I heard a cricket this morning…

This story has nothing to do with the shop, but I want to tell it anyway. I spoke those words in the title to my wife yesterday. Not too remarkable except that I have not heard a cricket in about 30 years. I’ve had hearing problems since my early 20s when I would go to too many rock concerts and go shooting guns without ear protection, mostly because I was young and stupid. The hearing has gotten worse the last few years, mostly because I am now old and wise (That second part may just be hopefulness). Friends and family were getting tired of my consistent “What?” responses to anything that was said. It got to the point where I started avoiding social interaction.

Anyway, I had a hearing test done. And, yep, I’m pretty deaf. I got some hearing aids a couple of weeks ago. I can’t say it changed my life, at least not yet. But I did hear a cricket and I no longer dread dinner in a noisy restaurant. I suspect the life change is on its way.

June 15th, 2015

State Fair

I got my stuff back that I had entered in the Florida State Fair. I got a ribbon! Okay, it was only an Honorable Mention but it’s a start. I plan to have several more entries next year. There was some (not much) feedback on the judge’s sheet. Hopefully, I can do better next time.


State Fair Bowl

February 18th, 2015

Pretty wood

Once again, it has been a while since I posted anything. Actually, I have been busy working (ha!). I have two bowls entered in the Florida State Fair. Had to get them shined up and delivered. I also worked on two big segmented salad bowls. I had a bit of a problem with the first. One of the rings shifted during the glue-up. During the turning, the inside diameter exceeded the outside diameter. Ended up with a small nut bowl. The other one came out ok.

African Mahogany Bowl


The bowl was made from a beautiful piece of African mahogany with a maple accent added. It is about 12-1/2″ in diameter and 5-1/2″ high. The African mahogany was a new experience for me. The wood was very dense and this particular board had a lot of interwoven grain. It was slow to cut and tools dulled very quickly. The end result was worth the effort. The picture above does not do it justice. There is a great chatoyance visible after adding Danish oil. It just doesn’t show in a photograph.

More to come…

February 3rd, 2015

Mainly Art

Had an interesting weekend. My wife and I participated in the Mainly Art display at the Bradenton Farmer’s Market. We sold a few items but the main benefit was learning what we needed to do to be vendors in an arts and crafts show. We have ordered a new canopy and some gridwall panels to make a more professional looking display. I guess we will be spending time this weekend getting our setup organized and getting ready for the Bridge Street show.

One visitor to our booth, a fellow woodworker, suggested that I consider entering some of my turned bowls in the Florida State Fair. It is something that never crossed my mind but sounds like it could be fun. Now I have to find a special piece of wood…

The visitor also invited me to stop by to see his shop. Looking forward to that. Never toured a real woodshop before.

Fun times ahead.

October 21st, 2014

An end to the neglect

I have been neglecting this blog. It is hot and windy today so I decided to spend some time in air conditioned comfort and thus ends the neglect. I have added several items to the gallery and added a link to my Etsy shop to the front page.

Been staying busy the past few months. Added an awning to the shop and a barn behind the shop for the tractor and other storage. Here’s a picture of the awning.



It is great having the afternoon sun blocked. Helps keep the shop cooler.

Also been busy building up inventory for arts and crafts shows this fall. The additions to the gallery show a sampling of items I’ve been doing. I’ll be adding a lot more when I get the pictures back from my photographer (hint, hint, Sara).

Over the next few weeks, I hope to start rough turning some bowls from pieces of an oak tree I found cut up beside the road. Let them dry over the winter and next spring I should be able to finish some nice bowls.

August 11th, 2014

The new cabinets are done.

After pausing the cabinet project to do Christmas stuff, the project is complete. The shop looks better but the biggest improvement is in the storage and organization. Things that were sitting on a shelf or more often, on the nearest flat surface are now safely tucked away in a drawer. Things are much easier to find and it is easier to keep the shop neat. Well… My version of neat anyway.

Here are some pictures.

new cabs2 new cabs3 new cabs4 new cabs5

December 26th, 2013

New cabinets started

Started the new cabinets today. Still have a bit to do. These are actually the first drawers I have ever done. Learned a lot today — mostly that I can’t throw around 3/4″ plywood as easily as in the past. I think it is heavier than it used to be. I wonder why…

Got one cabinet section started. Still have to do the top, drawer fronts and doors.

new cabs

The parts for the other two sections have been cut…

cab parts


… and the drawer parts…

drawer parts


The table saw and my back are ready for a break.


December 6th, 2013

Time for new cabinets

The next project for the shop upgrade is new cabinets. The previous owner had put in some work surfaces using old beat-up plywood and 2X4s nailed together. Lots of wasted space beneath and no way to organize anything. It does nothing but collect clutter. Here are pictures as it currently exists.

existing cabs

existing cabs2

The plans are drawn up and the hardware and wood are here. Now to put it together. I hope to have pictures of the new stuff shortly.

December 6th, 2013

Let there be light

What a difference!

new lights

Even the dark corners are lit up. Midnight working, here I come. Well… Maybe not tonight. But I could if I wanted to.

November 22nd, 2013

The barn is turning into a woodshop…

My wife and I recently moved and the new place has a barn out back that I have been turning into my dream woodshop. It’s already a big improvement over the piece of a garage in our previous place.

The electrician will be out in the morning to start the electrical upgrades. Can’t wait to have some real lighting. This picture shows what I have for lights now…


The only usable light comes from the open door. By this time Monday, I should have some real lights. Can work until midnight if I want to. I don’t think I’ll ever want to but its nice to know that I could if the urge were to hit.

And outlets! There are currently four (working) electrical outlets. Extension cords are running everywhere. Outside the obvious safety issues, I hate working with extension cords and trying to find a place to plug something in.

It’s one more step toward having my dream woodshop.


November 21st, 2013

Miller’s Mark

It was a dark and stormy night… Actually, it’s a cloudy day and until I get the lighting installed in the shop, it’s too dark to get any precision work done. I decided today would be a good day to get a start on this blog. It’s a bit intimidating. I’ve never had a blog before. I have no clue what to write.  Not even sure what purpose I expect it to serve. Oh well… guess I’ll figure it out somewhere along the line.

November 15th, 2013

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