Monday, April 25, 2016

Is Kobe Bryant a woodworker?

This one had me fooled for a second!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

It's time for a 2016 garden post! (And a birthday celebration!)

See these? 

They're pretty recognizable – the cardboard center to a roll of tissue. 

I've been saving these throughout the year, just in time to start the garden.

And even better yet– this year we had an expanded gardening group. About a dozen of us got together and started a seed starter club, where we all chose a few plants and started them from seeds. 

Here are the cukes I started, 

and although everything seemed to be really slow in developing, they eventually started reaching for the sun. 

As they grew a little stronger, I brought them outside for a few hours a day, to acclimate them.

When the time came to meet and swap plants, we had so many, they took up most of the woodshop! 

Everyone's efforts were varied and mostly successful, and everything was labeled so we could tell what we were getting. 

There were literally hundreds of plants everywhere!

I finally bought some home, but the weather was still a bit cold at night to plant them in the ground. So I acclimated them by bringing them out during the day, to catch some sun. 

Finally, I planted a few, although I was a little worried that it might be too early, and the cool night air might shock them. So I created a little greenhouse for them, by planting them under a plastic tent. This works wonders for keeping them warm and moist. 

And finally - the weather broke and everything went into the soil. The raised bed included a beet garden (planted from seeds) and about 30 plants. It sure doesn't look like much when everything first goes into it. 

A few weeks later - BAM!

The walkway gets full sunshine, so I planted some things that demand that.

The walkway in the yard started out sparse, but in just a few weeks, it went from this - 

to this! 

The plants have quadrupled in size! 

The nectarine tree was in full bloom, and there are hundreds of little fruit on it, about the size of a walnut.  It's going to be a great year for that tree!

Who loves brussel sprouts? They started out small, 

but have grown crazy-big. 

The radishes are popping up and out of the soil!

Speaking of growing - it's hard to believe, but Stella is 12 today!

She's my pal and gardening nemesis - but my home wouldn't be the same without her! I hope your spring is as rich and vibrant as ours is! 

My best advice for the day? ... take some time to play with your dog!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Steamer Trunk Follow-up

The work that I was doing on steamer trunk finally wrapped up this week - it's always nice to complete some projects and move on to the next ones. This chest was commissioned by a fellow retiring from the Air Force, and he had tons of memorabilia to store in this chest, so he wanted the top tray to hold a couple of mission flags (those are much smaller than the casket flags) and some patches. 

The top two triangles will hold his flags, and he will display some things in the other areas.

The tray lifts out to reveal a cedar lined area for his dress uniform storage. What a great idea for passing your military gear down to the next generation. 

This project was one of the more enjoyable things I've worked on in a long time - 
it almost makes me want to search on Craigslist (which is where he found this gem) and buy a chest to work on for myself. Hope you've enjoyed following its progress!

Monday, April 11, 2016

Where'd you get the balls?

Julie and Jay both asked about the giant golf ball and tee that I was working on, with regard to its size. So here are a few extra pictures, with various shop items included in the shots for scale. They should give you a better idea of just how big this is!

And as Jay asked... where'd you get the balls?

Where else -  EBAY!

Saturday, April 09, 2016


Here's a follow up on those giant golf tees that I've been working on - I started with a prototype for my client, and then ended up making this one for myself. This is about 21" tall - it's verrrrry cool.  

Then I made these - and painted them blue, as requested. Once they were mounted in their bases, and I added some astroturf on the bottom. 

 I guess I can cross another thing off my bucket list!

Tuesday, April 05, 2016

We're Whole Again

Hot damn, this is the time of the year for taking care of things! 

First I got my truck upholstery repaired (I've been meaning to do that for 1.5 years!) and then - I finally contacted Lee Valley about something that's been bugging me for a long time....

If I had to tell you what is my favorite tool in the shop, you might be surprised to hear that it's the set-up block set from Lee Valley. 

In fact, I like it so much, I have multiples of the sets... and they are put to use every single day in the shop. 

But last summer, one of the blocks went missing - and it's been driving all of us crazy!

 I can't tell you how many times I've looked for it, and wondered if Lee Valley would be willing to sell me just the one piece I was missing. That damn 1/8" block - crucial for almost everything we do at the shop. 

Now I'm a huge fan of Lee Valley tools. Walk around the school and you'll see a lot of their gear - - from their small mallet to saddle squares, setup blocks to dovetail saws to low angle block planes, and MUCH more. 

Seriously, the school could be a showroom for their tools.  So imagine my delight when I got this in the mail...

All it really took was a call to them, explaining my OCDilemma

And just like that - we were whole again! A HUGE thanks to Wally and the crew there, for going out of their way and helping us. It sounds silly, but it's HUGE for us.