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Saturday, December 18, 2010

Custom Made

Have you been over to the Custom Made website yet?  They are doing a great job at providing three things:

1.  A place for artists to show off their abilities and portfolios
2.  A place for potential buyers to find a wealth of resources for hand made products, some even near where they live.
3.  A referral service to connect those in category one with those in category two.

We've been working hard over there lately, updating my profile to show folks like you some of the work I have done so you can have an idea of what you might want me to make for you someday.  Looking for custom anything?  Check them out.  Here's a link to my profile page.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Spotlight on Guilds

If you are serious about taking your woodworking to the next level, I highly recommend that you get involved with a local woodworking guild.  When I was first starting out as a furniture maker, back when I lived in Vancouver, Washington, I joined the Guild of Oregon Woodworkers based in Portland, right across the Columbia River from us.  There, I found a wealth of information, training, support and encouragement, in addition to the camaraderie of a big group of like-minded individuals. 

Several of my students here at CSFW are guild members where they live and have really enjoyed showing their work off there when they get back from their time here.  In fact, one of my former students, Randy Owen from Sacramento, has become a bit of a local woodworking celebrity in his guild.  He loaned us the gorgeous koa wood rocking chair he built at our school to display in our booth at The Woodworking Show in Sacramento in November and a number of members of the Sacramento Area Woodworkers guild came to our booth, not to talk to us, but to see Randy's chair.  It was really fun.

When we were in Denver last month, we met a bunch of the folks from the Colorado Woodworkers Guild.  They were a fun and active group of folks representing a wide variety of woodworking styles and all seemed to really enjoy one another's company.  We were impressed also, by this Colorado group, because of their emphasis on attracting younger members to their ranks.  Although the members representing them there represented a broad spectrum of ages, their newly elected president is in his 20's!  That's great!  He is doing a great job updating their image and keeping them fresh and up-to-date.  Thanks for the t-shirt and coffee mugs, Colorado!  I am making good use of them.

For those of you that prefer to live in the digital community, there is even a guild of woodworkers on-line!  Check out the Wood Whisperer Guild for a great community of woodworkers who enjoy podcasts and online demonstration videos and encourage one another with lots of practical advice and support as they build their projects at their homes all over the country and all over the world.  It's a great option if you live your life 'plugged in.'

What about you?  We'd love to hear about your local guild.  Drop us a line some time and let us know about guilds that deserve a word of mention here.  Oh, and one more thing, I am always up for teaching seminars and classes for guilds across the country.  Let me know if you are interested in more information about that.

Friday, December 03, 2010

For the Well-Dressed Woodworker

'Occupational Hazard' What Size?


'Mandatory Waiting Period' What Size?

'Going Green'  What Size?

'Domestic Bliss' What Size?

Can't decide on just one?  Need one for you and one for a buddy?  Choose two shirts and save 20%.  Just specify which shirts and which sizes you need in the text box below:

'Pick Two Special' What Size?

So why are we spending valuable shop hours designing t-shirts?  Well for starters, we love clever t-shirts.  Hey, you gotta wear something and it may as well be amusing.  More importantly, however, we are looking to get on the road for several months with The Woodworking Shows and need to get a little creative in our funding.  I will be expanding my role with them as an educator--something I've been doing for three years now--moving from more of a side-show into one of their main speaker slots.  

It would be great for our woodworking school, of course, to increase our exposure to so many cities all over the country.  When we get to meet people in person in the shows, teach them some new skills and help them get inspired to try new things, something clicks.  It's good for our business and it's good for their woodworking.  But this is more than just a job.  We would be on the road together as a family for about four months.  

On the road.  As a family.  For four months.

We educate our kids at home anyway, so school is not a problem.  In fact, school will rock.  We live in rural Montana and our kids will get to see the whole country, with historical sites, national parks and monuments, museums, the whole shabang (is that a word?).   We like to travel and learn together anyway, so taking school on the road will be great.  School to go.  School with wheels instead of walls.  They'll become Road Scholars!  Ok, enough about that.  We like each other.  We like to have adventures together.  This would be the adventure of a lifetime.  

Back to the shirts.  We are rounding up sponsors to get behind us at the shows, but we are also looking for additional creative methods to raise a few extra bucks.  Did you know they charge twenty-something bucks to go up in the Empire State Building now?

So if you like the shirts, scroll back up there and go for it.  Buy one for yourself--or a few.  They make great gifts, too, of course.  But don't take too long.  There's sawdust to be made.  The shop calls.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010


Well, we are likely going to go ahead and print shirts to take on the road with us if we end up traveling more with The Woodworking Show this winter.  It looks like the more cost effective way to go is digital instead of screen, so that means we get to move to full color, rather than skimping on a one-color print.  With that in mind, we've redesigned several of the designs.

All of these designs would be still be printed on the front, generally centered on the upper chest area (with the exception of Represent, which is a tall design that runs up the entire right side of the shirt).  Our logo and website would be on the back, about 3.5 inches wide, up at the top.

"Going Green"
Reduce, reuse, recycle.  Lather, rinse, repeat.  You know the routine by now.  So be a good little steward of the earth's resources and let no beautiful lumber go to waste. 

"Occupational Hazard"
Hey, at least all the fingers are still there.  That's more than I can say for some of my woodworking buddies.

"Mandatory Waiting Period"
Woodworkers don't come stumbling into bed finally because they are tired of working on their project.  They come because there is nothing more they can do until the glue dries.

You can do wonders with these three versatile woods, and best yet, they're readily available right here in the good old USA.

Respect the beauty of the tree.  Do it proud.  Make something amazing from its lumber.  Let that gorgeous grain shine.  Show the world.  It's the least you can do for the tree.

"Three Wishes"
If you had a genie in a bottle, what would you wish for?  That's an easy one.

Do you like them better or worse?  Which are your favorites?  Which do you think you'd be most likely to buy for yourself or as a gift for others?  As before, we're looking for your feedback.  Thanks.