Monthly Archives: June 2014

Not Every Project Has To Be a Big Project !

“We need new steak knives,” Leigh Ann announced to me last week. I couldn’t recall having any problem with them the last time I cooked steaks on the grill, so had to ask why. “Because they look terrible,” is what she said. And I had to agree, as the finish had started to wear away unevenly. Loving a fresh challenge (and an easy one), I decided to refinish the rosewood handles. Read on and learn how I conquered this challenge and see if this could help you, too.
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A Patriotic Flag From a Pallet

Like the phoenix rising from the ashes, this variation on an American flag rose from a wood pallet, now in pieces on the ground. I made it this week for a television segment that will be airing live on Wednesday morning, July 2 on the FOX 5 – DC network (Baltimore-Washington area).

My first step was to pry off the boards I needed, then cut them into 2″ strips, each about 33″ long, but you can make yours any width and length you like!  I used Minwax® Express Color™ “Indigo” and “Crimson” along with Water Based “White Wash Pickling Stain” for the colors in the flag.

Quick Tip: The edge of a putty knife will keep the stain where you want it, provided you apply your stain lightly, dabbing it gently next to the putty knife with a foam brush.

Two thin scraps of plywood, glued and screwed to the back, hold the six boards in position.

A sea sponge, the White Wash Pickling Stain, and a stencil for the stars completed the wall flag, which I then protected with clear Minwax® Polycrylic® Protective Finish before hanging. Hope you can catch the show bright and early on Wednesday morning!

Until next time,

Thanks for stopping by!


Shopping For Good Wood

If you are ever about to embark on a serious woodworking project, don’t limit yourself to what little high quality wood you typically find at one of the Big Box home improvement stores. When I was pulling together boards for my talk “My Five Favorite Woods — and How To Finish Them,” I went back to one of my favorite haunts — a real lumber yard….

My local source is Gennett Lumber, a family-owned business, where you can pick from nearly 20 different species of wood, whether you need just one board or a cart full….

And don’t worry about having tools to prepare the wood. These small lumberyards have BIG planers, edgers, and radial arm saws — and they excel in personal service.

Until next time,

Thanks for stopping by!




Doing Good With Wood

I was in Buffalo this past week, taking part in the presentation of the Minwax® Do Good With Wood™ Award to The Western New York Woodturners. This group of woodworkers makes toys to benefit their chapter of the Make-A-Wish Foundation. After the presentation I got to spend nearly two hours with them demonstrating staining and finishing techniques and products….

And they were a great group to be around. We met in a high school industrial arts room (very fitting) and they peppered me with questions about different kinds of finishes, brushes, and, of course, stains. We had fun and the two hours flew by so fast none of us were ready to leave at the end!

And if you would like to nominate a group for this award, just go to for details.