Saturday, May 15, 2021



Mahogany and walnut, 12 x 6 x 6. I made a number of these in the mid-1990’s as gifts. They are handy to take flatware to set a table or tools out of the shop.

Thursday, April 29, 2021

Auger Bit Boxes

 Paulownia, 12”L x 6”W x 4-1/2”H. Three removable bit trays. 

Fifteen bits, which includes an expansive bit and a rare 3/16” auger bit. A bit file is included in each set. Set sized from 3/16” to 1”, by 1/16’s. Expansive bit, 1” to 3”. An Irwin  pattern set and a Russell Jennings pattern set.

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Arkansas Toothpick

 Steel and walnut, blade 6”, LOA 10-1/4”. Store-bought sheath.

A corona virus isolation project.

Hand made in the Flaming Forge located in the New Wolfden Woodshop. The Toothpick and Bowie knife were invented by the knife smith James Black, circa 1830. Blade sourced from my steel scrap pile.

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Chinese Repeating Crossbow

 Mahogany and ash; the stock is 25 x 1-3/8 inches, the magazine, which holds 8 bolts 7 inches high, the steam bent ash bow 19 inches with a 3-1/2 inch draw.

A covid virus isolation project.

A reproduction of a design from plus or minus four centuries AD/BC. This is a project I have been wanting to build for 40 years. To operate the bow, load magazine with bolts and “ row” the lever. The Chinese dipped the bolt tips in Tiger Poison (aconite).

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Box # 64

Distressed ambrosia maple and walnut, 8 x 10 x 3.  Box is lined with dyed doe skin. There is a small lidded compartment. A covid virus isolation project.
The Saga of the Distressed Ambrosia Maple - The wood in this box is 15” offcuts from long planks. The pieces were badly warped and twisted and destined to be fire wood. Needing a corona virus isolation project, I took possession of them. The wood has ambrosia fungus markings, beetle holes, fungal black lines and knots. The grain is contorted and exhibits tiger stripe. The color varies from light to dark.

I spent several months wetting and clamping the rough-sawn wood to flatten it. Not a total success. Next I roughly hand planed. Then into the planer. Finally, flat. When building a box, I prefinish the top and bottom panels before assembly. I hit one side of one panel with Watco, my usual finish. It turned a yellow-green puke color and was very blotchy. What to do? I sprayed clear flat enanel, many thin coats, with lots of sanding between. Then Watco in very thin coats. It worked. I used this approach on all box surfaces. The figure in this wood is quite busy. I think of this project as my harlequin box.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Display Cabinet

Work in progress.
Poplar, 40 x 22 x 6.
Acrylic glazing and shelves to be added.
Covid virus isolation project.

Craftsman Lighting

Work in progress.
Metal lantern - Original candle lantern inverted. One of three.
Mahogany trim added, 7-1/2 x 7-1/2 x 10.
Electrification added.
To be glazed with art glass.
Three to be hung pendulously over dining table.
Covid virus isolation project.

Monday, January 20, 2020

Box # 59

American wormy chestnut, 13 x 10 x 3.  Lined in crushed velvet.

Saturday, January 11, 2020

Too Many Clamps?

Wooden clamps to clamp wood. Specifically, shop-made hand screws. Dimensions and materials are not important, however I will give some as a starting point. Do not use pine nor poplar. Quarter-inch threaded rod will work. Hardware is available at Lowes, or Home Depot.

Note on holes: Tee nuts must be a snug fit. Rod holes must be a loose fit. Handle holes should be snug and the rods threaded in. Nail holes must be snug, with rod flats up for drilling. Lightly peen nails. A drop of cyano glue might be used for snug fits. Tee nuts are of the type with holes around the rim, no teeth. Large dowels may substitute for turned handles. Use tap-tap, tap to enlarge drawing. Making hand screws is a good winter activity. Groups of three is convenient.

Friday, January 10, 2020

Box # 55

Walnut, Cuban mahogany, poplar. Four display surfaces. A place to display pins, badges and awards.

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Box # 1

Sassafras and walnut, 12 x 6 x 2-1/2. Original intarsia design titled, Fading Dogwood: dogwood, tulipwood, osage orange, cocobolo, dyed ash. This is the box that started it all. It was presented to its owner on Valentine’s Day 1996. I have made many, many boxes with this intarsia design.

Monday, January 6, 2020

Box # 34

Cherry, Paulownia, ebony, 9 x 7 x 2-1/2. Nature from time to time presents us with fanciful scrap wood grain. I have titled this intarsia polar bear, in elm with an ebony eye, Into the Arctic Night.


Walnut, 9 x 5 x 2. This Art Nouveau work is my graduation project from carving school. Call it a pipe rack. The design is copied from a roughly scroll sawn plywood original.

Cool Colt

Walnut, 14 x 8. What better way to display a Colt Navy 1851 reproduction revolver? Crossed anchors with thirteen stars all on a sailing ship transom . Maybe the label is whale bone?

Saturday, January 4, 2020

Box # 20

Cherry, elm, ebony, 9 x 5 x 3. Prairie house with wheat motif a la Frank Lloyd Wright. Inlay ebony, pink ivory, purple heart, brass.

Box # 17

Fumed white oak, 9 x 7 x 3. Torii form, wedged through tenons a la Gustav Stickley. Art glass top panel and musical movement.

Box # 21

Painted, sculpted pine, 9 x 7 x 3.
a la Charles Rennie Mackintosh.
Stenciled cabbage roses.

Box # 22

Painted, sculpted pine, 9x7x3.
a la Charles Rennie Mackintosh.
Pierced lattice with art glass glazing.

Box # 19

Mahogany and ebonized holly, 9x7x3. a la Greene and Greene. Intarsia pink ivory, cardinal wood, turquoise, brass. Concealed rod hinges.

Box # 18

 Cherry, 9x7x3, art glass top panel, concealed rod hinges.


A rustic mountain dwelling in Japan. The traditional hourglass gourd pendulum bob tells us sake is brewed here. The ball of evergreen branches at the roof peak has turned brown, the sake is ready. When our bird emerges to announce the hour, we hear forest sounds and his call is echoed by another.

Friday, January 3, 2020


This small clock case, 7H x 5W x 3D, is constructed from glued-up oak blocks, as few as two. The movement is an inexpensive “fit-up”, friction fit in a large scroll sawn hole. The “feet” are simply routed edge treatment. These cases are quick to make and are great gifts. Need clock movements or parts click HERE.

Arts & Crafts Carriage Clock

carriage clock is small, designed for traveling, and developed in the early 19th century in France where they were also known as Officers' Clocks. The first carriage clock was built for the Emperor Napoleon in 1812.

This clock has an “atomic” or radio controlled movement. It receives a radio signal from WWV in Fort Collins CO which keeps its time to one second and automatically toggles ST/DT. Twice a year when Daylight Saving Time toggles, I have many clocks to reset and this clock makes the job quick and accurate.
The case is 10H x 7W x 5D and has a front and back door. Both door frames incorporate positive and negative cloud lifts.The carcass is mahogany, joined by the Japanese joint of five (three in this case). All joints are pinned with square ebony plugs. The ebony handle is distinctively Oriental. The glass in the front door is “seedy restoration”. The clock face and rear door panel are white oak with distinctive flame grain. This design is in the Greene and Greene genre.

Modified Craftsman Clock Case

The original Los Barrios clock case has a pleasing shape I call torii form. It is common in Arts and Crafts design and especially in Stickley works. It is very much like the Shinto temple gates (torii) in Japan.


I wanted to add more Japanese architectural design elements to this mahogany case. I curved the top with large overhangs as in a temple roof. I replaced the fixed rear panel of the original with a door. The door contains a Paulownia panel with a chip-carved grass (rice?) motif. The grate on the front door is replaced with a piece of art glass. The flush hinges on the doors are replaced with concealed rods. The cross bar at the bottom of the front door now has a cloud lift shape. All joints are square-pegged in ebony as in Greene and Greene designs. Brass door latches are replaced with sliding pegs. The clock face, also Paulownia, has hand-painted numerals in our interpretation of the shodo style. A bold chime, which would have overpowered the aesthetic, is replaced with a simple one-note passing bell.

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Craftsman Style Clock Case

This Los Barrios model clock (left) was made by the New Haven Clock Co. in 1904. It is of Flemish Oak. I made a full size measured drawing of it in order to construct ten reproductions. My prototype (right) is white oak. The original has a spring-wound movement with a gong strike. The reproductions, half in walnut, half in cherry, have a battery-driven movement with a mechanical bim-bam strike.