Putting the "log" back in Blog

An Improvised Approach to Furniture Design

Posted on February 14th, by Andy Brownell in Design, Gorilla Glue, Projects. 2 comments

I’ve spent the last couple of months on a combination of small crafts and some commission work, along with refining a design for a desk project I’ve taken on for my daughter’s room. Parts of the desk will be made from solid 8/4 bubinga slabs I got from Frank David at Midwest Woodworking before they shut their doors. It’s price, and special gift at dulling tool blades is making me take an extra long time on design refinement before I start to make cuts. This design refinement is the subject of my improvised approach to furniture design. This approach is … Read More »

Project Gallery: Teak Conversation Bench

Posted on December 28th, by Andy Brownell in Projects. 1 Comment

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Furniture Design Inspiration Part 2: A Visit with Jeff Miller

Posted on December 27th, by Andy Brownell in Design. 3 comments

While in Chicago I stopped by J. Miller Handcrafted Furniture on Monday and spent the morning watching him wrap up another one of his bent lamination walnut rocking chairs. He showed one of these at WIA 2012 during his lecture on chair design.

It was down to waxing and flossing (clearing the tough to reach cracks), as well as attaching the carved seat. Jeff uses wax that is custom tinted to better match the walnut when it dries, so rather than the white flecks common with some, this dries a color that compliments the chair. When seated at this chair, you melt into … Read More »

Furniture Design Inspiration Part 1: Art Institute of Chicago

Posted on December 26th, by Andy Brownell in Design, Projects. No Comments

I’ve been in toasty-warm Chicago since Saturday, visiting family and alternating between lethargic periods of movie-lounging, and grazing on some tasty food and drink. Sloth and gluttony however, weren’t the only deadly sins checked-off the list. You see, I took a few diversions in-between to add envy and lust to the list, at least when it comes to looking for inspiration on my next project. On Sunday I visited the Chicago Art Institute with my sister, and had an eye on their American Decorative Arts exhibit.

The first exhibit I spent some quality time in was the American decorative arts section of … Read More »

An Extended Thanksgivukkah Weekend Campaign Furniture Campaign

Posted on December 1st, by Andy Brownell in Campaign Furniture, Projects. 1 Comment

After a feverous bout of Thanksgivukkah eating binges and family gatherings, interspersed with long periods of time in my man-cave workshop, I’ve finally come up to take a breath. Literally, because I’ve been working with some Burmese teak again, and I’m always wearing the dust mask, particularly with the turning I’ve been doing over the last week. The Teak dust tends to stick to things because of the oil content of the wood, as well as the fact that each turning chip is a positively charged particle looking for a place to stick. Up until recently, I’ve never been much … Read More »

Come Visit The Gorilla Glue Booth at Woodworking in America

Posted on October 13th, by Andy Brownell in Gorilla Glue, marketing & promotion, Projects. No Comments

Next week will be my 5th Woodworking in America conference working for Gorilla Glue at their booth.  The Gorilla Glue Company has been a sponsor of this event since it’s inception, and has continued to show it’s support of woodworkers, hobbyists and DIY’ers everywhere. They are a local Cincinnati company, with products made in America employing hundreds of families that continues to bring new and innovative products to market.

This event is always the highlight of my annual woodworking calendar. Meeting old friends and new, sharing ideas, learning techniques and spending a wad of cash always comes with a two day … Read More »

R.I.P. Frank David: Thanks for Sharing Your Passion for Wood

Posted on September 24th, by Andy Brownell in Wood. 14 comments


It’s never easy to come to grips with the death of a friend. However, the recent passing of Frank David, of Midwest Woodworking didn’t come as a total surprise. Frank has been in and out of the hospital for the last five years since I’ve known him. His health had continued to go downhill over the last decade and had according to some, he “cheated death” more than a few times. He had a strong will and constitution, but sadly, his body finally gave out earlier this week.

I was introduced to Frank by a family friend who was also his … Read More »

Why the Woodworking in America Conference is so Freakin’ Awesome

Posted on September 17th, by Andy Brownell in Gorilla Glue, marketing & promotion. 2 comments

I’m in the thick of things when it comes to preparing for my 5th Woodworking in America Conference. As an exhibitor (Gorilla Glue’s “official” woodworker), I’m working on preparing something interesting to share with fellow woodworkers while working in the Marketplace. This year we’re going old-school and featuring Gorilla’s original polyurethane formula. It involves really strong joinery for outdoor teak furniture. Here’s a sneak peek below:

Which leads me to the point of this post, Why WIA? Everyone has their reasons, and mine are only a sample of what’s sure to be hundreds of reasons you should attend.

For me it’s simple … Read More »

Bench Prototype Video for 8/28 Woodchat

Posted on August 28th, by Andy Brownell in Design, Gorilla Glue, Projects. No Comments

Fun-Sized Furniture with a 1:6 Scale Prototype Bench

Posted on August 26th, by Andy Brownell in Gorilla Glue, marketing & promotion, Projects. No Comments

Building furniture is always very satisfying, but building a scale model of a piece of furniture is really fun. I’m a fan of playing to your strengths. So that’s why I only spend a small amount of time fussing with a drawing. My skills are somewhat lacking in that area. I do much better working in three dimensions. Scale models allow me to get to a place where I know the design and proportions work well together. This one took me about 4 hours, including the mini parts milling. I used some Niangon wood left over from an older project, … Read More »