Wednesday, February 24, 2016

MakersFaire in Henderson this coming weekend

The Maker culture is alive and well, and will be especially visible this weekend, in Henderson, NV. 

What's that, you say? You can read more about it here, 

But for a much more personal experience, maybe you might want to consider attending the MakersFaire on Sunday, February 28 at the Henderson Convention Center. 

This event is shaping up to be pretty special - Makers from all over will be setting up booths and sharing their talents. My buddy Braxton, from Timber Manufacturing, will be setting up shop, and sharing some of his cool techniques, as well as his charming persona. 

As the Maker website says:

Maker Faire is the Greatest Show (and Tell) on Earth—a family-friendly showcase of invention, creativity and resourcefulness, and a celebration of the Maker Movement. It’s a place where people show what they are making, and share what they are learning.

Yours truly (me) will be joining a discussion panel at 4:30 at the Faire, we'll be discussing:  

Making “Making” a Business

 Doing what you love takes financial security. Meet a panel of locals who have been there, done that, and have special insights into making Making into a business, patents, and kick starters.

Click here for more info: http://www.makerfairevegas.com

(BTW - I have a couple of free tickets to give away - if anyone needs one, let me know.)

But for a lighter look at Making, check out this fun clip: 

Thursday, February 18, 2016

It's never boring in my shop...

It's hard to believe this is my tenth year of blogging. 

I'm not sure where the time went, but I do know that I've worked on some really amazing projects. 

Like this Wheel of Fortune, which might be one of the most romantic Valentine's Day gifts ever. 

The gentleman who ordered this for his wife put the names of cities around the world on this wheel. When she spun the wheel, he'd buy airline tickets to the city that won - anywhere from Paris to Rio to Honolulu. 

Like I said... romantic!

I recently had the chance to work on some very cool Mid Century Modern Sectional Sofa pieces; they reminded me of the old Dick Van Dyke TV show. The cushions sat very low to the ground, almost difficult to get out of, so the owner asked me to raise them up about 6". 

Call me "Legs R Us"...

New legs made all the difference in the world!

These pieces are quite in demand by collectors, and from the research I've done,  the designer was a stud back in the day. 

Note the simplicity of this design, and its modularity, as well. 
Very Cool.

You can configure the seats and table tops to any desired position, depending on your room layout. Working on it gave me all kinds of inspiration for a future piece to build. 

These pieces needed a little TLC and some small repairs to get them back into shape, but I believe that they're now back to what the designer had in mind.

I don't take on a lot of repair work, because it's hard to tell what you're getting into... there can be some major headaches, like locating missing hardware, or trying to remove broken screws. But on this particular job - it was both enlightening, and rewarding. 

In other words, I got lucky on this one!

Speaking of unique orders, wait till you see what I'm working on next!...

Friday, February 12, 2016

The Amazing Expanding Table

It's pretty common for students and customers to send me links about furniture; they're usually about pieces they want to build, or they want ME to build. 

But - I've gotten emails about this expanding table design so many times, I've lost count.  I've never had enough time (or desire) to figure out how to build it, but thanks to one of my woodworking buddies - I finally know how this thing goes together!

This has to be one of the most requested pieces I've ever - and someday... I'll find the time to attempt one of these. Congrats to this guy for an amazing design and follow-through.

Wooden Expanding Table: A Brief History

Tuesday, February 09, 2016



I was thinking about mine the other day, when I was struggling with a project and wondering what direction I should follow. It was one of those "WWGD" moments, as in - What Would Garold Do?

Garold was my first woodshop teacher,  and was perhaps the first person to actually suggest that I could make a living at working with wood. 

I was about 15 at the time, and he seemed so much older and wiser - when in reality, there  was only about ten years difference in our ages. (Twenty-five years later, we discovered that we actually share the same birth date - how's that for irony?!)

He was big on brainstorming and sketching, and pushed me to build things I would never have attempted on my own.  I often find myself with pencil in hand, working out details on a napkin or scrap of paper. Or even giant sheets of cardboard. 

Later in life, he left his teaching position at my high school and joined Kent State University, where he was involved in their wood program. Some of my best memories involve giving lectures to his freshmen classes, discussing the role of women in the woodshop. Afterwards, we'd share a meal and a beer, and catch up on life.

He's retired now - if you call building a cabin, and working part time - retired. If I'm lucky, we speak once in a while, catching up on old friends or what we're building. 

So - Happy Birthday, Garold! Wishing you many more years of creativity and good health!

Wednesday, February 03, 2016