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Stacked Lamination Coffee Table

Posted on November 22nd, by Andy Brownell in Projects, Tools. No Comments

The following post is sponsored by Australia-based Arbortech, makers of power carving, sanding and cutting tools. This will be the first in a series of three posts on building, carving and finishing a stacked lamination coffee table project.

I mentioned in my previous posts on carved bowl making, that wood carving is a very different kind of woodworking. Grinding away material is more akin to sculpture, versus building a dimensional piece of furniture. With any new technique or tool, a learning curve is usually required to become proficient. This coffee table is probably a more advanced project, so if you are … Read More »

Power Carved Bowls with Arbortech Tools: Pt. 2

Posted on October 3rd, by Andy Brownell in marketing & promotion, Projects, Tools. 1 Comment

In part one of this sponsored project series, I discussed how you can ramp-up your power carving skills with Arbortech’s angle grinder attachments. These tools can really ad a new dimension to your woodworking repertoire. All of my bowl projects in this series, including the one shown below all came from scrap end-cuts—pieces left over from larger boards that have sat around my workshop collecting dust—which have now found a second life. This post will focus on the major steps and a few tricks to make this bowl with the Arbortech Mini TURBO plane and the Contour Random Sander attachments.

Simple … Read More »

Power Carved Bowls with Arbortech Tools: Pt.1

Posted on September 30th, by Andy Brownell in marketing & promotion, Projects, Tools. 6 comments

Earlier this year, I worked on a stool project that required a carved seat bottom with a simple concave surface. I purchased the Arbortech TURBOplane to help accomplish this task after seeing a video by Marc Spagnuolo (aka “The Wood Whisperer”).  Following the post I made about this project (recently re-blogged with more detail and photos), I was contacted by Australia-based Arbortech about doing a few additional contracted projects for them, using a wide range of their power carving attachments. This post covers the first of two parts of an ideal starter project: a series of carved bowls using their tools. In the … Read More »

Five Lessons from Large Case Construction

Posted on September 6th, by Andy Brownell in Around the shop, Projects, Tools, Wood. 3 comments


My latest completed project, a cherry dining room sideboard, is one of only a few case pieces I’ve ever built. This relative giant is actually the first of two pieces on a commissioned project for a couple here in town (the second being a corner cabinet). It measures 72″L x 36″H x 18″D, it has three drawers, two sets of doors and uses frame and panel construction throughout. I also decided to skip the use of cherry plywood, and instead used re-sawn solid panels throughout the construction.

Taking on a project like this has taught me a great deal, so here are … Read More »

Seat carving with Arbortech’s TURBOplane

Posted on September 1st, by Andy Brownell in marketing & promotion, Projects, Tools. No Comments

Disclaimer: This post is done on behalf of one of my generous sponsors from down-under, Arbortech. The opinions and experiences using their TURBOplane contained below are my own.

Carved furniture can be a very different kind of woodworking. Free-handed removal of material is a completely new experience for me, where I’m used to cutting straight or curved lines with blades. Power carving can be like a messy version of high-speed woodworking in three dimensions.

When teaching yourself how to use any rapidly-rotating sharp tool, starting out simple is usually the best way to go when honing a new skill. This replica of David Ebner’s “Renwick Stool” … Read More »

Stacked Lamination Coffee Table

Posted on April 9th, by Andy Brownell in Gorilla Glue, Projects, Publications. 6 comments

Most furniture I’ve made it’s been about angles, curves and accurate joinery of dimensional lumber. In order to stretch myself a bit in both design and execution, I’ve recently begun working on a stacked lamination coffee table. This stacked lamination style became popular during the Midcentury period by artists like Wendell Castle. After seeing some of his highly carved, organic work in person at the Chicago Art Institute, I couldn’t resist giving it a try for myself.

Depending on the size, stacked lamination projects can either be created from single solid pieces, or smaller pieces mechanically joined together to create a void … Read More »

Get Woodworking Week 2015 – Small Craft Projects

Posted on February 16th, by Andy Brownell in Projects. 1 Comment

Wood is Good

2014 gave me a chance to do a bit of decorating around the house with some smaller projects. These were all commissioned projects I did for The Gorilla Glue Company and Rust-Oleum. In fact, their products compliment each other and I found quite a bit of overlap on all of these projects.  It’s nice to crank out a project in a few hours, or over a weekend. In the end, you have something that adds to your home decor, not requiring a full-sized project commitment. Beyond that, it allows you to experiment with different techniques or materials. In addition to wood, these … Read More »

3 Content Strategy Questions To Ask Yourself

Posted on February 3rd, by Andy Brownell in marketing & promotion. 1 Comment

Author’s note: The following post originally appears on the blog for my employer, Curiosity Advertising. I’ve reblogged it here because I thought it might interest fellow woodworkers and tool companies in the context of either a personal or corporate content strategy.

The concept of content strategy has really begun to pick up steam over the last few years. While the idea isn’t anything new, brands and agencies have a great deal more to choose from, resulting in more to consider when developing a content strategy for their business. On the agency side as well as being a woodworking blogger, it’s like being a … Read More »

Spike TV and Ellen: Has Furniture Design Jumped the Shark?

Posted on January 23rd, by Andy Brownell in marketing & promotion, Projects. 3 comments

Anyone who builds furniture and consumes media has probably heard of two new television shows—Spike TV’s Framework and HGTV’s Ellen’s Design Challenge. These are television shows that have or will hit cable this season catering to a very specific niche audience. At face value for any serious furniture maker, reality furniture design challenges—with unrealistic timeframes to create and build original work—seem to be an anathema to serious craftsmanship and art. Not to mention the hosts wouldn’t be my first choice for bringing credibility and authenticity to the concept. I much prefer Common in his late and passing role as Mr. … Read More »

Pinterest: From Casual User to Loyal Advocate

Posted on January 12th, by Andy Brownell in marketing & promotion, Projects, Publications. 3 comments

I’m officially a fan of Pinterest. In 2014 it helped me successfully grow client business (woodworking and advertising) and aided me in securing a contract to publish my first article in Popular Woodworking Magazine in 2015.  I’ve been integrating Pinterest into my toolkit far more than I have in the past to aid in visual discovery, design inspiration and collaboration. On the whole, Pinterest boasts about a 2/3 female, 1/3 male split within it’s user base, more than doubling the number of males over the last year. As a contributor to the growing minority, my recent fandom has been driven by two factors:

1. My Job: I … Read More »