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Here's My Woodworking!

by Larry White
Delta, CO

Click on any picture to see a larger version.

I've always been interested in making things from wood ever since I took woodshop class in 7th grade with Mr. Laughlin! He always wore long-sleeved white shirts and rolled his sleeves up on the inside. Guess who the kid was that copied that?

My first day in shop class, every kid had their own little work bench and he says "To start, I'm going to show you how to cut and make your own sanding block on the table saw, and then how to use the drill press to make the holes for the screws to hold the sandpaper and then I'll show you how to pick out the grit and cut the paper."

"Then I'll show you how to sand down your table - always going with the grain."

Grain? Isn't that something like wheat or corn?

Then he showed us how to apply the finish.

And that was our first "project" for the class! Ever since then, I've had a love for making things with wood.

I've made a few things through the years when I had the time or space, but now I'm retired from Garfield County Road and Bridge (32 years) and Carbondale Fire (22 years). Three years ago, after living in St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada, where I met people who made "dorries" (boats), I came home and bought my tools and started making mission-style furniture and other things.

Before moving into my current house, I didn't have a shop, so I would carry my tools (that Steel City planer is heavy!) from my 2nd bedroom out to my front porch where I did my work. It got cold out there in the Winter and I would have a little heater but sometimes it would just get too cold to work out there.

I put plastic up and two doors with plastic to keep the wind/snow out. At times, I would set up a table in the 2nd bedroom for my finish to dry. But being a fireman, I was always very careful about fumes and gas hot water heaters.

I've grown a real passion for wood and use many kinds and folks tell me I've come a long way and love my work. I'm just a hobbyist, not a master craftsman like some.

I burn my "brand" onto the ends/backs of my products - "Hand Crafted by Astor's Woodshop" My middle name is Astor. One day, I was trying to make a certain joint and got frustrated and thought, "If I can't make this, they don't need it!" And that's what is on the back of my card - "If I can't make it - YOU don't NEED it!" ...my sense of humor.

A friend contacted me and asked that I make a two-person
rocking Redwood Bench to surprise her husband for their
wedding anniversary

Breadbox made from an old pallet with punched tin door

Another Breadbox

Bird houses from old pine.

I have a long-time friend who has had a barber shop/salon biz for many years. She recently moved it into a really neat old Victorian house and she asked me to make three work stations for her sisters to work from. She wanted them made from old doors with a half-table with two drawers and a hidden drawer for their cash and a hole for the hairdryers:

A few projects made out of Pumpkin Pine:

Below are some more pictures of my projects:

Curly Maple Table with Walnut Inlay

Standing Writing Desk made from Knotty Alder
and Peruvian Walnut

Toolbox made for a Cowboy friend out of 100 year Oak

Black Limbe Bench

Figured Walnut End Table

Would you like to see your woodworking in this column? We invite you to SEND US PHOTOS of your favorite woodworking projects along with captions and a brief history of your woodworking. (Email photos at 800x600 resolution.) Receive a $50 store gift card if we show your stuff in a future issue.

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