gift ideas

Timber Framed Address Sign

The other day, my neighbor and I worked to replace an old rotten fence post. We replaced the old post with a new pressure treated post and got the fence back together. While I was walking back around to our house I seen the old post on his deck and I asked him if he was going to throw the old post away and he said he was and asked if I wanted it.

Its hard to say no to free wood and I had the perfect project in mind.

A couple of years ago I remodeled our house replacing all the siding. When I took off the old siding the house numbers came with and our house has sat unnumbered for a couple of years now (to the dismay of every delivery driver) with the intent I would make something eventually. Well the eventually came when my wife threatened to order numbers for the house because we were getting ready to host a BBQ at our unnumbered house.

Since the old fence post was western red cedar and I have been wanting to practice traditional joinery I went to work on this simple design. I cut the rotten end off the post, a few trips through the planer, table saw, and band saw later I had pieces resembling something. I made a large mortise and fit the through tenon and secured everything with some dowel. The CNC machine went to work carving numbers out of black walnut and the plaque is made from cherry. Everything got a few coats of spar urethane and I hung the address plaque with some copper wire.

All in all I was very happy with the end result. Instead of digging a deep post hole I used a spike the post sits if we ever decided to move the post.

If you are interested in your own post and beam address sign contact us today.

Fire Extinguisher Lamp

As a firefighter by trade, I am naturally drawn to firefighter decor. I have seen the traditional fire extinguisher lamps that use an old copper extinguisher. I had a vision for something a little different.

I had found an old carbon dioxide extinguisher at a flea market and was able to negotiate a bargain. As the extinguisher sat in my house I thought how it would look good as a lamp. Instead of using a pull chain or a nob to turn it off and on I thought, what if you could squeeze the handle. I set off to the hardware store and bought some lamp making supplies. This was my first ever try at a lamp and with a squeeze of the handle the Edison bulb illuminated and thought I was on to something.

This was in the pre-Maker and Finder days but there was a feeling of satisfaction finding something and re-pourposing it into a piece of functional home decor. When family and friends would stop by they would all comment on how great the lamp turned out.

After creating Maker and Finder, I used that lamp as a prototype to make another. So this is an old American LaFrance carbon dioxide extinguisher turned into a lamp. just like the first one I made, to turn on you squeeze the handle and watch the beautiful glow from the Edison bulb.

Book Lamps

We love to read. One day while browsing the internet I seen a picture of a stack of books turned into a lamp. The light bulb went off! A friend of ours runs a book store that sells $1 books. We made a stop at his store went home and turned some old books into book lamps. And these are some of our favorite projects. Finding something and making it into something beautiful.

Sliding Dovetail Wine Box

This was a commissioned piece from a customer who wanted a custom wine box for a birthday present. She gave me an idea of a wine box that she had seen that had a piece come off the side, a key, and that allowed the inner box to slide out. After thinking about it, I had an idea come to mind that involved a sliding dovetail as the key. I set out building this project with just a vision in my head. As the build progressed the more inspired I felt seeing the finished product come together. The inner box is made from aspen and the outer box is made from cherry with black walnut for the feet and sliding dovetail. Our customer said the person receiving the gift really liked lions and we were able to incorporate some lion heads as handles and a pull to pull the inner box out.

I really like starting projects with an idea and setting out to see if I can turn the idea into reality. Sometimes you have to be flexible and be willing to adapt and change but almost all the time the finished product turns out better than expected.