Thursday, December 27, 2018

Chrstmas 2018

Well I made a bunch of these as gifts this year. This is a Sue Mey pattern froim the Family Series this particular pattern is available here:

This  was not a diffucult to do. I cut it on 1/8 Baltic Burch for the plaque itself.

I cut the backer out of 1/4" Baltic Birch

Since the backer is too thin to nail I just used 5 minute epoxy to attach the hanger. Also I made the backer slightly smaller so that you don't see it from the front.

I won't post this before Christmas since I still have hve to give these away. So once I have given them away I will actually post this. I for some reason almost forgot to take pictures of this for the blog! I actually had to unwrap one to take them. Now I have to wrap it again.

Anyway I wrote this entry on Christmas Eve and thanks for looking.


Sunday, October 21, 2018

3 Blue in a row

I was awarded the blue ribbon again this year for my entry into the NC State Fair. That is 2016, 2017, and 2018 have been blue ribbon winners.

A bunch of ribbon winners in this one.

Me holding the my winner!

Now what will I cut for next year? I have this pattern collection problem. I have way more patterns then I will probably ever cut. But will I have one I deem good enough? Or will I have to buy another? Any excuse to add more patterns to my collection. I tell ya it is a disease.

Anyway that is a year away. No need to worry about that now. Onto Christmas gifts! Never too early to consider those!

Thanks for looking

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Skull and Cross Bones FRom my Creality Ender 3 Printer

Well this was a long print. But it finished and came out decent. I found this on thingiverse and increased it 2000% in size to make it a decent size. To go to that page click on thingiverse. It took about 12 hours to print. One small area messed up during printing buit nothing major and I was able to fix it.

I had supports on it and I sliced it with cura.

Thanks for looking!

Saturday, September 29, 2018


I drop this off next weekend on Saturday October 6th for the State Fair. Lots of hours in this. Hoping for the best. The frame is made from yellowheart. The actual cutting is cherry. I put gel satin urethane finish on it then a couple of coats of wax on top of that.

The yellow really pops when outside.

Thanks for looking

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Back at it again!

Well hurricane Florence kind of put a damper on working on the State Fair entry last week. It rained for 4 solid days here where I live in NC. I am not at the coast but it was supposed to come here. But  as it approached the coast it went south and below us then behind us as it headed north. Winds were not bad just plenty of rain. We suffered no loss of power.

I did order a 3d printer and it arrived on time last week during the storm. I put that baby to good use right away. I designed and printed some clamps to help glue up picture frames. I only had two older clamps which only allowed me to do half the frame at a time. With my current design I can glue up the entire frame in one shot. It is part 3d printed and part wood work.

This is the corner clamp I designed it in Fusion 360 and I sliced it with Cura. It took about 4 hours to print each one and I printed 4 of them. The reason for printing this rather than cutting it out of wood? Well my table saw sucks at cutting 45 degree corners. One of the two tracks for the miter is loose and will not cut consistent 45's. So lets print it!

Here is the corner clamp.

Here is is with the wooden parts cut, drilled, and with my frame in it. The size of the frame is 15 7/8 x 18 1/8.

It is a simple clamp which only requires a single clamp to clamp all 4 corners.

I used my table saw and cut the dado on the frame before glue up. It was a pain as I once again made the edge of the project very small only 1/4" on each side. So I only needed to cut a 5/32" dado into the frame. Yes I know insane. Maybe next time I will remember to make that edge bigger so I have some freaking room for mistakes.

Then I had to cut the glass for the frame. I have never cut glass before. I watched the videos it seemed like something that is simple to do. Not at all complicated. You just have to measure it correctly and use the glass cutter to score the glass and then snap it along the score. Seems simple and it actually is just as simple as it seems! The tool is cheap and glass is pretty cheap. I used to always just have the guy at the store cut the glass. It does not cost anything to have them do it. But as a maker I was thinking I need to do the glass cutting.

Here is my piece of glass I cut and it came out perfect.

Here is the backer with my logo and a close up of the logo. Putting my logo on projects is not really hard and all I do is use my ink-jet printer. No I don't put the wood in the printer. What I do is take a piece of wax paper tape it to a normal piece of paper and then make sure it prints on the wax paper. Once it is done the ink will remain wet on the wax paper. I then put the wax paper on the wood and the ink is absorbed by the wood and the logo is on the wood! I have read people use freezer paper also to do the same thing and that is available in 8.5x11. But my method works just as well.

Here is a close up of the logo.

Here is the backer with natural danish oil finish.

I used a trick today to help with gaps during glue up. You just have to save some saw dust(man glitter). What you do with the saw dust is you add it to glue to make your custom exact color matching wood filler. You can sand it and you can finish it as it is mostly wood rather then glue.

I just have apply finish to the frame paint the backer and assemble. Two weeks left till I drop it off. I've got this no problems because all the larger power tools are done. I was able to use the dado blade on the frame today to cut out the space needed for the glass, fret work, and the backer.

Thanks for looking!

Monday, September 3, 2018

My self imposed schedule met!

I was able to finish the final cuts on this baby today! First round of fuzzy removal done! Will take another look at it tomorrow before applying the finish. This is not the background color I will be using. Still deciding if I'll go with black as usual or some other color.

This was cut from 1/4" thick cherry board. After tomorrow I will put the Danish oil on it and in a couple of days the finial color of the wood will be set. Then I'll decided on the backer color.

The frame is going to be made from some yellowheart I have had for a while. I'll start on that next weekend if the weather is good. As I have to pull out the table saw from the shed since my shed is over crowded and small. A table saw is loud enough without containing it in a 16'x12' area.

Thanks for looking!

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Still on target

Coming along fine and I am keeping up with my self-imposed schedule. I have 5 weeks to complete it. It may seem like a enough time but  if you actually think about it that is only 10 Working days as most of the time during the work week I can;t always get time to work on it.

Since most people do not seem to understand how I cut these things I have included some shots of the saw with the piece on it.

My Excalibur setup that I use

The blade ready to go

The blade with my finger for comparison

Overall what I've accomplished so far

Thanks for looking!

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Mission Accomplished Day 1

Well I did what I needed to do today as far as the cuts go. I was able to get all the cuts done on the left side. One day down two to go. Now tomorrow the goal, if I can do it, is to finish the bottom tomorrow.

Still lots to do even if it looks almost done. There are some difficult cuts yet to be done. That large pink area may look like it will be easy but it most likely won't be. Only because it is so large. Then in that mouth. The left tooth looks like it will be hard to cut simply because there is not much holding that tooth to the rest.

Thanks again for looking!

Friday, August 31, 2018

Why do I like torture?

Well making progress on this cutting for the State Fair. Man I sometimes wonder why I choose these hard fret patterns to do? I must like to sit and be tense as I cut. This is working out so far so good. But if I make a mistake I am going to be devastated after all these hours.

People ask all the time do you sell these things you enter into the fair? I am like no. If I told what it would charge your mouth would just drop open and you would stare at me like I was crazy. Thus why it is a hobby. Every now and then someone will ask me to make them something and I will. But they have always been somewhat simple stuff that I could do rather quickly. Not one of these portraits.

Someday I just hope my daughter will want to hang one of these in her house. That to me would be success in my hobby. She has already taken one of my dragons I cut 3 years ago. I always loose the dragons. I did manage to keep one of them. I need to make more dragons! I love dragons. The problem is after the State Fair is done I will be starting on Christmas presents! When do I have time? In January I will but then it is too cold outside in my wooden shed. Then come spring I start thinking about what to do for the State Fair. Never ending cycle the State Fair.

If it all works out I hope to be either nearly done or done by Monday night. I want to finish the right side Saturday. The Sunday try to finish the beard area. Monday do the mouth. It would be nice to be able to cut the frame next weekend. We will see if I can manage the time to get it all done.

Thanks for looking!

Monday, August 27, 2018

Yet more done on the Lion

The saying "when going gets tough, the tough get going" Man is that ever so true on this cutting. It is starting to get tough and this is just the beginning of the hard part!

These very fine lines are all being cut with a spiral blade. There is nothing but shear will power not to mess these up. Some of the power of a spiral blade is it cuts in 360 degrees. You push in any direction and it cuts. It is so hard to cut these fine lines with a spiral. But I also feel they would be near impossible with  straight blade also. With great power comes great responsibility! Control is everything here. Just one slip and the entry is toast at this point.

Anyway here is a larger shot of it. I did not get much done due to the fine lines I am making at this point. I don't even think I am on the hardest part yet.

Thanks for looking

Sunday, August 26, 2018

The Lion Roaring so far......

More progress. It is getting there. Still some difficult cuts remain. So far it has been nerve racking with some really thing wood being left behind. That left tooth and that large piece on the left side still remain. They will be difficult to do with out breaking things.

Progress so far

Thanks for looking!h

Sunday, August 19, 2018

More progress on Fair entry

I have mode more progress on the Lion I am entering in the NC State Fair for 2018. This one has many difficult cuts in it. There are many lines that are less the 1/16" wide. This is turning out to be by far more difficult then the bully I believe was to cut. This is less then 800 cuts but the narrowness of the wood remaining is really thin! I am using spirals so just a nudge in the wrong direction and goodbye wood.

I sometimes have to stop just because I am so nervous I am going to goof it up. The tension alone I think could cause me to go off.

I have put some perspective onto this picture rather then blur it. I just hope it is enough to protect the image. Trying my best to show my progress without enabling someone to take the pictures and make a pattern from it. Very much dreading the fangs and the left side where the large piece needs to come out.

So far this is what is done

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

NC State Fair Entry continues.....

Some more has been cut for the State Fair entry. Slow going but I have learned don't rush and don't cut when you are not feeling it. Not when you have to get it right no do overs on this one.

There are some hairy scary sections on this to cut out. Very fragile pieces are there. They will be the last to most likely be cut. Dreading that time.

Anyway here is another picture of it with more cut out. Blurred again since people actually take photos and make there own patterns from them. It is absolutely ridiculous that they do that. The patterns are cheap. The wood, blades, and saw are what costs the $$$ not the pattern.

It will be tight as I have family coming in next weekend so no cutting then. I also have a carving class I am taking next weekend. Double whammy. The carving class is 9am to 5pm. I am hoping to expand my wood working abilities and put my fathers carving knives to good use.

Thanks for looking!

Sunday, August 12, 2018

And it begins......

NC State Fair 2018 is just around the corner. It is in October as always. Needless to say I am way behind. Best laid plans as they say right. Last year I was done by now. Today I am just starting.

I found a nice large thin piece of cherry this year. Klingspor's has thin wood and what is nice about it is that you can see it before buying. You may pay more locally. But when you buy wood on-line you have no clue what you have till it arrives.

Needless to say I usually cut these portraits from plywood. I wanted to use a solid piece of wood this year. Now I am worried about the pieces that will have only thin connections. With plywood the ply's are in different directions so you don't get weakness from the grain as much. Now I have to worry about the pieces breaking along the grain. It is a risk but each year I make it harder on myself then the year before.

Before cutting it was 15" x 24". It is not a glued up piece of wood either. It is a single piece of wood. So today I was able to accomplish cutting out the piece of cherry and the backer. I drilled 740 holes. Now all I have to do is cut out the 740 pieces with my scroll saw.

I was able to cut a few today before I had to stop. I was just not feeling it tonight. When ever I feel that way and I keep going I have learned that I eventually will goof something up.

I have purposely burred this image so that it will be very difficult for someone to take this and create a pattern from it.The pattern designer has stopped selling patterns so I don't want someone to just take it and make one from this image. I don;t know the actual reason he has stopped selling his patterns as he is one of the very best at this.

Anyway it is a lion roaring. It is 15 1/2" tall and 13 3/4" wide. This is the size of last years frame. So it is just a bit larger than last years entry.

Last year I cut The Bully A pattern of a Bull Elephant that was over 1,000 cuts.

Thanks for looking!

Friday, August 10, 2018


I was asked to cut this symbol out. I puzzled over how to do this as the cutting itself is rather simple. But how? Should I angle cut and pop the symbol out so it would be 3-d? Should I paint the backer?

I ended up with this design when done. Rather then use a square piece of wood and cut the symbol out. I decided to just put it in outline shape and then have the actual symbol removed. I then cut the backer out of 1/4" oak ply slightly smaller then the outline. I made it 1/4" smaller. 

It is just finished with Natural Danish Oil.

The saw tooth hanger is just epoxied to the back since it is way too thin to put the relly tiny nails on. They would have stuck out. Due to the shape the hanger is off center since it is was centered it would hang at a slight angle since the is more wood to one side then the other.

Name Plate done

The name plate is done. All glued up and shellac is on it.

Name plates are fun to do. They are easy to design and most are simple to cut. The inside cuts are minimal. It is just the gluing and finishing that take time. I like the way the shellac came out. I am always hesitant when using shellac on name plates/ Since these are not flat it would be hard to remove the shellac if I mess up. So it is always just one shot to get it decent or you have to cut everything again.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Name Plate Part #1

Seems I am way behind my personal schedule! My own fault as I still need to work on my State Fair entry. But I let July get here. For those that don't know my world series takes place the month of July. Let Tour De France! Keeps me in the house watching that. I've watched it for quite some time. It never disappoints.

Anyway I've promised some people I'll make them stuff and the Tour keeps me from accomplishing that. So I am making a name plate for a guy at work. He is going to give it to his daughter. She saw the one I made for him a while back and she now wants one. One thing I have learned from this is to keep track of the wood I use on things I make. Not always the actual wood but the thickness of the wood. I did not keep track of that and I don't remember. This time I used 3/4" for the backer and 1/2 for the name. It is what I had on hand.

After cutting it I believe I used 1/4" for the name before.

Anyway it is not done. It is cut and I have soaked the pieces in my favorite finish Danish Oil. I will also spray it with shellac, But it needs to dry for a few days before glue up.

I use Inkscape when I design my name plates. It only takes a short bit of time to make the name and backer.

The actual wood used is Red Oak for the backer and Pine for the actual name plate

Here are some shots of the name being cut and the pieces so far.

Stay tuned for the final next post on this project once it dries and is glued up. Now onto the next thing I promised. At least they are all simple and not time consuming projects.

Thanks for looking!

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Tables are done!

I have finished rebuilding these tables. These were a joy to work on. In a way I felt my Dad was helping as I worked on these two tables. Things just seemed to go along smoothly and ideas just seemed to come out of no where in particular. I used some of his tools and each time it was like yup dad is here helping. People always say that as you use things or wear things you feel their presence strongly. Some people would say you just overly sensitive. I say so be it. If it makes you feel they are standing there with you then that is what I feel and you are not going to change my mind in the least.

Here you can see I decided to make mini tops to screw the base into so that the tops won't flip up if you put too much weight on them. These are them looking at the tops upside down.

Here they are with the all the paint done and the tops screwed to the base.

These are very bright when in the bright North Carolina sunshine.

After I was finished working on these and took these pictures I went inside to get something to drink as I it was 98 outside and I was sitting in the sun drilling holes by hand since I could not get a drill in where I needed the holes for the screws as I only had 3/4"  ply wood and that means the holes had to be 3/8" from the top. No way you are fitting a drill in that space. So I used a small chuck I could put into my screwdriver that takes 1/4" bits. Problem solved. But when inside my pupils must have been small dots as I could hardly see anything after looking at this bright white!

My daughter was very pleased with how they came out.  I am very sure my dad is proud that I took his tables and redid them and now they are being used once again by my daughter.

Thanks for looking!

Sunday, June 3, 2018

My Father was a recycler

My father reused items all the time. Building useful things out of stuff that was being reused as never really intended. It was what he did. Anyway I ended up with two tables from his patio he had built years ago. The bases are made from house shutters he had from some place. I don't know where.

Lesson to be learned here? Yes there is pay attention to your parents someday you will be like I know he told me all about this but now I don't remember and he is not on the earth anymore to ask

The tops were stop sign shaped plywood. Covered in some type of old outdoor table cloth the type with cloth on the back and plastic on the front. It was soft underneath so I pulled the plastic off and yes the plywood was wet and not in great shape so.... Toss those tops.

I decided to rebuild the tops with new plywood and I will be giving them to my daughter for her new place after I finish them up and make a couple of improvements. First off I cut out the tops from 3/4" ply. 2 feet across into a stop sign shape as they where before.

I saw a thing on-line a while back about applying glue to the edge of the ply wood to seal it so that when you paint it you don't see the ply's showing. So I am trying that out to see how that works. It appeared to work really well when I saw it done. So here's hoping it will work for me also.

Anyway here are some pictures of the work in progress.

The base of one of the tables

Just resting the new top on the base

Top down view of my cuts. Not bad for just a circular saw.

Once I finish these up I'll show them here. I am going to use a new sprayer I have called  "Critter Spray Products 22032 118SG Siphon Gun" I have a compressor I inherited from my Dad so I bought this sprayer which has a neat idea of using mason jars and the air siphons from the mason jar and sprays what ever is in the jar. Seems like a nice idea and by using mason jars you can just remove the jar and cap it. Then take another jar with water or mineral spirits to clean it all up by just spraying that through the gun. Seems like a decent design and people I have seen use it like it so I figure what the heck. So when I finish these up I'll let you know how that sprayer worked out.

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, April 15, 2018


Still organizing all the tools I have inherited from my Dad. Lots of good things. My little tiny shop is overflowing with stuff now. I thought for the longest time I had a good size work bench. Not so anymore. I think I need to build another bench to put some of the tools I have to keep below my bench so that they may be on top of something.

I am most excited to have a bench top band saw and a bench top drill press. These are things not just for carving but for everyday use in my shop.

I also have picked out what I am going to make on the scroll saw for the  NC State Fair this year. I want to get started on it this week as I want it done early so then I can maybe work on carving something for the Fair? That would be great if I could do that this year!

I am on the hunt for my third straight Blue Ribbon in scroll saw work. This year I am going with a Charles Dearing pattern of a lion roaring. I decided this year to use a solid piece of 1/4" cherry I found at Klingspor's! The frame I will make out of Yellowheart wood.

I am nervous about the cherry wood as this will take some time to cut and I usually do these out of plywood. With plywood I don't have to worry about the board warping. So with the cherry I will have to spend many hours out there and not spread it out over too much time. This will be not as many cuts as The Bully but still looks to be over 700.

What my crowded shop kind of looks like

Thanks for looking!

Sunday, April 1, 2018


Well I have started to try my hand at carving. I was thinking about carving for about 2 months and I was wondering what tools would I need. Could I just power carve with my Dremel? What knifes if any should I buy? What Dremel tips should I use if using the Dremel? Starting down a new path with new tools requiring new skills is always daunting!

Well  3 weeks ago my father passed away. He was a carver and pretty good at it. Well he had many many tools for carving. I have those carving  tools now. Just this past weekend I decided to try and create something from his tools. So while doing yard work this past Saturday I found a somewhat good branch laying in my yard and I said "Self, it is time to carve this into something with those tools you have!"

I am a scroller as you can tell if you have been following or if you look at my other projects I have done. I am decent at that as I have won two Blue Ribbons and a White Ribbon at the NC State Fair over the past three years. Carving is something I never really talked to my dad about other then to see what he had created and all the ribbons he had won over the years. So now I get to learn by doing and talking to others that carve. Guess I am going to be looking for events around me to learn as much as I can.

So to start I picked up a book from the library and and figured I would try my hand at it. So this is not finished there is still some stuff to do and it is rather crude but it is my first carving. Nothing spectacular just a plain simple spreader. It is still raw unfinished wood. There is some more sanding and fine tuning. Since this is my first piece it will never have that polished look that I do hope to have some day. But it is a start.

This is a supposed to be a spreader.

Anyway I took off the bark on the handle since the bark was coming off anyway. Once I get this as finished as I feel it will be. Hopefully I won't keep trying to make it right and then I break it. I'll dip it into some mineral oil for a good food safe finish. It might never actually get used with food but at least it will be safe to do so.

The funny thing which I now understand that as I was going through his garage I kept finding first aid kits all over. I found 3 first aid kits filled with band aids and other such things for minor cuts and scrapes. Well not being all the experienced with knives I managed to nick my thumb joint. Nothing major just a very small cut.  I think I just discovered what that bandage looking tape is for now. You wrap your thumb in it to protect your self from cuts, Since at times you are cutting towards your thumb holding the knife.

Anyway thanks for looking!

Monday, January 1, 2018