jim_woodworkI really enjoy woodworking, which is really odd because in high school my only experience was a very nasty shop teacher, who passed me in woodworking class, under the agreement that I never touch another tool. Thank goodness I didn’t listen to my teacher but it took a while. Almost 30 years later, my father in law (Doug) ignited my interest.


2000-Cdn Home Workshop Project

The first project I ever attempted was quite a leap. It was an oak coffee table with carved cabriolet legs. My father-in-law (Doug) was ever present to lend needed advice. I learned a lot on this project and it ended up in Canadian Workshop magazine.




Today I value my scarce shop time and you can see a few of my projects on my Lumberjocks blog.



I enjoy wood turning such as this Ancient Bog Oak Fountain Pen made using 7000 year old ancient oak that was retrieved from a peat bog in Siberia. I have the wood carbon dating certificate setting it at 5000 BC. It was an interesting project, the ancient, almost petrified, wood was very hard on the turning tools and I had to re-sharpen constantly!

This Coffee Bean Pen was another unusual wood turning project. In this case it’s also a pen but I have espresso beans (I love coffee) embedded into a resin. It’s then turned on the lathe. The coffee beans are very brittle so many times the resin blank would literally explode on the lathe requiring me to start again. It was tricky and needed a very delicate touch!

I also enjoy doing decorative projects like this oak and walnut Mantle Clock.

Then I will do some larger projects like this Kitchen Island built to my wife’s specifications with an eating bar along the back and a narrow centre cabinet specifically for holding baking trays. It was made with a set of matching stools.

Or this Secretary Roll Top Desk for my wife that took over a year to design and build, complete with the obligatory secret compartment. The most challenging part of this project was the roll top itself. Many are just wood slats glued to a canvas backing. These are carefully carved wood slats with a tongue that interlocks with the preceding slat. This means the whole rolling top (tambour) is a network of interlocking slats, just solid wood with no canvas and glue.

You can see more of my projects on my Lumberjocks blog