My other art

In case anyone is interested, this takes a lot of my time, and i love it.  This is the top of my new desk.  It is inspired by an airplane wing.  The primary wood is walnut with cherry accent strips on the seams and copper inlay in the voids.  This walnut was actually spalted like ambrosia maple.

dencalmichalisFlattyKaustavsome[Deleted User]Uncle_SteveKschabenBOB73anweshaKitWeatherfordForgivenessBoudiccaMoeyMicheleIrishcajunAncolieRenoirFilurenJessicaArtanthonyleon[Deleted User]MichaelDDiannaArtGalKodiakwoodJenniferTaylorclare19


  • Mike

    WOW this is spectacular.

  • @dencal Thank you Denis.  Its a labor of love.  You can see more of my stuff at if you are interested.
  • Wow! So beautiful. I'd love a desktop like that.
  • I am thinking of using it as a palette ;)
  • Very nice. Love the walnut. I need 20k now to build my workshop.....:)
  • Thanks for all your nice comments.  @davidwwilson in real life i am a heavy computer user and my desk is covered by electronics.  It looks like a space station.  :)

    @some - are you adding a room for your studio?  why so much?  

  • MikeDerby said:
    Thanks for all your nice comments.  @davidwwilson in real life i am a heavy computer user and my desk is covered by electronics.  It looks like a space station.  :)

    @some - are you adding a room for your studio?  why so much?  

    I would love to build a carpentry shop on the end of my garage. I need a new table saw, router, planer, drill press..i need, i need, i need....20 x 20 radiant heated wishing get it....:)
  • @some Yeah, i get it.  I don't know where you are located but here in the states there was once a master carpenter on public TV named Norm Abram and he had a show called the New Yankee Workshop.  I often said, as i watched him work, that if i had $100k worth of equipment and a 50x50 shop i could do that too.  Then i became a follower of Roy Underhill, also of PBS fame, who has a show called the Woodwrights Shop.  (all of this is on YouTube now).  Roy only works with hand tools.  Over the years i have developed a hybrid approach to save money.  I splurged on a table saw.  I have a Saw Stop, which saves my fingers.  The rest is all garage sale stuff which i cleaned and serviced and use.  I have one half of our two car garage as a shop.  I make it work.  Its like painting.  At some point you have to stop getting ready to paint and just paint.  I hope you make something soon.
  • Thanks Mike. yeah, I watched Norm and Roy as well. I live in the Northeast, USA. My wife sorta sounds like Norm (higher octave though :) thanks for the encouragement. ( i like this young man -
  • Fabulous! (I'm looking for that still life, lol!)
  • Beautiful work Mike, you are a multi talented man.

  • This is beautiful! I wonder how many coats of varnish you gave it... it is like a mirror
  • @EstherH So far it has eight.  It will get another 4 when I finish the base.  I put it in my office on the old desk base until I finish it.
    Thank you @Uncle_Steve @Janell @NanaBean
  • Wow...Mike ever thought of moving to New Zealand..I would buy from you. They tell me the scenery is stunning, of course if your working you never have time to get out and you wouldnt be able to get any materials for carpentry let alone painting because we are at the back of beyond and we dont exist. If by any chance you fo find materials you pay through the nose.
  • edited April 2017
    KimNZ, it's the same in Tasmania. If you want high quality paints at the best price I've found that the best way is to buy locally made paints online. I use Langridge paints. If paints aren't made in NZ try Langridge - OZ and NZ are more or less local for each other.
  • Thanks...tassieguy....I will look into this. I have been getting my 86 year old Uncle in England to send me things. I have also bought oils from America called ultrecht...they sent me two lots for the price of one by mistake...boy did Christmas come early that year and they posted to NZ...they would not post Windsor & Newton paints though....only their own brands.
  • @MikeDerby AS concerns our mutual admiration for Norm and Roy. I found it depressingly discouraging that I could never make anything useful in only a half hour the way they could! You really did make a piece of art with that wood though.
  • Absolutely STUNNING!!! LOVE spalted maple (love curly maple, too...) Maple also makes a good tonewood (especially in F hole jumbo jazz guitars)... Well done!!!

  • Crazy beautiful! luxurious. Well done, congratulations. My own father was a master carpenter, I watched him my whole life. This is truly great work!
  • Thank you @Forgiveness.  Thank you @Weatherford .   I just want to point out it is spalted walnut.  That is what made this particular piece so sweet.  I bought it from a gentleman who was retiring and closing his shop.  I bought all of his old stock.  This particular tree came out of a neighborhood and he had it milled.  It was in his shop about 18 years he said.  I never saw spalted walnut before and i jumped at the chance.  I still have some excellent stock.
    If you would like to see a spalted cherry piece, go to and see Lucy's table.  Yes, that Lucy.  She came to my shop with her father to make her wedding gift from him and then i painted her.  It was quite a treat for me.

  • Outstanding @MikeDerby! again congrats! a nice piece of spalted cherry would be great to see, once in a lifetime chance, thank you.
  • Oops my mistake!! Not sure about walnut as a tone wood (since tone woods are how I know wood,) But spalted cherry??!!!! YUMMMMMMMYYYYY!!! I mean cherry in ANY means is my absolute favourite house wood! I once had a cherry kitchen <sigh> Drop dead gorgeous ;) Will go look :)  
  • Could be a giant boomerang?
  • @MikeDerby   I just saw this in an old post when I was looking for something else. Maybe you already know about this.
  • @BOB73 - I have heard of it and will try it some day.  Even with the special bit I am told it is wicked tricky to set up.  I will need a piece to be especially strong for me to try it.
    BTW, I have been building a custom closet all thru thanksgiving.  That is why there has been no update on my paintings.
  • BOB73BOB73 -
    edited November 2017
    you're multifaceted like a diamond trying to shine on every dimension. You can't put light everywhere at once but you brighten a lot of spots as you go. When I was working in a cabinet shop we had some molding machines that were dedicated to a single cutting head and a couple to one setup. Luckily we had the space for it. We had a 1947 12" table-saw that was like the Titanic I've never seen anything to compare with it. 
  • edited January 2018
    Since Thanksgiving I have worked a job, painted 4 portraits and a still life, and built two cabinets for a closet.  To say the least I need a little breather, so I opened my shop for a little recreation and put together the following demonstration on making my own expansive bridal joints (stretchers).  Note that I am only demonstrating my technique, not teaching or recommending.  I have all the safety equipment necessary to keep my eyes, fingers, ears and lungs.  If you try this, please do the same.  
    First I built a cornering jig.  Its the same thing I use to miter dovetail keys for decorative gift boxes.

    I will use it to make one of these.

  • I cut all my stock.  The dimensions are written on the sides.  The small piece at top is the blank from which I will make a stretcher bar.  Its one and a half by three quarters.  The bevel on the brace piece is 45 degrees.

  • edited January 2018
    I found my center line and drew in the placement of the braces.

    Next I glued and screwed the braces in place.  I only drill thru the side piece and countersink so the screw heads will not interfere with the travel of the jig thru the saw.  After the glue dries I will remove the bottom two screws to ensure they do not come in contact with the saw blade.

    I use my lines to place the screw holes and for the initial layout, but I stop periodically and double check the angle.  Precision is not critical because I will cover the joint with canvas, but hey, it don't hurt.

  • While I wait for the glue to dry I will show you the cuts I will make.  All of these cuts will be made while the work piece is firmly clamped in the jig.  Notice my hands won't be anywhere near the saw blade and the chance of the piece flying off the saw is very low.  This illustrates the need for high walls on the jig.

    After each of the first three cuts I will turn the workpiece end for end and do the same cut again.  I will do that for all 4 blanks before I adjust the saw to make the next cut.  After all that is done, I will make the 4th cut.  It is last because I want all of the surface area of that long edge to provide stability for making all the other cuts.  I need a flat surface for clamping as well.

  • Nicely done. If the name of the game in DMP is color checking, in woodworking it is in making jigs to give you highly accurate, reproducible results.  Thanks for posting the jig.
    I just saw your table. Your joinery is really nice and the terrific end product makes it look easy.  But it usually takes a lot of work to make things look easy. 
  • Great idea for safe and secure work jig. When I do cuts that result in very thin stock (half lap on 3/8 thick stock for example) I lower the blade and cover the blade slot with polyester packing tape from the front of the table to 2 inches past where the work will feed then I raise the blade to the highest point of the work cycle. This seems to help prevent breakage by the tape adding stability to the end during the cut. I found this necessary when working with cedar, fir and white pine when the resulting wood thickness will be the same or less than the blade thickness. Your jig solves that problem.
  • I couldn't be set loose with any kind of power tool, I'm sure I'd chop off my fingers! :open_mouth:
  • Just Like Home Workshop Deluxe Toy Power Tool Set

    • Just Like Home Workshop Just Like Home Workshop Deluxe Power Tool Setclick to zoom
    • Just Like Home Workshop Just Like Home Workshop Deluxe Power Tool Set  alternate image
  • Re: power tools:
    I got a new vacuum cleaner for Christmas that I LOVE! I will not let me husband use it, as I refer to it as my one and only power tool. I bought him a blower for Christmas. Secretly, I may try to use it next fall... bwaaahahaha! But power tools with teeth, chains, or cutting edges are reserved for his use. 

  • I am home today watching it snow.  When I get another break I will show you how I choose and cut stock, set up the jig for accurate cuts, and how to make each cut.
    I am considering a means to complete the entire process with hand tools so you are not required to spend big money for a table saw. 
  • I can hardly wait. Been freezing here 4 days in a row with some iced rain and a little snow. Nobody can remember having a hard freeze down here that lasted more than one day. This is the third snow this winter. Also highly unusual. The last one was in 1989 I think.
  • superb! Great design, very artistic and functional. Just hope they don't start an orchestra.
  • @MikeDerby that is a very nice piece.

    I live in Pittsboro NC and run into Roy Underhill frequently downtown. I get my hair cut at a great little barbershop one door down from his Woodwright’s School as well as having been fortunate enough to attend Roy’s dovetail and mortise and tenon class and a dovetail saw making clinic with Tom Calisto. Classes do tend to sell out really quick but I can’t recommend them enough. I’ll take some pics of the inside next time I’m over there. They have the largest selection of antique hand planes, brace bits and hand saws I’ve ever seen. 

    FYI Verlies has great food —breakfast, lunch and supper, too. ;-)
  • Thank you Bob and Tyrone.  I took the same class you did and can vouch for all you said @tyrohne.  Roy is a great guy and a great teacher.  I also highly recommend his classes.  I am jealous you got to take the saw making class.  I also want to take the carving class with Mary May.  She travels around teaching but good luck getting in.
  • edited June 2018
    Awesome! Holler when you’re back this way.  We can get a pizza at the Modern or if you like seafood there is a great new restaurant in the old post office called Postal Fish.  Mary’s classes always have a wait but the guy who runs the shop for Roy keeps a wait list.     I live in  Chapel Ridge a few miles out of town.  

    This is my view from the front of the house from the other day. 
  • Very beautiful piece of furniture, wonderful piece of art. I like that direction in the wood grain.
  • Oh how grand! It's a beauty. I love the dimensions and the drawer included is priceless. Is there a cover for it?
  • Thank you @Forgiveness I did not make a cover. Are you thinking about keeping dust out of the paint between sessions?  One thing I forgot to mention is that it was made entirely from scrap. It’s all dressed pine 2x4 and plywood 
  • Beautiful, Mike.
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