Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Today in the wood shop.

I have been working on Arkansas Governor's Quality Award bases. My hope is to have them ready to assemble before I leave for Indiana on Friday where I'll teach for a week at the Marc Adams School of Woodworking. Having come from one box making class and preparing to leave for another has put me in good shape.

Today I will inlay the parts for the bases with spalted woods as I've done from the start in 1994. Then I'll make a small sliding top box for use as a demonstration in my current book and perhaps add just a  bit about the making of wheels.

I watched with horror, but with no surprise as President Trump met with Vladimir Putin to proudly undermine American values. Treason is the crime of betraying one's country. Now that Trump has done so in a public manner, shamelessly for all to see, perhaps not so many Republicans will collude or condone. Some may actually find the courage to stand up.

Do I dare hold my breath? When faced with evil, proceed to do the good. And there is plenty of good to be done in the wood shop.

Make, fix and  create...

Monday, July 16, 2018


Yesterday I was using a jig that I'd made over twenty years ago from flimsy nailed together stock.  It had been quickly made but worked, was kept and served year after year. It broke as it started into the planer, so I made another.

I'd not known that the  first one would last so long, or that my making of Arkansas Governor's Awards for quality would be such a lasting thing. This is my 24th year of making the prestigious award.

Knowing now what I did not know then, I've made this one with better stock. It is more robust. The purpose of it is to carry angled stock through the planer to be surfaced first on one side and then the other. The glued up walnut will become a portion of the award base.

In addition to working on the awards bases, I am getting ready for my week long box making class at the Marc Adams School of Woodworking and will spend a bit of time working on my current book.

Make, fix, create and create opportunities for others to learn likewise.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

One week

I am home in Arkansas and have one week to do two things. The first thing is to be ready to leave for my class at the Marc Adams School of Woodworking Class on Friday. My class will begin on Monday morning July 23 but I intend to visit family on the way.

My second thing is to work on Arkansas Governor's Awards for Quality. This is my 24th year of producing this special award. Some years one company may meet standards, sometimes two, and sometimes none. Last year no top level awards were given, but this year, we seem to have bumper crop. I have been assured that the award bases I've made in the past are treasures to the folks who have worked so hard to earn them and they are put on prominent display.

Yesterday I visited Mark Twain House in Hartford, CT, and the adjoining Harriet Beecher Stowe house and museum. Both were wonderful and enlightening. The folks at the Stowe house were especially accommodating. I had a very tight schedule and was offered a special  "walk-through" house tour that allowed me to catch my flight.

The bed shown is the actual Harriet Beecher Stowe bed in which she slept the last years of her life. On the bed is a large facsimile of the paper in which her book Uncle Tom's Cabin was first published. Her husband Calvin Stowe, had urged her to use her power of pen to write in response to the horror's she had witnessed in slavery. She did.

Make, fix, create, and assist others in learning likewise.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

a completed class

I am traveling home to Arkansas today and will spend the next week getting ready for my class at the Marc Adams School of Woodworking. The photo shows my students from this week and the boxes they made. A couple demonstration boxes of my own are there with me on the left.

I was honored to be able to share with these folks. Each learned, practiced, and worked harmoniously with each other.

On my way to the Hartford airport, I hope to visit the Mark Twain house and the home of Harriet Beecher Stowe.

Make, fix, and create. Increase the likelihood that others have the opportunity to learn likewise.

Friday, July 13, 2018

An ash and walnut box

A few weeks back one of my students asked for parts that were left over from a demonstration. He wanted to finish them as a box for his grand daughter. The photo is of the completed box.

David asked if I knew the ash would be so beautiful. Yes, I did. My cutting of the parts was to create a four corner match which is shown at the facing  corner of the box.

Today I finish my five day box making class at the Connecticut Valley School of Woodworking. My students have created a diverse array of wonderful boxes, each illustrating a point of personal growth.

Make, fix, create and assist others in learning likewise.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

CVSW day 4

Yesterday I did demonstrations on a variety of techniques which you can see in my students' work. They are making mitered finger joints, installing hinges, creating veneered patterns, and have an insatiable appetite for more. I'm hoping to offer two things. Confidence and a sense of play.

Yesterday I also received an order for 4 Governor's Quality Awards to be given to Arkansas corporations that have met very specific standard in their  pursuit of quality. This will be my 24th year to make these awards, and I was told on the phone how very proud Arkansas companies are to display these special awards.

Today we will make wooden hinges, inlay and more.

Make, fix, create and assist others in learning likewise.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Day 3 CVSW

My students at  CVSW are doing well and have a long list of things they want to learn. Dan, a student from my last box making class sent a photo of a box he finished using the bit of inlay he received as a gift from me at the end of  class. It makes a classy box, don't you think?

Ia m starting my third day of box making here in Connecticut.

Make, fix and create...