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Here's My Woodworking!

by Paul Burri
Santa Barbara, CA

Click on any picture to see a larger version.

I have been a woodworker since I was about 12 years old working on the kitchen table in our Bronx, NY apartment. My father gave me a few of his tools back then and I have several of them that I still use. I am a self-taught woodworker but I do enjoy seeing the work of others and get many of my ideas from them. I have been retired for several years after a career as a machinist and manufacturing engineer and recently celebrated my 86th birthday and still going strong. (Well maybe not as strong as I used to be.) I rarely make anything "bigger than a breadbox" but I do like to make more unusual and unique things - like double- nine domino sets (which have well over 500 "spots"), unusual wood-turned objects, magic tricks, anything that is challenging and different. I use only exotic and unusual hardwoods for my projects. I get as much enjoyment out of figuring out how to make stuff as actually making it.

One thing I've learned over the years - never tell anyone what you're working on. I have a set of salt and peppers shakers that started out to be a pool table.

I also rarely keep track of the time it takes me to make my stuff. When people ask, "How long did it take you to make this?" I usually say, "I just kept working on it till it was finished."

I have one other piece of advice for my fellow woodworkers and especially the newer ones among us. Start to sign your work using a wood burning pen, a branding iron or even a set of steel stamps. You might also want to date your work. I've been doing that for many years and many of my friends now recognize my work by my special logo.

I am always happy to correspond with fellow woodworkers. You can email me at pburri@cox.net .

Chalice made from walnut, tulipwood, lacewood,
cherry and an ostrich egg.
7-lobed vessel made from spalted maple.
Double-nine domino set made of purple-heart
with maple "spots."
"Wavy" bowl made using the Stephen Hogbin method.
Ziricote double-nine dominos with mother-of-pearl
"spots," sterling silver divider line and spalted maple case.

Below are "Antique" ship's cannon bookends. Fairly accurate depiction of actual cannons used on the old sailing ships. (The vertical portions were begun on the Bronx kitchen table using hand tools. The bookends were finally completed about 30 years later when I had access to a metal lathe to make the cannon barrels.)

Below is a jewelry case made from various hardwoods including zebrawood, lacewood, walnut, ebony, and mahogany. Note: the center necklace holder rotates and telescopes into the upper portion.

Hand Mirror
Baby Magnifier
Walnut Bowl

You can email Paul at pburri@cox.net .

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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