Shaker Bench for Charity 2011 #4: Video Wrap-up of the Shaker Bench for Charity with Brian Havens

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Blog entry by Todd A. Clippinger posted 03-19-2011 02:28 AM 5346 reads 0 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 3: Shaker Bench Completed In Time (Just Barely!) Part 4 of Shaker Bench for Charity 2011 series no next part

Well Guys, I finally had an opportunity to sit down and edit a video that Brian Havens and I shot before he jetted back to his home in California.

We had a great time working together on this project and it did well to support a local Billings organization that serves the developmentally disabled community.

I also want to mention that a local LumberJock MTBrian also helped out and it was a good thing he helped what he did because we barely, just BARELY made it in time to the auction as it was.

I could type up a whole longer back-story but I need to head back out to the shop so I present to you my conversation with Brian Havens.

Todd A. Clippinger

Share the Love~Share the Knowledge~Support A Local Charity

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

15 comments so far

View childress's profile


841 posts in 3776 days

#1 posted 03-19-2011 02:46 AM

very cool….very cool

looks beautiful!

-- Childress Woodworks

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 4056 days

#2 posted 03-19-2011 03:59 AM

Todd, it sounds like all three of you had a ball. This was a wonderful collaborative effort that was a win-win situation for everyone involved.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 4334 days

#3 posted 03-19-2011 04:01 AM

Scott-I can’t fully tell express what a great time I had working with both guys. Even with the heavy burden of trying to meet the deadline, it was just a lot of fun – and fulfilling;)

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View gbear's profile


517 posts in 4333 days

#4 posted 03-19-2011 04:19 AM

I guess I’ll have to start following your twitter account…I would have loved to been a part of this and Brian and I could have flown together as we’re both from No. Cal. Great job guys, a wonderful project and a terrific cause.

-- gbear, Carmichael, CA

View Karson's profile


35152 posts in 4635 days

#5 posted 03-19-2011 04:57 AM

Great job

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia †

View Bob Kollman's profile

Bob Kollman

1798 posts in 3425 days

#6 posted 03-19-2011 07:58 AM

You guys did a great job, just recently I contributed a shaker step stool in quarter sawn oak

to a family that lost there son in a car accident. It broke my heart when the stool only got 75

bucks, there was 50 dollars worth of wood in that job, and it was a really an excellent stool.

But you and Brian did great, it was a great effort and I’m happy that the bidders were able to

see the true value of your work. And I do love the style of that bench.

-- Bob Kenosha Wi.

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 4334 days

#7 posted 03-19-2011 04:05 PM

Bob-I have been in your shoes and it is disappointing and easy to take personally.

I have noticed that some benefits are very popular and some are lesser. The same item can bring $500 or $2500 depending on the benefit, the fundraiser popularity, and the skill of the auctioneers. I have also noted the amount of alcohol that is supplied seems to loosen up the wallets although many arrived with a spending limit in mind.

I have interviewed others that make donations and the prices of their work continue to rise with the number of years that they have returned. This is something that many artists have confirmed when I talked to them. But it also depends on other things too such as what the items are and what the public thinks of the artist.

Some donate to specific high profile benefits for the recognition and that is a good business strategy, but I target the ones that impress me with how they are run. This organization is run well, effective with how they spend their money, and we see how their services affect people that we personally know. But we did have an “insider” advantage since my wife run one of the programs before she opened her restaurant.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 3907 days

#8 posted 03-19-2011 04:24 PM

Todd, Congrats to you and Brian. Looks like you had fun.

View Bluepine38's profile


3380 posts in 3319 days

#9 posted 03-19-2011 05:30 PM

Great project and wonderful craftsmanship, if you stop to consider the actual cost of the wood and
your time, it really gets expensive. This is the first year I have been asked to donate a piece for a
charity auction and have not asked what it sold for to keep from either being disappointed, or getting
to big an ego. Thank you for sharilng.

-- As ever, Gus-the 80 yr young apprentice carpenter

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 4334 days

#10 posted 03-19-2011 05:51 PM

Bluepine38 – You are correct on the expense for materials and time. It cost me money and time to pull away from other obligations in my shop. It cost Brian money to fly out on short notice and take a few days off of work as a program writer (more money lost than my remodeling projects cost me I am sure.)

One thing I do is insure that my work goes in the live auction to bring the highest dollar amount. I also get tickets to the dinner for Rita and I. I also like to get up and speak about why we believe in the organization and support it. (I don’t really like to public speak but I force myself to overcome my fear and I do OK.)

I did not do it this year, but in the past I have assembled a slideshow that they can play to show the construction of the piece. This usually generates interest.

These are a few of the things that can be done to bring attention to the work. This tends to heighten interest and generate more money.

If you can convince a local supplier to donate material that can ease the financial burden of the materials. The local suppliers for me have not been easy to work with in this department so I have simply made the sacrifice of purchasing materials myself.

I find this disappointing since I spend so much money with them but I also understand that as a larger business they are targeted by more charities than I am for donations. So in the end I cannot blame them, it is just disappointing anyway.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View Dusty56's profile


11830 posts in 3922 days

#11 posted 03-20-2011 04:40 AM

The video was wonderful , as is the contribution from the three of you excellent Craftsmen for the benefit of others !!
The Walnut , with the inclusion of the sapwood , certainly added life to the piece…..
Definite eye candy for me !

Thanks to all of you for your time and effort to “git ‘er done” : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View Bob Kollman's profile

Bob Kollman

1798 posts in 3425 days

#12 posted 03-20-2011 05:35 PM


You apparently put a lot of thought into these things ( my wife says I should plan more),

often I hear of a need and I donate an inventory item. Usually I hear a story from someone

and I say where would you like me to drop it off. I am not an artist, I am a woodworker and

I think your point about giving to the community and being more involved in the process

having a relationship with the charity make a lot of sense. I am also somewhat apart from

what is going on because I work 40 hours a week second shift, then 20 to 30 hours a week

in my basement shop. One day, God willing, I’d like to be in a position where my time is more

balanced and I could spend more time with people promoting my wood work- and giving to

the community. I think your a very smart young fellow, for I think you’ve already achieved this

mile stone.

-- Bob Kenosha Wi.

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 4334 days

#13 posted 03-20-2011 05:38 PM

Bob – I think it is honorable that anyone would use their shop skills and talent to the benefit of others. I just took it a step further and started studying what makes that effort more effective.

After these posts I realized that I should do a blog on it to expand more on the topic.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View sandhill's profile


2128 posts in 4158 days

#14 posted 03-21-2011 06:56 AM

Plan???? Nah Planning takes the spontaneity out of it and like the video shows its more fun that way and more real.

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 4334 days

#15 posted 03-21-2011 08:22 AM

Sandhill – You can ask Brian, this was definitely a real challenge and I will admit it was hard work meeting the deadline but a lot of fun. I really came down off of a woodworking high after Brian left.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

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