Well, it's here, and we're hoping that small, medium-sized, or gigantic box under the tree turned out to be exactly the woodworking gift you wanted. Christmas is an exciting time for huge numbers of our customers. We know that because every year, a few days after the big event, waves of customer reviews start rolling in describing the year's haul, and how it's being put to use. It's the "how it's being put to use" part that we like best. Mixed in with valuable insights on our tools and supplies, we're frequently privileged to witness some pretty impressive end results. So, in honor of the talent and hard work of our customers, here are a few of our favorites:
This beautiful wine cabinet was built by Barry Semegran, who reviewed of our Polyurethane Satin Gel Finish, a product we've had on the shelves for decades. According to him, this wipe on poly is so easy to use and forgiving, it's almost like cheating. It doesn't look like Barry cheats or cuts corners very often to us - in either design of execution. We especially like the painted images on the inside of the doors - a nice surprise when you open the cabinet.
We'd guess that the skills acquired in an auto body shop would transfer well into the woodshop, and here's proof. Built by Mike Leslie for his shop in Sundance, WY, this service cart looks too good to use. Mike was kind enough to include the image along with his review of the Accuride 3832 Full Extension Drawer Slide - which he seems to have worked out very well for him. Later, he got a chance to use the slides again in a matching tool chest. A great design and, judging from the picture, a masterful finishing job. Again, we're wondering how he can bring himself to actually use it.
Here's a solid looking toy box with a couple of nice touches. Its builder, Dennis DeMorest, used our Antique Brass Piano Hinge and Toy Box Lid Supports as part of the clever fold-down chalk board lid design. We also like the inlaid blocks in the sides and front.
We often wonder what becomes of some of the more obscure hardware items we've had on hand for years - such as our Leather Case Handles. Things couldn't be better if they all ended up the attached to items of comparable quality to this handsome walnut and elm burl briefcase. Brad from Austin TX built it for a client in the early 1990's. Fifteen years later when the handle finally wore out, he was happy to find the exact same part still in stock.
Thanks to David T., from Cypress, CA for this impressive image and his kind words about our Wine Box-Elder Burl Pen Blanks. You'll find several images of finely crafted turned pens in our customer reviews. We chose this one because it's an exceptionally well-made example, and because of the format, which really brings you up-close-and-personal with what a great pen looks like. We admire the confidence David must have in order to show the world his work with such bald-faced clarity.
The art of inlay is a branch of woodworking that you can take to high levels of craft, design and expertise without owning a huge shop and tons of expensive tools. As a matter of fact, if you choose "marquetry" (in simplified terms, using thin sheets of veneer instead of the comparatively thick pieces of wood stock used here) you can do the most interesting and demanding parts of the process while sitting at your kitchen table. If you'd like to give it a try, we hope this example will both inspire you and give you something shoot for. The maker, Bob Shultz from Los Gatos, CA, used our thin stock Padauk and Purpleheart lumber for the flower petals.
We could go on and on. But more than likely, you have some tool testing, set up or assembly to get on with. So here, in parting, is a departure for Dave Miller, a canoe and kayak builder in Juneau, AK. Dave sent this along with his review of (and general praise for) the Japanese Dozuki Saw, a tool he says excels at accurately cutting the thin, narrow slats he customarily applies to the building of watercraft. We've never seen anything like it. Our only regret is that we haven't seen the completed project. So, if you happen to spot a uniquely decked-out teardrop camper in the wilds of Alaska, please snap a picture and send it in post-haste.
And please keep your own pictures and reviews rolling in. We can't wait to see what you're working on. Merry Christmas from all of us at Rockler.