Feb 13


The snow is here!


It’s been a very mild Winter here in Ohio.


It snowed last night, and man let me tell ya it came down like crazy!


Missy and I went out to dinner and got caught in it. Took over an hour to get home with some parts of the trip rivaling an action film. Let’s just say we both were very happy to make it home and even happier that Dane had come home earlier and was home safe.


So here are some pictures of what snow looks like for our family out West. Enjoy!






Our Gazebo frame and furniture covered in snow




Small flock of birds sitting on the Gazebo frame.





Hope to get back out in the shop soon. Just needs to be a little warmer than 6 degrees for the shop heaters to keep up.


—– Brandon



Feb 07



Sometimes you just have to improvise.


I needed a dowel for the Skull Nutcracker I’m making, but didn’t have any Mahogany dowels. Plenty of others, but none mahogany.

Yeah, that toothpick isn’t mahogany either and just isn’t going to cut it.




I cut a chunk of Mahogany:






I took the rough edges off at the Disc Sander:




I chucked it in the Drill Press. Used a flat riffler file, sanding block, and sand paper to shape it:




Wallah! A dowel that will match the piece perfectly. Awesome!




This is a good example of the level of detail that goes into making the pieces I create.


Everything on this piece is hand made, even the dowel now.




Missing a Foot

Missing a Foot

Jan 31



This great piece came in from one of the Nutcracker Club members.


This piece had to wait till after the Holidays to come in for repairs because it was on display. The member cleverly hid the missing foot in the display’s snow.


Along with the missing left foot, the pin was sticking out the right side a bit so I removed it and reworked it a little to make it fit flush.


Here are a few pictures of the piece before the new foot (click on the pictures for a larger view):






Here are pictures of the piece with the new foot carved, stained, and painted to match the original:








He’s all fixed up and ready to be displayed with or without snow now.


My Workbench

My Workbench

Jan 24





This isn’t staged, this is honestly what my workbench currently looks like.


I’m working on one of my signature skull nutcrackers to take to the 2016 Nutcracker Convention which will be held in Virginia this year. I’m also working on a new skull nutcracker which will be a screw type. I’m making it from an older blank that’s too big to be a lever type (far right).


In the foreground (front center) is a repair in progress for one of the Nutcracker Club members. The rest of the pieces are there for reference as I carve the skulls. I switch from piece to piece as glue dries and each is ready for different stages of carving, repair, etc…


Everything is sitting on a downdraft table I built years ago that pulls all the dust down and into the dust collector at the back of the shop. This keeps my shop clean and the dust away from me. It works very well.


 I decided to take a picture and share it because I was working in another area, looked over, and realized my workbench probably doesn’t look like most people’s workbenches. What I see every day and consider normal, might be unique and interesting to others.


I love the unique pieces I get to get to work on and the cool stuff I have the opportunity to create.


Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

Jan 01





Happy New Year everybody!


We all stayed up and rang in the New Year warm, safe, and together here at home.


Hope everyone had a fun and safe New Years Eve.


Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

Dec 24



 From our home to yours, we want to wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas!








Our cat Leo impatiently waiting for Santa



Our mantle with the Haunted Mansion inspired mirror displaying Christmas loops



Gus from the Haunted Mansion all decked out for Christmas hanging out with the soldier style nutcrackers



COOKIES! Molasses cookies, my favorite! – Recipe here –>



Merry Christmas everyone!


Man with a Hat

Man with a Hat

Dec 19


Got the opportunity to repair another really nice screw type nutcracker for a Nutcracker Club member.


These club members come up with the nicest stuff. I really have to start looking harder for these treasures!


This piece needed some repairs done to the nose, cheek, and base. It also needed a refresh on the finish to bring out the great details.


The repairs on this piece came out great. The base looks original and all the small nicks in the hat are gone too.


Here are some before pictures:





Here’s the piece after the repairs:








Wabbit Season!

Wabbit Season!

Dec 12


Yes, I’m a Looney Tunes nerd.


wabbit_seasonClick on the picture to see the Wabbit Season skit


Any who… I recently got the opportunity to repair a really nice figural rabbit (A.K.A. – wabbit) nutcracker for a Nutcracker Club member.


The rabbit had a big chip at the top of the left ear, an old very obvious repair on the jaw, a broken pin, and basically needed an overall refresh on the aged finish.


The repairs on this piece came out great and replacing the pin gave me the opportunity to make it a “hidden pin” which really adds to the overall quality of this piece.


Here are some before pictures:






Here’s how the piece came out:






Honestly, this was a fun piece to work on. It came out great and the customer was very happy with the work I did.


—– Brandon