Prodigal Ponderings — woodworking RSS



Why Didn't I Think of That?

Every craftsman or "maker" of products knows that customers often help define how we look at, modify and sometimes even  conceive of the things we make.  We come up with an idea or conform to traditional concepts in the quest for what the buyer will like and then watch and listen Here's an example.   A good friend suggested we include pen blocks in our product line over a year ago.   Since this particular friend is an avid pen lover and enjoys attending  Pen shows, she enlightened us about the market for a way to display favorite writing instruments for pen lovers such as herself.   Over time we added a number of original design pen blocks to our...

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Spring is Here

It's that special time of year in the South when the outdoors beckon and nature "teases" with alternating days of gentle warmth and the last vestiges of cold.  The daffodils have put on their early show, as well as the forsythia and Bradford pear trees, while the dogwood and azalea are preparing for their stage entrance.   We have bleeding heart in our garden which is like the "trumpeter" of Spring .... emerging from the ground  and offering it's pink blossoms in what seems like a matter of days...   Following closely behind, the hosta starts to emerge from the ground And the Dogwoods prepare to join the azaleas in their floral display  Besides the urge to go outside and "play...

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My Best Finishing Tip Update

On my December 4, 2017 blog post titled “My Best Finishing Tip for Hardwoods” I closed with my “Key Storage Tip” which had worked for me in the past. Well now I’m here to add to that tip.  If there’s one thing I’ve learned from woodworking it’s to never think you have it all figured out, in other words, remain teachable!My key storage tip worked well for me until I got down to my can being about half empty, then I discovered that no matter how well I had sealed the can I was getting a film on the top of my finish.  After doing some research and once again relying on the expertise of other woodworkers I found that...

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Cutting Boards.......What's Your Style?

It's a given that not everyone has the same taste, nor are our needs defined identically.  That applies in the kitchen too.   Some love to cook. some don't.  Some want a well equipped kitchen, others aren't that into it and just want the basics available when they venture into their cook space.   Some are aspiring "chefs", and some are microwave aficionados.  Among those who really appreciate fine culinary tools and equipment, there are still personal preferences that dictate choices or the details that matter most.  It's one reason we try to offer something for everyone..... from the minimalist home cook to the expert chef........we believe quality is still worth investing in . The Prodigal Carpenter product line includes...

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My Best Finishing Tip for Hardwoods

After doing plenty of research and trying multiple methods I came up with my own process of finishing hardwoods for products that do not come in direct contact with food. I’ve used this process on chess boards, lathe pieces (such as candle holders and pepper mills) along with coaster sets, etc. The finish is clear, hard and beautiful! Before I begin I’ll tell you what I tried previously: 1. Minwax Paste Finishing Wax: a nice starter product that applies easy and protects the wood, but hardly an “eye popping” finish 2. Boiled Linseed Oil covered with Instant Bond Wood Adhesive: better, but not great 3. A variety of other finishes I saw online but again, none matched the success below:...

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