Cover Photo: One of Ed Lewis’s wood/epoxy turned vases.
In 1947, my parents took me to Gatlinburg, Tennessee for my first vacation. I was fascinated by a woodturner and resolved that I would one day learn the craft. In the early 1970s, I found an ancient used lathe in a flea market. I bought a box set of chisels at Sears and set out to learn the craft. I didn’t have a teacher and I made a lot of mistakes. Continue reading →
Casting epoxy is really catching on. Live edge tables with bright centers, clear coasters with stones, wood, or shells intricately placed, or even beautiful jewelry can be made with WEST SYSTEM Epoxy. With so many people venturing into using epoxy this way, I will address common questions about casting depth, colorants, bubble removal, and finishing. Continue reading →
The design features my marquetry rendition of some of the original artwork by Wonder Graphics on the inside cover of their epic Eat a Peach album, released in 1972.
In the early days of my woodworking career, beginning in 1981, I spent time as a boatbuilder at Wood Boats, a restoration yard in Norwalk, Connecticut. From the first day of my job there I learned the importance of epoxy in all aspects of boatbuilding. Inspired by reading Mother Earth News, I moved to rural Maine, built my own home, and got a job at another boatshop (this one in a huge, defunct chicken barn) in Lincolnville, Maine. I started my own woodworking shop in 1988. Continue reading →
This is the Packard wagon I am redoing the wood on. Some of the original wood will be reused. I bleached all the wood before I varnished it so it will match. On the panels, I used 105 Resin and 207 Special Clear Hardener to epoxy the mahogany veneers to the steel door panels. I clamped them by vacuum bagging them. —Jeff Hobgood
I designed this project by scaling down a Chris Craft runabout from pictures I found online.
Hull and Drive Assembly
I started with five rib frames and a center beam temporarily mounted upside-down on a workbench. I glued and stapled the ¼” x ¾” bead-and-cove pine strips to the ribs. Once all the strips were installed, I removed the staples and sanded the hull smooth for the heat-activated 2″ mahogany strips I’d apply later.
Some years ago I had the curious idea of cutting a dried black walnut in half on a band saw. That first look at the exposed insides of the nut grabbed me as very unusual, even surreal and not at all what I expected. I decided to seal the cut surfaces in epoxy which made them look even more unusual. I’ve made many since and love to see the reaction from people looking at them for the first time. I’ve been told they look like brain scans, polished geodes, and ink blots. Continue reading →
My career at Gougeon Brothers is coming to an end. By the time you read this article, I will have moved on to new things, the things that retired people do such as travel, kayak, volunteer, read books, and tinker creatively in my shop.
There is a place inside each of us where creativity bubbles freely. Creativity is a gift that needs to be tapped into and shared with others to fully blossom into something beautiful. Tinkering has always been a creative outlet for me. I wonder why many of us seldom tap into it. Possibly we were embarrassed as a child after showing someone our creations. The emotional wounds we suffered early in life may cause us to stop sharing ideas and creating things. Continue reading →
ABOVE: Suresh Kalavala of Galloway, Ohio built this waterproof Carrom game board. The frame is walnut, the corners are quilted maple and the game surface is Baltic birch plywood laser printed with a wide-format UV LED printer. He coated the surface with 8 coats of 105 Resin/207 Special Clear Hardener to protect the design. The resulting finish was actually too smooth and hard for optimum playing (The game involves flicking game pieces into the corner pockets), so he sanded it and added a layer of polyurethane to provide the correct texture. For details, visit diycarromboard.blogspot.com
My sunflower project began after I’d brought home from the farmer’s market three sunflowers planted in a small barrel. I placed the flowers on the patio outside my kitchen’s sliding glass door. Every time I sat at the kitchen table, I looked out at this bright splash of color and felt pleasantly relaxed. That happy, soothing view ended two days later when deer ate the sunflowers. I wanted my view back, but knew that buying more flowers would just provide another meal for the deer. I decided to re-create the flowers in something they couldn’t eat: glass and bronze. Continue reading →
Customers often ask us to recommend a WEST SYSTEM product for filling cracks and knotholes in wood. The best choice is 105 Resin and 207 Special Clear Hardener. Used properly, this product combination produces a strong, transparent casting. I will use large logs with huge voids to demonstrate the best practices for achieving a clear, bubble-free casting with 105/207. Continue reading →