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Repurposing Rosewood

Repurposing Rosewood

A pair of repurposed rosewood benches that we made about a year ago have found a new home. At the end of 2019, at the dawn of the Covid-19 pandemic, I got the idea for these benches from some old Amazon rosewood given to me by a Napa friend, who happens to share my...

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A Token of the Live Oak Tree

A Token of the Live Oak Tree

In July 2014 I returned from a backpacking vacation to find a telephone message from an engineer I know who designs vineyards for a living.  He wanted to tell me about this California coast live oak tree, which was in the way of a new vineyard project south of the...

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Oak Woodland Table

Oak Woodland Table

At an Oakland lumber yard several years ago, Evelyn and I ran across a pair of California native valley oak boards that offered vivid evidence that wood is, after all, biodegradable.  They showed the dramatic effect of fungal decay, not a usual sight in a commercial...

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Finelines Tables:  Draw a Crooked Line

Finelines Tables: Draw a Crooked Line

This is a detail of our first Finelines Table, made in 2014. I have been gluing thin pieces of wood between wider ones to create a kind of striped effect for decades, but this table was our first piece with actual veneer sandwiched between the boards. As the...

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Hall Tables

Hall Tables

Last fall, when I was making plans for the winter, a gallery owner I've known a long time happened to mention something about hall tables, and for some reason the idea took root. It struck me that a simple one-drawer table at counter height, which one might place in...

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Nature

Nature

I frequently make tables out of slabs of wood. When slabs are cut from a log, the long edges typically have an irregular curved shape, showing where the edge of the log was. Those irregular edges are something special, since they remind you of the living tree that the...

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How Engineers Do Things

How Engineers Do Things

My father was an engineer, who spent most of his working career in the aerospace industry, and what he did was completely mysterious to me as a child. I knew it had to do with making rockets work and that things had to be figured out and tested, and that it all had to...

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Gallery Talk

Gallery Talk

I was asked recently to give a gallery talk about my woodworking, and I decided to select a small number of images and organize the talk around them. Here are the eleven images I picked and roughly what I had to say about them. I usually tell people that I started...

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Sherlock Holmes in the 21st century

Sherlock Holmes in the 21st century

We have not had broadcast TV in our house for about 15 years.  We live under a hill and don’t get a TV signal, but up until 15 years ago we had cable.  Then, for some reason having to do with raising a teenager, we got rid of the cable.  We would watch movies...

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The Tabletop

The Tabletop

Evelyn and I were at a local hardwood lumber dealer’s, looking at some two-inch cherry for a dining table I was making.  Contrary to what they told me on the phone, they did not have hundreds of board feet of it, but only a hundred fifty board feet or so – not much...

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Wall Motto

Wall Motto

For a good while there has been a Latin quote on my workshop wall.  I’ve completely forgotten how it got there, but I do know what it means.  It says ars longa, vita nostra brevis est, literally “art is long but our life is short.”  I know that because I took Latin in...

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Art and Experience

Art and Experience

I was working on a design for a trestle table last month, trying to improve the base structurally, when before my eyes a perfectly utilitarian base changed into a pair of clown feet. I stopped working on the design, assuming that I had gone off the deep end in some...

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