Member's Work Retrospective #2 2015 & 16 individual pieces

This is the second of a retrospective of the fine and varied work of our membership. These pieces were all built under our mentored rentals program (AKA "Mentals"). One of the things that I most enjoy is seeing people jump from beginner level to completion of such nicely done and sometimes complex work, simply with the addition of a bit of leveraged advice.

Individual pieces from 2015 and 2016:

 Variable Depth Bookcase by a former student. A full scale layout was the key

Variable Depth Bookcase by a former student. A full scale layout was the key

 Ships ladders by one of our seasoned members. 

Ships ladders by one of our seasoned members. 

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Very nice computer desk

 Art by Yeggy

Art by Yeggy

 Top bar beehive by a former student who took our very first woodworking class

Top bar beehive by a former student who took our very first woodworking class

Member's Work Retrospective #1 Charlie's Planters

We have been at the business of helping other people succeed with wood working for a good time now. Time to set out a series to catch up on some of the great variety projects done through the years at our shop.

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This one is from way back in July, 2014. Charlie started out completely green with one prospective client and a fervent desire to become a woodworker. The three of us met and agreed that I would design a set up for Charlie to use for repeated orders of a small knock down table that Charlie's client had lost his supplier for. Charlie would learn from me in the process. 

In very little time, we were sending other requests from our network to Charlie, and also guiding him through that custom work. Charlie was up to speed to do what you see here within 6 months of his start. Eventually he designed his own product (really nice pedal boards)  and quickly made a success of them on Etsy. He eventually moved on to his own shop on Bainbridge island and thrived. 

Full disclosure: the carving was done in Asia, Charlie did all the rest.


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Special - Take a class, get 1 hour free mentoring for your own independent projects

Our Beginning Classes are a great way to build the foundation to move on to building whatever you want with our expert advice and assistance. Special for students only:


One hour (plus a bit) of mentoring worth $65 an hour for your first independent project

  • Design consults
  • CAD drawings
  • Tool certifications
  • Ongoing hands-on help

What is mentoring? Well that's really up to you. The time can be spent with a design consult where all you bring is your ideas or a rough sketch and we can help get them further along. Maybe you need material advice or need help even sourcing material. 

Often students have ideas for their first project but don't know where to start. We'd like to help more class graduates transition into short term rentals or become subscribers.

 Initial drawing for a workbench. Drawing time: 45 minutes

Initial drawing for a workbench. Drawing time: 45 minutes

Quick or highly detailed drawings can be created to assist in your measurements, cut lists, and verifying overall functionality. Some projects don't require drawings while others would be very difficult without them. When you come in for a design consult, we can pick the route that makes the most sense for you. 

Mentoring can take the form of ongoing tool certifications or hands-on help on the shop floor. Some shop users will bring a set of plans they purchased already and the majority of their mentoring time is for help with things like setting up advanced cuts or using and creating jigs to speed up work. 

 D&D dice tower prototype - design consult and ongoing coaching as needed.

D&D dice tower prototype - design consult and ongoing coaching as needed.

Mentoring / hands-on help is billed in a 15 minute increment so you only pay for what you need. Our goal is to make you self-sufficient enough to complete your own projects at your leisure. 

Returning students taking advantage of the special offer must schedule before the next round of classes starts, typically 3 weeks after your last class. 

Group mentoring is also available if you'd like to work as a team with a friend, partner, or family member. For group sessions please email us at

 Live edge shelves and table sourced from our hallway and marked for rough cuts.

Live edge shelves and table sourced from our hallway and marked for rough cuts.

Mentoring is scheduled on our Contact Us page. Look for a free time not marked in red, and complete the appt. form. 

There are still some spaces left in our upcoming May classes. To learn more about them and the what you'll be building, visit our classes page.


Gallery quality woodwork under our Mentored Rentals program

Who says an amateur cannot turn out gallery quality woodwork?  It just takes the right combination.

Recently we guided an aspiring woodworker through the building of the following media center that defied all expectations for  quality. I am accustomed to the idea that beginners who join us to build their own projects can and do exceed their own expectations by a good margin. This time, it was myself who was amazed. David Budge and I went together to hand pick the walnut for this piece, labeling each cut right in the lumber yard. After that, I instructed, but did very little of the work myself. With only a 25 year old experience in his high school shop class, David translated my instructions and demonstrations into a remarkable piece. I would call this worthy of any gallery level woodworking outlet.
Let the images speak for themselves:

Three Little Rockers

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Here is a charming project by Leah Barnum, a recent participant in our Mentored Rentals program. Leah was inspired to make three rockers, one each for three grandchildren. She bought a set of plans on line that were described as an "easy" project. HAH! Rocking chairs are one of the most difficult woodworking projects you can do. With a bit of help from me, the indomitable Leah Barnum pulled this off like a trouper.

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Tahle Patton’s Beautiful Credenza

This is some recent work by Tahle Patton of Grainlab Furniture, one of our full time furniture makers. I told her I consider it the best piece of hers that I have see so far and I mean it for true.
It will be in the upcoming “Lost and Found” show at Northwest Woodworkers Gallery at 2111 First Avenue, Seattle. The opening for the show is on July 12, 2013 from 5:00 to 8:00. If you love fine woodworking, don’t miss this one.

Teaching woodworking for Luis Winters’ Science Fair Project

This Spring, 2013, we had the pleasure of welcoming one Lewis Winters to our shop to teach and help him to build wooden instruments for his science fair project. The video below tells the story the best:

Filmed in Seattle WA. at IsGood Woodworks Canon in D Major, Living Voyage, Egmont Overture Finale, Hustle, Matt's Blues, and Also Sprach Zarathustra by Kevin MacLeod ( "instrumental" by Howie Mitchel-Charlotte W (

Volunteer Build: A Loft Bed to Help my Landlady

My landlady Roberta is on a fixed income and lost a big piece of it recently. She was not able to make her monthly mortgage payments. However she did have an office room that she could rent if we could find a place for her office. We decided to build a loft bed in her bedroom to make room for the office. There was no money, and I had almost no time, so we offered a free woodworking class.

From this we received: Education for the students, a cash flow for Roberta, a beautiful piece of work for me to show off, and everybody had a great time!That is my landlady in the blue, and some of the volunteers/students who made this happen.