds not documented on the site included cutting boards, pens, lamps, and a number of different experiments. You should see some of these for sale on the site in the next few months.

The Not-So-Great

Thankfully, this list is fairly short this year. I had a surgery on my right hand early in the year. That took me out of commission for a few months. I’m still dealing with residual weakness related to the carpal tunnel syndrome now, especially when using handled tools (Gent’s Saw, Shinto Rasp, etc). I’ll be having a second hand surgery in January 2020. Knowing what to expect should help the recovery process this time.

2020 Plans

I’ve spent a good amount of time planning for 2020 during the past month. There are several projects for the house that I hope to complete next year, including bathroom updates. This will mean building a new vanity, standing, and wall cabinets. I have a few furniture pieces that I’d like to build, including a Morris chair, more book cases, and some more lighting fixtures.

I will also be launching an online store for items that I build. Most of what will be available in the store will be small objects including boxes, cutting boards, pens, bowls, instruments, and some other functional and decorative items. As always, I also accept commissions. You can reach me on the contact page.

Happy New Year

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2018 Year in Review

This has been a busy year. I was able to complete some large and small projects, but the process of buying a house got in the way of doing production work to prepare merchandise for a proper booth and show. So what did I get to accomplish during the past year?

New Workbench

Most of the early part of the year was spent planning and building a proper workbench. I documented this build extensively. The bench has been a solid and wonderful work surface and clamping device. I’ve got a quite a list of pending projects to put it to use on.

Turnings

This past year involved experimenting with painted bowls and my first segmented piece. I’ve also added a bed extension to the lathe and look forward to doing some chair work in the next year.

Outdoor Building

During the summer I had the opportunity to do some outdoor building in the form of a trellis structure. The build was straight forward and the finished project provided some much needed backyard screening for the client. It also gave me a chance to improve my Sketchup skills.

Work On Display

The Pittsburgh International Airport has a series of display cases that hold artwork on the land-side of airport. Beginning at start of December, the airport put a large number of turnings from members of Turners Anonymous, the local woodturners guild on display. I have several pieces on display, including a painted vessel and bowl. I’ve been playing with these forms and finishes as part of my preparation for a formal show. While I wasn’t able to produce much this year due to a variety of family, work, and other circumstances, I’ve been happy with the designs and can’t wait to make some more for next year.

If you are out at the airport before February be sure to check out the cases to see not only my work, but the work of numerous area wood turners.

Plans for 2019

I sat down and put together a list of planned projects. The list is currently 15 deep, not counting the general electrical and household work that I need to complete in the next year.

To keep updated, I’ve followed the lead of some fantastic writers and created a /now/ page on the website. Check in occasionally to see what’s next.

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Moving Shop

I have been working out of my current garage for about five years.  The space has converted from a shared garage to a full fledged wood shop during that period.  After completing the new workbench and adding proper lumber storage, the shop was finally set up in an open and efficient manner.

Then, we went and bought a house.  The process happened very fast, and we were careful to make sure there would be a space for a new wood shop. In the end, I’ll lose about 45 square feet of space, but should still be able to keep making furniture and decorative items.

That is, after I’ve got the new shop setup.  The garage that I’ll be taking over has no lights and no electricity at this point.  Furthermore, the old carriage doors are in need of total replacement after what has to be a few decades of neglect.  The concrete floor needs repairs and leveling. This will definitely involve a lot of work, and I hope to at least have a minimal shop up and running in the next month or two.  Watch for updates.