Had a great time at oktoberfest last weekend. The weather was great, the leaves were pretty and there were lots of people out having a good time. Pumpkin puzzles were my big seller. I also sold peace puzzles, and dog puzzles. I got some leads for upcoming events, which is great. I handed out a ton of business cards and did a lot of networking. I am not good at networking but I am getting better. It’s all a learning experience. All and all it was a great day, I saw old friends and made new ones. Our booth neighbors were Touch of Peace Farms from North Bennington. They were great neighbors and they make an amazing maple syrup.
I am working on finishing some old projects and starting new projects. I added a few more items to my etsy store. I am working on getting a selection of my work together for my application to the Bennington Arts Guild. I need two pieces and 3 images of my work made in the last 3 years. If I pass the jury process I will have to put at least one item in the guild store. I looked at the form today and they need an artist statement and each of the 5 pieces needs a tittle.There are other artists who work with wood but they don’t have anything quite like what I do, so hopefully I will pass the jury panel, wish me luck. It takes about a month for them to decide so if I can get it all together in the next week I should know their decision by mid November. Continue reading
Tomorrow, September 26 I will be in Arlington,VT from 9 am to 5 pm for the St. James Episcopal Church 2015 harvest festival. Stop by, say hi and check out some of my work. I have a few puzzles, wall hangings and tables to sell. The weather is suppose to be great, it should be a fun day. The festival takes place on the church grounds and the arlington village green.
I make a lot of tables but I make other things too. I make shelves and cabinets but I also do small projects, like puzzles. I mostly stick to simple 4&5 piece puzzles. My most popular puzzle is a labrador puzzle. I also make a pumpkin puzzle. Even simple puzzles can be tricky sometimes. I recently took a scrap piece of 1/2 inch walnut and made a lab puzzle. It looked great but they head was not staying when the puzzle was assembled. I was frustrated but I did not want to abandon it so I set it aside and went to work on a solution. I took the assembled puzzle and traced it on to a piece of pine. I carefully cut out the dog shape. Once I had the piece cut I used as a frame to fit the puzzle. The head was still a bit wobbly so I soaked the support piece in water so it would expand a bit. It worked. I also cut out two pumpkin puzzles. I had planned on painting the pumpkins orange but I liked the look of the wood so I did a thin coat of maple stain.
I have been working on several new projects this week. I am adding a mosaic top to a beat up broken cabinet. I am experimenting with using large 1″ in diameter dowels as table legs. I am also designing and building smaller mosaic pieces that I plan to sell as wall hangings. I have an etsy store now and I need to have some items that are not too complicated or too expensive to ship. Making wall art seemed to be the the way to go. Continue reading
The guitar table I made from plywood sold at Norman’s attic so I started another one today. Most of the wood I have is too narrow to make a guitar body. That’s why I used plywood for the first one. In order to get the right size board, I would have to make it.I foūnd some pieces of shiplap, glued them together. To get a tight seal I screwed one of the pieces to the workbench applied glue to the edge and the tongue and lined the boards up. I clamped them together, when it was as tight as I wanted I screwed the other piece into the bench. After the glue dried I drew a guitar body on the wood. The last guitar table I made was shaped like Fender, this one is designed to look like a Gibson. In order to make the cutting easier I attached a block of wood to one side. This block served two purposes. 1, it protected the integrity of the glue seam. 2, It served as a handle to steer the wood through the scroll saw. I could have used a jig saw but I used the scroll saw because I felt like I had more control using the scroll saw. I am in the process of sanding now the first pass I used 80 grit paper to smooth the rough edges and remove any left over marker from the drawing. I plan t use 3/4 inch dowels for legs. It should be finished in a few days. The shiplap for this project came from the walls of a barn converted into a gift shop.
It’s been an up and down all over the place year. I have been focused on a lot of non wood working things, but not anymore. This summer I have committed to double the time I spend in the shop, join the local arts guild, do more and better shows, and start taking credit cards. I am doing 50/90 again too. I am working on a ton of new and old projects and getting ready for some local shows this fall. I have an etsy store now too.
I had to redo the legs to the table I assembled yesterday. Even though it could hold the weight of two cats and is designed as a hall table, I decided to change the design in the hopes of giving it more stability. The legs for my very first-ever- table were made from a 4×4 cedar post. I used lag screws to attach the top. I left the screws visible and incorporated them into the design of the table. On the next table I used 1×2′s as legs and used a forstner bit to drill holes in the center of each leg. Then I inserted dowels in each post. I also placed dowels in the apron. The hard part for this design is making sure every dowel is lined up exactly. It makes for a very strong table. I have used this design with a few modifications for almost every table since. For the table I assembled yesterday I simply screwed the legs into the apron, hoping that the dowel connecting the short sides would support the load and provide stability. It did not work as well as I hoped, so I unscrewed the legs and drilled a 3/8″ hole in each leg. Then I dabbed the dowel with small amount of glue and lined it up to bottom of the table top. I used the glue mark as a guide to drill a hole in the top. I re-enforced the dowels with screws. There is still a wee bit of wiggle but it is much more stable and now I won’t be embarrassed to sign it. I also glued on two pieces of trim to the long edge of the table. I don’t have wire nails so I will have to wait until I pick some up before attaching the short side trim. I would just glue them but the distance is a smidge bigger than my biggest clamp. All that’s left to do is nail the trim, paint the trim, and apply a clear coat.
I finished the cabinet two weeks ago. I think it came out pretty well. I used strap hinges to attach the doors and decided to go with a large latch and not use any handles. The floor boards as door panels worked well, but the boards were a little warped so the door is as well, but I think its imperfections give it charm. This was a much simpler project than I first envisioned and I am glad I decided to do it. If you are interested in this cabinet you can purchase it for $199. It is 42″ tall, 28″ wide and 17″ deep. If you would like more info about this piece or any other let me know email@example.com.