Local, Air-Dried Wood for Sale

Since 2005, I have been stockpiling local hardwoods. These are full flitches (entire logs) milled to my specifications for furniture making and stacked on pallets.

All of this material has been slowly and patiently air-dried. It’s a process that is not widely used commercially due to the time requirement, but the quality of the material is so much better than kiln-dried.

These are some of the primary benefits of air-dried wood.

  • Can be bent in tighter curves and with higher success rates.
  • The material feels less brittle and works easier.
  • Less tendency to warp as it is being worked.
  • Some say that the colours of air-dried material are more vibrant.

For the first time, I am offering the wood from my private woodshed to the general public. Cataloguing everything takes time, and I will continue to add more as time permits. Subscribe to my blog to be notified when I post more pictures of wood available.

Click here to view the wood for sale.

Black Locust sample, clear finish

Black Locust sample, clear finish (click to enlarge)

Cribbage Board 18, and a Pricing Structure

I recently completed this cribbage board in apple for a customer who also has one of my tables.

Like many others, this one was a gift. Interestingly enough, some customers have told me that they don’t play crib, but just like the look of them.

Cribbage Board 18 Right

Cribbage Board 18 Top

Pricing Structure

Up until now, I have only been making boards with three tracks since they offer the most flexibility (they can accommodate one, two, three or four players).

I am now offering cribbage boards with one, two or three tracks.

Prices for live edge cribbage boards are as follows, and all cribbage boards include the required number of metal scoring pegs.

  • $90 – 1 track without scoreboard
  • $95 – 1 track with scoreboard
  • $120 – 2 tracks without scoreboard
  • $130 – 2 tracks with scoreboard
  • $155 – 3 tracks without scoreboard
  • $170 – 3 tracks with scoreboard

Contact me if you would like to order a custom-made cribbage board.

Shipping within North America is usually around $25. Prices are current as of this posting and are subject to change.

Welcome to the New Shop

Since moving three months ago, I have settled nicely into the new shop that is a one-car garage.

Here are some panoramic pictures to give you a feel for the space. Click to view full-size.

Shop Panorama E

Looking East

Looking South

Looking South

Looking West

Looking West

Looking North

Looking North

All the machines are more or less permanently positioned, and the overhead door is not used (it was last opened to move in the machinery).

Most of my work is done in the triangle between my sliding table saw, drill press, and workbench. That area is the most well-lit, with light provided by two fluorescent light fixtures which, combined, have five of eight bulbs installed. If I need an assembly table, I set up a pair of saw horses and a table top as seen here.

North End of Shop

The dust collector usually lives in the corner behind the table saw, and a flexible hose is run between the table saw, bandsaw, jointer and planer as required. A switch to the left of the bandsaw turns on the dust collector.

South End of Shop

My routers, along with their bits and accessories, are stored in a rolling cabinet next to my drill press, and frequently used drill bits reside on top.

Router Cabinet

Most other tools are stored in the drawers under my split top workbench (the other bench slab is standing up on end in the north-east corner).

East Bench Area

Rarely used equipment, such as my bench grinder, is kept on a rolling cart under the table saw. This area can accommodate 8′ long material, and may become a wood storage location in the future.

Table Saw Area

Currently, I have the area behind the doors at the north end of the shop dedicated for wood storage, as well as the adjacent north-east corner, which accommodates long narrow material. The three doors open into a single space.

Wood Storage Area

And, yes, I reclaimed my shop stool.

“Sharpening” Carbide Insert Cutter Heads

It has been a long time since I installed Byrd Tool’s Shelix carbide cutter heads in my Delta DJ-20 8″ jointer (May 2009) and DeWalt DW735 13″ planer (June 2012). The videos showing the installation of the cutter head in my planer have been viewed almost 75,000 times!

Although the machines still produced tearout-free cuts, they did leave ridges behind and I suspected that changing to fresh edges would lower the noise level and reduce the strain on the motors. I had not rotated the cutters until now.

Byrd Shelix Cutter Head Basics

The machined cutter head had tapped holes to received machine screws, each of which locked down one squarish carbide cutter. A registration ledge machined into the head automatically aligned the cutters, so “sharpening” the head was as simple as loosening the screws, rotating the cutters 90 degrees, and retightening the screws.

Each cutter was marked in the corner, and all were positioned the same way out of the factory so it was easy to tell which cutters I had rotated.

Byrd Shelix Cutters, Marked.JPG

Rotating the Cutters

The screws securing the cutters on my thickness planer required almost as much force to loosen as I could apply with the screwdriver and Torx bit supplied by Bird. A few were looser than others, so were easy to remove.

DeWalt DW735 Shelix

When I rotated the cutters of my jointer, and I found that the machine screws there were considerably tighter.  I was able to loosen some using all of my strength on the screwdriver, but resorted to using a Torx bit on the end of a 1/4″ ratchet to break them loose. It was nice to have two Torx driver bits available (one came with each cutter head) so that I could have one on each tool to expedite the process.

Delta DJ 20 Shelix

In order to rotate each cutter, I found that all I needed to do was back off the screw three revolutions. In a couple of instances, I found that a bit of debris got lodged between the cutter and the registration ledge, so I actually needed to remove the screw and clean the cutter.

One of the great features of this type of cutter head was that the cutters are self-indexing, which eliminates the tedious task of setting cutter heights with measuring tools. However, the cutters did need to be reasonably close to their final positioning to self-align. If not close enough, the cutter got hung up on the registration ledge and the screw wasn’t able to pull it into place. Continuing to tighten the screw could have broken the fragile carbide cutter.

Once I saw the cutter drop into place, I tightened the screw as tight as my grip on the screwdriver allowed. Then it was onto the next cutter. I rotated the cutters one row at a time.

It took 16 minutes to rotate the 40 cutters of my 13″ planer (4 rows of 10), and 20 minutes to rotate the 40 cutters of my 8″ jointer (5 rows of 8).

Throw Conventional Wisdom Out the Window

I am almost through a book called Rethinking Sitting, which discusses different ergonomic design styles of chairs. The author, a commercial designer of chairs, has developed many different models which are quite distinct from the typical form that you or I would recognize as a chair. Of course, he feels that his chairs have distinct ergonomic advantages over typical chairs.

This quote is from the book, and I think that it applies to designers of all fields.

One of the most common limitations in product development is conventional wisdom.
– Peter Opsvik, from his book, Rethinking Sitting

Links:

Simpler Edge Joints

Quite often, I need a wider board than what I have available. Usually, that means gluing up two or more boards edge to edge.

Since, in this situation, I am usually making a highly visible part such as a table top or cabinet side, I am very careful to match not only the grain pattern of the neighbouring boards, but the exact colour shading as well.

The surface of this box is comprised of between 8 and 20 strips edge-glued together. I honestly don’t remember how many strips were used, and they were assembled in such a way that the seams aren’t distinguishable.

It’s a very time consuming process, as I need to flip, rotate, slide and shuffle the boards every possible way to get the best match possible. In some cases, I need to trim boards narrower or taper them to get a better match.

Jigsaw Puzzle Table1

With two boards, it’s not too slow of a process (there are only 16 different ways to match them if you don’t count sliding), but each additional board adds more combinations.

Once I have the boards arranged best, I draw a cabinetmaker’s triangle across them to clearly indicate the optimum alignment. Then I joint the edges, testing the fit as I go, until I have a light-tight joint ready for glue-up.

While I haven’t actually timed these processes, it seems as if I spend more time preparing the joint as I do arranging boards. This means that putting together a 5-piece table top can take upwards of 3 hours.

Some woodworkers simply accept that fine work takes time, and are content to keep doing things the same way. I, on the other hand, am always looking for better and more efficient ways to get work done. It came to me that, with the right tools, I could drastically reduce the amount of time required to prepare edges for gluing.

This video walks you through my thought process, the tools and techniques I use, and why they work. Duration: 8:02

Shop Stools/Bar Stools

The kitchen island in my new house was calling for a pair of bar stools. My shop stool that I completed in the Shop Stool Build-Off found its way there during the move, and with the chaos reigning in my shop, I was happy to let it live there.

Shop Stool

My shop stool

A second stool was in order, and it looked like it would be a while still before the shop is in any sort of shape to work.

Fortunately, I recalled that, a little while after the Shop Stool Build-Off, I had tried again to make the crossed-leg stool which I had originally attempted but due to a miscalculation, wasn’t able to pull off in time.

Shop Stool Build-Off Design

Attempt #2 was already together, but needed some attention. The joints didn’t fit quite as well as I wanted and hadn’t been glued. The seat needed to be cut to shape, and the legs needed some finishing touches.

My goal was to make it into a usable stool – I had more important things to do and didn’t want to spend the time required to bring this stool up to the level of “fine furniture”.

First, I glued the legs into the seat. To avoid having to drive them apart and back together (they were a tight friction fit), I applied Veritas’ Chair Doctor Glue to the joint’s seams and let the watery glue seep into the joint. When the glue was dry, I cut the seat round with my jigsaw.

Shop Stools High

Although the stool was usable at this point, I couldn’t resist taking it further. I tilted my jigsaw (the whole saw, not just the base plate) and trimmed the edge of the seat to line up with the angled legs, gradually bringing the jigsaw back to plumb so the edge returned to square. I did this in both directions – clockwise and counter clock-wise at each leg, so the seat’s edge effectively twists and untwists as it goes around. I faired the edge of the stool with my random orbit sander, starting with 24-grit, and progressed up to 120-grit.

Shop Stools Low

Finally, I scooped out the seat with a carving gouge, sanded the surface smooth and even, and softened the edges.

Shop Stools Mid

So much for a “basic” stool – I just couldn’t resist adding a few extra touches. Know what I mean?

21st Century Writing Desk, Complete

A textured top might at first seem the wrong choice for a writing desk, but with computers leading the writing world nowadays we think it’s a great idea.

– Canadian Woodworking & Home Improvement Magazine

I completed the base for the 21st Century Writing Desk, to go with the top that I carved in November.

21st Century Writing Desk Top

The base had to be visually lightweight to avoid overwhelming the thin top. I achieved this by leaving space below the top and tapering the legs.

To allow ample space for knees, I opted to omit the front apron. I made up for the missing apron by using an H-shaped stretcher assembly positioned low on the legs.

21st Century Writing Desk

Turned around, the desk can be used as a side table as well. The long stretcher provides some more visual strength.

21st Century Writing Desk Back

I wanted to make the legs flow into the stretchers so I created curved transitions at the joints. To do this easily, I developed a process involving two common router bits and a couple simple shims. (Read about this process in the April/May 2016 issue of Canadian Woodworking & Home Improvement.)

21st Century Writing Desk Base

3-Month Review

I am quite happy with the desk after a few months of use. It is plenty stable and the top is big enough for my laptop computer, some wrist support, and not much else. Therefore, it does not attract the clutter with which desks are often plagued. It is also incredibly light, which makes it enjoyable (not an exaggeration) to move around from room to room.

When I work at it, I sit in my 3-Week Chair, Prototype 4 (which I badly want to revisit and further develop).

Bonus

Read the article from the March/April issue of Canadian Woodworking & Home Improvement by clicking the following image.

2016_04-05_21st-century-writing-desk

New House, New Shop

At the end of February, I moved to a new place about 15 minutes from where I was previously. Of course, the shop moved as well and it is now living in a one-car garage (formerly about 450 sq ft – approximately the space of a two-car garage).

The day before the move, I installed the same anti-fatigue mats I had in my last shop to cover the garage’s floor.

By the end of the move, the entire floor was covered with cabinets (wood boxes), tool boxes (plastic and/or metal boxes), moving boxes (cardboard boxes) and unboxable tools and accessories (not in boxes) stacked wherever convenient for the movers.

Currently, I am working on hanging cabinets on the walls to clear floor space for the machinery. Four rolling cabinets with drawers store most of my frequently used hand and power tools.

A week after moving in, this is what the shop looks like.

IMG015IMG014

Now, one tool is finally plugged directly into the wall, so there will be less switching of power cords when I need to use a tool. Yes, this is exciting.

IMG016

The shop is lit by a 4-tube, 4-foot fluorescent light fixture which is missing two bulbs (photos were taken without additional lighting). Needless to say, I will be improving the lighting situation.

Once the floor is clear I will be able to bring in the larger machinery which includes my sliding table saw, band saw, jointer and planer.

Once everything is set up and I’m able to work without unpacking boxes simultaneously, I will start work on some furniture for the new home, including a couple of bar stools (so I can get my shop stool back!), a dining table, dining chairs, a side table or two, and a dresser.

Custom Box to Protect a Portable Winch

Progress on the 21st Century Writing Desk was put on hold while I built a customized wooden box to protect an expensive piece of equipment for a friend in the tree business. (This kind of friend is good to have if you’re a woodworker!)

He had recently acquired a portable winch which, while seemingly well-made, contained a number of parts that were liable to get bent or broken in the back of a truck. To further compound the issue, the winch wasn’t particularly stable, and it didn’t take much imagination to see it tipping over when turning a corner.

The objective was to make a sturdy, but lightweight box to protect it in transit. Function was first priority, and it didn’t have to look particularly nice or involve fancy joinery.

I started by milling Douglas fir, which he had provided, down to roughly 1/2″ thick and ripped the boards to a uniform width of 4-1/2″. I cut them to length which resulted in an inside dimension of about 16-1/2″.

Using 4 mm Domino floating tenons, I reinforced the butt joints and assembled four boxes measuring 4-1/2″ x 17-1/2″ x 17-1/2″ in a pinwheel fashion where one end of each board was exposed.

Custom Winch Box Open

I didn’t want to rely on the Dominos to hold the box together, so I stacked and glued the layers in a way that interlocked them. The edge-to-edge glue joints were plenty strong, and with the Domino joints interlocking between the layers, there was no way the box was going to come apart.

Simple Interlocking Joinery

To install the top and bottom of the box, I used simple battens attached to the sides of the box above and below the floating panels. I then worked out the shapes and sizes of a few strategically placed blocks that supported the winch and allowed it to be easily lowered in or removed.

Custom Winch Box Top

I trimmed out the box with strap hinges, draw latches, a rope lid stay and rope handles.

Custom Winch Box Closed

Lastly, I added skid feet to help protect the box and allow it to slide more easily into the back of a truck.

This was a simple design with a simple purpose.

I made a custom box for a torque wrench a couple years ago, too.