Brian Watson: Call of the Wild
by Doug Hall
Brian Watson recently won First Place in the
Highland Woodworking Scratch Awl Turning Contest
. When we called to give him the good news, we learned he had never visited Highland Woodworking, despite his having driven by it numerous times. Naturally, we invited him to come see us when he was ready to redeem the Gift Certificate he had won.
Two weeks later Brian made the hour-long trek from Dawsonville, Georgia to see our store from the inside for the first time. Doug Hall spent some time talking to Brian about his woodturning, and discovered his interests range far beyond turning custom marking tools.
Read Doug's interview with Brian Watson
View Images of Brian Watson's Work
Ask the Staff
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with your woodworking or finishing questions. Selected questions will be answered in future issues. If your question is selected for publication, we'll send you a free Highland Hardware hat.
I made a jewelry box out of cherry and finished it with a furniture wax because I wanted the wood to look natural. I don't like how the wax dulled, however. What would you recommend I use to enhance the grain while still retaining a natural look?
What is a good finish to use on oily woods like bocote and cocobolo?
What product can I use on a mesquite wood dining table that will be durable but still look natural?
Spray Finishing Doesn't Have To Be Scary
by Elena Vega
One of the great advantages of working at Highland Woodworking is the ready access to not only an extensive range of tools and supplies, but to a wealth of information as well. So when I decided to refinish my kitchen cabinets, I sought advice from several of my co-workers. I wanted to change the color from cherry to a deep reddish walnut or dark red mahogany, with the least effort possible, of course. Little did I know this project would expand my horizons and lead me into the scary, mysterious realm of spray finishing that I thought belonged only to the most experienced of woodworkers.
Branch to Bench: The Birth of a Design
by Richard McCandless
When an idea and an opportunity come together, it can mean satisfying work. In 2005 I flew to England with a church choir. I noticed benches, both ordinary benches and unusual purpose-built ones. Something clicked. Some yellow locust trees had fallen on our property. Why not make a bench from the fallen locust? Weavers have "sheep to shawl" events, so this could be "branch to bench." Here was a chance to mill the wood, make the parts, and use the result right where the trees had grown. A brick circle in a new landscaping project looked like the perfect spot for it. My collection of tools and woodworking experience finally looked large enough to do this kind of work.