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MY PREJUDICES AND HOW THEY AFFECT MY COMMENTS ON THIS SITE
(this was written in 2002)
I put this off to the side 'cause I don't expect it to be of any interest to anyone. I put it here at all just 'cause it only seems fair to point out my particular experiences and prejudices around wood and how they color my comments throughout this site.
I'm a strictly amateur woodworker and have been for about 35 years. I started working with exotics about 25 years ago. I only do small pieces and the only thing I've ever sold is some of my bowls. My largest projects have been things on the order of the dulcimer case shown with the African Mahogany and the doll rocker shown with the Red Aromatic Cedar. Mostly I do toys and turnings as gifts for relatives and friends. I did do some very large outdoor playset projects when my kids were young, and I've build uncounted pine bookcases for the several different houses I've lived in over the last 30 years, but those I think of more as carpentry than woodworking.
I've always worked in an unheated garage, so I don't get much done in the winter, and I've worked/lived away from home during the week, and sometimes for weeks on end, for many years, so there have been long stretches where I do no woodworking. Also, my primary hobby for many years was computers, so woodworking sometimes took a back seat to exploration of new computer technology. My point here is that while I love woodworking, I'm not as experienced as you might expect from someone who has had it as a hobby for 35 years.
The good news is that I never took many pictures of my projects, so this site is not, as it otherwise might be, cluttered up with pictures of my stuff. I do put in a fair amount, but trust me, it could be MUCH worse. I only recently got a digital camera, so eventually this site will see more of my projects. I know you're just thrilled to hear that.
I'm adamantly opposed to adding any color to wood. I use oil and wax and polyurethane finishes, all of which deepen and enrich the color of wood without changing it it any other way. I detest stains. The only exception I make to this is that I stain pine bookshelves 'cause they look a little too raw otherwise. So you will occasionally see comments such as "anyone who stains this wood should be shot", and sometimes when describing particular woods, I go off on a rant about how people too often stain the wood. I'm a speed typist and even my friends say I talk too much.
I love colorful mixes of exotic woods and I do a lot of laminated projects, mostly bowls and dried-flower holders. Many of these are very "busy" and I can see how a lot of people (my wife very much included) could see them as gaudy and unattractive. I love them and that's why I do them. The people I give them to always express admiration and amazement, but I think some of them then stick the piece away in a closet with a blanket over it.
For a quick view of some of my laminated projects, click here:
BOWLS. This has gotten MUCH more extensive since I started this site.
Also, as you will see in references throughout this site, I am deeply offended by the BogusColorVendor and other offenders against the natural beauty of wood.