Wood Working

My daughter and I making her Mom a present (2004)

The Early Years

My father was always handy around the house and I owe much of my abilities to him. My father had a wood shop and it seemed he could make almost anything. At a young age my Uncle Daryl made a work bench for me and my maternal grandfather made me a tool box and filled it with a few tools. By the time I was in high school I could take on most home projects around the house. In fact I can remember my father having the materials to panel my parent's bedroom delivered to our house. My total direction was "panel the bedroom".

Middle Years

I Built this Wooden Rocking Horse For My Daughter (2001

For years I could not do much wood working as I did not own a house to put a wood shop in. In this time I did manage to build an N gauge train set inside a glassed top coffee table that I made.

Later the New Yankee Workshop series was aired on PBS. This opened a whole new appreciation of wood working for me.

Now I have learned to appreciate just how much hand tools can be better and faster than power tools from watching Roy Underhill thanks again to PBS. I am however not a hand tool purist.


N Gauge Model Train in Wooden Coffee Table

I now have a pretty complete wood shop with decent mid-level tools. I often wish that my father could have had the opportunities I have, and wonder what he might have accomplished if he had. I have made numerous pieces of furniture for our house in addition to refurbishing many older pieces of furniture. I have also made many Christmas gifts for my family and friends. The time I spend in my wood shop are almost always rewarding and fun.

Some Other Wood Projects

These were made in multiples for Christmas and Birthday gifts

Aluminium and Walnut candle sticks (1974)

I cut the aluminium in the collage machine shop

Biplane toys (1988 1997)

How could a pilot not make these? The original plans are from Sunset - Woodworking Projects II p.54.

Heart Shaped Baskets
Heart Shaped Shelves
Toy Box
Toy Boxes (1994 & 1999)

The original plans are from Creative Home Press - Children's Toys and Furniture p. 56.

Wood and Ceramic Trivets
Crayon Holders

Shaped like a Cargo Boat. Unfortunately this one has had the Smoke stack knocked off. Well at least it's getting used.

Turned Christmas Ornaments (1996)

This photo was taken in 2014. It is noticeable to even the color-blind that there is significantly less contrast between the Cherry and the Black Walnut now then there was 20 years ago.

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Music Banks (1996 & 2004)
Stilts (1996 & 2004)
Wooden Blocks
Wooden Blocks (1996)
Circus Train
Circus Trains (1996)
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Barbie Armoire (1996)

Note the Raised Panels The original plans are from Better Homes and Gardens - Wood Weekend Toy Projects You Can Make p.90.

Doll Cradles (1997)

Make your toys strong they are not always used the way you intended. I probably modified the original plans from Better Homes and Gardens - WOOD: Favorite Toys You Can Make p.5.

Pen and Pencil Sets (1997)
Ring Holders (1998)

The wood came from a tree in my Mother's yard which was taken down by a tornado.

Wooden Book Ends (1997)

I sandblasted each person's initials into these Wooden Book Ends.

Business Card Holders
Wooden Picture Frames (1998)

Model Aircraft Plywood provides the appearance of additional laminations.

Jelly Bean Machines (1998)

All the fun of watching things fall, noise and Candy. The original plans are from Better Homes and Gardens - Wood: Kids' Projects You Can Make p.76.

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Cross Puzzles (1998)

The original plans are from New Book of Puzzles: 101 Classic and Modern Puzzles to Make and Solve p.48.

Barbie Beds (1999)

And Grandma made Mattresses and pillows for all! The original plans are from Better Homes and Gardens - Wood Weekend Toy Projects You Can Make p.76.

Replicas of Father's Toy (1999)

The original was one of the few toys to play with at my Grandmother's house. I attached the note on the bottom of each copy.

Bookmarks and Matching Letter Openers(1999)

Needed a project to use the ideas in this book Laminated Designs in Wood.

Slotted Boxes to hold CD's
wooden puzzle
Wooden Burr Puzzles

Imagine the fun making all these separate parts for 20 copies. The original plans are from Puzzles Old and New: How to Make and Solve Them p.74.

Rubber band Gun
5 shot Rubber Band Guns

Each comes with a bag of 500 rubbers bands. All of the kids (including Myself) had a grand time. The parents - Not so much.

Puzzle Within A Puzzle

A 3d jigsaw puzzle trapped within a Burr puzzle. This picture was of a prototype I found in my attic. I was unable to find a photo of a finished version.

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Two sided Game Boards
Rubber Band Dragsters (1999)

Not the best design, the wheels tend to slip, putting wide rubber bands on the wheels also helps get a little better traction. The original plans are from Better Homes and Gardens - Wood Weekend Toy Projects You Can Make p.42.

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Base Ball Equipment Wall Racks (2000 & 2004)

The original plans are from Creative Home Press - Children's Toys and Furniture p.68.

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Screw Your Buddy Games (2002)

This is my version of a game I played as a teen at a girlfriend's house. In addition to moving your piece around you also can move sections of the board you (or your opponents) are playing on! They actually had two versions, One I remember as being called 36 squares The other had a plumbing theme.

I can no longer find a reference to either on the web. The other had something to do with plumbing.

Potporri box
Pot-pourri Bowls (2004)

A neighbour cut down a Magnolia tree, these were inside just dying to get cut out.

Tops (199? & 2004)

These were made before I had a lathe, by chucking them in a drill press and using a wood rasp and sandpaper.

Vases (2006)

The wood for the base is from the same tree as the ring holders above.

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Slide Puzzles (2007)

Similar plans are in Wonders in Wood: 46 Puzzles and Other Novelties to Make and Solve p.25. The original plans are from Ortho - Building Children's Wooden Toys p.84.

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Three Piece Puzzles (2009)

The inspiration came from woodgears. You can find an interesting pdf about puzzles at I recently discovered I already had the plans in Puzzles Old and New: How to Make and Solve Them p.82.

Name Signs (2010)

Routed with a Panto-graph over a picture from the web.

Christmas Trivets
Trivets (2012)

These trivets are reversible, one side for Christmas and the other monogrammed side for the rest of the year.

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Cookies Stamps (2013)

The idea came from

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Puzzle-25 (2014)

Robs puzzle Page, The Giant Puzzle Search for "Giant Puzzle" after following the link. Improved on this design linked from above? Creative Craft House

16 copies of Puzzle-25 in the shop

Winter Sign (2016)

You can learn more about how I made this Winter Sign HERE I really liked the background image. Eventually I hope to do signs like this for other seasons.

A few one offs

SGS 1-23 Model (1982)

I made this from scratch after ordering the full scale plans from Schweizer Aircraft

Note the paint scheme is an older one than from the pictures on my Soaring Page.

1986_Christmas_Light_Holder (~1986)

I just love the tangled lights bit in the movie "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation." I don't quite have 25,000 lights but I do have enough to create a storage issue. I borrowed the design that was used at a glider-port I used to work at.

Note only one notch to catch the plug at the beginning of the strand of lights and two notches to catch the end of the strand.


A friend at work was interested in learning about wood working and asked me to help him learn. He picked this shelf as a project, so I decided to make one for myself and use it for demonstration.

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Heart Music Box (1995)

I like to get the traditionally themed anniversary gifts, This year was wood

Grandfather Clock
Grandfather Clock

Made from a kit from Emperor Clock) At this early stage it was truly a learning experience in furniture making.

End Table
End Table (1997)

I made two of these.

Plant Stand
Matching Plant Stand (1997)
Cherry Shelves

I made seven of these. The design was borrowed from Ethan Allen, I decided I could make them cheaper

Stained glass light box

I made this box to protect my stained glass inserts for my Stained Glass Lamppost.

Child's Wooden Puzzles

Of course my princess is deserving of wooded framed puzzles I started with big pieces and then cut them into smaller pieces as my daughter grew up. Mark the backs so you know which piece belongs to which puzzle.

Child's Trivet

My daughter received this Trivet as a gift She "drew" on it with special crayons and then it was baked It is now a little worse for wear Later I added the inlay wooden frame

Christmas Sign

When your daughter asks you to make a sign, you make a sign I used a mail-order full size pattern, but not sure from where

Computer Stand

Comes apart for storage. Sorry this is the best Picture I could find and it is now disassembled in the attic. This is the right side I got the inspiration from a laminated park bench I once saw in Disney World many years ago.

Mickey Shelf

Sometimes little girls just dont have enough space on their bed for all their stuffed animals. I used a cookie cutter for the Mickey router pattern

Mail Box (2001 +)

Norm Abram suggested any woodworker worth his sawdust would make his own Mail Box. Here is my version Like a magnet, it was hit by a car (and repaired) in less than 1 month after making it

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Folding Doll House (2002)

Original Plans were only for the house but when your little girl bats her eyes at you and asks for a garage too ... Now it's nearly a puzzle to get it all in the box

Toy Shelf 1 (2003)

Hard to see but custom monogram and a certain mouse's ears. (made using a Pantograph.)

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Toy Shelf 2 (2004)

Hard to see but custom monogram and Crowns make this gift fit for my Princess. (Made with a Pantograph.)

Swing (2004)

Bow, arrow and lots of rope make this swing high enough to measure the period in seconds A hurricane got the tree but the swing still lives in another tree.

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Princess Crown and Matching Valances (2004)

I steamed and glued up the wood before cutting the form out. A friend did the fabric work

Balance Beam (2004)

Every Princess Gymnast should have one in her home. Covered with leather and the legs are designed to come off for storage. Note the engraving in the middle

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Butterfly Music Box (2004)

I gifted this unpainted and then let my daughter paint it. This was made before I had a CNC router. I used the pantograph again.

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American Girl Bed (2002)

Grandma did the pillows, linen and the canopy (not shown). I made the canopy so it could come off for play, but it comes off a little too easy

Fret Work Corner Shelf
Skittles Game

Made at that time in a little girls life when Pink and Purple rule Here are the Plans for Skittles Game

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Pocahontas Barbie Canoe

How to over-do a school project with a scrap of wood and the proper tools

Aquarium Stand
Aquarium Stand

Made to match another Ethan Allen piece of furniture in both style and finish. By the way Sherwin Williams has/had the stain (by name)!

Three Bin Hamper
Three Bin Hamper

Pre-sort Towels, whites, colored's. Made to match the bedroom furniture set in style and color. I would say the curves on the panels could have been scaled better

lidded box
Lidded Box
Candy Machine
Triple Candy Machine
2008_12_25_American_Girl_Doll_Tree_House_2 American Girl Doll Tree House
American Girl Doll Tree House(2008)
Barbie Doll Gazebo
Barbie Doll Gazebo (2009)

Marble Machine

One day a co-worker sent me a dangerous Youtube link which I traced back to Mattias Wandels's Woodworking site. Be sure to see the videos for both of his marble machines!

I never should have opened it. Well any-ways many months later here is my attempt. My only possible contribution to the art is that no cover is required on the front of the (vertical) lift wheel. I accomplished this by a second drilling in each hole at an angle.

My wife was quite upset with the time I used making this, I on the other hand found it to be a lot of fun.

Marble Machine Marble Machine
Marble Machine (2009)

To see a video of my marble machine just click on this link, Marble Machine Video
NOTE: Requires Windows Media or other .wmv compatible player.

Slinky Machine

Not content my co-worker then sent me this link about a year later. Slink-o-Matic

My attempt is below.

Slinky Machine Slinky Machine
Slinky Machine (2010)

To see a video of the my slinky machine just click on this link, Slinky Machine Video
NOTE: Requires Windows Media or other .wmv compatible player.

1st Gift
A New Yankee candle holder for my wife (2011)

My 1st Real CNC router project. The back side is tapered and I did that on my lathe

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Perry the Platapult (2011)

When a little girl ask for something what's a father to do? Here is the story of Perry the Platapult.

This is my version of these Plans. I didn't like the stress on the legs of the original design so I added a cap that flips with dowel pins to become the fulcrum.

Router bit holder
Router bit holder(2012)

The router bit holder fits in the top drawer of the CNC Router Cart. It allows me to organize the bits by type and holds the router wrenches and the setup gauge. Besides I needed a project to play with my new CNC router

EAR Coaster Bill Coaster
Shop Coasters (2012)

When my daughter and I work around the house our drinks end up on top of the tool box. Condensation was rusting my tool box, so I made these coasters. Note the rims which catch the condensation and they are magnetic so the top of the tool box can be opened without them falling off. My daughter's shows her interest in dance, religion, theatre, music and education. Mine shows my interests in navigation, soaring, parachuting, sailing and ham radio.

Tie Hanger (2012)

I like to have ties for most holidays, why buy a hanger when you can use up half a day making one?

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Tombo (2012)

Making a wooden geared clock has been on my bucket lists for too many years.

This project from David Atkinson's site provided the confidence to make wooden gears to pursue that project.

sword Crystal_Sword
Crystal Sword (2013)

My daughter is into Cosplay. So I helped her make this sword from Adventure Time Fionna and Cake episode season 3 episode 7. We improvised the plans from the png on the right. We got this from Fionna's_sword.

Wooden Geared Clock

Clock Overview
Wooden Geared Clock (2013)

Clock Closeup
Wooden Geared Clock Close up (2013)

I studied the plans from many sites before deciding to make the Genesis clock from Clayton Boyer

I wanted:

In addition an informal study of the web found more successful clocks built from his designs than anyone else's. Although Clayton provides DXF files for this clock he does not provide them for his other designs, therefore I chose to use his paper plans. I purchased the plans the cheapest way I could from ScrollSaw Magazine

I scanned the pages into pdf and traced and repeated using Vectric Vcarve Pro software which came with my CNC router. The reason for this was not just to save a few bucks but to prove to myself I could do the same for his other clock plans which have no dxf files available.

Train Whistle (2013)

This whistle is driven by my air compressor. I got my inspiration from several places Instructables ehow I found that the tones are very uneven if I used a cross fitting instead of a T fitting where the compressed air comes in. Kids and child-like adults love it. Not so sure about the neighbours

Carved Chain with Ball in a Box (2015)

I always wanted to do a carving like this since I was a boy in the Boy Scouts. Back then I just cut myself to ribbons using cheap dull tools and a large lack of knowledge. I drafted this plan before I started.

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Band Saw Insert (2015)

As you can see by the pictures the original red insert for my Delta model 28-195 band saw was way overdue for replacement. I was unable to find a replacement on the Web.
  <RANT ON >

I really have enjoyed my band saw, it is easy to use and tune up. But I feel it is poorly supported as precisely the parts that I have needed to replace are the parts that are no longer available. For me this was the insert and the tires.


I managed to buy non-OEM tires that almost fit at Peachtree Woodworking Supply.

If you happen to have the same model band saw and have a cnc mill using Vectric software then this link will lead you to the .crv that I used. Bandsaw_insert.crv

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Carved Interlocking rings (2015) Jig to hold Interlocking rings while carving

I really enjoyed making the carved ball and chain so I decided to do another carving. It did not take long to realize a holding jig could be really useful to take out some loads while carving. I drafted a plan before I started this project also.

If you feel the need to really get carried away with this type of thing check out this book: Woodcarving Magic

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Eliza-de-Ville Nutcracker (2015) Inspiration for Eliza-de-Ville Nutcracker

My family really enjoys going to see the Nutcracker Ballet. Over the years my daughter has created quite a collection which we display at Christmas time. I have always wanted to make a nutcracker for my daughter but wasn't sure what I could do different from all the others she has. One day I saw a picture of her in a play as "Cruella de Vil" in a new light.

Wooden Arrow Through Glass Bottle (2015)

No Glue was used!

I originally got the idea for this from Puzzles Old and New: How to Make and Solve Them.

Jerry Slocum puts this puzzle in the "Impossible" Category and provides no solution or method to make it. Neither will I.

Air Horn (2016)

Like the Train Whistle, this Horn also makes the neighbours happy. The police came once but were obviously looking for a truck and drove right pass. Time to look innocent and close the garage door. Also driven by my air compressor. These links should give you all the information you need to make your own... The Blaster Fog Horn. Be sure to make tubes of different lengths to get a beat frequency going.

Play Dough Pattern and Carved Knot (2016)

I guess I'll just keep carving for a while. I used play dough to create the pattern this time. It got pretty dry by the time I got around to taking the photo so it cracked it a couple of places. If you put it back in the box with a little water it becomes quite usable again.

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Hand Relief Carved Mickey surfing (2016) Mickey surfing Clip Art

I think this looks nice out by the pool. I copied the clip art from a web search to word, sized it and printed it on a laser printer. I then transferred the pattern onto the wood blank with a hot iron. I didn't bother to flip the image as there is no text. In retrospect I should have because the location I chose to hang it now has Mickey heading away from the poll rather than towards it

These books were of help to learn how to do a relief carving: Relief Carving in Wood , Wood Carving Techniques. I prefer the first one.

Organic dish (2017)

Although I have no skills in this area, I was feeling a need for a design that is more organic. It is intended to be more of an art piece than to fill some functional need. Note that the plane of the rim is is not parallel with the plane on which the dish sets, and the organic pattern is recessed within that plane.

Scherk (2018)
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Original Scherk Plan Front View (2016) Original Scherk Plan Side View (2016)
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Plywood templetes made by glueing plans and then cutting out (2017) I modified a spade bit to help remove material (2018)
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The cut out from the stump and off the Lathe with two sacrifical blocks glued on (2017) Some waste material removed by drilling with Fostner bits (2017)

A friend gave me part of a Mahogony stump he cut from his back yard.

I found these wonderful wood turning projects while browsing the web and decided to try to make my own. Not the best work I have ever done, but I got a lot of carving practice.

I made a set of plans using my cnc's Vectric Vcarve Pro Software. But decided to add the sprials which of course made me make the holes smaller and a add more of them per column.

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Wonky Shot Glass Holder (2018)

A felt a need to dress up my promised Wonky Shot Glass from my Glass blowing 101 Class. This carving is the result. Its made from the same wood as the Scherk above. My design has a little to much short grain in the palm leaves.

Shop Furniture

I work in my garage, but still want to be able to put two cars in when not working. I have built (kind of) matching shop furniture to help facilitate this.

Radial Arm Saw Cart

This was my 1st piece of shop furniture. I added the leveling jacks later to overcome the drooping of the unsupported table.

Storage Cabinets

A friend gave me a bunch of plywood from a failed political campaign she worked on. Among other things I used them for a lot of my shop furniture. The doors are not hinged but have tabs at the bottom and a clasp at the top so that I can get limited access by removing them up and sideways when my car is also in the garage.


I cinched out on the material for the top and used yellow pine 2x4's. I made the top in 3 sections which can be removed to run through my thickness planner. I have not yet found a need to do so. The bench is not on wheels and is a pain to move when I paint the floor, but I find this preferable to having my work surface move on me.

Lathe Table

A matching way cover allows my sanders to be stored on top when the Lathe is not in use.

Lathe Manual

Five tool rolling cart

Even when I was younger moving these "Bench Tools" to/from storage could be a hernia operation. I still have to get on my knees to run the thickness planer but being able to simply wheel out the cart is much worth it. Planning the layout so work pieces and tools do not interfere took some time.

CNC Router

I recently added a Next Wave Automation CNC Shark Router to my wood working shop. There are many different systems available, the major differentiators in my search were

1st Test Project
My 1st Test Project (2011)

This is my Hardware equivalent of software "Hello World"

CNC Cart
CNC Router Cart (2012)

The Cart I made to hold the new CNC Router. The cart has a pull out work area accessible from the front or the back, three drawers, a doubled doored cabinet area for storage and electronics self in the back. I hope to add a dust/sound cover in the future.

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Shop Sign (2011)

Every real shop should have its own sign, this is my version. The model for the engraving is on the right


I developed a process for making sandblasting masks using my CNC router. You can learn more about this process HERE


Below are place holders until I get the Photos