When I could work with wood

jbest123October 17, 2009

Hi, this is from my journal and thought I should post it here. I only wish I could still work with wood. Images are clickable for a full view. John

Woodworking, gardening and photography have been my main hobbies all my adult life. When I developed sensitivity to wood dust from the more toxic woods, I had to quit woodworking. Pryor to retirement, I had built up a nice hobby woodshop and all the shop photos are of that woodshop. In preparing for retirement, I decided to upgrade the shop with more industrial type equipment. I ended up with a shop that would rival Norman As shop. Unfortunately, I have no photos of that shop.

We live in SW PA. and I bought all my lumber from the Amish. Through the 1980s, I was paying $0.15-$0.20/bf for clear red oak, maple, black cherry and walnut. At that time, the same wood would sell for approximately $4.00/bf. There is a room attached to my shop area that I used to season the rough-cut lumber for a minimum of one year per in of thickness. That room is now a garden shed. With the exception of the nut bowl, grandfather clock and the blue cabinet, all other projects were made with seasoned, air-dried wood.

My very first project was a nut bowl I made in 7th grade woodshop and I also made the anvil and mallet. My farther had a small machine shop in the basement and had taught me how to use most of the equipment. The nut bowl has been used every Christmas for nearly 60 years. Cannot find the mallet, I suspect it is in one of the Christmas boxes.

This is a grandfatherÂs clock I made for my mother about 1965. The wood used to make the clock came from my mother and fathers first dinning room set with the exception of the curved moldings at the top of the clock.

The poster bed was made from a walnut thee that the carpenter ants had attacked on my grandfatherÂs farm. This was my first experience with the Amish. It cost me $3.00 dollars to have the tree sawed to the sizes I wanted.

The bookcase is made from Beechnut which in uncommon. It is a very hard, dense wood with little grain but takes on a nice finish. Your tools had better be sharp though.

This cabinet is a recycled bedroom cabinet made to resemble a ships cabinet.

An antique refinisher received a civil war field desk to restore. He made detailed drawings of all the parts and asked me to make him six desks. Well, I made seven and there is one setting in my living room.

The coffee table and end table were made as a set from black cherry.

The computer desk almost looks like black walnut but it is also cherry.

This is a Governor Winthrop 18 century reproduction including the joining and hardware.

An entertainment center that can easily be converted to an armoire.

This is a scaled down harvest table used for a kitchen table.

This is a scaled down library table made from the same walnut tree as the poster bed. It was my first attempt at making cabriole legs. The biggest problem with the cabriole style legs is the wood that is wasted.

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    Bookmark   October 17, 2009 at 5:15PM
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Thank you for a very satisfying tour!
Your allergy is a loss to woodworking.


    Bookmark   October 17, 2009 at 8:15PM
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I still work with wood and have a shop I tinker in with small projects. But the mastercraft of your projects makes me drool and alot of wishing too. Just too bad for the allergy you had to develope in this life. It is so true, THE woodworking community has loss a real woodworker. But do find other things to enjoy and occupy your time

    Bookmark   December 6, 2009 at 9:28PM
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Very nice.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2009 at 10:02PM
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Wow, seems like such a small word to describe what you have shared with us. BUT WOW. what I wouldn't give to have the talent you have in one pinkie finger!! and all those tools and such a great space to work in. I'm in awe. What wonderful accomplishments and a great story, thanks for sharing.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2009 at 10:55AM
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