Highland Woodworking Wood News Online, No. 163, March 2019Welcome to Highland Woodworking - Fine Tools & Education Learn more about Highland Woodworking View our current woodworking classes and seminars Woodworking articles and solutions Subscribe to Wood News
Here's My Woodworking!
By Mark Stebbins
Melbourne, FL

During the summer of 1995, I planted seeds of West-Indies Mahogany. I gave most of the seedlings away to friends but planted 4 saplings in my back yard. There haven’t been any hard freezes at our coastal Florida home since then and the trees thrived. It wasn’t long before I could string a hammock between 2 of them and enjoy the shade.

In the Fall of 2016, with retirement on the horizon and my son off in the Navy, we decided we would downsize and move into a smaller home. Before we could get our home on the market, we were visited by Hurricane Matthew. Fortunately, our home had no major damage but the mahogany trees took a beating and one did not survive.

Before selling our home, I needed to sell all my large woodworking equipment, but before doing that, there would be one more task for the chainsaw and lathe. The model for our new home featured a newel post at the bottom of the stairwell. I figured there would be just enough lumber in the tree trunk to make one.

We are now moved into our retirement villa and I finally got around to replacing the builder supplied post with my mahogany post. Although the Conover lathe is no longer with me, part of my mahogany tree is and I get to see it every time I walk the stairs.

Mark Stebbins is a recently retired process/quality engineer in Melbourne, Florida. He has been making furniture in his shop for the past 40 years. He also enjoys landscaping his property with ornamental and timber trees from around the world. His book Flowering Trees of Florida is available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Mark can be reached by email at stebbins.mark@yahoo.com.

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