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For Christmas, I decided to make a nice cutting board for Shanin because, you know, who doesn’t like a cutting board? After looking around for a while, I finally found a pattern which was close to what I wanted.


Found on Pinterest, of course

The first step was choosing wood. I needed three colors or species for the fox and a fourth for the background. Of course, the orange of padauk was my first choice for the body of the fox, and I figured that maple would work for the white fur bits and wenge or ebony for the black.

Spice Racks for Mom

So, for Mother’s Day, Mom wanted some spice racks. Well, the plastic ones on Amazon weren’t very good looking (in my humble opinion) so I decided I was going to build some for her instead. Of course, I just finished them last weekend, but I DID get the first of three to her on Mother’s Day! Hey, and the last two came early for her birthday!


In the picture above, you’re looking at the side of the spice rack. They go on the shelf rotated 90 degrees from that, so you’re looking at them from the...

So, I like making rings. I’ve been working at getting better at it, but I haven’t done too many lately. The only problem with making rings is you kinda have to have places to put the rings. Now, I wouldn’t mind selling some rings (hint hint, if there’s anyone out there who wants a custom-made wooden ring), but at the moment, I’ve only got a few people to make for.

Of course, one of those people is Shanin. And here’s the latest one I made for her:

bent wood ebony ring

This isn’t the first bent wood...

I missed the update last Thursday. Well, not so much “missed” as “decided not to do”; I was beat. I’ve had this week off, so I’ve done more physical work than usual. But, to make up for it, a double-post!

Would I have done a post on Thursday, it would have been about the fact that I put up the roof on Cora’s playhouse! The first step was to put up the framing for it.

roof skeleton

This was fairly simple to do; I had already done most of the cutting as documented in update 4....

Okay, so I’m not going to gripe too much about having a rainy day. I mean, we need the rain. We’re in a drought. All the water helps. It’s just one day. Everything is fine.

Bah, it’s a lie. I really wish it wasn’t raining so I can work on the playhouse some more. I’m poised to make a ton of progress in the next couple days, and I can’t do that if it’s raining! I mean, Saturday, I went to the wood store to get the remaining 2”x4”, 2”x6”, 2”x8” and 1”x6” lumber I need to do the roof’s...

Quick update: I finished off the front wall and got it in place. Due to some bad calculations, it turns out I wasted some wood and had to go and get two more 2x4s. They’re the dark brown ones in the picture below; I ended up getting pressure treated ones from Orchard rather than waiting till I could get to Southern Lumber again, and Orchard has a VERY limited selection of lumber.

front wall in place

The calculation I messed up can be summarized as “number of windows”. When adding up how much wood I’d need, I...

After some time, I finally have started making forward progress on Cora’s playhouse again. And I’ve made quite a bit of progress since I introduced the Fencerator 9000™. Just have a look-see:


In fact, quite a bit of that progress is a direct result of using the Fencerator, as cutting the lumber to length was pretty quick (I got most of it done in a matter of a couple hours) and pretty accurate. Of course, I didn’t include any pictures because cutting lumber is… not interesting.

I spent about an hour on Saturday putting together...

A Chair for Andrew

Since I’m preparing a couple more in-depth posts and will be occupied with other things on Saturday, I’m gonna release this post early AND it’s gonna be a brief one about something I knocked together a few months ago: a Green Bay Packers themed Adirondack-style chair. I made this for my brother Andrew because he is a pretty big Packers fan and… well, because it just kinda sounded like a good idea.

The chair

It was pretty stressful making it as I didn’t give myself much lead time; my wife and I only decided it was a...

Fencerator 9000™

Quite some time ago, I started building a playhouse for Cora. I had to put completing the project on hold for a while, but now I’m ramping up to do the next stage. I’ve got the lumber, the hardware, and some time coming up, so I’m kinda stoked. As I’ll be doing framing for the walls, much of this stage will be cutting 2x4s to length.

Since I don’t have a chop saw, and since cutting 2x4s squarely AND quickly can be difficult, I decided to make a jig. Behold, the FENCERATOR 9000™!

Fencerator 9000™


Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

It’s come around again, that fine day where we go around pinching people if they’re not wearing green. Ostensibly, this is because… yay Irish people? Or something. All I see is another opportunity for college-aged kids to drink heavily (not that they particularly NEED a reason) and exercise good-spirited stereotyping. That said, I’m wearing my St Patrick’s day shirt:


To top that off, it’s the same one I’ve worn for the last…. 7 years? Something like that. Heh, I think I’ve only worn it 7 times, too :-)


Monitor Stand

This isn’t news or anything, but apparently sitting in a chair all day is pretty bad for you, even if you exercise. By contrast, using a desk which allows you to alternate between standing and sitting can alleviate much of the the problem. So, when my work asked me if I wanted a standing desk, I said sure, but I told them I didn’t have a doctor’s note or anything; the official policy was that I’d need a doctor’s note to get one.

Flash forward a few weeks and I was asked if I...

A Ring for Cora


Recently, in order to give myself things to do, I decided I’d start making bent wood rings. There are a few reasons for this new hobby, including (but not limited to) I want something to do and this seems pretty easy. Well, where better to start than by making rings for those closest to me? And here’s the next installment in that series:

ring, view 1

I started by making a ring for myself, especially since it seems my wedding ring finger has lost a size or so, meaning my wedding ring has just...

Playhouse, part 1

After doing a lot of searching, I decided on a plan for the playhouse. It’s basically this idea, with the potential of putting a swing set in front of the balcony at some point. I’m gonna be adding some climbing stuff as that’s what Cora likes! I’m splitting it up into a couple stages, the first stage is building the elevated deck which will be the floor to the top story.

Coming home with the lumber for stage 1

Loads of lumber

One side frame clamped up for drilling and bolting with lag bolts


Shoe Bench, part 1

I’m making a bench for shoes, both to store them and for sitting on to put them on. I’ve decided to use stuff that I already have as much as possible because I have it and want to get rid of it (and to save money). I’ve also decided to do a bunch of hand work, partly because I want to learn and partly because I don’t have an alternative in some cases. Any rate, I’m just kinda making it up as I go along, but the top and shoe rails are going to be beech, stained with the ebonizing...

Fox bookmark

Second take of a fox bookmark, this time for Shanin. I think I really like this, though there are a few screwups. For more details about the build, find them here!

Kiss Box

Kiss box

Why “Kiss Box”? It’s based on this book that Cora likes: The Kiss Box

Purpleheart box, mitered and glued together. Used splines to hopefully add strength to the joints, though the purpleheart really glues up well. The splines and the top are made from leopardwood, and the bottom is made from Macassar ebony. The edges of the box have been chamfered just a little to give some interest.

The box feels very solid and has some heft to it. The top stays on with friction in two orientations and just fits nicely in the...

Inlaid Fox Bookmark

Fox bookmark

My first inlay project, made from padouk and wenge. I had to make my own 1/16” slice of padouk and 1/8” of wenge; got those by resawing on the table saw (not recommended! Note to self: get a band saw). Cut out the inlay pieces from padouk, traced them onto the wenge blank, and used my Dremel tool to make a recess which was deep enough. Then glue in the decorative piece, sand a little so the sawdust gets into the glue to fill in any gaps, clamp, and sand down once it dries. As...