Walnut Hatchet Fin

 

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Around two years ago, I found a really sweet piece of walnut. It was someones off-cut, clear as day, being weirdly thin and not quite rectilinear.  The lighter edge will tell you that this piece has a splash of outer layer wood contrasting the dark heartwood grain. I was able to sketch a fin on this gold piece of  scrap, create a diagonal cut, and insert my own walnut and oak endgrain checker pattern. The 21 1/2 squares are blocked by thin maple stringers, clamped between the walnut. Great project, but only time will tell if this fin ever sees time in the ocean. For now its a cool show piece.

Fish Table

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Around a year ago I made a coffee table top that just never seemed to form legs. My wood skills at that point in time weren’t quite up to motivating myself for such as task, thus they, and my plank, sat on my architecture studio desk for an entire semester, then my home basement, and even survived a move. Somewhere in this hardwoods’ journey from central Virginia to Southern Maine, it lost its orthogonal form. The bandsaw turned a rectangle into a stubby walnut fish shape plank too out of touch with scale to create anything useful. It was a beautiful accident.

 

43378879915_d4eb0c1428_o.jpgThis summer I created a rectangular base with tapered maple legs, walnut crossing points, and a mahogany skirt. Some parts I shaped at Chewonki. Holding the final iteration in my basement, looking for a top,I remembered the fish. They fit together perfectly.

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Planing planes, by hand

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If you’re into reading about purveyors of personal propulsion devices (aka watermen), then you’ll know what these are. Come hell or high water? Avocado Coast proudly presents the Baked Potato hand plane lineup for body surfing. It’s a sport, I swear, just look up Mark Cunningham.  These are on sale at Aquaholics Surf Shop in Kennebunk, Maine and although not quite selling like southern hot cakes, I did see a young grom try it on today while in the shop. It was rewarding to say the least. Artwork and shaping both done by myself. Wood lay up is Cedar x Maple stringer.

 

Handmade Cruiser

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You give up a lot when you search for surf in colder climates. Including anything pertaining to the warm and comfortable. Search the globe and one might not find winter waves more convenient and also lonely than in southern Maine. Vactionland’s “off-season” has a lot to offer, of course the trade off is that surfing Maine can be a rather cold and unpleasant experience. “It’s too damn cold!” Some will say. “Don’t you have to wear a dry suit?” Others will ask.

During the summer months, grey skies, tall pine trees and rocky point breaks are taken over by teslas, beach moms, and increased traffic. Around this time, I bring out my own summer wheels. I made it from an eclectic mix of hardwood stringers all salvaged from scrap bins. I once passed a tesla with it, I swear.

Pictures from Kennebunk Beach

29″ x 8″ x 5/8″

Walnut, Oak, Maple