Nelson: Project Hotel

This piece has to go now! I have another coffee table that's just being finished now that wants to move into the living room. There's no room for this one. Price now slashed to $300, or best offer.

Nelson: Project Hotel, aka The Square Donut. A slatted Nelson-style coffee table that's square-ish and has a hole in the middle. Part of the ongoing 26-part Nelson series.

This project was proposed waaaaay back in April, was begun waaaay back in May, and whose top was finished fairly quickly (probably waaay back at the end of May). It was the legs that gave me pause since I had no idea what I wanted to do with them. Square legs? Straight legs? Angled legs? Long legs? Spindles? Ah, yes, spindles.

It being over 100 degrees on most days for the past few months here in the San Fernando Valley, a four-part session with the spokeshave to create spindles was something I kept putting off. But lo! And behold! Lathe acquisition! Turned spindles! No more sweat session with spokeshave!

Now the obvious question: why is there a hole in the middle? The running joke around here is that we're gonna invite some kids over, plop them in the hole, give them some knives and meat and a floppy hat, and hold Benihana auditions. So if you'd like to steal the idea, purchase the table, and have at it, then feel free.

Oh wait, better idea -- put a little grill thingy in the middle, have all your guests sit on pillows around the table, and do a little Korean BBQ grill-your-own-meat in the middle of the table thing.

I also keep thinking about that scene in Wallstreet when Gordon Gecko drops the canape plate right through the hole in the faux glass coffee table at Bud's place during the meeting with Bluestar employees...

The real reason there's a hole in the middle? I don't remember. I'm sure I had a grand plan or a grand delusion of being artsy or a grand vision of the future of coffee tables with a built-in place for a trash can, but at the moment I simply can't recall. But I think it looks cool-- you get to see the toothed notches four times: twice on the outer edges and twice more on the inner edges.

Dimensions are as follows:

Length: 35 1/2"
Width: 26 1/4" (alas, not a square, but square-ish)
Height: 15"

Price: $300

Hard maple. Finished in tung oil.

To arrange purchase, send an email to craigwoodworks at gmail dot com



When I hear the word drumstick, I think of ice cream in a cone with the top dipped in chocolate and a sprinkling of nuts on top. But this is about something else.

My lathe is my friend. My spokeshave used to be my friend, but it's been demoted to just an acquaintance. While finishing up some spindles today I came across a skinny-ish piece of ash and said to myself, "Drumstick!" 'Cause nowadays I'm dreaming up all kinds of nonsense that I can make with my friend the lathe: pepper mills, French rolling pins, regular rolling pins, lamps, pens, pencils, letter openers, big wooden spoons and forks, dildos, bottle stoppers, chairs, stair spindles, light sabers, dagger hilts, chessmen, chesswomen, and of course drumsticks.

Anyway, I chucked up the ash, gave it a spin, and out came my best approximation of a drumstick. An approximation was all I could muster 'cause I didn't have a live sample to measure or copy (since I sold my drums and my collection of sticks/mallets a loooong time ago). It's a little on the short side (12.75") compared to a 5A (~16.25"), but it looks right. (The skinny-ish piece of ash was only 13.5" long.) There's a taper, there's a tip, there's a rounded butt, and there's a signature. 'Cause it's not a drumstick unless it's an official Signature Model.

So here it is, the Carlo Signature Stick, model 1138. 'Cause I'm a rock star. With only one stick. I'll be playing one-handed until its twin can be fabricated.

Length 12 3/4"
Diameter 7/8"

Ash, with a few coats of satin poly
Signed, limited edition (1 of 1)

Price: $1,000,000

Cash only (in a briefcase)

Free delivery to anywhere in the world


Nelson: Project Juliet

Letter J, Project Juliet, Nelson piece number 10, The Shoe Rack.

I call it the shoe rack 'cause that's what came to mind when the dimensions of this thing became evident. What you use it for is completely up to you: a plant stand, a foot stool, a kids' bench, a mini coffee table for those tiny moments of coffee drinking, or even a shoe rack.

Make sure you look at the dimensions at the end of this post 'cause the pictures might make it appear to be larger than it actually is. What it definitely isn't is the size of a regular Nelson bench.

Made from leftover pieces of maple from Project Kilo: The Square Coffee Table (not yet completed), this mini bench is something I threw together 'cause I didn't want to let those perfectly good lengths of maple go to the lumber limbo pile. That lumber limbo pile of mine is growing to unmanageable proportions, so it's best if I find a good use for certain pieces rather than subject them to insignificance and loneliness.

Why these pieces were rejects from the square coffee table is due to a failed planer sled experiment. Without getting into the ugly details, these pieces ended up with a little dip in their centers. If you look at the second picture below, you might be able to notice that the center of the shoe rack is of a slightly smaller width than the ends of it. Slightly. Not a lot. Slightly.

This is an all glue joint affair without the signature notches of some of my previous Nelson-style work. The glue blocks are oriented upwards so that the end grain is visible: this resulted in some chipping of the ends of the glue blocks when attempting to flatten the top with a hand plane. Must rethink my strategy in that regard next time. I think it looks cool and gives the thing some character ;>

Spindles! Lathe turned spindles! I finally got my lathe and these spindles were the first things I spun. I'm loving the lathe so much that my spokeshave just might get a retirement ceremony and end up in the tool limbo pile (which is not as ignominious a destination as the lumber limbo pile).

Below is the shoe rack demonstrating its usefulness in a way befitting its title. As you can see, we have a thing for Keen shoes.

Dimensions are as follows:

Length: 34 1/2"
Width: 7 1/4"
Height: 12"

Price: $150 Sold!

Hard maple. Finished in tung oil.

To arrange purchase, send an email to craigwoodworks at gmail dot com.