A Mini Squirrel!

ImageHere’s a photo of my newest creation – another tool that’s high on the “cute” factor!  This is a mini version of my Squirrel Cage Skein Winder – so handy for those little skeins you get to deal with.  It’s also easy to break down if  you’d like, or just store assembled on a shelf rather than taking up more floor room.  This tool is easy to use on a tabletop as it stands just 32″ tall.  The cages are 6″ wide and spin on brass shafts and brass  hardware.  I made the first very nice run and most have been sold sight unseen.  This old woodworker will be making a very large run soon after my two shows in November.

I show at the Kid ‘N Ewe event  in Boerne, TX November 8-10 followed the next weekend at the Fiber Arts Festival in Silver City, NM.  Visit me at these shows if you can – and all of the other fine vendors attending.   Both of these events are really neat and special.  I’ll be hustling in the shop till we leave.

ImageHere is a photo of Cat’s trike!  She took delivery last week and we’ve been riding when we can.  I’m still on the “Foster Harley” till my chopper is ready.  Chuck starts assembly of my chopper (The Buzzard) Thursday!  The air brush artist did such a magnificent job on the Turkey Vulture images on each side of the gas tank.  It’ll go well with the seat!  The color I picked is an extremely deep red that looks almost black in the shade yet brilliant red in the direct sunlight.  There are reds, blacks, violet, and other colors as well as Pearl and Metalflake.  I’m incredibly excited!  We’re so happy to be back on motorcycles.  Yes, we’re safe and will take it easy till we renew our skills.  Cat’s done so well learning the special features of riding a trike.    Fun in our High Desert Mountains!

Jim “The old Buzzard”


ImageHere is a bit of progress.  I have in these boxes full of  pieces that are  ready-to-sand for many items.  They include 450 blanks for small handles that I use for threading hooks, Bob Wire Tools, fetch hooks, and Tiny Turned Beaters.  Lots of lathe time coming!  I also have 350 blanks for tiny stick shuttles, 200 little beaters, 30 Navajo Forks, 50 Sam’s Seam Tools, and 90 1 x 12 shed sticks.  These “runs” of tools are planned for soon after my two November shows!  I’ll be doing the Kid ‘N Ewe event  in Boerne, TX November 8-10.  This is by far the show with the most fun!  Grady does such a grand job of organizing the show and I appreciate his efforts.  The following weekend I’ll be going to Silver City, NM for the Fiber Arts Festival – for the first time.  I appreciate it that it’s finally not on the same weekend as KNE.


ImageHere’s some major progress too!  This is the majority of the 175 mini reels I recently completed and boxed up for storage/shipment.  I’m now doing the bases, risers on the bases, and the axle finial in a square form!  It’s really interesting how it looks and those customers who’ve purchased them love the new look.  The rack is one I built just for  this purpose – and placed it in our 20 x 40 storage building.  This building is the very first construction project Cat and I did when we moved here 10-1/2 years ago.  I mean BUILT – with our own hands, including 22′ trusses.  I can store full lengths of steel in a rack I built in one end.  There is a garden storage section/room, large equipment storage, and so very many other things.


ImageHere are some of the pieces I use to construct the cages for my Squirrel Cage Skein Winders.  I’m doing 9 winders in this run – orders abound and I still have two shows next month!  It’s a great joy to make this piece of equipment, and they always look so nice!

More progress on my chopper.  All the pieces to be painted are fully body worked and primed.  Within a few days they will be painted with the rich deep red color I picked.  This evening I talk to the air brush expert who’ll be doing his radical magic for me!  Right now I believe that a Turkey Vulture neck & head will adorn each side of the gas tank!  Then, good clearcoat and the pieces go to Chuck Zettner at Dawg House Customs for assembly and producing the most beautiful chopper on Earth!  Chuck is an artist true with the most profound sense of integrity in craftsmanship I’ve ever known.  I remain so proud that he’s doing our custom work!

ImageCat’s trike is built!  Now we’ll arrange for Chuck to do  the custom things she wants.  The first increment will be the street legal and reliability things.  Later will be the other custom stuff.  We do have a trailer for this trike – so we’ll be able to carry quite a bit of stuff.  We could even deliver product if not too far or too large!  Just another opportunity to have great fun!


Back to work.  Work.  It seems inappropriate for me to say that – for there’s nothing I do that’s “work”…..  I spent an hour or so this afternoon chopping and bagging goat heads.  I don’t love the task, just the effect.  These thorns will not be penetrating our motorcycle tires!  Tomorrow I assemble the squirrel cage winder cages, make the axles, box that mass into pairs, then start the sawdust production to cut out the feet and frames of the winders.  I just love my “job”!  The jury is out on my shoulder as to the advantages of physical therapy or just go ahead and cut.  Torn tendons, arthritis, bursitis, and spurs……