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Sunday, April 26, 2009

Chopper Display

Finally, here is my latest project. The lady who ordered this one doesn't have kids to rock on one of my Rocking Roarers. She just wanted one to display in here home. Then she slipped and told me that she wanted one different than anyone elses. That gave me the green light to be a little more creative with this one.
As you can see, it's mounted on a pecan platform instead of the rockers. Also, I did some playing around with the front forks to give it more of a "chopper" look. Then, when mounting it, I tilted it back just slightly so the front tires were a hair higher than the rear, giving it more of a swept back look.
Please click below and leave comment letting me know what you think. I look every day to see if I've gotten any comments. I'm getting visitors here, but no comments. Without comments, I can't know what everyone thinks of my work.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Nothing Rocks Like A Deere

I didn't even start a new sale project today. I've been looking for a trailer for some time now. I've given up on finding one to my satisfaction. So, I rode over to Harbor Freight today. I bought one of their unassembled four foot by eight trailers. Then I spent the afternoon with my boys helping me assemble the frame. I needed to get this done to make sure all the parts are there. Later on, as I have time, I'm going to build it the way I want. It'll have oak flooring and sides. What I got in mind will be nice, so down the road, you may see pictures of it.
So instead, today I'm posting one of my past projects. Here is a rocking tractor. I built this several months ago. I wanted it green, but I am definately not a fan of paint. So, after consulting the sales lady at the Home Depot, I found out they could tint stain. I didn't know this. So what you see on this tractor is green stain. I personally loved the way it turned out.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Rally On The River '09

The Rally On The River event was a success considering the weather. I hated to hear that the night's events were called due to weather. I read about it in today's paper. The daytime events though went off without a hitch though, almost. For the vendors that cancelled, you missed a great opportunity. True, we did have to pull our wares inside the tents a few times due to light rain, it was all in all a good day. I think everyone had a great time. I met people from all over. I think the customers who came the farthest was a couple I spoke with who travel here every year from Seatle, Washington. The wife was originally from here. I just hope the husband makes it back home alright. He kept making wise cracks at southerners. We'll do it again next year. I hope everyone who came comes back and invites at least a few friends too.

I want to thank every single person I talked to at the Rally. I had a great time. While I may not recognize every single person if you call, please understand I talked to probably a thousand people yesterday. I do appreciate from the bottom of my heart though you stopping by my booth. I also thank you all for the wonderful compliments you gave me on my hard work. I do put a lot of time into my work. More importantly, I put a lot of love into it. This wood is my passion. You can rest assured that anything I create for you is done with pride and quality.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Quick Project

Well I finished the motorcycle project today. I've got the bike rally to do Saturday, and I figured I had enough time to make a couple of business card holders. So I had a really nice design I'd downloaded from Steve Good's site at . I can't remember the date he listed these, but they shouldn't be hard to find of you want to make some.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Motorcycle Project Day Three

Well it has been a very long day in the shop. You can see how far we've come in three days. The motorcycle assembly is done. If nothing goes wrong, I'll get the rocker assembly done tomorrow and the project will be done. I got another order tonight. A local lady wants one mounted for display. So, be looking for photos of that in about a week or two.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Motorcycle Project Day Two

Well it's day two of my motorcycle project. In the picture, you can see that the motorcycle is pretty much put together. Looks like it's almost done? Eh? No! Now I have to do a lot of shaping, a lot more sanding, and take it back apart. Yes. That's right. Take it apart.

You have to assemble it like this to get the fit right. Then you have to take it apart while doing your shaping of items such as the seat and gas tank. Then you stain everything and put it back together.

If anyone wants more pictures of this project, they can be found at .

Monday, April 13, 2009

Motorcycle Project

My posts may be kind of limited this week. I'm on a tight schedule to get this motorcycle done for this weekend's bike rally. Here is a few "in progress" pictures of the project. The first one is a picture of the two main body pieces cut out and laying on the plans. The second is the assembled body with the outer frame pieces attached. The dowels are used to allign everything. If you don't allign everything perfectly at this point, then it will not go together right later.

I may post several picture this week of this project in progress. I hope everyone enjoys them.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Decorative Rifles

As promised, here's a couple more of my rifles. The top one is called "The Lawman's Rifle" It is cut into three quarter inch cottonwood. As with all my rifles, the entire thing, including the barrel is wooden. The bottom picture is the "Westward Bound" rifle. It is cut from one quarter cottonwood and laminated to half inch mahogany. Both of these rifle stocks are sixteen inches long. that doesn't include the barrel. They stick out about twelve inches past the stock.
The patterns for these rifles come from . The "Lawman Rifle" is for sale at . If anyone wants to buy the other one, either email me or leave a comment below. I can list it on Etsy. It sells for forty dollars plus shipping.

Upcoming Show

Next Saturday, on the 18th, I will have a booth set up at the Rally On The River. It is a motorcycle rally that runs in conjunction with Riverfest. It will be happening on Walnut Street in downtown Vicksburg, Mississippi. I won't be actually selling. I will have a few of my projects on display and I'll be showing my pictures and handing out business cards. If anyone can come out, please do. Just look for a wooden motorcycle to find me. If you can bring your bikes, that's even better. Proceeds go to a good cause. It's a fundraiser for abused children.

Upcoming Project

It's been a rough week. I was near completely bound to the bed or wheelchair for three days. Well, yesterday was my first day back up and around. In that first day, I got an order for a "Rocking Roarer" motorcycle. So I'll be working on that as much as I can in the coming days. I hope to post some "in-progress" pictures. I want people to see the amount of work that goes into something like this. So be sure to be looking for those this week.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Playing Card Box

I got this pattern out of A magazine called Creative Woodworks and Crafts. You can see their website at This particular pattern is out of the March 2009 issue. It's just one of those neat little items you can make in an afternoon when you really don't feel like starting on a new bigger project. I enjoy doing those from time to time.
The box top is made of cottonwood on a mahogany base. It holds two decks of cards and a set of dice. You could also leave out the inside spacers and use it for a trinket box. This is just one of the items you can buy at my Etsy shop, Wooden Memories at .

My Techniques Aren't Yours

One of my teenage sons has decided to learn how to scroll. While trying to teach him, I thoughtabout writing this post. He has this habit of wanting me to show him how I do something and then trying to replicate it tit for tat. That just doesn't work. So, I'm writing this entry to tell anyone thinking about scrolling the same advice I gave him.

Several people have been amazed when looking at my work that I've only been scrolling six months. So I guess a little background info is in order. When I decided to scroll, I didn't even know how to put a blade up, down or sideways. Since Ric Hutcheson at was what made me want to learn scrolling, his how to videos was a perfect jumping off point for me to get started. I immediately went to his site and watch every video he had there on scrolling. There is some real useful information there. However, some techniques he used just didn't work for me. Just like my techniques aren't yours, his techniques weren't mine.

First of all, the scrollsaw is one of the safest tools in the shop. True, you can cut your finger, but without trying with a lot of determination, you won't cut your finger off. As a matter of fact, in order to cut your finger off, you'd probably have to stop in the middle of it and change blades. The biggest danger there, if you don't wear safety glasses, is sawdust in your eyes. I had a piece in my eyes that drove me crazy for over a week before it worked its way out. Use common sense on the scrollsaw and you'll be fine.

Second, there is no right or wrong way to cut certain things, like corners. Experienced scrollers even have debates on the best way to do this or that. If there was one "right" way, then there would be no debate. Play around and find what's best for you. True, you may break a few blades. you have to think of this as a hobby though. Don't get upset. Think about the price of a new bandsaw or table saw blade and realize that these blades are dirt cheap. That's why most companies offer packs of a dozen dozen, called a gross. Also, stay cool when you mess up a piece. You didn't learn to walk in a day. If you enjoy looking at my work, think of this. I still create fancy firewood more often than you may think.

Then there's the choices of blades and the issue of blade tension. There is spirals and flats, regular and reverse tooth, crown tooth, now there is even a flat end spiral reverse tooth. It can be intimidating to the new scroller. If possible, go to Home Depot, for example. They sell variety packs of blades. That will give you the chance to try different types of blades to see what works for you. Take spirals as an example. I use almost exclusively spirals, while some scrollers won't even allow a spiral in their shop. As for blade tension, consult your owner's manual. Then recognize that info as a starting point. There is a spot in the tension that is tight enough that the blade doesn't wander or follow the grain, but not so tight that your simply practicing blade changes every few seconds. Look at my earlier Wolf Rifle in my last post. That was the first piece I ever cut with spirals. I went through almost two dozen blades on that. Now, after plenty of practice, I can cut that entire piece on one blade.

The final thought I can give you is to remember that this is a hobby. You are supposed to enjoy a hobby. Relax. Have fun. Focus on your finished piece and get yourself determined to finish it no matter what. Often times, if it's a detailed piece, you'll know how to tension you blade by the time you finish that first piece. There are very few people in the world that make their living on scrolling. So don't even set out in the beginning thinking that you are going to do that. If you can't enjoy it because you like woodworking, then walk away from the scrollsaw now. Don't even buy one. I'm not saying you will never make good money at it. I'm just saying that if you do, you're one of the lucky few. If I make enough to support my hobby and maybe carry my wife to dinner now and then, I'm doing great.

So, if there is any advice I can give you, please don't hesitate to email me at . Also, there are multiple links on my main page to people who will be glad to help. The scrollsaw community is one that you would not believe the generousity of it's people. Be safe, have fun, and happy scrolling.

Wolf Rifle

I suddenly realized I hadn't posted any of my rifles. The first picture is of the "Wolf Rifle" that is for sale now at . It is cut into quarter inch cottonwood and laminated onto half inch mahogany. The rifle stock itself is sixteen inches long. This is just one of several patterns I use. I've seen them listed in several places, but mine come from .
If you look at the bottom, smaller picture, you will see a difference. That one was cut before I bought the invaluable addition to my shop, the planer. Back then I simply cut them out of three quarter inch wood and left them open on the back. As you can see, the mahogany I add now makes a much more dramatic effect. Either of these would look great though on anyone's mantle or shelf.
Later, I'll try to get posted some pictures of the other rifle designs I do.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Several Firsts

This was the first motorcycle I done. The plans come from . The bottom picture was taken while it was till in progress. I doublt I'll ever do another one just like it for several reasons. After doing the "Rocking Roarer" motorcycle, I like it better, it sells better, and it's just simply easier to build.
Being a motorcycle was not the only first that this plan was a part of.
While doing the gas tank and seat on this, I learned about compound cutting. I had never done anything like that before. Actually, with my limited experience at the time, I would have never have even imagined doing something like that.
This was also te first plans I'd ever bought. Before doign this project, I used to thumb though magazines and surf the net for ideas. Then I'd get in the shop and design something myself from the ideas I'd gotten. Well, I'd been eyeing this project for some time. I felt there was no way I could design anything close to it myself. So, I bought the plans. I found out that plans are worth multiple times the price you actually give for them. Actually, they save you money. I can't tell you how many times I have started designing a piece, only for things not to work out and me wind up with a bunch of scrap wood and an idea on how to start over from scratch. With plans, you are working with a design that's already been tested. While I don't complain about the experience I got before, plans have opened up a whole new world for me and really took my wood work to the next two or three levels.
So if you plan on doing woodwork, I urge you to go ahead and fork over the extra few dollars and buy yourself some good quality plans for whatever it is you want to build. Trust me. It will pay off in the end.

Tin Men

While not related to woodworking, I felt I needed to post this little itembecause this was actually the item that got the most attention when I sold here locally. I sold these Tin Men for twenty dollars and couldn't make them fast enough.
Actually before I got my shop or started woodworking, I was looking for something I could do to fill some time. Back then I was stuck in the wheelchair about fifty percent of the time. A friend of ours brought up this Tin Man and suggested I make some. Well I was looking for something I could sell in order to actually support whatever craft I decided to do. I thought there was no way these things would sell. I personally thought they were the ugliest things I'd ever seen in my life. The friend and my wife talked me into it though. Boy was I wrong. People around here went crazy over them.
While I don't devote too much of my time away from my woodwork on these, I do usually try to make up a batch of them from time to time. You have to keep those customers happy.

Excuses, Escuses

I haven't been in the shop in several days now. I'm down in my wheelchair, not able to walk. So, I've only been posting about projects I've already done. I'm getting mighty antsy to start on something new. I did order a few new patterns today from Wildwood Designs. Maybe I'll be feeling better when they come in. Actually, it's my own fault I'm down. Several months ago, I was given an old srping drive Sear and Roebuck scroll saw. It has an eighteen inch throat. The cleaning and lubricating on an old saw that had been sitting up was to be expected. The only problem with the saw was that the way the previous owner had it mounted, the external motor sat higher than the saw table, which could potentially get in the way of turning projects while cutting. So, I had to remove the saw and build up the mounting surface to get the table above the motor.
My first mistake was underestimating the weight of the old saw. When I just grabbed it and snatched it up, it was much heavier than I thought. Then, being a metal table, I turned it upside down on my work table to screw from the bottom into a new table top. Turns out, the table was heavier than I thought too. My wife helped me. However, when we went to turn the table back over, there was a "catch" in my back.
All this happened about mid morning. I didn't think anything else about it. Then about four or five that evening, I started realizing I was hurting way more than normal. Then the next day, I couldn't even get dressed on my own. I've been here before many times since '99 when I fractured my back. It doesn't make it any less frustrating though.

Ascension Of the Lord

With Easter upon us, I decided to post a portrait I done a few weeks ago. It is called "Ascension of the Lord" The deisgner is Jeff Zaffino. Anyone can download this pattern for free at . The portrait itself measures 11 x 14, as downloaded. The one pictured has a mahogany back and frame. I wanted something a little more special than my norm for this particular one. It is a very challenging piece. Several times I thought I was going to turn it into fancy firewood. It has over three hundred inside cuts. You can buy this one at .

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Scrollsaw, Scrollsaw, a Funny Realization

I was thinking today how I got started with scrollsaw work. For those of you who didn't read the post, it started around September of last year. My wife suggested buying me a scrollsaw for my birthday. My response was something along the lines of "What the $#%@ do I need a scrollsaw for?" I had never even seen a scrollsaw before, much less used one. Anyway, she bought me one anyway. Well, since I had it, I had to find a use for it. So I started out with a few simple projects. Those first few days, I felt like using a .44 magnum on that Ryobi. With some practice though, it got much easier. I really didn't fall completely in love with scrolling though till I bought my Delta. That Delta is now not just my favorite scrollsaw, but my favorite tool in the whole shop.

All that being said, it seems funny to me that considering I didn't even want a scrollsaw, that now my most used tool and I now have five scrollsaws in my shop.
I started with the Ryobi.
I moved up to a Delta that I had to track down and drive to Jackson to buy.
Then a friend give me an old spring drive Sears and Roebuck that was made back in the fifties. It's still a good saw after I cleaned everything up and made a few minor adjustments.
Then I bought a Craftman direct drive at a yard sale. I didn't need it, but I couldn't pass up the chance to try a different saw at a price tag of just twenty five dollars.
Then I recently bought another Delta. They were on sale really cheap and I figured that as much as I use the Delta, it wouldn't hurt to have a spare to use in case the other breaks down.

I guess I found out what the $#%@ I needed a scrollsaw for.

Fretwork Shelf

This shelf is made entirely of mahogany. I wanted to do something with fretwork besides clocks. So I searched the Wildwoods Designs website and came across this. It is sixteen inches wide and twenty inches tall. It is about eight inches deep. I had a lot of fun building this. It was something different.

Worthington Hall Clock

As with most of my clocks, this one is made of mahogany with cottonwood trim. It is thirty-one inches tall, twelve inches wide and five and a half inches deep. This is the only clock I've made so far that hangs on the wall. Because of that, I made the back piece out of half inch material and built it up on a three quarter inch false frame. I wanted it to be stronger than the typical clock since it's entire weight would be supported by a nail or screw.

The plans for this one come from Wildwood Deisigns at .

If any of you go to these websites at look at the plan pictures, you may notice something. While I build according to their plans or close to it, I usually don't use the same kind of clock mechanisms they do. I have a reason for that. I take pride in the fact that these are hand made clocks. Because of that, I just don't want to use a clock face or insert I buy elsewhere. I would rather design a more unique face and cut it out myself. While some may disagree, I think it adds more character to each of the clocks. I have stars on the "Patriot Clock", fringe around the edges of this clock, and I try to design something more "fitting" than just a simple clock face or insert.

Steepled Church Clock

This "Steepled Church Clock" stands two foot high at the highest point. It is twenty one inches from front to back and sixteen inches wide. It is made of mahogany with cottonwood trim. On the inside, there is an oak floor to look like hardwood flooring. I thought the oak just complimented the inside look. It has five pews and the pulpit. On this clock, I had to install a light inside to show it off. This is probably my favorite clock. It is one of those pieces that just catches your eye from across a crowded room. I swear that if I didn't have eight kids, this clock would be sitting in my home. We don't have a large home though, and if it got broken, I would cry.

The plans for this clock come from Wildwood Designs at . I warn anyone thinking of trying it though, this is the first project I've done in a long time that I had to walk away from several times just to get a break from the saw. There is just so much delicate detail on it.

I posted more pictures than normal of this particular clock. I am just so proud of it. Of all my projects, this is usually the first one people walk to.

Rocking Chairs or Cradles or Both

Everywhere my projects were seen, everyone always has suggestions on what I should build. It always comes up that I ought to build some rocking chairs. Well, what people didn't understand was that I mostly build what I like. It is a hobby after all. If I was going to build a rocking chair, it had to be something that I'd enjoy doing. For anyone who knows me, that means it would have to be something unique or different. Then I seen the plans at for a rocking chair and cradle combo. I remembered the enjoyment I got building the rocking canopy cradle, so that was the rocking chair for me. I had never seen a rocking chair before that with a cradle built onto it.
The "Rocking Cradle with Canopy" was actually a free plan I downloaded. I really can't remember the website I got it off of. It is made of cottonwood and stained with a pecan stain. It is very large. It's hard to tell that from the picture. Some have seen it on the internet and asked if it was a real cradle or a doll cradle. People who have seen it in person say it is big enough for twins.
The "Rocking Chair/Cradle Combo" came from . It is solid oak. A man bought it from me before I had a chance to take it apart for scraps, which I was planning on doing. I was not at all happy with it. I built it according to the plans. The whole time I was building it, something didn't feel right to me. I was completely done before I realized what it was. The plans called for the rocking chair portion of the rocker to be eighteen inches wide. To me, this is just not wide enough. To be comfortable, it needs a wider seat. Oh well. I'll go wider with the next one I build.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Rocking Iron Horse

I had built a couple of rocking horses. I had even done a rocking motorcycle. So when I seen the plans for the "Rocking Iron Horse", I just couldn't resist.
The plans for this called for plywood. I never use plywood on anything. I absolutely hate plywood. If I'm going to take the time to build something, it's going to be out of solid wood. As for kid's toys, I never use paint. After enough years, even the best quality of paints chip or peel. I use stain. For durability on my toys, every part is glued, then screwed down into a countersunk hole which I then plug and sand down smooth.
This train is built from cottonwood. It is close to four feet long. It is also heavy. I find that to be a good thing for several reasons. First of all, solid construction is going to naturally make it heavy. Beyond that though, the heavier these rockers are, the less likely a child can get it rocking wildly enough to flip over on it.
By the way, in the bottom picture, that is my youngest son, William Calvin, sitting on it.

Cottage Clock

This particular clock was the first detailed clock I ever done. It was by chance that I wound up doing it, but boy am I glad I did. It got me interested in these clocks that I love so much to build. Had it not had been for the chance way it happened, I probably would never have attempted to do something like this.

A man from Brandon, Mississippi bought one of my "Rocking Roarer" motorcycles and asked if I would deliver it. I agreed to do it since I needed to pick up a few things in Jackson anyway. When I delivered it, he told me he had a project he needed me to do. He pulled what wasn't even full plans out of a desk drawer. It was standard size paper that someone had run off copies onto of these clock parts. I didn't even have as much as a picture of a finished clock to go by. The man had bought several things from me in the past though, so I wanted to keep him happy. I looked it over at his kitchen counter and told him that all I could do was try, since I'd never built anything like this before. For reasons I'll explain in a bit, the man asked me to please try my best, that he felt I coud do it. So, I left his house with plans for a clock that I didn't really know what it was supposed to look like, but being pressured to try. I figured the worst I could do was waste some good wood.

As it turns out, the man had been wanting this "Cottage Clock" for quite a while. While doing a contract job somewhere, another contractor had one of these clocks in his RV. He asked the other contractor how much it would take to buy it but it wasn't for sale. The other contractor did agree that when he went back home, in Texas, that he would mail back the plans for the clock. The man never thought much else about it until about a year later he recieved these clock part copies I mentioned earlier in the mail. He then tried to get someone to build it for him. He told me he'd been trying for five years to get someone in this area to build it. "Noone around these parts does this kind of work anymore" was the common response he got. So now "lucky me", I thought with a frown. I actually had doubts that I could ever piece this thing together.

So, after the "plans" set in my shop for a while untouched, I decided to give it a try. The first one took me longer than it should have, but I was at that time still new to the scroll saw. I got it built though. I really surprised myself. Just think, about two months before that, when my wife wanted to get me a scrollsaw for my birthday, I asked her "What the $%#@ do I need a scrollsaw for?" In the end, the man was happy, but most of all, I was happy. I'd found a new love.

As with most of my clocks, the one pictured is made of mahogany with cottonwood trim. It stands twelve inches tall.

The Iowan

I'm going to have to double up if I'm going to show some of my past projects while keeping up with all the latest too. Man, I wish I'd learned how easy this blogging stuff was earlier. Thanks Steve Good.

I finished this clock several weeks ago. It's made from mahogany with cottonwood trim. It stands 32" tall. It is 16" wide and 9" deep. I say it all the time though. Pictures do not do these things justice. You have to see them in person to really appreciate how amazing they are. That's not just my boasting. That's what I've been told over and over.
This one is called The Iowan. It took close to fifty total hours to complete. It is, in my opinion, one of the nicest clocks I have done. I really don't like the name of it, but I don't like changing the clock's names when it's someone elses design. I feel like I've disrespected the designer if I do that. I got the pattern from Wildwood Designs.

Random Thoughts From A Hurting Man

I sell my projects here and there just to support my hobby. I wanted this blog to be an outlet for me, not just to show more of my work, but also as a means to include some of my own thoughts and ideas. That is what today's first post is about.

It's one of those weather days for me. I fractured my spine in six places back in '99. I haven't been right physically since. Now days, I have good days and bad days. On good days I can do pretty much what I want, within reason. On bad days I can hardly get out of bed. Then there are weather days. Weather days are like today. The weather changed overnight. I'm out of bed, but if I walk, every step feels like some evil form of torture.

I think that's why I have fell in love with scroll work. With scroll work, as long as I can get myself up and make it to the shop, I can scroll. It's a sit down operation. My biggest problem is getting the wood planed down. If I'm hurting and haven't got any ready, then I'm right back to square one. On days like today, I can't stand at the planer long enough to get any ready.

Scrolling has also became an outlet for me because of the "wow factor" I get from people. Most people in this area don't even know what a scrollsaw is. I love delicate fretwork such as on my clocks. People ask how I get all them holes in there. I tell them a scrollsaw and they look at me with puzzlement and ask "Huh, what's that?" When I was looking to upgrade from my Ryobi saw, I called Sears. They said they sold scroll saws. So I rode on down. They thought I was talking about a saber, or jig saw.

I started to learn scrolling about six months ago. My wife bought me a Ryobi for my birthday. I'm glad she did. It was good enough saw to learn on. I have since bought a Delta and refuse to even touch the Ryobi anymore. I've turned it over to my teenage sons to learn on. I figure if they can learn to cut something nice on that thing like I did, then when they move up to a better saw, they'll do great. That's how I started. At this time though, I doubt I'd recommend the Ryobi to anyone buying their first saw. If someone gives you one, great, but it's a waste of money otherwise, in my opinion. So before anyone jumps on me, remember it's just my opinion. What works for some don't work for others.

That brings me to the biggest question I get. "How do you learn to scroll?" This is my opinion on that. You learn to scroll my scrolling. The machine is pretty easy to figure out even if you don't read a manual. From there, just start cutting. Forget what anyone tells you. Just figure out what works for you. For example, most serious scrollers will tell you that spiral blades are crap. That's about all I use though. I've also found that as for all the different websites trying to tell you how to tension your blade, everyone works better with different tensions. What I find right, others would say is too tight. You have to find that "sweet spot" that works for you. For anyone wanting to learn scrolling though, I got the most help from Ric Hutcheson at . He's got all kind of videos there to give you ideas on how to perform certain techniques. Then you can take that knowledge and find your own way.

The other thing I've started learning now is the wood lathe. All I've turned so far is a few fancy pieces of firewood. I want to learn a few techniques before I try to do much. Also, with my health, it's one of those things I can't work on very often. When I do though, I'm enjoying the thrill of learning something new. The most important lesson I've learned so far is that you have to make sure any piece you are turning is balanced as well as you can get before turning the lathe on. I've got a block of wood laying on my lathe table now as a reminder. I mounted it in the lathe and turned it on. Chad (son) dove under the table while Billy (other son) ran towards the door, as I was literally trying to catch the switch to shut down the dancing lathe.

For anyone wanting to learn to scroll, I highly recommend it. If you've got the patience, it's a very pleasureable hobby. There are plenty of free patterns available on the internet. One of the best I have found is from Steve Good at . A good source of patterns for sale for the beginner are at . Click on "scrollsaw corner", pick one you like and order it. When you are ready to try something more advanced, go to . Click on the catalog link and find you a nice clock. Their plans are a little expensive for my budget, but they are well worth it for the detailed pattern you get. Another good source for real nice patterns is Dirk Boelman at the Art Factory. You you find that at . A point of interest I have found is that if you look on a lot of the patterns from Wildwood, or anywhere else you find detailed patterns, often where it tells who designed it, you'll find Dirk Boelman's name.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Rocking Roarer

For my first day doing this, I had to add a little info about one of my alltime favorite projects. This is called the "Rocking Roarer". I have made two of these so far. The one in the picture is done strictly by the plans. The other one I eliminated the front fender and extended the front fork a little to give it more of a "chopper" look.
This project took around forty hours to complete. Yes, it is made entirely of wood. that's the question I get most about it. The rockers are cut on the bandsaw. The few straight pieces on it are cut on the table saw. Everything else is done on the scrollsaw. Everything is stained. I don't like using paint on toys because it peals after so many years. The tires turn on it and the front forks turn by the handle bars.
I got the plans for this at a site I stumbled on by accident at . Check them out. I've gotten some great plans from them way before I even knew what a scrollsaw was and they have great service. They''ve always treated me right. If you'd like to make a rocking toy, check them out for sure. They have everything from rocking motorcycles and airplanes to hippos and camels. When my back is feeling better, I have plans over at the shop now to make a rocking pig.
I sell this item for $250. I don't list it on the internet though because of shipping problems. With it being four foot long and so heavy, shipping would be ridiculously high on it. If anyone lived close enough to pick it up though and wanted one, I'd be happy to make it for them.

The Patriot Clock

Well, let's get started then. Since this is new, I thought I'd start with the project I just finished. This is the "Patriot" clock. The patterns I used came from Mr. Steve Good over at Scrollsaw workshop. You really ought to check him out at .

I actually used two of his patterns here. The top three layers was actually his "Patriot" clock. Then I added my own clock face design and used his POW/MIA pattern for the base section. Then I used stencils to put "pride" and "honor" on the sides of that. The entire thing is made of mahogany and stands forty inches tall. It took about twenty hours to complete. It can be bought at .

As usual for me, this clock was a pleasure to make. There are times when I'm doing good (healthwise) that my wife will walk over to the shop around midnight to find out if I'm coming home. She asks, "Are you married to me, or the wood?"

I love all types of scrolling and fretwork. I must admit though that clocks are my favorite. I think that is so because they are something that when I'm done I get one of two responses. Some who don't know much about scrolling want to know how I get all those little holes in there. Then I get to proudly show a little demonstration of the scrollsaw. Then again, other simply say WOW. That always makes me beam with pride. I hope you enjoy the things I post here. Check back often. When I take breaks from the shop, or when I'm down, I'll post all I can here.

Introductions Please

This is my first post on my new blog. I have no idea what I'm doing. However, everyone keeps telling me I need to get on the internet. I am much more comfortable in my wood shop than I am on the computer. I've decided though that it's time to give it a whirl. I hope someone out there on the world wide web maybe can get some use out of my ramblings.

I'll be posting updates to all my latest projects. I'll certainly post photos of finished projects. I will try to also occasionally post some of projects in progress. If anyone has questions on how to do something, please ask. I'll help if there is any way I can.

Questions can be sent to .

You can buy some of my finished projects at .