Many Hats

Many Hats

Nov 24


My little workshop has to be flexible and wear many hats.


Today was no exception. Today’s task was to convert it to an electronic repair shop to see if I can resurrect an old 22″ Dell monitor they were throwing out at work.


I disassembled the monitor, pulled the power board and found 4 bad capacitors which is typical in Dell hardware.


1– Power board on the bench being diagnosed –

2– Bad Capacitors (domed tops) –

So after about 30 minutes of my time and 4 new capacitors (56 cents total), I have a nice large Dell monitor for my home PC. Nice!



– It’s Alive! –

This was a nice little project that yielded a nice much larger computer monitor for my home PC for next to nothing.




BTW – Yes that’s a VCR under the monitor. I use it to transfer VHS tapes to digital media, and the pint glass you see has Thirsty Dog’s 12 Dogs of Christmas Ale in it which I highly recommend. 🙂


For Sale – Antique Chamois – $125

For Sale – Antique Chamois – $125

Jun 01

I have an antique Chamois I recently restored up for sale over on Ardoria.

These pieces are very hard to find in good condition.

I bought this one on Ebay. It had a couple condition issues and I restored it with the plan of keeping it; but we already have a couple similar to this one in our collection.

So here’s a chance to own a fully restored great piece.

Click on the pictures below to view the larger images:

Capture Desktop-20070808-150448-1





Click here to see more pictures and/ or purchase this piece –> Antique Chamois

Thank you for looking,



—– Brandon







An Addendum

An Addendum

Feb 21


Addendum to The Art & Character of Nutcrackers


It’s official, the Addendum to The Art & Character of Nutcrackers is available for purchase from the Leavenworth Nutcracker Museum:

Click here to buy the Addendum to The Art & Character of Nutcrackers

Be sure to look for my original pieces featured on pages 106 and 110.

There’s also mention of me on page 5 for the repair work I did on a 16th century French piece for the museum a few years ago. Unfortunately, the publisher misspelled my name as “Benard Etto”. So here’s a link to the repair work that proves it’s me:

Completed 1500’s Nutcracker

Also if you don’t yet already have Arlene’s first book (The Art & Character of Nutcrackers) it’s available in the store as well.

I actually own 2 copies of each of these books. One is kept pristine while the other is used as reference. That way I don’t get all worried about having to take it out to the shop if I need to.

Arlene Wagner’s first book was a key element in getting me started in creating and repairing nutcrackers. Having my work featured in her new book is a huge honor for me. So if you get the chance, be sure to pick up a copy (or two). It’s a great book and a must have for any collector.


—- Brandon




Jan 25

Here’s another great figural nutcracker I picked up that I gave to my wife for Christmas.

These seem to get classified as a gnome and sometimes as Santa. Since this one was a Christmas gift, it’s a Santa in our house. 🙂

As you can see in the photos, he had some condition issues. The most obvious was a chunk missing from the bottom of his beard. He also had some small chips here and there, but was generally in really good shape.

The restoration went very well and the new finish really shows off the carved details.


Santa Figural Nutcracker Restoration

Santa Figural Nutcracker Restoration




Santa Figural Nutcracker Restoration


Thanks for looking.

Stay tuned, more great pieces are on the way!

—– Brandon

Gone to the Dogs

Gone to the Dogs

Jan 10


Hope everyone had a great Christmas and New Years!

We had a great Christmas and I have big plans for 2015. Not spoiling the surprise or cursing myself by letting the cat out of the bag too soon. though. So you’ll have to stay tuned as things progress. 🙂

In the meantime, here’s a great piece we just added to our personal collection. We bought this piece some time ago off of ebay. We got it pretty reasonable because it was damaged.

I was fortunate  recently to have time to concentrate on fixing its ears, put a new finish on it, and make a custom base for it. See my previous Blog post “It’s all about the base” to see how the base was made. Since I was able to secretly get everything done before Christmas, I wrapped it and surprised Missy by adding it to her pile of Christmas gifts this year.

As always, be sure to click on the photos for a larger up close view of them.


Black Forest Nutcracker - Dog


Carved Wood Figural Dog Nutcracker


Carved Wood Figural Dog Nutcracker


Ebay has been good to me lately, so stay tuned for more great pieces!

—– Brandon


2014 is here!

2014 is here!

Jan 01
Etto Brewing Co.

Etto Brewing Co. Pint Glass

Happy New Year everyone!

I want to wish everyone a happy and healthy new year.

I’m looking forward to 2014 being a busy and productive new year. I’ve got lots of ideas and things in the works out in the shop.

Be sure to raise a pint with me and bid 2013 a well deserved farewell.

—– Brandon