back in the big stink –

33 degrees

you’ve gotta be kidding me.

summer crawled away but i’d like to welcome you back to theĀ  (unplugged ) woodshop.

lots of wood shavings falling

with ideas churning…

i thought i’d share some of the past 7 weeks with you-

my wife and i celebrated our 10th anniversary this summer and marked a decade of renovations on our home in cape breton.

what a better way to spend our summer,

working together,

hammers in hand-

our hearts in the family tree that we nurture.

from the sand castle smiles on our childrens faces

to each and every nail driven through cedar shake hanging;

it was a well needed break to rejeuvenate the system and build up some steam for a busy season ahead.

Lots to cover so no time for ‘the sucker fish’


stay tuned and enjoy.


a chisel rack in the window was the first thing to make once the cobwebs were cleared and the dust swept away from the season of winter past

reclaimed elm from kings rd. in sydney will become two built in cabinets for some friends in bras d' or.

milling and shaping- a bookmatched cabinet door is hollowed to a pleasant inside curve...the scrub plane iron works as a make-shift scraping tool. what ever works right?

i considered making a round bottom 'krenov style' hand plane for this task but time isn't always on our side...

i'm still surprised when i discover what you can do with only a hand ful of tools and a little determination. (some imagination doesn't hurt either)

to catch gentle shavings as they fall from your hand plane

the medicine cabinet door- my clients are a doctor and a luthier.... no pressure- no pressure!

an arrow or a sail- the upper part of the second built in comes together in a face frame.

rails for the large door on the second built in shaped with rasp and files

the elm is stained to ebony to match my clients home decor- this was the hardest part of the process for me...

sliding tenon for medicine cabinet interior- the bad axe marks the area to remove.

basic box joinery coming together- a frame will be added to the book matched back panel of elm.

early august rain signals a half way point of our summer on the coast- time to work outside

eastern white cedar shakes the south side of our 100 year old farm house- the dance went something like this, i tear off all of the old shingles and my wife and i re sheet the exterior walls with an exterior plywood product followed by some house wrap and then traditional cedar shingles...the window trims are all made from larch wood milled about 5 kilometers from the house with some of the old timber frame off cuts to fill in some gaps.

a better saw bench? this one was here when we bought our house a decade ago- i don't know how old it is but a few planks and some long spikes are all you really need for years of use and abuse.

my wife and i installed 13 new windows a few years ago and now continue on down renovation row...the roof and 3 skylights are on an 8 year anniversary and the house was lifted and a full foundation was poured with new floor joists and sills, plumbing and electrical two years ago! hind sight being 20/20 i think i'll build the next one from scratch.

over my shoulder...the beast master works for through some timber.

window trim stained ebony- some foresight and some luck will see this trim fade to a charcoal gray just in time for the cedar to turn its natural silver patina in the coming years.

carolyn finishes off the final rows of cedar- i didn't drive a single nail on this project. it was her handy work. you wanna know the secret to a successful partnership? find a girl that can swing a hammer!

the sills and headers are carefully notched around the shingles to keep the water out.

finished trim along with the three rows of smaller shingle spacing adds another detail to the cedar.this b & w shot helps me visualize where the colors will fade in the years to come.

some tunes and a few beverages in the evening hours after some good work. you can see my five drawer cherry side table in the back ground

a painted daisy in front of some of carlo's artwork...the timber will have to wait a little longer.

ideas waiting inside new pages...

oh yeah- we managed to get in a bit of beach time while we were home as well-;) nelson on the left, piper in the middle and mom burying the evidence.

nelson from atlantis and piper the mermaid ~