Putting the "log" back in Blog

A Letter from Frank David, Midwest Woodworking Co. Inc

Posted on July 25th, by Andy Brownell in marketing & promotion, Wood. 1 Comment

The following is a letter from Frank David, the owner of Midwest Woodworking Co. Inc. regarding the upcoming sale on August 16-17th from 9am-2pm. The price list is available from this link:


Fellow woodworkers and patrons,
All our lumber is priced competitively at current wholesale prices, the quality is outstanding.  All lumber was purchased as FAS, for domestic, and First European Quality, for the exotics.  Due to the age of the material the size and thickness is beyond currently available stock from other sources.
The David’s have traveled the world to procure superior lumber … Read More »

Ribbon Stripe Sapele from Midwest Woodworking

Posted on July 24th, by Andy Brownell in marketing & promotion, Projects, Wood. No Comments

I’ve got my own personal favorites when it comes to wood species. Sapele is at the top of my list. It has all of the beautiful color of mahogany, it’s easy to work with, and has a scent of nutmeg, cinnamon and pine when it is freshly cut. I always have at least one big stick on hand for a project or two.

The supply of Sapele at Midwest Woodworking is unlike anything I’ve ever seen. Ribbon stripe figure throughout, chatoyance shifts in the light and boards ranging from 5/4 all the way through 10/4 (actually a bit over at 52mm). … Read More »

Wood Sale Invitation from Midwest Woodworking

Posted on July 22nd, by Andy Brownell in marketing & promotion, Wood. 2 comments

The following is a special invitation letter from Frank David of Midwest Woodworking:


Welcome to the first Midwest Woodworking lumber, veneer and machinery sale scheduled on August 16-17, 2013 from 9am-2pm.

You will have the rare opportunity to purchase lumber from the collection of Joe and Frank David who over decades have amassed 300,000+ board feet of the finest examples of rare and popular lumber.

You will find “Genuine Virgin” Brazilian Rosewood in the rough [scratch and sniff – for the proof], imported before the embargo.  Domestic Wormy Chestnut, Cherry, and … Read More »

Midwest Woodworking Lumber Sale Price List

Posted on July 20th, by Andy Brownell in marketing & promotion, Wood. No Comments

After speaking with Frank David at Midwest Woodworking earlier this week, I’ve been able to pull together a price list for everyone to look at before heading over to the event. I’ve talked Frank down to some pretty unbelievable prices – well below any retail or wholesale prices I’ve found published from Irion, Hearne and Paxtons. Plus, the stuff is all at least 30+ years old and has lived in the building the whole time.

You can download a copy of the lumber price list here:

Midwest Woodworking Lumber Prices.

As a reminder, the event is scheduled for Friday and Saturday, August 16 … Read More »

The Midwest Woodworking Mega-Sale of the Century Aug 16-17

Posted on July 16th, by Andy Brownell in Projects. 3 comments

2013 has been a tough year to compete when it comes to woodworking event “stuntery”. With gatherings like Handworks in Amana IA, The French Oak Roubo Build, WIA 2013, and even the telephone design game in Woodchat, it’s hard to break through the clutter. I do however, think I’ve got one that might compete.

Midwest Woodworking in Cincinnati Ohio will be closing it’s doors for business. Only recently has it’s owner Frank David been open to selling off what some might consider the undiscovered country of lumber caches. Chris Schwarz and I have written, photographed and documented a few smaller events … Read More »

Small Bench Design Tweaks Complete

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

I made some design tweaks to the 10 Degree Bench last night. Here are some images showing how it turned out. I’m pleased with the changes and will begin moving on to cleaning up the parts (plane and sand) and starting the assembly process.

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Furniture Design Hurdles: The Headbangers

Posted on June 25th, by Andy Brownell in Design, Projects. No Comments

My good friend Jeff Miller (furniture craftsman and teacher) has always been good at demystifying the furniture design process. Granted, there are some who can visualize ideas and execute better than others, but at some point, regardless of your skill set, you have to simply take the plunge.

So has been the case with my latest project, the 10 Degree Bench. It’s evolved somewhat from a very heavy, less than elegant original prototype, to something that is beginning to have a reasonably successful theme and aesthetic using a 10 degree angle. With all of the parts cut to their basic dimensions … Read More »

Ten Degrees of Bench Building

Posted on June 20th, by Andy Brownell in Design, Projects. No Comments

After a few weekends out of town and my time in the shop kept to a minimum, I finally had some shop time this week to really make some progress on my latest original design. Working from the 1:5 scale mock-up has really made the process go smoothly. I definitely see more small scale mock-ups in my future as a key part in building my design chops.

The ten degree angle is a repeated design element on this bench. The tenon shoulders, leg tapers and even the exposed end-grain elements on most of the vertical parts carry a common ten degree … Read More »

1:5 Scale Bench Prototype v 2.0

Posted on May 18th, by Andy Brownell in Design, Projects. 2 comments

Earlier today I worked out a bench prototype from the previous version that I’m fairly happy with. The interior designer I’m working through for the client is also ready for me to start cutting some wood.

I’ve added two arm rests that pull from the heavy slab look and the 10 degree angle plays out on a variety of elements of this design. The other adjustment is on the side pieces, that lost a significant amount of mass on this version.

This 1:5 scale bench design (actually 1:4.5) is from some scrap cherry, but the final piece will be in sapele. Dimensions … Read More »

1:5 Scale Model Bench Design Concepts

Posted on May 15th, by Andy Brownell in Design, Projects. No Comments

I admit, I’m a horrible sketch artist, particularly when it comes to furniture design concepts. And I’ve been lazy to actually take the time to learn Google Sketch-Up. Shame on me. However, I have recently begun working on some 1:12 scale mock-ups for a commissioned bench project. I tend to work well with design concepts when I can touch and feel it.

A collection of miniature bench parts and a little help from Jeff Miller’s book on chair making.

The overall idea is to go with something that matches the customer’s preference for chunky, slab pieces, but not to make it … Read More »