Turning Big Wooden Balls

Keith Holamon is turning big wooden balls on a lathe he designed and made. This aspiring woodworker was making balls and they got bigger and bigger and the lathes he was using were not big enough so he made a piece of equipment to handle the size he wanted. On this truck mounted lathe he takes wood that no one wants such as stumps and turns them into beautiful artwork.

Turning A Big Wooden Ball

Big Wooden Ball Project from Mike Leuis on Vimeo.

His work is inspiring, here are some of the comments from around the web.

“Fantastic. Very inspiring even if I’ll never build a massive truck with a massive lathe hanging off of the back of it.”

” Really loved this. Makes my 6″ sphere jig seem puny.”

“There’s something captivating about Keith Holamon and his spending a fortune to create huge wooden balls.”

“I was surprised to see how beautiful the final products were. The process is so rough looking and yet the final pieces are really beautiful.”

I love the look of these wooden balls, the grain is simply amazing! While turning big wooden balls is not something everyone can do, with the right equipment anything is possible.


Read More

Aspiring Woodworkers Build The Ultimate Wooden Bike

Aspiring Woodworkers Build the Ultimate Wooden Bikes

What do you do with condemned trees, these aspiring woodworkers build the ultimate wooden bikes from them.  While most people cut the trees down and turn them into firewood or shred them for mulch Bill Holloway and Mauro Hernandez are taking trees nobody wants and turning them in rolling works of art.

The pair are owners of Masterworks Wood and Design in San Jose California and build these wooden bikes primarily using tradition hand woodworking techniques. You can buy one that they have already build to tell them what you would like and they will custom make on for you.

As Bruce Newman of MercuryNews.com writes:

Aspiring Woodworkers Build the Ultimate Wooden Bikes

Aspiring Woodworkers Build The Ultimate Wooden Bikes
Two aspiring woodworkers build the ultimate wooden bikes from condemed trees. Photo by Gary Reyes / Mercury News

But a pair of San Jose woodworkers — one a self-taught genius, the other his interpreter to the real world — are turning recycled Honduran mahogany, cherry and maple hardwoods into cycling’s most splendid splinters.

At Masterworks Wood and Design, Bill Holloway, 49, and Mauro Hernandez, 33, are an artistic odd couple who have carved out a unique place for themselves in cycling’s peloton. They have built 10 bikes — all cruisers, with a pedicab in the works — that are made almost entirely of wood, and look like a Harley enthusiast’s idea of an elaborate weathervane. The original sapling in this fleet fleet, called the Defender, is their entry-level model and costs $5,500. Other models, such as the Interceptor, which has a pirate theme, and the Cherry Bomb, with flames carved out of wood, run as much as $7,500.

The bikes are considered “green” because the wood used to make them is not. The pair spend countless hours tracking down the most beautiful used woods they can find and repurposing them for…

In this video from Gary Reyes of Mercury News they discuss there wooden bike designs

Kimberley Mok from treehugger.com writes about their use of condemned urban trees:

There’s no doubt that we have a definite soft spot for wooden bicycles, but these hand-crafted bikes made from condemned city trees give these otherwise stylish bikes a more poignant history than you might imagine. Made by San Francisco-based carpenters Bill Holloway and Mauro Hernandez of Masterworks Woodworking, the material for these beautiful vehicles come from ‘unsafe’ trees that have met an untimely end — often from family properties, now inherited by grown children who…

In a article and video produced by Jeff Diehl of spotsunknown.com Bill Holloway talks about his woodworking background and how he started to build wooden bikes. He also discusses how the wood bikes ride and how they use tradition hand woodworking techniques.

They’re self-taught, and the custom bikes are an offshoot of their larger woodworking and detailing business. Bill is a native San Franciscan, and his family has deep roots here. The dynamic between him and Mauro is a compelling, friendly rivalry.

I fist encountered Bill while shooting him at Bay Area Maker Faire. This time around, it was great getting to know him and his work better, and setting him and Mauro loose to ride their creations in some stunning San Francisco locations. (Watch for the daredevil downhill stuff – these bikes are decidedly NOT made for that kind of terrain!)

These wooden bikes are beautiful. As a cycling enthusest and woodworker I can apreciate all of the time and effort that goes into building them. These California aspiring woodworkers build the ultimate wooden bikes!

Wood has played a large part in bicycle history, from the wooden bike to wood wheels to racing velodromes made of wood. For more about bicycle history including the wood bike you might want to read Bike Cult: The Ultimate Guide to Human-Powered Vehicles, by David B. Perry. This book may be the ultimate bike database!



Read More

Woodturning A Big Bowl In Time Lapse Video

An aspiring woodworker from Hawaii is woodturning a big bowl in time lapse video shown below. Aaron Hammer a wood turner from Hau’ula on the north shore of the island of Oahu turns a 36″ Monkey Pod bowl. With the steps captured on time lapse video.

Woodturning A Big Bowl In Time Lapse Video

Another video featuring Aaron was posted by HGTV in a That’s Clever segment.

I enjoyed these video’s having seen them in the past and thought some of you might enjoy them as well. If you want to see more of Aaron’s work see his website at www.hammercrafthawaii.com. I especially enjoyed watching him woodturning a big bowl in time lapse video and was impressed by his setup. As a fan of the beautiful woods of Hawaii I am jealous.


Read More

Lie-Nielsen Factory Tour

Lie-Nielsen Factory Tour

Michael Christopher of Wuzzup TV a local community television show produced this Lie-Nielsen factory tour video. The show based out of Lincoln County, Maine is hosted by Bobby Whear and Kit Hayden and highlights various regional locations, businesses and events.

I am not sure if the hosts are woodworkers but they do a good job discussing various aspects of the Lie-Nielsen woodworking tool business. The video runs around 25 minutes long, has some lighthearted moments including one when the cameraman “walks into” a problem.

Lie-Nielsen Factory Tour

Click here for more videos from the show on brctv.org.

It is nice to see that all of the material and parts Lie-Nielsen uses to make their tools are from the USA, primarily from New England. As they state on their website at www.lie-nielsen.com

We are proud to continue the tradition of “Made in America.” Instead of out-sourcing all our jobs for the cheapest price and short term profit, we are stubbornly local. We have found that the best quality is right here in Maine. We source our metal castings from New England foundries, our wood from Maine sawyers, and make almost everything else the old-fashioned way at our shop in Warren.

Lie-Nielsen Factory Tour
No. 4 1/2 Smoothing Plane like those shown in Lie-Nielsen factory tour video.

I would like to thank Nancy from nanuink.com for sending me the link to this video tour of Lie-Nielsen Toolworks, be sure and check out her artwork! If you have a woodworking video, post or website you think should be posted here at Aspiring Woodworker send us a message via the contact us page and we will take a look at it.

Every woodworker can appreciate the quality of woodworking tools made by Lie-Nielsen Toolworks. Click here if you would like to learn more about some of the tools featured in the Lie-Nielsen factory tour.


Read More

How Many Chisels Do You Have?

How Many Chisels Do You Have?

As an aspiring woodworker I own a number of different chisels, how many chisels do you have?  There are specialized chisels for many different purposes as Dennis Laney of A Woodworker Musings explains.

How many chisels do you Have?

How Many Chisels Do You Have?
How many chisels do you have, aspiring woodworkers want to know?

I used to think that my wife simply didn’t understand me when she would widen her eyes and ask, “why do you need so many tools?”.  Then not too long ago a friend came into the shop and asked, “what in the name of all that’s holy do you use all of these different chisels for?”   (His adjectives were actually a little different…

…an English “pigsticker” sash mortise chisel, tanged and heavily shouldered, it is used to “chop” mortises cross grain;  a Continental style sash mortise chisel, hooped, ferruled and washered (still not as durable as the English pigsticker; a large firmer chisel, front and back surfaces are usually parallel (or darned close to it), generally used in heavy work and to align (“register”) the walls of mortises created by boring with a boring machine or brace and bit; a gooseneck or lock mortise chisel, used to clean up the bottom of blind mortises…

Read the full article at dblaney.wordpress.com

Be sure and spend a little time reading the other posts on Dennis’s site, he does a great job talking about traditional woodworking techniques.

A chisel is one of the most basic tools a woodworker can use, yet they are vital in so many ways. I love old chisels and have a number that I picked up over the years, some are still missing handles that someday I will get around fixing.  So how many chisels do you have, let us know in the comments.


Read More