This is the second part of my blog and in this blog I am going to talk about writing a business plan, and past mistake I have made in business. Now this is the third shop I have started and if I have learned anything it is this, to be successful you need a plan! There it is. Now the first two times I did not write a business plan, I did not write a marketing plan. Really all I did was run into a guy who knew a guy who had a building to rent and the next thing I knew I had a shop and a whol...
Hey everyone, It was suggested that I start a discussion on how to find and harvest burls. Please give your input also. I don’t deal with straight grain that often. I cut and sell burls for a living so here is what I know. It is illegal to harvest a burl without permission. of course if it is on your own property you can give yourself permission. What I do is put an ad on Craig’s list saying I want your burls. Most people don’t know what burls are. So you don’t get that many calls....
I am seeing the light at the end of the tunnel in computer land today. I only have an hour or so of work left on the final pattern that I am getting ready for the next update. In tallying the new things that will be up on the site, my contribution alone will be five patterns and I will also be offering a kit. Keith has some very nice patterns to add also. Since we only updated the site a couple of weeks ago, I think that is a good accomplishment. I am wondering why I have been feeling like...
I mentioned in one of my project post where I pictured a small hand plane that I made in my shop that I also make the irons and sharpening stones. I of course make the wood too, since I have a sawmill. Others showed interest in more details, so here they are. I did not know where to start. I am starting with a honing stone I “made”. It did not work out exactly as planned. It is a very good stone and I will use it for honing razors personally and in my business (I run a small sh...
Online Scroll Saw Class - Incredibly Fun Adventures in Scroll Sawing #4: Let the Scrolling Begin - Casting on and Casting Off
Now that everyone has their patterns applied to the wood, we are finally ready to turn on our saws and do some cutting. Since the practice patterns that I have given you have no inside cuts, we are going to learn some practical ways to start and finish our cutting lines. I call this ‘casting on’ and ‘casting off’ the wood. Most people – especially when starting out – just aim for the part of the design that is closest to the edge and start cutting. ...
I recently finished working on a cutting algorithm app for the iPad and iPhone called Smart Cutter, and wanted to share the app with every one hoping get some feedback from carpenters and wood workers. Smart Cutter finds the maximum number of small pieces cut from a larger sheet of paper with minimum scrap. It employs a state of the art algorithm to generate the maximum number of small pieces cut from a larger sheet of paper, wood, cloth or any other material, with minimum waste. Whether y...
Online Scroll Saw Class - Incredibly Fun Adventures in Scroll Sawing #10: Lesson 10 - Cutting Negative Designs
In scroll sawing, there are several different types of ways to make a nice design. Some people make beautiful portraits by playing with lights and shadows. Here is an example of portrait designs: The above portrait was designed by my partner Keith. I have not yet done much portrait cutting, but there are many scrollers here such as Scroll3r, KnotCurser and William who do really nice work on them. Another type of design is what is referred to as a ‘positive’ design. I...
This is a non traditional workbench designed and built by a homebuilder as his work site saw table. It is a fairly simple design, yet quite sophisticated at the same time. It is very well thought out and quite useful. What makes this one special is the way he designed it to give you space to keep your tools all at hand, but not taking up space on the work surface. I have a feeling that many of the Lumber Jocks here will appreciate it and perhaps want to use it for inspiration. This is u...
After several months of waiting and anticipation, the moment finally arrived when I got a chance to really get to know and work on my new Excalibur scroll saw! Even though I had the saw delivered to the show in Saratoga Springs, there was little time for me to enjoy it and really run it through the paces. I was very busy at the show and I must say that I was only at the booth a couple of hours a day, during which time I was usually talking to people who stopped by. Both Keith and I were ...
I don’t know where to begin today. I am truly feeling ill because of some things that are happening with my business. Those of you who read on a daily basis, know that I typically don’t gripe and moan about things, as I usually try to look at the bright side of things and focus on that. But some times it is difficult to find the bright side in a situation and there is nothing but darkness. Yesterday I found out some extremely troubling news regarding one of my wholesalers. ...
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