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Ms Debbie P's 2007 Shop Tour and Inspection #8: Tuesdays With Mark Decou

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Blog entry by Douglas Bordner posted 08-28-2007 10:38 AM 4508 reads 0 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 7: Tuesdays with Thos. Angle Part 8 of Ms Debbie P's 2007 Shop Tour and Inspection series Part 9: Labor Day Tuesday with Robb »

This week’s visit is to the shop of Mark Decou in the scenic Flint Hills of Kansas. I grew up in Kansas, and fished and hunted on “the old home place” not far from Mark’s neck of the woods. Big sky, broad vistas, rolling prairie hills with flint and limestone outcrops, farmsteads with Osage Orange hedgerows and babbling creeks. Plenty of serene space to contemplate the meaning of one’s existence.

And contemplative is a natural adjective for Mark. He has done much to share the triumphs and pitfalls of running a one man shop, from the business challenges, to marketing, and the philosophies that guide his work. His work runs the gamut from small hand-carved gift items to huge natural-edged tables. He has a full suite of Mission style furniture and has done most of the traditional furnishings for a nearby Catholic church.

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Here Debbie charges up for the inspection with a cup of tea. We both were knocked out by the 12˝ jointer. Never seen one that large in person before. And yet it was no match for the tables mentioned above. Mark got huge safety points too, with the wall-mounted First Aid Kit and the fire extinguisher. I voted for an extra points for having a three-ring binder punch available in the work zone and a huge shelf full of reference materials. We both were enjoying the newly installed air conditioner. Didn’t want to think about working or even inspecting in 120°F heat.

And how do you joint a big log section? Here is one of Mark’s answers – a router fixture. This is the small one.

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Check out the big one.

Then Deb has to resort to mental math to calculate the total of the various clamps available. Answer: You can never have too many.

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Mark gets points for ambient air filtration and hearing protection. I’m liking the Delta belt/disk sander. We both liked the kid’s art wall.

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Great shop Mark! You passed with flying colors.

WIWDPTour

Thank you for sharing your thoughts and views, and the diversity of your talents. Make sure and visit Mark's website.
Mark go get your Shop Tour Certificate, suitable for posting on the finest website!

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over a decade.



14 comments so far

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6699 posts in 2727 days


#1 posted 08-28-2007 12:22 PM

Hi Marc;

Sure is alot of wasted space in that shop! Have you ever heard the term “free floating”?

That’s where you simply lay the item in mid air, and it stays there, until your’e ready to use it again.

I haven’t perfected it yet, but when I do I’ll send you an email! (so far it keeps falling on the floor).

Great job to Doug and Ms. Debbie.

Lee

-- by Lee A. Jesberger http://www.prowoodworkingtips.com http://www.ezee-feed.com

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

18615 posts in 2908 days


#2 posted 08-28-2007 12:55 PM

I was really impressed, Mark. A glorious place to do such glorious work as you do.
(Love the wall of art work).

Well written, once again, Douglas. You are doing a wonderful job!!

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (https://www.facebook.com/DebbiePribeleENJOConsultant)

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4438 posts in 2710 days


#3 posted 08-28-2007 01:08 PM

Great shop Mark. MsDebbie, you still look just as cute as you did at my place. Great job gang.

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

18615 posts in 2908 days


#4 posted 08-28-2007 01:13 PM

why thanks Thos. It must be all this fine living I’ve been doing :) You know, 5 star hotels (oops.. don’t tell Martin – he thinks I’m staying at the cheap motels)

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (https://www.facebook.com/DebbiePribeleENJOConsultant)

View Bob Babcock's profile

Bob Babcock

1804 posts in 2833 days


#5 posted 08-28-2007 03:39 PM

Nice stuff Mark. Nice to see where the magic happens.

You must be getting tired Deb. Great job Doug.

-- Bob, Carver Massachusetts, Sawdust Maker http://www.capecodbaychallenge.org

View Karson's profile

Karson

34912 posts in 3148 days


#6 posted 08-28-2007 03:50 PM

Mark: Great shop, I enjoyed the visit. Douglas thanks for assembling every together. And Debbie thanks for showing up at the picnic and staying around for the visit.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware karson_morrison@bigfoot.com †

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

3971 posts in 2811 days


#7 posted 08-28-2007 05:07 PM

Don’t worry Martin.
I stayed at the Pixel Inn in Council Grove. Cost: zero dollars. Getting a look at Mark’s shop: Priceless.

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over a decade.

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

18615 posts in 2908 days


#8 posted 08-28-2007 05:44 PM

Tired? me?? no way.. this is just way too exciting and too much fun :)

Who’s next???? !!!!

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (https://www.facebook.com/DebbiePribeleENJOConsultant)

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

3971 posts in 2811 days


#9 posted 08-29-2007 02:34 AM

As my buddy Dorje would say, “Yee haw!”
We are both psyched to tour your facility be it the size of a football field or a one car stall. Send me an e-mail and we will tour it up right. Plus it’s a great impetus for cleaning and organization (Trust me, I need all the impetus I can get!).

Lee,
When you get that free-floating doohickey up and running let me know. Till then I’ll keep the fatigue mats in front of the bench.

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over a decade.

View Mark A. DeCou's profile

Mark A. DeCou

1998 posts in 3153 days


#10 posted 09-09-2007 01:53 PM

man, what a mess that place looks like. I stumbled onto this blog, but following back referring page hits on my website. I guess I missed your visit Debbie, but glad you found your way in. What a great bit of photo editing you are doing Douglas, I’m amazed. And how great Debbie is doing by posing in just the right way, makes a fun blog and story…...despite the mess. I sure need more space. Good thing you didn’t find your way inside the old barn where all of the extra stuff and wood is stored. whew.

thanks for stopping in,
Mark

-- Mark DeCou - American Contemporary Craft Artisan - www.decoustudio.com

View Mark A. DeCou's profile

Mark A. DeCou

1998 posts in 3153 days


#11 posted 09-09-2007 02:01 PM

sorry, double post.

-- Mark DeCou - American Contemporary Craft Artisan - www.decoustudio.com

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

18615 posts in 2908 days


#12 posted 09-09-2007 02:54 PM

I didn’t notice the mess—too busy looking out for dangling extension cords I guess :)

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (https://www.facebook.com/DebbiePribeleENJOConsultant)

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

12302 posts in 2845 days


#13 posted 09-09-2007 02:59 PM

Mess? It is a working shop.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

3971 posts in 2811 days


#14 posted 09-09-2007 05:02 PM

Mark,
You can blame Karson. He let us in when you were not looking.

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over a decade.

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