Sunday, September 28, 2014

Eighteen amazing tables....

Damn! just came up with the most amazing collection of tables - I nearly drooled on my laptop looking at them! This one is possibly my favorite - 

A log table Designed by John Houshmand

Glass River Table Designed by Greg Klassen

A recycled jet engine table Designed by MotoArt - WAY cool!

Not my favorite - it looks like it could be uncomfortable sitting there for a long time, but it's a fun design.... the swing set table designed by Duffy London

Want to go on a picnic in your own home? Check out this table designed by Haiko Cosnelissen.

OK, maybe these are my favorites - my friends have been sending me a link to these tables for the last six months! Wood and aluminum tables Designed by Hilla Shamia.


I can't seem to figure out who made this Leaf table, but it is gorgeous. 

Again - not my style, but I can appreciate all the hard work that went into making these dripping chocolate tables designed by Matthew Robinson.

There are a few more - here's a link to see all eighteen. Take a step back from your keyboard - no drooling!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Making a wooden spoon

Did you know that I collect wooden kitchen utensils?  I'm kind of selective, so not just any random spatula or spoon earns a place in my collection. I've bought quite a few from TreeStump Woodcrafts over the years, they make some terrific pieces. 

But I really love the one I just bought one from Karen Howl, of HowlWoodworks. 

She makes lovely pieces up (over?) in Trinidad, Colorado.

 When I received the one she sent me recently, I was inspired to make one.

 So I started doing a bit of research, and found this. I seriously need to make one of these ladles! I need to start searching for the perfect piece of wood.

Friday, September 19, 2014

With the help of some friends.....

Once again, I am so fortunate to have people in my life willing to help me when it's time for heavy lifting! The school is expanding, and I've spread out into the bay next-door. 

Humble beginnings; there is a TON of work to be done!

 Eric, Lupe and Denny volunteered to help move the heavy stuff - and wow, they knocked everything out in half the time I thought it would take.

Meanwhile, Denny and I have started making workbenches - the new side of the shop will have some individual benches, set up in a classroom-like lay-out. Here's the first one I built, to test it out. 

Dennis, the instructor in the current router class, thinks it's a sweet bench, and he's pretty much a woodworking genius, so - once it passed his approval - we started making the rest. 

 These benches will get a lot of use (and abuse!) so we wedged all of the mortise and tenon joints...

 a lot of work, but it's worth it!

These benches will last a lifetime!

The tops go on the benches today, and although it feels like it took forever to build these, we really only spent about 35 hours building 8 benches. I'm all about the effeciency  of building things - we knocked these out with the help of jigs and tool set-ups that allowed us to cut mortise and tenons very quickly.

Here's how I felt at the end of the day, when all eight benches were assembled:

Speaking of friends - check out this video of some very helpful friends, helping with a barn raising in Ohio.

Now THAT is team work!

A big thank-you to Eric, Lupe and Denny for helping me move - I can't tell you how much I appreciate your hard work!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014


This is a little embarrassing, but I've had this DowelMax doweling jig for around 8 months, without trying it out. Shame on me... 

It arrived having been inspected by Customs agents,

 who kindly left me a note saying I was safe. 

Also - they left me a "joke"  - at least that's what I think this was. 

A random bored agent scribbling things on the back of official Customs paperwork... hmmm.... 

To tell you the truth - the doweling jig looked complicated. 

And frankly - since my time is pretty short these days, I wasn't looking forward to trying to learn a new tool system. 

Still - I'd promised to try it out and write about it, so it's been on my list of things to do. For 8 months. 

Somehow - every time I started building something, I'd reach for a different tool. And every time - I'd swear that I'd use it next time. 

Well, now's the time, and here's my take....with a little history, first. 

I've always been a doweler. I've used them since high school, and while it's not the first fastener I think of when building a piece of furniture, there are times when doweling works perfectly. Let's face it - one of the most respected woodworkers in the world, James Krenov, was a fan of doweling. 

Who am I to argue with that?

Stay tuned!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Shots from the Desert

The weather is finally cooling off here, although some would argue that 100˚ isn't really all that cool. But you'd be surprised how tolerable that is, compared to our 110˚ days of a month ago. With the cooler temps, I've had a little more motivation to head out on the trails near my house. 

This park is close, and never fails to give me a good workout. 

I'm not sure what they mean when they say "Future Site" because it's already fenced in and full of trails.

And - it's mostly virgin desert land - full of weird and interesting things to see. 

Since it's near a golf course, it gives me a lifetime supply of golfballs - you'd be surprised how many balls I've found out in the middle of nowhere. 

Right before I head out, Stella gives me a guilty stare - as if to ask why she can't tag along. But it's dusty and full of thorns and other pointy things - and there is no way I'd bring her with me.

Whenever I'm out on the trails, my favorite gangster movie comes to mind. Casino has to be one of best films for showing the desert in Las Vegas. 

Who can forget Joe Pesci being dragged out to the middle of the desert, and being forced to watch his brother beaten and killed. 

When I'm out on the trails - I swear some day, I'm going to find a body out there. 

So I thought I'd share a few of the interesting things I've seen - 

like this section of vertebrae rising up out of the soil. 

Or this giant - I'm not sure what to call it. When I first saw it - I thought it was a giant pupae from some primordial caterpillar. 

Now that I've ridden past it a few times, I think it's just an abandon Sonotube, that someone left in the middle of nowhere. Time has morphed it into something else.

This tire has been there a while, as proven by the sprouted plant within. 

And - maybe this area was used as a test landing spot for helicopters. 

There are a million stories out here. Someone has marked this area during geological surveys - otherwise, why would this be out MILES from anywhere that matters.

Once in a while, I'll be riding and all of sudden - something catches my eye - the only thing I can do is slam on the brakes and check it out. 

This old can appeared to be shot so many times, an automatic weapon must have done it. 

I know where the burrowing owls live, sometimes they fly away when I ride past, but 

but mostly - they just peek their heads out and look at the crazy girl on a bike in the middle of nowhere. 

There are jackrabbits, who like to play hide-and-seek, but luckily - I haven't run into any snakes yet. 

The best part of it all is just the wide open land - no buildings, no people, just a little wind howling, and storms that brew in a distance.  This sure isn't what people picture in their heads when they think of Las Vegas, but anyone who lives here knows that there are special places to get away from the neon and the traffic.