Here's My Woodworking!
by Rodney Haywood
Oak Harbor, WA
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My love for woodworking started in my Dad's workshop. He had a large shop on our family farm in which he built cabinets to supplement the family income. Around 1968, he found an old, one-man sawmill rusting away in a field. After a bit of horse trading and bartering, he managed to drag it home and set it up below our house. It took him several months to get it running. The huge (48") blade was powered by an old diesel tractor engine. My Dad would start it with diesel fuel and then switch over to kerosene (it was about half the price!) The blade was stationary and the logs would ride on a trolley. After he finished setting up the sawmill, he would watch for new construction around the area and ask for any cut trees or stumps from the sites. In a few years, he managed to saw around 22,000 board feet of Black Walnut, Cherry, Oak, Persimmon, Pecan, Cedar and Curly Maple! I still have some of the lumber and I build pieces from it on occasion.
A lot of the inspiration for my designs comes from George Nakashima's work. I really love how he brings the natural flow of the tree into the pieces he and his daughter design. One of my dreams is to study at Ms. Nakashima's studio in Pennsylvania.
I built the below project from a plan in the Feb 2015 issue of Woodworker's Journal. It's solid Oak with a Danish oil and Johnson's paste wax finish.
A coffee table that I built a few years ago:
This is a console/sofa table that I built from a slab of Black Walnut:
You can email Rodney at
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