Stratus Click Pen in “White Wedding”

Here’s a Stratus click pen I just made, in white acrylic called “White Wedding” for some reason… I guess “Plain White” lacked pizzazz… The plating is “gun metal”, which has plenty of pizzazz.

Stratus Click Pen in "White Wedding" Acrylic

I usually photograph these things on a white background, but all that white on white just sounded too… white… so I trotted out the black velvet, for another song reference…

Cosmic Green Rollerballs

Here are a couple of pens I just finished.

Cosmic Green Rollerballs

One of these is going to our landscaper guy, he says it matches his company colour. The pens are Sedona rollerballs in chrome plating, the acrylic colour is Cosmic Green.

Voici un Tuteur

Voici un tuteur. Which I believe is French for “oil derrick” or “hydro tower”. Shown with and without the clematis which we hope will thrive in this its new home.



The Trouble With Trivets

Okay, sorry, the title was total click bait. There was no trouble. And I’m not even sure these are trivets, technically. I just couldn’t resist the alliteration.

Here are three small (five-and-a-half inches square by 3/4) trivets. Or perhaps they are very small cheese trays, or maybe they are breadboards for a doll house at about one-third or one-quarter scale. Or super-thick coasters.


The important thing is, I used up some scrap wood. The wood species (working outward from the center) are walnut, maple, purpleheart, and cherry.

Trivets + Mug

(Click either photo to view larger on Flickr)

Piggy Cutting Board

Piggy Cutting Board

I unepectedly came upon the template for this fellow a while back, and decided I would make another one. I did the original back in 2009, and my sister has it. Actually the original was one we just had lying around that finally got destroyed, so I made a template of it and made a new one, and now a second new one, as seen above.

Here’s the first one from 2009:

Piggy Cutting Board

Click any photo to view larger on Flickr

End Grain Cutting Board

I’d been toying with the idea of trying an end grain cutting board for quite some time. Years, in fact – since before I started making any cutting boards at all. My first inquiries online brought me quickly to this article on The Wood Whisperer website, “How to Make a Butcher Block End Grain Cutting Board” containing what has come to be called, since its first appearance in 2006, “the video that launched a thousand cutting boards”.

What held me back for so long was my concern about how to thickness the cutting board. The preferred method seemed to be to use a drum sander (thickness sander), which I do not have, and do not have room for. The less problematic edge grain cutting boards I went on to build (like these or like these) were fine to run through the planer, but end grain boards and thickness planers are not a good mix (see this cautionary article and pretty convincing anecdotal evidence).

So of the alternative approaches I could take, including hand planes and router jigs, I opted for a belt sander. (Reasonable cash outlay, and something I should probably have around for general use anyway). Next up was figuring out a design. Turns out there are a couple of ways to go about constructing an end grain board, but for the approach taken in Marc’s video, there’s a very cool cutting board designer called, er, Cutting Board Designer (or CBdesigner) that I found excellent for planning my build.

CBdesigner screenshot

You can export or print your design in PDF format, giving something like the above screenshot to take into the shop. And you can export the final design itself as a JPG, to admire its wonderfulness before proceeding, as seen below.

CB designer - JPG of final design

The match between expectations and final product, design-wise, was pretty impressive. It looked almost exactly as it was meant to in that regard.

End Grain Cutting Board

End Grain Cutting Board

Unfortunately, my belt sander technique still needs some work, and some over-zealous and in places uneven sanding resulted in a board that photographs well from one side, but which is not quite up to my not unreasonable standards for release into the wild. We’ll give it a good home though.

So not bad for a first effort, but I need to try try again…