I have been collecting many ideas for projects from friends, magazines various art shows and of course the special requests from family and friends. Some of the things I like to make are wooden bowls, walking canes, cutting boards, cabinets, and basically anything that gets my creative juices flowing.
I have been making walking canes for family and friends; these are very fancy pieces of work, I always said; “if you have to use a walking cane, you should be proud of it”.
I will use any type of wood that is strong enough and has some character. Diamond Willow is a good choice, strong and easy to work with. I cut a spiral along the length of the Cain to give it some character and after sand finishing and trimming to a personal length I add a brass handle and a brass and rubber tip. I like to use a cooked stick for the cane, the middle can bend and twist but the ends have to be in alignment, so that when you push down on the handle the tip is directly below and not off to one side.
Cutting a spiral on a straight piece of wood is relatively easy. Cutting a spiral on a crooked piece is more difficult, the difficulty is in balancing the spirals so that they flow around and along the crooked body of the Cain.
Other projects include turning bowls with a natural edge; mostly I only use highly figured wood. These types of bowls are best turned while they are still green and I have built a kiln to dry the green bowls. Always make sure to leave extra thickness in the bowl to address the warping that will occur. Generally allow at least 1 to 1 ¼ inch of thickness. This will result in a finished thickness of ½ to ¾ inch thickness finished. My favorite woodturning tool for this type of work is a 5/8 bowl gouge with a 60 degree grind and I always cut my bowl blanks round with band saw.
Segmented Bowls have been a favorite of mine. The different patterns and shapes are only limited by your imagination. I like to use exotic wood with different colors like Purple Heart, Padauk, Wenge, Yellow Heart, Hard White Maple and many other species. Using this type of creates a very distinctive art that are very attractive when displayed.
There are always the usual for cutting board, shelves, cabinets and repairs of broken furniture.
This type of work keeps me busy throughout the fall and winter months. Now it is almost spring so it is time for pruning fruit trees and roses, preparing the soil for the garden and flowers.