I started working with wood in the mid 1980’s, making furnishings for our home using a few hand held power tools. Money was scarce back then, and wood was cheap. So, making things we needed rather than buying them just made sense. With each project, I began to enjoy creating with my hands. Eventually a necessity turned into a passion. Below are some of the projects that were saved on film (back in the days before digital!).
This is a display case for a hand made doll, and my first project. It was made from molding and dowels. The channels for the glass were cut on a table saw.
My first build for the home. A set of adjustable shelves from plans in an old Popular Science.
Starting to get serious at this point. I had built my first workbench, now I was researching styles and forms. This basic Shaker stepper was made with wood recycled from an old set of dresser drawers.
More functional items. This planter was made with cedar boards and cypress fence slats from Home Depot. The slats were planed smooth with one of my first hand planes, my #7 Stanley. It gave them a nice, smooth finish.
Magazines definitely get me in trouble. I saw this Jefferson Clock in a woodworking mag, can’t remember which. It gave me a chance to work with molding cutters. I used a set of shaper heads made for my antique Craftsman bench saw to cut the profiles. It was quite an experience. This clock still graces my home over 25 years later, and still chimes out the quarters.
This was an idea I had for a jewelry box. I glued the cross grain pieces in with splines, and used a custom made jig to cut the miter splines. The top piece I hand tooled from leather
I read an article on creating coves with the table saw, and just had to try it. It gave me a chance to create this jewelry box as a gift. I was able to combine several joint and design elements that I had learned recently. I also got to try out a plunge router to cut rabbets and the cut outs in the sliding tray.
A blanket chest. I had been given a pair of stick and cove frames that a friend had made as a test (the long front and back frames). I used these as the base for the box, making side frames to go with it, inserting plywood panels, and trimming the inside of the side frames with ripped molding strips to match the stick and cove profile.
Another jewelry box using the cross grain insert. This one has my first attempt at chip carving on the top instead of tooled leather.
My wife and I do a LOT of reading, and have accumulated a large collection of books. Shelves were needed to store our library, so I designed this open framed set. 16 years later and it’s still holding our books.
These are just some of the early works. Some of the pieces were never photographed. Each one marks an advancement in my knowledge and skill, and each holds a special place in my memory.