Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Remembrance for Master Lowe


My last semester at the Furniture Institute of Massachusetts (FIM) was in 2006. Unfortunately, I reached a place where I realized I was not able to pay for my last semester of school, despite working full time while also going to school. I was faced with making what felt like an impossible decision: pack up and return home, meaning I would not graduate; or, become homeless, so I could use my rent money towards FIM. I approached Phil, hoping we could come up with a payment plan so I could remain his student. I believe that Phil saw the stress in my eyes and my passion for remaining at FIM. Shortly thereafter, he called me into his office and he told me that he wanted me to finish. He made me an offer I could never refuse, and for which I will always be grateful. Phil asked me to work for him, generously putting 50% of every job on which I worked towards my balance for the semester. Phil made a personal sacrifice in not having my tuition up front, in order to continue fostering my love for woodworking. Phil Lowe was a master of his craft, an outstanding teacher, and above all, a truly generous man. 


Saturday, April 11, 2020

Weatherizing an entry door.

Last few years many clients have been inquiring if there is anything that can be done to help seal the gaps around their entry doors. The reason for this request is due to the lost of heat and cold coming in and escaping from the home. Unfortunately there isn't many great options out there in the market but that changed once I noticed an article in Fine Homebuilding and an episode on This Old House. 

Let me introduce to you the corning tool that fits in a corner and cuts a groove for plastic membranes of a variety diameters to fill almost all gaps around the door. All the information regarding tooling and membranes can be found at conservation technologies and the company is located in Connecticut. Below you will find a few images of the recent install I did for a client. The process takes about 15-20 mins to do but the investment is well over $500 dollars for all the membrane sizes and tooling.  In the end its worth knowing that you can seal your entry door properly and save money. 

Friday, April 3, 2020

Cleaning Wood Work

A common question asked is what would I recommend to clean woodwork? My response for years is start with Dawn soap and warm water, wipe the item with a cotton t-shirt type material. If you need to scrub the item, then I would use a series of scotch-brite starting at grey and work your way to red and then green for extra coarse.

Another product I recommend for areas really dirty that is going to get stripped is Dirtex. Just follow the directions on the box and use scotch-brite. Its amazing how well Dirtex works.  Once down scrubbing wipe everything down, let the area dry for a day, and then continue with the refinishing process.

I hope this helps.


Friday, July 5, 2019

Door Restoration

Often a picture is worth a thousand words. 

In my career I am always trying to stay ahead of the "game" or find a niche that others don't have interest in or is in high demand. Well restoring entry doors is a niche and is in high demand. While I love furniture and have a shop full of it numbers are a telling tale. My numbers have informed my restoring doors, stairs, windows, and architectural details is where I should be. So this is where my business is heading and I couldn't be happier. 

Above you can see how the doors came in to the shop on the left and how the doors are looking on the right. These doors needed preserving and I am happy for the opportunity. 


Sunday, May 6, 2018

Industrial Storage Racks

Well I never thought I would need a storage rack of this magnitude. But here I am. This racking system is rated for 2300 pounds per shelf, measures 42 inches in depth, 12 feet in height, and 16 feet +/- in length. This is rack number 3 for shop storage. But its the first metal version in the racking system. I wish I could say this would be the last of them, but realistically I need another wall full. Except that wall will be 30 inches in depth and will run at least 16 feet in length as well. 

 This is the trailer that was used to haul the load from NH. I am very grateful beyond words for the kindness of my friend Brian. A relationship developed from my wood lathe purchase. This is Brian's trailer and it worked like a dream. Thank you Brian!

 Strapped and loading. Happy to say the racks didn't weigh much. I think 5 toddlers can move the racks without supervision. We didn't have any toddlers to help but if we did we didn't have the space or booster seats. So that meant Brian and I had to move them. It took about 15 mins to load! It was amazing.
This is Brian! As always prepared and ready to help! Again thank you Brian. Lets hope I convince him to help in the next load.


Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Its all in the details....

There is something special about old stair cases in a home. I love the overall statue, the details, and the overall construction. Its easy to see why these stair cases have lasted so long! Today sadly the majority of the stair cases are being made or restored to a lower quality. 

Can you blame the contractors? My answer is yes and no. Some contractors simply don't know how the makers of the past made stairs, or simply there isn't enough money in the budget. But if there is a budget to restore a stair case than I think they must make them how they once were versus simply toe nailing balusters in place and making round tenons. 

Below you will find a stair case with dovetailed balusters. Its simply a thing of beauty. I was luck to bid on this job but sadly I didn't get the job because the contractor didn't budget the cost and necessary work involved. 

But I am happy to say that I was able to educate the contractor and now he will have me bid on staircases before hand. Today my interest in the woodworking world is more in houses and architectural details. While I love furniture there is more money in house work and for me to continue  living the dream I must do what I can to save the pass and make money as small business. 

If you have a staircase that needs a little TLC, than contact me. I will happily travel to the site if the money is right. 


Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Sanding Block

Sanding, some of us hate it while others so call love it. Either way we need to do it. So why not sand comfortably with Time Saver Tools, Preppin Weapon Sanding Blocks.  The blocks came to my attention by furniture maker Clark Kellogg from Texas. These blocks were in the back ground of an image on Instagram. Well one day while strolling through Woodcraft Supply I found this sanding block on the shelf. Once in my hand I knew why Clark loved them. Now I wanted them! 

This lead me to find them online and buy every color. Why all the colors? Well I can set them all up with different grits. The coarsest is red and the finest is blue. The color line up is red, yellow, green, and blue. The blocks feel amazing in my hands and I can happily say these are a great investment and a joy to use. 

I may even say I like sanding. Ha! Yeah right. Well at least my hands don't hurt as much anymore.