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Special Requests

This is just a sampling of the various special projects I've done. Requests often start with something seen in my displays, which might recall a fond memory of a wooden toy from childhood or parenting. Sometimes requests are born out of a hope of fixing a beloved wooden toy or trinket. Some requests have nothing to do with what I currently sell, but just a desire for something made from wood. I even had a magnet-collecting couple who were drawn to the booth by the magnet display and were very excited when I said I could make boards for them just like the ones that I have, so they could better display their collection.

I work with clients to figure out the details, sending sketches or pictures of mockups, and making suggestions for appropriate woods based on color and durability requirements. I enjoy the creativity that comes from going outside my usual box, and it's a bonus if I get to learn something new along the way.

Child names with animals, 2016
Custom Name Displays
This was a request from someone who came to the booth at the Edmonds Market. He saw the animal figurines and the wooden letters used as signage on the magnet board and, putting those things together in his mind, asked if I could make a custom name displays for each of his four children, pairing a favored animal with each name. When he had his fifth child, he came back with a fifth request.

Little Free Library #77803, 2019
Little Free Library #122830, 2021
Little Free Libraries
The first request for a Little Free Library came from someone with no particular design in mind, so I took my design inspiration from the storefront of a local bookstore. The second request came from the neighbor of a fellow woodworker who wanted to incorporate some of the architectural elements of her house, such as the window design and the roof brackets, into the library. These little structures can be fun because they combine a knowledge of architectural elements and the intricacy required to express those elements in miniature.

Custom Desk
Though I don't consider myself a professional furniture maker, I have built a number of pieces of furniture for our home, including a sofa table, some end tables, a piano stool where I sit to do finishing, and a Stickley Morris-type chair and ottoman. I also help to build custom tables, desks, and cabinets where I work. This request was from a friend of a friend who wanted a custom desk not only so she could choose the configuration of drawers, shelves, and surfaces but also to accommodate her being somewhat taller than average.
Rift oak desk, 2021

Pine dog and cat porch railing, 2017
Dog and Cat Porch Railing
This was a request from a friend from the Edmonds Market whose sister is a big fan of cats and dogs. The sister had the idea that she could convert her conventional, boring porch railing into something more interesting by using animal silhouettes. These dogs and cats were considerably larger than the ones I usually make. No scroll saws were used in the making of these animals.

Grill Stand
This grill stand was made for a colleague who was buying a new egg-type grill and wanted a stand he was sure would be sturdy enough to handle it. The hole on the top to accommodate the bottom of the grill was cut after this picture was taken since he hadn't bought the grill yet and didn't know the right size.
Cedar grill stand, 2012

Sea Turtle Wedding Favors, 2018
Wedding Turtles
There was to be a wedding with about 60 guests. The mother of the groom wanted to give each guest a token to recall the couple's memorable graduation trip to Hawaii. She also happens to really like turtles and had bought one of my first sea turtle puzzles, so she asked if I could make an ornament version of the puzzle and have it personalized. I cut the 60 oak turtles with the scroll saw, then contracted with someone to do the laser engraving on the front and back and supplied him with digital patterns for the designs and a positioning tray to hold the ornaments. After the engraving came some light finishing with tung oil, and then the turtles were ready for the nuptials. By all reports, the guests were well pleased with their gifts. The high school sweethearts are still married.