Harold has been woodworking in earnest since July of 2009 when he and his wife Janette moved to the Black Forest. Being newly retired, they were ready to escape the growing city of Colorado Springs and enjoy retirement in the serenity of the Forest. They purchased an all brick home with a 30’ x 50’ all brick multi-purpose outbuilding (workshop/warehouse & upstairs man cave). He quickly equipped the workshop with quality woodworking tools. He joined the BFACG shortly thereafter.
Then the June 11, 2013 wildfire took their home and two of their three outbuildings; sparing the greenhouse which still stands today. So, after a hiatus of 18 months he started over with a new home and a much smaller workshop on the lower level. It was likewise equipped with quality woodworking tools, but several were necessarily downsized. He wood works year round as his workshop has a radiant heated floor. How spoiled is he?
In the old workshop; Harold was building almost everything from napkin holders to custom furniture. In the new workshop; he decided to narrow his craft to focus on wood turning. It truly is his favorite woodworking activity as it allows for much greater creativity. Harold turns a combination of purchased exotic wood, both domestic and imported and “found” wood. What he finds most enjoyable about turning “found” wood is peeling back the bark is like opening a Christmas present. He never knows what is under the bark until he starts the turning process. His “tag line” is: “Revealing Mother Nature’s Splendor”. Harold loves the woods that have a lot of character and figuring.
Harold has turned a couple hundred wine bottle stoppers. He has probably given away as many away as he has sold. They make great gifts as the stoppers can also be used for tall thin necked bottles like Balsamic vinegar, and olive oil. He has four variety of wine bottle stoppers: 1) Domestic or found wood, 2) Exotic, purchased wood, 3) Purchased laminates, and 4) Purchased acrylics (in Denver Bronco colors of course). Other turned items include Christmas ornaments, flower vases (full sized and bud sized). He also had turned numerous bowls and candle holders. He even has turned the control sticks for two Waco Nine bi-planes (more about that later).
Although he prefers lathe work; he did capitulate and agreed to build a poker table top for his Son’s best friend’s pool table. He designed it having been given “general” instructions. It has high end “speed cloth” over a ¼” cushion, a Formica “race track”, and fully padded arm rests. It gets lots of “do you think Harold would be willing to build one for me questions. See photos.
An even LARGER project Harold is involved in is the complete “ground-up” construction of a 1926 Waco Nine bi-plane. His friend Rich has acquired the crashed remains of the original airplane which crashed in an Alaskan swamp in 1931. It was not discovered for decades and was finally recovered in 1965. Having the title/tail number, (N1066, serial number 250) to the aircraft allows for a legitimate reconstruction. There were only 283 Waco Nine’s built in 1926 and only nine exist today (most of which are in museums). Thanks to the Smithsonian Museum for providing the original blueprints thus allowing the bi-plane to be built to the exact original specifications. Toward that end, Rich has purchased the aviation grade Sitka spruce which is only grown in Sitka, Alaska…go figure. The fuselage skeleton is completed, and the wings are very near being assembled. Most of the wing spars wood work had been (and is being) done in Harold’s woodworking shop. It is estimated three years to first flight. Harold is looking forward to flying in the open cockpit bi-plane (front seat no less). More information on the bi-plane can be found at: http://www.waconine.webs.com/
What makes Harold’s woodworking unique? Well, to begin with; he has very high standards. Anything he creates must pass the “would he be proud to display it is his home?” If NOT, it doesn’t get put up for sale nor is it gifted. That said; NO woodworking project is ever a “total failure”…it can always be used as fire wood in their back yard fire pit. Harold uses the best materials; for example: the wine bottle stoppers (bottoms) are polished 304 kitchen food grade stainless steel. Sure, cheaper options are available, BUT they corrode or discolor. He opts for the higher priced top quality stoppers.
Encouragement, and tutelage from his wife Janette has resulted in Harold’s branching-out into the world of soap, and gourmet salt making. Creating consumables is quite a change from his use over-and-over again woodworking, BUT it has been a fun adventure. And, it is a lot cleaner (no pun intended).
Harold wants to thank you all in advance for shopping at the twice a year Black Forest Arts & Crafts Guild Craft Fairs. Please take a moment to pickup, hold and feel his work, and pay particular attention to his attention to detail.
You can contact Harold at firstname.lastname@example.org