Putting the "log" back in Blog

OPERATION: “Morning Wood”

Posted on May 8th, by Andy Brownell in Gorilla Glue, marketing & promotion, Wood. No Comments

Last Friday morning, close to two dozen woodworkers and wood enthusiasts descended upon a local wood source here in Cincinnati – Midwest Woodworking. The unassuming building from the outside houses some of the most impressive displays of wood hoarding and industrial equipment in the TriState region. Anyone present who had never visited Midwest WW had a glaze over their eyes in amazement. Here’s a Pinboard I’ve compiledĀ of some of the sights from Midwest WW. The majority of pieces I’ve built in the last 4 years come from wood purchased there as well.

Photo by: C. Schwarz

Chris Schwarz and I … Read More »

TV Console in Walnut and Bog Oak

Posted on May 7th, by Andy Brownell in Projects, Wood. No Comments

I recently wrapped up my latest project. It’s a TV console made from walnut and some sweet 5,000+ year old German Bog Oak veneer I got from Midwest Woodworking here in Cincinnati.

It sits 26″ tall and is 42″ wide x 20″ deep. The dovetailed case is nothing more than a larger version of my Traveling Anarchist’s Tool Chest flipped on it’s side. I laminated two pieces of 6/4 walnut together for each of the hand shaped legs. I went with a more organic feel to the legs to balance out the boxiness of the case. The sliding door panels each … Read More »

German Bog Oak from the Mesolithic Era

Posted on March 20th, by Andy Brownell in Projects, Wood. No Comments

I love wood, so anything 5,000 – 10,000 years old is bound to be pretty interesting. Woodworkers have a variety of options for materials to chose from that fall under the “ancient” variety. Whether you are using 1,000 year old-growth wood dug up from the bottom of a lake, or 50,000 year old giant Kauri logs from New Zealand bogs, they all tend to have some pretty interesting characteristics. Combine the anaerobic environment of a bog that halts the decomposition of organic matter, with a tree whose structure essentially sucks up the surrounding minerals (extractives), and you’re going to find … Read More »

Bow-Front Hall Table: Final Delivery

Posted on February 26th, by Andy Brownell in Projects. 1 Comment

I wrapped up my latest commissioned project this weekend and delivered it on Sunday. I only am able to squeeze in a few paid jobs like this a year, and every time I deliver the final product, I’m always anxious to see the client’s reaction. Needless to say, much like I was, they were pleased with the final results. Admittedly, I was a little sad to see this one go. I even ran my hand across the curved surfaces one last time on the way out. šŸ˜‰

This bow-front hall table was a unique build on a number of levels. The … Read More »

Get Woodworking Week: Filling Knot Holes

Posted on February 8th, by Andy Brownell in Around the shop, Gorilla Glue. No Comments

This is a post I originally made back in 2009 following Woodworking in America. Here’s an easy way to fix some mistakes (for beginners or advanced woodworkers) with Gorilla’s 2-Part Epoxy. I’ve also got a video posted here on Tube in case you don’t feel like reading.

The wood that I obtained from a local source was decent, but certainly not top grade material. It had some knots on otherwise clear boards, and it just didn’t seem right to trash a huge piece on account of a few minor imperfections. The inside of the bookcase only had one spot the size … Read More »

Get Woodworking Week: South African Biltong Maker

Posted on February 4th, by Andy Brownell in Projects. No Comments

Being married to a South African brings with it some pretty interesting experiences and cultural idiosyncrasies. For example, they love dried meats. They call it Biltong, and take it very seriously. Think of Biltong as home-made beef jerky, without the nitrates. The meat (beef is most popular)is cut into strips, then covered in a variety of seasonings and salts, sits in the fridge for 24 hours. Then it is hung in a box to dry for typical 4 days, upon which you remove it and cut it into bite-sized delicious meaty-goodness.

That’s where Get Woodworking Week comes in. My South African … Read More »

Bow-Front Hall Table: Working the Curves

Posted on January 27th, by Andy Brownell in Projects. No Comments

This weekend was spent tackling the two most challenging aspects of my latest project – curved, splayed legs and cutting the tenons on a bow-front rail. For anyone familiar with my furniture, I’ve pretty much avoided anything with curves. 2013 is the year of the curves, and this bow-front hall table has plenty of them.

After finishing up the clamping form and cauls a few weeks ago, I laminated two bow-front rails, just in case I made a catastrophic mistake. One rail had 4 laminates, and the other 5. Neither showed any significant spring-back over 1/16″ from the original … Read More »

Content Syndication: A case for why it works.

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


Because I can only produce a handful of finished furniture projects a year, I’m limited in what I can actually showcase as new posts for my site. So instead, I rely on the content associated with a broader range of my woodworking experiences. With a bit of planning, this content becomes the blueprint for defining who I am online. The content I create and publish is a direct reflection of my own personal brand, Brownell Furniture, and in-turn, drives how people come across my site through a wide range of search terms. This is what I refer to as the … Read More »

Table from a Stick

Posted on January 14th, by Andy Brownell in Projects, Wood. 1 Comment

I’ve recently been commissioned to build a bow-front hall table. As a part of my woodworking new year’s resolution, the project will take me in a number of design and fabrication areas that I’ve typically avoided. In fact, anything that is obtuse, acute or otherwise curved will for sure help broaden my design and production chops. This includes bent laminations, complex curved parts and a more deliberate attention to grain pattern and direction.

After locking in a design concept (go ahead and make fun of my sketching ability), I made my ritual trip to MidWest Woodworking here in Cincinnati to select … Read More »

Urban Harvested Lumber: Friend or Foe?

Posted on November 29th, by Andy Brownell in Wood. 4 comments

I’ve spent my share of time dealing with the collection, drying and milling of plenty of urban harvested trees from the Cincinnati area. There’s plenty of sweet walnut, cherry and maple to go around, and probably more oak and ash than the entire furniture making community could use. You can either be very opportunistic like I was my first experience with a fallen maple tree that became my split-top Roubo bench three years later. Other times, it can simply fall into your lap, sawn and dried, as was the case with some cherry and walnut that came from a former … Read More »