Sunday, December 1, 2013

Catching up on publishing to the blog

I have had a lot of fun the last 6 weeks or so making new things.  My brother-in-law is letting me "store" his drum sander and jointer in my shop which is allowing me to do more than I was before including some really neat end grain cutting boards and making my own laminated stock for turning. Plus I get to make more sawdust which is always a blast.

Cutting boards -

All of these are 'end-grain' which means that they will take the abuse of cutting your veggies without dulling your knives like the plastic or face grain wood boards do.  They are all finished with an FDA approved mineral oil beeswax finish.

This first one is Cherry and Walnut. My daughter wanted a checkered pattern so this is what we did.  It measures about 18" x 24" - $100

These next two are made from Cherry, Walnut, Maple and Purpleheart. We were just having fun putting the designs together. It measures about 18" x 24" - $120/ea

This one is in my kitchen now. I really enjoy using it.  It is Maple and Walnut. It measures about 18" x 24" -

These are smaller 'cheese' cutting boards as my co-workers call them.  This first one is made from Cherry, Walnut and Maple, about 12x10 and is $50
 This one is also made from Cherry, Walnut and Maple, but about 12x12 and is $55
These two are Cherry, Walnut and Purpleheart and are about 12x12. They are $60/ea.


I bought a lathe extension earlier this year when I found one on sale. It really makes a difference for making Peppermills. Drilling out the core is no longer the nightmare that it was. In fact, over the last two weekends I have finished 5 peppermills.  Unless otherwise noted, they are $100 each

Asian Satinwood 10" Peppermill

Bloodwood 10" Peppermill

Grandillo 10" Peppermill $120

Grandillo  10" Peppermill (Opposite Side) $120

Spalted Maple  10" Peppermill- Not for Sale
This was commissioned by a co-worker. The tree had sentimental value as it was planted at her parent's house  when she born but had to be cut down last fall because of the rot (the cool spalting in the peppermill)

Panga Panga  10" Peppermill
Panga Panga is just fun to say...

Panga Panga  10" Peppermill (opposite side)

Rengas Tiger 10" Peppermill
Also called Borneo Rosewood although not technically from the rosewood family. It sure did smell like roses when I turned it.

Claro Walnut 10" Peppermill - $90
Coffee Scoops

Lets be honest - I need my coffee. These just make my morning brew a bit more special.  $25/ea.


Spalted Maple


Bottle Opener
Laminated pieces of Maple, Walnut, Cherry & Purpleheart and 8" long - $25

No woodworking this summer

At least not much anyway.  Instead, I have been playing with my mid-life crisis.

It is a VW Trike.  The rear-end from a 1965 VW Bug including the 1641cc engine and 4sp transaxle welded to a HD Springer front end.  She cruises along @ 70mph just great.

In Milwaukee, it seems like everyone has a Harley Davidson.  They just are not that unique.  This thing gets your attention.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

TJ's Rosewood Pen

My nephew came over yesterday to hang out.  This was his first creation.  It is a Bolivian Rosewood twist pen.  He did most of the work himself. He picked out his wood blank, drilled them on the drill press, all the rough turning and the assembly.  I did the last few passes and the finishing.

If he spends much more time on the lathe, I will need to get him a step stool. The lathe is set up for me. I am 6'3" and he is much shorter so had a harder time with getting the right angles when turning.  

Pretty proud of him for his first creation.


Sunrise January 24 2013
I love my house. We bought this house about 15 months ago. Besides giving my the dedicated shop space that I wanted so badly, it also provides me with views like this to wake up to.

After the light dusting Friday night and Saturday morning we had a sea of white on the property.

Coming down the driveway Saturday morning February 2, 2013

Facing Southeast Saturday morning February 2, 2013

Facing South Saturday morning February 2, 2013

Facing Southwest Saturday morning February 2, 2013

A New Rollerball

Woodcraft came out with a new higher end rollerball kit a few weeks ago. I was successfully able to get the last five in my store. This is their 'Metro' kit.  I am very happy with it. Although it is pricier, the external pieces are all metal. The only plastic component is threaded insert on the cap.  Aligning the grain between the  cap and the body can be difficult, but done right really adds to the appearance.  They right nice (as you would expect a rollerball) and the concave feel of the pen nip fits into the grip of your hand quite nicely.  The bonus of this kit is that the cap will screw on the the back side of the body so that it isn't loose on the desk as you write.  This also adds some weight to the pen when writing which is another bonus for me.

The concave nib makes this pen comfortable in my hand

Black & White Metro Rollerball Pen

Here you can see that the cap attaches to the opposite end of the body.  A definite plus in my book for this style.

The flowing grain of the Black & White Ebony is quite mesmerizing.

Black & White Ebony

The first pen is a Black & White Ebony.  I still really like this wood. The contrasting colors and flowing grain is so much fun to look at. I had a bit of trouble with this one because the blanks I bought are on the small side. It made turning these a bit tricky as there just wasn't a lot of wiggle room. I blew up one blank coring it out for the tubes.  But the second try was successful and it is beautiful. This particular pen has a standard Carnuba Wax finish

Black and white ebony (Diospyros embryopteris) is an exotic wood with color that will vary, usually uniformly black with light-colored bands, pale to medium brown zones, or with marked contrast between almost white and black wood. The wood has a fine texture with mostly straight grain. A rare find. The wood is exceptionally dense and strong. It comes from Southeast Asia and Laos.


This next pen is made from Tamboti. Tamboti wood, or African Sandalwood, is a beautiful wood harvested in southern Africa. Due to demand and deforestation, Tamboti wood is not available in high quantities. The Tamboti tree's heart wood is a dark brown color, dissected by darker longitudinal streaks that create striking markings on the wood. Tamboti is regarded by some as the most beautiful African hardwood.
Tamboti Metro Rollerball Pen

Tamboti Metro Rollerball Pen

I have only made a few pens from Tamboti in the past. I had this blank sitting in the drawer.  After my experience chunking out the Black & White Ebony, I wanted to make sure that my starting blank was wider than the ebony. This was just staring me in the face.  The medium brown grain of this pen is relatively straight with a mild contrast.  It is not as flamboyant as the Black & White Ebony. It has more of a 'I have been in the End Zone before' kind of elegance to it. This pen does have the more durable CA glue finish.


At the request of someone at work, I made a pen from Purpleheart.  Since I had a bag of Purpleheart blanks in the drawer, I would give it a try.This pen has very straight grains and is a soft pink-purple in color. This pen does have the more durable CA glue finish.

Purpleheart Metro Rollerball Pen

Purpleheart Metro Rollerball Pen
Purpleheart is a tropical hardwood that comes from Central American and Northern South America where the tall and large trees grow abundantly, sometimes reaching a diameter of five feet.  Depending on where you are in the world, this wood could also be called amaranth, violetwood, tananeo or saka.  This wood may darken with age. If so, it will go toward the purple spectrum.


Bubinga Metro Rollerball Pen

Bubinga Metro Rollerball Pen with black leatherette case

Bubinga Metro Rollerball Pen
I just like saying 'Bubinga'. It is fun to say. Side by side, it looks a bit like the Purpleheart with its soft pink color.It is a few shades lighter. The grain has more 'rays' to it than the Purpleheart. Both provide a nice contrast to the gold finish of the pen.. Bubinga does darken with age toward the red spectrum. This pen has the Carnuba wax finish.

Bubinga wood can be an amazingly wavy-figured exotic wood, sought by guitar makers and small box builders alike... often referred to as African Rosewood, although technically NOT from the rosewood family. The Bubinga tree can grow to heights of up to 100' and 3' in diameter and grows mostly in parts of West Africa, Cameroon and surrounding nations.

The Black & Ebony is $65. The Bubinga, Tamboti and Purpleheart are $60. If interested, please use the contact information found in the about me or contact section of the blog.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Bottle Openers and More Bottle Openers

From bottom left to top right: Olivewood, Bocote, Marblewood, Black & White Ebony
I didn't get as much time in the shop this weekend as I wanted, but I was still able to make a few more bottle openers.  In fact, I am now out of kits so it will be a while before I can make some more.  The theme was the same. Lets use some of the more exotic woods and come up with something striking.  This set included Bocote, Black & White Ebony, Olivewood and Marblewood.  There is little doubt in my mind that my favorite of this bunch in the Bocote. The unique lines and squiggles of the grain as simply phenomenal.

Prices -
Black & White Ebony or Bocote Openers are $40
Marblewood is $35
Olivewood is $30

If interested, please use the contact information found in the about me or contact section of the blog.

Black & White Ebony Bottle Opener

Black & White Ebony Bottle Opener

Bocote Bottle Opener - my favorite so far!

Bocote Bottle Opener - Backside - look at that grain

Marblewood Bottle Opener

Marblewood Bottle Opener - backside grain

Marblewood Bottle Opener - undercut grain

Olivewood Bottle opener - backside grain

Olivewood Bottle Opener