You get to choose!

Over the weekend while working in the shop I decided it was time to make a list of the projects in the works and prioritize them in to something we could make headway on in the near future.

Turns out, that a lot of the projects lead to more projects (special tools/ jigs that are needed to do them) so that list ended up being 18 items long (and that’s not all of them I know, just those that came to mind right away). So, I thought we would list the top 5 big projects on here and have you, our faithful followers choose which one we should pursue first.

Here is the list, please pick the one you think we should start on first and next Sunday we will tally the votes (in the comments on this page only) and let you know which it will be.

1: Hollow log tables (these are sections of hollow logs that will end up having a glass top flush with the top of the log). Please keep in mind, this is the Rough form, they will be flattened, sanded, sealed, etc. 20180212_090307

2: Block table (this is a set of 8- 6” x 6” beams, that will be set on end and flattened at 3 different heights so you can make your own table in the configuration you choose).20180212_090815

3: Wagon spring table: We have a set of old wagon springs that will be used at the legs for a table. The two on the outsides left and right. We would need to make the base and top runners for the springs before the table top could be put on there. The wood will either be English Walnut or Juniper.20180212_090953

4: Bread troughs stock buildup. I have 16 or 17 bread troughs in the works, all need to be finished, some more than others. (and 3 burl bowls now shown)

5: Radio cabinet to front opening cupboard. We have an old tube radio cabinet that we are going to change into a cabinet. It just has not made it to the top of the list yet, perhaps it’s time?20180212_090435

Ok, please comment below and let us know you choice.

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Rough to Perfect

It’s always wonderful to talk to people and explain how we are taking the roughest of raw materials, a log, and turning it into wonderful products that they are happy to have in their homes.

Sadly it seems in today’s society that many either don’t know where the finish products start from, or are not aware that anyone actually does that anymore. Often our boards were standing trees not many days before we cut them.Walnut load 1st shot

From there the boards are put in special stacks to dry for a few months to a year. Bowl blanks are cut and the bowls roughed out before being put in a tote for a few months before they are finish turned.

The Juniper boards I just ran through the planner a couple weeks ago were cut in June of 2016. This drying time makes for a long process from tree to finished product. Here are a few of the bowl blanks that came from the logs we cut a couple weeks ago. The trees were cut in November; the bowl blanks cut 2 weeks ago and the bowls last Saturday. The finished bowls will be a few more months, after the bowls are dry and I can return them to finished size.

The time span from raw material to finished product can be as short as a few months or as long as three years.

 

Networking is key

 This last weekend we delivered a couple English walnut boards and a bowl that resulted from a tree we were given nearly two years ago. We would never have gotten this tree if it were not for networking. Friends of friends sort of thing led us to this tree. The boards were all the owner of the tree requested to give us the wood, the bowl was our gift to them for the same.

Many of our logs come from this method and we always try to repay those who help with gifts made from the tree. The only issue is the processing and drying time between the time we get the logs and the time we can deliver those items. In this case, there was the added time span of matching schedules with the only person in the area with a mill big enough to cut the slabs for us. In the end, the wait will be worth it and some great items will come from this tree.

If you have, or know of a tree(s) that need taken down, have been taken down, or buildings that need dismantled, please let us know and we will make you a nice item out of the materials. Granted, we can’t always take a tree down, but we have developed connections with a great tree service that probably can if we cannot. Buildings with a bit of age that are starting to make property look a bit dilapidated are ideal for creating great items for home decor or outdoor entertaining.

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Walnut boards

Last week I mentioned we had eight pieces of walnut that were big enough to make into boards. Over the weekend, with the help of my nephew John Furgerson and Jerry Bailey (who has a great little mill), we cut those eight pieces and ended up with 73 boards. A few ½” for making boxes, etc, some 1” for shelves, etc, and some 1-1/2” for table tops, etc,.

The colors and grain out of these pieces are fantastic!

We split the wood 3 ways and will all be making some great items once the wood has had time to dry. Give us a few months and I’ll post those items here.

Both John and I are still working on cutting and turning rough bowl blanks from the short chunks and those should be dry about the same time.

If you have any interest, let us know now and we can work out the details of what you want while the wood dries and get it made in a few months.

Walnut is Wonderful!

Thanks to a new friend (Darrin Burns) who runs his own tree service business we had a trailer load of black walnut to make things with. Thanks to my nephew, John Furgerson, we worked up part of that load last weekend. As you can see from the photos, this is some terrible stuff!

Walnut load 1st shot

Most of what we cut over the weekend will be bowl blanks. I have 8 cut out already, two are already roughed out and there is still a pile of cut blocks left to turn into blanks! I figure somewhere in the neighborhood of 30 bowls with the pieces I have in the shop, and 6-8 spatulas/ spoons to match.

John took home what we figure will be 15-20 bowls as well. There will also be blanks for rolling pins, ring holders, darning eggs, etc… The blanks just need time to dry before they can be utilized. The bowl blanks we rough turn to approximately 1” thick and let them dry before finish turning.

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All this represents about 25% of the load, the stuff in the mid size range. There are 8 larger pieces left that we hope to make boards out of next weekend or perhaps the weekend after. And there is still a good size pile of smaller stuff that will be cut to size for more of the above mentioned items (rolling pins, ring holders, etc…).

If you are interested in any of the stuff made from this walnut, just let us know.

 

Slow and steady

That is a phrase I have heard my whole life, and we are trying our best to do just that, go slow and steady in our change to Galloway Artisans. For anyone that knows us or has followed our blog for any length of time, that’s a hard thing for us to do.

There are a few orders on the books, there are many projects in the works, and we are working on a business plan that will help guide us in the right direction. Or at least what we hope is the right direction.

A friend that we have never met face-to-face has agreed to help with marketing, gallery research, etc. on a percentage of sales basis and we hope that is a lucrative deal for both of parties.

Check back again for updates and photos next week of a doll cradle I’m making for an order out of Poplar. It’s going to be beautiful!

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More toys for 2018!

Well, the toys have all been given out and the response has been that these are fantastic, but can we make more?

I won’t have the complete numbers until after the holidays, but it looks like we need to at least double the amount of toys we did this year. I’m thinking perhaps adding more options to them will help as well. Up the numbers of each to 25 from the 14-15 we did this year and we should have a total closer to what was requested. Starting in January we will talk to the Northwest Trail Riders Association (NWTRA) and see about doing a work day every month during the down time (winter when the trails are closed) so that we are not doing so much in a short time. Also recruiting others that have wood shops to take on other toys and spreading the work load out more.

Next year we will add block trucks, bull dozers, a boat pull toy, a rocking chair, a train set, a tool box set, some cribbage boards, and a marble solitaire game to the mix along with some items in the works that are better suited for the slightly older kids. Phone holders, speakers, ear bud/ cord holders, etc… will post photos of them once I have them scanned in to the computer.

If you would like to be involved, just drop us a line… we would Love to have you on board this wonderful way to give back to our community.

Nearly done!

Well with several of us working on things at different times the cradles (14) and block wagons (15) are nearly done! The small toys are being painted by Buck’s family and those will be done this week as well I’m told. Gary made up a batch of small side-by-side wooden cars so our total is going to be impressive! (Definitive car numbers in the next blog with the finished products!) The top boxes are the “block wagons”, the parts under are the ends of the cradles, the lattice looking things are the sides of the cradles and the box looking thing is the assemble jig for the cradles. The clamps are are an attempt to save one of the cradle ends that was cracking. 

Check back next week for the photos of the finished products.

Cradles and block wagons coming together

Toys in process!

It’s been a whirlwind of a month so far, and it is scheduled to go out just as fast! Tomorrow and Saturday we will be at Enterprise for the Wallowa Valley Christmas Bazaar. Love being able to show off all our great items, but am not a great fan of all the process it takes behind the scenes to get ready and attend these events. Still, we do want to take our art work to the next level and be able to actually earn money from what we do, so this is part of that process. I’ll post photos of the booth and give a report of how things go once we get back.

In the mean time, I’ll leave you with some photos of what the shop looks like currently. The toys to give away idea was picked up by the local ATV club, the Northwest Trail Riders Association (NWTRA) and a couple of the members have been here several times so far to help cut out parts, round the edges, drill holes,,,, well you get the idea, there is a lot that goes into the process of making these toys, but it’s all fun and a lot easier with many hands helping.

What you are seeing are the sides of the “Block Wagon” along with boxes of blocks that will go in the wagon. There is a stack of sides and rockers for the “Cradles” and even more blocks for the wagon. The cardboard barrel is filling up fast with the small cars, train engines, fish, etc… that will end up with wheels before being given out. 

The FFA group is working on gathering up a list of who they will give the toys out to as well as communicating with local churches and other groups to find more kids in need. 

I’ll put up a post the first of next week with more details on how the Bazaar went and progress on the toy making. 

Toys to donate

Thanks to many who donated some funds to the cause, we will be making some small wooden toy cars to donate to the local kids who might be a bit shy on Christmas presents this year. They are nothing fancy, just durable and fun! But, put one or two on the table and soon even the adults are pushing them around, rolling them back and forth to each other or otherwise playing with them! Isn’t that the true test of a toy, that it gets used?

Along those lines, while living in Kalispell MT we made different toys that were donated to the kids through the Toys for Tots campaign. One of our friends here in Pendleton liked the idea of those toys going to kids so we are working on making it happen again. It may not be through the Toys for Tots since they don’t have a local group, but the FFA and or Girl scouts do give out toys and we are looking in to that option. If those fail, something will turn up, it will just take some looking and asking. There is a chance that for next year we will do a group build and make a bunch of these again to give out. It’s just to late this year to make it happen, but it’s not too late to get it going for next year!

Thank you to all of you that donated for the toys this year, the wheels are on the way and we will pick up dowels and glue in the next couple days. Cutting a few cars every day I should have them done in a couple weeks.