Wood Preferences

Wood Preferences

I prefer to use American hardwoods (such as walnut, oak, maple or cherry) and sometimes exotic woods (such as wenge, bubinga, or teak), if from safe and sustainable sources. I use natural oils and custom-made tints and stains to enhance color and environmentally friendly finishes to treat and protect a piece. I always apply color and finish by hand.

George Nakashima inspired dressing bench

George Nakashima inspired dressing bench in Walnut and White Oak

The joinery (double saddle joint) on this one took time, patience, and many practice pieces, but the gentle curve on the base support adds much to this design.

Coffee Table and Entry Table

Coffee table in American Walnut and glass. Entry Table in Ash and American Walnut

American Walnut Slabs

The dining room pieces I have made started with these two 14 feet long, book-matched American Walnut slabs

While most would turn these types of natural-edge wood slabs into conference tables, kitchen countertops or bar tops, I took advantage of the book-matched aspects and the feathering grain to create an entire dining room set. The book-matched natural edges made a unique design on each end of the sideboards. I flipped the feathered grain parts of the slabs to create the table and filled the voids in the wood with Jet stone and epoxy. The Jet stone and epoxy gives those areas a nice reflection from every angle. Wedged mortises and tenons add strength and design to all the pieces. New Guinea Walnut complemented the American Walnut well and was used for door panels and drawers.

My second workbench | tool cabinet

my second workbench/tool cabinet

It evolved over six years from a butcher block top on 2×6’s to this final bench. I later built the base out red oak, then wrapped the maple butcher block top with walnut and added a twin-screw vice. Finally, I built the drawer box out of walnut and alder, and lastly the drawers in butternut. It has a miter plane and jig that stay put on the end opposite the vice.

Meet Lola and Kroeber

Meet Lola and Kroeber

Kroeber is a Dachshund/Yorkshire Terrier mix (actually 50/50) and Lola is an Australian Cattle Dog mix with Golden Retriever and other mixed breeds. They like to hang out in the shop as long as it’s not too noisy.

Woodworking Planes

Woodworking Planes

I like to both make my own woodworking planes and restore old ones. (a) These two small smoothing planes are made from cocobolo and then wenge and red oak. The smaller of the two (cocobolo) has the blade set at 50 degrees for very fine smoothing. (b-c) I have restored several Stanley block and bench planes for myself and others. I find old planes that are missing parts or are in very poor condition and restore them to good working condition. These block planes are Stanley S18 and 19. The bench planes are Bedrock 604, 604 ½, and 605 ½. The 19, 604 and 605 ½ were in such poor condition that I removed what was left of the original japaning and (gasp!) refinished the base and frog. I replaced the original blades with a heavier one and each of these planes are in great working shape.

Workbench - Base in Red Oak, Table in Maple, Walnut and Ash.

Workbench. Base in Red Oak, Table in Maple, Walnut and Ash.

I collected the materials for this bench beginning in 2014 and then built it in 2016. I first built the base, in red oak, with wedged and pinned mortise and tenon joinery. The wedges and pin caps are in wenge. The base is modeled after the Greene and Greene style dining room table in the Gamble House in Pasadena, California. The table is a traditional European workbench, with shoulder vice, tail vise, and tool tray. I followed The Workbench Book, by Scott Landis, chapter 4, for construction technique and dimensions.