A BUSY MAN'S GALLERY

or what the heck is he doing that FOR!

Heres a bench that Jeremiah and the kids made. We had a huge Oak get blown over some years back, and the trunk was about 8 foot across and a bit large to deal with. So we took the large first branch, which was about 4 foot diameter and sawed slabs out of that. Those dried in the shop for some 3 years till they finished thier splitting and twisting. When that was done the job of glue and epoxy began. The main cracks ran almost lengthwise, and by taping the bottom side off with masking tape, and laying thick beads of type-88 Epoxy down each of the cracks and by using heavy bar clamps we pulled every thing back together. We have cut quite a bunch of Juniper for the fences, and we used some of those heavier pickets for legs and arms on the bench.. After many days of messing about getting the seat and back close to flat, we then sanded it down and routered out a pattern that we liked. The routering was only about 3/8 deep, and into this space we epoxied small round end cuts of assorted species of wood branches, forming a wooden mosaic. Finished it off with 220 grit and a little Orange Flake shellac and it sits in the yard now.


The call of Willow from down along our California creek banks was too loud for me to put out of my mind this year. I have been wanting to tackle this rather rugged and rustic type of furniture for many years, and this year the craving just got the best of me. Armed with a pair of rubber boots, a small hand saw, a Machete and a small brain...........I headed out into the muddy creek bottom for my first load of Willow and learning the hardway what it all means. You see, right where I am, we grow very little Willow that is actually usable. BUt we do grow a ton of short Tamarisk.............which as I am to learn is very stiff to work with. So, this first chair is a combination of Tamarisk which is the real red stuff, and Sandbar Willow which is the tan color along with home split Juniper boards for the seat and chair back. Hey just a couple of evenings later I had my very first chair done. That was just enough to get me excited, and now I began to read up on Willows, and all the species that we have, where they grow and there working characteristics..........................boy howdy, the dinner table conversations got to be a little tedious there for a while, what with all the Willow talk going on.


We tell everyone who recieves a chair, which by the way comes with a pack of wieners and a book of matches. That if this chair happens to disturb thier Feng Shue, and mess up thier inner psyche, even worse that they should get a screw point in the butt or a sliver..........not to worry. Simply place the said chair out in the back yard and light it ablaze, there is enough wood in each chair to cook a dozen dogs and forget the whole thing ever happened. I have a cousin whom I care dearly for, he has and always will be the best Boot maker that ever lived, now he pounds ornamental iron and teaches welding. He no longer builds boots, and that is why Jeremiah is often seen going barefoot. I made this chair for Bill and his wife Karen. It is the classical high back version with Sandbar Willow caning. Its a real strait backed rascal, and comes with one free Chiropractor visit.


Gott'a love a wedding gift right. Best place to send an experiment is to newly weds..........heck everything is an experiment for the first year anyways. My niece, Kendra married a young fellow Lee Griggs from down in New Mexico. So I got busy building a Love Seat to put out on the front porch, someplace to sit and cuddle under a blanket while the evening sun sets. Made entirely of Tamarisk poles and Juniper splits. We finished it off with Orange flake Shellac and sanded everything to a 220 grit finish. The cowboy blanket came out of my new dogs house Kenny, and is not a part of the deal.


JUst in case some of you think that Jeremiah owns a ranch..............well, sorry folks, thats just not true. I am a renter like everyone else in life, and I live in the most beautiful place in California all because of one guy. HIs name is Ted Denhartog and his wife Tracey. They own the ranch, and live at the east end of it. Ted rides and competes at events such as Reno Saffle Bit Show, Paso Robles Stock Horse Show etc, and he was needing a chair for out in front of the saddle house.........you know, a place to sit after that run you are busy thinking about, that place you sit to put your spurs on.............that sort of chair. Built entirely of wood cut here on the ranch, made of Tamarisk and Juniper. Thanks for everything Ted, your a great guy.


Willow and Wha-Hide arm Chair, made of what scrap of Willow I had laying around, along with tail ends of rawhide from the covering of saddle trees. Just seemed to me like a good idea to use some of this stuff up. As a kid in northern Ontario, Canada. I grew up using sno-shoes, and can always remember how fascinated I was with that woven Rawhide webbing on the best of sno shoes made by Ojibway and Cree indians of Ontario. Sadly, if those Indians could see my attempt at that weaving, they would have thrown me out of the Tepee with out even throwing back the flap. But hey, I can sit on it and watch the evening sun, and its a nice sit at that.


Dedicated to those who run cattle on a thousand hills and a thousand valleys, from Virginia to the shores of Alta-California. This chair is a departure from the standard sort of willow chair configuration, here we moved into all tenons and wooden pegs to join parts together. We decided to incorporate a little of our own iron work into the making of this chair, the inset angle iron at the top acts as a stabilizer for the back two legs. We crowned it with a steer head that we have cast for our own use on gates etc, paired up with a couple of spur shanks and rowels all of which were done in French grey before inserting into the routered groove. The entire legs and back are done in split and book matched Juniper from here on the ranch. The seat, well thats from a huge Salt Cedar tree on down the canyon and close to Coalinga, I stopped while riding my bike to town one night and while taking a leak I noticed this huge chunk of the tree had been sawn off and was laying on the ground. So that night, I drug it home and sawed it on my bandsaw into a size and shape that I could then quearter saw and book match. So that is what we had for the seat, but it was a tad ( a Canadian measurement for a little bit ) short for our seat which was already made. So, then we built the small steel triangle that you see has been stuffed full of tiny twigs set on end and ground and polished to a mirror finish. Looks pretty sporty all around I think, and quite comfortable.


Watts love to cook, not saying I am good at it, but you don't get built like me and not eat good cooking. I am Blessed with a daughter who loves to cook as well, and she does a fine job of the more refined dishes that come along in life. I on the other hand, tend to lean to Dutch Ovens, biscuits, etc. I tend to work pretty late on into the early mornings, and like to watch a few things from You-Tube too keep me fresh and eager. I got into carving melons etc, and have had a lot of fun doing it. NOtnearly as hard as I guess we all might think it is. Matter of fact its very easy with a sharp knife and a little idea of what a flower looks like. We travel as often as we have the money too, and while in Europe we ran across the stovepipe bread thing, its great at a Bar-B-Que, can be done up with sugars on the surface or rub the thin dough with Olive Oil and spices of choice, like Garlic and Parmessean. Lastly, my attempt to cook something a little Guacho style, I ve got to be ready. Someday my friend Matias will come by for a visit with his beautiful new bride and I want to try and cook something in the way of BEEF ,similar to his native food. You will notice my table is full of Welsh Pasties, i sure got to missing these little meat filled treats and decided to build some by myself. The rest of the family was away working a show, and I stayed home to work, These little fellas turned out just superb. I hope you enjoy this little gallery, and don't mind my indulgence.


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Last update: 01/20/2013 09:45:20