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Still Here, Just Busy!

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Pens made from Mountain Mahogany from the Sierra Nevada Mountains

Mini Sabbatical

The Wood Lab Graphic with light streaksWell, after taking a short break from posting on the blog, I’m back! To be honest, I have been trying to catch up with work after having to halt production for a while during the shop makeover. Unfortunately, the reorganization is actually still in progress, but I am hoping to be back in full-swing after next week.

Due to waiting for the electrician to get out and get a new 220V circuit wired, lights installed and wired, and some other minor tasks; I haven’t been able to finish up everything that I have planned.  So, it’s been crazy trying to get things done with the shop half torn apart, but the good news is half the electrical work has finally been completed, with the remainder to be finalized this week.

The other thing that I have been working hard on is testing and searching for new materials and products.  I’ll fill you in on all the new ideas once they are nearing production, but I have a few new materials that I can share now.

New Locally Sourced Materials

Over the last couple weeks, I have begun experimenting on new materials to use in my work after getting a few recommendations from friends. After seeing what I could do with sagebrush, quite a few people have suggested other local materials to try out.  Well, this spurred on a hiking expedition in the Sierra Nevadas to search out these materials. One of the best parts of using local materials is going out and finding them!

Local Nevada Wood/Brush

Pens made from Mountain Mahogany from the Sierra Nevada MountainsMountain mahogany, pine cones, pine tree bark, manzanita, and bitterbrush are among others that I collected on our little field trip expedition. I’ve already gotten some decent results with the materials I have tried out so far, but the process of stabilizing, curing, and casting all take time to do. Once I’ve gotten that part done, I can finally turn it on the late and see the results. The biggest drawback is the time needed to prepare and test everything; however, it’s one of the best parts of the job. Unfortunately, experiments don’t bring in any revenue, so I can only do so much at a time!

Dye Infused Wood

Violet Infused PensI’ve also begun experimenting with dying materials during the stabilization process.  Although I still have more testing to do, the first batch turned out pretty amazing!  There are many ways to dye wood, but adding dye to the stabilizing process allows the dye to fully penetrate the wood rather than just coat the outer layer.  It is really difficult to add dye to a turned item on the lathe since you just cut off the top layer during the turning process.

When I go through the process of stabilizing wood, the wood and a stabilizing resin is put into a vacuum chamber and all the air is sucked out with a pump. Once you have removed all the air from the cellular structure of the wood and release the vacuum, the stabilizing  resin is forced into the cellular structure of the wood. By adding dye to the resin, I can infuse the dye throughout the wood giving it a really unique look.

Big Promotions Coming Soon!!

There is quite a bit happening in the shop right now, so be on the lookout for more in-depth info on all the new products and materials. I am also currently working on getting a laser engraver so that I can offer personalized gifts.  I have not had any luck using local engravers with my products, so the only way that I can ensure that no mistakes are made is to do it myself.  Plus, a laser engraver will allow me to expand the types of projects I can create that I just couldn’t do otherwise.  I’m really excited to get one!

To help raise the needed money for a laser engraving machine, I plan to have lots of fun promotions in the near future to help increase sales and traffic, and I even have quite a few ways to get involved and help out that don’t even cost a dime! Keep an eye out for some great deals that can help you kick start the holiday gift giving season. I plan to reward the early shoppers with some great discounts that I’m only sharing with my subscribers (So sign up for the newsletter to get in on the great deals!)

There is a sign up area on the top right hand side of the page, and there will be one at the bottom of this post as well.  Subscribers get an every-day 15% discount in my Etsy shop, plus I have exclusive deals that I only share with my subscribers.

Shop Amazon.com & Support NV Woodwerks

Because I’m an affiliate of Amazon, I can get a small commission on sales just by using the links to Amazon.com on my website. If you haven’t heard of affiliate programs, it is just a program that rewards people for sending customers to Amazon.com.   The only catch is that you have to use the links on my website to go to Amazon.com for me to get a commission, but it costs you absolutely nothing!

I have a page setup on my website that will take you to the homepage of Amazon’s website, and you can get there by clicking the “Amazon” button on my main menu at the top of the page.  I may also have links to products that I use and buy from Amazon that are also affiliate links.

Just for kicks, the picture to the right is an affiliate link to one of my favorite books that’s available on Amazon, “Hybrid Woodworking” by Marc Spagnuolo (The Wood Whisperer).

In it, Marc outlines the advantages to incorporating both power tools and hand tools in the woodworking shop.  This is the style of woodworking that I do, and even being a woodworker by trade, I got some great tips and tricks to maximize efficiency in my shop by choosing the best tool for the job. I highly recommend any woodworker read it, and incorporate a hybrid approach to woodworking.

I’ll be sharing updates on all the promotions along with more details about the engraving. For now, I just want to thank all my  SuperFan subscribers out there who have continued to support me and my business. I couldn’t do it without you!

Lastly, I’ll be returning to my normal weekly posting schedule, and I’ve got some really awesome videos planned over the course of the next couple months too. So keep en eye out for more great woodworking stuff!

Don’t forget to sign up for the newsletter below to get in on all the great deals and to get 15% off all your orders in my Etsy shop.

 

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