Some selected examples of my work over the last 30 years.
Ladder Backchair with arms
Chair legs and rungs were made of ash. Legs and rungs were extensively worked with a drawknife and spokeshaves. Splats and arms were made of cherry. Chair was finished with Watco oil stain and tung oil. Seat was hand woven with rush.
Seat was made of 2" thick cherry and machined with hollowed area. The crest was made of 1" thick cherry. The spindles and legs are ash. Legs and spindles were extensively worked with drawknife and spokeshaves.
The case for the desk was made of 3/4" thick cherry and 1/2" thick poplar for the inside. Writing surface inside desk is 1" thick cherry. Legs are cherry and were tapered on the inside surfaces. Accents on the inside of the desk include birdseye maple drawer fronts and black ebony knobs.
Firewood box was made of 3/4" thick white pine boards that were nailed together. The box was finished with tavern green milk paint and sealed with hot linseed oil. The box has an upper hinged lid on the front side that allows for easier loading of firewood. The back was constructed with 3/4" thick tung and groove pine boards that are oriented horizontally. Hardware includes two knobs for hanging a dust pan on the right side as well as a couple hook and eye fasteners. This firewood box is not only nice to look at in my workshop, but it does a nice job of keeping a good supply of firewood handy for the stove.
Music stand was made of cherry and finished with a cherry stain. Legs are dovetailed to the lower stem. Stand is adjustable for height and can be tilted according to preference. This is just the thing to give someone who is a talented musician in your family or for a dear friend.
Hutch was made of 3/4" thick pine. The piece was finished with buttermilk milk paint on the inside and soldier blue milk paint on the outside surfaces. Milk paint was then sealed with hot linseed oil. Cut nails, and when appropriate, glue was also used to assemble the case. Hutch features glass doors with mullins, 3/4" thick ship lapped pine boards that were attached with wood screws on the back, and carved basswood panels were incorporated into the raised panel cabinet doors. Accents also included cherry knobs and primitive door latches.
Hutch Door Details
I developed this design and then used chip carving to make these raised panel doors individualized. This is one of the joys I have in being both a furnituremaker and a woodcarver.
Chip Carved Chairmaker's Tool Chest
Chip Carved Chair Maker's Tool Chest
My tool chest was featured in an article in the Spring 2016 Issue of Woodcarving Illustrated. I made the case for this tool chest out of clear white pine. The case is joined together with dovetail joints and the bottom is joined to the sides with rabbets. Three trays for tool storage were made with white pine and they also were dovetailed together. All the dovetail joints were handcut. The top is made of basswood which was chosen for its superior qualities for chip carving. A pine molding was attached to the basswood top on three sides using cut nails. Strap hinges, a mortise lock, and rope handles were incorporated into the design so that the tool chest had an 18th century look. I finished the chest by using black milk paint followed by soldier blue, and then the chest was sealed with linseed oil and paraffin wax. I made this tool chest so that I could safely house my chairmaking tools, but the chip carving part gave me great joy.
Small Carved Boxes
Crosses and Sacred Art
A Cross for Mom
What can you give your mom?
What can you give your mom when you really want to thank her for all the things she's done for you over the years? This is what I gave my mom. I made this cross out of butternut and I then I chip carved it. A gel stain followed by a polyurethane sealer completed the project.
You guessed it, mom loved it and it went right up on the wall in no time.
My Favorite Woodcarving Project
I believe that this is one of the best woodcarvings that I've ever done. No sooner had I finished it for my Lutheran Confessions class in seminary and my wife, Barb, had already claimed it for her own. I've only made one of this carving, but it ranks as my favorite. This was all carved with one knife, a chip carving knife, and if you are interested in this kind of carving please call me. I'd love to carve another one for someone who appreciated it.
A Very Special Woodcarving
It was a very moving experience to carve this triptych project. It began with me studying a woodcut entitled "The Trinity" by Albrecht Durer that he did in 1511. I decided to do a rendition of the Durer's woodcut as the center panel of the triptych. I used a verse from I John 3:16 to compliment the emotion of the scene being depicted, and then I looked for opportunities to illustrate motifs in groups of three. I completed much of the project by using the technique of chip carving, but when I was approaching the center of the panel I utilized a low relief style of carving. In the course of the carving I debated on whether to add facial features, but as you can see the expressive aspects of facial features won out. It took me over 150 hours to complete this carving and when it was done, I couldn't leave in my home. It is on permanent display in the chapel of Good Samaritan Hospital in Downers Grove, IL.
Handmade Treadle Lathe
This is my treadle lathe that I built based on information in Roy Underhill's books. I made this out of standard lumber and laminated the uprights using 2X 6s. The lathe design includes ball bearings and the drive mechanism features a stitched leather belt. To adust the belt tension, I incorporated an idler into the design and hand forged the hardware. The big wheel was made solid to give it more mass and I also attached a lead weight. I also saw the opportunity to apply chip carving to the uprights on the outer facing sides and then on the front edges. I really enjoyed this project. The best compliment that I have recieved, came from our son Ben who upon its completion said: "Dad you took a machine and made it a work of art."
Large Church Banner Stand
Large Church Banner Stand
I was commissoned in 2007 to build a large banner stand for the Upstate New York Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Design requirements were that this stand would hold and suspend a large banner several feet off the floor so it could be visible for all participants in a large meeting space. I was delighted to design and build this banner stand for the Upstate New York Synod. The stand is composed of two 8' uprights that telescope to full height and a base unit that is supported on four sides by sloped 1x4 inch outer braces. Once assembled the tall uprights are locked into place with wooden pins. The base was designed so that the sloped outer braces were attached to the main stem with hinges and then cross braced. Cross braces are also hinged to the main stem and secured through slotted holes in the outer braces with bolts and wing nuts. The uprights were made from pine boards and 1/8 plywood which were painted, and the lower portion was made of pine which was stained and sealed with a brush on polyurethane.