Prodigal Ponderings — woodworking RSS



My Favorite Woods

Oftentimes when I'm seeking advice from friends who are authorities in different areas of life I’m less interested in options and more interested in concrete recommendations. With that in mind, I'm offering my favorite woods that I use along with my reasons why. First off, I use primarily hardwoods. Softwoods like pine are great for construction but they lack the stability needed for cutting boards, utensils, etc.  My “go to” woods are maple, cherry and walnut because of their hardness and contrast with each other; oftentimes I will substitute mahogany or padauk for the walnut while keeping similar characteristics. Of these my favorite wood to use (perhaps surprisingly) is maple. It is a clean, light colored wood that shows its...

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Advantages of Using Wooden Kitchen Utensils

  For centuries wood has been a popular option for cooking utensils. These days a lot of people prefer wood over other options, for a variety of reasons. Here are some of the benefits of utilizing wooden cooking utensils as opposed to metal or plastic. Wooden Utensils Will Not Scratch Your CookwareWooden utensils are easy on your pots and pans, and won’t scratch nonstick surfaces.  They’re also much “quieter” than metal utensils. Wooden Utensils Don’t Conduct HeatWooden utensils, unlike metal, don’t conduct heat…. consequently, they don’t impact cooking temperature negatively or create “hot” handles to burn your hand while cooking.  Plastic can melt if left resting in a hot pan or pot, not to mention questionable chemicals “leaching” into your...

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It's Not What You Make.....But How

I don’t subscribe to a lot of woodworking blogs because sometimes too much information makes matters more confusing rather than clearer. That said, I have subscribed to Paul Sellers blogs, as he is one of the real online pioneers (IMO) of woodworking. A recent blog post of Paul's called “Election Day” talked more about his woodworking ideology than about specific tools or products (https://paulsellers.com/2017/06/thursday-8th-june-2017/). In his blog Paul identified a certain passion that I immediately related to: the concept of “It’s not what you make but how.”  I don’t want to take credit for anyone else’s work so I encourage anyone reading this blog to check out his. That said, the concept of “how” over “what” is something that attracted me to...

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When to Shake the Dust Off: Retail Decisions

For the past 6 months we have had our products on display at a local retail marketplace with mixed success.  The upside has been the compliments we’ve received on the design of our space (thank my wife), the maximum usage of that space (again, my wife’s doing) and finally the beauty and quality of our products (drumroll please..... the carpenter’s kudos). Whether receiving input directly from customers or indirectly through other vendors and/or employees; our product line has been praised for being both unique and of superior workmanship. We have been very appreciative of the feedback  Unfortunately, with the upside there often comes a downside; and that  has been sales.  We opened our space in January so we were expectant of the...

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Sure, I Can Build That:)

Every woodworker knows that once friends and family know you have a shop and a few tools, all sorts of random requests come your way.  Everything from, "could you remodel my kitchen" to " can you repair a drawer in an old chest".  For a carpenter, every request is a bit like a challenge issued.........we hate saying "no" to any project because "sure, I can do that":). It's a blessing and a pitfall.  The blessing is that you get the pleasure of helping out a friend, solving a problem, or "fixing" a treasure.  The pitfall is that we "wood guys" can end up taking on projects that are either beyond our shop capabilities or that divert our focus.   Did I...

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