A not so Simple Groden!

A not so Simple Groden!

Feb 18


I was contacted by a customer who purchased a Groden that had been previously repaired.


The mouth was repaired in such a way that it threw the alignment off and set the chest too far back in. (*click on photos for a larger view)





On a less rare piece where authenticity isn’t an issue, moving the pin would be an option.


On a rare piece like a Groden, the less the original wood on the piece is disturbed, the better.


Getting the chest to line up, required a lot of material to be removed from the previously repaired mouth which then pushed the mouth too far back into the piece and out of alignment.





To fix this, new wood was added to the mouth to build it back out.





The new wood was then carved, blended, and stained to match the original finish and the aged patina on the piece.






This is a lot of work, but it’s worth it to not disturb the original wood and maintain this piece’s authenticity.




Carving Copier 2.0

Carving Copier 2.0

Jul 15


Well, it’s been a while since my last post.


Been working on some big things in the shop and it’s too early to reveal any details.


To get ready, though, I resurrected the carving copier I built a few years back.


This is version 2.0 which I replaced the drawer slides (X axis) on the original with linear bearings and rails (20 mm X 30 inches) like I used on the Z and Y axis.






This improvement makes the copier much smoother, dead on accurate, and gets rid of the racking issue I had with the drawer slides.

Face repair

Face repair

Sep 17


Just finished repairing a great really old (1700’s) Boxwood piece.


This came in with most of the face missing and a pretty big chunk missing from the front of the lever.


Here are a couple pictures when it came in:






Here’s a photo of it in process of being repaired.


New Boxwood has been attached, carved, and is waiting to be stained and blended.




Here are a couple photos of the piece done:










This was a challenging repair.


I want to thank Arlene Wagner from the Leavenworth Nutcracker Museum for sending me reference photos of pieces she has from this time period so I could make sure the details I needed to add were authentic to the piece.


—– Brandon


Bear chewin’ on a Feedbag

Bear chewin’ on a Feedbag

Sep 10


Here’s a fantastic piece I got to restore recently for one of the Nutcracker Collectors’ Club members.


It’s a really rare screw type nutcracker of a bear chewing on a feedbag.


This piece has a ton of detail and is very well done.


It came in with a broken feedbag nub, hole in the base, and chipped ears.


Here are a couple before pictures:






Here are a couple pictures after all the repairs were made:






This was a fun piece to work on and came out great!




Dog with a Rat

Dog with a Rat

Sep 04


Here’s a really rare unique screw type nutcracker that came into the shop recently for repairs.


Both ear tips were missing and needed replaced.


Here are a couple before pictures showing the ear tips missing:






Here are a couple pictures showing the piece after I added new ear tips:






The piece came out great and the new ear tips blend seamlessly with the original.


New Piece Available

New Piece Available

Jul 24


I carved a few unique nutcrackers to take to the 2016 Nutcracker Collectors’ Convention.


Here’s a brand new design I came up with for the convention to demonstrate the type of work I do.


It’s a Screw Type Skull Nutcracker. It’s hand carved out of Mahogany, it’s 3 inches tall, and about 5 inches long.


It’s signed and is the first and only one of this design so far. It’s numbered as #1.









This piece is currently available for purchase at Ardoria.com.