The story of Dave and my summer of turning, day 3

Rustic natural edge Maple Burl stopper - Dailey Woodworking

Rustic natural edge Maple Burl stopper


I realize by just posting pictures and descriptions of something that I’ve made probably isn’t as exciting for you as it is for me. So I’m going to try to add little stories to keep you coming back.

The story of Dave

My earliest recollection of wanting to work with wood is from the early 70’s. I spent the summer with my grandparents in Andover, Maine. I think I was seven years old at the time. My grandparents were retired. If this were a normal story I would be telling you that like most boys I followed my grandfather wherever he went. However my life’s story will never be considered a normal story and instead of following my grandfather I followed their handyman, Dave, around.

I think Dave was my grandfather’s best friend and he lived behind their house in a little camper. Dave wasn’t just their handyman. He was like the town’s handyman. He was retired too but did the handyman work for extra money. My grandfather didn’t go out of the house much but Dave went all over town. Instead of following my grandfather around, I actually followed Dave everywhere. I’m sure I was a pain but I don’t remember him ever getting upset with me.

When you went out of my grandparent’s kitchen, to the barn, you entered this little room, probably a summer kitchen, and then into my grandfather’s workshop.It’s in my grandfather’s shop that I remember spending a huge amount of my summer. There were wood shavings covering everything including the floor. It’s the first time that I remember smelling the wonderful smell of fresh-cut wood. Years later I found out that the smell was that of fresh-cut pine. Dave found me one of my grandfather’s hammers to use and gave me cans of nails and wood from his scrap wood pile. I probably hammered hundreds of nails into wood trying to replicate something that Dave was building.

To this day when I’m working with pine I think of that summer that I spent with my grandparents and Dave. That summer is the earliest recollection that I have of woodworking although I’m sure whatever I made that summer will never end up in the Smithsonian.

Now about the stopper

The bottle stopper that you see pictured above was turned from Maple Burl. I turned it to leave some of the natural edge showing. Natural edge is often times called bark edge or live edge. This burl has a lot of figure happening all around it and really makes a spectacular looking bottle stopper. If you would like to see more pictures and find out more about the stopper you can visit my Dailey Woodworking site by clicking here or on my Etsy store by clicking here.

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  • Kim Dailey