Recently I've been experimenting more with stabilizing wood and also with dying wood during the stabilizing process. So far I've stabilized the following woods: Birdseye Maple, Box Elder Burl, Cherry Burl, Curly Maple, Maple Burl and Redwood Burl. I've dyed and stabilized the following woods: Box Elder Burl with the color blue and Curly Maple with the color green.
Stabilizing is a process where as much moisture is cooked out of the wood as possible and then the wood is put in to a vacuum chamber with resin. The vacuum pulls the air in the wood out of the wood and replaces it with the resin. If I want to add color to the wood I just mix the resin with a dye and then do the process of putting the wood into the vacuum chamber with the dyed resin. The wood is generally under vacuum for an hour or more and then left to soak in the resin (or resin and dye) for hours or sometimes a day or more. Once this part is done, I then take the wood out of the chamber and wrap the pieces in aluminum foil and put them in to the oven to cook the wood again. Don't worry, I have a separate toaster oven that I do this in and I don't use our kitchen oven for this process. After allowing the wood to cool sufficiently, I take off the foil and I'm ready to start the turning process with the stabilized wood.
From left to right in the picture above
Dyed Green Box Elder Burl t-handle bottle stopper and corkscrew combination
Dyed Blue Box Elder Burl t-handle bottle stopper and corkscrew combination
Dyed Green Curly Maple handle on the pizza cutter
Stabilized Birdseye Maple t-handle bottle stopper and corkscrew combination
- Kim Dailey
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New color combinations for the Ferris Mini-Grinders
It's been a while since I have added any new color combinations to the Ferris mini-grinder line. So let's change that right now. Below are pictures of the new color combinations. I hope that you like them and if you want more information on any of them, just click the picture and they will magically transport you to their page. Alright, so it's not really magic, it's actually hyperlinked pictures but the magic thing sounds a lot cooler.
If the color combinations are listed as limited edition and you like the way that they look then you shouldn't hesitate to order them. When they are gone they probably won't be back again, at least not before Labor Day. Some combinations I'm testing out and others simply won't be back.
- Kim Dailey
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Is this a keeper?
I uploaded a picture of an unfinished ash pepper mill to my facebook page the other day and I posed the question of should I leave it natural or airbrush it. In the end the answers that I received were split between the two choices. So I decided to airbrush the mill. Somebody suggested that I airbrush it purple and teal. So that's what I did, purple and teal diagonal stripes. What do you think? Is it a keeper and I should offer more of these purple and teal mills for sale or do you think it should just slowly slink away, never to be seen again?
- Kim Dailey
We're In! Upcoming shows.
Who knew that technology could have such an affect on my everyday life? Probably everyone, right? As I sit here typing out this blog post, I'm doing it on a new laptop because the hard drive in my old laptop decided it was time to give up the ghost. It was old enough that it was time to invest in a new one anyways but still it's been an on going battle for a few weeks now and it has certainly slowed things here. I haven't taken the pictures and posted new products for quite a while because the old laptops hard drive kept crashing. After the drive crashed a couple of times while in the middle of working on pictures for the website and Etsy store I just gave up on doing them until the new laptop arrived.
So now that I've told you why you haven't seen any posts or new products in the last few weeks my original intent of this post was to tell you of a couple shows/fairs that we will be doing this year.
The first one is the Maine Artisan Bread Fair that is being held on the 29th of July from 9 am to 3 pm on the Skowhegan Fair Grounds in Skowhegan Maine. We should be inside the big show building again.
The second one is the Common Ground Country Fair which is being held September 22nd, 23rd and 24th in Unity, Maine. We should be in Maine Marketplace East again.
We love doing both of these fairs. I'll be posting more about each one as we get closer to them.
- Kim Dailey
Looking for some honey
I've been looking for something small to make. I had a few guidelines for myself to follow. I didn't want to use anything thicker than 1-inch wood and I wanted to be able to turn it on my mini-lathe. Oh, and I wanted to be able to turn most of the piece using only the skew.
Probably one of my wife, Mary's, all time favorite characters is Winnie-the-Pooh. So I did what Pooh would do. I sat down, tapped my head repeatedly with my right hand and said, "Think, Think, Think". When that didn't work for me, I got up and walked around and again, repeatedly tapped my head with my right hand and said, "Think, Think, Think".
When the headache finally cleared, I came up with the idea of making honey dippers. I would start with wood that was 1 inch by 7 inches long and I would be able to use the skew for at least 90 percent of the project. A parting tool would be used for the rest. Perfect!
I turned the prototypes that you see in the picture above and then realized that I had another problem. Do they really work? See I don't use honey in much stuff, I'm already sweet enough. Don't ask my wife about that one though, I'm pretty sure she would just roll her eyes.
I don't say it enough - Thank you
I don't say it enough to my customers but I owe you a huge thank you. Thank you for allowing me to do what I love to do more than anything else. Thank you for allowing me to have a flexible schedule. Let's be honest, do you really care if I'm out of bed and in my shop working on your order of mills at 9 am? No, probably not. Do you care if I'm working on them at 1 am? No, probably not. It's not top of your mind but you probably do care that I got to see my oldest daughter's field hockey games or tennis matches or my youngest push herself in a cross-country ski race or softball game. In the long run, by being able to see our daughters do these things you've helped me be a better father, husband and wood turner. I'm more focused on what's at hand and how could that not make me better.
I get to meet great people at shows and through on-line correspondence. The pieces that I make get to see parts of the world that I can only hope to see one day. I get to be a part of your lives and most of us have never met in person. You spend hours agonizing over getting someone the perfect gift for their wedding, maybe it's for Christmas or Hanukkah or maybe it's for that special someone's birthday and it turns out to be something that I get to share in too. I get to make that gift for your loved one.
Sometimes I even hear back from you or the loved one on the receiving end of your generosity. I get feedback from people like JS in Minnesota who shared this about a set of mini-grinders that she bought: "I bought these as a gift for my mom for Christmas. Not only was she thrilled with them, she let me know they were her favorite present of the year!".
JF from Pennsylvania wrote and told me this: "Kim, Words cannot express how much I love the grinders, your presentation and your craft! The pieces are so beautiful...true statement pieces on my counter top. Thank you for taking great care in shipping and just all of the finishing touches. I know what to order for future wedding gifts! Thanks again and keep on turning!!!!!"
That's pretty heady stuff for a guy working in his basement shop, deep in the woods of Maine. Thank you for sharing how the pieces that I've made affect you or the lucky recipients of your gift giving.
But most of all, thank you for taking a chance on me and please keep sharing your stories and photos.