Molly Bagby

Aug 092013

Today’s #FollowFriday is Roger Moore from Aiken, SC, whose shop we featured in our August 2013 issue of Wood News. Roger is a retired nuclear engineer who left engineering in 2003 and built an entirely new two-story workshop right after retirement. He put a lot of thought and detail into the structure and specifications of his shop, which you can read more about in his feature HERE.

Within his shop, Roger has created a variety of pieces and mostly focuses on building custom furniture, book cases, yard furniture, and cabinets.


Kitchen Cabinets made of curly maple.


Chess Board made with Walnut and Maple with splined joints. Dovetailed box for chess and checker pieces made of Cherry.


Knife Block of maple, walnut and cherry on a padauk base.


Grandsons stool made from crotch of a black walnut tree. Round mortise and tenon legs with maple wedges. Finish is Minwax Golden Oak Stain, followed by dilute shellac sealer, diluted polyurethane, rubbed out with 0000 steel wool and finishing wax.


Spalted Maple coin box with walnut supports


This piece was done in red oak with strip LED backlighting. It was done for a women’s cancer charity in Augusta, GA.

One of Roger’s more in depth projects has been his work with music stands, specifically the one below that he made for as a graduation gift for a student going to Graduate School.


The stand is made of black walnut with brass hardware. The pedestal is made of a black walnut gunstock blank obtained from the Conasaga River Lumber Mill in the early 1970’s. The remainder of the wood in this stand came from a black walnut log cut in Aiken, South Carolina that was cut 4 years ago. It was dried in the wood racks in my shop for over 3 years before it was made into the conductor stand.

Each of the three legs are cut from black walnut stock aligning them with the grain of the wood in a manner that gives them the most strength. They are affixed to the pedestal using a large sliding dovetail joint and reinforced with a handmade brass spider made in my shop. The brass tilting mechanism is of my own design and was hand cut from a piece of ammunition brass in my shop. The solid brass oval knobs are cabinet knobs that I drilled out and threaded for this application

The platform is constructed of two pieces of book matched black walnut and incorporates an adjustable lip to best suit preferences for turning pages, etc. It is affixed to the platform using a bread board joint to hold the platform flat and allow for expansion and contraction. It also incorporates a small nook on the underside of the platform to hold a baton.

To see more of Roger’s work, visit his Lumberjocks website HERE.

———————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————–Fridays on the Highland Woodworking Blog are dedicated to #FollowFriday, where we use this space to further highlight a woodworker or turner who we have featured in our monthly e-publications Wood News and The Highland WoodturnerWould you like for your shop to appear in our publications? We invite you to SEND US PHOTOS of your woodworking shop along with captions and a brief history and description of your woodworking (Email photos at 800×600 resolution.) Receive a $50 store credit redeemable towards merchandise if we show your shop in a future issue.

Aug 082013

reco1You may be familiar with the fact that New York City is a “concrete jungle”, where there are very few trees, lots of buildings, and even more people. Nestled between several warehouses and lofts in an industrious Brooklyn neighborhood known as Williamsburg, sits RE-CO BKLYN, a sawmill and lumber yard dedicated to sourcing locally downed trees throughout the Tri-State area and beyond. (UPDATE 2016: RE-CO BKLYN is now located in Ridgewood, NY at 5606 Cooper Ave)

I recently got the chance to visit RE-CO BKLYN and got a personal tour from Founder and Owner, Roger Benton, who also owns his own handcrafted furniture business, Benton Custom. While I was there, Roger showed me around the RE-CO BKLYN property in addition to his shop space across the street, located in the 3rd Ward, a huge arts and design collective in Brooklyn that caters to all kinds of artists and creators.

The first stop on my tour of RE-CO BKLYN was the actual sawmill. RE-CO BKLYN has a Lucas Mill (seen below), which is both portable and takes up very little space. When I visited, Roger had the mill setup for flattening with a special disc that has teeth that skim the surface of the slabs to cut. For the Lucas Mill there are basically 3 different attachments including a circular saw blade, a wide slabbing attachment that cuts horizontally (61 inches wide), and the flattening disc, that can flatten slabs as big as what can be cut.


After showing off the hardware I got to see the piles of logs that were still waiting to be milled. A lot of RE-CO BKLYN’s supply comes from trees that have fallen in local NYC parks, as well as trees that have fallen throughout the streets of NYC. A lot of the supply that Roger had on hand was actually from the effects of Hurricane Sandy last October, which hit New York especially hard. As you can see below, each log has a number, which corresponds to RE-CO BKLYN’s inventory system and makes it easier to store and organize each piece after it has been cut.


The process of obtaining the fallen trees is actually rather simple and there aren’t as many jumps and hurdles that I thought there would be. When trees fall, the parks department wants to get rid of them as soon as possible and are even willing to drop them off at RE-CO BKLYN, sometimes up to 60 logs at a time, which is usually less than a 10th of a percent of what they are actually trying to get rid of.

Once they receive a drop-off, it’s time to cut and kiln dry the pieces. When I visited, there was a load currently in the process of drying. I happened to visit on one of the hottest days of the year, which does not make the drying process very easy as far as keeping the temperature controlled inside the kiln. That day Roger had the door cracked just slightly in order to vent the kiln.


The current load in the kiln.


Multiple piles ready to be loaded in the kiln once its done with the current load.

My tour of RE-CO BKLYN continued to their storage area of finished pieces, which had a very organized inventory system. As I said earlier, each log has a numbered label and once it is cut-up, each piece from the log is labeled A-Z and then goes into its own bay for storage. The slabs are then put up on the RE-CO BKLYN website and each piece is shown with measurements, thickness, and price.


Inventory storage for all of the kiln-dried slabs. These are ready to be sold.

I found out that 98% of RE-CO BKLYN’s sales are actually in Brooklyn, where they sell to many local woodworkers and furniture makers. Many of their customers come from Third Ward across the street, which is home to several shop spaces, including Benton Custom.

Since all of the wood sold by RE-CO BKLYN is local and reclaimed, they have sold several species that have been salvaged from building remodels and demolitions throughout New York City . These soft woods have included Redwood from local water towers that have been gradually taken down throughout New York, as well as Yellow Pine, and Hemlock. They also had a couple of pieces from several invasive species including several beautiful pieces of Ailanthus altissima*, an Asian species that is called the “Chinese tree of heaven”, and a few pieces of Norway Maple. He also had a few pieces from a local mulberry tree that had grown out of control in a Brooklyn backyard. Right now their main inventory includes Oak, Maple, Walnut, Cherry, Black Birch, Hickory and Mulberry.


Ailanthus altissima-The Chinese “tree of heaven.”


Mulberry from a Brooklyn backyard

Be sure to check back next week to learn more about RE-CO BKLYN’s history and how they are “leading the change towards a greener, lower impact and more logical way of sourcing lumber.”

In the meantime, check out the RE-CO BKLYN website HERE and see even more of their current inventory.

*This article originally called this wood Atlantis, but the actual species is Ailanthus altissima.


Aug 022013

parslow3Today’s Follow Friday is Henry Parslow, a retired carpenter from Poughkeepsie, NY. We featured Henry’s “productive but small” workshop in the Show Us Your Shop Column for the July 2013 issue of Wood News.

Henry built his shop over his garage in 1987 and despite the shop being on the second floor, it has never really caused any problems with having to haul up wood and equipment. He has collected many different hand and power tools over the years that his shop has been in existence, with his favorite tools being his table saw, band saw, thickness planer, jointer, small lathe, and Kreg jig.

Henry describes his woodworking as a satisfying and relaxing pastime, which he tries to do every day. If he isn’t actually building something then he uses his shop time to clean, sharpen, or repair his tools in order to keep them in tune for future projects. He mostly enjoys making things for other people including his daughters, granddaughter, and other friends and family. He has made multiple grandfather clocks for his daughters, one of which can be seen below (made out of Black Walnut trees cut and milled within 7 miles of his shop).


Henry has a lot of his work featured on his Kreg Jig Owner’s community page, which you can visit HERE. Just in time for Summer, Henry recently built this beautiful outdoor garden bench with a built-in table.




Red walnut buffet

———————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————–Fridays on the Highland Woodworking Blog are dedicated to #FollowFriday, where we use this space to further highlight a woodworker or turner who we have featured in our monthly e-publications Wood News and The Highland WoodturnerWould you like for your shop to appear in our publications? We invite you to SEND US PHOTOS of your woodworking shop along with captions and a brief history and description of your woodworking (Email photos at 800×600 resolution.) Receive a $50 store credit redeemable towards merchandise if we show your shop in a future issue.

Jul 312013

rouboblogA few weeks ago 22 woodworkers, master craftsmen, and hobbyists gathered together at the shop of Wyatt (Bo) Childs in Barnesville, GA to spend a week building 16 Roubo workbenches. Among the likes of Chris Schwarz, Jameel Abraham, and Bo Childs himself, these guys got the opportunity of a lifetime to learn from the best and use some very special white oak all the way from Versailles, France. Dick Rank was able to document the event and we wanted to share his amazing experience!

CLICK HERE to read more about the build and see the special 16 foot long bench made just for Bo’s shop!

Jul 262013

templeblackwoodToday’s Follow Friday is woodturner Temple Blackwood, who was featured in the Show Us Your Shop section of our July 2013 Highland Woodturner.

Temple started his own woodturning company, Highlands Woodturning, over 40 years ago, and it has been going strong ever since. At Highlands Woodturning, Temple offers custom turning in addition to teaching classes and hosting open shop time in the shop he and some friends renovated from an old garage/shed in 2009, which is located in Castine on the beautiful Maine coast.

The story behind the creation of Temple’s shop is quite unique: “After my first wife, Julie, died in 2007, I travelled north to visit our coastal farm and our oldest son in Penobscot, Maine for the summer (as I did every summer with her there since 1968). In Maine, I reconnected with Julie’s long-time childhood friend, Victoria in a wonderful way, and decided that instead of building a shop and apartment for myself on the farm with my son and his family, I would be well-advised to marry Victoria. Her home (a genuine Austrian Chalet that she and her first husband brought in containers from Austria in 1988 and constructed on her family property about a mile from my son’s farm) is magnificently built of locked dovetails. The next winter while I was still working in Maryland, I was able to buy the property next door. With my brother-in-law and friends, I began renovating (built-over) the old garage/shed to create my new shop (still a work-in-progress) for Highlands Woodturning to move into as I retired and moved permanently from Maryland to Castine, Maine in summer 2009.”

Temple specializes in creating heirloom furniture and has made a wide variety of infant rockers, stools, and benches, among other things. He was nice enough to create the one seen below for Sidney, the granddaughter of Highland Woodworking owners Chris and Sharon Bagby, and future Highland Woodworker.


A stepstool/bench created just for Sidney by Temple Blackwood

If you have any questions about his pieces or methods, feel free to email Temple HERE. You can also view his website HERE.

———————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————–Fridays on the Highland Woodworking Blog are dedicated to #FollowFriday, where we use this space to further highlight a woodworker or turner who we have featured in our monthly e-publications Wood News or The Highland Woodturner. Would you like for your shop to appear in our publications? We invite you to SEND US PHOTOS of your woodworking shop along with captions and a brief history and description of your woodworking (Email photos at 800×600 resolution.) Receive a $50 store credit redeemable towards merchandise if we show your shop in a future issue.

Jul 252013

I always get really excited when two of my favorite things get combined into one. In this case I’m talking about Woodworking and Mythbusters. Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman, the hosts of Mythbusters, have a website all about testing the latest scientific and technological gadgets out there, and in one of their more recent episodes they put the Knew Concepts saw line to the test. In this episode Knew Concepts Operation Manager, Brian Meeks advises Adam on the best Knew Concepts saw to use for his dovetail cuts, as well as a brief history of the company and the technology behind the design of the saw.

To learn more about the Knew Concepts saws, visit our website HERE, where you can check out some of the saws shown in this episode!

Jul 242013

A few weeks ago we began blogging about Highland Woodworking owner Chris Bagby and his wife Sanne’s progress with the installation of a Little Free Library in their front yard in Atlanta, GA. The Little Free Library is a nationwide community movement project that involves the creation of a birdhouse-sized structure that is placed in your front yard and then filled with books that can be shared with others in your neighborhood. Sanne has been keeping track of their progress through her own blogging and today we present the final installment of The Little Free Library with the Grand Opening and Post Opening.

To see the previous entry about Library Theme and Placement, click HERE.

The final step in the project is attaching our official “Little Free Library” sign that displays our registration number on it. The door had been specifically sized to accommodate the sign just above the window that provides a view into the cabinet. We were ready to open up for business! We accomplished this task just 10 minutes before the ribbon-cutting ceremony was to begin, so we finished just in the knick of time!


We had set up a festive table with snacks and some ice-cold bottles of water to make it a real celebration. The LFL was cloaked by a table cloth and flanked by poles from which we’d suspended a bright red crepe paper “ribbon.” Neighbors, adults and children alike, most bearing books, started to arrive, eventually numbering about 40. Three sisters aged from 8 to 14, and their parents, both educators, were amongst the first to arrive. I asked the girls if they would do us the honor of cutting the ribbon. With some shyness at first, they all agreed.

I made a little speech welcoming everyone to the event and explained briefly how the LFL movement got started and how it works, and then the ribbon-cutting occurred. The two younger girls, Elena and Abby, did the cutting while older sister, Isabella, whipped off the cloth revealing the library, itself! We got cheers and applause and more than just a few “AWWWS!” and chuckles from those who notice the library’s name: “Bo’s Books.” Bo, our cat who had been slinking around amidst the crowd, was picked up and cheered. He loves the attention!


Right from the start, our LFL saw books being exchanged. Some of the users claimed a seat on the bench and shared the books they had brought themselves, while others sat at the picnic table we’d set up. Most people were gathered near the snacks table, chatting and catching up with one another. Some of the discussion I heard was “how nice it is to get together like this and how we should all do it more often.” Clearly, our LFL is achieving its goals of “building community.”

Since the Grand Opening, I’ve planted a sunflower behind the bench to serve as a cheerful greeting to visitors and a mosquito repelling plant next to the bench to encourage folks to sit and enjoy browsing through their chosen books without suffering the annoying the buzz and bites. While we are officially registered as a Little Free Library with the organization, we are waiting to be listed in their online database and shown on their worldwide location map. Then, we’ll really feel official! You can see the map of all of the Little Free Libraries around the world by clicking HERE.