Boat building!

Guess what?

In our {rare} free time, a friend and I are building a boat in my garage-turned-boatyard!

This is called a Strongback Jig. Basically it’s a saw horse to hold the boat while we’re building it.

Here we’re screwing and using epoxy to seal the joints for the boat ribs.

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We’re still in the prep stages now, but once we start assembling in a week or two I’ll try to share more pictures!

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Boxelder & Brass

Recently I turned a box out of spalted Boxelder wood. It had some knots in it and I wanted to try something new …

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So I took some brass tubing and sanded it with a disc sander. I took the resulting brass dust, along with some super glue, and put it in the knots of the wood!

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{Click images for larger view!!}

It turned out beautifully. It’s super smooth to the touch and it simply glows. I love the extra pizzazz. I am keeping this particular box, but will definitely use this new brass technique again for sale pieces!

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Custom Order

A while ago, a lady contacted me about a custom order. She had a tree that had sentimental value, but they had to cut it down. And she was wondering if I could make some mementos out of it for her and her daughters.

We decided I should make what I’ve dubbed “Candle Boats”!

Here’s the process of how I made them:

The finished items!

Thank you, Caren! I hope you are all enjoying them!

P.S. Check out the updated About and Gallery pages!

P.P.S. Jill over at Green Bean Gardens is giving away two of my items! Check it out here. Giveaway ends Feb. 1st 2012.

Rescuing Wood

A few weeks ago a lady asked me to take down two of her black walnut trees. Her house is by the river, and will be removed because it is in the flood zone. The trees would have been destroyed with the house, and she didn’t want the wood wasted. I was very glad she called me!

Black walnut is prized for its dark heartwood. Historically it was used for gun-stocks, among other things. I’ve never used black walnut before, so I’m excited to see how the dark wood turns out.

After cutting the wood, I painted the ends of the logs with end-grain sealer to keep it from cracking.

I’m looking forward to using this beautiful heap of wood during the winter!

Meet the Team

When I started Turning Pro, my business partner (my sister) wanted to stay behind the scenes. But, now that I’ve been in business for awhile, we’ve decided she should be in front of the scenes, so to  speak.

So here she is, my sister and business partner, Anni!

Ben’s job description: Make cool stuff. Learn how to make stuff cooler. Make cooler stuff.

Anni’s job description: Photography, online work, packaging. All the stuff Ben doesn’t want to do. :)

So now you know!

Ebony

Recently my uncle gave me some Ebony wood!

It’s very rare to have a whole log of Ebony, most of the time you have to buy it in small pieces.

Ebony is a very dense hardwood. It’s so heavy that it sinks in water!

Traditionally, piano keys and the black pieces in chess sets were made out of ebony, while the white pieces were made out of ivory.

Tip: The log had a few small cracks in it, so I used melted candle wax to seal it. I had to use wax because I wasn’t at home, and didn’t have my end-grain sealer that I normally use. This was the only thing I could think of to keep it from cracking more. It seemed to work well.

A few weeks ago, I cut up the log into manageable pieces. I’ll have to plan and use them very carefully! I’m very excited to be able to use such a special kind of wood.

Custom Orders

I love doing custom orders! They are often challenging, which is why I like them.

A few weeks ago, a lady saw one of my egg cups, and asked if I could make another so she could buy two. I ended up making the second one out of contrasting wood, which made a great his/her set.

Another custom order I’ve done was for deer antler pens. A man wanted pens made out of deer antler from a hunting trip he’d been on. We negotiated prices, and he ended up buying three!

One of the most interesting custom orders that I’ve had was to make something I’d never heard of before: sugar cone molds! I think it’s pretty sweet that some people still make sugar cones by hand. The lady who contacted me sent me a picture and dimensions, and I took a whack at it. This is how it turned out:

I actually ended up making two cone molds, and she bought them both!

It was really fun to make something totally new. Don’t be afraid to ask for custom orders. I just might be able to make what you want!