Thursday, July 13, 2017

Shop essentials- "Rags"

Shop rags are very handy items. I have 70 pounds or so in the shop. I use them for finishing, dusting, waxing, wiping sharpening grit and grime, cleaning up furniture or glue.  But finding quality and consistent rags that don't cost you an arm and a leg is a different discussion. Or is it? For years I would buy quality rags, 5 pounds $25 dollars. I thought this was a great deal since the rags were all the same size and the quality was great. Come to find out the rags were way over priced. So I went to the big box stores for rags to save a buck. Boy was that a mistake.   

So a few years ago when I was visiting a school I noticed they had cases of rags. The instructor at the school noticed me looking at the rag box and said take some we have tons. I felt I had to take some since I already spent almost $500 on rags that year already. As I always say anything to save me some money.  While grabbing a hand full of rags I noticed a shipping label that said Textile Waste Supply Company. 

It didn't take long for me to google the company and find the company headquarters. The information can be seen below in image one.  I bet you can guess where I  purchase my recycled high cotton count sheet rags and t-shirt rags in 5 pound billets today. Lets just say the savings are just amazing. 

If you are in the market to save money and need quality rags than I highly recommend Textile Waste Supply Company in Charlestown MA. 

Happy Wiping. 

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Parlee Lumber and Box Co.- Thank you.

I often hear many woodworkers complaining about lumber mills/yards becoming fewer and fewer. I always smirked and said I don't have to worry about that. Or so I thought. Sadly one of the oldest, if not oldest mill in New England is closing down. The company has been around for about 250 years and located in Littleton MA. Once called Parlee Lumber and Box Co. a family owned lumber yard and a staple for all craftspeople in New England. 

The lumber mainly sold at Parlee was Eastern White Pine but if you knew them well like I did,  than you would know that they also had Walnut, Cherry, Birch, and Maple in the way back hidden for the best customers. I was lucky and honored enough to be called a great customer. But I really think I got to become a great customer because of the respect I had for the yard. I always stacked the racks just as good or better than I found them, and I always paid respects to the workers.   

The pine available was either air dried or kiln dried. In C select or D Select. Clear one side. But they also offered pine mulch, tongue and groove, shipped lapped, stakes, live edge, table top cuts, and 40 inch wide 20 feet long. It was amazing what the mill had. 

But sadly it all comes to an end in a month or so. Which is depressing. What will replace it? Most likely crappy condos, townhouses, or possibly poorly built homes without any character or proper proportions.   

What also saddens me is the marking of a second lumber yard that has disappeared locally. Where does that leave me or should I say us? Well now I am like many others starting to complain that I need to travel at least an hour each way to get my lumber. Soon even that will disappear. What are we truly suppose to do as craftspeople if our sources of supply are disappearing?  But what is worst is the quality of lumber is shrinking and the prices are doubling.  

Sunday, July 9, 2017

My favorite sideboard

My inspirations for form, style, and proportions come from the pass. I love the sideboard seen below but sadly its in storage and hasn't seen the light in many years, which I find ridiculous. I'm pretty familiar with the form and construction of this piece but can't get into the details of it due to a contract I signed. Which is another ridiculous story.  But I am hoping to get access to this piece in the near future and bring it to life by making a reproduction of all the awesome details.



Object Place: New York City, New York


Overall: 100 x 205.1 x 78.7 cm (39 3/8 x 80 3/4 x 31 in.)




Mahogany ,satinwood inlays, pine, poplar (?)


1928, Harry V. Weil, dealer; 1920s, Israel Sack, dealer; sold to Edward R. Fearing (private collector); ca. 1962, reacquired by the Sack firm; later acquired by Lewis Cabot; by descent to the donor, Mrs. Judy Cabot Bullitt, 120 East End Ave., New York (Accession Date September 13, 1978)

Credit Line

Gift of the Lewis P. Cabot Family

Chest on Chest in The MFA Boston

Design and carving attributed to Samuel McIntire (American, 1757–1811)

Object Place: Salem, Massachusetts


Overall: 229.6 x 118.7 cm (90 3/8 x 46 3/4 in.)




Mahogany, mahogany veneer, ebony and satinwood inlay, pine


James and Darcy Marsh Gallery (Gallery 121D)

A masterpiece of American furniture, this is likely the “Case of mahogany drawers $55” listed in the inventory as being in “Madame Derby’s” bedchamber. The carving is indicative of McIntire’s late career, when his skills were at their height. The central basket brimming with flowers and the allegorical figure of America appear elsewhere in his carving, as do the urns, which relate to his carving above the door in the Oak Hill parlor. Elizabeth Derby’s interest in the neoclassical style, in symbols of America, and in preserving the traditions of her distinguished family is clear in this chest. The overall form-inspired by eighteenth-century, Rococo case furniture-also relates to other examples of this form purchased from Boston and Salem craftsmen by members of the Derby family.


Said to have been made for Elizabeth Derby West; by descent in the Derby family of Salem to the Curtis family of Boston; purchased in 1939 for the M. and M. Karolik Collection of Eighteenth-Century American Arts from nine members of the Curtis family, including Miss Frances G. Curtis; Gift of Maxim Karolik, 1941.

Monday, July 3, 2017

MakerCast Podcast Interview

A couple weeks ago I had the honor to partake in one of my favorite podcast, The MakerCast podcast. The podcast is hosted by Jon Berard a machinist who dives into craftspeople pass and current journey in world of makers. Its a great podcast and one I highly recommend.  The current episode is about me, my journey, my schooling, my business, my struggles, and much more. Please give it a listen and let me know what you think. Here is the link: