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  • Pete


So it's been a few weeks since I launched this site and I have yet to post an update or a blog post.

So here it is, a quick summary,or rather, a long rambling account of what I've been up to for the past month or so.

Valentine's flop

The valentine's ring boxes didn't sell particularly well (I sold one to my brother and gifted two others). This was possibly down to my asking prices being too high and the marketing of them. It's hard to sell tactile goods in a virtual market but it is also pointless me selling them at a loss. They were a pain to finish, particularly the iroko ones, hours of sanding, filing and buffing. However, they are now done and sat in a box waiting for another day.

Commissioned wall-mount bottle opener

Off the back of the website launch, I had one commission for a wall-mounted bottle opener similar to the Cheers one on the front page. This one was to be in natural oak with a name, date and the RFU rose emblem.

It should have been a fairly straightforward project, although there were still 6 different machining operations required; board planing, thickness sanding, magnet pocket and hanger routing on the back, engraving, profile cutting and coving. It went well until the final engraving step of the rose emblem where for the first time I had an issue with my x-carve that wasn't "user error". For some reason mid carve it decided to carve straight through part of the design and then carry on as normal. This blip was too noticeable to salvage, in the image below there is a diagonal cut just below the stem which shouldn't be there, so I had to either repeat it or come up with a fix.

Not having another wide flat bit of oak on hand I decided to try carving the emblem on something else and inlaying it over the failed one. I dug out a bit of ebony from my luthiery stash and engraved the rose emblem in this, the effect was quite good but I wanted to try with some epoxy so I filled one gold, one silver and one in red and green.

The results were pretty cool, the black ebony with gold fill looked particularly good with the oak and rustic bronze opener so I inlaid it in the plaque. This was a bit tricky since I'd already completed the surfacing and engraving I couldn't leave it proud and sand flush without damaging the rest of the work so had to try and get it set perfectly without having to sand. I was pretty pleased with the result and the client was also.


The two remaining emblems with be made into keyrings or pendants. On that note I also did some finishing on a bit of scrap walnut that I had epoxy filled a few months back, turning this into 4 unique pendants. This was something I saw on Pinterest and thought I'd have a go at, the rough weather edge has some gold fleck dusted on it, and there is a slight green/blue mica in the clear epoxy to give a northern lights effect. It's quite subtle but they are still quite pretty. More items to add to my "stock".

Timber sales

I have spent several days over the past few months, weighing, measuring and photographing some of the larger boards from my timber haul. These have all been listed on eBay a few times now, and I've sold a few items but it barely scratches the surface! I have had a few enquiries via the website also, typically people seem to want wider boards than I have available. I even had someone contact me through eBay to sell me a large bit of mahogany! As the weather improves I will need to make a plan to unstack and restack the garage in a more methodical way and to catalogue the other 95%.

New tools

In an effort to make the most of the timber I have, I decided I needed to upgrade some tools so spent a fair sum on a large table saw and thickness planer replacing my benchtop planer. This means that I can now work with some of the larger slabs that I have and should also enable me to clean and regularise some of the strip wood for use. This presents its own issue that I now need to make space for these new machines in my garage, which, in turn, requires a full turn out and reorganisation, the building of some new workbenches and a load of storage. Clearly, this will take a bit of time and will put the "workshop" out of action for a while so before I start turning out, I wanted to build a uke. I will continue this in a separate blog post!

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