About Me

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Cincinnati, OH, United States
A woodworker whom saws to the plane of a different hammer.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Traditional Woodworking

No offense to traditional woodworking purists, but do you also use an outhouse instead of a modern toilet? Just wondering ;-)

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Custom Woodworking = Custom Price

When a potential customer asks me "How much would you charge to make ...?" I don't always have an answer. In fact, I rarely do. The fact of the matter is is that I'm not a department store with set prices for furniture pieces that are mass produced overseas or even in the USA. I make furniture and things to the customer's specifications. I don't need plans as I can work without plans or sketch something up myself as needed, but I do need to know what the customer wants. This is referring to the size of the project, the overall design, the features, such as wooden drawer slides or full extension metal slides, type of hardware for drawer pulls, the color, finish,  etc.

Floor refinishing is a different thing. That has set prices for certain ranges in total square footage. Sometimes a floor refinishing job will have repairs or special considerations, but usually it's just the square footage matched to a price per square foot. But custom woodworking is just that - custom, meaning customized to what the customer wants.

In short custom woodworking means a custom price.

If the customer does not really want or need a custom made item, quite frankly, the department store, thrift store or on-line shopping may be the best option. With that I do not intend any offense to a prospective customer when I tell them that. It's just that if the person is not looking for something custom built, or superior in overall quality to what can be bought from mass production, then mass production or the thrift store is probably better suited to their needs. I do not want to try to sell someone something that does not fit their needs financially or in function. Not only is that bad business, it's just not a nice thing to do.

Ray Ladouceur
Dogwood Tales LLC
Every project is a story unto itself.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Safety Week - Woodworking - Safety Glasses

Ever find yourself in the middle of a cut at the table saw, or other power tool, and realize that you forgot to put on your safety glasses?

I always don the safety glasses when I enter the workshop and leave them on till I'm finished. However, every once in a while I'll take them off to get a closer look at something - but never while operating a power tool. On very rare occasions I caught myself  firing up a power tool without putting the safety glasses back on first, but no more. After the last time I did that I got out a sharpie marker and wrote "Safety Glasses" in several prominent places around my table saw and other power tools such as the base of my router, on the band saw, the miter saw, the circular saw etc. Not only is it a nice reminder to make sure I have those safety glasses on, but just seeing the word "Safety" is a nice reminder to be attentive to the task at hand - lest, may God forbid, I lose that hand!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Woodworking Treasures

I'm in the process of cleaning out my workshop of unnecessary stuff that does not add value to the work flow.
A daunting task I might add.

One thing that I will NOT be getting rid of are these wood shavings.
Back in June 2009 I had the pleasure of helping my dad repair the front porch to his house.
These are from the wood shavings that he made while working on this project.
Miss you dad.

Woodworking - Woodworker Hoarding

Here's a little something I put together about a year ago. It kind of goes along with the theme of my most recent video on cleaning up the scrap. I did not make my workshop look like this for the video (but I did kind of make it a little messy-er for the video). For over 90% my workshop really was like this - and many times over in the past. There have been times when I just get busy with stuff and don't take the time to keep it picked up. 

My workshop has been nowhere near this bad since I cleaned up this mess a year ago. However, currently I am feverishly working on getting the workshop in tip top shape. I am removing stuff from the workshop that does not add value to the work flow. Taking things out that I was basically just storing in the workshop for that "someday" when I might need it. No more. It's going into my neighbor's yard. Just kidding - actually I will be finding room for stuff in either my storage shed, in the basement or, if I discern that I simply don't need to hand on to it it's going to get a new home ... somewhere else.


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Cleaning Up Shop

Since I had a floor refinishing job get postponed due to the client having unplanned gal bladder surgery, I had made the commitment to use the time this week to get my shop cleaned up and organized. I dropped the kids off at school Monday morning and was pumped and ready to get some cleaning and organizing done in the shop. Something that is desperately needed.
After a quick stop at the store for some essentials I headed home. Then I had to take care of some auto insurance issues and a couple of other financial matters. Then I headed down stairs.

First thing I had to do was finish some work in the basement. I had recently sealed a crack in the basement wall using an ejected epoxy system that works really well. But it left the wall with a big bump over the crack. I had to grind that down flat, so that the wall mounted cabinets could go back up. Okay, got that done and re-installed the cabinets and did some clean up. Okay, now it's time for lunch and I'm hungry. Can't work like that.

Made a sandwich and then cut the dickens out of the edge of my hand with the CutCo kitchen knife while cutting the sandwich in half. Had to take time and patch that up. It may have been deep enough for stitches as I could see some meat, but I could move my hand just fine. But who needs urgent care when there's plenty of duct tape on hand -

"duct tape on hand" - ha ha, get it? Actually I didn't mean the pun, but it is what it is.

While I'm patching up my hand my neighbor calls. Uh oh. I forgot that I committed to helping him with something. So there went the rest of my day. Oh well, there's always tomorrow.

Next day - drop the kids off at school. Run to the bank to deposit a down payment on a cabinetry job I just contracted. It has been months since I first estimated this job (storage shelves for a walk-in wine refrigerator), so I then went to re-visit the location where the cabinetry is going in, so that I can re-confirm the available space. After running a couple more necessary errands I was finally back home.

First thing I had to do was to break down a table in the back of the basement that I didn't get to the day before. While doing that I'm wondering why I smell a strong odor of dryer lint. I find that the flexible dryer vent, which I have been planning on replacing with 30 gauge 4" duct work, had leaks and was no longer usable. So I get out the duct work and get this done. It had to be done now. In a household with children not having an operational washer and dryer is a major inconvenience along with not having an operational shower or toilet.
By the time I finished this, my day was shot, but at least it was proDUCTive - ba da bing.

Okay day three now - dropped off the kids at school, ran a few necessary errands and finished this blog entry that I started early this morning ... oh. I'd better get changed into my work cloths and get my butt down stairs now. Oops.

Scrap Wood Cleanup

Okay, So I'm a woodworking hoarder. What woodworker isn't, at least in heart if not in the scrap bin? Recently I was cleaning out the scrap and stuff from my scrap wood storage and found it a difficult process with some tough decisions. However, in an effort to recycle wood scraps and keep them out of the land fill, a lot of the wood ended up with other woodworkers I know in the Cincinnati Woodworking Club and relatively very little actually went out in the trash.
I decided to make a quick, fun video out of the process.