New Shop!

I’m excited to announce – I’m moving my shop to a new building!  No more basement guest-bedroom for me!  We’re in the process of moving all my stuff out, and organizing.  And of course field-work on top of that – so the end product may take a bit of time.  Map-cases, by the way, make perfect storage for small to moderate sized pieces of wood. Keeps everything flat, and in drawers for easy access.


My husband and friends were aghast at how much I had squirreled away in a single room…


More room means more tools, right?  Brand-new beautiful table saw – it works great!


Had to try out the new space, even if it’s not fully operational yet.  I can verify:  my scrollsaw and sander are still functional.  You may all now breathe a sigh of relief.

Work before play…

What….?!  No updates…?! Work (work-work, not wood-work) got a little crazy this winter / spring, so I didn’t have a lot of time in the shop.  I have a few pieces to add once I get the okay, but digging in the dirt has kept me pretty busy in itself.  Once Fall hits, I should have some more time to get the saw up and running again.  I’m half tempted to bring my “travel” scrollsaw to our next fossil dig… but I’m sure that would just drive the neighbors crazy.  So… maybe just some hand sanding or carving instead?

Box Elder

This batch of wood comes from a friend of mine, who had a tree die a few years back.  Upon cutting it up for disposal, he saw it had neat colors, and asked if I would like any.  Yes please!

Box Elder is in the maple family, but is an oddity in having compound leaves; so instead of one leaf per stem, it has between 3 and 7.  The wood is very soft (Janka 720), and lightweight – I see now why so many places “harden” or try and stabilize the wood before sale.  Streaks of pink or red is common in the heartwood; this stems from the tree’s natural defense to injury.  Stems… get it?

A Mammoth Undertaking

Well, maybe not THAT huge.  Working on some small ornaments to fit our museum setting.  Up first we have a mammoth!  I’m using bocote to mimic rough, woolly hair, fine-grained mahogany for ruddy face and legs, and light birch for the tusk.  Expect to see the completed pieces soon!

Dance Collaboration

Stay tuned – I will be working on a collaboration piece with a dance choreographer.  This is, again, outside my normal comfort zone – so we’ll see how it goes!  I’ve got plenty of time to finish the project (February) – now we just need to see what the inspiration is…

Challenge: accepted!

Sometimes you just need to go out of your comfort zone.  I’ve been working with intarsia, but do enjoy pyrography as well.  A few years back I ended up personalizing our mattock’s for work – mine with 10cm windows containing a dragon (that way I always had a measuring tool on hand), Jeff’s with a bunch of Star Wars emblems, and John’s with a twisted mosasaur skeleton, wrapping around the handle (probably my favorite of the 3).


Anyways – I received a request for custom tap handles.  Ok, I’m intrigued… Part intarsia, part pyrography.  Woo!  I get to break out my wood-burning tools again.  Once they’re completed, don’t worry – they’ll be posted here and on Facebook / Twitter / Instagram as well.  The suspense!

Back in business!

Huzzah!  My scrollsaw (now dubbed Johnny Five) is still alive!  Just got it back and hooked up.  Of course, managed to clean up the corner it sits in while it was out, so for at least a day it was dust-free.  Got the rest of my owl feet cut and glued – so now it’s sanding time.

Poor Craftsman sander is still stuck in a corner until I find the time to tack on a new belt guide.  Ah well.