‘Nuther Table Blank

ImageHere is another fine Redwood Burl slab that I acquired from Albuquerque Exotic Woods just yesterday.  Jake is the most kind and helpful person I’ve ever met in the wood business and I’ve grown to depend on him for fine specimens!  He’s about to open a radically larger store – and I look forward to shopping a much larger stock.

This slab is about 1-3/4″ thick and 22″ x 39″.  I’ll square the ends just a bit, but this one will look similar to the other Redwood Burl Table I made and posted below.  I chose this side to be exposed as it has more of  the bark inclusions – so appropriate for a bit of turquoise inlay.  I’m not sure what I’ll use for the skirt, legs, and stretchers, but am considering a treasured plank of Blue Mahoe that I’ve cherished for about 8 years.  Some woods I have are in suspended animation waiting to tell me what they’d like to be!  I also  have some remarkable bark included 2″ Bird’s Eye Maple, and some very densely figured 4/4 Bird’s Eye Maple that might like to be a skirt.  I have quite a number of very very special planks and boards waiting for special purposes.  This example of Redwood deserves accompanying very special woods.  I’ll post the results when I get around to designing and creating my next special table.  The best source of extremely high quality Maple on earth is Bell Forest Products in Ispeming, Michigan.  I was forturnate to visit their store a few years ago and managed to select about $3k of their finest.  The wood for the top of the wide bench posted earlier came from them.  Boone is so knowledgeable, too.

Photo: custom made bars with a boatload of pullback in them for a guy with a bad shoulder. pride in craftsmanship!

On another note, my very special custom chopper motorcycle is very well in-progress!  Yesterday I visited it at Chuck’s “Dawg House” and there it sits waiting for the rest of the parts.  I did pick out a nice tachometer/speedometer combination instrument – about 1-1/2″ x 6″ with rounded ends.  Chuck and Jeff did an astounding job on them!  They will be painted rather than chrome.  The bars fit very well with the overall smooth lines of the bike.  These custom handlebars are absolutely awe inspiring – so smooth and flowing back.  See the photo above.  Chuck referred to them as having “a boatload of drawback for a guy with a bad shoulder”.  He’s right – and I’m headed for an orthopedic specialist to see what can be done about my shoulder with bursitis, arthritis, and many spurs & floaters limiting movement.  That’s an important one for managing the clutch, you know!  While there several of the parts arrived.  The remainder will arrive early next week.  We’ll visit again next Friday to see it all assembled and ready for the final fitment.  The very next step is disassembly and going to PAINT!  I’m not totally settled on the color but it will likely be a radically deep dark red.  I’m SO anxious!  Cat’s trike kit is being manufactured by Lehman in South Dakota – very near Sturgis.  They’ll be doing the conversion to a trike – and when it returns our Majestic Motorcycle Magician, Chuck Zettner, will make it Very Special!  We are so fortunate to have this world class motorcycle expert!  I’m so proud!  More to follow perhaps next weekend – a photo or two of my ride just before paint!



Redwood Burl Table

Image ImageHere are a couple of photos of the table I wrote about recently.  The top is a slab of Redwood Burl that I acquired from Albuquerque Exotic Woods – Jake is a really neat guy who loves woods almost as much as I do…  The top is 2″ thick, about  18″ x 28″,  and sits 35″ tall.  A loose bark inclusion was present that went thru the top.  I soaked it with thin cyanoacrylic super glue then filled both sides with clear epoxy and crushed turquoise.  The legs and skirts are of very nice Bubinga and the stretchers ebonized dowels.  I finished it with Watco Danish Oil – and plan on putting several coats of Polyurethane on the top only.  While I’d love to have kept it, it sold while just a slab to a friend when she saw it as I explained the plan to do a nice table.  I’ll retain this really nice piece in my heart – and relive the joy of the process with photos.  I hope that everyone has this sort of connection with things they love to do. By the way, my custom motorcycle was fitted with very unique handlebars – fabricated by the builder – Chuck Zettner yesterday.  Tuesday I visit his shop for a fitment for exact placement of the handlebars and foot controls.  Soon I’ll be ordering the Vance & Hines pipes, rear tire, mechanical and electronic parts with the grips, and other parts for the next steps.  Chuck will be fabricating a small “Buzzard Catcher” for use as the air cleaner cover.  A “Buzzard Catcher” is the housing to gather air for extreme performance engines on drag racing engines.  How fitting for my developing ride!  I can hardly wait for the time to pick the color/scheme at paint time……  Chuck is the most remarkable artist with these builds.  I’m blessed to  have him to do mine. Jim

The Old Buzzard


ImageHere are a couple of photos of the custom seat for my Big Dog Chopper.  It’s constructed on the Big Dog seat pan, gel support widened, and English leather.  It’s Very comfortable.  John Meador of Custom Interiors in Albuquerque is a real leather artist and I’m so happy he’s doing my seat work.  Chuck Zettner is going to finish the work he started to customize my bike.  He opened his own shop last week, and I hope that my job will be his first official one.  I had to retrieve my bike from Showstoppers as the work had just stopped – just like the name.  I do trust Chuck absolutely.  By the way, he had the best Chopper at the Los Angeles international show recently!  The category was officially won by a bagger – the reason why the show organizers permitted a bagger to enter in the chopper category is known only to them….

Cat’s Harley Davidson Ultra Classic that was supposed to be converted to a trike with a Lehman kit was also retrieved from Showstoppers.  She will have her trike, and it will not be another ten months…

Today Cat and I spent the day caulking and painting the first coat on the interior of the building we’re gonna use as our “Dog & Hog House”.  It’s 12′ x 12′ and had been used for another purpose – and fully constructed by us.  I did widen the door to 6′ to accommodate Cat’s trike – it’s going to be about 60″ wide.  DJ, our local handyman installed the insulation and plywood covering of the ceiling and walls yesterday.  He’s such a neat person and so capable.  I don’t “do” insulation….  I’ll post a photo of the building when the exterior changes are completed and painted!

By the way – “The Old Buzzard” is a nickname I acquired when I was with the Bexar County Purchasing Department in San Antonio, Texas from 1984-2003.  That phrase was my screen saver for years after an employee began to refer to me as “The Old Buzzard” as I was a stickler for doing things right all the time.  People began to give me renditions of buzzards, condors, and vultures.  I now have a collection of several hundred renditions of these important creatures.  An image of a Turkey Vulture neck/head will likely appear on the gas tank of my motorcycle when painted.   We’ll be renovating our office here at home – and the decorations will be displaying all of my buzzard, condor, and vulture images and art!  

We continue to have such magnificent fun!  And the “work” continues: