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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Happy Holidays

I wish to take this moment to wish you all a very happy holidays. This includes Thanksgiving and Christmas. What I am about to post is not meant to offend anyone. It is coming from my heart and stem purely from my personal beliefs. If you are offended by religion, please, stop reading now. I'd rather you not read my words than to be offended by my religious beliefs. I am in no way offended by anybody else's beliefs, or lack thereof. All I ask in return is that exact same tolerance and freedom to express mine.
As you sit down to you Thanksgiving feast this year, please say a prayer and give thanks for all that you have in your life. We enjoy the food, the family, and the good memories. That's what we take from this holiday. Leave something too though. Leave thanks for what you have.
I'm not talking about material things either. Some of us sometimes forget what is important in life. We focus on material possessions, cars, houses, and the latest and greatest technologies so much that we forget that these things mean nothing in this short thing we call life. I forget too sometimes that I am the richest man in the world. I don't have a lot of money. I don't drive a new car. I rent my house. I am by no measuring stick financially rich. I have a loving wife though and eight kids. That, my friends, by my own measuring stick, makes me the richest man in the world. For that, I give thanks this year.
There was a time when I never wanted to settle down and get married. I definitely didn't want kids. I was worried about my next dollar, my next drink, my next smoke, my next whatever material thing that I needed at the time to fill my empty soul. None of it ever made me happy though. Then God blessed me with a very large family through the course of life and its unexpected twists and turns. It's taken a long hard road to get to where I am today. At least half my life is gone and I can now look around me and see what is truly important, family.
So, if you have little else but family this year, stop what you are doing. Watch that family. If there are kids, just stop everything else. Put the cell phone or computer down. Watch the kids play. If they come up to you, look deep into their eyes and see the love and admiration there. See that, for this very short time, you are their everything, their world. Enjoy this before it's too late, because it doesn't last forever. Be thankful for here, now, and the things that truly make life worth living. It will all be gone in a whisper, but thank God I have them right now.
Did you notice that I highlighted Christ in that word above? I done so because I believe that is the true meaning of Christmas. I am not a fanatic who judge people badly because do the whole Santa Claus bit. It's fun for the kids. I have decorations right now in my yard I have been putting up. Out there, you'll see Santa Claus, snowmen, reindeer, the whole bit. My favorite decoration though is the nativity scene. It is a reminder of what is quickly being lost with today's commercialized Christmas.
If you are of the same beliefs as I, take time this Christmas to pray. Remember what Christmas was supposed to represent. It is a celebration. Overlook all the signs you'll surely see with Christ crossed out of the holiday name. Forget about the people who celebrate a religious holiday for reasons that ave nothing at all to do with religion. Remember the words. It is not our duty to judge or dictate. However, it is our duty to educate.
For the last three years I have had at least one of my kids come to me and ask the true meaning of Christmas. I am thrilled that I can sit down and explain this to them. I pray that one day they will tell their own kids. By that time, there may be little or no mention of Christ or Jesus when talking about holidays. In the present, you can still go into stores and see the word Christmas, but notice how quickly it is disappearing in favor of signs that say only Xmas, or Holidays. For those of you who believe in CHRISTMAS though, don't forget that if we don't do our job and educate our little one's, this too, will be lost in time.

Between health issues and just not being able to stay caught up lately, I have not worked on a woodworking project in over a week. What little I may or may not do between now and the first of the year will be based on my health and time, and will not be much I'm afraid. So I do want to take this time to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year.
If I do have any small project, or projects send by readers, such as Willy B., I will post them. Other than that, I hope all of you who send me the kind emails will continue reading in 2012. Thank you for reading. You are welcome to click on the comment button below and leave a comment. This is something I really want to work on more, is getting reader's to participate in my blog more. While I deeply appreciate all your kind emails, if you really want to help me, I encourage all readers to comment more on my posts publicly. It is easy to do. All you have to do is click below any post that interests you. It is the spot where it lists the number of comments, which currently is usually zero. You can even leave a comment as anonymous if you do not have a google account.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Lord's Prayer Plaque

The Lord's Prayer plaque is another from The Berry Basket website. You can find the plans for it here if you'd like to make your own.

It measures twenty three inches wide and twenty eight inches tall. It is made out of cottonwood except for the accent pieces, which are made of mahogany. The backer board is stained with Minwax Dark Walnut stain. The scroll work, lettering, and accent pieces are glued one. Then the entire project is finished with Minwax Clear Gloss Lacquer.

I did make a change to this plaque from the design. The angels that are supposed to adorn the side trim look real pretty on paper, but not so much after I cut them. That happens sometimes in scrolling. So I cut some different angels out of a pattern book I have. I didn't like the way they fit with the rest of the plaque though. So I wound up in the end making some simple crosses for the project. Sometimes, in my opinion, simple works best.

Kleenex Box Holder

Here is a Kleenex Box Holder that was made by our friend Willy B.

He made it for his mother-in-law. It is made out of quarter inch oak plywood. It is lined in pink. He got the pattern from Wildwood Designs.

Thank you for showing us more of your work Willy. I sure appreciate your participation in contributing to my blog. Send more projects any time you like.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

John 3:16 Plaque

This is another plaque from the Berry Basket Collection. You can order the plans for it here. It is twenty two inches tall at the middle, and twenty three inches wide. When you order the plans for this, they come in PDF format for easy printing and are instantly available at the time of payment. So there is no waiting anxiously for hard copies to come in the mail. All the patterns are drawn full size. All you have to do is print off the file and go to work.

The plaque is made entirely of cottonwood. The backer board is stained with Minwax Dark Walnut stain. The border pieces and wording is then cut and glued to the backer board. The entire thing is then finished with Minwax Gloss Lacquer.

This is my second plaque in this style. I recently completed the Psalms plaque. I still have two more that I ordered to cut. These are time consuming project. They are worth it though. As designed, they are well thought out. Most of that time is spent at the scroll saw actually cutting. So I like them. Some long projects effect me in a negative way. I love projects that are time consuming at the scroll saw. That is something I can do.

Monday, October 31, 2011

First Fathers

This portrait, titled First Fathers, is a Jeff Zaffino design. The pattern can be purchased here. It is 11x17" as ordered. I scanned it on the computer and enlarged it to 18x22". I made the frames for this portrait out of white oak.

If anyone would like to know how I enlarge patterns, post in the comments and I will post and entry on how I do it. There are many way to accomplish this. As a matter of fact, most people reading this probably know of better ways than I do get it done. I use a vector based program called Inkscape. If there is interest in it though, I would be glad to point people in the right direction for instructional videos on how to enlarge patterns using Inkscape.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Boat Shelves

This project is a major deviation from my normal routine. First of all, I used the band saw and table saw, but not the scroll saw. Those who keep up with my blog know that I normally figure out a way to use the scroll saw on everything, but not this time. Also, the majority of these are covered in paint. I do not like paint, at all. I use a lot of stain and clear finishes. I have a dislike for paint though.

This four piece set is surprisingly easy to build. They are made from three quarter inch stock and quarter inch plywood. The largest is six feet tall. The smallest one, the curio cabinet style that is designed to hang on the wall, is twenty two inches tall.

If you'd like to build one of these, or all of them, you can order the plans separately or as a set from here. I was going to order just the largest one, but after figuring it up decided it was such a good deal to order the whole set, I figure why not?

The hardest part of building these is coaxing the plywood around the curve of the bottom. After learning from the first one though, the rest were a breeze. I glued and nailed it at the bow of the boat. Then I went and had coffee while giving the glue time to set up and hold it in place. Then I came back and started gluing and nailing while working my way to the transom end. Doing it this way, everything fell right into place with no problems.

I finished the rails and insides with Minwax polyurethane. I let this set overnight and then came back and painted the outside of the boat with interior latex paint.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Canadian Beer Cap Table

Our friend Willy B. appears to have been missing in action for a while. So I was delighted when I saw a message from him. Then I opened the message, downloaded the photos and my delight turned to amazement. I quit drinking years ago. I never thought I'd ever say this, but maybe I need to start back to drinking, Canadian beer, because I want one of these.

Willy B. build this from a plan he seen in Wood Magazine. He modified the top to accommodate the bottle caps upon which he poured liquid plastic over to create a clear, smooth top. He said his sons collected all the bottle caps for him while in the Navy.

The table is made entirely of red oak. The legs can be removed from the table, as they are held on with bolts. The lower part of the legs are four separate pieces that are mitered to look like they are one solid piece.

The last photo shows how the legs are designed to hold a glass or can so it doesn't get knocked off the table. I don't know if this is Willy's design or originally in the plan, but I think it needs to be made taller so that bottles will fit. How else are you going to save enough caps to build another table?

Willy, this is an amazing piece you've created here. Thank you so much for sending the photos. You are welcome to send more any time you want. I am more than happy to feature them here. You do some amazing work.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


"Serenity" is actually originally named "Solitude" from the pattern supplier. However, I find serenity more fitting. You can buy the pattern for it here. It is supposed to be an 11x14" portrait. I enlarged it to be 17x24".

I stack cut this one like I normally do and created three separate portraits. However, I did change something up on this one. I've had some large pieces of white oak under my work bench for some time and haven't really had a need for it. Since I keep bumping into this wood though, I decided to put some of it to use. I made white oak frames for this one. The wood really surprised me. It is so much different in my opinion to work with than red oak.

This portrait went pretty quickly. It only took me about an hour and a half to cut it. It was a delicate piece though. It got very fragile along the thin line of wood that is left between the mountain scene and the reflection on the water area. To make sure I didn't break it, I cut out the reflective part first. I then taped the cut out piece back into the portrait for stability while I cut the mountain part. After that, I just had to be particular careful when sanding everything and framing it.

If I ever cut this one again, I think I will take the time to find a more stable wood to use than luan plywood. While luan is what I always use, it can be nerve racking on fragile pieces such as this one.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Guardian Angel

The Guardian Angel portrait pattern can be purchased here. It is sold as an 11x14 pattern. However, I scanned it and increased the size to 14x17.

Like most of my portrait style cuttings, it is framed in a mahogany frame. It is cut from luan plywood and put over a painted background.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A Subtle Change

Today, I got the second email since I started the blog about someone having difficulties seeing links. One complaint I usually let go unless I can obviously see a problem. With two complaints though, it is time to do something. So, on that note, I had to do some reading. I really had no idea how to fix this problem. I am not so great at website problems. After trying to find a solution for some time, I contacted a guy I know that knows a lot more than I about this. He told me how to fix it and I felt like an idiot when I realized how simply this was accomplished.
So, you may notice that the links are now highlighted in blue.
This means that anything you now see in blue, you can click on to be taken to wherever I linked it too. I provide links when I can to direct people where to get patterns. For example, one of my favorite places to purchase patterns is Wildwood Designs. One of my favorite sources for free patterns is Scrollsaw Workshop. My favorite designer is Dirk Boelman. See how much easier it is to see the links now?
I hope this helps people. Thank you for letting me know. If anyone else has any suggestions, ever, to make my blog better, please let me know.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

23rd Psalms Plaque

This is a plaque of the 23rd Psalms, 1-6. It is made of cottonwood except for the four accent pieces, which are made of mahogany. The backer board is stained with Minwax Dark Walnut stain. Then the entire plaque is finished with Minwax Clear Gloss lacquer.

This plaque measures two feet wide and thirty one inches tall. It is a very time consuming project. However, I found great peace in slowly cutting the words out of such a powerful scripture. Each line of text is cut out individually and then glued to the backer board. I often make more than one project at a time by stack cutting. The lettering on this project is so fragile though, that it is only feasible to do one at a time.

I found the pattern for this project here at the Berry Basket website. This was my first time ordering from this company. The pattern is well designed. It was reasonable priced. The thing I liked best about this company though is the fact that I did not have to wait for my patterns to arrived in the mail. Often I order patterns and just about drive myself crazy with anticipation until they arrive. From this company, you have the option of receiving your patterns online in PDF format.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

"The Coast" Coffee Table

We all love our Moms. Well I wanted to make something with a lighthouse theme for my Mom because she likes them. I was looking for a good pattern when I run across this on the Scroller Ltd. site. You can find the plans for it here if you'd like to build this project yourself.

The table is made out of mahogany. The scenic top is made out of mahogany, oak, cottonwood, and pine. It is made in layers to give it a 3D effect. You can look at my last entry to see the progression of how the layers go together.

I redesigned this table from the plans that were purchased. The plans outline a very well built table. However, I need this to be under a certain size and to be able to be disassembled in order to be transported all the way back to Georgia over the Thanksgiving holidays. Also, I have a temporary lid over the top made out of cottonwood and mahogany with plexi-glass in it. After my parents get it home, they will have to get a piece of plate glass to go on top of it instead of this lid.
For finishing, I finished the scenic top with Polycrylic. I used this because the blue on it was achieved with water based Minwax stain. I needed a water based topcoat to go over this. The rest of the table is finished with five coats of Zinsser clear shellac.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

A Colossal Coastal Project

I haven't posted anything new in a little while. Things have been moving at a snail's pace for me as of late. So I thought I would show you all what I have been working on, slowly but surely.
My Mom likes lighthouses. She lives in another state. I know I'll be seeing her soon and wanted to make her something. I was looking at some of my favorite websites for patterns for a lighthouse portrait to cut when I came across this project. It is called "The Coast" coffee table. You can see or order the plans here at Scroller.
I am making a couple of changes to the project. My Mom and Dad will be visiting in a car and I have to make sure it will be able to be placed in their back seat to make the long trip back to their home. I done the most time consuming part of the coffee table first, making the multi-layered top. The top will be built in layers which will be visible under glass. This will allow the glass to serve as a flat top while showing a 3D appearing coastal scene under it. I guess it is easier to show than explain. So here it is.
The first layer is just a flat piece of wood that I have stained blue with Minwax tinted water based stain. To make sure this stays flat to be a good base for the top, I glued and nailed firring strips on the bottom.
The next layer is made of cottonwood and pine. It includes the light house sitting on cliffs with the sun, clouds, sun and ripples on the water.

Then the next layer is the cliffs in the foreground, a tree, a sail boat, and some of the birds. This layer is cottonwood, pine, and mahogany.
The top layer consists of the rest of the birds, and the posts in front of the foregrounds cliffs. This layer is made of mahogany, oak and cottonwood.

After the top layer is done, a ridge has to built up all the way around to support the wood that will go on top of all this that the glass will sit on.

So this is what my little bit of shop time has been spent on as of late. I will be back to show you the finished coffee table when I can get it done. I hope you all enjoyed the preview.