Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Shut your mouth and start $%&ing building stuff!

My friend Sandi sent me a note, telling me about this new reality show that's starting on SPIKE TV at the beginning of January. 

Thirteen furniture makers tested on design principles - let's see how this goes! The winner gets an opportunity to launch their furniture nationally and $100,000. 

I'm SO watching this... premiers January 6th!

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Feel like cooking?

Holy crap! 

I can only wish to be this creative someday!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Pick up a penknife and make ten cuts...

Here's a cool little video that challenges you to pick up a penknife and make ten cuts...

 I've been to the Warther Museum in Dover Ohio, a couple of times!  If you're a woodworker and you're in the area - you won't regret it. I'd forgotten all about these pliers. 

I'd like to challenge all my buddies to make one of these. Grab your knife and a box of band-aids! 

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Knowing when to pick your battles...

You know that line about the cobbler's children having no shoes? Or the tailor without clothes? I've been without a proper dresser in my bedroom for a few years. Long story, I won't bore you. But I'm getting tired of being without one.  

It's not like I've been sitting around, doing nothing. I started building one about a year ago and all I have to show for it is the carcase. 

And the longer it sits around the shop, the more likely it is to have stuff piled on top of it. Or to get damaged. So I made up my mind that I would try to get it finished this year. I have ten days left to accomplish that, and a chest cold that is probably going to preclude my efforts. 

There isn't a lot to do - finish up the drawers and doors and oil it. In a perfect world, I would have all the time I need to carve something cool on the back piece - hopefully to match the headboard I made a few years back. 

But I can do without the carving for now - I just want the dresser, dammit! My socks need a home!

That's when I remembered Cimarron Drawer, a local company that makes fantastic drawers. Don't call me a cheater or corner cutter - I just have to pick and choose my battles, and frankly - I don't have anything to prove by making my own drawers. If the quality is there, I can live with someone else's drawers. 

I met Lana and Scott about eight years ago at the AWFS show - they had a booth with some samples on display. I was impressed. That's all they do - drawers. You need something different, like a scooped face, or predrilled fronts, or even a notch for undercount slides - no problem. 

So I filled out their form for a quote - and as my friend Nikki says - BAM! I had a quote and a delivery date.

Now here's the thing - I mentioned quality - and their drawers are fantastic! Dovetailed, lacquered and ready to hang. Sign me up. They actually bought their own building this year, and recently moved - good for them!  I took the opportunity to visit their new production center and get a tour. 

The material comes in the back door and gets loaded on pallet racking, until it's processed. 

It's automated and optimized, by the time they're done with it, all that's left is little strips. 

It moves through a variety of machinery - planing, thickness sanding if necessary, cutting to length - 

until it ends up at the dovetailer. 

Sheer perfection!

If they're using melamine panel stock for drawers, the edge-bander comes into play, 

and the corners joints are doweled. 

All of the bottom panel material is then cut to size 

on their giant panel saw. They really have this down to a science. 

I'm not sure how many drawers can be glued up at once on their glue rack, but it's a lot. 

These drawers were notched for undermount slides, which will save someone a hell of a lot of time! 

Next up – the spray booth, for some lacquer. Their spray booth is bigger than my living room! 

And I'm pretty sure I could slide down their exhaust duct. Once the boxes leave the spray booth, they're ready to be picked up.

  Here is Scott bundling my order up - he makes it look effortless, but they put their heart and soul into each drawer order.

And all that's left is a stack of finished drawers  and a pile of sawdust... lots of sawdust. 

Their giant dust collector sucks out the waste right into their trash bin - once again - automating their process from board to finished drawer to dust. It's remarkably efficient. 

So that next time you are 80% of the way through a project that you can't seem to get the motivation to complete  - I highly recommend calling Lana to give you a quote. 

Honestly, they're one of the best kept woodworking secrets in Las Vegas!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Crazy Cat Furniture and an Etsy recommendation!

There are two kinds of people in the world - dog people and cat people. 

I won't make any social commentary about either, but I will say that I never had cats until I was in college. And the very first one I had was funny and friendly and got me hooked on them for many years. 

Of course - when I saw this article on "Incredible Cat-Friendly Furniture - I had to check it out.  Amazing pieces here!

I could totally see building a platform bed for your cat if it meant that you got your pillow to yourself each night. 

This grass table is pretty great, but you know you'd find little lies of grass vomit around the house, right? Probably on your pillow.

Love this one!

What a clever idea for a cat hammock!

Another hammock - but looking at this reminds me of my cat who would climb under the upholstered pieces and rip out the fabric from below. You know that's what's going to happen here. 

An Indiana Jones bed - how awesome!

Anything that keeps a cat from destroying the leather couch is a plus in my mind! This scratch board table is very cool!

Check out this variation of a Tansu chest - I love this!

This Cat'Burger bed reminds me of Meridith's work on Etsy.

Here's Meredith's PugTato - part Pug, part potato, complete with tin foil and dripping butter.  I seriously love artists with a sense of humor! If you do too, buy something from her Etsy shop! 

 A lovely double rocking chair! 

 What a terrific way to hide the litter box!

 Another one - although you know your cat would climb up and knock over all of the plants.

These two are my favorite pieces - simple and yet really cool designs. This is supposed to hang over a radiator, but I could see this hanging off the back of a door. My cats always liked to climb up high, so this would make a great door bed. 

 And finally - the Couch Tunnel - what a terrific design, although - once again - my cats would have used the back of that tunnel to hide something dead in - thus making the room uninhabitable for humans.

 Wait - that's the idea of all this furniture, isn't it?

I'm not a "crazy cat lady" like many of my friends are, but at one time - I had four. 
That's about three too many in my mind. 

And finally - lest you think only cats bring bizarre oddity to life - here's a terrific video of a dog with some serious feelings about ... yes, a pineapple.  Poor Stella!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Sh*t Craft Show Shoppers Say!... and the 2014 Cowboy Christmas Show Recap

You have no idea how happy I am that my craft show days are behind me. In the 80s, I did a bunch of them. The hours are long and exhausting, you have to be "on" for everyone who visits your booth, and the stuff that you thought would sell doesn't. And the crappy stuff does. 

What the hell?

This video spoofs everything bad about craft shows.

I went to the Cowboy Christmas show this year, it's an annual event tied to the National Finals Rodeo, or NFR, as we call it. It's an insanely awesome craft show, with a cowboy theme. You can go back here and here to read some of my past posts about it. 

Just walking in the door and glancing up to the ceiling gives you a glimmer of what's coming.

And then - BAM! 

Let the shopping begin!

You get hit with a wave a cowboy bling. 





Rows and rows of saddles. 

And then every cowboy themed chotchkie you can imagine. 

 Zeller trunks never fails to wow me - they make amazing steamer trucks, designed to last generations. They're not cheap, but I think they're worth every penny.

 Damn, they even design and make their own hardware. And the inside of their trunks are just as gorgeous as the outside, 

 with internal storage areas,

 and secret hidden compartments.

 I want one of these trunks! And I don't say that very often about other people's woodworking. 

 There is no shortage of imagery and kitschy artwork, 

or funky home accessories. Or clothes. 

This pig grill always gets a lot of attention.

I'm not sure of they meant this, but this giant sculpture of two cowboys had that Brokeback Mountain feel to it. Probably unintended.

This booth featured some terrific sculptures made of motorcycle chain and miscellaneous scrap metal.

I'd rather see a bison made of chain, than a real one like this. These always seem kind of creepy to me. 

Of course, you know I go for the woodworking, and this show had a few pieces that grabbed my attention. We're making clipboards this week in class, and I thought this herringbone'd board was nice. Expensive, but nice. 

This slab dining table design wasn't necessarily that interesting, but damn - where does a walnut tree THAT big grow?

 There were some amazing segmented turnings, like this vessel 

and this platter. 

When I saw this piece, it reminded me of why I love this show. The first year I attended, I saw a four poster bed, with giant carved cowboy boots for the posts. 

This armoire had a similar design.

There were some terrific one of a kind pieces, like this bench 

and this tall chest.

 I absolutely love these drawer fronts. 

And the mirror above is so organic and cool - it's just inspiring to see what other woodworkers dream up. 

Here's a bar stool that tips and bobs, almost like riding a bronco. 

My buddy Denny noticed this - how did I miss this?!

 It's a Prostitution License for this babe, Tea Cup Sally. 


 All in all, it was a pretty good show.  There were a few of my favorite artists who weren't in attendance this year, but my favorite booth - Treestump Woodcrafts once again wowed me with their wonderful wooden treen. Of course, I started talking with the owner and completely forgot to take some shots. So I pulled these off their website - I don't think they would mind. 

 I did splurge and bought this AMAZING walnut ladle of theirs.

Holidays are usually hectic and really busy for me, but I always try to carve out a few hours and attend this show every year. 

If you're in the area, you should really try to make it to the convention center for this event.