Saturday, November 24, 2018

Shop Progress

I painted my room a shade called haint blue. Blue kept unwanted spirits away; ghosts and demons could not cross over water, nor could they enter a room that was the color of the sea.

Alice Hoffman, The Marriage of Opposites 

( aside...the porch ceilings of porches in old houses were usually painted sky blue as the belief was that spirits and demons would look up and see the blue sky and think that it was still day time and thus they couldn't enter the house )

On the roof is Frank who has been beyond helpful in helping my build the shop. Beyond grateful. 

Some windows are in.

view of the loft 

sky light

So far. The shop is maybe a month away from being able to build chairs. Can't wait.

Sunday, November 18, 2018


He hoped it would snow recklessly and bring to the island the impossible winter purity; so rare and precious, he remembered fondly from his youth.

David Guterson, Snow Falling On Cedars 

I don't use an ax everyday in my shop. I do use a small hatchet, actually it's a shingle hatchet. But I did want to have a decent ax so I bought this one.  It's has very good balance and heft.

Here you can see what I use to sharpen my axes. I don't use stones; instead I prefer using a Nicholson single cut bastard file. I don't use stones because lately I've become keenly aware that I spent a lot of time over sharpening things.  I also find that things like draw knives and axes can really wear out stones and thus I have to spend a lot of time flattening the stones.  

I also wanted a nice sheath for the ax so I got some leather and used some paper to make a pattern and then cut the leather and riveted it together. A small strap holds it on.  I also put some snow seal wax to deepen the color and protect it from the elements. 

  I also put some snow seal wax to deepen the color and protect it from the elements. 

Friday, November 2, 2018

Old Pictures

She glances at the photo, and the pilot light of memory flickers in her eyes. 

Frank Deford, Everyone's All American

So in the process of sprucing up my blog, I've been looking thru a lot of old pictures and these are some random ones that caught my eye.  It's been a long trip with lots of ups and downs. Yeah. Long trip so far.

Mr Dog...Forrest

Huge moose me and the girls saw coming back from daycare. Not 2 miles from my house in Presque Isle.

A couple Philadelphia Rockers and a contemporary rocker in yellow. Think I painted the contemporary rocker final coat black milk paint mixed with green...which would explain the yellow.

Top view of my Contemporary rocker

Back view of my Rod Back Contemporary rocker

Fan Back arm post showing how they are all wedged. White glue. Before I discovered hide glue

Rod back arm chair I built for my father. This chair was chosen out of a field of 12 to reside at The Connecticut Museum in Hartford. I told my dad about it and he asked, did they pay you for it? 

Sack Back, shadows

Corner of a cherry dresser I built for my daughter. Gorgeous cherry color. If you look closely you can see the divider is dovetailed in to the side of the carcass.

Sack Back bench I built for my old neighbor. If memory serves this is the first piece I used my own turnings on...vase and tulip turnings. Beautiful;l cherry seat.  Maple turnings and white ash spindles and arm and crest.  The legs don't have much splay...not sure why.  Oh I was going in a tight space a transition between the foyer and kitchen. 

A gorgeous hand smithed hold down from Alaska. He doesn't make them anymore.  

Saturday, October 20, 2018


I think the best thing I've written is a story called 'The Boxer and the Blonde.' It's a piece about Billy Conn, the white would-be heavyweight champion of the world, who lived in Pittsburgh. 

Frank Deford

I'm reading a book by Frank Deford, Everybody's All American and I can't recommend it enough. DeFord is a brilliant author, and while he is best known as a sportswriter, his fiction is amazing.

Just a few pictures of fall in mid coast Maine. 

Progress on the shop continues, as time allows. We did get one wall up today, hopefully the rest tomorrow. 

It's a post and beam construction so it should go up fairly quickly..

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Chopping Block

Aim for the chopping block. If you aim for the wood, you will have nothing. Aim past the wood, aim through the wood; aim for the chopping block.

Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

I recently picked up a felling ax at an antique shop and rehabbed it ( I'll do a post on that soon ) but here it is all fixed up.  The red handle serves no purpose but it does look sharp.

The shop pushed too close to a stand of maples and they had to come down. Despite their small size, there is enough clear maple for a few chair legs.