Archive for the ‘Items of interest’ Category

Bell Forest Hardwoods

March 31, 2018 Leave a comment

Thinking about building a new workbench is a pastime for many woodworkers. It’s been on my mind for a few years and I have posted my thoughts a couple of times. In an attempt to spread the cost, last year I purchased hardware from Benchcrafted. This year the search for the perfect building materials began. Soft Maple, Hard Maple, Ash all come to mind; reading blogs and watching you tube there are many beautiful benches and thoughts on what’s best. There’s definitely no lack of opinion amongst woodworkers. The decision really came down to two factors, I prefer the look of maple, and soft maple is slightly easier to work. Since my tool cabinet and saw till are cherry the bench accents will also be cherry.

Two hardwood stores are within 45 minutes of my house and I’ve been to both over the last few years, they generally have what I need, but the pricing is very high. Shannon Rogers has frequently discussed lumber pricing and I am a huge believer in capitalism, if the prices I see are what the market will bare, so be it. Fortunately I travel a fair amount in my job and have been stopping at local lumber yards throughout the Midwest looking at alternatives while waiting for the weather to improve. A few weeks ago out of curiosity I had Bell Forest Products quote their Roubo Kit. My expectation was low that they would be competitive. Surprise, with shipping, straight line rip and Planing they were a few dollars cheaper!

The best part was yet to come…. Woodworker Guild Savings, and I happened to need to go to Northern Michigan University for a College Visit. Under the guise of touring colleges I ended up in Ishpeming Michigan. Exchanging a few emails with Eric at Bell Forest Products the deal was struck and date set for pick up.

I’ve read blogs and Instagram about the service and quality of the Lumber from Bell Forest Products and my skepticism faded long ago with the many comments. If any of you remain skeptics one visit and you will be sold. Over the last week Eric has sent a couple of emails updating me on my lumber status. The day before pickup he let me know it was there and waiting, pulling up and walking in the door I immediately felt welcome and comfortable. Given a choice I like to buy from people that I have met and build trust with. Mark Harrell at Bad Axe, Jason Thigpen at Texas Heritage Toolworks, all have built a reputation for quality service and I consider part of my woodworking family. I am certainly adding Eric Poirier and Bell Forest to this list.

Eric toured me around their shop and talked about their business, customer service and employees (there are eight). I was amazed that 90-95% of their business is through the internet and phone and is shipped across the country. We talked a lot about quality and expectations of customers. I think my daughter summed up the visit best “it’s really fun being around people who are passionate about what they do.” This is a direct quote.

A few photos of the lumber in their shop and the team packaging and getting shipments ready. It was a great visit and hopefully the first of many. If you are considering Bell Forest Products, don’t hesitate and if you can find an excuse to visit Northern Michigan it’s beautiful country with wonderful people. Eric, thanks for a great visit and I look forward to staying in touch.

Categories: Lumber, Roubo

New Apron

December 16, 2016 Leave a comment

A couple of years ago while wandering around Hand Works I had the opportunity to meet Jason and his family from Texas Heritage Woodworks. I know from my instagram and blog friends that many of you have also spent time with Jason. I enjoyed the brief time we talked and was struck with the quality of his workmanship. If you are looking for an apron, tool rolls, stickers or other items you can’t go wrong.

Fortunately when my birthday came around a couple of months ago, Jason took time out of a very busy schedule to add a logo designed by my wife to one of his awesome aprons. I couldn’t be happier. There is something special about knowing the people who make the products you use. Jason, consider yourselves back door neighbors!

Categories: Items of interest

Sea Chest

February 10, 2016 5 comments

A year or more ago I was given a dovetailed chest. If I recall it came from an officer on a Great Lakes freighter and was used to keep his personal items while on board. The chest measures 28″ long, 13″ deep and 11″ tall. When it was given to me the paint had been removed so the joints were easy to view.


The trim is nailed around the top and bottom as are the bottom boards. The dovetails have quite an angle, more than I would typically use, but may be fun to try on a project.

All of the hardware was in jars inside the chest including the lock.

Inside the chest there is a definite tinge of red so i assume that it may have been the original color, at least inside. Also the hinge locations have been moved and new mortises installed at one time. I’m debating what to do with the chest. It seems that I should repaint it to keep it in fair condition, possibly with milk paint.

Lastly I wonder at the story of this chest, the travels across the lakes and the owner.


Categories: Items of interest

Paul Sellers’ new book coming soon!

December 31, 2015 Leave a comment

Reposted from Paul Seller’s blog. As you know I’m a big fan and spending time in a class with Paul was truly a great experience. Here’s the news ….from Paul 

It’s the close of the year and many of you have faithfully asked about my new book Essential Woodworking Hand Tools. In these closing weeks I did what I do in finishing off my furniture pieces just before delivery. I leave the piece to stand a day or a week (depending on the piece) and then make…

Categories: Items of interest

Here’s to Woodworking Web Friends

December 31, 2015 Leave a comment

My posts on WordPress have been few over the last several months, like many of you, the number of blogs ebb and flow based upon outside forces. Changes in careers, seasonal changes, project ideas, family all have an impact on what we build, how much we blog and the quality of the writing. Let me give you a few examples, Jeff at Jeff Branch  Woodworking made a career change that slowed his blogs for a few months until recently, when they have become more frequent and consistent, Marilyn whom we all follow, at She Works Wood decided to remodel  a kitchen (looks great by the way) and she slowed her writing temporarily although she never stopped commenting and supporting others. Greg Merritt at hillbillydaiku moved into a new home and took a month before he became a blogging machine.

As I finish up the year I have found multiple incomplete blog entries. Some just a title, others almost complete. I’ll try to get them out in the next few days. Also wanted to mention that you can find more posts on instagram under the orepass name. Sometimes it’s quicker than a full post and you are more likely to find pictures of dogs and kayaks along with the usual woodworking. Most importantly I wanted to thank all my followers, the bloggers I follow and a couple of people I actually met in person (Marilyn and Jason of TX heritage Woodworks. You are a great inspiration and wonderful support. I’ll try to be a better blogger in 2016!

Categories: Items of interest