Catching You Up and Plans for 2014

I took most of December off from larger project to focus on Christmas gifts and spend time with the family. Between trips for work and pleasure, shoveling snow, holiday parties, wrapping presents, carpentry projects, and waiting for finishes to cure, there wasn’t much time to get into anything major. I’m not really complaining; it’s a good time to regroup and spend time with loved ones. It also gets me excited to get back in the shop.

Now I’m back on the road for work and had some time to gather my thoughts. First thought: travel sucks sometimes. Check out this actual picture from the airport this morning. Inglorious indeed. Fortunately, I was able to escape the sub zero temperatures and make it to my destination out west.

Arctic Blast = Travel Woes

Arctic Blast = Travel Woes

It’s been a few years since I made Christmas gifts. I miss it, but I often wonder if I like it more than the recipient. I wanted to make some end grain cutting boards but I also wanted to try experimenting with some live edge serving platters/trivets. I looked into buying some materials but was able to go through my wood pile and find some really cool scraps. I made four end grain cutting boards and started four serving platters. I put the last coat of finish on the second serving platter last night before going to bed. It should be cured by the time I get back from my trip. The other two serving platters encountered a bad experiment with inlace, so they are on hold until I get some time to fix my mistakes.

End grain cutting board

End grain cutting board

Serving tray in quartersawn sycamore

Serving tray in quartersawn sycamore

Live edge maple tease

Live edge maple tease

Working on the live edge pieces really sparked some creative juices. I’ll try to put out an entire post on the making of the platters once I get them done.

The end grain cutting boards involved some experiments too. I used the salad bowl finish Marc mentions in his video. I wasn’t happy with the results. One of the four cutting boards is in our house and after a few weeks worth of use it looks really beat up. I made one of these for my mom in 2007. Hers looks virtually brand new with daily use for the past six years. I think I’m seeing cutting marks in the finish whereas my mom’s is a mineral oil finish and the end grain masks the knife marks. Live and learn.

As for 2014 I have one resolution: finish The Dresser. Other things on the docket include a soon to be blogged about toy chest rebuild, joining a local woodworking club, some more carpentry projects, and getting the shop/house rewired.

More to come faithful readers.


About Shawn Nichols

Heady. Phishy. Woodworker
This entry was posted in General Philosophy, Travels, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Catching You Up and Plans for 2014

  1. carl says:

    Hey, Shawn,
    the really funny thing is…
    I have almost exactly the same photo of the boards at CLE, I flew in that night from Palm Beach, seriously, one of maybe nine flights that made it in, people from my flight laughed as they watched me take a photo of the board. Speaking of boards, nice cutting boards:)


    • That’s hilarious. I can’t imagine the stark contrast of coming in from Palm Beach to The Vortex.

      It’s funny you mentioned the cutting boards. I finished up the maple version in this post in early January and just gave it to it’s recipient yesterday. She loved it. I’ll have to post it some time. It came out looking pretty cool and very much up your alley.



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