Tuesday, July 21, 2020

More 'Son of Grip Trays'

These Grip Trays are really beautiful as well as useful.  If you enjoy a fine piece of craftsmanship you can't miss with an industrial strength Grip Tray.

This post is showing off some more of the 'Son of Grip Trays'.   Somewhat smaller but still plenty of size for all your change, keys and wallet or phone.  You need a safe and reliable place for you money and car keys, this is it.

Each Son of Grip Tray is 12 inches long, 7.5 inches wide and 1.5 inches deep.  Sealed with an industrial clear sealer giving you the performance you want.  The bottom of each recessed area that holds you coins is sculpted to allow easy pickup.

I really like the variety of design you can create with the layout of colors.

wood tray for change, car keys

Looking at the end you can see the added steel bar for extra stability.

DYI wood tray for coins, car keys, wallet

All the room you need.  The sculpted bottom of the recessed area facilitates easy coin pick up.

DIY wood tray for car keys, change

Another favorite color combination of mine.

handmade wood tray to hold change and car keys

DIY wood tray to hold coins, car keys, wallet

handmade wooden tray to coins, car keys

Handcrafted and Industrial Strength.

DIY wooden tray to hold coins, car keys

coins and car keys in a DIY wood tray

wooden tray with coins and car keys

Everyone needs a grip tray!

DIY wood tray to hold change and car keys

car keys and coins in a beautiful  wood tray

end look at wood tray to hold change and car keys

Saturday, July 11, 2020

Son of Grip Tray

You may not have a spot for a full size grip tray or even need one that big.  That's where 'Son of Grip Tray' comes in.  This coin and key caddie has all the features of a full size Grip Tray, it is industrial strength and handsome as can be.

coin and key caddie
These Grip Trays are as functional as they are beautiful.  The sculpted recessed area is great for all you coins and easily big enough for your keys also.  Hand crafted from solid wood to last a lifetime.

If you are looking for a great gift for the man in your life consider a Grip Tray so he can keep all his important grip safe and in one place.

wood coin and key caddie
Locked down tight from warping with a steel bar at each end.

industrial strength wood tray for coin and keys

Here's the best part, if you are handy you can create your own Grip Tray.

all wood coin and key tray
The Son of Grip Tray is 12 inches long, 7.5 inches wide and 1.5 inches deep.  Sealed with an industrial  clear sealer giving you the performance you want.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Industrial Strength Grip Tray

'Get a Grip'

This is a great woodworking project for anyone.  It doesn't take much in the way of supplies or tools and it is a highly practical and useful gift to give someone or yourself.

Everyone needs a place to put your loose change and keys.  You might as well have a place to put your phone and wallet too.

That's why I have been making 'Grip Trays'.  Industrial strength and hand crafted these grip trays give you a beautiful place to keep all your important grip in.

These solid wood grip trays are hand crafted with a recessed area for your change and keys. On one end there an amble area for your phone or wallet or both.

wood tray to keep change and keys in
You can see in the photos the recessed area which is rough sculpted. That sculpted bottom makes it easy to pick up coins when you are on the go.

wood tray to keep phone, keys and change in
These trays are 18 inches long, 7.5 inches wide and 1.5 inches deep.  The phone in the photo is an xl phone so plenty of room.

wood tray to keep change and keys in
Each end is finished off with a steel bar that adds to the industrial look and stabilizes the wood from ever warping.

end view of hand crafted wood coin tray

Many coats of a clear finish add a perfect luster and gives each tray outstanding durability.  These trays have a rustic industrial look but the finish gives them a silky smooth feel.

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Two New Small Sculptures

I created two new small industrial sculptures.  They are both inspired by the ancient Japanese aesthetic of "Wabi Sabi".  

This first piece is titled, 'Clipped in Red'.  The piece stands 6 inches high, 4 inches wide and 1.5 inches deep.  It is created with industrial materials and found object.  This sculpture sits on a marble stone base.

small wabi sabi sculpture

small wood sculpture with found object

small industrial sculpture side view

small wabi sabi sculpture side view

The second piece is titled, 'Twine and Steel'.  It measures 5.25 inches high, 4 inches wide and 1 inch deep.  It is created with industrial materials and found object.  This sculpture sits on a marble stone base.

small wood sculpture

small industrial sculpture

close up view of small wood sculpture

side view of wabi sabi sculpture

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

An Expression of Love, Vol. 2 - Woodworking Tutorial

You can create this small desktop work of art and become a hero to someone speical. This heartfelt gift will become a treasured and cherished keepsake for a lifetime.

This is the second in a series of DIY tutorials on creating a special gift for someone special.  The tutorial demonstrates a complete step by step process that leaves nothing out.  It takes you from picking out the wood stock to shaping it, to how to prepare it, to exact explanations on embellishing and painting.

both sides of a tabletop wood sculpture
Both Sides of this small Tabletop Sculpture

This small tabletop or desktop wood sculpture is titled, 'Love Note'.  It stands 9 inches high and sits on a marble stone base that is 3 by 6 inches.  The title Love Note comes from the scrolled paper note on the top of the piece.  This scrolled paper note is your opportunity to express your affection for someone.

You know you love creating and working with your hands.  This is the perfect gift to create for those special occasions like birthdays, anniversaries, Valentine's Day, weddings and just to say 'I Love You'.

Heart side of small desktop wood sculpture
The Heart side of this small Desktop Sculpture

DIY tutorial on making small wood sculpture
The Hugs and Kisses side of this small Desktop Sculpture

This exhaustive tutorial is only $15.00.  It is over 60 written pages with 38 beautiful still photographs and 43 short videos that total 103 minutes of demonstration. To learn more and purchase this easy to understand tutorial go here.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

An Expression of Love - Woodworking Tutorial


Create Something Special for Someone Special.

With this tutorial 'An Expression of Love', You will have a detailed, step by step set of instructions that will allow you to create a cherished work of art that will last a lifetime.

There are tons of items you can buy as a gift for someone special in your life for all those celebratory occasions.  We do that all the time for Anniversaries, Valentine’s Day and Birthdays or just because you want to say, ‘I love you’. 

If you really want to be a Hero, create something special for someone special. 

Those gifts are appreciated for sure.  But if you want to endear yourself with someone special, make something by hand.  After all, a handwritten note of affection will always go over better than a printed card. 

Let’s take a look at the finished work you will create with this tutorial.

The tutorial covers three separate pieces.  The piece on the far left is titled, ‘Key to My Heart’. The center red one is titled, ‘The Valentine’ and smaller one is titled, ‘My Heart to Yours’.

Buy the tutorial 'An Expression of Love' now. The complete step by step tutorial is only $15.00.  Click the button here.


You can purchase with a credit card or Paypal.  After purchase you will get an email with a link to download the tutorial.  

Here is a closer look at various areas from each piece.

woodworking tutorial
wood sculpture for valentineDIY valentine gift

The tutorial starts off with how to cut and shape the raw wood stock.  You will get tips on picking out the wood then several small videos and several still photographs accompany the written explanation of how to get the wood ready to paint.  You start off with a straight 1 by 2 piece of lumber 8 feet long and finish with three sculpted pieces like in the next photo.

No step or detail of the process is left out.  You can create these beautifully constructed and painted wood sculptures.  The tutorial is 83 written pages, it has 56 beautiful still photographs with 54 small videos totaling 128 minutes in length.  An internet connection is required to view videos.

The painting process is covered so well that you can be a complete novice at painting and still create a beautiful work of art.  The tutorial has every color used and every section painted exhaustively explained by text, video and photograph.

The tutorial shows you how to create and paint small copper hearts to look like they are patinaed.

copper hearts painted to look like patina
Copper hearts painted to look like they were patinaed.

You love to work with your hands and that’s a good thing.  Few things in life match the satisfaction and enjoyment of creating something from nothing.

DIY wood sculpture of love
Key to My Heart

The way you will create this work gives it a warmth that cannot be achieved any other way.  And that’s the endearing beauty of something created by hand as opposed to a ‘product’ pumped out by a robotic machine in a factory somewhere. 

DIY valentine made from wood.
The Valentine

When you give this gift to someone, they will immediately feel the hands-on effort it took to create it.  You know this from your own life experience in that you are easily able to spot a handmade work as opposed to a factory product.  There will be something there, something of you while you are in the process of creating that somehow, someway attaches itself to your hand-crafted creation.  

Whatever it is, this honesty, this presence, cannot be duplicated in any way by a machine.  And you know that to be true and not bs because you’ve felt this experience yourself many times.

My Heart to Yours

That is what we are doing here and that is what we are giving.  It’s not only a beautiful and heartfelt gift but it also is a part of you that you are giving.  It’s a part of you that says I cherish you, I value you, I love you.  That essence, that aura, whatever it is will be intuitively perceived and appreciated by the person who is fortunate enough to receive one of your endearing Expressions of Love.

If you'd like to create these wonderful expressions of love but don't feel comfortable with the woodworking part, you probably know someone with the tools that would be happy to help you get the wood stock to painting phase. 

Buy the tutorial 'An Expression of Love' now. The complete step by step tutorial is only $15.00. Click the button here.


You can purchase with a credit card or Paypal.  After purchase you will get an email with a link to download the tutorial.  

Here is a look at the chapters in the tutorial.

Chapter One - Cutting and Shaping the Wood                  
This chapter will show you how pick out a nice straight 8 foot, 1 by 2 pine piece of wood stock from the store.  Then explains how to cut the wood and shape it with a grinder.  It shows how to add texture and banding lines.  This chapter also shows how to create the Cupid's arrow from a 3/8 inch wood dowel.

Chapter Two - Preparing to Paint
This chapter will explain the two steps to prepare the wood to paint on.  The steps are to seal the wood and then sand it.  I show you my special sealer and what sandpaper to use.

Chapter Three - Making Patinaed Copper Hearts
This chapter shows you how to cut out the copper hearts and patina them by either using Miracle Grow or faux painting the patina on.

Chapter Four - Layout the Design
This chapter explains how to take all the elements and layout the design for each piece.

Chapter Five - Painting 'Key to My Heart'
This chapter shows a very detailed step by step methodical procedure on how to paint the sculpture titled Key to My Heart.  It demonstrates how to paint Cupid's arrow and attach it to the piece.  It goes over attaching the key and patinaed copper heart.  It also shows you the best way to make a hanger for the work.

Chapter Six - Painting 'The Valentine'
This chapter shows a very detailed methodical step by step procedure on how to paint the sculpture titled The Valentine.  It goes over Cupid's arrow and attaching it, attaching the key and making a hanger.

Chapter Seven - Painting 'My Heart to Yours'
This chapter explains how to paint and finish off the sculpture titled My Heart to Yours.

Appendix One - Paint Colors
I talk about the painting scheme for the different pieces.

Appendix Two - Personal Embellishments
I talk about how you can use your own personal embellishments to tailor make each piece you create.  I give an example.

Appendix Three - Aging Metal
This is an explanation of how I age new metal hardware to make it look rusted.  There are 5 videos here for you to look at.

Appendix Four - Tools
A list of most of the tools used in the making of these wood sculptures.

Appendix Five - List of Videos
A list of all the videos in the tutorial and a link to them.

Buy the tutorial 'An Expression of Love' now. The complete step by step tutorial is only $15.00. Click the button here.


You can purchase with a credit card or Paypal.  After purchase you will get an email with a link to download the tutorial.  

More information on downloading the tutorial here.

Monday, April 20, 2020

Paint a Garage Door to Look Like Dark Wood

I completed my last garage door painting project last week and it is the darkest wood color that I have attempted so far.  Looks great though and the clients love it and so does their designer.

Let's take a look at how the door came out.  This garage door came out great and I got a lot of really nice comments on it from the neighbors as they passed by.

paint a garage door to look like really dark wood

This home is undergoing a really big remodel.  That stone work around the garage door was just completed the week before I began my painting.

The assignment was to paint a really dark wood look on the garage door.  To get there I first applied a basecoat of paint that is darker than the usual basecoat of paint I use on my garage door projects, I used a Sherwin Williams color called Terra Brun.  To get the dark wood grain I needed a really dark brown but not black.  So I mixed SW Black Bean with Black at about 40% Black to 60% Black Bean.  Really gave me a dark, dark brown without going black.

I used that mix to paint the wood grain.  Then once that was dried I thinned down a SW color called Turkish Coffee gave the whole door a very light glaze.  I mean I really thinned it down too but it darkened the base coat that was showing through the wood grain and really tied it all together.

After the whole garage door was painted to look like wood, I applied the crystal clear 100% acrylic UV coating.

The next two photos give you a closer view.

garage door painted to look like dark wood

garage door painted to look like wood

This last photo shows how I handle the area hidden under the weather strip that goes around the door.
If you don't paint that area, when the garage door opens you can see a white vertical stripe there.  It doesn't bother most people but it bugs me so I go the extra mile and paint that in.  I can't wood grain it but no matter, when the door is opening I just don't want to see a white stripe there.   So as you can see in the photo indicated by the read arrows I put some of my low tack tape on the door.  I do this when the door is closed and make sure at the seams I cut through it with a utility knife, if I didn't the tape would rip apart when the door opened.

The top red arrow shows how I have painted in that white area and the lower red arrow shows where you can still see the white area behind the weather stip still needing to be painted.  I raise the door a little at a time to get those areas. I used the very dark brown paint I had mixed for the wood grain.

The green arrows are showing the weather strip that I painted in later with the same dark brown paint mix.  The upper green arrow indicates the soffit area above the garage door which was about 8 inches in width.  I also painted that in with the dark brown paint.  The painting of the weather strip and the soffit really picture framed the door and it looks great.

paint garage door to look like wood

A last look at the garage door painted to look like a dark wood grain.

paint garage door to look like wood

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Paint Ceiling beams to Look Like Wood

I completed a project this week where I took 5 ceiling beams constructed with drywall and painted them to look like rustic wood beams.  Each of the five beams is 12 feet long and 20 inches high with a width of 6 inches.

It is really hard to photograph something of those dimensions so this first pic is one end of a few of the finished beams.

paint ceiling beams to look like wood

This project is part of a much larger remodel going on.  The beams were created by opening  up the ceiling and creating a recessed area.  Then the beams were constructed  and I came in at that point to paint them to match the rustic, wood looking ceramic floor tile that had been installed.  The cut out in the ceiling to the left of the beams in the next photo is where the speakers will go.

ceiling beams painted to look like wood

The next two photos are portions of the beams.  They came out really great and everyone is super happy with them.

beam painted to look like wood

beam painted to look like wood.

This next photo is after I primed the beams.

five ceilings beams primed and ready to paint

Then you can see how I got started on the project.

ceiling beams painting to look like wood

Here is my setup. I used my baker scaffolding and my six foot ladder to get the job done.  I also use a small step ladder on the scaffolding to hold my paint tray.

scaffolding setup to paint ceiling beams

A last look at all 5 beams.  On the far left you can see a cut out.  Those cut outs are centered in the spaces between the beams.  Lighting will go there to light up the beams and create ambiance in the room.

five ceiling beams faux painted to look like wood

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Valentine DIY for Woodworkers

A created expression of your heartfelt love to another is cherished and kept for a lifetime.  

I made several valentines for this years holiday.  Giving a valentine to someone that you created by yourself can be so much more meaningful to the person you are giving it to than a store gift.  Not that a card is isn't great but you know what I mean.  When someone takes the time and energy to craft a gift it carries with it the love and energy that went into its creation.  And that is a real thing.

When you pick up a custom created piece of work you can just feel the difference between the heartfelt effort of creation and a factory produced item.  The same thing holds true for the gifts you give.  Of course you know this or you wouldn't like woodworking in the first place.  The warmth, the energy and not to get too silly here but there is some essence of yourself that gets attached to the work you create and all of that is perceived on several levels by just holding the creation in your hands.

The joy and satisfaction of creating objects with wood is equal to the joy and appreciation from the recipient of those creations.  Some people keep cards for a long time, most don't.  Flowers last a week or so. Chocolate is chocolate and found everywhere all the time.

The effort, energy and love you put into creating a gift for someone is intuitively felt as a reflection of the effort, energy and love you put into and value from your relationship with them.  A keepsake by definition is something kept because it was given as an expression of affection and love.  I made several little valentines this year that I know will be kept for a lifetime.  Sure, it took some time and energy but to see a face light up with joy because they realized the effort I took for them really makes your day.

Having said all that here is the valentine I made for each of my granddaughters.

woodworking valentine gift

This is a small, desktop piece, being only 3.5 inches high. I used a 1 by 3 for the body of the piece and sculpted it with my grinder.  I dremeled out the heart shape and then created the heart with copper.  Put on the hugs and kisses and mounted the piece on tumbled marble tile.  They absolutely loved it.  On the back of the piece (see next photo) I hammered in more hugs and kisses.

diy valentine gift

If you like woodworking and like to make do it yourself craft projects, this one is a huge hit.  You might be thinking that you could figure out how to do the woodworking part but the painting and copper heart is not something you are used to.  Well, I am working on a comprehensive, step by step tutorial on how I created this gift which is an expression of love from you to another.  The tutorial has many small videos, still photos and an exhaustive written explanation of each and every step.  You won't get lost at any point in the creative process.

This great project is not just for a valentine but also is given for an anniversary or a birthday gift.  There are lots of appropriate occasions that come up during the year and the best one of all is 'Just Because'.

I will definitely be posting when the tutorial is complete.

a gift as an expression of love